Once you have claimed your naturalness, Zen starts welling up within you. Zen is your nature, your very nature. When you are spontaneous and responsible, responding to reality moment to moment without any ready-made formulas, reflecting reality like a mirror, you are living the life of Zen. And that is the reasonable life – not rational, remember, but reasonable.
A reasonable man is not rational. They are not equivalent, they are not synonymous. The rational man is never reasonable, the rational man tries to deny all that is irrational. And life consists of both the rational and the irrational. The reasonable man accepts both. He accepts the paradox of life: he accepts the rational, he accepts the irrational; he sees no inconsistency in them. Hence he remains undivided; nothing can divide him. No division exists in his being and he sees no division anywhere. Life and death are one to him, summer and winter are one to him, men and women are one to him. He knows that divisions are superficial; deep down everything is one. He knows the oneness of life, hence he is not disturbed by any contradictions.
The man of Zen contains all contradictions. He is vast enough, he can contain contradictions. He enjoys paradoxes. He does not make life a problem. He looks at life as a mystery. He is not interested in solving it, he is interested only in living it – living it to the uttermost. He knows that illusion is unfounded.
Hence he is not worried like the Hindu monks, escaping from the world because the world is illusory. Do you see the stupidity of it? If the world is illusory, why are you escaping from it? For what? If it is not, if it is not really there, then why are you escaping?
If you see a man running and you ask him, “Where are you going?” and he says, “There is a rope which only appears to be a snake – it is not a snake – and I am running away from that appearance of a snake,” you will say, “You are stupid! If you know it is a rope, then stop running. And if you know it is not a rope, then stop saying that it is illusory, that it is only an appearance.”
But that’s what the Hindu monks have been doing for thousands of years: calling the world “maya,” illusory, and yet renouncing it. Renounce your wife because the wife is illusory, renounce your children because they are illusory, renounce your day-to-day, ordinary life because it is illusory. Escape to the Himalayas – everything is illusory. But then why are you escaping? From what?
That is the beauty of Zen. Zen says:
He knows that illusion is unfounded and that satori is none other than himself.
He knows that all is illusory so there is no need to escape. It is unfounded, you need not be worried about it. It is a rope – it appears to be a snake. So why escape? Why renounce? Let it appear to be a snake, let it be there as a rope. Whatsoever it is, the appearance is unfounded, hence there is no need to renounce.