A debate raged among the disciples as to which was the most difficult task of all: To write down what God revealed as Scripture, to understand what God had revealed in Scripture or to explain Scripture to others after one had understood it.
Said the Master, when asked his opinion "I know of a more difficult task than any of those three."
"What is it?"
"Trying to get you blockheads to see reality as it is."
"There are three stages in ones spiritual development" said the Master. "The carnal, the spiritual and the divine."
"What is the carnal stage?" asked the eager disciples.
"That's the stage when trees are seen as trees and mountains as mountains."
"And the spiritual?"
"That's when one looks more deeply into thigs - then trees are no longer trees and mountains no longer mountains."
"And the divine?"
"Ah, that's Enlightenment" said the Master with a chuckle, "when trees become trees again and mountains, mountains."
The Master had no use at all for scholarly discourses. He called them "pearls of wisdom."
"But if they are pearls, why do you scorn them?" said the disciples.
"Have you ever known pearls to grow when planted in a field?" was the reply.
"Of what use is your learning and your devotions? Does a donkey become wise through living in a library or a mouse acquire holiness from living in a church?"
"What is it, then, we need?"
"How does one get that?"
The Master would not say. What could he say that they wouldn't turn into a subject to be learned or an object of devotion?
"Is the path to Enlightenment difficult or easy?"
"It is neither."
"Because it isn't there."
"Then how does one travel to the goal?"
"One doesn't. This is a journey without distance. Stop traveling and you arrive."
The following day the Master said, "It is, alas, easier to travel than to stop."
The disciples demanded to know why.
"Because as long as you travel to a goal, you can hold on to a dream. When you stop, you face reality."
"How shall we ever change if we have no goals or dreams?" asked the mystified disciples.
"Change that is real is change that is not willed. Face reality and unwilled change will happen."
"Where can I find God?"
"He's right in front of you."
"Then why do I fail to see him?"
"Why does the drunkard fail to see his home?"
Later the Master said, "Find out what it is that makes you drunk. To see you must be sober."
The Master set out on a journey with one of his disciples. At the outskirts of the village they ran into the governor, who mistakenly thinking they had come to welcome him to the village, said "You really didn't have to go to all this trouble to welcome me."
"You are mistaken, your highness" said the disciple. "We're on a journey, but had known you were coming we would have gone to even greater pains to welcome you."
The Master did not say a word. Toward evening he said "Did you have to tell him that we had not come to welcome him? Did you see how foolish he felt?"
"But had we not told him the truth, would we not have been guilty of deceiving him?"
"We would not have deceived him at all," said the Master "He would have deceived himself."