Chapter 25: Zen: A Contagious Blissfulness
In a strange way, a tremendously great responsibility has fallen on you. You don’t have any power except your love. You don’t have any atomic weapons except your laughter. You don’t have any destructive forces, but you have a creative heart, a creative intelligence and a tremendous secret of meditation, of entering into your own mystery. And your mystery and the mystery of the universe are not two, they are the same.
If Durkheim is still alive - I even suspect that he was never alive - tell him to come here and just be here without any prejudice. He may have been with Zen masters, but he has had no possibility to be in a commune where Zen is the very breathing, is the very heartbeat. We don’t mention it - there is no point, it is our whole being. In this very silence it is our breath and it is our heart. And we are ready to share it with anyone who comes without any prejudice.
Lastly you say, “Finally he said, ‘I have brought Zen to Europe. Have you got my books?’” Zen masters have been known to burn books. And a man who is saying, “I have brought Zen. Have you read my books?” is not able even to see the contradiction. He has brought books; he has not brought Zen. And Zen is not confined to books. Zen is a flavor, a spiritual aroma, a contagious blissfulness.
Have you brought that meditativeness in which thousands of roses blossom in the heart? Then you will not invite anybody to read books. You will invite them to meditate, to dance, to sing and to disappear in their dance. And perhaps after all this, those books may be useful just to understand your own experience; those books may help to give you the right words, exact expressions. Not vice versa - you don’t go from books to Zen.
Zen comes first and overwhelms you. And it is so new and so unknown that you are puzzled and you don’t know in what space you have entered; there a master’s book can be helpful. It can give you some indications that you are not lost, some milestones. It can describe some qualities of which you don’t have any past experience.
Let me repeat this, because it is never said in this way: Zen comes first and then you can read it in books, not vice versa, that you read the books and then you understand what Zen is. That’s not the way things work.
Durkheim worked hard, and I have immense compassion for him. Wherever he is, in this life or in some other life, he needs a master of the quality of Gurdjieff. Only then he may be able to understand.
Gurdjieff perhaps was the first man from the East who penetrated into the Western consciousness. He was a very strange man, and he passed through strange experiences and learned on his own, without any master. He moved in many monasteries, in many groups, and never belonged to any one, but collected fragments of forgotten teachings. And he was of tremendous intelligence, to join all those fragments and make a system out of them which can certainly transform man. But it is very primitive; it is a bullock cart method. It will take you, but when you can reach there without even moving an inch, when you can reach there just sitting here.then only have you understood the difficulty of Gurdjieff.