All these religions are grabbing everybody by the neck. Freedom means disobedience. To decide your own life means going against the organized religion, morality, ethos. Zen has specialities of its own. Perhaps it is the only religion which can be called religiousness. Religion becomes solid and centered, and then there is the hierarchy: the pope, the cardinal, the bishop, the priest.
Zen has no fixed teaching because every fixed teaching will become out of date tomorrow. Tomorrow new flowers will come on the bushes. Tomorrow new leaves will sprout. Tomorrow new waters will be flowing from the Himalayas. Tomorrow nothing will be there that you used to know. Every new dawn brings a totally new world around you. If it does not look new it is because you continue to hang on with old eyes.
Zen is rebellious at all possible points. It fills my heart full of great gratitude for these lions. At least a few people have declined the offer, the invitation to become slaves. At least a few people have roared and declared their freedom from bondage. And these are the only real people. Unfortunately they are not many.
But even those few people prove one thing for certain, that you also carry the same consciousness, dormant. You have not dared to go inside yourself to find the diamond which will give you the whole universe as yours.
This anecdote…And Zen is not very serious about things. It could have been very scholarly; it could have been very philosophic – like Bertrand Russell who wrote a book on mathematics and took two hundred and fifty pages to argue that two plus two are really four. Zen is just like wild flowers; it grows anywhere. It does not need much effort; all that it needs is a deepening in your consciousness so that you can see the world around you more clearly.
Now your vision of the world is very shadowy, very dark, and your world looks very small. As you go deeper inwards you will be surprised that the world goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger, and a point comes where you know there is no end, no boundary line of existence. Being born in this infinite existence brings a tremendous bliss and a great ecstasy and a sense of eternity.
And Zen has found the right way by small anecdotes which even a child can understand, though it is possible that even an old man may not understand. The older a man becomes, he becomes so knowledgeable – he knows everything. The child is open and clean. The function of meditation – and that is the meaning of Zen – is to bring your childhood back to you, and from there on to look at the beauty, the godliness, the truth that has always been there but you have never looked at it.