Chapter 7: Swimming with the River
That’s natural: my meaning is my meaning, your meaning will be your meaning - how can they be the same? They cannot be. Your interpretation will come out of you, it will grow out of you. It has nothing to do with Hakuin’s song. When you read the Bible you don’t read Jesus, you read yourself there. When you read the Gita you don’t read Krishna, you read yourself there. Your interpretation is not there in the book, your interpretation is projected onto the book. The book is just an excuse. It is natural.
Here, you have gathered around me; if there are a thousand sannyasins here, there are a thousand meanings that they give to each of my statements. And it is very rare that you get the meaning that I want you to get from it. The moment you get that meaning you start participating in my being. In that moment you disappear, your mind disappears. In that moment you melt into me and you allow me to melt into you.
You may have read Hakuin’s song but it was your own song that you must have got out of it. Unless you come to a point of not-knowing you will not know the meaning of Hakuin as Hakuin wanted it to be. If you want to understand what I am saying to you, you will have to come to this same awareness, to this not-knowing, to this no-mind that I am. Only then. To know Buddha one has to become a buddha, to know Christ one has to become a christ. There is no other way to know; you cannot remain yourself and know them. To know them is risky. You will have to risk all that you have got; you will have to risk all your knowledge.
That’s why many people don’t even try - it seems to be demanding too much of them. Yes, they are ready to go a little way with Buddha, Christ, with me - a little way. They go only up to that point where they feel I am agreeing with them; the moment they see that I am moving in a direction with which they don’t agree they stop immediately. And unless you go with me headlong to the very end, you will not know what the message was.
Remember it: when you are listening to me put your whole mind aside. Just listen for the sheer joy of listening, as you listen to a bird calling, as you listen to the wind passing through the trees, just listen that way. There is no need to be worried what its meaning is. And then you will come closer to the real meaning.
An Italian immigrant was being examined on his fitness for naturalization.
“Who is the boss of the city?” was the first question.
“The mayor,” he replied.
“Correct. And who is the boss of the state?”
“Correct. And of the whole country?”
“The President of the United States.”
“Correct. Would it be possible for you to be the president?”
“Err.excuse me judge, but I’m very busy work in the shop.”
Your meaning is your meaning.