Chapter 3: A Very Fresh Communion
Why did red become so important? It was symbolic of blood. You could not pour blood on the god, but you could paint. And nobody thinks of the connection, that first blood was poured on, and later.For thousands of years man has been cutting off men’s heads, offering heads with blood oozing out of them. As a little intelligence arose, they substituted a coconut for the head, and they substituted the red color for blood.
But if you tell them, you are in danger; you have hurt their religious feelings. I hear this phrase “religious feelings” only when they are hurt; otherwise nobody knows what these religious feelings are.
Zen is the purest religion, with no hang-ups.
Before I take the sutras, a little biographical note:
Ryusen was a disciple of Kyozan. He became a monk at the age of seven and studied Zen under Daiji, a disciple of Hyakujo and then went to Kyozan, under whom he became enlightened.
When Ryusen was about to die, at midnight he said to his monks, “If you use up the mind of the Three Worlds, that is Nirvana.” Saying this he sat in the proper manner, and passed away.
A man who has been going deeper into meditation passes the door of death many times. Whenever he goes, he passes it, whenever he comes back.It is simple to understand that death has nothing to do with life. Death is a door. If you move inside the door, you move into the universe. If you move outside the door, you move into mortal existence. And because we go on living on the outside our whole life, the fear of death arises.
And out of fear - it is a chain - other things will arise: out of fear you will believe in God; out of fear you will believe in the priest; out of fear you will go to the temple, to the mosque, to the church. Out of fear you will fast, out of fear you will worship; out of fear you will do all kinds of things. But anything done out of fear is not religious. That point is absolute. Anything arising out of fear cannot lead you to truth.
Truth needs guts and courage. It comes out of a loving search. The inquirer is a lover; he is trying to find the ultimate lover. Even the ordinary love affairs are stepping-stones. I am not against love, for the simple reason that that’s how you will learn something, in fragments. Each love affair will give you some maturity, some integrity.
But love is in bondage. The society has sealed every love. Anything that becomes a law becomes dead. When love becomes a marriage you are committing suicide. If love remains a freedom, step-by-step you will be able to reach your innermost being. And you will have a good laughter, that the search was for yourself; the lover and the loved are not two. Other loves were failing because you were depending on the other. Unless you find in your inner consciousness both together, the love and the lover.