I know you. You can’t go far – because in fact, you are simply dreaming about the speed, about the going, about the goal. You are fast asleep. It is all happening in your mind, not in reality.
Hence, Zen says that if you are ready, this very moment enlightenment is possible – because you cannot go far. If your traveling is real traveling, then sudden enlightenment is not possible. You will have to come back. The same distance you will have to travel again.
And you have been traveling for millions of lives. If the same distance has to be traveled back again, then enlightenment is almost impossible. If enlightenment is going to be gradual, it is almost impossible. Zen says it has to be sudden: as if a person is fast asleep and dreaming, and dreaming that he has gone to the moon. But in the morning he opens his eyes – where will he find himself? On the moon? He will find himself here, now. The moon will disappear with the dream.
The world is a dream. Not that it does not exist, not that it is not – the world is a dream because the world that you think is, is nothing but your dream, because you are asleep, unconscious, sleepy, moving, doing things. It is fortunate that you cannot go far! You can become awakened this very moment.
Now the prose comment for the first sutra:
The bull never has been lost. What need is there to search? Only because of separation from my true nature, I fail to find him. In the confusion of the senses I lose even his tracks. Far from home, I see many crossroads, but which way is the right one I know not. Greed and fear, good and bad, entangle me.
The bull never has been lost – because the bull is you. The bull is your energy, it is your life. The principle of your dynamism is the bull. The bull has never been lost. What need is there to search? If you can understand that, then there is no need to search. Then that very understanding is enough. But if that understanding does not dawn on you, then the need for search.
The search is not going to help you to reach the goal because the goal has never been lost. The search is only going to help to drop greed, fear, possessiveness, jealousy, hatred, anger. The search is only going to help you drop the hindrances, and once the hindrances are not there, suddenly one becomes aware: I have always been here, I have never gone anywhere else.
So the whole search is negative in a way. It is just like when somebody makes a statue out of a marble block. What does he do? He simply chips unessential parts away, and by and by the image appears.
Somebody asked Michelangelo…. He was making a statue of Jesus – somebody said, “Your creation is great.”