Chapter 8: Holidays Are Not for Saints
The new man’s god is no more in the heaven, it is in his own being - more intimate, more close. The new man will not worship the god, the new man will live the god, will sing the god, will dance the god; he himself will be the temple of the god. Hence I have called the new man the buddha.
Now I will call Avirbhava to bring the dragon.
(A green, papier-mache dragon enters Gautama the Buddha Auditorium from the back and stomps around the hall. Every once in a while it sprays from its fanged mouth steam and smoke. Everybody is laughing while oriental music plays. Laughter, Chinese music, hand-clapping. See photo on page 190.)
Rinzai said, “I expound the dharma of mind-ground, by which one can enter the secular and the sacred. But you are mistaken if you suppose that your real and temporal, secular and sacred can attach a name to everything real and temporal, secular and sacred. They cannot attach a name to this man.”
“Mind-ground” simply means the empty mind. Only the ground is left, only the foundation is left, and everything else is gone. Even to have dreams you have to be alive. Do you think a dead man can dream? Your life functions as a ground for all your projections, for all your imaginations, for all your gods in heaven and hell, and all kinds of mythologies, theologies and philosophies. But for all, the ground is the mind.
Zen does not go beyond the essential ground of mind. It does not grow any mythology on it, it does not grow any system of beliefs on it; it simply remains with the silent mind - and the silent mind is exactly no-mind. These are different expressions only. You can say “no-mind” because there are no thoughts; you can call it “mind-ground” - there are no thoughts either.
This mind-ground can describe things as sacred, as profane, as material, as spiritual, as astral, as ethereal - this mind is capable of naming thousands of things, real and unreal. But it cannot name this man. Rinzai is pointing to his own realization, and the new man that is born out of realization. The mind-ground cannot give a name to this man - the new man, the man of Tao, or the man of enlightenment.
Why can it not give a name to it? Because a name is a thought, and Zen does not accept any thought, sacred or profane; it accepts only the pure consciousness, the empty heart. Nothing should be echoing in it.
Hence, this mind which can create such great mythologies.Millions of people have lived under the impact of fictitious gods. The whole game is of the mind. It can create God, it can create the devil, it can create anything you want, but not this man. The man who is enlightened is no more. How can you name him? The man of enlightenment is dissolved in the cosmos; now he has no more any form or any boundaries. How can you name him?