Chapter 3: Transcending the Transcendental
Buddha has said again and again that you can taste the sea from anywhere: you will always find it salty. So are the masters - names are irrelevant.
Ko Hsuan does not mention the name of the master - names are utilitarian. A master represents the ultimate, the nameless. He is the spokesman of the nameless experience - let him also be nameless. That is his message.
The Venerable Master said.
Remember few things before we enter into the sutra. Why the East respects the master and not the teacher? Why the master and not the scholar? Why the master and not the pundit? Because the East has known that the pundit is only a parrot: he repeats what others have known; he has not experienced it himself. And because he has not experienced it himself it has no validity. He may be able to argue well, he may be able to convince you, he may be able to masquerade many proofs for what he is saying, but still what he is saying is borrowed; it has no roots in his own being. He is only talking to you from his memory, not from his consciousness.
And truth is not in the scriptures. Truth is your very center of being, it is your essential core. You can become very clever with words - it is not difficult either - but those words are impotent, those words are empty, those words really don’t have any meaning. Meaning comes through experience.
When Jesus says something it has meaning. You can repeat the same words; it cannot have the same meaning because your experience is not of that level, of that plane. You will put your own meaning into it, you will pour your own experience into it. You will use Jesus’ words as containers, but the content will be yours. The bottle will be Jesus’, but the wine will be yours.
And what have you got? You know nothing of importance. All that you know is simply rubbish - maybe useful in the world, maybe even necessarily needed in the world for a livelihood, but you don’t know what life is. You know how to earn money and you know only how to waste life.
There was an old professor of Darjeeling
Who traveled from London to Ealing.
It said on the door,
“Please don’t spit on the floor,”
So he carefully spat on the ceiling.
“That philosopher really suffers for his beliefs,” said Mulla Nasruddin one day to me.
“Why, what does he believe?” I asked him.
“That he can wear a size 8 shoe on a size 11 foot!”