Chapter 5: When We Attain Reality
No, the whole thinking is wrong. If you think of meaning as a result, then you will miss the whole point. That is where Buddha’s insight is of tremendous importance. He says: “Meaning is not in the result but in the act.” And it can only be in the act if you are not looking for the meaning. If you are looking for the meaning you have moved into the future, you have missed this moment, you have missed the present. You have missed that which is, and the beauty of that which is - the benediction of it, the utter joy of it.
This is what Zen is. Zen drops the search for meaning because it is an ego search. The gratification of the ego is thought to be the meaning. Zen drops the very search for meaning, and in that very dropping, all kinds of meaninglessnesses disappear. See the beauty of it. Then life is, simply is; no meaning, no meaninglessness. How can you be in despair? And when there is no search for meaning, you are no more separate from life. When there is no search for meaning, how can you divide yourself from life? Then you are part of this organic unity, this simultaneous majesty, this magic of being, this ecstasy of being. Then you sing with the birds, and you bloom with the trees, and you dance with the stars. Then you don’t have any private world of your own - this world is your world. And then there is no idea of the future. Then this moment is all. It contains eternity.
Friedrich Nietzsche has said, “To have lost God means madness; and when mankind discovers that it has lost God, universal madness will break out.” And this from a man who himself has declared that God is dead.. He is afraid of what he has declared, he is afraid of it. He says that when God is lost, man will go mad. That’s exactly what happened to him - he went mad. He could not live without meaning although he declared - he dared - that God is dead. Maybe he dared too much, maybe he dared beyond his capacities, maybe he was not able to absorb the death of God, it was such a shock. Maybe he was reacting, and was reacting to the other extreme, and then a wound was left in his being. He himself could not live without God. He was a very egoistic man, so he could not believe in God; he had to declare God dead. But once he declared God dead, then there was no meaning.
The death of God is the death of meaning. “God” has remained the meaning for centuries. Since man has existed on the earth, God has been the meaning: “We can always look toward God,” “Life is nothing but a preparation for God,” “Life is a waiting for God,” “Sooner or later we will arrive home” - that there is a home, that there is a father figure or a mother figure waiting for you. You are not lost, maybe you have gone astray, but not lost. Any time you can decide to move back, and you will find the home, and the home will not have disappeared. God has remained the center - the center of all meaning; all meaning arises out of God.