Just now I was thinking of a story. I don’t know who created the story or why, and I don’t agree with his conclusions either, but I still love it.
The story is simple. You may have heard it, but perhaps not understood it because it is so simple. Everybody thinks he understands simplicity. It’s a strange world. People try to understand complexity, yet they ignore simplicity thinking it’s not worth paying attention to. Perhaps you may not have paid attention to the story, but when I tell it, it is bound to come back to you.
Stories are strange creatures; they never die. They are never born either, they are as old as man; that’s why I love them. If a truth is not contained in a story, it is not a story. Then it may be philosophy, theosophy, anthroposophy; and no matter how many “sophies” there are, they are all nonsense – write nonsense, without a hyphen – pure nonsense. Because ordinarily the word is written with a hyphen, dividing “non” from “sense.” I don’t see any point in the hyphen. At least remove it from my words except when I say that Zen is non-sense, then of course the hyphen needs to be there.
I had first told this story to Masto, who must have heard it before, but not in the way I distort things, or create them.
The story is – and I am telling it to Masto – “God created the world, Masto.”
Masto said, “Great. You have always been against philosophy and religion; what happened? This is the very first enigma all religions begin with.”
I said, “Wait, before you conclude. Don’t be foolish in concluding without having heard the whole story.”
Masto said, “I know the story.”
I said, “You cannot know it.”
He looked amazed and said, “This is something. I can repeat it if you want me to.”
I said, “You can repeat it, but that does not mean that you know it. Is repetition knowing? Is the parrot repeating the sutras of Buddha, a buddha or at least a bodhisattva?”
He looked really thoughtful. I waited, but then I said, “Before you start thinking, listen to the story. What you know cannot be the same as I know, because we are not the same.
“God created the world. Naturally, the question arises, and the Vedas ask it exactly: Why did he create the world? The Vedas, in that sense, are just great. They say, ‘Perhaps even he does not know why’ – and by ‘he’ they meant God.”
And I can see the beauty of it. Perhaps it all came out of innocence, not knowledge. Perhaps he was not creating; perhaps he was just playing, like a child making houses in the sand. Do children know for whom the houses are being made? Do they know the ant who will crawl in during the night and will feel warm?