In the same part of Africa where trees move – sometimes miles from their place – another kind of tree also exists: the cannibal tree. It has big leaves and a very intoxicating fragrance so that any bird that comes close is bound to have a little desire to experience it. And the flower is so full of juice that it is irresistible. It has not yet been heard of that any bird has renounced and passed beyond the tree; no bird can do that. The bird simply sits on the flower, drinking. While the bird is drinking the juice, the flower closes and crushes the bird.
Rather than the bird drinking the tree, the tree drinks the bird. And as the bird is completely squeezed out, the flower opens again, throwing the dead body outside, waiting for somebody else. Its flowers are very big – even a human being can be caught in them – and very strong, very muscular.
It has eaten a few human beings! Ordinarily it does not happen because those flowers open too high up…unless some fellow like Mulla Nasruddin climbs the tree and tries to look inside the flower – what is happening there? But it will eat birds of any kind, any size. Once in a while if some accident happens – perhaps in a high wind the tree has fallen and a man is passing by…You cannot go away without having a closer look, because so much fragrance you have never smelt, and it is so intoxicating, alcoholic. When you come close the flower gives you a good hug, but then you cannot get out of the hug. He sucks all your blood and leaves you just as an empty shell. Have you ever thought that you are an empty shell?
But Bukko and Gurdjieff both insist…although they know everybody has the potentiality of becoming a buddha. But that does not mean that you can simply remain believing it. You have to be awakened, and you cannot be awakened unless you are really shocked. This is their way of shocking people into awakening.
Once you start looking inwards, you will find your roots. Those roots are not in the earth and those roots are not in heaven. Those roots are in your own being, connected with the universal being. Neither can you see your own being, nor can you see the universal being. But once you feel your roots, you have come to a place from where you can take the jump into the universal life.
Then fire does not matter. Then you are beyond ordinary material things. Then no sword can cut you and no fire can burn you. Now there is no life and no death, but a totally new phenomenon which is beyond.
The other ordinary fallacy is that by being spiritual you will overcome death. But you don’t understand that you can overcome death only if you overcome life also. They are both part of one coin, two sides; you cannot have a coin which has only one side. The moment you transcend death, in the same moment you transcend life. Then what remains? All that we know is our mundane life…and then one day people are carrying you towards the burning ghat. We don’t know anything at all beyond life-and-death.
Bukko’s approach is:
“The way out of life-and-death is not some special technique; the essential thing is to see through to the root of life-and-death.”