Kyosei wanted you; his audience the monk was a poor fellow. He could not understand that it is not the rain and its sound that is important; what is important is your awareness. The monk must have been a little stupid. Instead of understanding what Kyosei has said, that your mind is topsy-turvy, he asked, “What about yourself?”
Kyosei was certainly compassionate…otherwise it was time to get rid of the monk. He said, “I was near it but I am not deluded.”
This is a very subtle answer. He is not saying, “I am aware of it.” He is saying, “I am very close to awareness, but I am not deluded; I will not say that I am aware”…because the moment you make static statements you start going wrong. Life is a continuous flow; so is awareness, so is the whole existence. You cannot use the word, which makes it static – and language is very dead; it consists only of dead words.
Hence Kyosei said, “I was near it, I was just coming closer, but I was not identified even with my awareness. I would not say that I was aware. I can only say, slowly I was becoming aware of it.”
It is a delicate point, because Gautam Buddha – who is the source of Zen Buddhism – does not believe that even for a single moment anything is unchanging.
A man asked Gautam Buddha a question one day – just in the morning – and Buddha answered. But the man could not understand the answer, so in the evening he asked again. Buddha answered again. The man was amazed, because in the morning it had been something else.
Buddha said, “Of course. It was morning and now it is evening, the sun is setting. I am flowing with life and with my flowing my answers will be changing. I cannot give you a static dogma.”
Any authentic man of experience is never dogmatic. He cannot say that it is absolutely so because even while you are saying it, it may have changed.
One day you will become old – it is difficult to say which will be the day, but certainly it must be one of the seven days. A few people become old on Monday, a few people choose Sunday…but everybody at some point of time becomes old.
But remember, you cannot simply jump from youth to old age. It is not possible that on Sunday you are young, and early in the morning on Monday you find you have become old. You are becoming old every moment; every moment the flow of life is taking you toward old age, toward death, and toward beyond-death.
How can we say what is the truth?
Kyosei said, “I was near it.” In fact one is always coming closer and closer and closer. One never really comes, one goes on coming like waves of the ocean. One wave upon another wave, they go on coming. And they have been coming for millions of years and they have not reached anywhere; they still go on coming. Their life span is not very big, only a few million years; your life span is infinite, from eternity to eternity you are coming, moment to moment, closer and closer.