But he had to go in, and there was nothing. Mulla followed him with his lamp to show him the way everywhere. The thief wanted to escape somehow, because with the lamp Mulla would see his face. Tomorrow the whole city would know that he is a thief.
Mulla said, “Don’t be worried, that’s why I had opened only one eye. I’m not looking at you. My concern is our partnership.”
He said, “What partnership? There is nothing to be found.”
He said, “That’s what I was trying to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”
The thief said, “I want to go!”
Nasruddin said, “Where?”
“I’m going to my house.”
Nasruddin said, “I’m also coming. Partners should live together!”
The thief said, “My God, this is a difficulty. I have a wife.”
Nasruddin said, “Don’t be worried about that, I will take care of her. You just do your job and I will take care of your wife.”
This man whose house was empty was carrying the door all around, wherever he was going, making a statement in his own way. The man was of immense intelligence. He is saying that it is only a door and nothing else. Just look through the door and the whole sky is open. By carrying the door he was saying that he is a master, a door to the divinity. But he was a unique person.
Dogen is still a scholar. I wonder how he could not see the simple point when he said:
Without the personal transmission, not a single patriarch, master or disciple, could be a buddha or a patriarch.
What about the first buddha? And if it can happen to Gautam Buddha without any master, why can it not happen to anybody else?
To become enlightened is everybody’s birthright, it is not a monopoly of Buddha’s. These statements show that Dogen is still learning scriptures. He’s not a buddha yet.
He became a buddha finally, after he had gone unnecessarily astray carrying the load of Buddhist scriptures. Finally, when he got finished and fed up with the scriptures and dropped them, he was surprised to realize that from the very beginning there was no need to search. You are it. The seeker is the goal. If you go on seeking other goals, you are going away from yourself. Seeking has to stop.
It is just,
as if we were making innumerable small rivers join a great one, or keeping the light from going out, making countless lights one after another: eventually, they become one.