Not one knows how far it is
from nothingness to God.
As long as you cling to your self
you will wander right and left,
day and night, for thousands of years;
and when, after all that effort,
you finally open your eyes,
you will see your self, through inherent defects,
wandering around itself like the ox in a mill;
but, if, once freed from your self,
you finally get down to work,
this door will open to you within two minutes.
God will not be yours,
as long as you cling to soul and life:
you cannot have both this and that.
Bruise your self for months and years on end;
leave it for dead, and when you have done with it,
you will have reached eternal life.
Remain unmoved by hope and fear.
To non-existence mosque and church are one;
to a shadow, heaven and hell likewise.
For someone whose guide is love,
belief and disbelief are equally a veil,
concealing the doorway of the friend;
his very being is a veil
which hides God’s essence.
Until you throw your sword away,
you’ll not become a shield
until you lay your crown aside,
you’ll not be fit to lead.
The death of soul
is the destruction of life;
but death of life
is the soul’s salvation.
Never stand still on the path:
become non-existent; non-existent
even to the notion of becoming non-existent.
And when you have abandoned both
individuality and understanding,
this world will become that.
When the eye is pure
it sees purity.
until you see your self as a speck of dust
you cannot possibly reach that place;
self could never breathe that air,
so wend your way there without self.
Once a great enlightened master was using a fan when a philosophic monk came up to him and said, “The wind-nature – that is, windin-itself or the noumenal reality of wind – is permanently ubiquitous so that there is in the whole world no place which is not pervaded by it. If so, why are you using the fan?”
“What you know is only the theory that the wind is diffused throughout the world,” said the master.
The monk said, “What is, then, the real meaning of the wind being diffused throughout the world?”
The master just went on fanning himself.
The monk made a reverential bow.
Religion is not anything abstract. Religion is something very down-to-earth. Religion is not a philosophy but an experience. So those who go on thinking about God go on missing him. Thinking is not the way to him but the barrier, not the bridge but the wall. It is thinking that is keeping you separate.
Burn your thinking in intense thirst. When a man is lost in a desert and is thirsty, a moment comes when thirst is no more a thought in him, when he does not think about thirst, when he is simply thirst – his whole being involved in it, his every cell and fiber aflame with it. He is simply fire, he is thirst.