Man has been given everything by nature. If it is put right, man becomes a buddha. If that energy is in discord and you cannot create an orchestra out of that energy, your life becomes a hell. You are the space where both heaven and hell are possible. Just a little awareness and you can change the hell into heaven. Just a little change, a slightly different arrangement…but it is the same energy; nothing has to be added to you, nothing has to be deleted from you.
This is one of the greatest insights possible. It makes man the master of his own life. If he is living in hell, he should take the responsibility upon his own shoulders. He should not say, “It is God’s will.” He should not say, “It is my fate, my destiny, my kismet.” He should say, “It is my unconsciousness, it is me.”
The moment you take the responsibility on your own shoulders, the possibility is you will start changing – because nobody else is putting you in hell. You don’t have to wait for anybody to change you, to save you. You can simply start watching your energies and you can see how they create hell, how they create misery. You can see also how in some moments you are silent, in some moments you are happy, in some moments joy grips you. Watch what those energies are doing. They are the same energies – you don’t have anything else. One has just to understand how one’s energies function.
If someone wants to live in hell that is his choice, that is his birthright. Nobody has the right to disturb him. Let him live in hell. And if he wants to change, he has every possibility to change himself. There is no need to wait for a savior, for a Jesus Christ or a Krishna. You have to become your own saviors. That is the fundamental teaching of Bodhidharma.
There is no language that is not the dharma.
Here Bodhidharma is taking a very strange but significant turn. I have never come across any other mystic who has said what he is going to say in this sutra.
There is no language that is not the dharma. To talk all day without saying anything is the way. To be silent all day and still say something is not the way.
Sometimes his penetration into human reality is so great and so surprising. He is saying that there is a possibility of a man who may talk the whole day, knowing well that nothing can be said about truth. Then why is he talking? Perhaps through talking he can create a situation for silence – just as after every storm there is great silence.
When the master speaks and stops for a moment, suddenly there is a great silence. He speaks not to say the truth, because the truth cannot be said. He speaks to engage your mind and then suddenly, when he sees that you are engaged, he gives just a small gap. And in that gap the transmission of the lamp happens. That’s what the language of Bodhidharma is: the transmission of the lamp. In those moments between two words, something miraculous just takes a jump from the being of the master and enters into the silence of your being.