There are only two diseases: one is riding an ass to search for the ass; the other is riding an ass and being unwilling to dismount.
One is searching for enlightenment, the other is finding it and not relaxing.
As you bragged about your so-called ignorant knowledge, now you brag about your enlightenment. But your ego remains the same. Get down from the ass! Get down from your enlightenment and mix with the simple existence that is eternal and immortal. Don’t keep yourself apart.
The second disease is more difficult. The first disease you yourself wanted to drop. The second disease is difficult, because now the chains are made of gold. To drop chains of gold feels as if you are dropping your beautiful ornaments, and nobody wants to drop their ornaments. It becomes more difficult to get out of a cage made of gold because even the cage seems to be so valuable. And what is there beyond the cage? Just an empty sky as far as you can see. The cage not only makes you special, it also gives you security.
Seigen is saying:
You say that riding an ass to search for the ass is silly
– that is obvious –
and that he who does it should be punished. This is a very serious disease. But i tell you, do not search for the ass at all. The intelligent man, understanding my meaning, stops his error of searching for the ass, and thus the deluded state of his mind ceases to exist.
This is how you can determine whether a man really knows. Even from his words you can see some glimpses. Compare it with Jesus’ statement, “Seek and ye shall find.” Seigen will say, “Seek and you shall never find.”
The seeker has already gone away from himself; in search of himself he has left himself far behind. Jesus says, “Ask and you will be answered.” Who is there to answer? It is your own mind game. One part of the mind raises the question, another part of the mind supplies the answer. Otherwise this whole universe is utterly silent.