If You Meet The Buddha

Those who dabbled in spiritual matters know this expression only too well: ‘If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him’. I’ve seen various interpretations, but most zoom in on the fact that people encounter something or someone, learn a life lesson from that and move on, further and beyond.

However, the true reality of ‘the Buddha on the road’ goes as follows: if you meet the Buddha – you will never recognise him or her. Jed McKenna emphasised this point in his well-known scene of meeting his sister “No man is a prophet in his own country”. It is true that for people in the physical life, especially family and friends – the so called ‘enlightened’ humans remain ordinary and nothing to write home about. As someone once said to me “My family couldn’t give a shit whether I’m enlightened or not”.

Just as Jed was nothing more than a little brat of a brother to his sister – the ‘enlightened’ will most likely be nothing to you. You could be sitting next to one on a train, standing next to one in a queue – and will never know. The ‘Buddha’ could give you a solid piece of advice, could share some wisdom, but you will never see those words in that special ‘spiritual’ light. You will see someone perhaps reasonable, even wise, but not someone ‘enlightened’.

I am sure that each person knows at least one human being whom they consider really wise, but they would not call them ‘enlightened. What, then, colours human perception, skews it in such a way that suddenly humans begin to see a prophet where there is none? What makes your ‘Buddha’ – the Buddha for you?

Wise words alone are not enough. What creates that special label is the distance between someone ‘in seeking’ and someone ‘in the know’. And there are many ways of building this distance.

What Is Enlightenment Magazine Books and Magazines

Words, when in print, have the power to make the one who wrote them seem different to mere mortals. More knowledgeable, more advanced, more.. more, more, more. Simply more than you. People subconsciously (and unconsciously) assign a special status to a book author providing, of course, the book is somewhat intelligent. Through the power of words people begin to forget the fact that the writer is another human being in a human body, with all the normal human needs, desires, wants and deeds. Enlightened? Not in the way you perceive ‘enlightenment’, but the words surely make it sound damn special, and by extension, the author becomes so very special too.

Student-Teacher Paradigm

Set yourself up as a teacher and the students will appear. There is always someone out there who will believe the teacher has something they don’t have, just by the mere fact the person has claimed the status of a teacher. Relationships of this kind create a gap necessary for the power play, whether one consciously acknowledges this or not. The student-teacher paradigm is perfect for maintaining the status quo of ‘I know, you don’t’. The problem is two-fold, however. Firstly, most teachers come from the half-cooked stock whereby they grasped something, but not all of it, and rushed to offer their ‘gifts’ to the world. Secondly, wisdom and clarity are not ‘taught’. They are acquired individually, through living the life as is.


The so called ‘enlightened’ beings often display this quality. Having faced their true Self, having realised that what they are – cannot be changed, self realised humans have made peace with themselves. Sod it, life is too short to worry about bullshit, and no one realises this as clearly as the self-realised. As a side effect, they largely stop emoting, and if I remember correctly Jed also mentioned this somewhere. In contrast, most humans are hopelessly engaged in their emotional states, invest heavily in their human relationships and derive a constant stream of hormone induced drama from them. Meeting someone who lacks that same emotionality can have a powerful effect AND creates that same powerful distance.

These are just three out of many ways of gaining power through distance. One or more of the above will place just enough mileage between you, the ‘seeker’, and your chosen ‘wise man’. The distance keeps people enthralled and wanting more. This is plain human psychology: humans always want what they cannot have, and what they have – they do not want.

What, then, is the distinction between the quiet Buddha on that train whom you will never recognise as such, and the guy who covertly or overtly harvests hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of ‘followers’? Both are aware of the same things, see the same Reality, recognise the same Truth. What IS the difference?

Something worth contemplating.

Burnt Orange Geader


8 thoughts on “If You Meet The Buddha

  1. “Set yourself up as a teacher and the students will appear.”
    True and well said.

    I kill the “if you meet the Buddha kill the Buddha”. I kill every thought, every advice.

    I killed you, Tano, not that I saw you as a Buddha (I don’t believe in Buddha’s), but I thought we had some sort of “connection”, but I was wrong. 😉

    In fact, it’s easy to kill the others (by that I mean their thoughts, advices, etc.). Still there is “myself”. And it’s impossible to kill that “myself”. He can only die, maybe.


    1. Good. I didn’t want you to believe in any sort of ‘connection’.

      You are quite right: there is still the Self, and that needs one’s primary attention, its health vitally important to how one will live the rest of their life.

      1. That “distance” is put by those who want to feel superior and also by those who want to feel inferior, there is search of comfort in the two cases. It’s so easy and comfortable to feel “inferior” to “the master”, “he will teach me”, “I have just to listen to him”, etc.

        And it’s also so easy to feel superior to someone else, “I’m the master, you don’t know shit” “I will teach you” “I know the truth, I will tell you the truth”, etc.

        As far as I’m concerned, I see only human beings, not a single one superior to another, no “buddha’s”, no “enlightened people”, only billions of different experiences of life, not one beter than another, and billions of thoughts, some true some not.

        There is no “becoming a beter person”, « becoming enlightened », « becoming a master, a buddha », those are only thoughts, foolish hopes.

        The experience of « being me » can’t be shared, every experience of being is unique and impossible to compare.

        Of course, with words, human beings share what they experience, we haven’t invented something beter than words to share what is experienced, but those words are nothing compare to the living state. Words are very misleading. There are a lot of words that are totally fucked up (like « enlightenment », « truth », etc.).

        Even when two human beings understand eachother, it doesn’t mean anything, nobody can live someone else’s experience. We are on our own.

        The « Self » is unique. I’m not inferior to any of the « great sages of times », and I’m not superior to anybody I see in the supermarket. I’m always equal to te person I’m talking to.

        « Being me » is something undescribable, impossible to share, it’s impossible to really know how and what other human beings are living, and even if it was possible, it wouldn’t matter, because we can only know and be Me.

        Those were some other words I wanted to share here, Tano.

        A nice day to you and everybody reading those words.

  2. Wizard of Oz: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

    And in the end Dorothy wakes up and determines she never had to leave Kansas to find what she was looking for.

    The question is: Is the guru necessary to, ironically, find out he isn’t needed?

    1. In a way – yes, L.

      To know what a scam looks like – one needs to get scammed.

      To know what a banana tastes like – one needs to taste a banana.

      To know what truth is about – one has to be told lies.

      To know the enlightenment tales – one has to listen to the story.

      To know that one does not need a guru – one has to encounter one.

      To know that truth realisation is about learning life lessons – one has to live the lessons.

      All depends on how fast one learns. Some walk around in circles.

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