So you are in a beautiful state, unaware of it, because pure waiting and sadness…one cannot see what is beautiful about it. Only the awakened ones can see what is beautiful about it. This is the situation in which, as a by-product, you wake up. Otherwise life remains a spiritual sleep. All desires and ambitions are nothing but dreams in this sleep.
So Chuang Tzu, one of the most absurd but one of the most significant mystics, has a beautiful parable. One morning he wakes up very sad. His disciples ask him what has happened. He said, “Something has happened, and I don’t think any of you will be of any help – but still I will tell you; you can try to help me.
“In the night I dreamed that I have become a butterfly.” They all laughed.
They said, “There is no need to worry about it. It was only a dream.”
Chuang Tzu said, “First listen to the whole thing, that is only the half part. Now I am awake, and wondering perhaps if the butterfly has gone to sleep and is dreaming that he is Chuang Tzu. My problem is whether I am Chuang Tzu who dreamed to be a butterfly, or I am a butterfly who is dreaming to be Chuang Tzu.”
They all fell silent. Logically there seems to be no way. Chuang Tzu’s chief disciple, Lieh Tzu, was out. As he came in people were sitting sadly, the master was sitting sadly. He inquired of a disciple, “What is the matter? What has happened?” The disciple told him the story; he said, “Don’t be worried, I will put him right.”
And he went close to him and threw a bucket full of cold water into his eyes. And Chuang Tzu said, “That’s perfectly right, that’s the answer. But if you were not here…. Today I was lost. Now I know that I am Chuang Tzu; you need not bring another bucket, the water is too cold.”
Lieh Tzu said, “When I am out you should not do any such thing. These people don’t understand you. They were all puzzled, and they were all sad that their master is sad, and all that is needed is cold water so you wake up, whoever you are – a butterfly or Chuang Tzu does not matter – wake up! From any point, either from being a butterfly or from being a Chuang Tzu. All that is needed is to wake up! Who cares who you are? We care…your wakefulness, that is our concern.”
A sadness, a deep unfulfillment, ordinarily will not look something glorious, not something to be proud of, but I say to you that it is something to be proud of. Just remain in your sadness. Don’t try to change it into something else. Remain in your waiting – don’t try to give it an object.
A pure waiting attracts the ultimate experience we call enlightenment to it. One has not to go to enlightenment as a goal.
Enlightenment comes to you when you are ripe, and this is the kind of ripeness which is necessary.
In the West it is happening to many people, but they do not know, because in the West Lieh Tzu has not entered yet. They are sad, in deep anguish; they are drowning themselves in alcohol, in drugs, in perverted sexualities – they are trying to forget their sadness in all kinds of things. They are trying to find ways somehow to make an object for their waiting.