Chapter 5: Freedom: The Ultimate Value
Once there was a Zen master named Sekito, meaning stonehead, so called because he constructed a hut on a big, flat stone which he found in a mountain, and lived there.
One day a young monk in training came to see him.
Sekito asked: “Where have you come from?”
The monk answered, “From Kosei, master.”
Sekito then said: “In Kosei, the famous Zen master, Baso, lives. Have you ever seen him?”
“Yes, I have,” the monk replied.
The master, pointing at a big piece of firewood nearby, then asked a most extraordinary question: “Does Master Baso look like this?”
Unfortunately, the monk, with whatever Zen ability he might have had, was no match for Sekito. He blinked his eyes, and could not utter a word.
The astonished monk returned all the way back to Kosei, met the great teacher Baso, and told him of the story.
Hearing it, Baso asked, “Was the firewood you saw big or small?”
“It was very big,” the monk answered.
“You are a man of great strength,” was Baso’s unexpected reply.
“Why, master?” queried the monk, at a loss as to how to take it.
Baso then said: “You have brought here such a big piece of firewood all the way from Sekito. You surely are a man of great strength, aren’t you?”
Maneesha, before I discuss the anecdote, concerning a Zen master named Sekito, meaning stonehead, I have to answer Quick magazine in Germany. As far as Stonehead is concerned, he is standing behind you - Zen master Niskriya. Can you find a bigger stonehead?
[Niskriya keeps on looking in his camera, shyly looks up for a second and returns back to his camera.]
Quick magazine needs a quick reply. Because I have been talking about one world, one humanity, I knew some idiot was going to ask this question. Quick magazine has asked: “If you would offer yourself personally to be the world emperor.with eighteen hours a day sleep you could rule, but that would be in a dream.”
It raises many questions. I have talked about one world, but I have never meant that I would be the emperor of this insane world. Jesus has replied for me, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
There is a vast universe beyond the small mind of the politician - and those who become themselves, also become emperors of the universe. There is no competition between Baso and Buddha. At the highest peak of consciousness there is no competition, everybody is an emperor.
So first, to remind Quick and its readers that I am already the emperor of my own consciousness. I don’t want to come down from my peaks to the dark valleys of your unconsciousness. But I can point the way: how you can also become an emperor. To be an emperor, an empire is not needed, but enlightenment is. That is the only empire that remains. All other empires are made of the stuff that dreams are made of.
As far as I am concerned, even in my dream I would not accept beuing the emperor of this insane asylum you call the world.
Secondly, it has to be understood that my eighteen hours of sleep are not of the same quality as your sleep, just as my waking hours are not of the same quality as your waking. I am awake even in my sleep, you are fast asleep even in your waking. Don’t forget it!
My statement for one humanity, for one world, does not imply an emperor in it. The world has been tortured by people who wanted to be emperors, Alexander, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Adolf Hitler. It is time to understand that the world can only be one in the hands of something like the UN, in which every part of the earth can be represented. And the most intelligent people can be chosen from different sections of humanity to join hands together; not to choose an emperor, but to create an intelligent committee which can have artists, scientists, poets - only not including the politicians.