Chapter 8: Please, Settle for No-self
It hurts to object, but one is helpless. Jesus has to be criticized on those points, because Zen says, if you seek you will go far away. Don’t seek, just be. In seeking you have to go somewhere, you have to do something, you have to follow some guide. Don’t seek, just be; or don’t seek and find. On whose doors are you going to knock? It is beautiful when you read Jesus, “Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you.” We can forgive him for his poetry, but on whose doors are you going to knock?
There are no doors to existence. Don’t waste your time knocking on doors. Just close your eyes and the whole sky of the inner is open; there are no doors, no windows, no locks, no keys. And Jesus says the answer will be given to you if you question. Zen says you are the answer, just drop the question. It is the question that is hindering your finding the answer. Don’t question, just enter inside yourself with grandeur, an essence of birthright. Without any question, you are the answer. Your consciousness, your awareness, your being, reveals all the truths and all the mysteries of existence.
Bukko is an important master. He says:
“It may be asked, how is the self to be approached? By looking into it through this sort of inquiry: forty years ago, where did it come from; and a hundred years hence, where will it have gone to? And right now, who is the person who is making the inquiry?”
That is the most significant point. You are asking a question, but are you aware who the person is behind the question, who is asking the question? The question cannot arise from nowhere, there must be someone hidden inside you who is asking the question. Drop the question and find the questioner. And in finding the questioner, you will find the answer. It is a very strange and paradoxical world. Howsoever difficult it may seem in the beginning, if you just take a single step inwards, everything goes on becoming more and more simple.
Gertrude Stein, one of the most significant women poets, was on her deathbed. Her friends had gathered, knowing that her death was close. Suddenly, she opened her eyes and asked, “What is the answer?” Everybody looked at each other, thinking, “It seems she has gone senile.We don’t know the question, how can we say what the answer is?” Somebody gathered courage and asked, “You are being very illogical. You are asking us, ‘What is the answer?’ but we don’t know the question.”
Gertrude Stein laughed and said, “Okay, then tell me what the question is!” And she died with a smile.
To me, in the West very few people have attained to the state Gertrude Stein attained. In her last moment she certainly became a buddha. She is saying, there is no question and there is no answer. Life is so simple, so beautiful, so honest. There is no place for any question or for any answer. Life can be sung, life can be danced, life can be loved; but there is no question and there is no answer.
Bukko is saying: