Every day, whenever you reach to the point of your innermost being where everything is silent, where you cannot even say you are, a pure isness, unbounded, a tremendous drunkenness arises. I have called it divine drunkenness. That is the only wine I am acquainted with. And I don’t think either Paul Reps or Senzaki understand the essence of Zen, otherwise they would not have used such wrong words.
The second question:
Many years ago I enjoyed reading Paul Reps’ book, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, although it only gave me an intellectual understanding of Zen. Since you have been talking on Zen, I feel that not only have you conveyed to us the flesh and bones of Zen, but in your silence you impart to us the very heart of Zen. Is it the Zen heart which Western intellectuals are missing, and if so, why are they missing it?
The Western intelligence has taken a certain direction; there is no reason why. The Eastern intelligence has taken a totally different direction; there also, there is no reason why. Such is the case.
The Western intellect has remained logical, rational, and has tried in every way to confine existence to reasonable terms, terms which mind can understand.
The East has taken a totally different approach. What mind can understand is a very small part, and because it is only a small part, it is going to be dead, it is going to be material. That which is beyond mind has to be understood. The East has moved into the irrational, into the mystical, into the miraculous. And certainly, the Eastern approach is far wider, far bigger. It can contain the Western approach in it, but the Western approach cannot contain the Eastern. No-mind can contain mind, but mind cannot contain no-mind. That’s where the Eastern approach has reached to higher peaks.
Even a Socrates or an Aristotle has not been able to comprehend the experience of a Gautam Buddha, or the taste of a Bodhidharma, or the meaning of the gesture of a Rinzai. They have chosen a very small part – that which is available to intellect. And it is very small, hence the Western mind has been able to go into details. Because it has chosen a very small part, it can go into details. It goes on knowing more and more about less and less. Drawn to its logical conclusion, it can be said that the Western mind will finally reach to knowing more and more about nothing, because that will be the smallest part: nothing.
Albert Einstein and the Neo-Physicists almost reached to that nothing. And they are puzzled because their minds cannot understand nothing, and they are confronting nothing. Their instruments have led them to nothing. Their analysis, their experiments have revealed “nothing” to them, but their minds are not ready to accept nothing. Nothing seems to be full of fear.