[The Encounter Group are at darshan. The leader says it was nothing special... every group is different.]
Mm, it has to be so because the group depends on the people. It should depend more on the people who participate... and no rigid structure should be given to it - so it remains loose, flexible.
So whatsoever the need of the people, the group moves that way.
The leader is just to facilitate the process. He is not really to lead. He is just to help - wherever they are going, helping them totally to go that way. So each group is going to be different because it is created by the consciousness of the participants. Each group will have a different soul, an individuality - and it is good that it should be so.
Don't try to force it to fall into any pattern, mm? Just move with the flow.
[A group member said he had an asthma attack from the dust which interrupted the group for him:
When I was a child I had asthma attacks like these, but for the past ten years before I came to Poona I never got attacks. It was more sometimes a difficulty in breathing - but never critical; more suppressed, I guess.]
Dust may be a cause of it, but only one cause.
Another cause may be that something of the past has been touched, and you regressed. That's a good symptom. One has to go back to the past to clean up many things, to complete many things.
The past has a grip on you because much has remained incomplete, and it demands completion.
Much has remained repressed and it needs expression. Unless you complete it, it will hang around
you like a ghost and will go on affecting you in a thousand and one ways. It will go on manipulating you from the unconscious. It has to be cleaned.
When you go back into the memories, back into the past, much dust arises inside too - the dust of memories, of thoughts, experiences, wounds. Many wounds are still there unhealed. You have simply forgotten them because you have to forget. You go on pushing those wounds away from the mind, from consciousness, but they are there, green, unhealed.
And not only asthma, but physical diseases can come back. A child may have fallen thirty years ago from a tree. Then he starts to meditate and to move backwards, and suddenly he feels pain on the knee. For thirty years it has never been there, but now suddenly the memory comes. The body also carries a memory, each cell carries a memory. It is a minute, very atomic computer.
You see a black spot on my nose? Once I removed it, but it came back again... the body has a memory. It has a blueprint of everything, so whatever has happened to you is doubly recorded - in the mind and in the body - and the mind triggers the whole thing. The body is a little slow, stupid, and it has to be so - but once the mind remembers, it triggers it. Then you move into a situation which you had completely forgotten for years. It is alive again as if it was just yesterday.
But in a way this was good. You have suffered, and I can see you felt very depressed, but if you can complete the whole process....
[The sannyasin replies: That's what I don't know - how to work with it right now.]
Just be a watcher. Don't do anything, because whatsoever you do will repress, because the whole effort of the mind is to suppress anything that is painful.
That's what you have done in the past, and the mind will do the same again. Then the doors of the memory will close again, and the whole thing is lost.
Suffer it, and allow it to be there. It can't kill you, so don't be worried. It can be painful - it will be - but it cannot kill you. Just watch as if it is happening to somebody else. Next time an attack comes, be far away, just watching from a distance. Just watch the misery, the suffering, the pain, the whole body in spasm. Watch unconcerned, indifferent, with nothing to do, and then just see....
Within two to three days everything will have passed, and then you will come out of it very fresh, as fresh as you have never been. It will go, but complete the process - don't try to escape from it. This experience can become a very enriching one.
Once it happened that one of my friends, a very old man of seventy-eight, fell from the staircase and broke many of his bones. The doctors told him to remain on the bed for six months, because he was very old and the body would take a long time to regain its strength.
He was an active man, very very active. When I went to see him he started crying - and he is not a man who ordinarily cries; I had never seen him cry before. He said, 'It would have been better if I had died. Death is not so bad, but six months just lying on the bed is impossible. I will commit suicide. Six months seems almost endless and the pain is too much, I will not be able to survive it.' I told him to do one thing: to close his eyes and move to where the pain was, to pinpoint it.
For half an hour he looked inside. His whole face relaxed, and after half an hour when he came back he was a totally different man. He said, 'I could watch, I could see, and just seeing and looking at it, suddenly there was the realisation that I am separate from the pain.' Those six months became a blessing. He had to remain on the bed, but he continued watching. For the first time in his life he became a meditator. Now he says that that was the greatest thing that has happened in his life. Now it has become an everyday process. For at least two or three hours he lies down on the bed, on his back - and now there is no need - just to watch.
One should always be looking for methods of how to change a calamity into a blessing. There is always a way; one has just to look for it. This is the basic art of life - how to change misery into celebration, how to change a curse into a blessing, how to use suffering to grow, how to use pain to be reborn.
Try, mm? It is going to be beautiful.
[Another group member says: It s been a really incredible experience, this group. Just a clarity that I've never had before.... ]
Clarity is the target. Pains and suffering remain with life, they are part of it. You just need a clarity to see everything in the right perspective, everything where it belongs. Then it all falls in line; even pain, even suffering, become part of a greater harmony. Not that they change. They remain, they are a part of life, but now they are not isolated facts - they have become part of a greater whole.
When you are clear in your perspective you can see that the greater whole cannot exist without this part; it is a must.
You accept it, because happiness cannot be without unhappiness, and the day cannot be without the night. When everything falls in perspective the total attitude changes. Ordinarily you see one day between two nights. When you attain to a little clarity, you see two days with one night in between.
Ordinarily when you look at unhappiness, sadness, frustration, you take it apart from the context, you look at it as an isolated thing, and then it is very painful because it seems meaningless.
The basic pain is meaningless - why is it there? Why does one suffer? And when you cannot see the why, it becomes unbearable. When you can see the why, it is no longer an isolated fact; it has become part of a pattern. And in a great painting, black is as much needed as white - otherwise the painting won't exist. Unhappiness is needed as much as happiness. They are like two wings, and once you know they are two wings, you have to use both to fly in the sky of existence. Then you accept, and you accept in deep gratefulness. Even suffering is accepted, because now you see it has a meaning. It is a step to something greater; it is part of a bigger harmony. It is not isolated, it is meaningful.
When suffering has become meaningful, you have transcended. Now you are not worried about it.
You don't want to drop it, because if you do, all that is beautiful will drop with it.
You have understood well that the beautiful rose flower exists between thorns, and those thorns are part of the growth. In fact they are protective, they protect the flower. They are not the enemy, they are not against it. If a thorn sometimes gives you pain, it is only because you have not understood the meaning of it.
There is no need to seek suffering, to seek thorns, but when you find them, accept them. Let them be transparent to your clarity of vision, so that you can see that on both sides of the night there are days. And then night becomes less and less dark. Night becomes a bridge from one day to another.
It is not against the day, rather it is a rest. A new day can come out of that rest. The night becomes like a womb, creative. Darkness is creative, and suffering too.
If you find a person who is very rich inside, you will always find that he has suffered much. If a person has not suffered much, you will find him always shallow, superficial. He will laugh, but his laughter won't have the depth, it won't come from the heart. It will be just like a painted thing, on the lips at the most. If you listen to the sound of it, you will hear that it is very superficial. It is not coming from his being, it carries no meaning, no depth. Whenever you see a person who can laugh deeply, remember he has cried deeply - and laughter is enriched by tears. If you are not capable of crying you will not be capable of laughter.
This is clarity - to see life as it is and not to ask the impossible. By asking the impossible by wanting only days and not nights, only happiness and not unhappiness, you are creating meaningless misery for yourself. It will be meaningless because you are asking the impossible and it cannot be fulfilled.
It is because of your unintelligence that the misery is arising. It is not part of life; it could have been avoided. There was no need for it; it is useless. So there is suffering that is useless - if you create it. There is a suffering which is very meaningful - if life gives it to you.
You love, and of course suffering comes in. If you want to love you will have to suffer much, and if you become afraid of suffering, by and by you will become afraid of love. Then a point comes when you may not suffer - you may have a very comfortable and convenient life - but you will miss all that is beautiful, because all that is beautiful comes through love... but love comes only if you are ready to accept the suffering also. That's the price one has to pay for it. Nothing is free in life; everything has to be paid for. And it is good that it is so, because once everything is free, everything becomes meaningless; nobody enjoys it.
Use the clarity to look into problems, and try not to change things; just try to accept them. Go on creating more and more clarity - and that is the only change that there is, that is the only mutation.
Go on moving higher and higher on the wave of clarity and awareness. As you go higher a different world comes to your vision. The world remains the same but your clear eyes now give you a different picture, and by and by everything falls in line. One day one realises that everything is as it should be.
That is the perfection of clarity - everything is as it should be, nothing else is needed, everything is perfect. This world is the perfect world.
In that moment your acceptance is total, and when acceptance is total all wounds are healed. One attains to the calmness of a Buddha, to the innocence of a Jesus, or to the superb perfect perfection of a Lao Tzu - ordinary and yet extraordinary. One loves the same life and yet it is not the same life at all... it has a different dance.
So use that clarity, mm? Enjoy it, delight in it.
[Another group member says: I didn't get rid of the problems, but I felt a little bit of myself, and how
good it feels just to be - not thinking, and not making things happen with my mind, but letting my body do things all by itself.]
Good, it has been good. Just one thing to be remembered: whatsoever you have gained out of the group, it is just an insight; it is not a permanent thing. It is just a glimpse, it is not a change in your state of consciousness. So if you don't work on it you will lose it again; it will become dusty and forgotten. The more distant you go from it in time, the more it will become unbelievable. By and by you will suspect whether it happened or you just imagined it.
In a group you are not alone; a collective consciousness functions. In a group you can reach to heights that you have never reached alone... you can reach to depths that you have never touched alone. A group can be holier than all the members put together. It can be devilish also, more devilish than all the members put together.
In a crowd people start behaving as they have never behaved before. Responsibility is gone; you are no longer yourself. It is the crowd that is deciding, and something like a collective spirit is taking over. Ask each individual separately and he will say that this looks mad, but in a crowd he will do it, unaware of what he is doing. The same is possible on the other extreme also.
In a group mind you can touch higher peaks than you can ever attain yourself. Nothing is wrong in it, but one has to remember that it is a glimpse, and you are riding on a wave in which you are only a part. Out of the Group it will tend just to become a memory - a good memory, one enjoyed it - but again one settles back into the old habit.
Resist that temptation, and whatsoever you attain in a group, try to attain individually. You may be capable immediately after a Group because the memory is fresh and the confidence is still there.
The very idea that you had a glimpse will be helpful. After a few days it won't help, so immediately in the wake of a Group experiment, the most significant work is to be done. The real work starts when the Group ends.
Try then to attain alone whatsoever you attained in the Group. Nitya was talking about clarity - try to attain that clarity alone unaided, unled, without the Group functioning as a catalytic agent, without the Group consciousness pushing you forward. Left alone to oneself, one tends to relax, to become lazy.
In those little glimpses of awareness when the ego becomes an object, it does not possess you, it is impotent, and that's why you feel so beautiful - because ego is the only ugly thing in life. It is an ugly transformation of consciousness, an in transformation of consciousness; something has gone wrong.
So whenever you feel something has been there and it remains very vague, misty, in a haze, try to nourish it and cherish it continually. Revive it on your own, and then you will see that it can be attained. Then the Group has been very meaningful; it helped to give you an insight, and now you have that insight on your own. When you feel the same alone, you will feel more beautiful, because there is now no dependence.
There is a possibility, and it has become a reality in the West, that many people live from one Group to another, almost addicted; as a drunkard lives from one trip to another. That is dangerous. A
Group should not become a style of life. It is good whatsoever it gives, but then you have to attain it on your own. Then go to another Group, but go on a higher consciousness. Don't do the same thing again, don't repeat it. Gain something and make it a permanent crystallisation in you.
[I'm experiencing some confusion about problems. When I first went into the group I said I wanted to be a man - and now I don't even know what a man is, and I don't think one exists.
... And my problems change from day to day, and I get very frightened without any problems. This morning I felt very frightened because I couldn't see what my problem was!
And I know I just invent them to shield myself from you.]
It is good that you have become aware. Everybody is doing that.
Problems don't exist, only people exist, but we create problems out of a certain neurosis because we are afraid to be left alone. We have become addicted to constant occupation: a problem leaves, and before it has left we create another. We immediately replace it so that we remain occupied.
Otherwise life seems so empty and so vast that one feels lost. If you are not occupied in a problem, then the sheer vastness of existence overfloods you. You feel so tiny, almost nothing - and that frightens you. When you create a problem you forget the whole world because you are focused on the problem.
You are bigger than the problem and you feel very good, because you know that something can be done about it. You feel very powerful because you can go on playing with it. Have you ever watched a cat playing with a mouse? Sometimes she allows the mouse to go a little away, then suddenly she jumps and catches it again. Just a little freedom, and then again she jumps and catches the mouse, throws it this way and that. That's what the human mind does: the cat playing with the mouse, and if you don't have a real mouse, you have a plastic one, a rubber one; a mouse of your fantasy, of your imagination.
You create problems to feel powerful, because without them you will feel impotent. You try to solve your problem - and you know that you can because it is your creation. If you allow it not to be solved, that too is because you are giving it a certain time to live; otherwise you can destroy it immediately.
The cat can destroy the mouse right this moment, but it gives a little freedom to the mouse to play around.
When you have no problem you have nothing to focus on. Unfocused, suddenly you become aware of this vast existence, and the sheer vastness of it paralyses you. One wants to forget the skies and the stars, and the best way that man has done that is to create problems - small problems, mediocre, foolish; just what dress to wear today.
One is standing before the wardrobe trying to decide, confused about what dress to wear today.
You play the game perfectly. It is up to you, because the dresses are not worried. You can decide whatsoever you like, nobody is hindering the path.
You can go on being worried about trivia, but that is a trick - a trick to avoid existence, to avoid one's smallness. Man is atomic, and unless you accept that, you will go on befooling yourself through
problems. Once you accept the smallness, it disappears. The smallness exists only because you don't want to accept it. Otherwise you are not separate from this vast whole; you are part of it, you are it.
So this is up to you. You have attained a very beautiful insight, something tremendously meaningful, very significant. If you want to go on playing the game, you go on playing. If you don't want to play it you can drop it.
If you drop it, then for the first time you will become alive. If you drop it, for the first time you will become available to the infinite energies that surround you. This life can be simply magnificent, fantastic, but you are playing with noise of your own imagination. If you see the reason, it is simple to stop. Don't try to become powerful; just be whatsoever you are. Don't try to fight existence, to avoid it, escape from it - just accept it.
To accept is to be powerful. To accept is to be religious. To accept without any judgement, any condition, is to move into a totally different dimension - call it divine, or whatsoever. And that possibility is always just around the corner; any moment that you drop your problems it is available.
I go on answering your questions, your problems, and I go on solving them knowing well that you have none. You can ask me then why do I go on answering you? I can simply say that this is useless.
But then you won't be able to understand.
You give me a problem, I give you a solution. You ask me a question, I give you the answer. I become part of the game. If you are interested in playing the game, I will play. By and by you will become aware of what you are doing. And remember, it is only your time that is wasted, not mine, because now I have nothing to attain; so nothing is wasted, only your time. Once you understand this then you drop the problems, then you start enjoying and celebrating. Rather than thinking, dance; rather than thinking, sing; rather than thinking, go for a long walk, swim in the river. thinking He is not available, because thinking is a way to avoid Him.
God is available in so many ways; only through thinking He is not available, because thinking is a way to avoid Him.
Try to live the insight, and don't be frightened. I know fear arises, tremendous fear arises. I know how difficult it is to be without problems. I have passed through it.
[The sannyasin answers: I was very afraid this morning, so I had a headache - and that was the problem.]
Mm mm, that is a problem you can create. You can create a thousand and one things. When you have a problem, life is not a problem - you can keep yourself busy. But this whole busy-ness is without business.
See it through and through, and in that very seeing, the knot is cut.