Bodhidharma said, “This is the beginning. If you cannot understand this, then it is better I should go back. You have to understand one thing absolutely: that my approach is absurd. This is just to give an indication of my approach – that I am not a philosopher. You can call me a madman, but I am not a philosopher – and I am going to put things upside down! All that you have thought up to now, I am going to disturb. I will bring a chaos into your being, because only out of chaos stars are born.”
It is very difficult to drop reason, because one feels frightened. Reason gives you a sense of order. Reason gone, there is only chaos. But remember, reason is barren; chaos is a womb. Out of that chaos something of tremendous importance is born: you are reborn.
Yes, if the absurd can overwhelm you, you will have an insight into the gestalt of everything; an insight which is nontransferable, an insight which is inexpressible. But there are ways beyond words through which it can be communicated.
That’s the whole secret of the relationship of a master to a disciple. It is an absurd phenomenon. That’s why the West has not yet known it. The West knows the relationship between a teacher and a student; it knows nothing of the relationship between a master and a disciple. The West is absolutely unaware of that dimension. That’s why Jesus could not be understood, Socrates could not be understood.
In the East, crucifying a Buddha has not been our practice; giving poison to Lao Tzu has not been our way. Why were Jesus, Socrates and Mansoor killed? – for the simple reason that they were trying to bring something absolutely Eastern to the West. They were trying to bring a new insight into godliness, and the time was not ripe. Maybe now the time is ripe. Jesus came a little early.
Now the time is ripe. Now the West has the possibility to open up a new door – the absurd – and enter through that door. That is the only door to the temple of existence.
The second question:
Old habits die hard!
It is true, but why? Why do old habits die hard? – because you are nothing but your old habits. If they die, you will die. You don’t have anything more, you don’t have anything plus. You are just your old habits, old patterns. You are a mechanism, not yet a man; that’s why old habits die hard. It is very rare that a man exists, very few and far between.
A Buddha is a real man, authentic. A Zarathustra is a real man – a man worth calling a man. The ordinary humanity is just robotlike: it lives unconsciously, it lives mechanically. And habits are all that you have. If you drop all your habits you will simply start evaporating; you will not find yourself at all. What are you? Just watch, and you will find a bundle of old habits. You don’t yet have anything more.