If you don’t act this way, but accept things as soon as you hear someone bring them up, you’ve already fallen into the secondary.
I have explained to you the meaning of the word secondary. It has great significance in the terminology of Zen. The secondary means the borrowed – you have already fallen from the original to the borrowed. If you are a man of meditation and you are listening to a learned man and you don’t stop him, you have already fallen into the secondary. You have lost touch with the primary source of knowing. But this strange behavior, although authentic and sincere, has not gone outside the boundaries of Zen.
I have loved Zen, particularly because it does not care for anything except the true, except the experienced. It does not even allow anybody to pour nonsense into your mind. It is very difficult for a man who knows nothing of meditation to talk to a Zen master. They live in two different worlds; communication seems to be impossible.
You go on behaving the way you are expected by the society to behave, and the Zen master behaves the way his consciousness responds in the moment. He has no ethical code to follow, no discipline beyond his own consciousness. Naturally he is strange and wild, but that is his beauty. It is the same beauty as you will see in the wild animals – their innocence, their authenticity.
Man’s politeness is nothing but another name for cunningness: you go on listening to people, smiling, and inside you are saying, “When is this idiot going to stop?”
A man used to come to my house; he was a friend of my grandfather. I had seen them talking, and he was really a nuisance, bringing all kinds of gossips, wasting time, and my grandfather would go on saying, “Good, very good.”
I said one day, “There is a limit to everything. This story goes on every day and it is not even that he brings new gossips and stories. I have heard those things many times, and still you go on!”
My grandfather said, “Do you think I hear him? I go on doing my own thinking; just in between I give him the incentive to continue. The poor fellow needs someone to listen.”
I have remembered it particularly because everybody is in need of somebody to listen to him – it doesn’t matter what he has to say. Bertrand Russell in one of his great insights says, “In the future, I can see a possibility that there may be millions of psychotherapists in the world. That will be the biggest profession.”