OSHOMEDITATION - Chapter 1. A Zen Story

OSHOMEDITATION - Chapter 1. A Zen Story


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Osho  - Ancient Music in the Pines
Chapter 1. A Zen Story

Gosa Hoyen used to say, 'When people ask me what zen is like I tell them this story.'
Noticing that his father was growing old, the son of a burglar asked his father to teach him the trade so that he could carry on the family business after his father had retired. The father agreed, and that night they broke into a house together.
Opening a large chest the father told his son to go in _ and pick out the clothing. As soon as the boy was inside, the father locked the chest and then made a lot of noise so that the whole house was aroused. Then he slipped quietly away.
Locked inside the chest the boy was angry, terrified, and puzzled as to how he was going to get out. Then an idea flashed to him - he made a noise like a cat.
The family told a maid to take a candle and examine the chest. When the lid was unlocked the boy jumped out, blew out the candle, pushed his way past the astonished maid, and ran out.
The people ran after him.
Noticing a well by the side of the road the boy threw in a large stone, then hid in the darkness. The pursuers gathered around the well trying to see the burglar drowning himself.

When the boy got home he was very angry at his father and he tried to tell him the story; but the father said: 'Don't bother to tell me the details, you are here - you have learned the art.'
It is just like a big tree, an ancient oak: the trunk is one, then the tree divides into two main branches, the main bifurcation, from which a thousand and one bifurcations of branches grow. The being is just like the trunk of the tree - one, non-dual - and the mind is the first bifurcation where the tree divides into two, becomes dual, becomes dialectical: thesis and antithesis, man and woman, yin and yang, day and night, God and Devil, yoga and Zen. All the dualities of the world are basically in the duality of the mind - and below the duality is oneness of being. If you slip below, underneath the duality you will find one - call it God, call it nirvana, or whatsoever you like.
If you go higher through the duality, you come to the many million-fold world.
This is one of the most basic insights to be understood - that mind is not one.
Hence, whatsoever you see through the mind becomes two. It is just like a white ray entering a prism; it is immediately divided into seven colors and the rainbow is created.
Before it entered the prism it was one, through the prism it is divided. and the white color disappears into the seven colors of the rainbow.
The world is a rainbow, the mind is a prism, and the being is the white ray.
Modern research has come to a very significant fact, one of the most significant achieved in this century, and that is that you don't have one mind, you have two minds. Your brain is divided into two hemispheres: the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere is joined with the left hand, and the left hemisphere is joined with the right hand - crosswise. The right hemisphere is intuitive, illogical, irrational, poetic, platonic, imaginative, romantic, mythical, religious; and the left hemisphere is logical, rational, mathematical, Aristotelian, scientific, calculative. These two hemispheres are constantly in conflict - the basic politics of the world is within you, the greatest politics of the world is within you. You may not be aware of it, but once you become aware, the real thing to be done is somewhere between these two minds.
The left hand is concerned with the right hemisphere - intuition, imagination, myth, poetry, religion - and the left hand is very much condemned. The society is of those who are right-handed - right-handed means left hemisphere. Ten per cent of children are born left-handed but they are forced to be right-handed. Children who are born left-handed are basically irrational, intuitive, non-mathematical, non-Euclidean... they are dangerous for society so it forces them in every way to become right-handed. It is not just a question of hands, it is a question of inner politics: the left-handed child functions through the right hemisphere - that society cannot allow, it is dangerous, so he has to be stopped before things go too far.
It is suspected that in the beginning the proportion must have been fifty-fifty - left- handed children fifty per cent and right-handed children fifty per cent - but the right- handed party has ruled so long that by and by the proportion has fallen to ten per cent and ninety per cent. Even amongst you here many will be left-handed but you may not be aware of it. You may write with the right hand and do your work with the right hand but in your childhood you may have been forced to be right-handed. This is a trick because once you become right-handed your left hemisphere starts functioning. The left hemisphere is reason; the right hemisphere is beyond reason, its functioning is not mathematical. It functions in flashes, it is intuitive, very graceful - but irrational.
The left-handed minority is the most oppressed minority in the world, even more than Negroes, even more than the poor people. If you understand this division, you will understand many things. With the bourgeoisie and the proletariat the proletariat is always functioning through the right hemisphere of the brain: the poor people are more intuitive.
Go to the primitive people, they are more intuitive. The poorer the person, the less intellectual - and that may be the cause of his being poor. Because he is less intellectual he cannot compete in the world of reason. He is less articulate as far as language is concerned, reason is concerned, calculation is concerned - he is almost a fool. That may be the cause of his being poor.
The rich person is functioning through the left hemisphere; he is more calculative, arithmetical in everything, cunning, clever, logical - and he plans. That may be the reason why he is rich.
The bourgeoisie and the proletariat cannot disappear by communist revolutions, no, because the communist revolution is by the same people. The Czar ruled Russia; he ruled it through the left hemisphere of the mind. Then he was replaced by Lenin who was of the same type. Then Lenin was replaced by Stalin who was even more of the same type.
The revolution is false because deep down the same type of people are ruling - the ruler and the ruled mean the same, and the ruled are those of the right-sided hemisphere. So whatsoever you do in the outside world makes no difference really, it is superficial.
The same applies to men and women. Women are right-hemisphere people, men are left- hemisphered. Men have ruled women for centuries. Now a few women are revolting but the amazing thing is that these are the same type of women. In fact they are just like men - rational, argumentative, Aristotelian. It is possible that one day, just as the communist revolution has succeeded in Russia and China, somewhere, maybe in America, women can succeed and overthrow men. But by the time the women succeed, the women will no more be women, they will have become left-hemisphered. Because to fight, one has to be calculative, and to fight with men you have to be like men: aggressive. That very aggressiveness is shown all over the world in women's liberation. Women who have become part of that liberation movement are very aggressive, they are losing all grace, all that comes out of intuition. Because if you have to fight with men you have to learn the same trick; if you have to fight with men, you have to fight with the same techniques.
Fighting with anybody is very dangerous because you become like your enemy. That is one of the greatest problems of humanity. Once you fight with somebody, by and by you have to use the same technique and the same way. Then the enemy may be defeated but by the time he is defeated you have become your own enemy. Stalin is more Czar-like than any Czar, more violent than any Czar. Of course it has to be so: to throw Czars, very violent people are needed, more violent than the Czar himself. Only they will become the revolutionaries, will come out on top. By the time they reach there they have become Czars themselves, and the society continues on the same way. Just superficial things change, deep down the same conflict remains.
The conflict is in man. Unless it is resolved there, it cannot be resolved anywhere else.
The politics is within you; it is between the two parts of the mind.
A very small bridge exists. If that bridge is broken through some accident, through some physiological defect or something else, the person becomes split, the person becomes two persons - and the phenomenon of schizophrenia or split personality happens. If the bridge is broken - and the bridge is very fragile - then you become two, you behave like two persons. In the morning you are very loving, very beautiful; in the evening you are very angry, absolutely different. You don't remember your morning... how can you remember? Another mind was functioning - and the person becomes two persons. If this bridge is strengthened so much that the two minds disappear as two and become one, then integration, then crystallization, arises. What George Gurdjieff used to call the crystallization of being is nothing but these two minds becoming one, the meeting of the male and the female within, the meeting of yin and yang, the meeting of the left and right, the meeting of logic and illogic, the meeting of Plato and Aristotle.
If you can understand this basic bifurcation in your tree of then you can understand all the conflict that goes on around and inside you.
Let me tell you an anecdote.
Among the Germans, Berlin is considered to be the very epitome of Prussian brusqueness and efficiency, while Vienna is the essence of Austrian charm and slipshoddery.
There is the tale of a Berliner visiting Vienna who was lost and in need of directions.
What would such a Berliner do? He grabbed at the lapel of the first passing Viennese and barked out, 'The Post Office. Where is it?'
The startled Viennese carefully detached the other's fist, smoothed his lapel and said in a gentle manner, 'Sir, would it not have been more delicate of you to have approached me politely and to have said. "Sir, if you have a moment and happen to know, could you direct me to the Post Office?"'
The Berliner stared in astonishment for a moment, then growled, 'I would rather be lost!' and stomped away.
That very same Viennese was visiting Berlin too that year and it turned out that now it was he who had to search for the Post Office. Approaching a Berliner he said politely, 'Sir, if you have a moment and happen to know, could you please direct me to the Post Office?'
With machine-like rapidity the Berliner replied, 'About face, two blocks forward, sharp turn right, one block forward, cross a street, half turn on the right, walk left over railroad tracks, pass news-stand into Post Office lobby.'
The Viennese, more bewildered than enlightened, nevertheless murmured, 'A thousand thanks, kind sir,' whereupon the Berliner snatched furiously at the other's lapel and shouted, 'Never mind the thanks, repeat the instructions!'
The male mind, the Berliner; the female mind, the Viennese. The female mind has a grace, the male mind has efficiency. and of course, in the long run, if there is a constant fight, the grace is bound to be defeated - the efficient mind will win. because the world understands the language of mathematics not of love. But the moment your efficiency wins over your grace, you have lost something tremendously valuable: you have lost contact with your own being. You may become very efficient, but you will be no more a real person. You will become a machine, a robot-like thing.
Because of this here is constant conflict between man and woman. They cannot remain separate, they have to get into relationship again and again - but they cannot remain together either. The fight is not outside, the fight is within you. And this is my understanding: unless you have resolved your inner fight between the right and the left hemispheres, you will never be able to be peacefully in love - never - because the inner fight will be reflected outside. If you are fighting inside and you are identified with the left hemisphere, the reason hemisphere, and you are continuously trying to overpower the right hemisphere, you will try to do the same with the woman you fall in love with. If the woman is continuously fighting her own reason inside, she will continuously fight the man she loves.
All relationships - almost all, the exceptions are negligible, can be left out of account - are ugly. In the beginning they are beautiful; in the beginning you don't show the reality; in the beginning you pretend. Once the relationship settles and you relax, your inner conflict bubbles up and starts being mirrored in your relationship. Then come fights, then come a thousand and one ways of nagging each other, destroying each other. Hence the attraction for homosexuality. Whenever a society becomes too divided between man and woman, homosexuality erupts immediately. Because at least a man in love with a man is not that much in conflict. The love relationship may not be very satisfying, may not lead to tremendous bliss and orgasmic moments, but at least it is not so ugly as the relationship between a man and a woman. Women become lesbians whenever the conflict becomes too much, because at least the love relationship between two women is not so deep in conflict. The same meets the same; they can understand each other.
Yes, understanding is possible, but the attraction is lost, the polarity is lost - it is at a very great cost. Understanding is possible, but the whole tension, the challenge, is lost. If you choose challenge, then comes conflict, because the real problem is somewhere within you. Unless you have settled, come to a deep harmony between your female and male mind, you will not be able to love.
People come to me and they ask how to go deep in a relationship, I tell them, 'First you go deep in meditation. Unless you are resolved within yourself you will create more problems than you already have. If you move in relationship, all your problems will be multiplied. Just watch. The greatest and the most beautiful thing in the world is love but can you find anything more ugly, more hell-creating?'
Mulla Nasruddin once told me, 'Well, I have been putting off the evil day for months but I have got to go this time.'
'Dentist or doctor?' I inquired.
'Neither,' he said, 'I am getting married.'
People go on avoiding marriage, people go on putting it off. When some day they find it impossible to get out of it only then they relax. Where is the problem? Why are people so afraid of getting deeply involved? Involvement immediately creates fear; commitment immediately creates fear - and the modern man wants to have sex but no love.
A woman told me that she wants sex only with strangers. Traveling in a train, meeting with a stranger - that's okay - but not even with someone who is friendly or familiar. I asked, 'Why?' She said that once you make love to someone who is known to you, some involvement starts. In a train, on a journey, you meet, make love, you don't know even what the other person's name is, who he is, from where he comes. You get down when your station comes and he moves away, forgotten forever; he leaves no scratch, you remain completely clean. You come out of it completely clean and unscratched.
I can understand. This is the difficulty of the whole modern mind. All relationships are becoming by and by casual. People are afraid of any sort of commitment,, because they have come to know at least one thing out of bitter experience - whenever you become related too much, the reality erupts, and your inner conflict starts being reflected by the other and then life becomes ugly, horrible, intolerable.
It happened once that I was sitting with a few friends in a university campus ground. One of the professors said, 'On the day my wedding occurred....'
But the other professor stopped him immediately and said 'Pardon the correction, but affairs such as marriages, receptions, dinners, and things of that nature, take place. It is only calamities which occur. You see the distinction? Please don't say, "The day my marriage occurred, or the day my wedding occurred."'
The other was a professor of language and of course he was right. But the first man said, 'Yes, many, many things...' and again started, 'And as I was saying, the day my wedding occurred....It is a calamity.'
If you are outside of it, it may look like a beautiful oasis in the desert but as you come close the oasis starts drying and disappearing. Once you are caught in it, it is an imprisonment, but remember, the imprisonment doesn't come from the other, it comes from within you.
If the left-hemisphere brain goes on dominating you, you will live a very successful life - so successful that by the time you are forty you will have ulcers; by the time you are forty-five you will have had at least one or two heart-attacks; by the time you are fifty you will be almost dead - but successfully dead. You may become a great scientist, but you will never become a great being. You may accumulate enough of wealth, but you will lose all that is of worth. You may conquer the whole world like an Alexander, but your own inner territory will remain unconquered.
There are many attractions to follow the left-hemisphere brain - that is the worldly brain.
It is more concerned with things: cars, money, houses, power, prestige. That is the orientation of the man who in India we call a GRUSTHA, a householder.
The right-hemisphere brain is the orientation of the SANNYASIN. one who is more interested in his own inner being, his inner peace, his blissfulness, and is less concerned about things. If they come easily, good; if they don't come that is also good. He is more concerned with the moment, less concerned with the future; more concerned with the poetry of life, less concerned with the arithmetic of it.
I have heard an anecdote.
Finkelstein had made a huge killing at the races and Muscovitz, quite understandably, was envious.
'How did you do it, Finkelstein?' he demanded.
'Easy,' said Finkelstein, 'it was a dream.'
'A dream?'
'Yes; I had figured out a three-horse parley, but I was not sure about the third horse. Then the night before, I dreamed that an angel was standing over the head of my bed and kept saying, 'Blessings on you, Finkelstein, seven times seven blessings on you.' When I woke up I realized that seven times seven is forty-eight and that horse number seventy-eight was Heavenly Dream. I made Heavenly Dream the third horse in my parley and I just cleaned up, simply cleaned up.'
Muscovitz said, 'But Finkelstein, seven times seven is forty-nine!'
And Finkelstein said, 'So you be the mathematician.'
There is a way to follow life through arithmetic and there is another way to follow life through dream - through dreams and visions. They are totally different.
Just the other day somebody asked, 'Are there ghosts, fairies, and things like that?' Yes, there are - if you move through the right-hemisphere brain, there are. If you move through the left-hemisphere brain, there are not. All children are right-hemisphered, they see ghosts and fairies all around, but you go on talking to them and putting them in their places and saying to them, 'Nonsense. You are stupid. Where is the fairy? There is nothing, just a shadow.' By and by you convince the child, the helpless child; by and by you convince him and he moves from the right-hemisphered orientation to the left- hemisphered orientation - he has to. He has to live in your world: he has to forget his dreams, he has to forget all myth, he has to forget all poetry, he has to learn mathematics.
Of course he becomes efficient in mathematics - and becomes almost crippled and paralyzed in life. Existence goes on getting farther and farther away and he becomes just a commodity in the market, his whole life becomes just rubbish... although, of course, valuable in the eyes of the world.
A SANNYASIN is one who lives through the imagination, who lives through the dreaming quality of his mind, who lives through poetry, who poeticizes about life, who looks through visions. Then trees are greener than they look to you, then birds are more beautiful, then everything takes a luminous quality. Ordinary pebbles become diamonds; ordinary rocks are no longer ordinary - nothing is ordinary. If you look from the right hemisphere, everything becomes Divine, sacred. Religion is from the right hemisphere.
A man was sitting with his friend in a cafeteria drinking tea. He studied his cup and said with a sigh, 'Ah, my friend, life is like a cup of tea.'
The other considered that for a moment and then said, 'But why? Why is life like a cup of tea?'
The first man replied, 'How should I know? Am I a philosopher?'
The right-hemisphere brain only makes statements about facts, it cannot give you reasons. If you ask, 'Why?' it can only remain silent, there comes no response from it. If you are walking and you see a lotus flower and you say, 'Beautiful!' - and somebody says, 'Why?' what will you do? You will say, 'How am I to know? Am I a philosopher?' It is a simple statement, a very simple statement, in itself total, complete. There is no reason behind it and no result beyond it, it is a simple statement of fact. Read the Upanishads - they are simple statements of facts. They say, 'God is. Don't ask why.' They will say, 'Are we philosophers? How are we to know? God is.' They say God is beautiful, they say God is near, closer than your heart, but don't ask why - they are not philosophers.
Look at the gospels and the statements of Jesus - they are simple. He says, 'My God is in heaven. I am his son, he is my father. Don't ask why.' He will not be able to prove it in a court, he will simply say, 'I know.' If you ask him by whom he has been told, by what authority he says these things, he will say, 'It is by my own authority. I have no other authority.' That is the problem when a man like Jesus moves in the world. The rational mind cannot understand, he was not crucified for any other reason. He was crucified by the left hemisphere because he was a right-hemisphere man. He was crucified because of the inner conflict.
Lao Tzu says, 'The whole world seems to be clever, only I am muddle-headed; the whole world seems to be certain, only I am confused and hesitant.' He is a right-hemisphered man.
The right hemisphere is the hemisphere of poetry and love. A great shift is needed; that shift is the inner transformation. Yoga is an effort to reach the oneness of being through the left hemisphere, using logic, mathematics, science and trying to go beyond. Zen is just the opposite: the aim is the same but Zen uses the right hemisphere to go beyond.
Both can be used, but to follow yoga is a very, very long path; it is almost an unnecessary struggle because you are trying to reach from reason to super-reason which is more difficult. Zen is easier because it is an effort to reach the super-reason from irreason.
Irreason is almost like super-reason - there are no barriers. Yoga is like penetrating a wall and Zen is like opening a door. The door may not be closed at all, you just push it a little and it opens.
Now the story. It is one of the most beautiful among Zen anecdotes. Zen people talk through stories. They have to talk through stories because they cannot create theories and doctrines, they can only tell stories. They are great story-tellers. Jesus goes on talking in parables, Buddha goes on talking in parables, Sufi mystics go on talking in parables - it is not coincidental. The story, the parable, the anecdote, is the way of the right hemisphere; logic argument, proof, syllogism, is the way of the left hemisphere.
Listen to it.
Goso Hoyen used to say, 'When people ask me what zen is like, I tell them this story.'
This story really tells what Zen is like - without defining, it indicates. A definition is not possible because Zen in its basic quality is indefinable. You can taste it but you cannot define it; you can live it but language is not sufficient to say it; you can show it but you cannot say it. But through a story a little bit can be transferred. And this story really indicates, indicates perfectly the quality of what Zen is like. This is just a gesture, don't make it a definition, don't philosophize around it, let it be like lightning, a flash of understanding. It is not going to increase your knowledge but it can give you a shift, a jerk, a change of gestalt. You can be thrown from one corner of the mind to another...and that is the whole point of the story.
Noticing that his father was growing old, the son of a burglar asked his father to teach him the trade so that he could carry on the family business after his father had retired.
The trade of a burglar is not a scientific thing: it is an art. Burglars are as much born as poets; you cannot learn, learning won't help. If you learn, you will be caught because then the police know more than you. They have accumulated centuries of learning. A burglar is a born burglar; he lives through intuition, it is a knack; he lives through hunches. A burglar is feminine, he is not a businessman; he is a gambler, he risks all for almost nothing; his whole trade is of danger and risk. It is just like a religious man. Zen people say that religious people are also like burglars: in search of God they are also burglars.
There is no way to reach God through logic or reason or accepted society, culture, civilization. They break the wall somewhere, they enter from the back door If in the daylight it is not allowed, they enter in dark. If it is not possible to follow the crowd on the super-highway, they make their own individual paths in the forest. Yes, there is a certain similarity. You can reach God only if you are a burglar, an artist of how to steal the fire, how to steal the treasure.
The father was going to retire and the son asked, 'Before you retire teach me your trade.'
The father agreed, and that night they broke into a house together.
Opening a large chest the father told the son to go in and pick out the clothing. As soon as the boy was inside, the father locked the chest and then made a lot of noise so that the whole house was aroused. Then he slipped quietly away.
A real master he must have been, no ordinary burglar...
Locked inside the chest the boy was angry, terrified, and puzzled...
of course, naturally, what type of teaching is this? He had been thrown in a dangerous situation.
But that is the only way to teach something of the unknown; that is the only way to teach something of the right-hemisphere brain. The left hemisphere can be taught in schools: learning is possible, discipline is possible, gradual courses are possible. Then by and by, moving from one class to another, you become masters of art and science - many things.
But there cannot be any schools for the right hemisphere: it is intuitive, it is not gradual, it is sudden. It is like a flash, a lightning in the dark night. If it happens, it happens; if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen - nothing can be done about it. You can only leave yourself in a certain situation where there is more possibility for it to happen. That's why I say the old man must have been a real master.
Locked inside the chest, the boy was angry, terrified, and - puzzled...
These are the three states your reason will pass through. In all my meditations the same is being done to you. Locked in a chest, with the key thrown away, first you feel angry.

Many SANNYASINS come to me and they say they feel very angry with me. I can understand, it is natural - I am forcing them into situations where their old mind cannot function. That is the root cause of anger. They simply feel impotent, their old mind cannot function, they cannot make anything out of it. What is happening? And when you feel a situation where your mind is simply useless, you feel angry towards me - angry and then terrified. Then one understands the whole situation and all that you have learned seems absolutely useless...hence fear.
Now there was no logical way to get out of that chest: it was locked from the outside, the father had made a noise, the whole house was awake, people were moving around, searching, and the father had escaped. Now is there any logical way to get out of this chest? Logic simply fails, reason is of no use. What can you think? Mind suddenly stops - - and that is what the father is doing, that is what it is all about. He is trying to force the son into a situation where the logical mind stops, because a burglar does not need a logical mind. If he follows a logical mind he will be caught sooner or later by the police because they also follow the same logic.
It happened in the second world war. For three years Adolph Hitler continued to win, and the reason was that he was illogical.. All the other countries that were fighting with him were fighting logically. Of course, they had a great science of war, military training and this and that, and they had experts who would say, 'Now, Hitler is going to attack from this side.' And if Hitler was also in his senses he would have done that because that was the weakest point in the enemy's defense. Of course the enemy has to be attacked where he is the weakest - it is logical. So they would be expecting Hitler at the weakest point, they would be gathering around the weakest point and he would hit anywhere, unpredictably. He would not even follow his own generals' advice.
He had an astrologer who would suggest where to attack. Now this is something never done before - a war is not run by astrologers. Once Churchill understood, once the spies came with the report that they were not going to win with this man because he was absolutely illogical; that a foolish astrologer who didn't know anything about war, who had never been on the front, was deciding things, deciding by the stars - what have stars got to do with a war going on on the earth? - then Churchill immediately appointed a royal astrologer to the king and they started following the royal astrologer. Then things started falling in line because now two fools were predicting.... Things became easier.
If a burglar is going to follow Aristotle he will be caught sooner or later because the same Aristotelian logic is followed by the police. Just few days before, Vedanta did a beautiful thing: he escaped with the ashram jeep. Of course the police had to be informed.
Everybody was expecting that he would go towards Chanda, because he had been saying that he wanted to go to Chanda and re-open an old ashram which used to be there - Kailash. Had he gone towards there the police may not have follow, but the police were thinking logically and they said, 'If he had been saying that he was going towards Chanda he will not go to Chanda now because he will be afraid he will be caught on that road. He is not going there.' So they were not worried about that road and, of course, Vedanta was caught in Lonavalla. He was going towards Bombay. But the police also followed the same logic.
If you go through logic, then anybody who follows the logical method can catch you anywhere.
A burglar has to be unpredictable, logic is not possible. He has to be illogical - so much so that nobody can predict him. But illogic is possible only if your whole energy moves through the right hemisphere.
Locked inside the chest, the boy was angry, terrified, and puzzled as to how he was going to get out.
'How?' is a logical question. Hence he was terrified because there was no way - 'How?' was simply impotent. Then an idea flashed to him. Now this is a shift: only in dangerous situations where the left hemisphere cannot function, does it, as a last resort. allow the right hemisphere to have its say. When it cannot function, when it feels that now there is no go, now it is defeated, then it says why not give a chance to the oppressed, to the imprisoned part of the mind? Give that too a chance. Maybe...there can be no harm.
Then an idea flashed on him - he made a noise like a cat.

Now this is not logical. Making a noise like a cat? Simply an absurd idea. But it worked.
The family told a maid to take a candle and examine the chest.
When the lid was unlocked the boy jumped out, blew out the candle, pushed his way past the astonished maid, and ran out.
The people ran after him.
Noticing a well by the side of the road the boy threw in a large stone, then hid in the darkness. The pursuers gathered around the well trying to see the burglar drowning himself.
This too is not of the logical mind. Because the logical mind needs time - the logical mind needs time to proceed, to think, to argue this way and that, all the alternatives - and there are a thousand and one alternatives. When you are in a situation there is no time to think. If people are pursuing you - how can you think? Thinking is good when you are sitting in an armchair. With your closed eyes you can philosophize and think and argue, for this and against that, pro and con; but when people are pursuing you and your life is in danger you have no time to think - one lives in the moment, one simply becomes spontaneous. It is not that he decided to throw the stone, it simply happened. It was not a conclusion, he was not thinking about doing it, he simply found himself doing it. He threw a stone in the well and hid himself in the darkness, and the pursuers stopped, thinking the burglar had drowned himself in the well.
When the boy got home he was very angry at his father and he tried to tell him the story; but the father said: 'Don't bother to tell me the details, you are here you have learned the art.'
What is the point of telling the details? They are useless. Details are useless as far as intuition is concerned because intuition is never a repetition. Details are meaningful as far as logic is concerned. So, logical people go on into minute details so that if the same situation happens again they will be in control and they will know what to do.
But in the life of a burglar the same situation never happens again. And in real life also the same situation never happens again. If you have conclusions in your mind you will become almost dead, you will not be responding. In life, response is needed, not reaction: you have to act out of nowhere, with no conclusions inside. With no center you have to act - you have to act into the unknown from the unknown.
And this is what Goso Hoyen used to say when people asked him what Zen is like. This story he would tell.
Zen is exactly like burglary: it is an art, it is not a science; it is feminine, it is not male; it is not aggressive, it is receptive; it is not a well-planned methodology; it is a spontaneity.
It has nothing to do with theories, hypotheses, doctrines, scriptures; it has something to do with only one thing - that is, awareness.
What happened in that moment when the boy was inside the chest? In such a danger you cannot be sleepy, in such a danger your consciousness becomes very sharp, has to. Life is at stake, you are totally awake - that's how one should be totally awake each moment.
And when you are totally awake, this shift happens: from the left hemisphere the energy moves to the right hemisphere. Whenever you are alert, you become intuitive; flashes come to you, flashes from the unknown, out of the blue. You may not follow them - then you will miss much.
In fact all the great discoveries in science come from the right hemisphere also, not from the left. You must have heard about Madam Curie, the only woman who got a Nobel Prize. She had been working hard for three years on a certain mathematical problem but could not solve it. She worked hard. argued from this way and that, but there was no way.
One night. tired. exhausted. she fell asleep - and while she was falling asleep then too she was trying to solve the problem. In the night she awoke. walked, wrote the answer on some paper. came back. and went to sleep. In the morning she found the answer there on the table but she could not believe who had done it. Nobody could do it! The servant - you could not expect him to do it; he did not know anything about mathematics. She remembered well that last night she had tried her best and could not do it. What had happened? Then she tried to remember - because the handwriting was hers. She tried to remember...and then a faint remembrance came: as if in a dream she had walked to the table and written.
From where had this answer come? It could not be from the left hemisphere. the left had been working hard for three years. And there was no process on the paper, just the conclusion. If it had come from the left there would have been a process, it goes step by step. But this was like a flash - the same kind of flash that had happened to the boy in the chest. The left hemisphere, tired, exhausted, helpless, sought the help of the right hemisphere.
Whenever you are in such a corner that your logic fails, don't be desperate, don't become hopeless. Those moments may prove the greatest blessings in your life: those are the moments that the left allows the right to have its way. Then the feminine part, the receptive part. gives you an idea. If you follow it. many doors will be opened. But it is possible you may miss it; you may say. 'What nonsense!'
This boy could have missed. The idea is not very normal, regular, logical. Make a noise like a cat? For what? He could have asked, 'Why? and then he would have missed. But he could not ask because the situation was such that there was no other way. So he thought, 'Let us try. What is wrong in it?' He used the clue.
The father was right. He said, 'Don't go into details. they are not important. You are back home, you have learned the art.'
The whole art is how to function from the feminine part of the mind. because the feminine is joined with the Whole and the male is not joined with the Whole. The male is aggressive, the male is constantly in struggle - the feminine is constantly in surrender, in deep trust. Hence the feminine body is so beautiful, so round. There is a deep trust and a deep harmony with nature. A woman lives in deep surrender - a man is constantly fighting, angry, doing this and that, trying to prove something, trying to reach somewhere. A woman is happy, not trying to reach anywhere. Ask women if they would like to go to the moon. They will simply be amazed. For what? What is the point? Why take such trouble? The home is perfectly good. The woman is not interested in what is happening in Vietnam and what is happening in Korea and what is happening in Israel She is at the most interested in what is happening in the neighborhood, at the most interested in who has fallen in love with whom, who has escaped with whom... in gossips not in politics. She is more interested in the immediate, here now, and that gives her a harmony, a grace. Man is constantly trying to prove something. and if you want to prove of course you have to fight and compete and accumulate.
Once a woman tried to get Dr. Johnson to talk with her but he seemed to take very little notice of her.
'Why, Doctor,' she said archly, 'I believe you prefer the company of men to that of women.'
'Madam,' replied Johnson, 'I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.'
Man has been forcing woman to be silent, not only outside, inside also - forcing the feminine part to keep quiet. Just watch within you. If the feminine part says something you immediately jump upon it and you say, 'Logical? Absurd!' People come to me and they say. 'The heart says we would like to become SANNYASINS but the head says no...'
Dr. Johnson, trying to keep the woman silent. The heart is feminine.
You miss much in your life because the head goes on talking; it does not allow. And the only quality in the head is that it is more articulate, cunning, dangerous, violent. Because of its violence it has become the leader inside, and that inside leadership has become an outside leadership for man. Man has dominated women in the outside world also; the grace is dominated by violence.
I was invited to a school for a certain function. There was a rally of school-children and in the rally the procession had been arranged according to height - from the shortest up to the tallest. But the pattern was broken, I noticed, by the first boy heading the procession. He was a gangling youth who looked a head taller than the rest. 'Why is he at the front?'
I asked a young girl, 'Is he the leader of the school, the captain, or something like that?'
'No,' she whispered, 'he pinches.'
The male mind goes on pinching, creating trouble. Trouble-makers become leaders. In the schools, all wise teachers choose the greatest trouble-makers as captains of the classes and the schools - the trouble-makers. the criminals. Once they are in a powerful post their whole energy for trouble-making becomes helpful for the teacher. They start creating discipline - the same ones.
Just watch the politicians in the world: when one party is in power the opposite party goes on creating trouble in the country. They are the law-breakers, the revolutionaries.
And the party which is in power goes on creating discipline. Once they are thrown out of power, they will create trouble. and once the opposite party comes into power they become the guardians of discipline.
They are all trouble-makers.
The male mind is a trouble-making phenomenon - hence it overpowers. it dominates.
But deep down. although you may attain power, you miss life - and deep down, the feminine mind continues. Unless you fall back to the feminine and you surrender. unless your resistance and struggle become surrender. you will not know what real life, and the celebration of it, is.
I have heard one anecdote.
An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel prize-winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen, and was amazed to find that over his desk was a horseshoe, securely nailed to the wall with the open end up in the approved manner so it would catch the good luck and not let it spill out.
The American said with a nervous laugh, 'Surely you don't believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck, do you, Professor Bohr? After all, as a level-headed scientist....'
Bohr chuckled, 'I believe in no such thing, my good friend, not at all. I am scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense. However, I am told that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not.'
Look a little deeper, and just underneath your logic you will find fresh waters of intuition, fresh waters of trust, flowing.
Yoga is a way to use reason to reach God - of course very difficult, and the longest path.
If you follow Patanjali you are trying to do that which can happen without doing; you are trying hard to do something. You are trying to pull yourself by shoe-strings - to pull yourself up.
Zen is the way of the spontaneous - the effortless effort, the way of intuition.
A Zen Master, Ikkyu, a great poet, has said: I can see clouds a thousand miles away, hear ancient music in the pines.
This is what Zen is all about. You cannot see clouds a thousand miles away with the logical mind. The logical mind is like glass, too dirty, too covered with the dust of ideas, theories, doctrines. But you can see clouds a thousand miles away with the pure glass of intuition, with no thoughts - just pure awareness. The mirror is clean and the clarity supreme.
You cannot hear ancient music in the pines with the ordinary logical mind. How can you hear the ancient music? Music once gone is gone forever.
But I tell you, Ikkyu is right. You can hear ancient music in the pines - I have heard it - but a shift, a total change, a change of gestalt, is needed. Then you can see Buddha preaching again and you can hear Buddha speaking again. You can hear the ancient music in the pines because it is eternal music, it is never lost. You have lost the capacity to hear it. The music is eternal; once you regain your capacity, suddenly it is there again.
It has always been there, only you were not there. Be here now and you can also see clouds a thousand miles away, and hear ancient music in the pines.
Change more and more towards the right hemisphere, become more and more feminine, more and more loving, surrendering, trusting, more and more closer to the Whole. Don't try to be an island - become part of the continent.

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