Emperor Wu of China asked him, “This is a little strange. I have never seen such meetings. The speaker has to face the audience; you keep your back towards the audience. What kind of behavior is this?”
Bodhidharma said, “I used to keep, just like other speakers, the audience in front of me. But I found just a wall, and it was hurting, so I decided that it is better to keep the audience behind me and face the wall. The wall does not hurt, because it is a wall. It does not listen, but you cannot expect a wall to listen. But when I talk to people, and I see just walls around, it hurts. And I cannot stop speaking, because that which has grown in me is overflowing, and I cannot control it.”
But why do I speak where no one has my kind of ears? And so I will shout it out to all the winds.
I will not bother about people, whether they hear or not, I will talk to the winds. Perhaps they may carry the word, perhaps they may carry the message to the right kind of ears.
But it is very unfortunate that people like Zarathustra and Bodhidharma should feel so frustrated with our so-called humanity – and the intelligentsia particularly are more dead, because they already think they know.
You will become smaller and smaller…
This is something so prophetic that it has come to be true.
You will become smaller and smaller, you small people! You will crumble away, you comfortable people! You will yet perish –
through your many small virtues, through your many small omissions, through your many small submissions!
What are our virtues? Is what our so-called religions teach virtuous? In the eyes of Zarathustra they are so small that your virtues – rather than making you greater, giving you a grandeur – make you even smaller.
I have heard about a woman who was a miser. In her whole life, she had only given a rotten carrot to a beggar – that was all you could call virtuous in her. She died, and the angels came to take her. The problem was the carrot – she has done a virtuous act; you cannot send her to hell.
So they told the woman, “This is your carrot that you gave to a beggar. This is your only virtue, so hold onto it, and it will go like a rocket towards heaven. Remember not to lose the grip.”