I teach only one kind of non-possessiveness, the non-possession of words and thoughts. Their dead weight is making your journey very arduous. Chuang Tzu has said, “The net is for catching fish. Please, catch the fish and throw away the net.” But we are such bad fishermen that we catch hold of the nets and forget about the fish. Look at the tops of your heads. You are carrying the boats on top of your heads and you are forgetting that you are to sail in them.
Words are indications. They are signposts, they themselves are not the truth. Understand their indication and then throw them away. Collecting signs is no different from collecting corpses.
Words are like fingers pointing to the moon. He who concentrates his attention on the fingers misses the moon. The fingers serve their purpose if they lead you away from themselves. But if, on the contrary, they draw you and entangle you in themselves, then they have become not only useless but truly harmful.
Haven’t the words you have learned about truth become a source of misfortune to you already? Haven’t they separated you from one another, haven’t they separated man from man? Aren’t all the stupidities and cruelties perpetrated in the name of religion because of words? Aren’t all those sects which are known as the various religions just based on the differences of words?
Truth is one and can only be one, but words are many – just like the moon is one, but the fingers pointing to her may be a thousand and one. Those who have held on to one or other of the countless words that are pointing to the truth are responsible for the many religious sects. These religions have not arisen from truth but from words. Truth is one. Religion too is one. Those who are capable of letting go of words attain to this non-dual religion and to this non-dual truth.
So, I don’t want to add to your burden of words with more words. You are already breaking down under this heavy load of words. I can feel very well that your heads are bent under their weight.
Those who have known the truth do not open their mouths at all. Their lips are sealed. Not a word is to be heard from them about truth. Aren’t they saying enough through this? Aren’t they saying that truth resides in silence, that silence itself is truth? But we fail to understand this. We cannot understand anything without words. Our understanding is limited to words and so they speak to us through the medium of words. They tell us in words about that which cannot be communicated in words. It is their compassion that leads them to attempt this impossible feat, and it is our ignorance that catches hold of those words. Words coupled with ignorance make a sect, words plus ignorance is a sect – and in this way we remain deprived yet once again of the truth, and religion remains as distant from us as it ever has.
You must rise above words. Only then will you experience what is behind the words. Words only fill your memory, knowing does not come from them. And please don’t mistake memory for knowing. Memory is nothing more than a record of the past. It is learning, not knowing.