Sadhan, it is certainly one of the most significant words in the whole language. It started with Gautam Buddha. The language that Gautam Buddha used was Pali. It has died; now it is no longer a living language. But a few words were so important that they have remained alive in other languages.
The Pali word for suchness…because suchness is only a translation of that word; in English there has been nobody who has used that word or experienced the taste of that word. The Pali word is tathata. And because of the word tathata, one of the names of Gautam Buddha is tathagata. He was the first to use that word and give it so much meaning and depth.
The English word suchness perfectly translates the Pali word tathata. If you understand its meaning, just the very understanding of the word is certainly going to bring great healing to you, great silence, great peace. But try to understand from Gautam Buddha, because he is the original source of that certain meaning.
If somebody came to Gautam Buddha and said, “I am blind”…. if the same man had gone to Jesus Christ, perhaps he would have done a miracle and given the blind man his eyes. But I say unto you that Gautam Buddha did greater miracles. They are so great that most often you have completely missed their meaning. If somebody came and told him, “I am blind, in both my eyes”…Buddha would say, “I am not blind, but I have seen the whole world, and the real joy and the peace that I have found has been found with my eyes closed. Accept your blindness as a blessing.
“I have to close my eyes, your eyes are already closed. And even if people who have eyes close their eyes, images which they have seen with open eyes go on disturbing them. You are fortunate, your blindness is a blessing in disguise. Accept it as a gift of existence. This is the way existence wants you to be. This is the meaning of tathata – that it is perfectly all right that you are blind; nothing is missing, just you have to learn how to use your blindness for your spiritual growth.
“People who have eyes have to learn how to use their eyes; you have to learn how to use your blindness. And I say to you that you are in a better position. Relax, and feel grateful to existence that it has not given you all the distractions which are possible when you have eyes. You are already without any distractions, without any images. Your insight is already calm and quiet.”
Because this was Buddha’s attitude about everything, tathata became his very foundation of religion. When Buddha’s teachings were translated into English, they were not able to find right words for many things. But it is a great coincidence that suchness has the same flavor as tathata.
You are blind – such is the case. Accept it in its total suchness. Don’t try to be miserable about it, because millions of people have eyes, but what have they done with their eyes?