The whole of existence is by its very nature nothing but consciousness, and consciousness can be of different depths. The stone may be very fast asleep. You cannot wake it, but that does not mean that there is no life source hidden in the stone. The stone grows. The Himalayas are growing one foot taller every year. Just stupid fellows! Already they are the tallest mountains in the world, but the same stupidity that human beings have…they go on growing.
Some older mountains in India – the oldest mountain is Vindhyachal – have stopped growing millions of years ago. Seeing that there is no point…what are you going to do, unnecessarily growing high? Just enjoy. You cannot enjoy while you are involved in achieving something. When you are not involved in achieving, when there is no desire to reach somewhere, you can enjoy the moment, here, now.
Zen is the religion of here and now. Always remember this context in whatsoever statements we are discussing. It is a totally different approach from that of other religions. Even the Buddhists don’t accept Zen, because Zen has such rebelliousness, such independence that it cannot accept any authority unless it is the authority of your own experience. Even Buddhists think of Zen as a little eccentric, outside the mold, not belonging to the vast stream of Buddhism.
But as far as I am concerned, it is the essence of Buddha’s very heart. Without Zen, Buddhism is as dead a religion as any other religion. It is Zen which still brings flowers, it is Zen which is still a garden; all the other religions have become deserts. But why does it go on bringing flowers? Because its dependence is not on scriptures, on tradition. Its very world is limited within you, and if you change, the world around you has to change accordingly.
A man like Gautam Buddha, just by being awakened, changes the character of everything around him. His vision, his radiance, his presence…at least for him it is a different world.
These small statements by Zen masters have to be very carefully heard. You are not to agree or disagree. If you start agreeing or disagreeing you miss the point.
Listen silently as if you are listening to the sound of a river, or the sound of the wind blowing through the pine trees. Just hear it, without bringing your mind in to say, “Yes, it is right,” or “No, it is not right.”
Any statement or interpretation by your mind is going to distort the whole thing. The statement is not linguistic. It is not the language, it is something invisible, side by side with the language, that is being transmitted. So if you silently hear, the language does not matter. Your silence grows deeper – that’s what matters. What the language was saying is immaterial, it was just a vehicle.
Just a few days ago Anando brought me the news. I have never thought about it, and I don’t think anybody has ever thought about it – they have just discovered that electricity does not run in the wires but along the sides, next to the wire – a fellow traveler, not inside the wire. It takes the help of the wire, but – this is a very significant discovery – the electricity is not in the wire itself.