By the time your three weeks are over, you will start even talking and receiving answers from your god – and you are doing both the things! And it is not that you are asleep – fully awake, open eyes. You can go into any madhouse and you can see people talking to somebody; you don’t see to whom they are talking. They are not only speaking, they are also answering. And the strangest thing is that when a madman asks a question, he has a different tone, a different voice. When he answers, he has another tone. Obviously! It is somebody else who is answering him. If you cannot see anybody, that is your problem.
The people who have declared their realization of God are great hallucinators. Their way is not the way to truth. Their way is the way which makes the untrue, the illusory, appear as if it is true. It is the way of “as if.”
But it is simpler, it is in your hands. You can create any god. You can talk, you can receive the answer to your prayers, and you can be immensely satisfied. But you will not be transformed. Back home, you will be the same man, perhaps a little more egoistic. And the pious egoism is more poisonous than any other. You have realized God; everybody else is inferior to you, just ordinary mortals who don’t know anything about the immortality that comes by encountering God and that only God can confer on you.
Zen has nothing to do with any god. No sincere man, no intelligent man has anything to do with any fiction. He searches within. He looks within – because he is life, so there must be some center within himself from where the life arises.
And that center cannot be separate from the universal life – from where will it go on being fueled? Once you have found your center of life, you have also found, on the other side, that this is the way to universal life. From here you have roots into the universe.
You are not without roots. All your nourishment is coming from a source hidden within you.
Zen is the search for this life energy. You can give it any name. This translator has called it the Mind of faith. Most probably he is a Christian, because many Christian missionaries have translated ancient scriptures of the East. Because of that, the Christian language and the Christian way of expressing things has entered into non-Christian scriptures – not intentionally, very unconsciously.
I am reminded that one Christian missionary went to Rinzai, the great Zen master from China who introduced Zen to Japan….
The missionary was absolutely certain that if he read the Sermon on the Mount, he would be able to convert this fellow Rinzai. And he seemed to be very influential; if he were converted, all his followers would be converted.
He asked Rinzai’s permission: “I want to read something from my scripture, and I want to know your opinion.” He started reading the Sermon on the Mount, and after just maybe two paragraphs, Rinzai stopped him. And he told him, “Whoever wrote these lines is a bodhisattva. One day he will become a buddha.”
The missionary was very much shocked….
Everybody is a bodhisattva. Bodhisattva means, in essence you are a buddha – just a recognition, a remembrance, and you have never been anything else.