Chapter 9: Skies beyond Skies
And this can be seen by people who have a receptivity, sensitivity and intelligence - who have eyes to see it, who are not standing with closed eyes saying, “There is no light.” You will have to open your eyes. Any mystic belonging to any age, to any country, to any part of the globe, reveals the same truth, because truth is the unchanging, unmovable center of the whole of existence.
If you can find yourself in company with a mystic, and you can be unafraid, and open your heart so that he can pour his experience into you, he can only give to you. You need not be worried. He is not going to take anything from you. You don’t have anything in the first place. And what you have, you are unaware of.
The mystic can pour his light within you and can make you aware of all that is hidden in you - your hidden splendor. This is the authentic relationship between the master and the disciple. The master does not teach anything. He simply pours his light into the heart of the disciple. There is no philosophy to be taught, there is no teaching that the student has to be converted to - there is only an experience that has to be transferred.
For centuries it has been known as the transmission of the lamp. It is a beautiful expression: ‘transmission of the lamp’. The master simply allows you to have his fire, to make your dark house also light. He loses nothing, but you gain tremendously. Hence the great gratitude that has been felt by the disciples for the master, because you cannot repay him - there is no way. What he has given to you is invaluable. All that you can do is feel a heartfelt gratitude. This gratitude is the only authentic connection between the disciple and the master.
And as the disciple also becomes aware, he rises to the same status as the master.
A beautiful story: When the master of a great seeker, Rinzai, saw that the moment had come when Rinzai was going to be of the same status as the master himself, he called Rinzai and slapped him hard. Rinzai said, “But I have not done anything, I have not even said anything. You have been beating me for years.” It is a very loving gesture, this beating. Only Zen has come to understand that it is out of sheer love that the master slaps the disciple.
And the master said to Rinzai, “This is my last slap to you. I could not resist the temptation of enjoying it once more, because from tomorrow you will be a master yourself.”
So playful. Both laughed, both enjoyed it. Rinzai remembered it his whole life. He became a much better known master than his own master, but he never forgot the last slap that the master had given. He continuously remembered that, “He loved me so much that there was not a single day that he would not beat me - on any excuse.”
It looks very strange to the logical mind, but logic has nothing to do with the inner world. Rinzai said, “Now I understand how much effort that old man was taking in slapping me. In fact, his hands were hurting more than I was hurting, because I was young, healthy. He was very old, but he did not miss. As I was reaching close to my enlightenment, he knew it before I knew it.”