Chapter 6: The Only Hope
“I have experienced this difficulty.” Just at that moment a monk passed by and Kyozan called out to him, “Jari!” and the monk turned his head.
Now this is functional.
Kyozan commented to Isan: “This is a case of wide cause and effect consciousness without awareness of the fundamental upon which one should rely.”
Now this man who is being called turns his head. Obviously he is a little bit conscious, but is he aware that he is turning his head? Turning the head is a function; it needs very little consciousness. But is he also aware that he is turning the head? If he is also aware of turning the head, then he will have the original consciousness, the witness. If he is only conscious enough to turn the head, that can be done by a robot, by a machine - but no machine can ever become a buddha.
You have to understand. It was not available to Buddha or to Isan, but to us things have become more clear. The computer can do better work than you, far more efficiently, without getting tired. But it can do only that which it has been taught to do. If something new comes, the computer will be at a loss to respond because it knows only ready-made answers. You can put whole libraries in it, and it is capable to absorb in its memory all the libraries, and whatever those libraries contain will become the content of the computer’s memory. If you ask a question that is part of the contents of the memory of the computer, immediately the right answer will come. But if you ask something that the computer has not been fed before, the computer will remain utterly silent. It cannot respond on its own because it has no original consciousness.
So your superficial consciousness is not of much more value than a robot mechanism. If your name is called, you will turn and look - but are you also aware that your name is called and you are turning and looking? Only that deeper awareness can transform your life; otherwise you will remain a computer. What is your whole education for? - to make you a better computer, to feed you more information.
Whatever you do and whatever you say, ask the question: Is it you or has your mother told you to do it this way, or your father, or your teacher, or your priest? Is it you, or is it somebody else who is manipulating you? And you will be surprised that you have never acted even for once spontaneously, you have always relied upon the memory. The memory comes from others. It may come from your experiences, but the response should not come from memory, it should come from your alertness.