All your senses are finite, limited, and you don’t have any senses which can experience consciousness, except if you are also conscious enough. Then certainly, you will see the explosion, the light, the tremendous beauty of an invisible lotus opening its flowers. But for that your ordinary senses will not help. Only awareness, which is not your eyes, which is not your ears, but a totally different dimension inside – being aware. That awareness certainly realizes – if somebody is dying – what is happening.
Nobody is dying: either the energy called soul enters into another body – and it enters into another body if its desires have remained unfulfilled, if it needs another life to attain maturity. If there is greed, lust, anger – anything that demands a body for its expression – it will enter into some womb.
But if all is fulfilled, your contentment is absolute, there is no question of entering into another womb. You simply enter the universe itself.
Relating this incident to his monks,
Tozan commented, “Wu Tzu was an adept.”
Adept means a siddha, one who has arrived. Now there is nowhere to go; one has found it, for which others are searching. The word adept is not a right translation. In English there is no word for siddha just as there is no word for buddha. Both are two ways of saying the same thing. Buddha means becoming absolutely aware, and siddha means becoming absolutely contented. They happen simultaneously. The word adept is very ordinary, it does not carry the heights and depths of the word siddha.
But it is a difficulty to translate from one language to another language…and particularly experiences which cannot easily be put into words. Now nobody in the West has ever used the title The Awakened One; neither for Pythagoras, nor for Anagoras, nor for Socrates, nor for Aristotle. Simply that dimension is not opened up.
Aristotle is a great rational intellectual. Socrates has the sharpest logic one can conceive. As far as awareness is concerned, they are as far away as anybody else. They are not buddhas, and they are not siddhas. They are neither absolutely content, nor absolutely awake. They are still functioning in the mind.
The West has never gone beyond the mind. It has remained inside the mind and the mechanism of mind. It has never gathered courage to take a step into the unknown. This is the basic difference between the Western and the Eastern approach. The West is continually trying to improve the mind, refining, sharpening, educating…. And the East is doing just the opposite – dropping the mind, finding every possible way to drop it so that the beyond can open, so that you can open your wings.
Tozan’s saying that Wu Tzu was an adept means that he has come to be and he has come to know – he is. Now, no longer is anybody needed.
Ikkyu has written: