Chapter 5: Suchness Is Our Self-nature
It cannot take you from your agony into an ecstatic experience. It cannot take you away from darkness into light, from death into immortality. This is the delusion.
Something so hard to fathom is known by a buddha and no one else.
Remember, by ‘buddha’ is not meant any personal name. ‘Buddha’ simply means the awakened one. Anyone who becomes awakened, enlightened, is the buddha. You are also the buddha; the only difference is that you are not aware of it. You have never looked inside yourself and found the buddha there. Your very life source is nothing but enlightenment.
Bodhidharma is saying: Something so hard to fathom is known by a buddha and no one else. You will know only that you are deluded if you enter yourself and find your authentic individuality. Then there will be a comparison. The man who has never seen real roses may remain with plastic flowers his whole life, believing that these are real roses. To wake him up, you have to bring real roses so that he can compare and he can see the difference. The plastic flowers are dead; they don’t have any fragrance. They have not grown up; they will not die.
The real flower is fragile. With the morning it comes into existence, dances in the rain, in the wind, in the sun, and by the evening it is gone. It comes from the unknown and moves back into the unknown. The same is the situation of our human life.
We come from the unknown and we go on moving into the unknown. We will come again; we have been here thousands of times, and we will be here thousands of times. Our essential being is immortal but our body, our embodiment, is mortal. Our frame in which we are, our houses, the body, the mind, they are made of material things. They will get tired, they will become old, they will die. But your consciousness, for which Bodhidharma uses the word no-mind - Gautam Buddha has also used the word, no-mind - is something beyond body and mind, something beyond everything; that no-mind is eternal. It comes into expression, and goes again into the unknown.
This movement from the unknown to the known, and from the known to the unknown, continues for eternity, unless somebody becomes enlightened. Then that is his last life; then this flower will not come back again. This flower that has become aware of himself need not come back to life because life is nothing but a school in which to learn. He has learned the lesson, he is now beyond delusions. He will move from the known for the first time not into the unknown, but into the unknowable.
If from the known you move to the unknown, you will be born again. But if you move from the known to the unknowable, to the mystery of existence, you become one with the universe; there is no coming back.