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Chapter 6: The Real Self and the False Ego

A mystic is one who has known the truth, but is absolutely incapable of relating it to others. He has no means, he cannot devise methods, he has no skills. He cannot paint it, he cannot sing it, he cannot dance it, he cannot say it. He is utterly dumb. The experience leaves him almost drunk - utterly drunk. You can see that something has happened, something of tremendous import. You can feel a certain vibe around him. You can try to understand what has happened. But from his side there is no effort to communicate, to commune. He is so dazed by what he has seen, he is in such an awe that he has forgotten language. He has entered into the no-mind and he has forgotten the way to the old mind. First he used to live in the mind, then he tried hard to find the way toward the no-mind. Now he is in the no-mind, but he has forgotten the way to the mind. He cannot use the mind - he has lost his mind. He is almost, to all practical purposes, mad - absolutely joyous, overflowing with bliss, beauty, grace; something worth seeing, something of the beyond, but of no practical use.

The master is one who has reached to the ultimate but is capable of coming back down to the world where you are. The master is one who has reached to the Everest of consciousness but is able to come down back to the dark valley where millions of people are still living, and to communicate to them something about the incommunicable, to make a few gestures toward the highest peak. Maybe one in a million will be able to look at the moon where his fingers are pointing, but even that is more than enough.

The master is something plus. The mystic knows but cannot help you to know. The master knows and can help you to know.

Yoka is a master, a master of great skill. Hence his words have to be meditated upon - his each word is significant. He says:

By zazen we can obtain directly the ultimate truth.

First: by zazen. Zazen means just sitting and doing nothing. That is the most unique phenomenon in Zen; nowhere else has it happened. No other religion has been able to create this device of just sitting. Every religion provides you with something to do: chant a mantra, say a prayer, repeat certain words from the holy scriptures or go through a ritual, but do something: physical exercises, yoga, or some mental exercises, visualization, concentration, contemplation. But one thing is certain: all the religions have provided you with something to do.

And Zen says - and there is great insight in it - that if you go on doing something, the mind will go on living; you will never be able to transcend it. You may be able to control it, but control is not transcendence. You may be able to make it more virtuous, but to be virtuous is not to know the unknowable. To be virtuous is a choice, and whenever you choose you are choosing bondage. All choices lead to bondage.

Somebody becomes a sinner - he has chosen iron chains; and somebody becomes a saint - he has chosen golden chains, beautiful chains, valuable chains. But chains are chains; whether they are made of gold or of iron makes no difference. In fact, golden chains are far more dangerous, because with the iron chains sooner or later you will get fed up, you would like to get out of them - they are humiliating. With the golden chains you may feel that they are not chains at all, they are ornaments. You may start loving them, you may start clinging to them - they are so valuable! You will be happy that you have them. You will look on others who don’t have them as poor people, unfortunate people.

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