And this can happen instantly, because not for a single moment is godliness far away from you. You may be far away, but godliness is never far away from you. You may have fallen into a deep slumber, but any moment you can wake up. The capacity to wake up remains always yours.
…and when, after all that effort…
Of going right and left, doing this and that – yoga methods, prayer, meditations; there are a thousand and one methods. Doing this, doing that, one day suddenly you wake up. You simply open your eyes and great laughter arises in you at the whole ridiculousness of your effort – because you were trying to get that which you have already got; hence the absurdity.
It is said that Hotei, when he became enlightened, started laughing. He lived for years but the laughter continued. Whenever people would say to him, “Say something to us. What is your message?” he would start laughing, a belly laugh, he would start rolling on the floor.
Why was Hotei doing such absurd things? From his standpoint, the very idea of searching for God is ridiculous, because God is already the case. You need not go anywhere, you have just to open your eyes. You have never missed him.
He is your life. He is the beat of your heart, you breathe him in and out, he circulates in your blood. He is your consciousness, and he is your sleep too. Just open your eyes.
…and when, after all that effort,
you finally open your eyes,
you will see your self, through inherent defects,
wandering around itself like the ox in a mill…
What is the inherent defect of the self? The inherent defect is that the self is a false entity – and the false cannot meet the true. Darkness cannot meet light; if you bring light in, darkness disappears. If you want darkness to be in, you will have to take light out; they never meet.
There is an inherent defect in darkness. What is that inherent defect? It is nonexistential; it is a shadow. The shadow follows you, and it follows so constantly, so consistently, that you can start thinking of it as if it is something real. Wherever you go, it is with you; it never leaves you. Still it is not.
Ohrenstein, his hands in his pockets, was walking through a fashionable park, deep in thought, when a police sergeant came running up to him.
“You’ll have to put that dog on a leash,” the police sergeant shouted, pointing to a huge yellow dog who was frolicking at Ohrenstein’s feet.