Chapter 2: Morality: Nothing but Delusion
Morality is concerned only with actions. And I want to say to you, Zen has nothing to do with morality. It is pure religiousness, which is a much higher point of view. It does not decide what is right and wrong, it simply wants your consciousness to have the clarity to see in every situation. The question is never of deciding. Deciding means that doubt has already arisen. Deciding means you are wavering; deciding means half of you is on this side and half of you on that side, and you are troubled about where to go.
A man of pure consciousness never decides, he simply acts spontaneously. There is nothing good for him and nothing bad for him.
The only thing good is to be conscious and the only thing bad is to be unconscious. Actions don’t count. This has to be understood - then Eno’s words will be very easy. He is making a very fundamental statement.
Good friends, in this teaching, from the outset, sitting in meditation does not concern the mind nor does it concern purity; we do not talk of steadfastness. If someone speaks of “viewing the mind,” then I would say that the mind is of itself delusion, and the delusions are just like fantasies, there is nothing to be seen. If someone speaks of “viewing purity,” then I would say that man’s nature is of itself pure, but because of false thoughts, true reality is obscured.
The question is not of finding in your thoughts what is right and what is wrong, in your actions what is right and what is wrong. The question is of finding a consciousness so total and so intense that only whatever is right remains, and whatever is false burns out. You don’t have to decide.
And when action arises out of silent meditation, it has a purity and a beauty and a fragrance. It has nothing to do with morality or immorality. Those are very low considerations of society, of the collective mass. Zen belongs to the highest peaks of the Himalayas, to the highest peaks of consciousness. From there, the vision is clear in all directions. There is no need to decide; you simply see what is right. You don’t even think about it, you simply act. You don’t think about the consequences.
Out of this purity, only roses can bloom. Out of this purity, there is no possibility of anything evil arising in you.
Zen’s concern is a pure religiousness - not religion, remember. Religion has become almost identified with moral conceptions, with commandments. But time goes on changing; every moment, everything is moving. You cannot decide what is right forever, you can only depend on your clarity. What is right today may be wrong tomorrow. Commandments belong to the very lowest class of morality.
I remember, when God made the world and he went around selling the commandments, he asked the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and everybody asked, “First tell us, just as a sample, what are your commandments? Just tell us one.”
And God thought the best would be, with no argumentation, “You should not commit adultery.”