Chapter 5: See Right at Once
Dogo had a disciple called Soshin. When Soshin was taken in as a novice, it was perhaps natural of him to expect lessons in Zen from his teacher the way a schoolboy is taught at school.
Yes, it is natural in a way, because that is how we are conditioned. Knowledge is given to us in the form of questions and answers. From the primary school to the university that’s how we are taught, conditioned, hypnotized. And naturally, after one third of your life is wasted in that way, you become accustomed to it. Then you start asking profound questions in the same way as one asks, “How much is two plus two?” You start asking about love, life, God, meditation - in the same way!
In fact, even that ordinary question is not answerable. If you ask the real mathematicians, even this simple question “How much is two plus two?” is not answerable, because sometimes it is five and sometimes it is three. It is very rarely four. It is an exception that two plus two comes to be four, very exceptional, for the simple reason that two things are never the same. It is an abstraction: you add two and two and you say four.
Two persons and two persons are four different persons, so different that you cannot create an abstraction out of them. Even two leaves and two other leaves are so different that you cannot simply call them four leaves; they are not the same. Their weights are different, their colors are different, their shapes are different, their tastes are different. No two things in the world are the same. So how can two plus two be four? It is just an abstraction; it is lower mathematics. Higher mathematics knows that this is only utilitarian, it is not a truth. Mathematics is an invention of man; it is a workable lie.
What to say about love, which goes beyond all mathematics and all logic? In love, one plus one becomes one, not two. In deep love, the twoness disappears. Mathematics is transcended; it becomes irrelevant. In deep love, two persons are no more two persons, they become one. They start feeling, functioning, as one unit, as one organic unity, as one orgasmic joy. Mathematics won’t do, logic won’t do, chemistry won’t do, biology won’t do, physiology won’t do. Love is something which has to be experienced in a totally different way. It cannot be taught in the ordinary ways of teaching; it cannot become part of pedagogy.
But the disciple, Soshin, was a novice, a newcomer.
.it was perhaps natural of him to expect lessons in Zen from his teacher the way a schoolboy is taught at school.
It is natural in a state of unconsciousness.