When Nansen was very old somebody asked, “How are you?” He said, “Perfect. Cutting wood, carrying water to the ashram, preparing food, working in the garden…it is so beautiful.”
Look: cutting wood he remains himself. Activity is there, but the mind is absolutely silent. Carrying water to the ashram he carries water, but there is nobody inside.
If you can act without somebody there inside you will enter a realm of tremendous beauty, because activity releases energy and silence enjoys the release. With activity you spread out, you become a vast sky; and deep inside, nobody, a silence. The silence spreads with your activity. Nansen carrying water to the ashram is silence carrying water to the ashram. Nansen cutting wood is silence cutting wood.
You cannot imagine what bliss is possible if you can act without the actor being inside, without the ego. If you can simply act and move from act to act without accumulating any identification – “This is me doing it, this is I; I have done this and I have done that” – without accumulating any “I” through the activities; if you can move from one activity to another activity as a silence, as an emptiness, unimaginable benediction, unimaginable blessings shower upon you. You feel that the whole existence shares its secrets with you, because through activity you are connected with it and through silence you are capable of seeing, of looking, of enjoying, of touching.
Through silence you are sensitive, and through activity you are in contact. Sensitivity inside and contact outside – this is the balance. Then you have two wings. Otherwise you will be flying with one wing – either activity or silence. But one wing is not enough. You may flutter a little here and there, but one wing cannot lead you to the heights. You cannot move into the sky, you cannot go far away. Two wings are needed. And they balance – activity-inactivity, they balance.
Nansen cutting wood – remember it. And whenever your mind moves to the extreme, just pull it back to the middle. Either the mind wants to be active or it wants to be inactive, because with the extreme the mind can exist. In the middle, exactly in the middle, when activity and inactivity cancel each other, negate each other, mind disappears.
Nansen was cutting wood near his temple.
A monk, who had come from a distance to pay homage to the master, passed through the woods and came close to the woodcutter. “Is the abbot of Nansen…?”