Two Metaphors About Enlightened Masters

An enlightened master was once asked "What did you do before your enlightenment?", and answered "I used to cut wood in the forest, and fetch water from the river". And then to another question, "What do you do now after your enlightenment?", he replied "I cut wood in the forest and fetch water from the river." When the perplexed questioner asked "So what is the difference?", the master replied "In the past, when I was cutting wood or fetching water, I was always thinking of other things, but now, whatever I do, I am always one with these actions, and nothing else exists."

Another great master once said "Before my initiation, mountains were mountains, and rivers were rivers. Then, when I was doing spiritual exercises, they ceased to be mountains and rivers. Now that I have achieved enlightenment, they have become mountains and rivers again."

(The meaning of the second metaphor is that non-spiritual people see things unconsciously with blurred eyes, and when they begin a spiritual journey, things begin to have a drastically different meaning, assuming phantasmagoric aspects [like those experienced on LSD trips, for instance] as they reveal their intrinsic nature. But, after enlightenment, people start to see things as they are without imposing any mental presuppositions on them.)

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