Chapter 2: A Pilgrimage to Your Own Being
The realization of enlightenment, or buddhahood, is difficult. And it is also not difficult. It is difficult if you start looking for it. It is not difficult if you simply sit down, settling within yourself in calmness, quietness, being just purely aware.
Then you are the buddha, then you are the enlightenment. It is not that you become enlightened, it is not your becoming. It is your very being, it is you in your simplest, spontaneous nature. Enlightenment is your self-nature.
Once somebody attains to enlightenment, the greatest difficulty is to convey it to those who are living in darkness and who have never seen any light. It is almost like talking about light to blind people. One enlightened master has been reported to have said, “My whole effort of conveying my experience is just like selling glasses to blind people.”
Hence, many of those who have attained have remained silent, and those very few who have spoken, know that their words cannot carry their enlightenment, its beauty, its joy, its fragrance; that the moment the experience is translated into words, something essential dies. Only a corpse reaches to the other person.
But out of compassion, hoping against hope, a few enlightened people down the ages have made every effort to convey to you that life is not all that you think it is. It is much more, infinitely much more.
But no enlightened man has ever written a single word, for the simple reason that the spoken word has a certain warmth, and the written word is absolutely cold. The spoken word has the presence of the master, but the written word has no presence of the master. The spoken word is not just a word; there are so many other things which may be indirectly conveyed to you. The presence of the master, the blissfulness of the master, the grace of the master, his inviting eyes, his heart calling you, invoking you for a journey, for a pilgrimage to your own being.all this is absent in the written word.
Hence, no enlightened man has ever written anything. But disciples have taken notes. All the literature that exists in the name of enlightened people is nothing but disciples’ notes. The problem becomes more and more complicated because the disciple is writing something which he does not understand. He loves the master, he has fallen into a deep love affair, but he does not understand the mystery of the master. He is under his magical influence, but he does not know his secret. Unless he knows his own secret he will never know the secret of the master, because they are not two things.
The disciple thinks, has been thinking for ages, that the words of the master should not be lost; they are so precious, they are pure gold. At least something for the future generations should be collected. But his understanding is very small, and he writes according to his understanding. First, much is lost when the master speaks; then much is lost when the disciple hears; then much is lost when the disciple writes. And the disciple writes in one language, and then it goes on being translated into other languages. It becomes a faraway echo of the original.