Unknown territories, unexplored skies
SEX SEEMS TO BE DROPPING ME. IS MUSIC NEXT?
Milarepa, sex is dropping so many people that the problem is not that sex is dropping you also, the problem is that many others may start picking it up! Dropping is okay; avoid picking up.
And I can understand your worry. You are asking, "Sex seems to be dropping me. Is music next?"
Music is not something biological; it is not something concerned with your chemistry or physiology.
Music is not even of the mind. Music is something... a space between mind and meditation. It is one of the most mysterious phenomena. To conceive of it in intellectual terms is almost impossible for the simple reason that it is beyond mind - but it is not yet meditation.
Music can become meditation - it has both possibilities - it can come down and become mind. Then you are only a technician, not a musician. You may be playing perfectly on the instruments, without any faults, but still you are only a technician. You know the technique perfectly and entirely, but it is not your heart and it is not your being; it is just your knowledge.
Music can go higher and further away from mind, and then it starts becoming closer and closer to peace and silence. One is a musician only when he understands the sound of silence, and one who understands the sound of silence is capable of creating sounds which are synonymous with silence.
That is the most miraculous thing. Then the musician has come to his full flowering. Beyond this music starts the world of meditation.
In fact, as far as the East is concerned, the ancientmost sources say one thing definitively about music, and that is that it was born out of meditation. People who went deep into meditation enjoyed the silence of it, loved the peace that seems to be unfathomable. They wanted to convey that you are far more than you think you are, far bigger than you think you are; you are as big as the whole universe - but how to say it? Words are very poor philosophical concepts, almost like beggars.
The ancient meditators tried to find some way to convey their peace, their silence, their joy, and those were the people who discovered music. Music is a by-product of meditation.
But you can go both ways: either from meditation you can come to music as an expression, a creative expression of your experience; or you can go from music to meditation, because music brings you closer and closer to meditation as music becomes immense silence, sounds merging into silence, sounds creating deeper silences than you have ever known. Then you are very close to the boundary of your meditation.
You need not be worried about music. Music is not in the same category as sex, although in the West the modern music has fallen so low that it has come very close to the category of sex. Only that music is appreciated in the West which provokes sexuality in you. Sex is the lowest point of your life energy, and if music is used to provoke sexuality, then naturally it has to fall to the same category.
Superconsciousness is the highest point of your life energy. When music reaches superconsciousness, it provokes within you unknown territories, unexplored skies. It can become a door to the divine. Just as it can become a door to the animal on the lowest, on the highest it can become the door to the divine.
Man is only a bridge to be passed. Man is only a bridge between the animal and the divine. You should not make your house on the bridge - bridges are not for making houses on - you have to pass on, from this shore to that further shore.
Your fear that perhaps music is going to be the next to be dropped comes from your Western conditioning, because in the West only that music is appreciated which is sexual. The West has completely forgotten its own great musicians who have almost touched the superconscious. But even the greatest musicians in the West could not go beyond life energies, they could not reach to the cosmic energies.
I am reminded of two stories - both historical, both actual. One is about a man who wanted the emperor of China to declare him the greatest archer of the empire. Certainly he was, and the emperor was absolutely willing to send a message around the empire: that if there is anybody who thinks he can be a competitor, he should arrive on a certain date at the capital. If nobody comes, then this man is going to be declared the greatest archer of the whole empire.
The emperor's father had died when he was just a child. The father, before dying, gave the child to his very devoted servant and told him, "Now you take care of him. It is your responsibility to see that the empire is not taken over by anybody thinking that now only a child is left. As soon as he is of age, immediately declare him to be crowned as emperor."
The servant had served so well, so wisely, so cleverly, that he saved the empire for the child for almost fifteen years. So he was not just a servant, he was almost a stepfather, and the emperor had great respect for him. That old man said to him, "Wait, this man is a good technician as far as archery is concerned - I have seen him working - but he does not know what ultimate archery is.
He is a good technician; his targets are never ever missed."
The emperor said, "If he never misses the target, if his archery is one hundred percent perfect, then why are you telling me that he is not a great archer?"
The old man said, "I know an archer, and I can compare. You don't know... There lives in the high mountains an old man, older than me. Nobody knows how old he is, and he himself has never bothered to count his years, but certainly he must be more than a hundred years old. I have seen what archery can be at the highest, so I would like to suggest to this young archer to go to the mountains. I will give him an introductory letter. He should be with the old man for a few days and he will forget all about being the greatest archer."
The archer could not believe it: Who can be greater than me? What can be better than my art?
But the emperor said, "I cannot do what you are asking me to do; you will have to do what the old man has said. You go to the mountains with this letter and be with this old archer and watch and see the difference between the technician and the real master."
The archer also became interested, although he could not figure out intellectually who could be better, what could be greater than him. But he had no idea....
It took many days for him to reach the old man, who lived on a high mountain. He was so aged, his back was bent down and he could not stand straight. The archer could not see anything in the old man's small cave which gave any indication of archery, not even a bow, no arrows. He said, "You are sure you are the man for whom I have come?"
The old man said, "I am absolutely sure, because except me nobody lives on this mountain. Looking at your letter I see you think that you are a great archer. If you are a great archer then why are you carrying this bow with you and these arrows? These are good for the beginners, the learners, but not for the masters."
The archer said, "But without arrows, without a bow, what kind of archer will I be?"
The old man came out and took him to a cliff high above the valley - a very narrow cliff and underneath was a valley thousands of feet deep. Although his back was bent - he could not stand straight - he went without any trembling or without any wobbling; he simply went to the very edge of the cliff. His feet were half off the cliff; he was standing only on his toes and he called the archer, "Come on!"
The archer said, "My God, just a little wind and you are gone, just a small mistake and you are gone, gone forever. Not even bits and pieces of your body will be found, the valley is so deep and so dangerous." The old man was standing there as if he were standing in his own home.
The archer tried, but he could go only one or two feet and then he was so trembling with fear that he sat down. But that was not enough; then he lay down on the stone, clinging to the cliff and he said, "Help me!" - and the old man was at least five or six feet further away.
The old man said, " What kind of archer are you? If the archer cannot stand on this small cliff without trembling, how can he be called an archer? If your hands are trembling - people may not be able to know it, but you cannot deceive a master. You practice for a few days on this cliff, coming to the very edge and standing there without any fear, without any nervousness."
The man said, "Even trying that is dangerous. Even the rehearsal may finish me. Is there not some other way to learn archery?"
The old man said, "Then the other way is..." and the old man raised his head. Seven cranes were flying overhead and he looked at each crane and the crane fell immediately to the earth - seven cranes without any arrows. He said, "Unless your eyes become arrows you are not a master. So go home, learn to be a master. If I am alive, I will come myself when I think you may be ready. Or if I am not alive, look - my son is coming. I will give him all the instructions and send him. If he approves you, the emperor can declare you without any contest the greatest archer of the empire."
The man went home trembling, and even when he reached home the trembling was still there. He had never thought that a man can shoot a bird just by looking at it. He had never thought that just eyes can function like arrows; just the idea is enough. It needs the support of an absolutely untrembling, fearless heart, when just the idea to come down is enough and the bird will come down.
He started trying. Twenty years passed, and one day a young man came. He had forgotten completely. The young man asked him, "I don't see the bow and arrows I saw last time, when you came to see my father. He is dead, but he has left instructions for me. The first question is:
Where is your bow and where are your arrows?"
The man remained silent for a moment and then he said, "I have heard these words. I remember, perhaps there was a time when I used to have a bow and arrows. But since I saw your father, for the first time I have understood the old Chinese proverb: When an archer becomes perfect, he throws away his bow and arrows. When a musician becomes perfect, he forgets all about his instruments.
He himself is music, his very being is music. I don't know any more... but your father gave me in a very strange way the whole teaching."
He took the young man out, looked at a bird and the bird fell down. The young man said, "Now you can go with this letter my father has left for you to the emperor."
He said, "Now who cares to be declared by the emperor to be the master of archery? Forget all about it. Who can declare it? Who has the authority to examine me? If your father was alive...
perhaps he had the authority to declare me, but nobody else. It has nothing to do with the emperor, it has nothing to do with the empire.
"But you are the son of my master. Although he has only taught me very little, that little has grown into a huge mastery within me. The old man is not alive; I touch your feet instead because you come from his own blood. And when you go back, take these roses from my garden on my behalf and put them on the grave of your father. Although he will not be able to hear, tell him that his teaching has not gone in vain. The man has really become a master and he has no longer any desire to be declared the champion of the empire. All longing has disappeared, all desire has disappeared. I am feeling so fulfilled and so complete that I cannot conceive that anything more can be added into my being. And I owe everything to your old father."
Milarepa, when music becomes perfect it does not drop; you become music itself. Your every gesture, your eyes, your hands, your feet, your whole being starts throbbing into a music which is in tune with the universal music. Don't be worried about it.
London fog was swirling over the river Thames as a young tramp settled himself for a night on the embankment. Suddenly he was awakened by the sound of a beautiful woman alighting from her Rolls Royce. "You poor man," she said, "you must be terribly cold and wet. Let me drive you to my home and put you up for the night."
Of course the tramp climbed into the car beside her. After a short drive they came to her mansion.
The door was opened by the butler whom she instructed to give the tramp a meal, a hot bath and a comfortable bed in the servant's quarters.
Some while later the woman slipped on her negligee and hurried along to the servants' wing.
Knocking on the door she entered the room and seeing that the light was on, asked the young man why he was not sleeping.
"Surely you are not hungry?" she asked innocently.
"No, your butler fed me royally," he answered.
"Then perhaps your bed is not comfortable?" she continued.
"But it is," he said, "it is soft and warm."
"Then you must need company," she said. "Move over a little."
The young man was overjoyed. He moved over and fell in the river Thames.
So don't be worried, Milarepa.
All that is dream will drop.
All that is real will remain.
THE OTHER DAY I VISITED SITA MA. I LOOKED INTO HER EYES AND FELT ALMOST AS IF TIME HAD STOPPED AND EXPLODED. COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED AND WITH MUCH RELUCTANCE I CAME AWAY, LAUGHING AND CRYING. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MOMENT WHEN TIME STOPS, WHEN I FEEL AS IF EVERYTHING IS RUSHING AT ME AND AT THE SAME TIME, AWAY FROM ME, ALL IN A SPLIT SECOND WHICH ALSO SEEMS LIKE A LIFETIME AND LEAVES ME FEELING LIKE A SMALL CHILD?
Prem Sono, the question about time and its stopping is immensely complex. For centuries philosophy has been trying to figure out what time is. There have been many different standpoints, but none of them seems to be supported by logic and rationality.
The ordinary idea of time is that it is like a river that is flowing by your side. That which has passed is the past; that which is passing is the present; that which is going to pass is the future. It is if time is a flux, a movement, and you are standing still and time goes on moving.
But it is not true that you are standing still. Once you were a child, now you are young, now you are old, now you are dead. You are not standing still; you are continuously changing. Because of this fact there have been philosophers who propounded a second theory, that time is static, it is always the same; what changes is you. You are the flux from childhood to youth, from youth to old age, from old age to beyond. Because you cannot conceive your own changing process, it is so subtle and so quick, you project it on time.
Nobody knows what time is, where time is. Nobody has ever seen it, nobody has ever touched it.
Nobody has ever come to grips with time and its existence.
Then three hundred years ago science became interested in what time is, because philosophy had not given any satisfactory answer. Science came to a point where it needed an answer about time.
Without it, its many hypotheses remain simply hypotheses. It was a gap that had to be filled.
Albert Einstein proposed something which has been temporarily accepted. In science, nothing is accepted permanently - because one never knows, tomorrow somebody else may bring a better hypothesis. So science is always hypothetical. That is the beauty of science and that is the ugliness of religion. Because religion goes on insisting that whatever is written in the holy scriptures is true and true forever, no change is possible. How can there be any change when the holy scriptures of all the religions are written by God?
Science has a more significant attitude. Everything is, at the moment, hypothetically right. Nobody can say anything about what will happen the next moment. That is the meaning of relativity: when we say something is true, it simply means that relatively it is true. In comparison to other hypotheses, this hypothesis is relatively true. But tomorrow somebody may introduce some new hypotheses, and in comparison to them it may no longer be true. Something new may become true - but that too will remain only hypothetically true. Science is very honest.
Albert Einstein stated something very great about time, that it is only a dimension of space. We have always known that space has three dimensions; Einstein added the fourth dimension to space, and it fits very well with his physics and it fits very well with all that has been discovered, taking it as a hypothetical truth. So many things, so many discoveries, so many inventions and they all prove reflectively the truth of the hypothesis.
If time is only a dimension of space - and you never ask whether space is moving or static, nobody ever asks. Space is always there, the same. It is the same sky, it is the same space; things in it may change but space remains unchanging. And if time is also a dimension of space, that means it does not change at all.
You are saying that you felt in a moment as if time had stopped. Those moments are great, tremendously great, when you experience that time has stopped. In fact, time is always in a state of being the same. It is not a flux; it is not a river - the old idea.
Time is always present - never past, never future. Things go on passing, disappearing, new things go on coming, but time itself is only a dimension of space, absolutely static. So when time stops for you, it is not time that stops; what stops is your mind.
Your mind is in a constant flux - so many thoughts, so many ideas, so many imaginations and dreams and projections, and they have all stopped. Because your mind stops, suddenly you realize time has stopped.
But in fact the stopping of the mind only reveals to you the reality of time. It is never moving, it is unmoving. It is just here, it is just now. It has never changed, and it will never change. Everything in it changes, but time itself remains absolutely unchanged.
The moment your mind stops moving, suddenly you realize that time has stopped. So it is significant to understand that it is your mind that has stopped, not time.
J. Krishnamurti used to say again and again, "Mind is time." This is a strange statement, particularly for those who do not understand the state of no-mind. Because when the mind disappears, time also disappears - time that you used to think of as a flux - stopping of the mind is a revelation which appears to you as a stopping of time.
But as you grow more and more meditative and your mind becomes more and more silent, you will become aware that as your silence, your peace, your mindlessness is growing, time is disappearing.
When the mind is absolutely still, there is no time. That means there is nothing which you can think of as changing, nothing visible that you can conceive of as time. Hence the ancientmost treatise on meditation says that those moments when time stops are the moments when you experience meditation. And those are the moments which have given an inclination, a vision, a glimpse of something beyond the mind. Looking at a sunset, you are so absorbed that the mind stops at the beauty of the sunset. Suddenly there is no time.
Time is a reflection of your mind. You can watch it in many ways. When you are miserable, time passes very slowly - strange, why should the time pass so slowly? and when you are happy and joyous, time passes fast.
There is a statement in the Bible which says, Those who are thrown in the darkness of hell will remain there forever. One of the great agnostic thinkers of our times, Bertrand Russell, has written a book, WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN, and he insists on that point very much. And logically - and he was a logician and a mathematician - you will be convinced when you look at his argument.
Bertrand Russell accumulated all the facts which made him decide not to be a Christian. He was born a Christian, he belonged to a large family, and he himself had the title of Earl - a very respectable man, a Nobel prize winner. One of the points is that this is absolutely unjustified.
Because Christians believe in only one life, in his seventy years, how many sins can a man commit?
If you commit sins from the day you are born, without sleeping, without eating, without doing anything else, just committing sins and sins and sins to the very last breath, still, how many sins can you commit?
In the first place it is not possible. You will need sleep - even sinners need sleep - you will have to eat food, you will have to earn your bread, you will have to take time for your bath, for changing your clothes, for shaving your beard. If you count, very little time is left in a seventy-year lifespan when you can commit sins.
Bertrand Russell himself says, "I have noted down how many sins I have committed, and I have also included the sins that I wanted to commit, but could not. Even if I am punished for those sins which I never committed but only thought about, then too the hardest and cruelest judge cannot send me to jail for more than four and a half years."
For such small crimes an eternity of hellfire...? God seems to be insane. There should be some judgment. And he has omitted the point that the same is true for virtue: how much virtue can you do? - and for that little virtue that you do, eternal paradise? There has to be some limit. And neither are there sinners who need to be eternally in hellfire.
Do you understand what is meant by eternity, unending, forever? Just think what it means - forever - and your mind will feel tired. Wherever you go, go on, go on... it never comes to an end. Hellfire just for the few small sins that you loved somebody's wife, you picked somebody's pocket - eternal hellfire? And just because you donated to Mother Teresa's orphanage and you made a hospital for the poor and opened a school for the poor, you will have eternity in paradise with all pleasures, joys - unending! Is there some measure, is there some justification?
The book was published nearabout seventy years ago, and in seventy years not a single Christian theologian has been able to answer Bertrand Russell. On all other points I agree with him, he is perfectly right - in fact not only he, nobody should be a Christian - but on this point I have a disagreement because it involves the concept of time.
Perhaps he was not aware that he was talking about time, and he should take note of it. I think the Bible is right and closer to Albert Einstein than Bertrand Russell, particularly on this point, because the fire in hell will appear as if it is eternal. Pain seems to make time longer. Time seems to be something like elastic, and very cunning: when you are in pain it goes on stretching longer and longer; and when you are blissful and happy, the moment you realize you are blissful it is gone.
But this happens not because of time; this happens because of the mind. When the mind is feeling blissful, time stops. And because time stops you cannot count how many minutes, how many hours, how many days... But when you are in misery your mind is running - so many thoughts, so many worries, so many anguishes - time becomes very long. In a certain way this means that miserable people live longer lives and happy people die sooner.
Meditation is the way to stop the very idea of time as flux. Meditation is a total stillness. Nothing moves. That's why you felt for a moment that time had stopped. It was just something else that had stopped - it was your mind.
But this is our way of looking at things. You don't even know your own face unless you look at it in a mirror.
When you see that time has stopped, watch immediately what is happening within you. Has the mind stopped? I am giving you a clue: whenever time stops, immediately find out if your mind has stopped. In fact the mind stops first, and then only do you discover that time has stopped.
Now you have a key in your hands: let your mind stop completely and time stops completely. You start living in a timelessness.
For example, I don't know what date today is. When Anando or Neelam come for some signature from me, they immediately tell me the date, because I don't know what date it is. What do I have to do with dates? I use my watch only when I come to talk to you, because I am afraid I may continue for eternity! The whole day I don't look at the watch; I don't need to.
I don't know exactly... In the morning when I wake up it often happens that I forget whether it is morning. I have cut every day into two days: in the afternoon I sleep for three hours so when I wake up again the problem arises, is it morning or is it afternoon? From my inside no answer comes.
For almost thirty-five years I have lived in absolute timelessness. I don't know when the new year begins and ends. To me, the day my ego disappeared, my mind became silent, the whole existence has become silent and still, unmoving.
And you are saying, Prem Sono, "At the same time... it seems like a lifetime and leaves me feeling like a small child."
There are two things to be remembered about the experience of being a child. One is to be childlike, which is immensely beautiful. Jesus says: Unless you are born again just like a child...
But remember, he is not saying exactly as a child, but just like a child - something similar to the child's consciousness. But that does not mean that you are as ignorant as a child; you are just innocent as a child, but not ignorant as a child.
Childhood has two dimensions: one is ignorance, the other is innocence. Both are mixed, but we have to make a clear-cut division. And we have two different words; when we say, "You should be born again like a child," it is one thing, and when we want to condemn somebody we say, "Don't behave in a childish way." That childish way is not the way of "just like a child"; the childish way takes only the ignorant part of the child, and "just like a child" takes only the innocent part of the child. We are dividing the child into two different dimensions.
Always remember - because one can forget, listening again and again to "be just like a child"; you may start being childish, but that is not the meaning.
The little boy was putting his shoes on by himself for the first time, but he put his right shoe on his left foot and vice versa. When he had finished, he ran to his mother: "Look Mummy," he said proudly, "I put them on all by myself."
"That's very good," said his mother, "but I am afraid you have put them on the wrong feet."
The little boy looked down, and then said confidently: "No, Mummy, these are definitely my feet."
A reporter asked Ronald Reagan, "Mr. President, with all the problems in the world today, how do you manage to sleep at night?"
"I sleep like a baby," replies Reagan. "I cry a little and I wet the bed."
I don't want you to be that childish.
I HAVE ALWAYS HEARD YOU SAY, "STOP DOING. WATCH." SEVERAL TIMES LATELY I'VE HEARD YOU SAY THAT THE MIND SHOULD BE THE SERVANT INSTEAD OF OUR MASTER.
IT FEELS THAT THERE IS NOTHING TO DO EXCEPT WATCH. BUT THE QUESTION STILL ARISES: IS THERE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS UNRULY SERVANT BUT TO WATCH?
Prem Niren, there is nothing else to do with this unruly servant but just to watch. Apparently it appears too simple a solution for too complex a problem, but these are part of the mysteries of existence. The problem may be too complex; the solution can be very simple.
Watching, witnessing, being aware seem to be small words to solve the whole complexity of mind.
Millions of years of heritage, tradition, conditioning, prejudice - how will they disappear just by watching?
But they do disappear, because as Gautam Buddha used to say, "If the lights of the house are on, thieves don't come close to that house, knowing that the master is awake." Because the light is showing from the windows, from the doors, you can see that the light is on and it is not the time to enter into the house. When the lights are off, thieves are attracted to the house. Darkness becomes an invitation. As Gautam Buddha used to say, the same is the situation about your thoughts, imaginations, dreams, anxieties, your whole mind.
If the witness is there, the witness is almost like the light; these thieves start dispersing. And if these thieves find there is no witness, they start calling their brothers and cousins and everybody, "Come on."
It is as simple a phenomenon as the light. The moment you bring the light in, the darkness disappears. You don't ask, "Is just light enough for darkness to disappear?" or, "When we have brought the light, will we have to do something more for the darkness to disappear?"
No, just the presence of the light is the absence of the darkness, and the absence of the light is the presence of darkness. The presence of the witness is the absence of the mind, and the absence of the witness is the presence of the mind.
So the moment you start watching, slowly, slowly as your watcher will become stronger your mind will become weaker. The moment it realizes that the watcher has come to maturity, the mind immediately submits as a beautiful servant. It is a mechanism. If the master has arrived, then the machine can be used. If the master is not there or is fast asleep, then the machine goes on working things, does whatsoever it can on its own. There is nobody to give orders, there is nobody to say, "No, stop. That should not to be done."
Then the mind becomes slowly convinced that it is the master itself. And for thousands of years it has remained your master, so when you try to be a witness it fights, because it has completely forgotten that it is only a servant. You have been so long absent that it does not recognize you.
Hence the struggle between the witness and the thoughts.
But final victory is going to be yours, because nature and existence both want you to be the master and the mind to be the servant. Then things are in harmony. Then the mind cannot go wrong. Then everything is existentially relaxed, silent, flowing towards its destiny.
Prem Niren, you don't have to do anything else but to watch.
Paddy bought a parrot at an auction. He asked the auctioneer, "I have spent a great deal of money on this parrot - are you sure he can talk?"
The auctioneer replied, "Of course I am sure; he was bidding against you."
Such is the unawareness of the mind, and such are the stupidities of the mind. I have heard that the Irish atheists, seeing that the theists have started a dial-a-prayer service, also started one - although they are atheists. But the competitive mind... They have also started started a dial-a-prayer service; when you phone them up, nobody answers.
Two tramps were sitting by a campfire one night. One of them was very depressed. "You know Jim,"
he mused, "the life of a tramp is not as great as it is made out to be. Nights on park benches, or in a cold barn. Traveling on foot and always dodging the police. Being kicked from one town to another.
Wondering where your next meal is coming from; being sneered at by your fellow man..." His voice trailed off and he sighed heavily.
"Well," said the other tramp, "if that is how you feel about it, why don't you go and find yourself a job?"
"What!" said the first tramp in amazement, "and admit that I'm a failure?"
Mind has become accustomed to being a master. It will take a little time to bring it to its senses.
Witnessing is enough. It is a very silent process, but the consequences are tremendously great.
There is no other method which can be better than witnessing as far as dispersing the darkness of the mind is concerned.
In fact there are one hundred and twelve methods of meditation; I have gone through all those methods - and not intellectually. It took me years to go through each method and to find out its very essence, and after going through one hundred and twelve methods I was amazed that the essence is witnessing. The methods' non-essentials are different, but the center of each method is witnessing.
Hence I can say to you, Niren, there is only one meditation in the whole world and that is the art of witnessing. It will do everything - the whole transformation of your being. It will open the doors of satyam, shivam, sundram: the truth, the godliness and the beauty of it all.