So, this morning was explaining the problem of the relation of the individual to the world, discussing it very largely in the terms of twentieth century science. And showing that there was a wide discrepancy between the organism-environment relationship as described in science and the subjective feeling of what it is to be an individual human being. And that the ordinary sensation we have of being an individual ego, confronting an alien and external world is a hallucination. And a dangerous hallucination because it leads to our using technology in a way that is antagonistic to the outside world and results in our destroying the very features of the world upon which we depend for our lives. We are polluting the world. And so it becomes necessary to find ways in which we can change the basic sensation of existence. And that therefore brings in some rather outlandish subjects. Because there is not within the tradition of Western culture any well known way of doing this. What do we have available? Well we have religion. Which is supposed in some respects to be capable of this. And we have psychiatry. I don’t know what else. Religion in the West is a peculiarly problematic thing. Because it’s extremely talkative. It gives us a great deal of advice, many commandments, but it doesn’t really tell us how to do what it tells us to do. It has been carefully worked over and statisticians of checked it. That way if you go through the sermon topics throughout the United States, that the vast majority of them are exaltations to goodness. That is to say, they are sermons about moral behavior. Usually within a rather restricted sphere of moral behavior. When we say of a certain person that he is living in sin, what do we mean by that? We would very rarely say of a crooked bookie that he is living in sin. You are much more liabel to say it of somebody who’s got an irregular sexual relationship. Well the fact of the matter is that, with some exceptions, the Christian churches and the Jewish synagogues are family and sexual regulation societies. And precious little else. We used to have, when I was school, a preacher who, came I don’t know who he was aware he came from, but he came once a year. And he always preached a sermon, which had in it the refrain: “drink gambling and immorality!” Immorality only meant one thing. So. But the point is that the emphasis of preaching… Protestants, you see, when they go to church, mostly go to a preaching session. Catholics receive sacraments, Protestants do occasionally. But Catholics, when you get through the sacrament and you listen to what the priest has to say, he’s usually raising money. And, you know, or saying something like: “This year it’ll be a mortal sin not to send your child to church school.” Things of this kind. So everybody knows that they ought to be good and unselfish and so on. We all recognize that as a highly reasonable idea, but nobody feels like it. Because if you feel that you are a separate ego, it must necessarily follow that your conduct is egocentric. And egotistic. There’s no other way about it. If you feel that you don’t love someone then no amount of pretense can make you love them. You cannot possibly love anyone out of a sense of duty. And if you do: Watch out! You’ll start hating them. They’ll start hating you in a secret and concealed way.
The relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children are absolutely haunted with fake love. It stirs up resentment and it leads people to expect things of you which you’re never going to come through with. If I say, out of feeling, that I really have a solemn duty to love so-and- so and therefore, in the attempt to trap myself into the fulfillment of this duty, I make rash promises, and I’m not going to fulfill them and the person is going to be terribly let down when I don’t. So it’s as if anything is a sin, it is emotional dishonesty. Saying I love you when I don’t. Well of course your mother always told you: we all have to do certain things we don’t feel like doing. Maybe. But let’s make no bones about it. When somebody says to me: would you like to go out and to the market and bring it back so-and-so, I will answer: No I wouldn’t but I will. And we need that sort of exchange between each other. Because we put children in awful positions with faking up their feelings for them by telling a child who simply enraged and mad that he’s tired. Of by saying, you know, “what nice boy would like to clean the blackboard?” All this sort of thing you see leads to emotional dishonesty. So the problem then is this. That, when people preach moral behavior, and then out of a sense of guilt or out of a sense of fear, people try to be good, that is to say to do those things that are preached, all it does is it turns them into hypocrites. Preaching is a hypocrisy creating institution in that sense because it does not transform the consciousness of the individual. If, by any chance, consciousness could be so transformed that one is no longer felt as a separate ego, then you would not have to be so egotistic. If there is a way, in other words, of generating love within human beings as a kind of constant attitude to the environment, that is going to be far more effective in bringing about unselfish behavior than anything else. That’s our problem, you see, to do just that. And no amount of talk is going to do it. Because it depends on something more happening than merely understanding words. Or even seeing the theoretical reasonableness of certain lines of conduct. We need a bomb under us, rather than intellectual persuasion. But church religion as we know it in the West doesn’t provide the bomb. It’s very demure, decorous. Except a negro revivals. Or Pentecostal outbursts. But no person of education and taste would attend such things. Bishop Pike was telling me the other day a very funny story which was that he’s run into an awful lot of trouble with the trustees when he was bishop of California because he espoused some rather controversial causes and they began cutting down their contributions to the cathedral. But then they started to realize that if they did that have nowhere for their daughters to be married. Because they couldn’t possibly go to the Methodist Church or the Pentecostal church. Because that with unbelievably low class. She either has to go to the Episcopal or the Presbyterian Church. Or you might be a Roman Catholic, which is the sort of a different thing, it’s sort of an Italian church. Or go to the synagogue. But the problem, you see, is therefore: Our churches are awfully nice and demure, but they’re talking shops. So much so that when in any ordinary church service there’s a moment of silence, it’s invariably an awkward silence, unless it’s a Quaker meeting. And so what happens is organists have a technique of what they call inkling.They improvise on the theme of the last hymn that was sung while there’s a silence in which the Minister has forgotten his notes or there was some hitch in the ritual. And also, you see, when you look at the design of a church. It’s perfectly clear that a Protestant church is a courtroom. It has in it boxes that are like witness boxes and jury boxes, pews, and the minister wears the same robe as a judge. Exactly the same robe. And everybody goes there and they look at the back of each other’s necks and they smell of mothballs. Well that’s no scene for anything to happen. You know, we’re just not with it.
So it is a result of this sort of spiritual starvation, that enormous numbers of people, and now phenomenal numbers of young people, have become interested in having a religious expression of some completely different kind. But why is it that things that we have had that were in their own way exuberant, like holy rollers and Moral Re-armament, Foursquare gospel, Salvation Army hymn sings. All that seems awfully irrelevant, especially to the young of today. Why is it that, if you go to most people who have had a college education and say to them: Have you made Jesus Christ your personal savior? That they cringe. That that’s somehow like making an indecent remark. Has the same sort of ill effect. Why is it that such phrases as “our heavenly Father”, “our Lord Jesus Christ”, “our very dear Lord”, all these expressions give people the heebie-jeebies. Why does that happen? What does it do? I’m an experience one, I know all about it. I was a university chaplain. And I know all the problems in trying to communicate with intelligent college people. And more and more of us are just that. Face it, the university is a turning out thousands and thousands and thousands of children. It’s getting worse all the time. Well, go to Japan. And you’ll find that the young Japanese have just the same feelings about Buddhism. You ask a young Japanese today: What’s your religion? And he will say: my parents are Bhuddists. Or even: My parents are Christian. He has none. Because to him, the activity of religion is completely meaningless. And he knows nothing about it at all. The average young Japanese today knows less about Buddhism than a young American knows about Christianity. To them it’s just mumbo jumbo. It’s an old fuddy duddy priest who their parents get together with under the superstition that if they pay the priest to recite a Sutra, something nice will happen to a dead ancestor. And the Priest will go: yoooyoooyoooyooo- Nobody knows what it means and that’s it so far as the young are concerned. They see no glamour in it such as we see. Because to us, mysterious priests chanting in incense filled temples with dimly lit idols and things glimmering there, and all their robes and smell of the incense suggests magic and mystery and something way way out. Well now, a lot of people would say, well that’s a lot of nonsense. That’s just romanticism, that’s just being beguiled by a dream about another culture that doesn’t exist. But that’s not altogether true. Because different cultures have always borrowed from each other. Always. There is no such thing as a sort of a simon-pure culture unless a people lived in total geographical isolation for several centuries. The Chinese borrowed from the Indians, the Japanese borrowed from the Chinese. The French borrowed from the Romans, the British and the Russians and everybody else borrowed from the French, and so it goes all the way around. Because we are always fascinated by the exotic. And the reason is that the exotics way of doing something shows us another approach to it than we had hitherto imagined. Just as in reverse. When we see Christianity as a Hindu sees it or as a Japanese like Kagawa sees it, we get rather a shock: There’s a new way of looking at it. To locate the position of any object, you triangulate it. You look at it from two positions. And therefore, this triangulation in religion is a very good idea. Because the unfamiliarity of the other point of view will somehow revive things you never saw on your own.
But there’s another thing to this that’s tremendously important. Rather difficult to explain. One of the things that is oppressive about our own standard brand religions is their lack of humor. And also, I would say, their lack of a kind of glee. And glee and humor have to go together. Because you can get religious glee in a big hymn sing, you know, but it’s often without humor. To understand a religion really well, you must be able to make jokes about it. And this is a kind of criterion which distinguishes the men from the boys. If you cannot joke about your own religion, you’re very insecure in it. But what religions joke about themselves? Occasionally, a Catholic like G.K. Chesterton will be very funny indeed about Catholicism, but this is quite rare. Hindus very rarely joke about Hinduism. The people who do joke about their religion are from China. And they are Taoists and Zen Buddhists. If you want to get the original joke book on religion, it is by a certain man by the name of Zhuangzi, or Zhuang Zhou. Who wrote probably about 350 A.D. in the tradition of Lao-Tze and the Tao Te Ching. Zhuangzi elaborated the doctrine, but his whole work is full of the most marvelous anecdotes in which one of his pedagogical devices is to make caricatures of his own point of view. For example he has a great deal to say about the value of the useless. That everybody who is aspiring to be useful will probably get eaten up. Because, after all, it’s the healthy pigs that we take for food. So he has a parable about an exceedingly deformed hunchback. And he says this man was really skillful in his life because whenever the conscript officers came around they rejected him immediately but whenever the social service workers came around he was the first to get a hand out of food. And he describes a colossal tree that some travelers came across on a journey. And they said that must be the most remarkable tree and they went up to it and they found that its wood was all full of pith. And that the branches wouldn’t even do has bean poles because they were all scraggly. That the leaves were rough and inedible and that the fruit was exceedingly bitter. So nobody wanted to eat this tree, as a result of which it good with enormous size. And then he gave such illustrations as this: When a drunken man falls out of a cart, though he may suffer he does not die. Because his spirit is in a condition of security and he does not suffer from contact with objective existences. If such security may be obtained from wine how much more from the Tao, from being, you know, with it. He means this kind of relaxed, going-along with the course of nature. But you see, he exaggerates all the time. He makes these impossible illustrations. And there is always a very gentle humor in this. Now, you see, Zen comes from China and it is the result of a fusion of Buddhism without Taoism. Indian Buddhism arriving in China in this kind of style, oh, a little after 400 A.D., and then picking up a Taoist atmosphere. So. Humor, of course, is essentially laughter at oneself. Humor is really not taking yourself seriously. And therefore, naturally, as your religion is something very close to your heart, you mustn’t take your religion seriously either. And so the zen masters have invariably depicted themselves in a humorous way. When you look at the drawings they did of themselves and even of Buddha they’re all oafs and clowns and balloons. You know that marvelous character Hotei who is the fat Buddha. He’s not exactly- he shouldn’t be called the fat Buddah. He’s really a Zen tramp. With this terrific belly. And he carries around a big bag, and that bag is full of trash. It’s all odds and ends which nobody else thought were important. But Hotei is like a child, he has no prejudice about things and anything might be important. And so he picks up old rags, bottles, bottle tops, discarded notebooks, all kinds of fascinating things. Don’t you remember, as a child, how fascinating they were? And he puts them in this bag and it gives them away to children. And he is regarded with great respect in Zen. But he’s not taken seriously. Now what do I mean? There is a difference between being serious and being sincere. And. G.K. Chesterton, to go back to him, once said that in frivolity there is a lightness which can rise. But in seriousness is a gravity that falls, like a stone. And thus the angels fly because they take themselves lightly. So this is true of the of the Zen people. They take themselves lightly.
They say for example, of the teachings of Buddha: All the troubles in this world started when old golden face stuck out is three inches of iron. That means his tongue. Old golden face is Buddha. And of course, when you see Buddhist images of Buddha, they’re gold, so old golden face. And if he has a tongue, it’s an iron tongue. As if to say, Buddhism, the doctrine, this method- isn’t serious. As a matter of fact, why do the troubles begin when the teaching begins? Why, for the simple reason, that, when you attempt to get yourself out of the difficulties caused by your own ego, you’re on the wrong track. As we say: “anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”- and you see the many levels of meaning in that statement.- So they would say that the study of Zen is like putting legs on a snake. Or a beard on a eunuch. It is somehow, well we would say: “gilding the lily”, is doing something unnecessary and by doing it making a mess of everything. Because, you know, lilies are not very happy when gilded. Snakes find legs inconvenient. So this is the the humor in the whole thing. That, when you catch yourself doing something such as looking all over the house for the spectacles you’re wearing, there’s nothing, when you find out what you done, but to laugh. And so in the same way when you are trying to get liberated, get yourself liberated from an ego which never existed in the first place. When you discover that that’s the case, there’s nothing for you to do but laugh at yourself. And the whole of Zen is based on this. Zen, you see, traps you, cunningly enough, into going through a great discipline. And boy, it’s not a case of somebody coming out and telling you: you come here and this discipline is good for you and you better crowd in around here and I’ll take it. No, if you apply for admission to Zen school you’ll get thrown out immediately. They don’t want you. So you have to force your way in. You really have to lay your head on the block and say: I am in trouble. I firmly desire, I sincerely intend, I will curse and swear that I do indeed want to become a Buddha before anything else in the world. And unless you make that much fuss about it they will not let you in. And then what they do is, they fix you up with the funniest problems. There are two that I might illustrate this with. One is that you have to show the teacher who you really are. Not who you have been brought up to be. But who you are originally, before your father and mother conceived you. That is to say you must perform a completely sincere and spontaneous act. Or they will ask you to hear the sound of one hand. You know there’s a Chinese proverb which says one hand doesn’t make a clap. So what is the sound of one. You know those rascals, what they get away with. It but they get away with it, you see, just as along as a someone ready to be fooled. Just so long as you will allow yourself to be put down into pretending that you’re just poor little me and that you’re this little separate ego, that has all these problems and is disconnected and it isn’t, after all, the whole universe. And as long as you feel in that way, some smart old Master can put you down and can trap you up by persuading you in some way or other that you haven’t made it. And you’ve got to make it, you’ve got to attain that thing, you see? That’s your egotism. So, they go through all this and it’s just like someone being put in a squirrel cage. Or set to chasing his own tail. Or trying to catch his own shadow. But under the supervision of a teacher who knows just exactly what’s going on. The teacher himself has been through it. And he’s not like the other kind of teacher who is still a student and who is urging his students to keep on the rat race because he’s still on it. Finally, it dawns. You see, when you when you persistently do something absurd, eventually you will have to see it. As Blake says: a fool who persists in his folly will become wise. But if you’re really consistent about it, if you really go for that foolishness, then you will suddenly realize that you have made yourself absolutely absurd. Then there is nothing to do but laugh. And as for the teacher who traps you into this- you are very very grateful to him, but you see that after all he is a big hoax. Because here he is in his robes and in his dignity and he is just an old rice bag who tricked you into this. As Rinzai himself put it, one of the great Chinese and masters, it is like using a closed fist to deceive a child. His method of teaching is like that, you know, when you got a child and you got a closed fist, and you say: “What have I got here?” And the child’s full of excitement, says: “Show me!” And you say: “Uh-uh, you gotta guess. What have I got here?”. “Show me!” The child tries to pry our hand open and you hide it in every way in the child gets more and more fascinated and finally in the end: phuit. Nothing. Well it’s all like that. Because, you see, taken another way: what are you holding on to? What are you protecting? What are you anxious about? What is it that you don’t want to lose? And you discover eventually, that all you’re defending is defensiveness. You know, you started defending something, you build up a wall, then you got worried about whether the wall would stand up so you build another wall around it. You build another one around that and really it’s a sort of onion system in which there’s no center. So we are defending our defenses. And when that is exposed and that’s, you see, all you’re doing, and there wasn’t anything to defend in the first place, nor was there anything to be attained that you didn’t already have. But you can’t find this out by being told because you wouldn’t believe it. You can only find it out by carrying your supposed predicament to its logical conclusion. So then, we take the ego. Now, how on earth are we to show that the ego is an abstraction to someone who firmly believes that that’s himself. Well the only thing to do is to challenge it. So when the problem is put before a Zen novice: be sincere, show me your true self. He works like anything at it. But the circumstances under which this occurs are such as to make it practically impossible for him to do it. If you understand this, supposing you’ll go and confront the teacher. And you go through some kind of formal salutation like a ritual and then at a certain minute you have to do something completely spontaneous and unpremeditated. How can you do that because here is the teacher sitting looking at you like this. Waiting for you to do it. Show me you. And he’s looking right at you. And you think, Uh-oh, he sees right through me. And any kind of little guilt you have or any kind of thing like that, you feel that he’s looking right at it. And just like a very skillful swordsman, if you think before you thrust he’s caught you, because he’s caught you thinking. You have to thrust before you think. Then you won’t,- then you’ll surprise it. But the moment is a little waiver of a, of intention, before the act- it’s too late. He’s read it, read your mind. So you mustn’t have any thoughts and then he won’t read your mind. It’s like when you want to go on the wagon. For goodness sake don’t make a resolution. “I’m going on the wagon this year.” Because then you published to the devil your intention. Never let him know. See? The same way if you’re Lao-Tsi this is a story that Zhuangzi invented and has a certain typical humor to it. Lao-Tsi is supposed to have had a discussion with Confucius on the nature of love and benevolence. And when Confucius has given forth several pomposities as about this, Lao-Tsi is alleged to have said to him: What stuff! Surely your getting rid of self is a positive manifestation of self. You are like people beating drums in search of a fugitive. Or we would say, the police driving off to raid a night club with their sirens on. That announces that they’re coming. So in order to surprise yourself you mustm’t know what you’re going to do. Now how can you do that is the paradox which the Hindus express by saying “if you think of a monkey while you’re taking medicine the medicine won’t work, therefore try not to think of a monkey while taking medicine”.
So. How are you going to surprise yourself? See, we got back to that thing we were talking about this morning, that button with the word surprise on it. And if you’re God, you know what the surprise is, how can you not? The problem for God, as well as for us: How do you surprise yourself? Because that’s what you’ve got to do. If you’re going to be spontaneous, you see, your action has to be a surprise to you, like having hiccups. But how are you going to arrange for yourself to do something surprising? So you really work at that. And you work and you work and you work and the teacher rejects all your efforts. Even some of your fairly good efforts get rejected. Because he’s building up with you a fabulous frustration. He’s making you feel that this task is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To discourage you in every possible way. And yet, at the same time, lead you on by saying, “Well you’ve got to work at it. In the past there were all those famous students who went before and they sweated blood to find this out. They were ready to give their lives to hear the sound of one hand. You can’t expect to get anywhere near them unless you redouble your efforts.” You see this is the come on. The sales pitch. Though finally you get to a point where you understand and see perfectly clearly that there’s nothing you can do about it. Nothing at all. But there, where are you? Because as if there’s nothing you can do about it, then nothing’s going to happen. You mean you’re going to sit around and wait for the grace of God> Maybe it will get you one day and you say, well I’ll just go along and do my daily work. It’s nothing I can do. And if you indicate to the teacher that that is your attitude, he’s got another curve to throw at you. Which is that this giving up is still a contrivance. You’re still doing something. So there’s nothing in it- so far as the transformation of the ego is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. Also there’s nothing you cannot do about it. You find you cannot abandon this quest once it’s excited you and just go off and be an ordinary Philistine type person. Because if you do that, that too will be phony. So you’re left in this frantic dilemma: there’s nothing I can do and there’s nothing I cannot do. But you see, you eventually get to the meaning of that situation: What does it mean that I’m in this situation? It means that the I, which I thought I was, since it can neither do anything nor not do anything, then it doesn’t exist. You realize it for the abstraction that it is. That’s the practical experiment. It’s very frustrating. And why is it frustrating? You made it frustrating by swallowing the teacher’s advice, which he knew you would fall for. And you were trying to do what the preachers tell you. To make yourself unselfish by either an active course or a passive course, and neither of them work because they’re both redundant. There is no real self, no real ego. And then of course, when that’s found out, everybody has a good laugh. So that is a kind of a spirit in spirituality and religion which is really rather rare. So. I think this is the feature of Zen which is attractive to most Westerners. On the one hand, it’s extreme directness. And on the other, it’s human. So it’s very difficult, although a few people have achieved it, to be Zen and to be stuffy. Because it is essentially an un-stuffing process. A way of getting rid of. I think we have in our contemporary American slang some very wonderful words, such as hang up. Almost exact translation of what Buddhist mean by a Klesha, or worldly attachment. See when you talk about worldly attachments to Christians, they think it means enjoying your food and liking sex and having a beautiful car or something like that. That’s what they call worldly attachments. Now in Buddhism all those things could be worldly attachments, or Klesha, but aren’t necessarily so. It depends if you’re hung up on it. And to be hung up means to be in a dither. In a state where you hesitate, not knowing should I go this way or that way. See that’s a hang up. And so, the the tactics of a Zen teacher are to put all his students constantly into hang-up situations. To challenge them by such a procedure as this: you’re in a conversation, you’ve just been introduced to the teacher and he says, “how you do? Where have you come from?” “Oh, I came from Tokyo.”, “And where did you go to school?”, “Well I was at the University of Tokyo for a while.”, “Why is my hand so much like the Buddha’s hand?” Dead silence. See, he suddenly slips into this question, which nonpluses the student. Now the art of nonplusing is part of the whole technique of the teacher. And your problem is to get out of being non-plussed. And to be able to do that, you have to be able to act without ego. That is to say, without choice, without deliberation. How to act without deliberation is to all right-thinking people a very foolish thing to do. We say “look before you leap”, but we also say “he who hesitates is lost”. Now you see, what we’re getting down to here, really seriously, is that the Zen method is a way of teaching people to get with themselves in the larger sense of self and the ego. That is, shall I say, to have faith in yourself in that larger sense. If your brain and your nervous system is a most fabulous computer, which you had no hand whatever in constructing from the standpoint of conscious ego, but it is you- you should certainly learn to trust it. But we were all brought up not to trust yourself. And therefore, for us, brought up in that way, it’s a very dangerous thing to trust yourself to rashly. And therefore, to learn how to do it, we have to learn in protected circumstances. So the Zen school provides protected circumstances in which we can behave in unexpected ways, or we can try out a spontaneous behavior. Everybody around there understands that some very odd things may happen, but just because this is understood, there’s no problem about them. So. All those Zen stories that we read and laugh over, because they seems so idiotic, are stories is in which the teacher hangs up the student and the student does or doesn’t get out of the hang up. If you can come on with that sort of instant but not hurried response to the challenge, that means his psychic energy is flowing unobstructedly. The whirlpool is just working beautifully and the energy is just flowing right through it. But on the other hand, if he’s hung up it means he’s in a state of insecurity. He’s afraid that if he doesn’t choose the right response to the situation, he may be in serious danger. Danger, maybe, of disapproval by the teacher or of actually risking his life in some way, or, you know as they say, “saying the wrong thing”. But the secret is, of course, to respond instantly in some way. If he says, why is my hand so much like the Buddha’s hand, you might slap it. Or you might just shake hands with it. Or you might put a penny in this palm. Or you might spit on it. I you might kiss it. But immediately. That’s the answer. Now sometimes he will feel that you’re not really skillful at this, that your spontaneous answer is inappropriate. Or that it’s a contrived spontaneous answer. You get to the point where you can detect the spirit in which it’s done very easily, all sorts of cues give it to you. And therefore he rejects it. Try again. Because you cannot give that sort of answer until you come to the point that you get to when you learn to ride a bicycle. You remember when you try to learn to ride a bicycle you get to the point where you know that you’re going to be the one damn stupid child who will never learn to ride a bicycle. And at that minute, suddenly, you find: It’s doing it. It was the same with learning to swim. All those knacks are just like the study of Zen. So you will, in the study of Zen, get to the point where you know you’re going to get one eternally stupid student who never never will get through that Koan. That’s a Zen problem, in Japanese, Koan. Like, “What is the sound of one hand?”, that’s a Koan. And out of that intense frustration there occurs the transforming experience, because it is that intense frustration that reveals to you in an undeniable, immediate, sensuous way, the frustration of discovering that what you thought you were all along isn’t really there at all. Do you remember that I described that state in which you discover that your actions are the actions of the environment, and what the environment is doing is what you are doing, and that both of these are true because it’s all one process? And when you’re so used to thinking about it the other way, and you get into a feeling of it being that way- it’s frustrating. It’s like the experience of talking into a microphone and then hearing your own voice a split second later. And you start doing this and this thing starts talking and then suddenly you find yourself waiting for it to go on. Very frustrating. But of course, it’s you who’s got to go on talking. It won’t do, it won’t work without you doing it. Although it sounds like it’s coming from somewhere else. Well it’s just like that, this feeling I’m describing. So you think. This is why a lot of people get into trouble with psychedelic chemicals. They get into this state. And when they suddenly find that it’s all one process they begin to worry- now who’s responsible? Am I responsible for my acts? But I’m not doing them. Is It responsible, so that I can say “well it wasn’t my fault.”? And then you suddenly see that you can’t divide it from you. But since you don’t feel in the ordinary old way, you feel that “How do I know that I’ll still speak the English language or will remember how to do it ten seconds from now?” Because if it all depends on something that’s not on the my control, I don’t know that it will remember English. Or might I commit a murder? Supposing I suddenly commit a murder. How can I trust myself not to commit a murder? Because there’s no one in charge. But you find that it’s really perfectly easy to go ahead and remember what English is and to act in an absolutely to civilized way. But when people don’t see that, they get panicky. And panic in this state just builds up and builds up and builds up and builds up into the most appalling vicious circles. But, on the other hand, if you get into this new situation and just go ahead, you find it works beautifully. And that is why the Zen poet speaks of drawing water and carrying fuel as a miraculous activity. “I walk on foot and yet I’m riding on the back of an Ox. Empty handed and yet a spade is in my hand. When I cross the bridge, the bridge flows and the waters still.” That’s the feeling. See: “Empty handed I go, and yet a spade is in my hand.” How would you know your hand was empty unless you’ve seen it with a spade in it? If you’ve always seen a spade in a hand, you would think the spade was an extension of the hand like a finger. So in order to know what empty-handedness means, you must know what full-handedness means. Therefore the spade in the hand makes possible the realisation of an empty hand, and vice versa. So in the same way the Realization of something other makes possible the realisation of what you call you. So you can’t know what you mean by you unless that is the experience of the other. Then you suddenly see, therefore, self and other and all that that implies, what you will and what you don’t will, what you want and what you don’t want- these are all going together. Like this. So it’s like when you’re driving a car. When you move the steering wheel are you pushing it or pulling it? Let not your left hand know what your right hand doeth. You are, of course, pull-pushing it. So the same thing happens in this state of consciousness. What you ordinarily felt was pushing the world around, was it pulling you. What you ordinary felt as though the world pushing you around, is you pulling it. Only you always suppress one side of the awareness. So. Zen practice leads to bringing about that awareness of polarity between the organism in the environment. But getting around the problem, the false problem of “how do I get rid of myself?” “How do I transform myself?”, when the I which I believe myself to be has no part of transform anything because it’s a social convention and an abstraction.