Chapter 21: The Spirit Returns and Touches Heaven
This is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever come across. A great meaning is hidden there: if you are silent, if you are utterly silent, existence starts showering on you - blessings shower on you like rain. If you are silent, if you are in the state of meditation, just being and doing nothing, the whole existence converges upon you with all its grace, with all its beauty and benediction.
This is the state Jesus calls the state of beatitude. For the first time you become aware of the splendor of existence. Each moment is an eternity then, and even to breathe is such a joy, such a celebration. Misery disappears the moment you disappear. Misery is the shadow of the ego. And blessing is a natural phenomenon: it happens on its own the moment you are empty - the whole existence rushes in, explodes.
Ludwig Wittgenstein has said, “The mystical is not the ‘how’ of the world, but that it exists.”
Just that it exists is the mystery. There is no need to go anywhere else. The mystery is not hidden, the mystery is all over the place. Just that it exists is the mystery of it! You need not dig deep to find the mystery. Mystery is everywhere, on the surface as much as in the depth. All that is needed is a heart that feels. All that is needed is a being that is available, open. All that is needed is alertness - alertness without any effort and tension. All that is needed is a state of meditation, and then favors from existence start showering like rain.
Master Lu-Tsu said:
Now there are three confirmatory experiences which can be tested. The first is that, when one has entered the state of meditation, the gods are in the valley. Men are heard talking as though at a distance of several hundred paces, each one quite clear. But the sounds are all like an echo in a valley: one can always hear them, but never oneself. This is called: “The presence of the gods in the valley.”
Lu-Tsu is talking about three confirmatory signs. The first he calls the gods are in the valley. Those who are moving - and you all are moving towards meditation - are going to come across these strange but tremendously beautiful spaces. The first sign that meditation has started becoming a crystallized phenomenon in you is the presence of the gods in the valley.
What does this metaphor mean? It means the moment meditation starts happening in you, the whole existence becomes a valley and you are at the top of a hill. You start rising upwards and the whole world becomes a valley, far away, deep down there - and you are sitting on a sunlit hilltop. Meditation takes you upwards - not physically, but spiritually - and the phenomenon is very clear when it happens. These will be the signs.