From the point where he has been rebuffed, he tries another way to bring time in, and to bring it in such a way that Ryuzan will be caught. He asked, “Were you here first, or was the mountain here first?”
Ryuzan answered, “I do not know.”
Who was here first? – “whether I was here first or whether the mountain was here first. I live here without bothering about the mountain and the forest, without bothering who came first and who came second.”
It has been a constantly asked question by all theologians, philosophers: who came first? The Bible says that in the beginning was the Word – it was first, and then came God; but seeing the foolishness of it, whoever wrote that statement immediately added that God and the Word are one. Because the question will be: without anybody else, how can there be a Word? The Word needs somebody to speak it. But if you put God first, the question remains the same…for centuries it has been discussed. Zen never discusses that question in the old pattern, with words like god, creation….
If God was there, from where did he come? He must have been here always. This much seems to be absolutely certain: that he cannot have come from anywhere because the creation had not begun yet. It is Monday morning. Where was he last night? And the day before? And for eternity, what was he doing? Because he created the whole world in six days. On the seventh he went on a holiday, and he has not returned since then. Strange holiday…that long? And to finish this whole existence in six days does not seem to be possible.
Once I was going to travel and I told my tailor, “You know that I am very fussy about my clothes. They should be ready, absolutely without any flaw, and there is still the whole week.”
He looked at me – a very old man, a beautiful old man – and he said, “Before asking me to finish your clothes in six days because you are leaving on Saturday evening, just look at the world, what happened. In six days God created this chaos, and you are asking me…. If everything goes wrong, don’t say anything to me. In six days I cannot manage it; you will have to find God to make your clothes.”
He was a very religious person. He said, “Make it a clear point that it is because of these six days that the world is in constant trouble. It is a chaos, it is insane, and the responsibility lies with God because he never returned back to his office on Monday.”
The atheists have been asking the same question: “What was the reason that God, at a certain point, decided to create the world? Why not a day before or a day afterwards? There must have been some cause, or else God is whimsical, eccentric. Just for no reason at all he created this whole chaos.”