I was cleaning out my bookcase to hopefully “let go” of some of my books for our upcoming move when I came across a book I had read years ago and took it as a sign to look through it again. The book is titled: “If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him!” by Sheldon B. Kopp. The book is subtitled, “The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients.”
A couple paragraphs summarize the book: “The Zen way to see the truth is through your everyday eyes. It is only the heartless questioning of life-as-it-is that ties a man in knots. A man does not need an answer in order to find peace. He needs only to surrender to his existence, to cease the needless, empty questioning. The secret of enlightenment is when you are hungry, eat; and when you are tired, sleep.”
“The Zen Master warns: ‘If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!’ This admonition points up that no meaning that comes from outside of ourselves is real. The Buddhahood of each of us has already been obtained. We need only recognize it. Philosophy, religion, patriotism, all are empty idols. The only meaning in our lives is what we each bring to them. Killing Buddha on the road means destroying the hope that anything outside of ourselves can be our master. No one is any bigger than anyone else. There are no mothers or fathers for grown-ups, only sisters and brothers.”
Kopp supports the Zen teachings with the wisdom of the Yaqui sorcerer who claims that knowledge isn’t something to be sought and obtained. Instead, he advises we work on life’s challenges, such as the fear-based emotions we need to dispel. These are our natural enemies — the dangers which entangle most of us. Overcoming fear leads to clarity, which leads to the need to give up self-doubt, which leads to another lesson, and then another. In other words, every accomplishment generates a new obstacle to be overcome. The process provides the learning and spiritual growth.
To add another dimension to this thinking, the Yaqui sorcerer also advises that nothing really matters, because the importance of your experiences lies not in the experiences themselves, but in the way you choose to perceive the experience.
As we know, are many paths you can take to work through the challenges in your life, although the sorcerer would also tell you that any path is only a path and all paths are the same. They all lead nowhere. But as human beings, we’ll choose a particular path to get from here to there. One person’s path is the fundamental Christian Church, another uses meditation, another a health fanatic. My path is Divine Metaphysics.
The question to ask yourself is, “Does my path come from the heart?”
If it does, you are on the right path for you.