There Is Nothing Like Lust
Just as when a river comes to the ocean she must be hesitating for a moment before she loses herself into the ocean, she must be looking backwards with nostalgia: the beautiful mountains, the snow-peaked mountains, the forests, the valleys, the song of the birds, the banks, the people, the journey – the past thousands of miles. And suddenly now here comes a moment: you jump and you are lost forever. The river must be thinking: “To be, or not to be?” – a hesitation, a trembling, a shaking to the very foundations.
That’s what temptation is. When Buddha has come to the point where the energy is ready to take the ultimate jump and become nonsexual, when desire is ready to dissolve into desirelessness, when the mind is ready to die and the no-mind is ready to be born – it is such a great jump that it is natural one should hesitate. That is the meaning of the parable.
The Buddha said: Be gone! What use have I for the leather bag filled with filth which you have brought to me?
When a man has come to that point, then body is meaningless; then body is nothing but a bag, a skin bag filled with filth. In fact, that’s how the body is. If you don’t believe it, go to the surgeon some time and see a body being opened – and then you will believe Buddha. Or go to the hospital to see a postmortem, when the whole body is dissected, and then you will see what he is saying.
In my town once it happened: a man was shot dead and there was a postmortem. Somehow I managed – I was just a small child – somehow I managed, I persuaded the doctor. His son was my friend, so I succeeded in persuading him: “Just allow me to see, I would like to see.”
He insisted, “But why do you want to see?”
I said, “I have come across the saying of Buddha that the body is nothing but a bag full of filth. Just let me have one glimpse.”
He allowed me, and he said, “Okay, you can stay.”
But I said, “Now there is no need to stay and I cannot stay anyhow.” It was stinking so much, and the stomach was open – and just filth and nothing else.
Each child should be brought to the postmortem. Buddha used to send his disciples to the burning place, where bodies are burnt, just to watch and meditate there. He said, “Unless you are completely aware of what the body is you will not drop your illusion about the beauty of the body and dreams about the body.” He’s right.
Be gone! What use have I for the leather bag filled with filth which you have brought to me?
Then, the god reverently bowed and asked the Buddha about the essence of the way.
The touchstone proved that Buddha was real gold.
Then the god reverently bowed down. In Buddhist mythology even gods are as lustful as man – even more so. Their whole life is nothing but one of lust. The Brahma, the Lord of Heaven, bowed down and asked.
Excerpted From The Discipline Of Transcendence, Vol. 3 CH: 3