The Great Zen Master Ta Hui 14

Fourteenth Discourse from the series of 38 discourses - The Great Zen Master Ta Hui by Osho.
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Profound Clarity

I am giving you the name Chan-Jan, “profound clarity.” a patriarch said, “As long as there is mental discrimination, and calculating judgment, all the perceptions of one’s own mind are dreams. If mind and consciousness are quiescent and extinct, without a single thought stirring, this is called correct awareness.”
These days there’s a kind of phony, whose own standpoint is not genuine: they just teach people to control their minds and sit quietly, to sit to the point where the breath ceases. I call this lot pitiable. I’m asking you to meditate in just this way, but though I instruct you like this, it’s just that there’s no other choice….

Beginners’ Disease

Buddhist disciple Ch’en, you have realized that personal existence is false, and that things are illusory. Amid illusory falsehood you were able to contemplate the saying “a dog has no buddha-nature” – you sent me a letter expressing your understanding. Though in the main your basis is already correct, you are not yet clear about the great dharma – this is a common disease of beginners entering the path.
Old Shakyamuni Buddha said, “This way is all right, and not this way is all right too; this way or not this way, it’s all all right.” Just get the root, don’t worry about the branches. Over a long, long time it will sink in thoroughly: don’t worry that you won’t attain oneness. Work on it!
I can see the difficulties Ta Hui is passing through. He can intellectually understand the path of awareness, he can also intellectually explain it to others – but he himself still remains only a philosopher. He has not transformed himself into a mystic.
The philosopher talks about truth.
The mystic is truth.
And there is a profound difference between talking about it and being it.
Certainly the people who have reached to the point of being truth itself also can talk, but their words vibrate on a totally different level, and it can be seen very clearly that they are not coming from the mind.
They are coming from an absolute nothingness.
They carry something of nothingness with them.
You cannot grasp it but you can feel it…a very subtle fragrance…you cannot see it, but you can smell it. You may not be able to prove it, but you yourself know, it is absolutely certain.
Ta Hui’s problem is that from the very beginning he has taken the standpoint of an intellectual. If he was just an ordinary intellectual, satisfied with his intellect and his conceptualizations, there would be no difficulty. But there is some part of him which does not simply want to live with borrowed knowledge. A part of him longs to realize and experience and know the mystery firsthand.
This is his dilemma, and he is continuously moving from one part to another part. As we are going further into his sutras, I feel a hope that his mystical part is winning ground. His intellect is lagging behind – although it is not defeated yet. The first sutra:
I am giving you the name Chan-Jan, “profound clarity.” a patriarch said, “As long as there is mental discrimination, and calculating judgment, all the perceptions of one’s own mind are dreams. If mind and consciousness are quiescent and extinct, without a single thought stirring, this is called correct awareness.”
The first thing: clarity is always profound. There is no other way for clarity to be. “Profound clarity” does not make sense.
It is just like somebody telling you, “I love you very, very much.” In fact, you cannot love less, and you cannot love more. Love does not belong to the world of quantity; hence ‘less’ and ‘more’ are irrelevant. You can either love, or not love. How can you love less, and how can you love more?
Still people go on saying, “I love you very much,” not seeing the tremendous fallacy that love is a quality and not a quantity. A quality is either present or not present. More and less belong to the world of quantities.
The English word matter and the French word meter come from the Sanskrit word matra, and matra means quantity. That which can be measured is matter – matter simply means measurable – and that which cannot be measured, that which is not within the territory of quantity, is consciousness.
He’s saying, I am giving you the name Chan-Jan. He must be initiating somebody into sannyas and giving him the name Chan-Jan, which means “profound clarity.” But he does not understand that clarity is always profound; it is never less and never more. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken out of it.
This is the problem with intellectual understanding. You seem to understand, and still you go on somewhere missing the point. The intellectuals try in every way to be as profound as the mystics, but their profundity is hilarious.
I am reminded of an ancient parable.

A great archer – he was also the king of his country – was going through a village in his golden chariot, and he was amazed to see that on every tree there was a target, and an arrow or many arrows exactly hitting the bull’s-eye. There was a circle, and the arrow was exactly in the middle; there was not a single miss, and on almost all the trees there were a few arrows. He could not believe that in this small village there was such a great archer.
He stopped his chariot, and he inquired about the archer. The person he inquired of started laughing. He said, “He is an idiot! Don’t be worried about him.”
But the king said, “You don’t understand. He may be an idiot – I’m not concerned with that – but he is a greater archer than me, that is certain. I would like to see him.”
A crowd gathered, seeing the king, and they all laughed and said, “It is pointless. He is really a fool.”
But the king could not understand how an idiot can manage such good shots, absolutely perfect, impeccable. He said, “Stop laughing and call the man!” A young man was brought to him; he looked stupid, retarded. The king was also puzzled. He asked the young man, “What is your secret?”
The young man said, “What secret?”
The king showed him that every arrow is exactly in the middle of a circle.
The young man started laughing. He said, “I cannot lie to you. The truth is, first I shoot the arrow and then I draw the circle. Naturally, one hundred percent… It does not matter where the arrow goes; wherever it goes, I make the circle later on. Everybody who passes through this village is struck by the great art. I remain quiet, I never say the truth to anybody, but you are the king and I cannot lie to you.”

This is really the situation of intellectuals. They are profound archers – but first they shoot the arrow and then they draw the target! Their work appears, to those who don’t know their way and their strategy, as perfect.
Now, giving a disciple the name “profound clarity,” he cannot even think that he is doing something wrong. He does not know what clarity is, as an experience; otherwise he would never have given the name, “profound clarity.” Clarity is enough unto itself.
A patriarch said, “As long as there is mental discrimination, and calculating judgment, all the perceptions of one’s own mind are dreams. If mind and consciousness are quiescent and extinct, without a single thought stirring, this is called correct awareness.”
Whenever he quotes, almost always he is right, but only when it is a quotation. These are not his words. I am coming to his words, and then you will see how the intellectual falls far below the mystic and his experience. These are his words:
These days there is a kind of phony, whose own standpoint is not genuine: they just teach people to control their minds and sit quietly, to sit to the point where the breath ceases. I call this lot, pitiable. And, I am asking you to meditate in just this way…
– which he calls pitiable
…but though I instruct you like this, it is just that there is no other choice…
Can you see the stupidity of our intellectual effort to understand that which is beyond? He is teaching the same kind of meditation to people – then it is right. And when others are teaching the same kind of meditation it is “pitiable”; these people are “phony.”
It is so difficult to save him. In the first place, if this is the same meditation that he himself is giving to others, on what grounds is he calling others phony who are giving the same meditation? He has not made it clear in any way why they are phony, why they are not genuine – because their teaching of meditation is the same as his own.
And secondly, he says, “I have to teach this way because…it is just that there is no other choice.” That too is absolutely wrong; there are hundreds of methods of meditation – but he has never meditated. But there is always in intellectuals a kind of rivalry, a kind of competition, a kind of jealousy.
You must have seen dogs barking at each other for no reason at all; they just cannot resist the temptation. Once a dog sees another dog, then immediately they both start barking.

I have heard a story about a dog… He used to live in Varanasi, the holy place of the Hindus. But everybody was going toward New Delhi, so he inquired, “What is the matter? Why is everybody going to New Delhi?” And he found out that those who were representatives of the people were going to Delhi to be members of the parliament. So he collected a great crowd of dogs – and he was a very big dog, and could bark better than anybody else – and naturally he was chosen the leader. He informed the dogs of Delhi beforehand, “I have been chosen from Varanasi, and I am coming. It will take almost one month because I will be walking from Varanasi to New Delhi” – but he reached in three days.
The dogs of New Delhi were simply amazed. They could not believe that a journey of one month… “How did you manage to do it in three days?”
He said, “You don’t know our people! The dogs would not let me rest anywhere. These three days I have been running non-stop. The dogs from one village would follow me barking, and by the time I reached into another village, another group of dogs would follow me. There was no time for anything – to rest or to sleep or to eat or to drink. All the way I have been running and running.”
The dogs said, “This is one of our great qualities. It is said in our holy scriptures that intellectuals are born as dogs.” It is their old habit of barking at each other… Everything they have forgotten, but the barking has been their very soul.

Now, as you can see, this man is calling others phony. I don’t know what word has been translated as phony. One thing is certain, at the time of Ta Hui China had no telephones… The word phony comes from telephone, because the voice on the telephone becomes unreal. It loses a living quality; hence the word phony. The word is not Chinese; the word is American – and in America, everything is phony.
What word has been translated as phony? It must have been something like inauthentic, insincere. But to call others inauthentic, insincere, phony, not genuine, without giving any reason, because they are…teaching people to control their minds, and sit quietly. To sit to the point where the breath ceases. I call this lot pitiable. I am asking you to meditate in just this way, but though I instruct you like this, it is just that there is no other choice…
If there is no other choice then why are you calling those poor people phony? They also don’t have any other choice.
So the first thing: intellectuals have a very egoistic, quarrelsome attitude, always ready to start a battle of words. That is not right for a mystic.
Secondly, the method that the people he calls phony are teaching is not a right method, but because he himself has never meditated, he does not understand what is right and what is wrong. The method these people are teaching – and he himself is teaching – is to control your mind.
Meditation has nothing to do with controlling the mind – because every control is a kind of repression and that which is repressed will take its revenge. Whenever you relax a little, the mind that was in control will immediately come up and start, with vengeance, to stir up everything within you.
Meditation is not control, because control creates tension and meditation is based on relaxation. Meditation has a few essential things in it, whatever the method. But those few essentials are necessary in every method.
The first is a relaxed state: no fight with the mind, no control of the mind, no concentration.
Second, just watching with a relaxed awareness whatever is going on, without any interference…just watching the mind, silently, without any judgment, any evaluation. These are the three things: relaxation, watching, no judgment.
Slowly, slowly a great silence descends over you. All movement within you ceases. You are, but there is no sense of “I am”…just a pure space.
There are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation; I have talked on all those methods. They differ in their constitution, but the fundamentals remain the same: relaxation, watchfulness, a non-judgmental attitude.
So in the first place the method is wrong. He is teaching the same method, he says, “because there is no other choice.” He is not aware of a tremendous choice: one hundred and twelve methods which are as ancient as ten thousand years, at least.
The first man to collect all those methods was Shiva, and his statues have been found in Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. These cities flourished seven thousand years ago. They must have been the most cultured cities of those days, because their roads were so wide; they had attached bathrooms, they had hot and cold running water in their bathrooms, and they had swimming pools as big as Olympic swimming pools.
In those cities the only thing that we can recognize which still persists is the statue of Shiva – the Shivalinga, the phallic symbol of Shiva. That is the only thing that connects us with Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. Because of this the historians have concluded that Shiva was not an Aryan, because those cities existed before Aryans came into India.
But Shiva has, in his book Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, one hundred and twelve methods of meditation. More methods can be created – I have created many more methods – just the essential ingredients should be there. You can change the device according to the times, according to individuals, but you cannot leave out these three things – relaxation, watchfulness and a non-judgmental attitude.
So, in fact, just these three things are the only method of meditation; all others are variations of the same theme. Whatever Ta Hui has been teaching is wrong. The others must have been other intellectuals, other teachers, whom he is calling phony, and he cannot see a simple thing: how can you call them phony and pitiable if your teaching also is of the same method?
And he is not aware that there are many alternatives – he has never meditated. One does not have to know Shiva’s Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. If one meditates just with these three essentials, he can create as many methods for different situations, different people, as he likes. But one should have his own experience. And to condemn others who are doing the same thing, he must be utterly blind. He cannot see what he is saying.
Buddhist disciple Ch’en, you have realized that personal existence is false, and that things are illusory. Amid illusory falsehood you were able to contemplate the saying “a dog has no buddha-nature” – you sent me a letter expressing your understanding. Though in the main your basis is already correct, you are not yet clear about the great dharma – this is a common disease of beginners entering the path.
This is an old statement of Lin Chi and of other Zen masters, and there is a possibility it may be from the times of Gautam Buddha himself. It has been asked down the ages by the disciples…because Buddhism says that every living being has a buddha-nature; every living being can become a buddha. Naturally, the question arises, does a dog also have buddha-nature? All the great masters have said yes, and those who have said no, don’t understand at all.
It is something to be pondered over. Why should a dog not have a buddha-nature? If every living being has buddha-nature, why should dogs be such exceptional beings? Just because in your minds the very word dog is condemned, you cannot think that a dog can have a buddha-nature – “My God, then what is the point of having a buddha-nature? Even a dog can have it. It is not worth bothering! Years of meditation, long pilgrimages, and finally what you attain is just a dog’s nature.” Naturally those who don’t understand have immediately said no – and Ta Hui agrees with those people who say no.
But in fact a dog is just a god spelt wrongly. I for one am absolutely ready to say yes, a dog has as much potential to be a buddha as Gautam Buddha himself. There is no question why poor dogs should be left out, when all beings – donkeys and monkeys and even Yankees – all are included. The dog is a poor animal, innocent. There is nothing wrong in the dog. Perhaps he has to travel a long way to become a buddha, but it is only a question of time. Some day a dog is also going to become enlightened. In some birth, somewhere in the future…
You should understand it clearly that in the eternity of time it does not matter whether you become enlightened today, or tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, in this life or in another life. In the eternity of time it does not matter at all. In the eternity of time nobody is ahead and nobody is behind, because there is no beginning in time and there is no end in time.
So whenever you become enlightened you are always a contemporary of all the buddhas. They may have become enlightened thousands of years before. If you become enlightened today, suddenly you will find you are raised to a different scale of time, where you are a contemporary of all the buddhas, past, present, and future. So a man who has tasted awakening will not deny to dogs their intrinsic treasure. They are living beings.
Old Shakyamuni Buddha said, “This way is all right, and not this way is all right too; this way or not this way, it is all all right.” Just get the root, don’t worry about the branches. Over a long, long time it will sink in thoroughly: don’t worry that you won’t attain oneness. Work on it!
He calls this kind of question – whether a dog has buddha-nature or not – a common disease of beginners entering the path. It is natural human curiosity. But at least somebody has entered the path. Such questions don’t mean anything to those who have not entered the path at all. It is not a disease; it is simply a curiosity.
If all living beings are intrinsically as capable of awakening as human, it simply makes existence truly communist. As far as I am concerned, I think communism is right only when it is concerned with the ultimate nature of beings. Only in that ultimate stage is there equality. Before that, communism is a utopia and is never going to be fulfilled.
Only two buddhas are equal, but ignorant people cannot be equal. Ignorant people are psychologically unequal; hence the whole idea of Karl Marx and his followers that man is equal is psychologically wrong.
No two men are equal. They have all the differences that you can conceive, and to force them into equality you will have to destroy democracy, you will have to destroy freedom, you will have to destroy freedom of expression, you will have to destroy people’s individuality, their dignity of being human, their very pride. It is a very strange kind of equality. Everybody is bulldozed, and everybody becomes equal!

There was one king in Greece who was a little cuckoo. He had made a beautiful golden bed in a special guesthouse, a great palace. Only a few guests ever stayed in his guesthouse, and they never came out alive because the trouble with the king was that the guest had to fit with the bed. If he was a little long, then his legs or his head had to be cut to size. Or if he was a little short, then traction – he had to be pulled from both ends; the king had four wrestlers practicing traction. But anyway he was going to be killed. In traction his head would be pulled out, because they were pulling his head to make him the size of the bed, or his legs may be pulled out.
The king believed in the holy scriptures of the whole world: they all suggest that man is made for them, not that they are made for man. His bed was not made for man, every guest has to fit with the bed. As the rumor reached to other friends, other kings, nobody accepted his invitation. He was continuously inviting guests, but nobody was ready to come because anybody who ever went never came back again: what happened to the guests? In fact the king was practicing a sort of communism, making everybody of equal size. And that’s what has happened in the Soviet Union for seventy years.

Just seventy years ago, before the revolution, Russia was one of the giant countries; it had given birth to a great line of geniuses. In seventy years they have not been able to create a single genius of the quality of Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Turgenev, not a single man in seventy years. All these five men existed before the revolution, and Maxim Gorky even remained alive after the revolution for a few years.
If you want to choose the names of the ten great novelists of the whole world, of all languages, these five will be absolutely there. You cannot leave a single one of them out of a list of ten: the rest of the world will have only five places, and five places will be given to the Russians. Still those five from the rest of the world will not be really comparable to the greatness of the Russian novelists. What happened?
After the revolution, everybody was cut to size. Mind is no longer free. You cannot say anything that is not approved by the government, you cannot write anything that is not approved by the government. There is no freedom of thought. There is no individual expression in anything. Everything has become uniform – people have disappeared. Only a crowd exists, only numbers, not individuals.
When Khrushchev came into power and was addressing his first meeting of the communist party, he exposed Joseph Stalin, saying that he had killed almost one million people after the revolution. Anybody who was trying to be himself and was not willing to become a cog in the wheel was immediately killed…
In Russia you are not allowed to have any opinion of your own. For everything you have to depend on the government, and the whole country has become a concentration camp, no democracy. The press, the radio, the television, everything belongs to the government. You cannot get information which the government does not release. The Soviet Union lives almost in darkness about the whole world, what is going on in the world. And the Soviet Union is not a small country; it is one sixth of the land of the whole world.
Khrushchev addressed the first meeting and exposed how brutal, murderous, Joseph Stalin had been. In the name of communism he had killed all the genius of the people, he had reduced everybody to equal poverty. Certainly there has come a certain equality: everybody is equally poor. Everybody is equally suppressed. Everybody is equally enslaved. Everybody is equally trembling with fear. Any moment and death can knock on the door…. In Russia, the name of death is KGB.
When Khrushchev was telling this to the Communist party, one man from the back said, “You have been a colleague of Joseph Stalin his whole life. Why did you not object?”
There was a great silence. For a moment Khrushchev looked at the place from where the voice had come, and he said, “Comrade, please just stand up so I can see you better.” Nobody stood. He again said, “Just stand up so I can see who is asking the question.”
Three times he asked. Nobody stood, and nobody asked the question again. He said, “Now do you understand why I was silent? Why are you silent? – because if you stand up, you are finished. I remained silent because I wanted to be alive.” To create equality, all human values have been destroyed.
No…as far as man is concerned, man needs freedom to be unequal, equal opportunity to be unequal. Opportunity should be given equally to all, but opportunities to grow in their uniqueness, in their own individuality: in short, opportunities to be unequal, but equal opportunities.
Only when people become enlightened, when there is nothing but a pure consciousness, is communism possible; otherwise that day is just a utopia.
The word utopia is very beautiful. It means that which never comes. Only in enlightenment is there a possibility of equality, and to the enlightened person all beings – they may not be enlightened now – are going to be enlightened someday. So intrinsically, every being – every living being, the trees are included – wherever there is life in any form, they are all on the way, moving, evolving, going higher. And the goal is the same: to become awakened, to become absolute purity, consciousness, blissfulness, ecstasy. So it is not a disease to ask such a question. It is absolutely natural curiosity.
I am a communist as far as man’s intrinsic potential is concerned, and I am not a communist as far as man’s actuality is concerned. He should be given every support, every opportunity to grow in his own way. A forced equality is destructive, destructive of all that is valuable. There should be big trees, tall trees reaching to the stars, and there should be small bushes; they both enrich existence. There should be lotuses and there should be roses and there should be marigolds. The variety, the difference, the inequality makes life richer, makes life more livable, lovable.
Just think, if everybody goes through plastic surgery and has the same kind of nose – equal noses – has the same kind of eyes, has the same kind of faces, it will be so boring that people will start walking with closed eyes, tired of seeing the same noses and same eyes and same faces. It will be the most hellish world possible. It is beautiful that there are long noses and short noses, and they come in all sizes and all shapes.
Inequality in humanity is a psychological truth.
Equality is a spiritual truth.
One should not get mixed up.
A dog has a buddha-nature, just as anybody else has. It is not the disease of a beginner entering the path. It is purely a human curiosity, whether all living beings have the same potential to blossom into the ultimate ecstasy that only very few people – a Gautam Buddha, a Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra – have achieved. I consider it absolutely normal, not a disease.
Ta Hui quotes Gautam Buddha, which needs some explanation because you will not understand it. And I don’t think Ta Hui understands it, because he gives no explanation about it.
Old Shakyamuni Buddha said, “This way is all right, and not this way is all right too; this way or not this way, it is all all right.”
He does not explain why he is quoting this statement. He is simply throwing names, quotations, which is one of the strategies of intellectuals to show their knowledgeability. But I don’t think he understands even the meaning of it, because it is one of the most difficult things to understand.
Aristotle is said to be the father of Western logic. His logic is the simplest logic: Black is black, white is white; yes means yes, no means no – a clear-cut division. It is called twofold logic. Gautam Buddha believed – and I think he has far greater insight than Aristotle – in a threefold logic. And if you can understand his threefold logic, only then will this statement become clear to you.
For example, if somebody asked Gautam Buddha, “Does God exist?”, according to his threefold logic he will answer, “Yes, God exists. No, God does not exist. Yes and no both: God exists, God does not exist.” Aristotle’s logic is twofold: either God exists, or God does not exist. There is no question of the third possibility, that both may be right.
In a certain sense, from a certain angle, it may be said with absolute truthfulness that God exists, for example if you mean that existence is intelligent, that existence is not material, that existence is basically made of consciousness and even matter is only a form of sleeping consciousness – consciousness in coma. If you can mean by God, “universal consciousness,” he exists. But you may mean by God, “a person who created the world”; then God does not exist.
But it is possible to conceive of God as consciousness, and also not as a creator, but as the very creativity of existence. It all depends on us and what we mean by God, because God is only a hypothesis, a word; the meaning has to be given by us. If God is not a creator and a person but the very phenomenon of creativity and consciousness, then both are right: God exists and God does not exist.
This was the threefold logic. And Gautam Buddha is going to win the future world over to threefold logic. Aristotle is already out of date. But Gautam Buddha’s contemporary, Mahavira, has a sevenfold logic, and he is going to be the ultimate winner as far as logic is concerned because he has gone to all the possible alternatives. These three alternatives are not all the possibilities. For example, Mahavira’s fourth alternative is: perhaps God is not. And the fifth: perhaps God exists and is indefinable; he brings indefinability as the fifth alternative. And the sixth: perhaps God is not, and is still indefinable. And the seventh: perhaps nothing can be said, only that it is indefinable. He has covered all the possibilities and interpretations. Even Gautam Buddha avoided going that far; he remained within comprehensible limits. Now, seeing his statement, you can understand it. Old Shakyamuni Buddha said, “This way is all right, and not this way is all right too; this way or not this way, it is all all right.”
Three statements…it makes experience more mysterious. Aristotle demystifies existence. Just dividing it into life and death, into day and night, into right and wrong, into good and bad, into God and Devil is a little childish, a little retarded. Life is more complex than that. He is only taking the two extremes, and he is forgetting the middle point.
Buddha has called his way the middle way, so he has to take into account the exact middle point where the opposites meet, where contradictions dissolve into each other and become complementaries. Then it becomes a threefold logic: two extremes and one where extremes merge and melt into oneness. His approach is not only more mystical, it is more scientific too.
Modern physics is coming closer to Gautam Buddha and completely abandoning Aristotle. And with Aristotle is also abandoned Euclidean geometry, because that was a by-product of Aristotelian logic. So Aristotle and Euclid have reigned for two thousand years in the West, but modern physics finds that things are more complicated than Aristotle and Euclid thought. Gautam Buddha perhaps is closer to reality because he is taking a more mysterious approach. He is broadening our perception of reality.
My own feeling is that ultimately modern physics will have to accept not only Gautam Buddha but Mahavira, because his sevenfold logic is absolutely complete. You cannot add anything more. There cannot be eightfold logic; with seven possibilities, all have been covered. Nothing has been left out, everything has been taken in; it is all-inclusive. Mahavira has been accepted – without scientists even knowing that they are accepting a certain man who lived twenty-five centuries before, a contemporary of Gautam Buddha – because he preached the theory of relativity. Mahavira was the first man to preach the theory of relativity.
Albert Einstein would have been immensely happy if somebody had introduced him to Mahavira’s theory of relativity. It is not about physics, it is about human consciousness, but it is the same standpoint. And Albert Einstein would have danced if he had heard the sevenfold logic of Mahavira because he was finding so much difficulty with Aristotle. Reality was big, and logic was smaller; it was not able to help in any way to further research going deeper into matter and energy. It was good for day-to-day work in the marketplace, but it was not good enough for deeper realms.
But I think Ta Hui has not got any idea why he has quoted this statement…perhaps just to mystify people, just to pretend that he understands this strange logic of threefoldness, because he does not say anything about it. It is out of context. Anything said must have some meaning, some relationship. It is neither related to the previous sutra, nor is it related to the succeeding sutra. He has just inserted it.
My feeling is: he simply wants to mystify people, pretending that he knows great things that they cannot understand. It is one of the significant things to understand about man that whatever he cannot understand he thinks must be right. Because of this, philosophers have been writing in such a way that you will go on reading big phrases, long phrases, long sentences, big paragraphs – so big that by the time you come to the end of the paragraph, you have forgotten the beginning.
For example, the German philosopher Hegel was a master in mystifying absolutely nonsensical things, and his whole strategy was just to write big words, pompous, bombastic. A single sentence would run the whole page, and by the time you come to the end of the sentence you don’t have any idea what was in the beginning, what was in the middle….
Hegel was thought to be a great philosopher – till he was understood! When he was understood, he was put aside as just a tricky fellow, who was only trying to mystify people. And he had succeeded. At least in his life, he enjoyed the idea of being a great philosopher. Only after his death slowly, slowly scholars looked into it and found that he says nothing. He says so much, but if you condense it, your hands are empty. There is nothing in it.
Whenever I have thought about Hegel, I have always remembered a man in my village…

He was almost a nutcase; he had crammed the whole Oxford dictionary, and he used to write letters to the president, to the prime minister, to the governor. He was living just near my house.
Once in a while he used to come to me to show me his letters – twenty pages, thirty pages, fifty foolscap pages typed out, but not a single sentence making any sense. He knew nothing about language; he knew everything about the dictionary, and that was the trouble. He would simply go on writing big words; it made no sense at all.
He was torturing me, so I said, “You do one thing. I don’t have much time and your letters are too long, and it will be helpful also because this big letter the President is not going to read. So with the letter you should write a small summary, just ten lines, twelve lines at the most.”
He said, “That’s a good idea. I will write the summary. That is not a problem.”
So he went to write the summary, but he left the letter with me. I was surprised; this is something strange, how is he going to write the summary? There was no problem for him; the dictionary was with him…so another ten lines of absolute absurdity. I said, “This is perfectly good. This explains everything! And I can say to you that this much the president is going to read. Twenty pages is too much. You write such great philosophy.”
But nobody was answering his letters. He would come to me saying, “Now one month has passed and no answer, not even a receipt that they have received my letter! And I had been working so hard.”
I said to him, “I don’t think these politicians have intelligence enough to understand your great philosophy.”
He said, “That is right. You are the only man who understands me. Nobody seems to understand.”
Every day he was going to the collectorate with a new letter and the collector was tired. One day the collector met me in the library and he said, “Can’t you stop this man? I never read any of his letters, but even to keep them on the table is a torture. One feels inside one’s stomach some disturbance; just to read two or three lines is enough to drive anybody crazy.”
I said, “It is very difficult to stop him, because I am the only man who understands him. If you have any difficulty, I can tell him, and he can explain.”
He said, “I don’t want you to mention it to him at all! He will come with a bigger explanation.”
Once in a while I used to go to my town, and he used to wait for me. I loved the man. He was crazy, but very nice and very sweet and absolutely harmless. I told him, “You have done only one thing wrong.”
He said, “What?”
I said, “You should have been born in Germany, and you would have been known in history as a great philosopher. I have studied all those great German philosophers; they are all nutcases!”

One man who was thought to be one of the greatest German philosophers of this century, Martin Heidegger, started many books, but he never completed any because by the time he was half-way, he had forgotten what he had written. So the first volume would be published, and people would be waiting for the second volume; it never came.
This went on happening his whole life; he never completed any book. When asked, he said, “The reality is, I myself forget what I have been writing. It is so complicated that it is better to start a new book rather than to read the old one. Let others read…I don’t want to get involved in it.” It will be a great entertainment to you if you read something of Martin Heidegger.
And this shows his great “intelligence”: he was a follower of Adolf Hitler, who was certainly a madman! The greatest philosopher follows an idiot…it does not show anything about Adolf Hitler, but it shows something about Martin Heidegger! I have gone through all his works. In the end your hands are empty. You don’t get anything of what he wants to say, why he wants to say it. Why all this long process of gymnastics without any conclusion? But these people have been impressing the common masses.
My understanding is that whatever people cannot understand they think must be great. Because we cannot understand, naturally it has to be something very miraculous, very mysterious. But the truth is always simple: it is mysterious because it is simple.
The truth is always obvious.
It is miraculous because it is obvious, not because it is complex, not because it is far away. It is so close that you tend to forget it. It is within you, so you don’t even bother to look at it.
Truth is simple, obvious, uncomplicated. All that it needs is just a silent awareness, and a great understanding descends on you, an understanding that does not become knowledge, an understanding that deepens your innocence and that deepens the mystery of life.

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