The answer was good if it had come from somebody of lesser potential than Basho – the Master might have nodded his head in consent – but not to Basho. Even a few minutes’ gap is gap enough. The rain is no more there, the clouds have dispersed, it is already sunny, the sun is shining all around, on the old pond, on the hut….
He said, “Say something more!”
And when the Master says, “Say something more,” he does not mean talk a little more about it, he does not mean “more” in a quantitative sense. He means: say something deeper, say something more intense, say something more existential, say something more – qualitatively!
At that instant Basho heard the plop of a frog jumping into the pond. He said,
Frog jumps in
The sound of water
Now, this is Tao: the immediate, that which is, alive, throbbing, this very moment. Tao knows no past, no future. Tao knows only one kind of time, that is present. Tao knows only herenow. Just let your mind disappear and then there is no past and no future. Past and future are mind creations. In reality, there is only present. And when there is no past, no future, how can you even call it present? – because present has meaning only in reference to past and future. The present is sandwiched between past and future. If you have taken away past and future, the present also disappears.
That is the moment of Tao: when time disappears, when one is in utter immediacy, when one is utterly herenow, neither roaming somewhere in the ghosts of the past nor in the unborn images of the future. This is the moment of enlightenment: when time is not, and when you are utterly here and nowhere else. And when there is no time, there is no mind. Mind and time are synonymous. The more mind you have, the more you are conscious of time. That’s why in the Western world a great time-consciousness has arisen: it is because of the cultivation of the mind.
Go to the primitive people living in the mountains or in the jungles, go to the aboriginals and there is no time-consciousness, because the mind has not been cultivated yet. And it again happens – when through understanding one drops all the nostalgia for the past and all the fancies for the future, time disappears again. And with the disappearance of time, suddenly mind is no more found. And when there is no mind there is silence. In that silence the beyond penetrates the earth, in that silence the unknown descends into you. In that silence, the meeting with God, in that silence, the benediction, the blessing. In that silence is the Kingdom of God.
Frog jumps in
The sound of water.
This is a statement of Tao. This is Tao – simple, pure, nude.