Chapter 4: Enter the Door of Anatta
It has to be repeated again and again for the disciple that the word is not the message. The word is just a vehicle of an invisible message. That message is not contained in the word, it is around the word. Don’t cling to the word, just see the hint.
But it is very difficult. We are accustomed to understand language by understanding the word. But when you come to a buddha, you have to understand language in a new way. You have to understand the gaps between the words. There the buddha is present. In the words he has to use the mind, but when there is a gap, that gap shows his emptiness, his nothingness, his beyondness.
A great Sufi mystic kept a holy book.Everybody thought that it must be very mysterious, because he never allowed anyone to see within it, or read it. He kept it just under his pillow, and when there was nobody around, he would take it from its place and open the book, and would go through all the gestures of reading.
It became more and more mysterious as he became more and more famous. Perhaps he is keeping something secret, to be delivered only to the chosen few. Again and again he was asked, “Why don’t you talk about the book?”
He said, “I cannot talk about the book. When I am gone, then you can read it; not while I’m here because I cannot explain what is written in the book. But when I am gone it is none of my responsibility. You read it - whether you understand it or not is your business.”
It became more and more mysterious. People were trying in every way to at least have a look. When everybody else was gone, somebody would be hiding on the roof, removing a tile and looking. But the moment he would remove the tile, the master would close the book.
The moment he died - he was so much loved - but the moment he died, people were more concerned about the book than about his death. They immediately took out the book, and they were shocked and surprised: the book contained nothing! It was an empty book. They turned all the pages.somewhere, perhaps, the message. They went on again and again; perhaps they had missed the page where the message is. But there was nothing at all.
For one thousand years, the book had been given from the master to his successor, a disciple. It is very significant; it says, “Don’t look at the words, read the emptiness.”
This monk is asking:
“What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”
It cannot be his own experience in any case, because the one who knows will not ask such a question. When the heart is empty it has no attitude. If it has an attitude, how can it be empty? When the heart is empty, this question cannot arise.