A certain Zen master remarked laconically to a student who had been talking at some length about Zen theory, “You have too much Zen.”
“But is it not natural for a student of Zen to talk about Zen?” inquired the puzzled pupil. “Why do you hate talking about Zen?”
“Because,” replied the master flatly, “it turns my stomach!”
“Devise no word,” says the founder of Zen, Bodhidharma – because with the word starts the world. That is exactly what the Bible says – “In the beginning was the word.” And in the end also is the word.
The moment you enter into the world of words you start falling away from that which is. The more you enter into language, the farther you are away from God. Language is a great falsification. It is not a bridge, it is not a communication – it is a barrier.
Bodhidharma says, “Devise no word.” If your mind creates no word, in that silence is God or truth or nirvana. The moment the word enters, you are no more in your own self. You have gone away. The word takes you on a journey away from yourself. In fact, you cannot go away from yourself – but you can dream about it. In fact, you are always there, you can only be there and nowhere else – but still you can fall asleep and you can dream a thousand and one dreams.
Let me tell you again one of the most beautiful stories ever devised – the story of Adam’s fall. It says that God forbade Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Zen will agree perfectly because it is knowledge that is making you stupid, it is knowledge that is not allowing you to know. Adam was capable of knowing before he ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. The moment he ate knowledge, the moment he became knowledgeable, he knew no more. The innocence was lost. He became cunning and clever. That intelligence was lost. Yes, he started growing in intellect but intelligence was no more there. Intellect has nothing to do with intelligence, it is just the contrary, the opposite. The more you are an intellectual, the less intelligent you are bound to be.
Intellect is a substitute to hide your unintelligence; it is counterfeit. You don’t have intelligence so you substitute by intellect is of course cheap. You can purchase it anywhere, it is available. In fact, people are too willing to impart their knowledge to you. They are ready to throw all their rubbish on you.
Adam became knowledgeable hence the fall. So knowledge is the fall.
The story says he ate an apple, a fruit, from the Tree of Knowledge. It can’t be an apple. Apples don’t grow on the Tree of Knowledge. Somewhere the story has got mixed up. Apples are so innocent – just by eating an apple you cannot be thrown out of heaven, you cannot be expelled. God cannot be so angry with you.
No, it can’t be an apple; the apple is just metaphoric. It must be the word, language. On the Tree of Knowledge fruits of words, concepts, philosophies, systems, grow – not apples. Forget the apple. Remember the word.