Heaven and Hell
A WARRIOR CAME TO THE ZEN MASTER HAKUIN AND ASKED “IS THERE SUCH A THING AS HEAVEN AND HELL?”
HAKUIN SAID “WHO ARE YOU?”
THE WARRIOR REPLIED “I AM CHIEF SAMURAI TO THE EMPEROR.”
HAKUIN SAID “YOU, A SAMURAI? WITH A FACE LIKE THAT, YOU LOOK MORE LIKE A BEGGAR.”
AT THIS THE WARRIOR BECAME SO ANGRY HE DREW HIS SWORD. STANDING CALMLY IN FRONT OF HIM, HAKUIN SAID “HERE OPEN THE GATES OF HELL.”
PERCEIVING THE MASTER’S COMPOSURE, THE SOLDIER SHEATHED HIS SWORD AND BOWED.
HAKUIN THEN SAID “AND HERE OPEN THE GATES OF HEAVEN.”
Heaven and hell are not geographical. If you go in search of them you will never find them anywhere. They are within you, they are psychological. The mind is heaven, the mind is hell, and the mind has the capacity to become either. But people go on thinking everything is somewhere outside. We always go on looking for everything outside because to be inwards is very difficult. We are outgoing. If somebody says there is a god, we look at the sky. Somewhere, sitting there, will be the divine person.
-A Bird On The wing, OSHO