The Master was certainly not stickler for etiquette and good manners but there was always a natural courtesy and grace in his dealigs with others.
A young disciple was once very rude to a traffic policeman as he drove the Master home one night. In self-defense he said "I'd rather be myself and let people know exactly how I feel. Politeness is nothig but a lot of hot air."
"True enough," said the Master pleasantly, "but that's what we have in our automobile tyres and see how it eases the bumps."
Rarely was the Master so eloquent as when he warned against the bewitching power of words:
"Beware of words," he said, "The moment you look away they will take on a life of their own; they will dazzle, mesmerize, terrorize - lead you astray from the reality they represent - lead you to believe they are real."
"The world you see is not the Kingdom seen by children but a fragmented world, broken into a thousand pieces by the word… It is as if each ocean wave were seen to be distinct and separate from the body of the ocean."
"When words and thoughts are silenced the Universe blossoms forth - real and whole and one - and words become what they were always meant to be: the score - not the music, the menu - not the food - the signpost - not journey's end."
Once when the Master spoke of the hypnotic power of words someoe from the back of the room shouted "You're talking nonsense! If I say God, God, God will that make me divine? And if I say Sin, Sin, Sin will it make me evil?"
"Sit down, you bastard" said the Master
The man became so livid with rage it took him some time to recover his speech. Then he screamed a torrent of abuse at the Master.
The Master, looking contrite, said, "Pardon me, sir, I was carried away. I truly apologize for my unparadonable lapse."
The man calm down immediately.
"Well, there you have your answer: all it took was a word to give you a life and another to sedate you" said the Master.
The Governor resigned his exalted office and came to the Master demanding to be taught.
"What is it you wish me to teach you?" said the Master.
"Wisdom" was the reply.
"Ah, my friend! How gladly would I do that were it not for one major obstacle."
"Wisdom can't be taught."
"So there's nothig I can learn here."
"Wisdom can be learnt. But it can't be taught."
Some of the disciples were on an excursion high up on a snowclad mountain. Everywhere a cosmic silence prevailed. They were curious to find out if there were any sounds at night so they pressed a RECORD button on a tape recorder, let it at the entrance of their tent and went to sleep.
They got back to the monastery and replayed the tape. Not a sound; total, unsullied silence.
The Master, who was listening to the tape, broke in with: "Don't you hear it?"
The harmony of galaxies in motion" said the Master.
The disciples looked at one another in wonder.
Attachment distors our perception - this was a frequent theme of the Master's discourses.
The disciples were once entertained to a perfect example of this when they heard the Master ask a mother "How is your daughter?"
"My darling daughter! How fortunate she is! She has such a wonderful husband! He has given her a car, all the jewellery she wants, servants galore. He serves her breakfast in bed and she doesn't get up till noon. What a prince of a man!"
"And your son?"
"Oh the poor boy! What a vexen he has married! He has given a car, all the jewellery she wants and an army of servants. And she stays in bed till noon! Won't even get up to give him his breakfast!"
Everyone was talking about the religious man who lost his life in a suicide raid.
While no one in the monastery approved of the man's action, some said they admired his faith.
"Faith?" said the Master.
"Well, he had the courage of his conviction, didn't he?"
"That was fanaticism, not faith. Faith demands a greater courage still: to re-examine one's convictions and reject them if they do not fit the facts."
When the Master was a boy at school, a classmate treated him with persistent cruelty.
Now, older and contrite, he came to the monastery and was received with open arms.
One day he brought up the subject of his former curelty but the Master seemed not to recall it.
Said the visitor "Don't you remember?"
Said the Master "I distinctly remember forgetting it!" so they both melted in innocent laughter.