Peaks beyond peaks unending
WHEN YOU SAID THAT IF WE DON'T ACHIEVE TOTAL CONSCIOUSNESS IN THIS LIFE, WE WILL HAVE TO START FROM THE VERY BEGINNING AGAIN, AND GO THROUGH THE WHOLE EVOLUTION OF MANKIND ONE MORE TIME, I WAS VERY TOUCHED. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WE WILL TOTALLY LOSE THESE FEW GLIMPSES OF LIGHT, BEAUTY, AND CONSCIOUSNESS THAT WE'VE GOT THROUGH BEING SANNYASINS?
Antar Ashiko, it is a very complicated question. Whatever you achieve in this life will remain with you, but it has to be an achievement not just a glimpse. And there is a great difference between an achievement and a glimpse. You can see the Himalayan peaks from thousands of miles away -- it is a glimpse; but to reach those peaks will be an achievement.
A glimpse helps you to move onward, towards achievement; but unless something becomes a crystallized experience in your life, it is going to be lost -- you will have to start from the very beginning.
There will be a little difference, and that will be that in your unconscious a shadow of your past life, a faraway echo -- as if you have seen something -- will remain. And when you again get the glimpse you may feel that this is not new, I have known it before. But otherwise, only crystallized achievements go with you, consciously, into the other life...
knowingly, not just a dark shadow, a faraway echo in the unconscious, but consciously knowing that these Himalayan peaks exist, and you have been on those peaks. There will be no doubt about it, no wavering about it, no question about it.
You are asking, "Is it possible that we will totally lose these few glimpses of light, beauty, and consciousness that we have got through being sannyasins?" Such glimpses you have got in many lives before too, and you have lost them. They never became part of your being; they remained only beautiful memories. But the memories are not achievements. It is as if you have seen something in a dream -- perhaps it may be true, perhaps it may not be true.
So if you feel that there is something happening now, make every effort that it does not remain only a glimpse but becomes an actual experience, becomes part of your being.
Only then can it go with you into another life.
It is possible to take all your experiences with you into another life, and never to begin from scratch but always to begin where you had left off in the past life. But be clear that just a glimpse is very fragile, just a glimpse is very superficial. Howsoever touching it may be in the moment, even tomorrow you may start doubting whether it really happened or you imagined it. And the life after this life is a faraway journey.
Glimpses are simply incentives to move towards crystallization. Make it an experience so deep that it becomes part of you, and there is no way to forget it or to lose it. Don't remain satisfied with glimpses. Enjoy them, but use them only as an indicator towards greater things to happen.
To see something from far away is one thing, and to become that thing is totally another.
A glimpse of love is just like a breeze that passes within seconds; a glimpse of silence is just like the fragrance of a rose flower that you felt for a moment, and now you don't know where it has gone.
When I say, "Crystallize your experience," I mean it is not enough to have beautiful glimpses. It is good, but not good enough. You should become the fragrance of the rose itself; the glimpse was only an arrow pointing towards the possibility -- it did its work, but you remain there. In the past life also, many times you have come across many beautiful experiences and right now you don't know even that there have been past lives.
Only once in a while you see somebody, and you have a very strange feeling, almost weird, as if you have seen this man before -- and certainly not in this life. You come to a place, and suddenly you are startled, as if you had come to this place before too -- although certainly not in this life. Everything seems to be known, but has been dormant in your unconscious.
Life has a mechanism that whenever a person dies, unless he is enlightened, he becomes almost unconscious; he goes into a coma before death, actual death, happens. So he knows nothing about the death, and he remains in a state of coma till he is born again. All those nine months in the mother's womb are a state of coma; the child is fast asleep twenty-four hours a day for nine months.
It rarely happens that somebody dies consciously. It happens only to great meditators, who know well the path death will be coming on because in their meditations they have traveled on the path again and again -- it is the same path. As they go deep in their meditation the body is left far away, mind is left far away, the heart is left far away; only a beautiful silence -- fully alert and conscious -- remains.
The same happens when you die. If you have been meditating, then death is not a new experience. You will be surprised that in your meditation you have been dying every day, and you have been coming back to life every day. Such a person dies very consciously, so he knows what death is -- and such a person remains conscious in the mother's womb. He is also born consciously. From his very first moment on the earth, he knows all that has passed before in the past life, and he remembers it.
I have come across many children.... And this happens most particularly in India, because outside India -- where Christianity is prominent or Judaism is prominent or Mohammedanism is prominent -- they have conditioned the mind that there is only one life. They don't know anything about meditation. They have substituted meditation with prayer, and prayer is praising a fictitious god; it is very childish.
Meditation needs no god -- you are enough. You are a reality, and you explore your reality to the deepest core.
In India all the religions are agreed on one point; they differ in their philosophies, they differ on every other thing, but on one thing they are all agreed -- that life is a continuity; death comes millions of times. Death is only a change of the body, a change of the house, and this process goes on -- unless you become totally enlightened. Then there is no need to enter another womb, because life was just a school, a training; you have completed it.
Your enlightenment is the culmination of your education about existence. Now you need not enter into another body. You can enter into the womb of the universe itself -- you are prepared for it.
So whenever you are having glimpses, don't be satisfied with them. Your glimpses should create great discontent in you, not content. They should create a longing that what is seen far away you would like to come closer, and closer, and closer. You don't want just to see it, even from c closeness; you want to become it.
You can become love, you can become silence, you can become joy, you can become all these experiences: beauty, light, consciousness. These are not things that you cannot become; they are your potentials. So take every glimpse to its ultimate end. That's what I call crystallization.
Once it is crystallized, once you have known yourself to be love, yourself to be light, yourself to be consciousness, then there is no problem of forgetting it. Then these experiences will go with you. And in your future life you will be growing further ahead, from consciousness to superconsciousness; you will be going beyond these experiences.
But if you remain satisfied with your glimpses, there is every danger they will be erased.
Death is such a shock and such a surgery and such a long coma that when you wake up, you will have forgotten all those glimpses.
"Someone stole my bike," complained a priest to his minister friend.
"Bring up the Ten Commandments in your sermon tomorrow, and as soon as you mention, `Thou shalt not steal,' look around in your congregation; you will find the guilty party. Invite him to come forward. Tell him that this is the way to confess, and this is the way to get the forgiveness of God," the minister said confidently.
The next day the priest visited the minister and happily reported that he had found his bike. "Yes", he went on, "when I came to `Thou shalt not commit adultery' I remembered where I had left it."
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I ALWAYS TRANSFORM MY FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES INTO WORDS AND IMAGES ONLY TO GET RID OF THEM? IS IT POSSIBLE THAT I COME TO YOUR FEET WITH TREMENDOUS THIRST, AND WHEN I AM FILLED WITH ENERGY, I AM OVERWHELMED WITH THIS ABSOLUTE NEED OF SHARING -- ONLY TO GET RID OF IT? IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THIS URGE FOR SHARING IS ONLY MY ILLUSION, OR JUST MY WAY TO ESCAPE? SOMEBODY TOLD ME THAT I SHOULD BE MORE GENEROUS WITH MYSELF. WHAT CAN I DO IF I KNOW NOT ANY OTHER WAY TO BE GENEROUS WITH MYSELF THAN SHARING? IS IT TIME FOR ME TO LEARN ANOTHER WAY? PLEASE HELP ME WITH YOUR GUIDANCE.
Sarjano, what you are experiencing and what you are doing is perfectly right. Sharing your experiences, your energy, your love, your blissfulness, is not an escape from them, neither is it a way to get rid of them. On the contrary, the more you share, the more you will have.
It is not the ordinary economics. In the ordinary economics you share and you lose; in the spiritual economics you share and you get more. In ordinary economics you have to be a miser, then only you can become rich... accumulate, never share. In the spiritual economics, if you are a miser whatever you have will be lost. It can live only if you share; it is a living experience. By sharing it continues a dynamic movement.
I have heard about a young man who had just received a great lottery prize, and he was immensely pleased. He stopped his car because a beggar was standing there. He used to stand there every day, but he had never stopped his car. But today was different. He gave him a note of one hundred rupees. The beggar laughed.
The man said, "I don't understand. Why are you laughing?"
He said, "It reminds me... once I used to have my own car and I used to be just as generous as you are. I am laughing because soon you will be standing by my side. Don't be so generous! Learn something from my experience."
In the ordinary economics, the moment you give something, that much is less. But have you felt that by giving love you have less love? Or by sharing your joy, have you felt that your joy is a little bit less?
If you have watched, you will be surprised: by sharing, your joy is a little bit more; by loving, your sources of love are flowing more -- you are juicier. By dancing... just to share yourself with your friends you will not find yourself losing something, but gaining something.
Sarjano, don't listen to other people. They know only about the ordinary economics. They don't know anything about a higher economics, where giving is sharing and where not giving is very destructive.
The more you give, the more you will have, the less you give, the less you will have. And if you don't give at all, you will not have anything at all.
But the people who are suggesting to you that this is not right are creating a problem in your mind about whether you are doing right or wrong. You are doing absolutely right.
Do it with more totality, without any hesitation, and without holding anything back. Don't listen to others. Listen to your own experience; watch your own experience -- when you give, do you lose something or do you gain something? That should be the decisive thing, not people's advice. The advice of others is dangerous....
When the Eisenbergs moved to Rome, little Hymie came home from his school in tears.
He explained to his mother that the nuns were always asking these Catholic questions and how was he, a nice Jewish boy, supposed to know the answers?
Mrs. Eisenberg's heart swelled with maternal sympathy. "Hymie," she said, "I'm going to embroider the answers on the inside of your shirt, and you just look down and read them the next time those nuns pick on you."
"Thanks Mum," said Hymie, and he didn't bat an eye when Sister Michele asked him who was the world's most famous virgin. "Mary," he answered.
"Very good," said the nun. "And who was her husband?"
"Joseph," answered the boy.
"I see you have been studying. Now, can you tell me the name of their son?"
"Sure," said Hymie, "Calvin Klein."
TO ME, YOUR FANTASTIC VARIATION OF DYNAMIC MEDITATION YOU DO WITH US AT THE END OF EVERY EVENING DISCOURSE IS ONE OF THE MOST ENERGY-LADEN EXPERIENCES I'VE EVER HAD. ALL YOUR LOVERS ARE RADIATING, EVERYTHING IS VIBRATING. I FEEL WE ARE BROADCASTING ENERGY WAVES LIKE A HUGE RADIO ANTENNA. THE GLOW MUST EVEN BE VISIBLE FROM OUTER SPACE. OSHO, IF WE DON'T WAKE UP THIS TIME, THEN WHAT? OR ARE YOU KEEPING EVEN LOUDER ALARMS UP YOUR SLEEVE?
Premda, it is almost impossible for you not to wake up this time. I am going to do everything to wake you up. I have ice cold water prepared; I am preparing people to pull you out of your bed and give you a good beating.
But anyway, you have to wake up, because for me this is the last time. I will not be here again, so I have to do everything that I can do. And if you miss it will be really unfortunate, because one never knows when you will come across a man who loves you so much that he can be so hard and so cruel as to hit on your head, not bothering what happens to your skull -- but somehow you should get up and open your eyes.
The masters in the past have done strange things to wake up their disciples. One Zen master, Fui Hai, had a big monastery. It had two wings, right and left, and in the middle was his cottage. He had a beautiful cat, and all the monks of the monastery loved it.
There were almost one thousand monks, five hundred on one side and five hundred on the other side. And they all used to fight, particularly when the master was not at home.
The problem was the cat -- who should have it?
The right wingers said, "It belongs to us, we are older than you." It was true; the right wing was made first and the left wing was added later on. But the left wingers said, "It is true that your wing was made first, but then there was no cat. The cat came when the left wing was being made. We own it."
It was a constant fight, and the cat was being taken from this wing to that wing, and the master got fed up with this whole thing -- every day complaints.
One day he gathered all the monks, except one monk who was not present; he had gone to the city to purchase a few things for the monastery.
The master said, "Today I am going to decide this constant quarrel amongst the two wings." He took a knife and said, "Either you say that this cat belongs to one wing, then it's life can be saved; otherwise I'm going to cut it in two and give to both wings half of the cat. There seems to be no other way; it has to be divided."
They all loved the cat, they all wanted it to be in their wing... they were all silent.
The master said, "If somebody can do something which shows his understanding and his deep meditation, to whichever wing he belongs, he will be the owner of the cat and that wing will have the cat. Come out! You can save the life of the cat; otherwise the cat is finished."
But people knew that you cannot deceive the master. He had such a clarity of vision that you cannot pretend that you are great meditators; so nobody came out. He cut the cat in two and gave half of the cat to each wing. Everybody was sad -- because what can you do with half the cat? And the master was also sad that out of one thousand monks not a single man could do something to save the cat.
At that very time, when he was sitting sadly and the whole monastery was sad, the man who had not been in the monastery came back from the city. He heard the whole story of what had happened. There was blood, the cat had died, and both the wings had half of the cat.
They said, "We had never expected that our master will be so cruel, so hard; he is such a loving and compassionate person. But we cannot blame him; he had given us chances."
But the man came in front of the master and gave him a good slap on the face.
The master laughed and said, "If you had been here, the poor cat would have been saved.
You show your meditativeness. Without your meditations you cannot hit your master; to hit your master you have to know that the body is not you, so the master's body is also not the master. You are not hitting the master but just the body, and that's what I have done. I have cut only the body, not the cat. The cat is still alive, must be born somewhere else. But you have come a little late."
There is another story about Lin Chi, a Japanese Zen master. He had a disciple to whom he had given the traditional Zen koan to meditate -- "Meditate on the sound of one hand clapping." Now this is absurd. One hand cannot clap, and one hand cannot make any sound. Without clapping there is no possibility of any sound. "Meditate on it and when you have found the sound of one hand clapping, come and report."
The young monk went out into the garden, sat under a tree, tried in many ways to think what could be the sound of one hand clapping. Suddenly, he heard a cuckoo in the bamboo grove and he said, "This must be it!" He rushed and told the master, "I have found it. It is the cuckoo in the bamboo grove."
The master hit him hard on the face and said, "Don't be foolish; next time be a little more intelligent. Go and meditate again!"
Every day he would come, and by and by it became such a situation; sometimes he would come... the wind passing through the pine trees creates a certain sound, perhaps that is the.... Or sometimes the water running down creating sounds, perhaps that is it.... Or sometimes the lightning in the clouds. Slowly, slowly it became a routine thing. The master would not even ask; as he entered he would slap him, and tell him, "Go back and meditate."
But the monk said, "I have not even told you...."
The master said, "I know what it will be. You just go. Meditate more!"
He said to many other monks, "This seems to be too much. First he used to at least hear my answer; now he assumes that the answer is going to be wrong!"
But one day he did not come. Two days passed, and seven days passed.... The master went to the tree where he used to sit and meditate, and the monk was sitting there, utterly silent.
His master shook him and told him, "So at last you have heard it. This is the sound of one hand clapping, this silence.... But why did you not come to report?"
He said, "I forgot everything; the silence was so sweet, so blissful. I am grateful to you that you never listened to my answers, and you went on giving me hard hits. Your compassion is beyond the grasp of ordinary people."
So Premda, don't be bothered and don't be concerned about others. You have to wake up.
And waking up is such a simple thing -- just the way you wake up in the morning. Have you ever observed... do you do some gymnastics, some exercises, some chanting? You simply wake up! The night is over and you open your eyes and jump out of the bed.
Spiritual awakening is not different from that. Once you understand that you are spiritually asleep.... and that is the problem. People don't think they are spiritually asleep, that's why they go on sleeping. Once you understand you are spiritually asleep, then waking is a very simple matter.
The hardest thing is to accept that deep in your being there is a sleep, an unconsciousness.
Whatever meditations are being done here are just to shake you, to bring you to a point where the sleeping consciousness cannot sleep anymore; it has to wake up. It is only a question of simple understanding: You can wake up right now! This silence is enough.
Brigitte lay in bed on the first night of their honeymoon while Pat sat fully clothed on an armchair in the bedroom. "Why don't you come to bed?" Brigitte asked him.
"My mother told me that this would be the most exciting night of my life," said Pat, "and I don't want to miss any of it by going to sleep!"
It is very easy to misunderstand.
It is also very easy to understand.
It all depends on you.
Are you ready to wake up? Then nothing can prevent you, and no technique is needed.
But if you are not ready to wake up, then no technique can help you. You have to see your life as the life of a somnambulist who is sleep-walking, doing things asleep...
fighting, saying the same things which he has said before and have always brought anger, irritation, in other people.
It is a question of watching your life. Is it a life of a man who is awake? Can a man who is awake behave the way the world is behaving?
You have been angry, you have been sorry for it thousands of times, and it has still not become clear to you that again you will be angry and again you will be sorry. What you are doing, it cannot be said that you are doing it fully awake. Your whole life is more like a robot; you are just going through mechanical actions. You suffer, and you decide to change, but when the time to change comes, you forget it completely.
I have heard about a Christian monk who used to give sermons in different places, and his basic sermon was based on Jesus' teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. He would say again and again that if somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too.
One man had been listening to this so many times, he got bored. One day he stood up when the monk was saying this, and went ahead and slapped him. There was great anger in the Christian monk's eyes, but seeing the crowd -- and remembering what he has been telling them for so many years -- he gave the other cheek, hoping that this idiot will not hit it. But that man was also a unique individual -- he hit even harder!
And that very moment, chaos broke; the Christian monk jumped on the man and started hitting him. The man said, "What are you doing? It is against your preachings! I have been listening to your sermons."
The monk said, "Forget all my sermons. Jesus only said `Give the other cheek.' There is no third cheek. Now I am free, and I will show you...."
But the man said, "Giving the other cheek means you should not be revengeful."
The monk said, "Forget all that nonsense! Giving the other cheek simply means giving the other cheek, and there is no third cheek. You have made me completely free, and now I will teach you the real lesson!"
And he has been teaching his whole life... but perhaps that was also talking in his sleep, never penetrating to the meaning of the words he is saying and what he is doing.
Gurdjieff remembers his father. His father died when Gurdjieff was only nine years old, and must have been a very unique man. He called Gurdjieff close to him and told him, "I'm dying, and I don't have anything as a heritage for you. I'm leaving you poor and orphaned. Just one advice I want to give to you -- that is the advice given to me by my father. I have found that that advice has proved to me the richest thing that any father can give to his son. You are so young; perhaps you may not be able to understand it. Just remember it; soon you will be able to understand it also, and whether you understand it or not, start behaving accordingly. Listen very closely and then repeat to me what I'm saying."
It was simple advice. The advice was that "If somebody insults you, humiliates you, hurts you, you are not to react immediately. You have to say to that person, "You will have to wait twenty-four hours, and then I will come to answer you. This is something sacred to me; I have given a promise to my dying father. So wait twenty-four hours and then go to the person. In those twenty-four hours you will see that he was right, or you may see that he was not right, but it is absolutely stupid to get into a quarrel. Those twenty-four hours will have given you a chance to be more alert. People react immediately -- there is not time enough to be aware. They react just like machines. So if you find that he was right, go and thank him. If you find he was wrong, there is no need to go; or if you want to go, you can go and say `You seem to be in a misunderstanding.'" And Gurdjieff used to say, later in his life, "That simple advice of my dying father has transformed my whole life because it gave me a certain awareness, a certain awakening. I could not do anything immediately, instantly. I had to wait for twenty-four hours. And you cannot remain angry for twenty-four hours."
A man who is awake behaves in a totally different way from the whole humanity, which is fast asleep.
One of my friends, he was a colleague in the same university where I was a teacher, said to me "I have been trying to drop my smoking, for almost twenty years."
I said, "That is too long a time to drop a cigarette; just give me a cigarette and I can drop it right now."
He said, "Don't make a laughing stock of me. I have worked hard to drop it, and sometimes for a few hours, or sometimes even for few days, I manage not to smoke. But finally I have to give way. And now I have even dropped fighting; it is meaningless -- twenty years fighting."
I said, "You don't understand simple laws of life. You are a man fast asleep, and in sleep you cannot make any decisions, any commitments. My suggestion is that you do one thing: you smoke more consciously."
He said, "What -- smoke? I want to drop it."
I said, "Just listen to what I am saying, you smoke more consciously. Take the packet from your pocket very slowly and consciously. Pull the cigarette out very slowly -- there is no hurry. Look at the cigarette from all sides, put it in your mouth, wait. There is no hurry. Go very slow-motion, just as if a film is going in slow motion.
He said, "What is that going to do?"
I said, "That we will se later on... then take your lighter, look at it."
He said, "You are making me a fool -- what is that going to do?"
I said, "You just.... Twenty years you have done it your way; twenty days you do it my way. Look at the lighter, then light the cigarette, then smoke as slowly as possible. And be watchful that the smoke is going in, then the smoke is going out. That is the oldest meditation, vipassana. Gautam Buddha may never have thought that it will be used with a cigarette and a cigarette lighter -- but I have to manage for him.
He would not do Vipassana, but this.... He said, "Okay, I will try it, twenty days it is not much."
But the second day he came to me and said, "This is strange. Doing things so slowly makes me so alert; smoking, and watching the smoke going in and the smoke going out makes me so silent that already, in two days, I am smoking almost fifty percent less.
I said, "Just wait twenty days."
He said, "I don't think it will last twenty days; at the most five days and it will be finished."
I said, "Don't be in a hurry to finish it, because if anything remains clinging it will enforce you again. So go very slowly; there is no hurry, and there is no harm. It does not matter -- at the most you may die two years earlier. But anyway, what were you going to do in those two years -- just smoke... more! So there is no harm anyway; the world is too populated, and if people go on disappearing a little earlier, making space for other people, it is very compassionate of them."
He said,"You are a strange fellow." And after the fourth day he told me, "Now, as my hand moves towards the pocket, suddenly a stop comes -- from where, I don't know. I have not been smoking for one whole day because each time I try to take a cigarette, I cannot take the packet out. What is the secret of it?"
I said, "There is no secret; you have just learned to smoke consciously, with awareness.
And nobody can smoke with awareness, because smoking is not a sin -- smoking is simply a stupidity. If you are alert and awake, you cannot be so stupid. There is fresh air available; you can go and have good breathing, deep breaths, fresh air, perfumed with flowers. You must be an idiot if you have to pay money to make your breathing dirty, dirty with nicotine, harming your lungs, harming your life; and there is no point in it."
Premda, people are really fast asleep; it is a wonder they don't snore with open eyes.
King Arthur, going on a two-year dragon hunting expedition, ordered Merlin the Wise to make a chastity belt for Guinevere to wear whilst he was away. Merlin came up with a very unorthodox design -- one that had a large gaping aperture in the area that would normally be most strongly fortified.
"That's absurd," said Arthur. "This belt is not functional."
"Yes, it is," said Merlin. Picking up a spare magic wand, he passed it through the opening -- instantly a guillotine-like blade came down and chopped the wand in two.
"Ingenious!" cried Arthur.
After outfitting Guinevere with the belt, he rode off to slay dragons, his mind at peace.
Two years later, when Arthur came back, his first official act was to assemble all of the Knights of the Round Table and send them to the court physician for a special inspection.
His frown grew severe as he learned that every member of the Round Table was nicked, cut, or scratched -- all but one. Sir Lancelot was impeccable.
Arthur called for him immediately, and smiled at his best knight. "Sir Lancelot," he declared, "you are the only one of my knights who did not assail the chastity of my lady while I was off slaying dragons. You have upheld the honor of the Round Table and I am proud of you. You shall be rewarded. You may have anything in the kingdom you desire, you have but to name it. State your wish Sir Lancelot."
But Sir Lancelot was speechless....
The Golden Future