Chapter 9: Just a Morning Walk
Right now we are living on the circumference, completely forgetful about the center, yet the center is the source and the center is the goal. At the very center of your being is the connecting link with the universe. There you are not you. At the very center you disappear, there only remains a pure consciousness, a fragrance.
People are afraid to go in, for the simple reason they can feel, unconsciously of course, that they can exist only as personalities on the circumference. If they go deeper into their own being, they will have to leave their personalities, their egos, their respectabilities; all that they have gathered will have to be left. They will have to go alone as consciousness, pure consciousness.
And the ultimate fear of dissolving oneself into the universe.When a river reaches to the ocean, they say that it stops for a moment, thinks twice, looks backward - all those beautiful valleys and the mountains - hesitant, fragile, afraid to take a jump into the ocean, because that jump means you will not be anymore. But that is only half the truth. That jump also means that you will become the ocean.
I have told you about a great Indian mystic, Kabir. In his youth he wrote a small poem in which he said, “When I reached to my very center I felt as if a dewdrop has slipped from the lotus leaf into the ocean.” It was a beautiful statement. But at the time of his death, he called his son and told him, “Change it please because now I know more. That was my first acquaintance with the ocean. And I had felt at that time that the dewdrop had disappeared in the ocean. Please change it; write down that the ocean has disappeared in the dewdrop. Now I can speak with authority.”
The fear is one-sided. You have not taken into account the whole realization.
Nansen hit the monk with the tile. Nansen was the man who started hitting, slapping, beating, just to wake you. We are according to Zen half asleep, half awake. Our waking is not authentic and total. We are almost somnambulists, sleeping, and also working with closed eyes, and if you become more watchful, you will see it in yourself that many of your actions you are doing like a robot; you have done them so many times.
George Gurdjieff used to say that man’s mind has the function of a robot. In the beginning you have to learn, you have a little awareness. Once you have learned something, you don’t need any awareness; once you have learned something, it is transferred to the robot part of your mind. Then it becomes computerized; then you can go on sleeping and the mind will go on working.
Nansen’s starting to hit monks is very symbolic; because if somebody is hit for no reason, naturally for a moment he wakes up. For a moment he comes out of his thick crowd of thoughts, because it is so unreasonable. If it had been reasonable it would not have disturbed; the man would have rationalized why Nansen did it.
But because he could not rationalize - there was no reason, he has not done anything wrong; he is simply working in the garden, and the master suddenly takes a broken tile and hits him hard - the mind stops for a moment.