But being a follower of a certain dogma, his eyes are as blind as any Hindu, any Mohammedan, any Christian’s eyes are. He could not understand that there could be anything more marvelous than the forces of nature. He is forgetting himself completely. Anybody could have said that the seer is far more marvelous than the seen. The knower is more marvelous than the known, because the known is just an object. The knower shows a different quality of consciousness. He is alive, not only alive, but consciously alive.
“And what is that?” the Taoist inquired.
Hyakujo said, “The power of comprehending those natural forces.”
What I have said to you, the seer, the witness, the watcher – that’s what Hyakujo is calling the power of comprehending the natural forces. That is more marvelous. That is the ultimate splendor.
The visitor asked, “Is cosmic vitality the Tao?”
Hyakujo responded, “Cosmic vitality is cosmic vitality. The Tao is the Tao.”
The Taoist said, “If so, they must be two different things?”
Hyakujo said, “That which knows does not proceed from two different persons.”
The exasperated Taoist replied, “What is wrong and what is right?”
Hyakujo replied, “Wrong is the mind that attends to externals; right is the mind that brings externals under control.”
In a more contemporary way a few things have to be noted first. The visitor is not intrinsically concerned, urgently concerned with what he is asking. His questions are scattered, they are not in one sequence. He gets one answer, drops it as if he has understood. But his next question has no relation to the first. If he had understood, there would not have been another question.
One question is enough for the man of intelligence. And if the intelligence is ultimate and meditative, not even one question is needed. Nothing is said, and everything is heard in the empty heart of the disciple. But he is not a disciple – just a visitor, a curiosity-monger. People simply go on collecting knowledge from different sources and then they brag as if they know all these things. You can see this – his interest is not at all to understand what he is asking. He asks, “What is more marvelous in existence than natural forces?”
Hyakujo’s answer is absolutely perfect: it is the seer who comprehends, who witnesses the existence. Just by the sheer nature of witnessing, it is higher than the witnessed. If he had understood the point, there was no more to ask. But he went on asking. The visitor asked, “Is cosmic vitality the Tao?” Now this has no connection with the first question. This shows that he has collected the answer, is not bothered what it means…just words. And now he will repeat those words to anyone as if they are his own. He is in a hurry to ask another question, and the first is not dissolved yet. With the first dissolving he will also dissolve.