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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   Rinzai: Master of the Irrational
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Chapter 6: All You Can Do Is Drop Your Mind

When Rinzai once visited Horin, Horin said: “Into the sea, the moonlight falls clear and shadowless, but the wanton fish deceive themselves.”
Rinzai commented: “If the moonlight on the sea is without shadows, how can the fish be deceived?”
Horin then said: “Seeing there is wind, waves arise; playing with the water, the rough sail flaps.”
Rinzai said: “The frog in the moon shines brightly alone, and all rivers and hills are at peace. The long breath of the wind is the voice of autumn in earth and sky.”
Horin said: “Though you may spread your three inches of tongue, and illuminate the celestial quietness, just try and say a single word to fit the occasion!”
Rinzai responded: “When you meet a master swordsman, show him your sword. When you meet a man who is not a poet, do not show him your poem.”

Maneesha, the way of Zen requires certain conditions to be fulfilled. They are not the conditions that other religions require; they are the conditions of receptivity, of awareness, of listening, of an understanding of the wordless, a deep penetration into silence. No other religion asks you these things. They want you to be virtuous, to be moral, not to indulge in adultery. Their requirements are very superficial.

Zen requires real qualities of being. Only then the master can impart his understanding of the ultimate. In other words, Zen is not a theology, but a being-to-being communion. The disciple has to rise to the same height as the master, otherwise he will miss whatever is being said to him. These qualities will bring him very close to the height of the master.

A master certainly knows at what height you are and he speaks accordingly. He never wastes a single word or a single moment.

Maneesha has brought this small anecdote, which will explain to you what Rinzai, who was the founder of Zen in Japan, is about.

When Rinzai once visited Horin, Horin said: “Into the sea the moonlight falls clear and shadowless, but the wanton fish deceive themselves.”
Rinzai commented: “If the moonlight on the sea is without shadows, how can the fish be deceived?”

All deception is taking the shadow for the real. But strangely enough - perhaps you have never observed it - a shadow itself cannot cast a shadow. Hence the ancient law that if you see a man without a shadow, remember he is a ghost, because a real man will have a shadow. Only a man who appears as a man but is transparent - you can pass your hand through him and you will not touch anything - will not make any shadow.

The reflection of the moon in the lake is a shadow itself. How can it cast a shadow? That is impossible. But what Horin wanted to say is not anything unnecessary or non-essential.

He said, “Into the sea, the moonlight falls clear and shadowless, but the wanton fish deceive themselves.”

What do they deceive themselves about? What is their deception? What is their illusion? Their illusion is to take the reflection as the real moon.

But Rinzai commented: “If the moonlight on the sea is without shadows, how can the fish be deceived?”

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