This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation: you are a Christian or a Hindu, that face has to be dropped because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others. You have been conditioned for it and you have not even been asked; you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.
All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent because they don’t take any note of you. They have a priori ideas; they already know what is right and they put the right on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate; he can be molded in any way. And that’s what society does. Before the child becomes strong enough he is already crippled in a thousand and one ways: paralyzed, poisoned.
The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burnt.
That’s why Zen has been defined as: “Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.” A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you; if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.
Truth is in you; it has to be encountered there. “Seeing the nature and becoming buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.” You are not to go anywhere. Wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything, you will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone: the teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you, crowding you and you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. You will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change.
I was reading a beautiful Bavarian story. You may have heard about it. Meditate over it.
An Angel from Munich
Alois Hingerl, porter no. 172 at Munich Central Station, worked so energetically one day that he just dropped dead. Two little angels carried him to heaven with some difficulty where Saint Peter welcomed him and told him that from now on his name would be Angel Aloysius. He presented him with a harp and informed him of the heavenly house rules. “From eight in the morning until twelve noon,” he said, “you will jubilate. And from twelve noon until eight in the evening you will sing hosanna.”