“But,” they said, “we can’t see any relationship between enlightenment and laughter. What is the point of laughing?”
Hotei said, “I am laughing because I was searching for something which was already in me. I was searching the seeker; it was impossible to seek it. Where can you seek the seeker? How can you know the knower? It was like a dog chasing its own tail or you chasing your own shadow; you cannot catch hold of it. It was so ridiculous; the whole effort was so absurd, that’s why I am laughing. I have always been a buddha, now it seems very strange that for millions of lives I remained unconscious. It seems unbelievable how I went on missing myself. Now that I have known, a great laughter is arising in me.”
And it is said he continued to laugh until his death; that was his only message to the world. He must have been a man like Indivar – just crazy, far out!
The second question:
Can someone who is not open wake up?
It is impossible to wake up if you are not open. Opening to existence is what waking up is all about: open to the sun, to the moon, to the rain, to the wind, open to this whole celebration of the trees, of the rocks, the earth and the stars, of animals, birds, people. Existence is a celebration, a continuous festival, a carnival. If you are not open, if you are closed, if you don’t have any windows and doors towards existence, how can you wake up? Waking up and being open are synonymous.
People remain closed in their minds. They never come out of their minds and they never allow reality to penetrate their hearts. A very transparent Wall of China divides them from the world. And the world is divine, existence is godly. And why do people remain closed? – they are afraid, afraid of being open, because when you are open you are insecure, unguarded. When you are open you are vulnerable. When you are open you don’t know what is going to happen, everything is a surprise. You are moving into the unknown; each moment brings the unknown to your door.
The closed mind is afraid of the unknown; the closed mind is interested in the known. Why? – because with the known it is easier to manage. The mind knows everything about it, it is clever and efficient about it. But a closed mind is really below normal; it is not yet human. It cannot be intelligent.
Intelligence needs constant challenges, encounters with reality, because only through those encounters is your intelligence sharpened and your potential becomes actual.