I have been doing just the opposite: how to influence people, and increase your enemies! And I think I am more successful than Dale Carnegie.
Zen could not become a worldwide experience for the simple reason that nobody is ready for that great explosion in which you are lost. But think for a moment: what are you? What are you going to preserve? And what is the point, what will you do with it? Even if you discover your self, then what are you going to do with it?
You will create new miseries, new troubles, new engagements, new appointments, new love affairs …because you cannot just be. Otherwise you will start thinking to yourself, “Have I gone mad?” No girlfriend, no boyfriend, just sitting in your room, being nobody…You will jump out of your room, take your rented bicycle, and run away to find someone! You know that there will be troubles, but it is better: at least those troubles keep you alive. Just a good fight in the pub, coming home drunk, staggering, but at least you are.
But what is the point?
Zen’s experience is that unless you go beyond self and start enjoying being nobody; unless nothingness becomes your blissfulness, you have missed your life completely. It is the greatest challenge that can be given to any human being. And only those who have the lion’s heart have followed the path of Zen – even in China, just a small stream; in Japan a very small stream.
When I was arrested in America, the first telegram came from a Zen master in Japan, to Ronald Reagan, with a copy to me. It said, “You are doing the worst, most stupid thing that one can conceive of.” The jailer came running to me and he said, “Who is this man?”
I said, “I don’t know, but certainly he is a man of understanding.”
The jailer said, “He may be a man of understanding, but he does not know manners – calling the president stupid!”
I said, “You don’t know about Zen! When somebody is stupid, they call it stupid. You can inform the president that I agree with the Zen master.”
Zen has been a path of the very few chosen ones who have guts enough even to disappear.
“Whatever you are seeking,” says Rinzai, “all becomes suffering.”
Western psychology has not come to this understanding. We try to help people out of one suffering, and another is coming on. Nobody except Zen has come to the realization that every seeking becomes suffering. It does not matter what you are seeking – money, power, richness, fame, or even if you are trying to be a buddha – you are creating suffering for yourself.
“It is better to have nothing further to seek.”