“But the professors will not be able to understand. You are so accurate in hitting at the weakest point that these ordinary professors…after all they are just working for money; there is no question of truth or good or beauty. They are not concerned about these things; they are concerned with their salaries, they are concerned with their position. It is politics: the lecturer wants to be the reader, the reader wants to be the professor, the professor wants to be the head of the department, the head of the department wants to be the dean of the faculty, the dean wants to be the vice-chancellor – nobody is interested in what you are asking. So your presence has created a fear.”
I had to accept this, but as I signed the agreement and he signed my admittance, I told him, “I can at least meet the professors on the road, I can knock on their doors. The promise is only for the classes. I can go to the library – these things are not included.”
He said, “This is difficult.”
And I used to do that – knock on professors’ doors. And they would say, “Just leave us at peace. We are tired. The questions that you ask are unanswerable. We don’t know, we are not seekers; we are just educators. We have learned from others who have learned from others. We don’t know what we are teaching, whether it is true or whether we are simply repeating superstitions.” I would catch hold of them in the library.
And the vice-chancellor told me, “Look, you stop professors on the road when they are coming to their classes, and you ask them, ‘Please answer this question before you enter the class, because I cannot enter the classroom.’ It is not part of our agreement, so I cannot insist on it, but don’t harass.”
I said, “But I can stand outside the classroom and from the window I will shout the question. So it is better if we settle it here. I will never enter the classroom, but the rest is not part of the agreement.” The vice-chancellor had forgotten that every classroom had a window. “I can stand outside in the fresh air rather than in the rotten inside air and I can ask anything that I want.
“And you should understand it clearly, that if I ask a question and the professor doesn’t answer it, then the whole class will ask the same question. What you request is not part of the agreement.”
I used to distribute my question to all the class, “If he does not answer me, one by one you stand up and ask the question…until he is finished!”
But who is preventing all these people who are knowledgeable from seeing that their very knowledge is the barrier?
Dogen is right that enlightenment is your natural being, as natural as the moon reflecting on the silent lake. No effort on any side, no desire on any side…it is a happening. But you have not been left a clean, silent lake. So much rubbish – in the name of religion, in the name of politics, in the name of society – has been imposed on you: that is what is making the barrier. And the poor moon cannot reflect on you. You have to destroy this whole wall that is preventing you from looking at things as they are – not as you have been told. You have to get rid of all ideology that has been implanted in you, all your conditioning.