Inertia of habit
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
ON ONE OCCASION, A MONK ASKED ISAN ABOUT THE NEED FOR CULTIVATION OF ONE'S SPIRITUAL LIFE AFTER ENLIGHTENMENT. ISAN RESPONDED THAT IT WAS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE "INERTIA OF HABIT." HE THEN WENT ON TO SAY:
"WHAT YOU HEAR MUST FIRST BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR REASON; AND WHEN YOUR RATIONAL UNDERSTANDING IS DEEPENED AND SUBTILIZED IN AN INEFFABLE WAY, YOUR MIND WILL, OF ITS OWN SPONTANEITY, BECOME COMPREHENSIVE AND BRIGHT, NEVER TO RELAPSE INTO THE STATE OF DOUBT AND DELUSION. HOWEVER NUMEROUS AND VARIOUS THE SUBTLE TEACHINGS ARE, YOU KNOW INTUITIVELY HOW TO APPLY THEM - IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE OCCASION.
"IN THIS WAY ONLY WILL YOU BE QUALIFIED TO SIT IN THE CHAIR AND WEAR YOUR ROBE AS A MASTER OF THE TRUE ART OF LIVING. TO SUM UP, IT IS OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE TO KNOW THAT ULTIMATE REALITY, OR THE BEDROCK OF REASON, DOES NOT ADMIT OF A SINGLE SPECK OF DUST, WHILE IN INNUMERABLE DOORS AND PATHS OF ACTION NOT A SINGLE LAW OR THING IS TO BE ABANDONED."
Maneesha, it is one of the most important problems for any seeker, to understand a clear distinction between cultivation and enlightenment. You can cultivate enlightenment, but that will be only phony.
You may believe in it, but your belief cannot make it true. Even if the whole society supports it, it does not matter.
Truth needs no support; it has to be self-evident. And how can you cultivate enlightenment if you don't know it? You will simply imitate other enlightened ones. But every enlightened person has a unique character of his own. Nobody can be another Isan. However hard he tries to cultivate, imitates every action of Isan, every word, still he cannot be Isan. He will remain himself, only with a cultured, cultivated layer around his mind. It will remain a mind act, and certainly enlightenment is not a mind act. So nobody can cultivate enlightenment.
But after enlightenment...
Enlightenment happens suddenly. You can follow a device, with no guarantee that it will lead to enlightenment. But if you have a living master with you, watching step by step where you are moving, supporting you with one hand, as one of the Indian mystics, Gora, used to say... Gora was a potter, a very poor man, but he came to the same height as Gautam Buddha. His language, of course, was that of a potter. But sometimes the raw language of the villagers can express things which very sophisticated language cannot.
Gora says that the master has to use both his hands, just like a potter. The potter hits the mud that he is turning into a pot from the outside with one hand, and from the inside with the other hand. His hits, his support, slowly create the pot.
The master has to use every possible way to bring you to the point where enlightenment is possible.
Just a little push - either of circumstances or by the master, or by the disciple himself - just a little turn. One step, and the old world is gone and you have entered into a new sky.
This is very sudden, because you were not preparing for it - although for the master it is not sudden.
He was preparing for it from every possible corner. Hitting you, shouting at you, being respectful to you - in every possible way the master was bringing you to the brink from where you need to take one step more. That step only you can take; the master can bring you up to the brink.
It needs an articulate master. No ordinary master can do that; hence there are many mystics, but very few masters. To be a mystic is difficult in itself, but to bring the message to somebody else or to transform somebody else's consciousness towards mystic experiences, one needs many qualities - an articulate way of giving an incentive to your longing, a reasonable approach, even making the irrational at least look rational, to turn even the absurd into a beautiful explanation. And to manage devices, meditations, from different corners of your being - one never knows from which side, north or west, east or south, you are most vulnerable. But the master slowly, easily, becomes aware from which side you are most vulnerable. Then that side has to be hit as hard as possible, because the weakest link in your chains is going to give way first.
Your liberation, your enlightenment, is a tremendous artwork of the master. To find the weakest link in your chains, and to hit you in such a way that rather than being angry you feel grateful - it is almost a miraculous alchemy. But as far as you are concerned, enlightenment happens suddenly.
The master was preparing, step by step; but that was in his consciousness, it was not part of your consciousness. To you, the door suddenly opens.
The master never declares that you have reached the door. He waits for the right moment: when you will be absolutely silent, utterly empty, the season comes on its own. And as you are maturing and ripening, the door is getting ready to open for you. But it is always a surprise to you, not to the master who has been preparing for years in different ways, bringing you to the point where you can disappear and evaporate.
After sudden enlightenment, a certain cultivation is needed because the sudden can become a glimpse. Your sleepiness is so deep, your unconsciousness is so vast that a sudden glimpse, a lightning... and again dark clouds have taken over. That beautiful moment will be remembered by you; you will start even doubting it: "Did it happen or did I imagine it? Was it a reality or a dream?"
But the sweetness of it will remain with you. The fragrance of it will remain with you.
Cultivation after enlightenment simply means to avoid any situation that can destroy your glimpse.
You have to pour your whole energy into the glimpse to make it more and more authentic, more and more deeply rooted in you, so that it becomes an indubitable truth. No clouds can destroy it and no sleepiness, no inertia is able to take it away from you. Isan's statement has to be understood in this light.
ON ONE OCCASION, A MONK ASKED ISAN ABOUT THE NEED FOR CULTIVATION OF ONE'S SPIRITUAL LIFE AFTER ENLIGHTENMENT. ISAN RESPONDED THAT IT WAS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE "INERTIA OF HABIT."
That includes everything - THE INERTIA OF HABIT. George Gurdjieff, one of the most important men of this century, had a certain idea about the mind which no scientist has denied....
Every scientist knows that the mind is divided almost like a cross, in four parts. The right side is divided in two parts, the front and the back; and the same is true about the left side. Whatever we have done to look into the mind, we have not found any way to determine what the purpose is of the back sides. They seem to be absolutely unnecessary. But nature never produces anything unnecessary. And particularly the brain is existence's greatest creation; it will not contain unnecessary parts. The probability is that we have not yet discovered their functions.
When the researchers looked into the brain they found a strange thing: the right hand is connected with the left side of the brain and the left hand is connected with the right side of the brain. So when I am moving the right hand it is being directed by the left side of the brain.
The people who are born left-handed - and their number is not small; it is ten percent of the whole population - they are in a difficulty their whole life, because they are born in a right-handed society but with a left-handed personality. And nobody knows the deeper problems - neither the parents nor the teachers. They force left-handed children to write with the right hand, just as everybody else is doing, not with the left hand. They are not aware what they are telling the child; neither can the child say anything against them. He can see that everybody is writing with the right hand, and it is strange that he writes with the left hand. But because of continuous enforcement, he tries the right hand. It is not so easy, but continuous practice makes him capable of writing with the right hand.
Only a very few people keep writing with their left hand. People who are left-handed and are writing with the right hand, are creating a great confusion in the mind.
The back of both sides of the brain, as far as we know, seems to be completely useless. But it is not. According to George Gurdjieff, who is the only one who has pointed out the fact, both of these back sides of the brain are a kind of robot. You learn something with the right hand; at first the front side of your left brain is active, but only in the process of learning. Once you have learned it, the front side delivers the learning to the back side. The back side is like a robot, or a computer. We don't see any function, but it goes on working without our knowing.
For example in Africa, one tribe has been found to eat only one time in twenty-four hours, and they are perfectly healthy. When they saw the Christian missionaries they could not believe it - "What kind of idiots are these? Their whole concern is eating and eating and eating. First the breakfast, then the lunch, then the afternoon tea, then a coffee break. And it goes on!" Those simple people could not understand - what is the point?
And the people of this tribe live longer, they are healthier; they live twice as long. If the average person here lives seventy years, in that small tribe he will live one hundred forty years or one hundred fifty years very easily. And even at the age of one hundred fifty he is not old; that tribe has known only young people dying. At the age of one hundred fifty he is functionally as young as any young man at the age of thirty-five. But they have been habituated for millions of years to eating one meal a day.
If you are habituated in the American way, then one meal will kill you! What will you do the remaining twenty-four hours? The American eats five times, and in between cigarettes are needed, chewing gum is needed; somehow the mouth should continue to chew. They have become so accustomed, that even to take away somebody's chewing gum you have to hospitalize him because of the withdrawal effects! Chewing gum - such a simple thing. In the first place you were doing something stupid and now you are talking about withdrawal effects! So something else has to be given in place of chewing gum; then something else, less addictive, and it takes a few weeks to get out of the habit.
The problem is, the habit goes into the back side of your brain, and we don't yet have any direct approach to the back side. The back side is still the unknown continent, and it controls everything.
It freaks out if you drop any habit. It forces you to take the habit back.
I was staying in Calcutta with a friend, in the house of one of the richest men of India, Sohanlal Dugar. He is dead now. He must have been at that time seventy or seventy-five years old, and he told me, "I have renounced sex four times." The stupid man who was with me was very much impressed. When we were left alone the man said, "This is great - four times!"
I said, "You are an idiot. You don't understand: you can renounce sex only once. How can you renounce it four times?"
Then he said, "Yes, that is right. If you have renounced once, you have renounced."
I said, "Let Sohanlal come back and I am going to ask what happened the fifth time."
I asked him when he came back, "You were telling us about your celibacy, that you tried four times, and my friend is very much impressed. So I am asking you, what happened to the fifth time?"
He said, "It is a disaster. The fifth time I did not renounce it, because four times I have already failed and learned the lesson that there is no point in renouncing; it is better to keep silent about it."
That's why everybody in the world is silent about sex. Particularly the celibates are absolutely silent because they know the problem, how many times they have renounced and it comes back again. It is not in your control and it is not your personal habit. It comes with your very birth, it is a biological habit.
So, there are many kinds of habits. A few habits you can drop, but a few habits are very deeply rooted. And to remain ignorant and unconscious is a very long, millions of years old, habit. If you allow it just a single moment, it will take you over.
Enlightenment is a very new phenomenon, and there is everything against it: your whole old mind, your unconsciousness, your tendency to forget. The English word 'sin' originally meant forgetfulness, but the priests destroyed the beauty of the word. Forgetfulness is certainly a sin - not against anybody, against yourself. But you have remained forgetful so long - it is not chewing gum, that within four weeks you will drop it. And it is such a consolation to remain in forgetfulness: it is cozy, it does not create an eternal quest, a search for the truth. It does not take you on dangerous paths. It keeps you mundane and ordinary, a part of the crowd, very happy in stupid things.
Just watch people celebrating marriages, and everybody knows what is going to be the outcome!
Everywhere, all around, there are ruins and wrecks of marriages; still, idiots will sit on horses, will wear a turban. Once they used to carry a sword, but now it is a shorter version, a small knife. What is all this hullaballoo? - the bands, and people are singing, and a festivity, celebration. Two people, one man and one woman, are being hanged and all these fools are celebrating. And they are also enjoying: for the first time, and perhaps the last time, they are sitting on a horse like a king, with a crown and if not a real sword, then just a vegetable-cutting knife.
Such a drama, and the ultimate result? Then nobody bothers about you. All those who had gathered to celebrate your crucifixion... nobody comes for the resurrection. Then you work it out, it is your problem. And everybody must have noticed: all the old stories end up with the marriage; they don't go any further. All the old stories say, "They got married and lived in happiness afterwards" - that is the finishing touch, as if both have died - because to get into what happens after marriage, the intricate and complex problems, is dangerous.
In India, or anywhere else, tragedy in the movies or in the novels is loved more than comedy.
Comedy seems to be not related to life at all, but tragedy - that is everybody's experience.
Everybody knows the taste of it.
Enlightenment, first as a glimpse, has to be protected from all your miserable habits, old patterns of behavior, unconscious ways of doing things like a robot. This is what cultivation is. You are fighting against a very long past which has known only a dark night, not even a star. And suddenly you have come to have a glimpse of the dawn, and heard the songs of the birds, and smelled the fragrance of the opening flowers. In the first place, you cannot believe that this can be true - perhaps you are dreaming. Your whole experience is of a dark night; you have never thought that this dark night was going to end at any time. It seems to become darker and darker and darker. You have never understood the logic, that the darker the night becomes, the closer comes the dawn. But the dawn is unbelievable when it comes for the first time.
And the dawn I am talking about, and Isan is talking about, is not something outside you. All your patterns, old habits, are also inside. They will try to destroy the new inside that is growing, and is fragile, and your old habits are like stones, hard and heavy. The fight is between a rose and a stone.
It is a difficult problem to protect the rose against all the rocks that you have grown in the past.
To experience the first glimpse is not very difficult. The real difficulty begins after the glimpse: How to save it? How to make it so true, and so deeply rooted, and so strong, that nothing can destroy it, that no doubt can arise about it, that its truth becomes self-evident? You have to live it; that is the only way to cultivate it.
How have you cultivated your habits? Just by living them. If you have not lived a certain habit, you cannot see why somebody else cannot leave it. You laugh at chewing gum because you have not become habituated to it; you laugh about smoking because you have not become habituated to it; or alcohol... each goes deeper, transforms your chemistry and biology, becomes a deep hunger in you. In spite of you, you have to drink alcohol; you don't want to, but what to do? When the time comes the urge is so strong, every cell of your body is asking for it. And you think, "Perhaps one time more will not do much harm."
But this goes on for years - "one time more." But the next time also, the same situation will arise. One needs to have courage to cut any habit with a sword, in a single blow. And whatever the withdrawal symptoms, it is better to suffer them for two or three weeks than to be defeated by your habits.
A man who is not a master of his own habits cannot remain enlightened. Even if he is fortunate enough to have a glimpse, that glimpse will make him even more miserable, because now he knows what is possible. Now he knows where he can reach, now he knows what is his potential. But he has to live in the darkness of his old habits and he cannot get out of the pattern.
Cultivation is the only way. Don't think of enlightenment just as an inner experience. In the beginning it is an inner experience - then slowly bring it into your outer life. That's what I have been telling you every day, that whatever you experience, don't think the work is finished. The experience that happens in meditation has to be present in your day-to-day affairs.
Whether you are a housewife cooking, or you are working in an office, or in a shop - any kind of life you are living, your meditation has to be staying alert in every activity. This is what cultivation is.
The more you live it, the more it becomes a normal experience; the more you live it, the less is the possibility of it being taken away by old habits. They will come like floods, but you have to remember one thing: that a small flame of a candle is enough to destroy the darkness of millions of years. The darkness cannot say to the candle, "You are too small, don't be foolish; against a darkness millions of years old you are trying to fight? You have some nerve!"
Nothing of that kind of dialogue ever happens. The small flame... and the darkness disappears, however old. Your glimpse of first enlightenment - in Japan they call it satori - is strong. It may be fragile, it may be new. It will be difficult to protect it, but it has a strength of its own. If you support it totally, it is going to take over your whole being. Satori is going to become samadhi.
Satori is the first glimpse of samadhi, and samadhi is when your whole being is afire. You don't have to remember, you are it. But this is possible only if you cultivate it in all your day-to-day affairs.
ISAN RESPONDED THAT IT WAS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE "INERTIA OF HABIT." The cultivation in your day-to-day life is needed because of the inertia of habit.
HE THEN WENT ON TO SAY: "WHAT YOU HEAR MUST FIRST BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR REASON."
Whatever you have seen inside, first you should make it part of your reason. It should not be put aside as an irrational, absurd episode. Isan is saying that if you think about it as irrational, doubts are bound to arise. So the first thing is that you should make it in tune, in synchronicity with your rationality. You will not be able to protect something absurd - and in fact it is absurd. The very experience is beyond reason; it happens when there is no mind.
So the first cultivation is to bring it closer to the mind. First you have made every effort to go away from the mind - now bring your enlightenment closer to the mind. Make it acceptable to the mind so that the mind becomes a friend rather than an enemy in the long fight between your inertia and enlightenment. Now, make the mind your ally.
WHAT YOU HEAR MUST FIRST BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR REASON; AND WHEN YOUR RATIONAL UNDERSTANDING IS DEEPENED AND SUBTILIZED IN AN INEFFABLE WAY, YOUR MIND WILL, OF ITS OWN SPONTANEITY, BECOME COMPREHENSIVE AND BRIGHT, NEVER TO RELAPSE INTO THE STATE OF DOUBT AND DELUSION.
A very practical and scientific man - nobody else has said it so clearly. The first experience is beyond mind. Now, the problem is that mind will try to create all kinds of doubts. Mind is full of your habits, and your new enlightenment is like a stranger who has suddenly arrived with new habits, with new directions, with a new lifestyle - it wants to change everything in you. Obviously, your old personality and your old mind are going to give a good fight.
Isan shows a tremendous pragmatic insight. He says, the best way to avoid the fight is to bring the enlightenment closer to your reason. How can you bring it closer to your reason? If you start living according to your enlightenment, the mind at first will be unwilling, reluctant, resistant - but soon it will see that the way of enlightenment is far superior to the old, unconscious lifestyle. Mind is intelligent enough to recognize this. But this recognition will be possible only if the mind can see it working, can see that enlightenment works better in love, in friendship, in life - that everywhere it brings a better result. The mind will soon be willing to accept it as a better way of life.
Once mind accepts enlightenment as a better way of life, you have destroyed the greatest enemy.
Then mind also starts using the insights of enlightenment and is willing to change itself. Once the mind is convinced that enlightenment gives you a better life, a more refined, graceful life, a more blissful life... that it changes everything, that it makes your touch a golden touch, that whatever you touch becomes gold... mind is intelligent enough to see, and to choose. Which is better: the old unconscious life, or the new conscious life?
This is the only way of making a RATIONAL UNDERSTANDING DEEPENED AND SUBTILIZED IN AN INEFFABLE WAY, so YOUR MIND WILL, OF ITS OWN SPONTANEITY, BECOME COMPREHENSIVE AND BRIGHT.
If the mind accepts rather than fighting, if it accepts a friendship with enlightenment, it will be filled with light, with more joy, with more blissfulness, with more ecstasy. It will be flooded with so many treasures that it cannot fight against enlightenment.
Inside you there is going to be a fight, finally: to choose the path of light, or to remain on the path of darkness. There is a point of departure. Mind has to be allowed to have a chance to see how enlightenment functions in transforming your actions, your being, how it brings more joy to life, more songs to life, more flowers to life, more dances to life. That is the only argument to persuade the mind to accept that enlightenment has a tremendous value. There is no need to fight; a friendship is valuable. Once mind has become friendly to the stranger, you can be comfortable and at ease.
There is going to be no fight anymore. Mind itself will bring more and more of enlightenment into functioning; this will become its own work.
HOWEVER NUMEROUS AND VARIOUS THE SUBTLE TEACHINGS ARE, YOU KNOW INTUITIVELY HOW TO APPLY THEM - IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE OCCASION.
Once mind is a friend to your enlightenment, once it has seen the glory and the splendor in becoming friendly - because in becoming friendly that splendor and glory is reflected in the mind too - your intelligence will grow. Everything in you will start moving to a higher point. Once this synchronicity has happened, then mind knows intuitively how to respond to any occasion in accordance with enlightenment. Remember always one thing, that you will choose the better.
I have heard about a beggar who was the laughingstock of a whole village. The village was a tourist center because of its very ancient ruins, palaces, forts. And that beggar was also one of the special attractions - the guides who used to take the tourists around would always take them to see the beggar, too.
They would say, "You will have to see this strange phenomenon: you just show him a rupee and a paisa, one in each hand, and tell him, 'You can choose either.'"
They said, "But we don't see... what is the miracle in that?"
The guide would say, "You try it! You will see the miracle."
So people tried - the beggar would always choose the paisa. And then everybody would laugh, and they would say, "Strange! - can't this beggar understand that he is choosing a paisa against a rupee?" Then others would take the chance, and that was the beggar's whole work during the day, to choose the paisa against the rupee.
One day a very curious man saw all this happening. He remained behind after the tourists were gone; he went to the beggar and he said, "I can see that you are not an idiot. You are very intelligent.
But why do you choose the paisa?"
He said, "Because of my intelligence! Once I choose the rupee, the game will stop. The game is continuing every day, for years...."
Then the man became aware of the greatness of his intelligence. "He is right: if he chooses the rupee, then the game is finished. Then the guide will not bring anybody, and nobody will try to test his intelligence. They enjoy..." And the beggar said, "I also enjoy their stupidity! My daily income is nearabout ten to twelve rupees average. But it is because I continue to choose something which nobody expects. Even the retarded person will choose the rupee - but because I am doing something absurd, they laugh and they enjoy. I also laugh, but I don't show it. I laugh when everybody is gone."
Whatever mind you have - it is capable to see the fact that enlightenment brings a tremendous treasure to all your actions, a beauty to whatever you do, a joy that remains like an aroma around you. The mind is absolutely capable of understanding this. And once the mind has understood it, it is no longer an enemy; it dissolves itself into the tremendous phenomenon of enlightenment. That is the right action on the part of the mind, but it can happen only in a certain way: you have to give the mind a chance to see the effects of enlightenment.
IN THIS WAY ONLY WILL YOU BE QUALIFIED TO SIT IN THE CHAIR AND WEAR YOUR ROBE AS A MASTER OF THE TRUE ART OF LIVING. TO SUM UP, IT IS OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE TO KNOW THAT ULTIMATE REALITY, OR THE BEDROCK OF REASON, DOES NOT ADMIT OF A SINGLE SPECK OF DUST, WHILE IN INNUMERABLE DOORS AND PATHS OF ACTION NOT A SINGLE LAW OR THING IS TO BE ABANDONED.
A man of enlightenment who has come to an agreement with the mind and the body... which happens almost simultaneously, because the body follows the mind. As the mind accepts enlightenment, the body accepts it also - it happens simultaneously. Once it has happened, "There is not a single thing," Isan says, "to be abandoned in life."
You can transform anything you want, but the idea of abandoning things is of the old mind, of the escapist, so-called religious people - "Abandon this, abandon that; abandon the whole of life...."
That is not a very courageous way; that is the way of a coward. And all the religions have been teaching the way of the coward.
I teach you the way of the courageous, the way of the lion. Remain in the world. Don't abandon anything, transform it. If something is poisonous, you don't have to drop it; it will drop the moment you understand that it is poisonous. You will not have to make any effort. You will not abandon it; it will simply be dropped without any effort, and your life becomes more and more simple.
THE MOUNTAIN RANGE, THE WATER, THE STONES, ALL ARE STRANGE AND RARE.
THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE, AS WE KNOW, BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE LIKE IT.
I will have to repeat it:
THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE, AS WE KNOW, BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE LIKE IT.
THE UPPER WORLD, THE LOWER WORLD, ORIGINALLY ARE ONE THING.
THERE IS NOT A BIT OF DUST; THERE IS ONLY THIS STILL AND FULL PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT.
If you are enlightened, then there is no duality of this world and that world, of a lower world and a higher world, of a material world and a sacred and holy world. In the moment of perfect and full enlightenment, THERE IS NOT A BIT OF DUST. The mirror is so clean it reflects the whole in its totality. You become the truth, you become the beauty, you become the divine. There is not anything other than your vaster self. You lose your smaller self into the oceanic self, into the self which is cosmic. Who is there to abandon what? One simply enters into the dance and disappears.
I have just remembered an old Chinese Zen story. I have loved it so much that each time I remember it I rejoice it immensely.
The emperor of China was a very great painter; he loved painting, and he used to call other painters to the palace every year to have an exhibition. When he had become very old, he declared, at one annual function, "Now I am very old and I want to see the most perfect painting in the world. I will provide space in the palace to the painter, and whatever he needs..."
So a few painters who thought they could create such a painting stayed in the palace. Somebody completed his painting in one month and brought it to the emperor. He had done well, but it was not the most perfect.
By and by three years passed, and only one painter remained. For three years he had been painting - and he was not painting on canvas; he was painting on the wall of the palace where his room was allotted to him.
He had painted a beautiful forest... and a moonlit night, a small river, and a very small footpath going round and round around the trees and then disappearing in the forest.
After three years he came to the emperor and said, "Now you can come. Whatever I can do I have done. I think it is the most perfect painting in the world. So I invite Your Honor to come, and I don't ask any reward - these three years were the most precious that I have lived. Just your seeing it is enough."
All the other painters had been painting for reward, and when you are painting out of some motivation, for some reward, your painting cannot be perfect. Your motivation will be the dust.
This painter said, "I am not at all interested in any reward; you have already given it to me. These three years I have lived such a beautiful life, day and night; nothing could be more than you have given me. Now just look at the painting so that I can go back home. My children, my wife, may be waiting for me."
The emperor went with him. Certainly this painter had done the greatest job. He became so interested that he asked the painter, "Where does this small path go, finally?"
The painter said, "I have never gone on it but if you are willing to come with me, we can go and see where it leads. This question has arisen in me also many times, 'Where does this small path lead?'"
So the painter and the emperor both entered the path and disappeared behind the trees, and nothing has been heard about them since.
This story has always made me immensely happy. There is no returning from perfection, there is no going back. Perfection takes you and you disappear.
Maneesha has asked:
OUR BELOVED MASTER,
IS THERE ANY RELATION BETWEEN AWARENESS AND THE INSTINCTIVE ALERTNESS MAN ONCE HAD TO RELY ON FOR HIS SURVIVAL?
There is a certain relationship. There is a physical, biological, instinctive wisdom. You are not aware of it, that your body is doing miracles every moment....
If for just six minutes a certain amount of oxygen does not reach the brain, the mind will dissolve.
Those cells depend on oxygen. The body, waking or asleep, is continuously supplying that much oxygen, neither more nor less. Where the blood is needed, how much of it is needed - the body is working it out, it is not dependent on you. How to transform your food into blood, into flesh, into bones, into nerves - the body knows all the secrets.
Even our scientists are still far behind. To change bread into blood will be thought a great miracle!
Jesus only changed water into wine, and it became a great miracle, and your body is changing thousands of things. What kinds of vitamins have to reach to certain places in the body - the body does not ask you, it does not bother you at all. It has its own wisdom, and you should be respectful of this great wisdom.
Just as the body has its own wisdom - it is called instinct - your soul has its own wisdom. It is called intuition. Your mind is a borrowed thing; it has nothing like instinct or intuition. It is just a computer which goes on collecting all kinds of information. But it has tremendous power over you because it has all that you know. If it is erased you will be simply dumb, not knowing who you are, where you are going - for what? What is the business?
Mind functions according to the knowledge it has gathered: it is a borrowed thing in you. The body functions according to nature - and your consciousness functions according to nature. In the middle of these two is the mind, which functions as a computer. It fills a great need. As a servant it is good; as a master it is dangerous.
Once the intuitiveness of your consciousness has started functioning, the mind immediately recognizes who is the master. Once it recognizes the master, it will be a very good servant, very efficient. Because it is only a mechanism, it can do miracles, but it needs a master to guide it.
Without the master the mind starts thinking itself to be the master, and that creates problems. The mind is not a master. It has not even any natural wisdom of its own. Even the body is in a far better situation.
You have to bring enlightenment to your consciousness, and make it evident to the mind that it is a far better way of living. The body is always functioning naturally; only the mind sometimes tries to master the body. That's what all the religions have been telling you. All the scriptures are full of teachings on how to force the body into a certain discipline. Celibacy is a mind idea, the body knows nothing of it. And the mind cannot manage it, so the body goes into a repression, functions abnormally, becomes perverted. The body is very innocent. It is the mind - the priest, the philosopher, the educator - which tries to interfere in everything.
The enlightened man does not interfere, does not allow the mind to interfere in the body. You become a solid pillar of wisdom. Your body is already in tune with nature, and your mind has stopped interrupting. It has also fallen in tune with your higher consciousness, your enlightenment.
Your whole being becomes a pure pillar of light.
This is the function of the whole Zen experiment on man: to turn him into a single whole, a pillar of wisdom.
Before you all become pillars of wisdom, a little foolishness for poor Sardar Gurudayal Singh - just for his sake. He is again sitting there with that rainbow turban. Where did he get it? (THE MASTER TURNS IN SARDARJI'S DIRECTION AND CHUCKLES....) Yeah, that's great. That's great.
Maureen and Peggy, the wives of Paddy and Sean, are sitting in the Dainty Dandelion pub drinking wine coolers, when Maureen shakes her head and moans, "My husband is so ugly that if I want to make love to him, I have to put a bag over his head."
"That's nothing," says Peggy. "My husband is so ugly that when he was born, the doctor slapped his mother!"
Harold the Hippie is sitting around in his pad smoking a few dozen reefers and grooving to the television program "Daffy Duck" when the phone rings.
"Hullo," says Harold, completely stoned.
"This is the overseas international operator," says the voice on the other end. "I've got a long- distance, collect call from Mabel Beeks - will you accept the charges?"
"Wow, man!" says Harold, puffing madly on his reefer. "This sounds like a bad connection - Mabel who?"
"Mabel Beeks! Mabel Beeks!" shouts the operator.
"Ah, no, man," replies Harold, his eyes rolling around in his head. "Mabel is not here."
"No! No!" screams the operator. "Mabel Beeks is here! This is a long-distance call from Mabel Beeks...!"
"Really?" says Harold, completely confused. "Where the hell is Mabel Beeks?"
"No!" shouts the voice. "This is Mabel Beeks!"
"Hey, sorry," says Harold. "Mabel's not here."
"No! You idiot! This is Mabel Beeks!" cries the operator.
Then Mabel Beeks herself interrupts and says, "Never mind, operator. Let me try. Hello, this is Mabel Beeks - is June there?"
"June?" cries Harold, scratching his head, and looking out the window. "I don't know where you are, but here it is still November!"
Big Leroy and Ruby get married and go to the Humping Hippo Honeymoon Hotel in Mexico. Ruby is a virgin and she is very worried about the size of Big Leroy's machinery.
"Don't worry, baby," comforts Leroy. "I will just show it to you a bit at a time, so it doesn't scare you."
"Okay, precious," says Ruby, shyly. "Now you go outside and wait in the hallway, while I get undressed and ready for bed."
A few minutes later, Ruby is tucked under the sheets in the bridal bed. "Come on in honey!" she cries nervously. "I'm ready!"
"Now, sweetheart," says Big Leroy, from the hallway, "before I come in, I'm going to poke my prick around the bedroom door, bit by bit, just so you can get used to the idea."
Leroy pushes the head of his machinery inside the doorway.
"Are you scared, darling?" he asks.
"No, baby," replies Ruby. "I'm not scared."
So Leroy pushes another two inches inside the doorway.
"Are you scared now, sugar-pie?" asks Leroy.
"No, honey, I'm not," replies Ruby, wide-eyed.
Then Leroy pushes another six inches through the open doorway.
"Are you scared now, sweetie?" he asks.
"No, baby-cake," replies Ruby, "I'm not scared. You can come to bed now!"
"Okay, then!" cries Leroy, "I'm coming up the stairs!"
(Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano...
(Drumbeat) Be silent. Close your eyes, feel your body to be frozen, completely frozen.
Now look inwards. You have to reach to the center of your being. Collect all your consciousness, your whole life energy, like a spear piercing towards the center of your being.
At the very center you are a buddha. Your only quality at the center is witnessing, watching, awareness.
As your insight deepens, suddenly the whole universe starts rejoicing with you because your center is also the center of the whole cosmos. At your very center you are a buddha. And from this moment onwards you have to persuade the buddha to come to your daily activities - not remain hidden inside, but come to the surface, to the circumference, to actions, to words, to silences....
To know the buddha is to know your eternal being; to know the buddha is to know your disappearance. Here you disappear - and suddenly the buddha appears.
Everyone is pregnant with the buddha.
This silence, this tremendously beautiful serenity... you are fortunate to be here. Nowhere else in the world are thousands of people trying to discover their hidden splendor.
To make this golden space more clear to you, Nivedano...
(Drumbeat) Relax. But remain a witness. The body is lying there as an object, the mind is there as an object.
You are the witness. You are neither the mind, nor the body. You are a pure consciousness. This pure consciousness we have been calling the buddha. The buddha is only a symbol.
So many flowers have blossomed, so much fragrance... all boundaries have disappeared and the Buddha Auditorium has become a lake of consciousnesses without any ripples. You have to bring all this fragrance with you, all these flowers with you.
Now I have brought the Buddha statue, just in front of the Buddha Auditorium. He is waiting there.
When you pass by, remember: he was also one day just a human being, as you are. Pay your respects; pay your gratitude, because this man alone introduced the world to a new dimension - of beautitude, of truth, of dignity. This man alone declared that man is God, and other than man there is no god. This was the greatest revolutionary statement ever made.
(Drumbeat) Come back, but with the same gesture of peace, silence and grace. Bring the buddha with you. Sit for a few moments silently, reminding yourself of your potential, and the glimpse, the center and the silence. Remember the beauty of eternity in the moment and the encounter with your buddha.
You have brought a few invisible flowers; while going out of the Buddha Auditorium you can shower Buddha with flowers in gratitude.
At this moment you have become his contemporary. I want to make everyone in the world a contemporary of Buddha. This is the only possibility for humanity to survive on a higher plane.
You are not working only for yourself, you are also working for the survival of this beautiful earth.
Yes, Beloved Master.