Meditation: the door from slavery to freedom
MODERN SCIENCE HAS DISCOVERED A NUMBER OF LAWS SUCH AS THE LAW OF GRAVITY, WHICH DESCRIBE THE BEHAVIOR OF THE MATERIAL WORLD. DOES THE SCIENCE OF THE INNER SOUL ALSO HAVE LAWS WHICH APPLY TO CONSCIOUSNESS AND BEING?
It is one of the most fundamental differences between the outer and the inner.
The outer is ruled by laws:
The inner is just freedom.
Consciousness knows no laws. It is matter that needs laws. Without laws, the material existence is impossible. And in the same way, with laws, the world of consciousness is impossible.
Consciousness can exist only in absolute freedom, with no limits, with no conditions, with no laws.
Matter will immediately fall apart without laws, for the simple reason that it has no individuality. It has no center of being which can hold it together if there are no laws. Matter is without a center, or in other words, without a self. Just because there is no center in it, it cannot remain together unless it is surrounded by all kinds of laws, conditions, rules.
Science goes on discovering laws because it deals only with dead matter. It has not yet come to encounter consciousness. Perhaps the very existence of consciousness is beyond its scope. It can discover laws, it cannot discover freedom.
Laws create a certain slavery. Matter exists in slavery. Hydrogen and oxygen meeting in a certain proportion make water; H2O is their formula, no freedom, it cannot be H3O. Hydrogen cannot say, "I am bored always being H2; just for a change, today I am going to be H3.
The material existence is absolutely mechanical. There is no freedom, there cannot be, because there is no one to be free. Freedom needs consciousness; its first requirement is consciousness.
There is no consciousness in hydrogen, no consciousness in oxygen; they simply follow a routine eternally. That routine we call a law because we cannot find any exception to it.
What is a law? - a certain way of behavior without any exception. The moment you find the exception, the law has to be dropped; it is not a law, you have to find out more, you have to go deeper. The exception is not allowed in the objective world. And in the subjective world there are only exceptions. Each individual is an exception.
You cannot find laws, in the inner world, like gravitation. You throw a stone up; it goes to a certain height which is determined by how much force you have put into throwing it. When that force is exhausted that stone starts falling according to the force of gravitation. The stone has no decisiveness of its own. It cannot say, "Today I am not going to fall downward," or, "Today is a holiday." There is no holiday - the stone has to fall downward.
I am reminded of a very beautiful Sufi story. A Sufi mystic who was very much loved by people yet very much feared too .... That was a strange combination: they loved him for his unique beauty, compassion - everything in that man had a grace - but they feared him also, because he was unpredictable. He might do anything unexpectedly, things which are not supposed to be done by a mystic saint. He was a little crazy.
As far as I am concerned it is impossible to be a saint and not be crazy. I am saying it is impossible to be a saint and sane in the eyes of the world. If the world thinks you are sane, that is simply a proof that you are still part of this world. You still follow the same arithmetic, the same logic, the same reason - that's why people think you sane. But a saint has fallen out of the mob. He is no longer part of any society, any culture, any religion.
He is spontaneous; that is his danger. For example, a Christian saint is supposed, when you slap him on one cheek, to give you the other cheek. Anybody doing that is certainly not a saint. He is simply following a rule. He is a follower, a blind follower - but he is a Christian saint.
When you slap a real saint then it is absolutely unpredictable what is going to happen. He may slap you twice. He may slap you on both the cheeks together. Or he may simply have a good laugh and go on his way without turning the other cheek. He is not following any creed, any dogma, any principle. He is acting in the moment, so whatever happens spontaneously is his way.
About spontaneity you cannot be predictable.
And this is the most fearful thing in the world. People want you to be predictable. That's why you are so much afraid of strangers. You don't know them, they may do something that you don't want to be done.
This Sufi mystic was loved; he was lovable, he deserved it . But he was feared also because he was well known for his strange behavior.
He was staying in a disciple's house, and knowing his craziness they made arrangements for him to sleep in the basement - because in the night he may start doing something, may create a nuisance for the neighbors, for them. The basement was good: even if he started doing something nobody would even come to know of it, it was an underground basement. And they locked it so he could not come out in the night. But in the middle of the night they suddenly heard great laughter coming from the roof! They rushed up and saw the mystic lying on the roof laughing. They said, "How did you manage to get up here?"
He said, "I simply started falling upwards. I don't know how ... that's why I am laughing, because you poor guys had made so many arrangements, you had even put on a big lock. And it was perfectly okay - but then I started falling upwards! I am laughing at this whole thing."
This may be just a story but it has something significant to say to you; a saint can fall upwards.
Don't think in terms of objective facts. The story does not belong to objective reality. It is saying something about the freedom of consciousness, where gravitation does not work. It is simply saying that there is a world in you which is beyond this world in which you are living, a world within this world: a world of freedom in the midst of a world full of laws without exceptions.
The spiritual man is bound to be a free man.
He lives in freedom, he dies in freedom.
You cannot take his freedom away, there is no way. You can kill his body, but you cannot even touch his soul.
Science cannot accept this for the simple reason that science means laws. And if you accept an exception then the whole law loses meaning. According to the scientific attitude, everything in existence is bound by laws. And if you want to do something in the world, all that you have to do is to find out the law. Once you have got the law then you can do everything with matter. Just follow the law; matter cannot go against the law.
For this simple reason science has always denied, for these three hundred years, that there is any soul in man. To accept the soul is to accept that something is there which transcends all laws. That is very destructive to the scientific attitude. The whole palace of science collapses.
A single religious man is enough to destroy the whole scientific edifice. Hence, either the religious person has to be destroyed before his presence becomes dangerous to science itself, or he has to be ignored - so much so that it is as if he does not exist at all. But whatever you do it is an existential reality that consciousness exists, and exists without any laws.
Meditation is only a door to take you from the world of slavery to the world of freedom.
The languages of both the worlds are going to be contradictory to each other, but as far as I am concerned there is no need for any conflict. All that is needed is a little wider mind, just wide enough to accept that there are many dimensions in existence. The dimension in which you are working is not the only one. There are many other dimensions in which things exist in a different way. It does not destroy your dimension, it simply shows the richness of existence.
Everybody here is trying to make existence poor. The scientists are trying to make it poor by saying that it is only matter and nothing else. The religious people are trying to do the same by saying it is only God, nothing else; only the soul, nothing else. These people who are trying to prove that existence is only one-dimensional are wrong. Why make existence so poor? It is multi-dimensional.
One thing may be true in one dimension, and may not be at all applicable in another dimension.
One thing may be right in one dimension, may become wrong in another dimension.
But science is too much ruled by one mind: Aristotle. This one man for two thousand years has been dictating everything in the world of science: the laws, the logic that he wrote two thousand years ago continue to be applied. Anything against Aristotle is simply unacceptable. No man in the whole history of humanity has dominated so much. A single man - and he created the whole system of logic, and science goes on following his logic.
He himself is not very logical. Looking into his books you can find so many flaws, even according to his logic; it is not a scientific mind who is writing it. And in his personal life he was absolutely illogical.
He writes in one of his treatises, "Women have fewer teeth than men." He had two wives, not only one. It is not a scientific mind who is writing it. He could have said to Mrs. Aristotle One, or Mrs.
Aristotle Two, "Please just open your mouth." And it is not such a big thing just to count the teeth. In fact there is no need even to tell women to open their mouth; you always have to say, "Shut up!" You can always count their teeth without saying anything! Just a little alertness is needed.
Or, if he was so afraid and henpecked, in the night he could have managed it; when one of the Mrs.'s was snoring he could have counted. But my feeling is that he never tried. He simply accepted the view prevalent among the masses for thousands of years, that the woman has to have everything less than the man, naturally. It is a logical corollary that if the man has thirty-two teeth then the woman must have no more than thirty-one. She can't be allowed to have thirty-two.
This is not logic, this is superstition. And this man has been dominating the whole world of science for two thousand years. Only just now, within these fifty years, have a few scientists started feeling a little uneasy with Aristotle because they have come very close to a few things in existence which don't follow Aristotle's law.
For the first time when it was found that nature goes on its own way - it has its own laws, it has no obligation to follow Aristotle - it was such a shock that even though people had discovered things which went against Aristotle, they were not courageous enough to publish them. People kept those discoveries for years without telling anybody, because how could anything go against Aristotle? He had put logic so tightly together ....
For example, A can only be A. It cannot be B. Now this is a simple logical formulation: A is A and can never be B. But in the East twenty-five centuries ago we also had discovered many systems of logic, not just one; that is significant. The West knows only one system of logic, that of Aristotle. The East knows many logical systems developed by different people, very contradictory to each other but in themselves very logical. According to their own logic they are absolutely logical. According to somebody else's logic of course they are not.
The fact that in the East there are many systems of logic symbolizes one thing: whatever man creates is going to be a very small fraction of reality. It may represent a fraction of reality, but it cannot represent the whole reality.
Hence Buddha ... if Aristotle and Buddha had met, it would have been really something just fantastic, because Aristotle says A is always A and can never be B. But Buddha has a fourfold logic: he says A is A, A sometimes is B, A and B sometimes are both together - so much so that it is difficult to decide which is A and which is B; and sometimes A and B both are absent - still, their absence is their absence. He calls it fourfold logic. And if you look at existence you will find Buddha a better logician than Aristotle.
In those fifty years science has come closer to fourfold logic than Aristotle's onefold logic. Now there is non-Aristotelian logic, which is absolutely contradictory to Aristotle; still, it works. Just as Aristotle's logic works in a certain fragmentary reality, the non-Aristotelian logic also works in the same way in some other part of reality.
Euclid's geometry works for one fraction of reality, non-Euclidean geometry works for another fraction of reality. But there are still more parts or reality to be discovered. Buddha had a fourfold logic, Mahavira goes a little further; he has a sevenfold logic. And it is almost impossible to think that there can be more dimensions than seven. He has managed every possibility in that sevenfold logic.
If you ask Mahavira about God his answer will be sevenfold. Of course you will not get any answer.
You wanted an Aristotelian answer, yes or no. Mahavira says yes, God is. Then, he says, wait; don't run away with that statement, it is only the beginning. The second statement is: God is not. But don't be in a hurry. The third statement is: God is both - is and is not; and the fourth statement is:
God neither is nor is not. The fifth statement is: God is indescribable. And the sixth is: God is, and is indescribable. And the seventh is: God is not, and is indescribable.
You cannot get anything out of it, you will think this man is crazy. If you had come confused, you will return worse. At least you were only puzzled abut two things: whether God is or God is not. Now there are seven openings. But modern science is coming very close to such openings. Physicists, digging deeper, have reached into matter they have found very strange .... They had never expected that they would find something in the deepest core of matter which would defy all their logic, all their laws. First they tried somehow to manipulate matter according to their logic - but you cannot manipulate reality.
Finally, Albert Einstein had to say that whatever reality is, whether it goes against our laws and logic does not matter. We will have to say good-bye to our laws and logic and listen to reality. We cannot force reality to follow our laws and logic. But reality has logic and laws of its own. It is not freedom.
Aristotle's logic helped, at least on the surface; as far as the waves on the surface were concerned, he was perfectly right. But as you start diving deeper into reality, more and more new facts start emerging. Aristotle is already abandoned, and Euclid is no longer part of modern science. But that does not mean that science has come to feel that matter is free; it simply means that matter has its own laws.
Up to now what we were doing was, we were trying to put our laws over matter. On the surface it appeared okay, because our instruments were not fine enough to detect the differences between reality and out laws, so we were able to enforce laws over matter.
For example, the question raises something about the law of gravitation. It used to be a law; it is no longer. It used to be a law according to Newtonian logic. Because things fall downwards, naturally it was assumed that there must be a force, a magnetism in the earth, which pulls those things downwards.
They say it is not the earth that pulls them downward, it is the universe that forces them downwards.
These are the two sides: either they are pulled downwards, or they are pushed. It is almost as if you enter an office door; on one side is written "pull" and on the other is written "push." If it is written "push" and you go on pulling, the door is not going to open. It is the same door, but it has two sides.
Gravitation is only one side of the story. The other side of the story has now got a name, the law of levitation. Things can be pulled up, just as they can be pushed down.
Your rockets have gone to the moon. Now we know that the law of gravitation functions up to two hundred miles. After the rocket passes the two-hundred-mile boundary, the law of gravitation simply disappears. Then something else starts working, perhaps the law of levitation - the rocket is being pulled, not pushed down.
All these years this has been the only problem: how to cross the boundary of the gravitational field? Those two hundred miles are the only problem. You have to go so fast, faster than the law of gravitation can pull you down, so that before it catches you, you are out of the field of gravitation.
Once you are out, the earth is absolutely impotent, it cannot do anything to you. And once you are out of the gravitational field, even in your rocket gravitation no longer functions.
So you cannot sit in a rocket without a belt; the moment you open the belt you start floating up.
In a rocket you can fly, inside, from one corner to another corner. You can go out of the rocket - people have gone out of the rocket; there is no danger because there is nothing to pull them. They just have to keep a certain mechanism with them because the rocket itself has no gravitation to pull them towards the rocket. So they have a certain mechanism that helps them to move back towards the rocket; otherwise they would be lost into the eternal universe.
They become weightless, because weight is nothing but gravitation. If you are on the moon, it is as if your weight is one eighth of what it is here. If you are eight hundred pounds, on the moon it will be like only a hundred pounds. If here you can jump ten feet, on the moon you can jump eighty feet.
If someday people start living on the moon, it is going to be really difficult. People can simply jump into your house; you may be living on the third story of a building, but from the road they can jump directly, inside your house - there is no need for a lift. Games like football and volleyball become impossible, because the same hit will take the ball eight times higher or longer. You will need eight times bigger stadiums, eight times bigger playing grounds, because the moon is very small compared to the earth, it has very little force.
Because of the moon this has become something important to think about: there may be planets which don't have any gravitation. You cannot land on those planets unless you have certain mechanical devices to land. The planet itself won't support you in any way. Even walking on the moon is very difficult. You need very heavy boots so that you can keep yourself on the ground; otherwise you will go eight times higher each time you take your step. You will be flying in the air.
As science goes deeper into different specializations, new facts go on emerging, old laws go on changing. Only one thing remains certain: the old law has to be dropped because a new law has to be adopted. But one thing you cannot drop, and that is, you cannot accept any exceptions: that is true in the new law also - no exceptions.
However subtle physics has become, its laws are still without exceptions. And I don't see any possibility that science can come across anything which will be freedom. There will always be laws without any exception: new laws, different laws: more complex, more difficult to understand, more difficult to figure out. But one thing remains constant - that there is no exception anywhere.
It is true about the inner world, too, that one thing remains certain - there, everything is exceptional.
Religious people have not been able to understand this.
In India ... religion has gone deeper in that country than anywhere else. Just as for science you have to look towards the West, for religion you have to look towards the East. And the East means simply India and nothing more, because all other Eastern countries have only borrowed from India; the originals are in India.
I was speaking in all kinds of religious communities in India, and I discovered one thing: that they don't have any idea that the inner world is the world of freedom. They used to ask me, "You speak about Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Mahavira, Jesus, in the same way? They are not similar; they all cannot be right." Why can't they all be right?
For the Jaina, Mahavira is right, that is their criterion; anybody who is not like Mahavira has certainly not reached to the same state of consciousness. To the Buddhist, Buddha is the criterion. To the Christian, Jesus is the criterion. They are all living in the same fallacy - that in the religious world there are criteria, laws, certain patterns; and that when you reach to a certain stage of consciousness you start manifesting the same things. Neither time matters, nor space.
Now the Jaina cannot accept the idea that Jesus can drink alcohol; that is impossible for the Jaina.
At the stage of consciousness of a Mahavira, how can one drink alcohol, or eat meat? They cannot accept that in that state one can do anything. In fact, only in that state can one do anything because it is a state of freedom. To you it is alcohol, to you it is a drug and it makes you unconscious. But in that state of consciousness it is just water, it does not make you unconscious. So what you choose in that consciousness is totally free.
Jesus chooses to drink, feels no problem about it ... perhaps thinks it is good because it keeps you closer to people. Mahavira becomes too distant - so far away, sitting on the top of Everest; and you are there, deep down in the dark valley. The distance is so much, communication is not possible.
But that is his decision. He enjoys that sunlit peak - he does not bother to communicate. If you want to communicate you have to climb the whole mountain and come to him. The well is not going to the thirsty, the thirsty has to come to the well; that's his freedom.
Jesus decides differently. He is not afraid of drinking alcohol. Why should he be afraid? - because it makes no difference to him whether he drinks water or he drinks alcohol. It is all the same - his consciousness remains beyond, just a witness. But it helps him to come close to those people who will be left far behind if he stops drinking, if he stops eating meat.
It makes no difference to Jesus because he knows that the soul is immortal, you cannot kill it - so where is the question of violence or non-violence? The question of violence or non-violence arises only if the soul of man can be killed. But the soul cannot be killed. There is no question of violence and non-violence for Jesus. He simply wants to live a common human life with human beings, just like them - not become a faraway saint. That's his decision.
Mahavira decides differently, and I don't think there is anything wrong in it. Mahavira said to his disciples, "When you reach the ultimate state of samadhi remember to keep a distance from the ordinary masses" - Why? - "because if you don't keep a distance you will never be able to influence them, impress them. You will never be able to give them a thirst for something that they know nothing of but can see in your eyes. Don't mix with them: remain distant like a star shining far above showing the way."
He must have been aware that people in that state of consciousness can choose to mix.
In Japan there was great saint, Hotei. He is known as the laughing saint. He lived a very strange life, not like a saint at all. He used to carry a big bag on his shoulder full of things - sweets, toys - for children. He would pass through the village and children would gather and Hotei would distribute whatever he had in his bag. Then he would beg from the shopkeepers, "Fill my bag again because in the next village children will be waiting for me."
His whole life he was doing only that. When he was dying he was asked, "Hotei, you have achieved .... You could have communicated to people."
He said, "I have been - but I decided to communicate with the uncorrupted, the children. Why bother about the corrupted? Somebody else who is better than me will take care of them. I am a simple man, I can deal only with children. I cannot argue. I can distribute sweets, I can distribute toys. I cannot give doctrines and dogmas and theologies. That is not my business. And I have done my work, I am perfectly satisfied. I have sown the seeds; they will grow in their own time."
And it is said that each village through which Hotei had passed - after his death, in all those villages saints started springing up. Those small children were now becoming mature, young people. Hotei had not said anything to them, but he must have infected them in some way. He was contagious, and children are most impressionable. But it all depends, in that state; nobody can tell you to become a Hotei, and if you try to, it won't be the real thing.
It has been asked of me again and again, "Neither Mahavira, nor Buddha, nor Krishna, served the poor, opened hospitals, schools. Christian saints serve the poor, the sick, the orphans, the old. Who is religious?" The ordinary mind will think certainly the person who is serving the poor, the old, the sick, is religious. It is not so easy to decide: Jesus cures the sick; Mahavira never cured anybody.
There is a story about Gautam Buddha: a woman's only son died - her husband had died already, she was a widow. And in India, to be a widow is to be really in hell. In the West the widow again becomes Miss. In India it is not possible; once you have missed, you have missed, you cannot become Miss again.
So that child was her only hope, she was living for him; and the child died. She went mad: she was carrying the dead child all over the town asking, "Help me! Somehow bring my child back to life!"
A man on the way suggested, "We are ordinary people, we cannot do such miracles. But Buddha is in the town, why don't you go there?" The suggestion was perfectly right.
The woman rushed. She placed the dead child at Buddha's feet, and she said, "I am a widow and this child was my only hope. You are a great saint. Your blessing will be enough to bring him to life."
Buddha said, "I will do it, but only on one condition." Jesus never asked such a thing - condition ...?
"I will do it only on one condition." The woman said, "I am ready to accept any condition. You do it."
He said, "First fulfill the condition. It is not a very big condition. Go around the town and bring from some house a few mustard seeds." The woman said, "That is not a problem at all. I have mustard seeds in my house, I can bring them right now."
Buddha said, "You have not heard the whole thing. You have to bring them from a house where nobody has ever died. Only then am I going to bring your child back to life."
The woman in despair rushed from one home to another asking for a few mustard seeds. They said, "A few mustard seeds? - we can bring bullock carts full, but they won't be of any use because the condition is impossible to fulfill. So many people have died in our family ... and you are not going to find a house where nobody has ever died. This is just impossible. Wherever life is, death has happened - they go together."
By the evening the woman came back. She was no longer in despair, the tears had disappeared from her eyes. She was no longer concerned about the child. She fell at Buddha's feet and asked him to initiate her on his path.
Buddha said, "What about the child?"
She said, "Everybody dies sooner or later, it doesn't matter. Now I want to know something of that which never dies."
Now this is a totally different way of working than that of Jesus. Jesus cures; the stories are that he raises the dead back to life. Perhaps that is his way, that's his uniqueness. In that way he wants people to understand that life is not just eat, drink and be merry. "There is something more to it, more mysteries. Don't waste it in just mundane things. I can show you the way of eternal life." That is his way.
But who can decide that Buddha's way is wrong? Perhaps it is more sophisticated, perhaps for more cultured people. Jesus' way may be for the uneducated, illiterate, who will believe in a miracle first; only then can they be interested in the mysterious. Buddha's audience seems to be different.
The woman seems to be of immense intelligence. The whole day, going from one house to another ... in her inner being there was a revolution happening. She was becoming aware that everybody dies, that death is the law of the outside world. "My husband has died, my child has died, tomorrow I am going to die. Every house is full of tears." And she understands why Buddha has made such an impossible condition - in order to turn her consciousness one hundred and eighty degrees.
She does not look at the child anymore. Just that morning she had come with the child, holding the dead body, with great hope. Buddha said, "But what about the child?"
The woman said, "I am no longer concerned with anything. You have made it clear to me that death is a natural phenomenon. Now I want to know, is there something more, something deeper, greater? Something that never dies, something that is eternal? My whole concern with the child and my husband and myself has disappeared. This day has been a day of great revolution."
Now who can say who is doing right?
I don't think Lazarus, after being raised from the dead, became an enlightened person. Have you heard anything about Lazarus, what he did after he was raised? He must have done the same things that he was doing before - the same stupidities, the same foolishnesses, the same anger, the same greed, the same lust. Nothing is mentioned about him, about what revolution he went through ....
And this was such a great revolution: he had died, he had been raised back to life. What more do you want for a revolution to happen?
But I don't think anything happened. He just came back as one wakes up every day in the morning.
Do you think any revolution happens every morning when you wake up? Just the same person wakes up who had gone to sleep. You slept for eight hours, Lazarus slept for four days; nothing much in it. After four days he wakes up, he looks all around and says, "What is the matter? Why are people gathered here?" But to him, nothing happens.
Buddha never did any miracle, but this woman was transformed without his doing anything. But that is the exceptional quality of every religious person, the uniqueness; hence they are incomparable.
Nobody is a criterion for anybody else.
But it has been continually argued for centuries: what is the criterion to decide who is enlightened and who is not? It has not been decided yet, and will never be decided ever, for the simple reason that every enlightened person is nothing but freedom, spontaneity. He is beyond any predictions.
You cannot decide according to a formula that, yes, this man is enlightened because he has fulfilled the formula. There is no formula.
The enlightened person is known only by those who happen to fall in love with him, who somehow come close to him, become intimate with him; so intimate that something of his freedom, something of his spontaneity, something of his light starts filtering into them. Only disciples know, outsiders cannot know. That's one of the biggest troubles.
Those who came close to Buddha knew, but there were millions who never came close to him, who went on condemning him, saying he was corrupting the minds of the people. Those who came close to Mahavira knew.
But to come close to these people needs courage, it needs guts, because to come to these people, to be close to them, is almost a death.
Of course there is a resurrection but who knows ...? When you are facing death you don't know there is going to be a resurrection. You will know only when you are ready to die; not only ready to die, when you really die - and suddenly you see a fresh new being arising in you.
It is you and still it is not you. The old you is no longer there, and a new you is there. There has been a discontinuity. You are not even continuous with your past.
This is the moment you understand that you are in close contact with someone who is enlightened.
There is no other criterion.
The reason is because the inner world follows no laws. The outer world follows laws.
Matter is slavery.
Consciousness is absolute freedom.