Meditation: The Art of Celebration
Concentration is a choice. It excludes all except its object of concentration; it is a narrowing. If you are walking on the street, you will have to narrow your consciousness in order to walk. You cannot ordinarily be aware of all that is happening because if you are aware of everything that is happening you will become unfocused. So concentration is a need. Concentration of the mind is a need in order to live-to survive and exist. That is why every culture, in its own way, tries to narrow the mind of the child.
Children, as they are, are never focused; their consciousness is open from all sides. Everything is coming in, nothing is being excluded. The child is open to every sensation, every sensation is included in his consciousness.
And so much is coming in! That is why he is so wavering, so unstable. A child's unconditioned mind is a flux-a flux of sensations-but he will not be able to survive with this type of mind. He must learn how to narrow his mind, to concentrate.
The moment you narrow the mind you become particularly conscious of one thing and simultaneously unconscious of so many other things. The more narrowed the mind is, the more successful it will be. You will become a specialist, you will become an expert, but the whole thing will consist of knowing more and more about less and less.
The narrowing is an existential necessity; no one is responsible for it. As life exists, it is needed, but it is not enough. It is utilitarian, but just to survive is not enough; just to be utilitarian is not enough.
So when you become utilitarian and the consciousness is narrowed, you deny your mind much of which it was capable. You are not using the total mind, you are using a very small part of it.
And the remaining - the major portion - will become unconscious.
In fact, there is no boundary between conscious and unconscious. These are not two minds.
"Conscious mind" means that part of the mind that has been used in the narrowing process.
"Unconscious mind" means that portion that has been neglected, ignored, closed. This creates a division, a split. The greater portion of your mind becomes alien to you. You become alienated from your own self; you become a stranger to your own totality.
A small part is being identified as your self and the rest is lost. But the remaining unconscious part is always there as unused potentiality, unused possibilities, unlived adventures. This unconscious mind-this potential, this unused mind-will always be in a fight with the conscious mind; that is why there is always a conflict within.
Everyone is in conflict because of this split between the unconscious and the conscious. But only if the potential, the unconscious, is allowed to flower can you feel the bliss of existence; otherwise not.
If the major portion of your potentialities remains unfulfilled, your life will be a frustration. That is why the more utilitarian a person is, the less he is fulfilled, the less he is blissful. The more utilitarian the approach- the more one is in business life-the less he is living, the less he is ecstatic. The part of the mind that cannot be made useful in the utilitarian world has been denied.
The utilitarian life is necessary but at a great cost: you have lost the festivity of life. Life becomes a festivity, a celebration, if all your potentialities come to a flowering; then life is a ceremony. That is why I always say that religion means transforming life into a celebration. The dimension of religion is the dimension of the festive, the nonutilitarian.
The utilitarian mind must not be taken as the whole. The remaining, the greater-the whole mind- should not be sacrificed to it. The utilitarian mind must not become the end. It will have to remain there, but as a means. The other-the remaining, the greater, the potential-must become the end.
That is what I mean by a religious approach.
With a nonreligious approach, the businesslike mind, the utilitarian, becomes the end. When this becomes the end, there is no possibility of the unconscious actualizing the potential; the unconscious will be denied. If the utilitarian becomes the end, it means that the servant is playing the role of the master.
Intelligence, the narrowing of the mind, is a means toward survival, but not toward life. Survival is not life.
Survival is a necessity-to exist in the material world is a necessity-but the end is always to come to a flowering of the potential, of all that is meant by you. If you are fulfilled completely, if nothing remains inside in seed form, if everything becomes actual, if you are a flowering, then and only then can you feel the bliss, the ecstasy of life.
The denied part of you, the unconscious part, can become active and creative only if you add a new dimension to your life-the dimension of the festive, the dimension of play.
So meditation is not a work, it is a play. Praying is not a business, it is a play. Meditation is not something to be done to achieve some goal-peace, bliss-but something to be enjoyed as an end in itself.
The festive dimension is the most important thing to be understood-and we have lost it totally. By festive, I mean the capacity to enjoy, moment to moment, all that comes to you.
We have become so conditioned and habits have become so mechanical that even when there is no business to be done, our minds are businesslike. When no narrowing is needed, you are narrowed.
Even when you are playing, you are not playing, you are not enjoying it. Even when you are playing cards, you are not enjoying it. You play for the victory and then the play becomes a work; then what is going on is not important, only the result.
In business the result is important. In festivity, the act is important. If you can make any act significant in itself, then you become festive and you can celebrate it.
Whenever you are in celebration, the limits, the narrowing limits are broken. They are not needed, they are thrown. You come out of your straitjacket, the narrowing jacket of concentration. Now you are not choosing; everything that comes, you allow. And the moment you allow the total existence to come in, you become one with it. There is a communion.
This communion-this celebration, this choiceless awareness, this nonbusinesslike attitude-I call meditation.
The festivity is in the moment, in the act, not in the bothering about the results, not in achieving something.
There is nothing to be achieved, so you can enjoy that which is here and now.
You can explain it in this way: I am talking to you; if I am concerned about the result, then the talk becomes a business, it becomes a work. But if I talk to you without any expectations, without any desire about the result, then the talk becomes a play. The very act, in itself, is the end. Then narrowing is not needed. I can play with the words, I can play with the thoughts. I can play with your question, I can play with my answer; then it is not serious, then it is lighthearted.
And if you are listening to me without thinking about getting something out of it, then you can be relaxed; then you can allow me to be in communion with you and your consciousness will not be narrowed. Then it is open- playing, enjoying.
Any moment can be a business moment, any moment can be a meditative moment; the difference is in the attitude. If it is choiceless, if you are playing with it, it is meditative.
There are social needs and there are existential needs that are to be fulfilled. I will not say, "Do not condition children." If you leave them totally unconditioned, they will be barbaric. They will not be able to exist. Survival needs conditioning but survival is not the end, so you must be able to put your conditioning on and take it off-just like clothes. You can put them on, go out and do your business, and then come home and take them off. Then you are.
If you are not identified with your clothes, with your conditioning, if you do not say, for example, "I am my mind," it is not difficult; then you can change easily. But you become identified with your conditioning. You say, "My conditioning is me," and all that is not your conditioning is denied. You think, "All that is not conditioned is not me, the unconscious is not me; I am the conscious, the focused mind." This identification is dangerous. This should not be. A proper education is not conditioned, but is conditioned with the condition that conditioning is a utilitarian need; you must be able to take it on and off.
When it is needed you put it on, and when you do not need it you can take it off. Until it is possible to educate human beings so that they do not become identified with their conditionings, human beings are not really human beings.
They are robots - conditioned, narrowed.
To understand this is to become aware of that part of the mind, the greater part, which has been denied light. And to become aware of it is to become aware that you are not the conscious mind.
The conscious mind is just a part. "I" am both, and the greater part is unconditioned. But it is always there, waiting.
My definition of meditation is that it is simply an effort to jump into the unconscious. You cannot jump by calculation because all calculation is of the conscious and the conscious mind will not allow it. It will caution: "You will go mad. Do not do it."
The conscious mind is always afraid of the unconscious because if the unconscious emerges, all that is calm and clear in the conscious will be swept away. Then everything will be dark, as in a forest.
It is like this: you have made a garden, a garden with a boundary. Very little ground has been cleared, but you have planted some flowers and everything is okay-ordered, clear.
Only, the forest is always nearby. It is unruly, uncontrollable, and the garden is in constant fear of it.
At any moment the forest can enter and then the garden will disappear.
In the same way, you have cultivated a part of your mind.
You have made everything clear. But the unconscious is always around, and the conscious mind is always in fear of it. The conscious mind says, "Don't go into the unconscious.
Don't look at it, don't think about it."
The path of the unconscious is dark and unknown. To reason, it will look irrational; to logic, it will look illogical. So if you think in order to go into meditation, you will never go-because the thinking part will not allow you to.
This becomes a dilemma. You cannot do anything without thinking, and with thinking you cannot go into meditation.
What to do? Even if you think, "I am not going to think," this is also thinking. It is the thinking part of the mind that is saying, "I shall not allow thinking."
Meditation cannot be done by thinking; this is the dilemma-the greatest dilemma. Every seeker will have to come to this dilemma; somewhere, sometime, the dilemma will be there. Those who know say, "Jump! Do not think!" But you cannot do anything without thinking. That is why unnecessary devices have been created-I say unnecessary devices, because if you jump without thinking, no device is needed.
But you cannot jump without thinking, so a device is needed.
You can think about the device, your thinking mind can be put at ease about the device, but not about meditation.
Meditation will be a jump into the unknown. You can work with a device and the device will automatically push you into the unknown. The device is necessary only because of the training of the mind; otherwise, it is not needed.
Once you have jumped you will say, "The device was not necessary, it was not needed." But this is a retrospective knowing; you will know afterward that the device was not needed. That is what Krishnamurti is saying: "No device is needed; no method is needed." The Zen teachers are saying, "No effort is needed; it is effortless." But this is absurd for one who has not crossed the barrier. And one is mainly talking with those who have not crossed the barrier.
So I say that a device is artificial. It is just a trick to put your rational mind at ease so that you can be pushed into the unknown.
That is why I use vigorous methods. The more vigorous the method, the less your calculative mind will be needed. The more vigorous it becomes, the more total, because vitality is not only of the mind-it is of the body, of the emotions.
It is of your full being.
Sufi dervishes have used dance as a technique, as a device. If you go into dance you cannot remain intellectual, because dance is an arduous phenomenon; your whole being is needed in it. And a moment is bound to come when dance will become mindless. The more vital, the more vigorous, the more you are in it, the less reason will be there. So dance was devised as a technique to push.
At some point you will not be dancing, but the dance will take over, will take you over; you will be swept away to the unknown source.
Zen teachers have used the koan method. Koans are puzzles that by their very nature are absurd.
They cannot be solved by reason; you cannot think about them. Ostensibly, it looks as if something can be thought about them; that is the catch. It seems as if something can be thought about koans, so you begin to think. Your rational mind is put at ease; something has been given to it to be solved.
But the thing given to it is something that cannot be solved. The very nature of it is such that it cannot be solved because the very nature of it is absurd.
There are hundreds of puzzles. The teacher will say, "Think about a soundless sound." Verbally, it seems as though it can be thought about. If you try hard, somehow, somewhere, a soundless sound can be found; it may be possible. Then, at a certain point-and that point cannot be predicted; it is not the same for everyone-the mind just goes flat. It is not there. You are, but the mind, with all its conditioning, is gone. You are just like a child.
Conditioning is not there, you are just conscious; the narrowing concentration is not there. Now you know that the device was not necessary-but this is an afterthought, it should not be said beforehand.
No method is causal; no method is the cause of meditation. That is why so many methods are possible. Every method is just a device, but every religion says that its method is the way and no other method will do. They all think in terms of causality.
By heating water, the water evaporates. Heat is the cause: without the heat, the water will not evaporate. This is causal. Heat is a necessity that must precede evaporation. But meditation is not causal, so any method is possible. Every method is just a device; it is just creating a situation for the happening; it is not causing it.
For example, beyond the boundary of this room is the unbound, open sky. You have never seen it.
I can talk with you about the sky, about the freshness, about the sea, about all that is beyond this room, but you have not seen it. You do not know about it. You just laugh; you think I am making it up. You say, "It is all fantastic. You are a dreamer." I cannot convince you to go outside because everything that I can talk about is meaningless to you.
Then I say, "The house is on fire!" This is meaningful to you; this is something that you can understand.
Now I do not have to give you any explanations. I just run; you follow me. The house is not on fire, but the moment you are outside you don't have to ask me why I lied. The meaning is there; the sky is there. Now you thank me. Any lie will do. The lie was just a device; it was just a device to bring you outside. It did not cause the outside to be there.
Every religion is based on a lie device. All methods are lies; they just create a situation, they are not causal. New devices can be created; new religions can be created. Old devices become flat, an old lie becomes flat, and new ones are needed. You have been told so many times that the house is on fire when it is not, that the lie has become useless.
Now someone has to create a new device.
If something is the cause of something else, it is never useless. But an old device is always useless; new devices are needed. That is why every new prophet will have to struggle with the old prophets.
He is doing the same work that they are doing, but he will have to oppose their teachings because he will have to deny old devices that have become flat and meaningless.
All the great ones-Buddha, Christ, Mahavira-have, out of compassion, created great lies just to push you out of the house. If you can be pushed out of your mind through any device, that is all that is needed. Your mind is the imprisonment, your mind is fatal; it is the slavery.
As I have said, this dilemma is bound to happen-the nature of life is such. You will have to learn to narrow the mind. This narrowing will be helpful when you move outward, but it will be fatal inside. It will be utilitarian with others; it will be suicidal with oneself.
You have to exist with others and with yourself. Any life that is one-sided is crippled. You must exist among others with a conditioned mind, but you must exist with yourself with a totally unconditioned consciousness. Society creates a narrowed consciousness, but consciousness itself means expansion; it is unlimited. Both are needs, and both should be fulfilled.
I call a person wise who can fulfill both needs. Either extreme is unwise; either extreme is harmful.
So live in the world with the mind, with your conditioning, but live with yourself without mind, without training. Use your mind as a means, do not make it an end; come out of it the moment you have the opportunity. The moment you are alone, come out of it, take it off. Then celebrate the moment; celebrate the existence itself, being itself.
Just to be is such a great celebration if you know how to take the conditioning off. This "taking off" you will learn through Dynamic Meditation. It will not be caused; it will come to you uncaused.
Meditation will create a situation in which you will come to the unknown; by and by you will be pushed from your habitual, mechanical, robotlike personality. Be courageous: practice Dynamic Meditation vigorously and all else will follow. It will not be your doing, it will be a happening.
You cannot bring the divine, but you can hinder its coming. You cannot bring the sun into the house, but you can close the door. Negatively, mind can do much; positively, nothing. Everything positive is a gift, everything positive is a blessing; it comes to you, while everything negative is your own doing.
Meditation, and all meditation devices, can do one thing: push you away from your negative hindrances. It can bring you out of the imprisonment that is the mind, and when you have come out you will laugh. It was so easy to come out, it was right there. Only one step was needed. But we go on in a circle and the one step is always missed... the one step that can bring you to the center.
You go on in a circle on the periphery, repeating the same thing; somewhere the continuity must be broken. That is all that can be done by any meditation method. If the continuity is broken, if you become discontinuous with your past, then that very moment is the explosion! In that very moment you are centered, centered in your being, and then you know all that has always been yours, all that has just been awaiting you.