God is so big, so huge, so enormous. It is the totality of existence – who can exhaust it? There is no need to be afraid that somebody will possess it before you and then what will you do? You will be lost forever. There is no struggle, no competition. And there is eternal time available. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t be serious.
Long faces are not truly religious faces. They are simply saying they have not understood it – otherwise they will have a good laugh. Laughter is very unique to Zen and because of laughter I say it is the highest religion up to now. It does not make your life ugly, it does not make you crippled – it makes you dance, it makes you enjoy.
A small boy was taken for the first time to see Madam Tussaud’s world-famous waxworks show in London. He was plainly depressed by the whole thing. His mother sought to enlighten him.
“You see, dear, all these men and women are famous people who lived, a long time ago. They are all dead now.”
The lad’s gloom deepened, and he muttered, “So, this is heaven!”
That is the danger. If you go to a Christian heaven you will be in something like that. Just think of the horrible nightmare of living with Christian saints.
Somebody asked a Zen master why there were not so many saints on earth. He laughed and he said, “They are good in heaven because it is very difficult to live with them. We are fortunate that they are not on earth. Let them be in heaven.”
It is good. Just imagine living with a saint. You will start committing suicide.
Zen brings laughter and a new breeze into religion. Zen makes joking religious. It is a totally different kind of approach – more healthy, more natural.
These are the fundamentals. I may have told you very fast.
Listen to this story.
“Pop” Gabardine, coach of a Midwestern football team, had seen his charges trampled eight Saturday afternoons in a row, the last time by a humiliating score of fifty-two to zero.
When the squad regathered the following Monday, Pop said bitterly, “For the last game of the season, we might as well forget all the trick plays I tried to teach you dimwits. We’re going back to fundamentals. Let’s go. Lesson number one: this object I am holding is known as a football. Lesson number two….”
At this point Coach Gabardine was interrupted by a worried fullback in the front row, who pleaded, “Hey, Pop, not so fast.”
I have gone very fast but I hope you people here are not dimwits. I trust your intelligence.
Enough for today.