Looking up the Tathagata it seems to be a state of the Buddha referring to himself in that which was been written. That is, he speaks presently upon past teachings and must refer to himself as giving those teachings as another person. Methinks the person he is today is not who he was yesterday and the teachings from today are different then the teachings of yesterday and the change in both the man and the teachings is reflected as different entities. Thus it is not a static message but ever evolving and growing.
There are things that take us there. To that place of knowing and knowledge and wisdom and enlightenment. It is when we cling onto those things those tools that we get caught up in something other then the enlightenment. The tools are the means not the ends and must be released. Holding on we are not able to "fully concede to our innermost selves". It is in the letting go we are free. Throughout time men are giving words as guidance, sign posts to follow along the way leading along the path to a way of being higher then that known before. Do not gather up the sign posts and strap them to your shoulders to carry along with the journey. Weighted down with what will become constraints we become tired and worn from a journey that should be light and free. The words become weights instead of feathers. Take the words as feathers and put them together to create wings. Use the wings of enlightenment to lift us up to the heavens. Oh yes, "The Zen Cat meditates knowingly, that there are also feathers on the word enlightenment."
I think this is key today. Thinking of self as a conduit. a hollow bone, a bridge-keeper. Helping peoples to the other side along journeys of knowledge. Strange then that being on one side of the bridge perhaps myself not having crossed but showing the way. The coffee cup of wisdom said today "Everyday is a leap of faith". It is the leap that allows us to cross. The journey begins with single step and that first step is really a leap of faith. Go forth into the world on this fine day and leap and bound in faith and love. Leap into the hearts of those you touch. Leap and fly upon your new found wings!