This is the way all the mystics have been misunderstood by the people who are fast asleep - people who do not know themselves, but are very eager to judge others. Every mystic is bound to be condemned by the masses as alone and drunk with his own aloneness.
To be alone and to be drunk with your own aloneness is what meditation is all about.
Be in the world, but don't be of it.
Be with people, but don't let them become part of you.
When Junnaid, a Sufi mystic, went to see his master for the first time, his family was on the one hand crying, and on the other hand feeling proud that one of their sons was going in search of truth.
The whole town had gathered to say goodbye to him and to give him all their blessings. They were sad also that he was going, and perhaps he may not return again, so their joy and their sorrow were a mixed phenomenon. They had tears in their eyes, but those tears were not of misery. There was sadness, but there was joy also.
It is very rare that someone goes in search of truth, devotes his whole life to it. Junnaid was naturally thought to be their pride, to be their glory. When he reached the forest, the master looked at him and said, "You can come in, but leave the whole crowd out."
Junnaid looked back, because he was alone, there was no crowd. He looked back. There was nobody. He said to the master, "I have come alone. I have left the crowd far away on the boundary of my village."
The master said, "Don't look behind - close your eyes and look within. The crowd is there!"
Junnaid closed his eyes and was surprised. All the people he had left behind - friends, mother, father, brothers, neighbors - were all present there. Although it was only a memory now, the mind was full of the memory of the crowd that he had left behind. He opened his eyes and asked forgiveness. He said that he is very new on the path and he does not understand its language: "You are right. I am not alone. My head is full of the crowd I have left behind."
The master said, "Then wait outside the gate - however long it takes. The day you feel the crowd has dispersed from your mind, you can come in. But remember, you cannot deceive me."
Junnaid waited outside almost for one year. It is so difficult to get rid of your thoughts. It is very easy to leave the crowd and go to the forest, but the real problem is not the crowd outside you; the real problem is the crowd within you, which will go with you to the forest. You will not be alone. Your memories will surround you. And as far as mind is concerned, they are as real as the real people outside.
But Junnaid was a man of great patience. He sat outside the door where people leave their shoes and go in to see the master. Having nothing to do, he used to polish the shoes of the people who had left them outside. That became his meditation. He became so concentrated, so deeply involved in cleaning and polishing the shoes... slowly, slowly, the crowd faded away. And that blessed day came when he looked inside and there was no one... but before he could enter the temple, the master was standing behind him.
And he said, "I congratulate you. You were patient enough - not only patient enough, but you managed to create a device of meditation of your own. Just now I became aware that the crowd is gone - all the noise is gone. Now I will take you with me inside the temple, with great respect. You have attained aloofness and you have learned the art of being alone.
"Now, even if you go to the marketplace, you will still remain aloof, because once a person has tasted the wine of aloneness he cannot be lost. That taste is so sweet, so transcendental that everything in the world becomes, in comparison to it, almost illusory, a hallucination. But the masses cannot understand it."
Without being aloof, and without being drunk with your own aloneness, there is no beginning - beginning of the great pilgrimage that will bring you to yourself.
AND YOU HAVE SAID, "HE HOLDS COUNCIL WITH THE TREES OF THE FOREST, BUT NOT WITH MEN."
It has been observed for thousands of years that mystics feel closer to the trees, closer to the mountains, closer to the rivers, even closer to the animals than to man, because man is the only sick animal on the earth. His psychology is beclouded, his mind carries junk, his senses are dull. If you say something, he hears but he does not listen.
In the dictionaries both words mean the same thing - but not in existence. Hearing is a simple phenomenon - just because you have ears you hear. Listening is a profound change. When you hear without any thoughts in your mind, in utter silence, then hearing becomes listening; otherwise whatever is said to you, you hear it, but your thoughts get mixed with it. They interpret it according to their own conditioning.
One night it happened... Gautam Buddha had told his disciples that the last thing and the first thing in the morning has to be meditation. Begin the day with meditation. As the sun rises, rise to the heights of meditation, of silence; and as the sun sets, go deep into meditation in your own inner depths where even sunrays cannot reach. This way you will know your heights and your depths. A man who knows his heights and his depths becomes complete.
This was a routine thing, so Buddha did not need to repeat it every day. He simply used to say when he gave his evening sermon and the sun was setting and darkness was descending.... Rather than saying go and meditate, he would say, "Now is the time to do the last thing before you go to sleep...
One night a thief was in the congregation, and a prostitute. They all heard the same words: "Now the darkness is descending - go and do the last thing before you go to sleep." All the sannyasins went to meditate, and the prostitute suddenly remembered that this man is certainly a magician, "How has he discovered my profession? - that the darkness is descending; go now, do the last thing before you go to sleep."
And the thief said, "My God! I was thinking that nobody knows me here, and this man" - there were almost ten thousand sannyasins, and the thief was hiding in the crowd - "how has he managed to know about me? It is true, darkness is descending and this is the time of my profession. I should do it first, before I go to sleep."
The next day in the morning Buddha said, "You hear the same words, but you interpret them according to your own mind." This is not listening.
Listening is when your mind does not interpret, does not interfere, when it stands out of the way and lets the words reach directly to the heart; the heart does not know any interpretation. It simply has one capacity and that capacity, is of recognition. If something is true, it recognizes it as true; if something is wrong, it recognizes it as wrong - without any deliberation, without any thinking.
Just as you open your eyes, if it is light there is no question of deciding; you know, you recognize. If it is dark there is no question of thinking; again you recognize. The heart has an inbuilt capacity to recognize the truth, but the mind comes in between and does not allow things to reach to the heart.
Psychologists say today that whatever you hear is almost eighty percent changed by your mind. It is not a small percentage. And with eighty percent of it changed, the twenty percent remaining is also in a different context. It has lost its old context; its meaning cannot be the same.
Hence, the mystics feel it is easier to talk to the trees or with the animals or with the birds. Saint Francis, one of the most authentic men Christianity has produced, used to talk to the animals. He would come to the bank of a river and he would call to the fishes, "Listen, I'm here..." and the fishes would jump out of the water to greet him - this has been observed by thousands of people. He would go to a tree, hold the tree like a friend holds the hand of another friend, and would talk with the tree.
People used to think that he was a little insane - this is nonsense talking to the trees. But now modern research about trees says that trees are more sensitive than you are. Of course their sensitivity has a different dimension.
If a woodcutter comes with the idea of cutting a certain tree, that tree goes into a nervous breakdown.
And now we have developed machines, something like cardiograms, which are attached to the tree.
It has baffled the scientists because the man has not said that he is going to cut a certain tree, he has only the idea, but the idea in some mysterious way is transferred to the tree even without him having spoken. The cardiogram graph which was going very smoothly, suddenly becomes disturbed. The tree is freaking out! And if the gardener comes to water the same tree, even before he has reached the tree, the cardiogram becomes even smoother, more symmetrical - a friend is coming!
It seems that trees are sensitive to your innermost thoughts. There is no need to say anything, they understand; they listen to the subtle vibrations in your mind. Certainly, soon the whole science will be clear... but as I see it, every thought is nothing but a vibration, and you are radiating, broadcasting certain vibrations around you. Because people are dull; their minds are retarded. They have thick skulls; and those vibrations don't reach them.
It happened in Switzerland, after the second world war.... A man had been shot in the head. The bullet was removed, but as they removed the bullet, a strange phenomenon started happening: the man became sensitive to the nearest radio station. Without any radio, he was listening to the music, the morning news, and he had no way to turn it off. He was going crazy. From early morning till late at night, he was continuously listening to the broadcast.
He told his nurses and doctors, and they wouldn't believe him; they thought the man had gone mad.
But he said, "Please, just give me a chance to prove it. You can keep a radio somewhere in the hospital, fixed on the nearest radio station, and I will say what is being broadcasted. You can listen on the radio to see whether I am saying the same or not."
The suggestion was perfectly intelligent. The experiment was done, and the doctors were amazed.
The bullet had somehow changed the mechanism in his ear. It had become so sensitive that the thought waves.... They are passing just by here, now, from all over the world, from all the radio stations, and it is good that you cannot hear all of them; otherwise you will go insane, so it is a protection. But that man was asking to be helped; otherwise he would go insane.
His ear was operated on, and although he became deaf in one ear, he was happy that the radio station had stopped. But it has given the clue that it is possible not to have to carry your transistor, keeping it close to your ears, moving on the road.... Just a small mechanism may be possible soon which you can fix into your ear. Nobody will know - just like an earplug - and it may have certain stations on it. Whatever you want to listen to, you can listen to, and whenever you want to stop, you can take the plug out.
The possibility now exists that any day your ears can be made very sensitive. But that man showed another possibility, that ears are already sensitive. Somehow, just to save your sanity, nature has closed them to subtle vibrations that are passing by. Trees don't have any ears; they feel those vibrations all over their body, each leaf, each branch, the whole trunk, feels it. Don't think that trees are dead; don't think that you can cut them and you are not harming them. Even when you pluck a flower, you are unaware that you have hurt the tree, you have created a wound in it.
If the mystics have been holding counsel with the trees of the forest, there is nothing to be surprised about. The mystics have always been aware that anything that grows is alive, and anything that is alive must have some ways of sensitivity.
You try to befriend a tree - go every day to talk to the tree, sit by the side of the tree, touch the tree the way you would touch your beloved - and within a few days you will see a great transformation happening. When you come, even if there is no wind, the tree starts dancing. When you come, the tree releases its fragrance for you. When you touch it, you can feel that there is no longer the same feeling of coldness; it is warm, it is welcoming you.
In the East, because mystics have been working on every possible mystery for thousands of years....
This was the reason why Mahavira and Buddha both said that unless a fruit falls on its own accord, you don't have any right to take it off the tree. That is violence. When it falls on its own accord, it is a gift. The tree is giving to you out of abundance. Don't cut a tree.
You will be surprised... because of this experience of Mahavira, the followers of Mahavira even today don't cultivate. They stopped cultivation completely, because if you cultivate, you have to cut the trees one day, and that will be great violence. People have laughed about it, and even the Jaina monks have no answers which can convince people. What I am saying is according to my own experience. I have lived with trees, and strangely enough, they have a tremendous sensitivity.
When I used to teach in the university, there was a long row of beautiful trees called gulmohars. It has red flowers, and particularly in summer the flowers are so much that you cannot see the green foliage. It is all red, as if the whole tree is afire.
There was a great row, at least twenty trees on both sides of the road approaching the college. I had chosen one tree, which had the biggest shadow - which was perhaps the most senior tree - and I used to park my car there. But I never forgot to touch the tree and to say hello to it, good morning to it. People thought, "That man is crazy saying good morning to the tree, and he never bothers to say good morning to the vice-chancellor."
The vice-chancellor's room was very close to the tree, so he used to stand up whenever he heard my car reaching the tree and he would look and he would giggle to himself, "That man is crazy. I wonder what he is teaching to the students. He is saying hello to the tree, he is saying good morning to the tree, and yet when I pass him in the corridor, I have to say good morning to him; otherwise he simply goes on silently."
But a strange thing happened... out of twenty trees, nineteen trees died from a certain kind of disease. The only tree that survived was my tree. Even the vice-chancellor began to think about it...
that when all the trees have died, and they are without leaves and without flowers, dead wood, why does that particular tree continue to blossom, grow, have flowers?
One day he said to me, "I don't believe it, but my wife said to me that it is because that tree has a friend. And just as man cannot live without love, no tree can live without love." He said, "I don't believe it. It is all nonsense, it is just a coincidence. What do you think?"
I said, "I cannot say anything about it. It is a secret between me and the tree."
When I resigned, my car stopped coming to the university, and for the last time I said good-bye to the tree. After one year, I was in the city and I wanted to see the tree... how it was. When I went there, it was dead. And when the principal heard my car, he could not believe that after one year...
why have I come? I went directly to my tree. I said hello to it, I said good morning to it, but there was nobody to hear, nobody to listen. I touched the tree and felt no vibration, no warmth.
The vice-chancellor was looking from the window. He came out, stood with me by the side of the tree, and he said, "Just forgive me. I never believed - still there is suspicion in me - but the fact is, that when you left, that tree started dying.
We cannot understand how it survived for nine years when the other trees died, and it could not survive even one year. Perhaps I am just a suspicious man, but there is something to it. I had to concede, seeing that tree dying every day... I have remembered you, and if anybody can save that tree, it is you. But you were not in the city." For the whole year I had been going around the country.
I said, "I also feel immensely sad. If I had known that that tree would die, I would not have resigned.
Just for the sake of the tree, I would have remained in the university, but I was not thinking that she was going to die."
Mystics have been laughed at. But remember, slowly, slowly science is coming very close to mysticism - and the last laugh is going to be that of the mystics.
"HE SITS ALONE ON HILL-TOPS AND LOOKS DOWN UPON OUR CITY."
TRUE IT IS THAT I HAVE CLIMBED THE HILLS AND WALKED IN REMOTE PLACES.
HOW COULD I HAVE SEEN YOU SAVE FROM A GREAT HEIGHT OR A GREAT DISTANCE?
HOW CAN ONE BE INDEED NEAR UNLESS HE BE FAR?
"You criticize me," said Almustafa, "because I go on the hilltop far away from the city, and sitting, from the hilltop I look into the valley and all over the city."
This is strange. If you want to be acquainted with the city, you should be in the city, you should move in its streets, you should meet the people who live there. Almustafa said that the law of nature is different than you think. Unless you are on a height and a great distance away, it is impossible to see the city, to see the people, and to understand the people.
This is the difference between a Sigmund Freud and a Gautam Buddha: Sigmund Freud is trying to understand man by living with man, in the crowd. Gautam Buddha is also trying to understand man, but from a hilltop. A certain distance and height are needed.
Only the higher can understand the lower.
Sigmund Freud was a great intellectual, but had the same problems as he was trying to solve for others. He had the same competitiveness, the same idea of greater-than-you, the same ego, and whenever he found somebody coming very close to him in understanding the human psyche, he dropped him from his school.
Carl Gustav Jung was first expected be the successor of Sigmund Freud, but he became too close.
Sometimes he argued with Sigmund Freud, and argued BETTER than Sigmund Freud. That was enough. Sigmund Freud could not tolerate a disciple - he could be dangerous. After Freud - Jung was young, Sigmund Freud was getting old - Jung was to turn the whole movement of psychoanalysis in his own direction, not according to Sigmund Freud.
It is very strange of people that they want to dominate while they are living, and they also want to dominate while they are dead. There is a medical college in England, which was founded by a certain man, very rich, and he presided over all the meetings of the medical college staff. He made a will that "I will continue to preside, even after my death; so my body has to be preserved and kept in the chair of the president." You will be surprised - it is still there.
It seems insanity knows no limits. The man is dead, has been dead for almost two hundred years, and everything from his body has been removed. To preserve it, other chemicals have been filled in the body, special treatment has been given to his skin. Still he has shrunken. But he is not worried about it; he goes on presiding over the meeting in the president's chair. Nobody can sit there except him, since he is the founder and he has put in all his money.
Sigmund Freud was even afraid of what was going to happen after his death, because Carl Gustav Jung seems to have different ideas, sometimes more important. So Freud expelled him from the movement of psychoanalysis. The man who was going to be the successor was expelled... and he founded another school - analytical psychology.
Totally different, moving in a very different direction, another man, Alfred Adler, was thought to be a possible candidate to succeed Sigmund Freud. But he also had his own ideas. He did not agree with Sigmund Freud that sex is all. He said that man's basic thing is "will to power," that he can sacrifice sex to attain a more powerful status. And we know it is a fact - politicians can renounce sex, saints can renounce sex, rich people don't have any time for sex. Instead of sex, he proposed a new psychology based on the "will to power." Sigmund Freud expelled him immediately from the movement, so Adler founded another school.
This cannot happen with a Gautam Buddha, because the lower cannot understand the higher. His height was such a sunlit mountain top, and the distance was so far away that nobody ever even asked him, "Who is going to succeed you?" There were many great intellectual followers, and there were even a few enlightened followers, but the height of Buddha was such that even the enlightened ones could not think to be his successors.
Nobody succeeded Gautam Buddha, nobody succeeded Mahavir. The very question never arose, because nobody reached to the height from where you can see into the very depth of human beings.
He is right when he says:
TRUE IT IS THAT I HAVE CLIMBED THE HILLS AND WALKED IN REMOTE PLACES.
HOW COULD I HAVE SEEN YOU SAVE FROM A GREAT HEIGHT OR A GREAT DISTANCE?
HOW CAN ONE BE INDEED NEAR UNLESS HE BE FAR?
This looks like a contradictory statement, but it is not: you can be near only if you are very far. The distance creates a magnetic pull, so you come close once in a while, and again you go apart.
Your basic reality is far away from the other, but on certain points of love, of friendship, of disciplehood, you can come very close. It is a flexible phenomenon: going far, coming close, and going far again.
If any relationship wants to remain always fresh, always young, always new, then man has to learn the secret of flexibility. Husband and wife living together for years are bound to get bored - the same face, the same geography, the same topography. How long can you go on exploring the same woman or the same man? - unless you are so idiotic that you go on forgetting every day what has happened, unless you don't have any memory mechanism. And sometimes even a very intelligent person may not have his memory mechanism functioning well.
It is well-known about Thomas Alva Edison that he discovered one thousand inventions. He is unparalleled in the whole history of science and nobody has been able to surpass him in inventions.
Most of all that you see - electricity, the camera, the tape recorder, the radio - they all have signatures of Thomas Alva Edison.
But Edison had no memory; he had tremendous intelligence, but his memory was almost nil. One day he was working on something, so deeply involved.... His wife brought his breakfast and put it just by his side so as not to disturb him, so that whenever his work was finished, he would find the breakfast. Meanwhile a friend came, and saw him absorbed. Thinking not to disturb him... but then he saw the breakfast; so he thought "While he is working, I should take the breakfast."
So he finished the breakfast, and when Edison was finished with his work, he looked at the friend and said, "When did you come?"
The friend said, "I have just come." Edison looked at the empty plates and said, "You came a little late, I have taken my breakfast. Otherwise we could have eaten together."
One day Edison was going to lecture in a different part of the country, at a university. Saying good- bye to his wife, he kissed the maidservant, thinking she was his wife, and waved to the wife. Just in time, his chauffeur interfered and said, "You are missing, you are confusing... you have kissed your maidservant, and you are waving to your wife."
Edison said, "My God! You should have reminded me earlier. I am so absorbed in my work, and I see these two women continuously in the house so many times that I don't remember who is who.
It is not the first time."
A flexible relationship where you come close and you move away has not been developed. That is one of the misfortunes of humanity. I would like to contribute to the future a concept of flexible relationship - not fixed and dead.
Rabindranath, in one of his novels, AAKHARI KAVITA, which means, "the last poem" - it is not a book of poetry, it is a novel; just the name is "The Last Poem" - the hero in the novel wants to be married to a highly cultured and educated woman who is very rich and very beautiful. The woman is willing, but with a condition.
The condition - she has a big lake, just by the side of her palace - is that: "I will make you another palace on the other side of the lake, miles away; you cannot see from one palace to the other palace.
I will give you a boat, but we will live in separate houses, and we will never invite each other - we will let it always be accidental - you are boating, I am boating, and suddenly we meet on the lake.
You have gone for a morning walk, I have gone for a morning walk, and suddenly we meet under the trees - but NO invitation. This way our relationship will remain always young, always fresh, always a honeymoon - a continuous honeymoon."
The man could not understand. He said, "What kind of marriage is this? Unless we live together, this is not marriage."
The woman said, "Then it is up to you. But I cannot live with you, because I know living together is going to kill what is most important between us. And I don't want to kill it. Even if you marry someone else, it does not matter. I will remember you in my dreams, in my memories, and those golden moments that have passed between us, but I will not allow a fixed relationship."
Rabindranath is giving you the idea of a flexible relationship. In fact, not relationship, only a love affair that goes on and on - and you never go to the registrar's office to get married.
Unless you are far, you cannot be near. If you remain always far, love will die. If you remain always near, love will die. Love can survive only in a continuous flowing relationship - no bondage, no chains, no imprisonment. I have loved that novel very much. It is not a novel, but perhaps a dream for the future humanity.
AND OTHERS AMONG YOU CALLED UNTO ME, NOT IN WORDS, AND THEY SAID:
"STRANGER, STRANGER, LOVER OF UNREACHABLE HEIGHTS, WHY DWELL YOU AMONG THE SUMMITS WHERE EAGLES BUILD THEIR NESTS?
"WHY SEEK YOU THE UNATTAINABLE?
"WHAT STORMS WOULD YOU TRAP IN YOUR NET, "AND WHAT VAPOROUS BIRDS DO YOU HUNT IN THE SKY?
"COME AND BE ONE OF US, "DESCEND AND APPEASE YOUR HUNGER WITH OUR BREAD AND QUENCH YOUR THIRST WITH OUR WINE."
Almustafa is saying, "I am grateful for your invitations, but I could not follow them because I know something more than you are aware of. I am in your midst, but I am not one amongst you - because my search is different, because my challenge takes me to the heights which are unattainable."
Keiko's mother was saying to me, "You have so many women here, and I don't want my daughter also to be just one of them."
I said to her, "Everybody here is an individual. Although they are living with others, still everyone is alone - because the very search is inwards. People have come here to meditate, and in meditation you are alone. You may be sitting with thousands of people, but the moment you close your eyes and enter into your own world, you are alone.
My whole effort is to destroy the crowd in you and make you an individual - a peak unto yourself.
You can confer with other peaks, you can sit with other peaks, you can share with other peaks, but still your aloneness remains pure and virgin. A man can only be really proud if his aloneness is virgin. Otherwise, he becomes a slave, he becomes a cog in the wheel. And that's my whole fight against the whole world.
All the religions have reduced people into crowds - Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Mohammedans - these are all crowds. My people are not a crowd; each has his own individuality. That's why I don't give you any discipline, I don't give you any ideal, I don't give you any shoulds. I only explain to you how to be aware.
In your awareness, you will find your shoulds, you will find your ideal, you will find your path, you will find your goal and your source - but that is going to be individual.
The spiritual pilgrimage is a flight from alone to alone.
It is not a crowd phenomenon.
Religion has nothing to do with the crowds; it is basically and definitively individual. But it is difficult to understand.
Keiko's mother was so full of Buddhism; she is an expert in tea ceremony. But I wonder what kind of tea ceremony she must be performing, because she was so angry, even talking to me. I was watching her hands, and she was making her hands into fists, controlling herself, as if she was going to hit me. She was distorting her hands....
And I always watch the hands, because you are not aware of what you are doing with them, but they basically show your innermost being. Your words may be lying, but your hands have not learned yet how to lie. They are more innocent.
She was talking to me, as if she were very cultured, but her hands were showing her barbarous spirit.
IN THE SOLITUDE OF THEIR SOULS THEY SAID THESE THINGS:
BUT WERE THEIR SOLITUDE DEEPER THEY WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT I SOUGHT BUT THE SECRET OF YOUR JOY AND YOUR PAIN.
If you had gone deeper in your own solitude, you would have discovered that I am searching not only my source of life, joy, and pain, but also the source of your life, joy, and pain - because they are not different things.
At the source, we are one.
Just as in the ocean, all the rivers become one.
And have you watched a very strange phenomenon? For millions of years, thousands of great rivers have been pouring themselves into the ocean. But they have not been able to take the saltiness out of the ocean; they have not been able to make the water sweet. The ocean is so vast that millions of rivers for millions of years have not changed its saltiness even a bit. It remains the same - all those rivers disappear into one source.
We are all rivers moving with a different pace, moving in different territories, but always moving towards the ocean - where you will become one with the whole, where you will suddenly know that the rivers which were separate from you are no longer separate.
AND I HUNTED ONLY YOUR LARGER SELVES THAT WALK THE SKY.
Kahlil Gibran says, "You are asking me ???Why do you go on high tops? What are you searching there in your loneliness?'"
And Almustafa said, AND I HUNTED ONLY YOUR LARGER SELVES THAT WALK THE SKY...
because those are mine also. Searching myself, I have been searching you too.
BUT THE HUNTER WAS ALSO THE HUNTED....
This is a very significant statement. J. Krishnamurti went on all his life repeating only one statement:
The observer is the observed, the knower is the known; they are not two.
As long as you think they are two, you are in darkness and ignorance. The moment you see that the hunter is also the hunted, that there is no duality between the hunter and the hunted, between the knower and the known, between the observer and the observed, between me and you.... The distance is illusory, because in our very source we are one.
FOR MANY OF MY ARROWS LEFT MY BOW ONLY TO SEEK MY OWN BREAST.
"... I was thinking of some faraway target, but I found later on that my arrows left my bow only to seek my own breast. I am wandering far, just to reach to my home, just to reach where I have always been."
So the question of search is basically of awakening. If in the night you sleep and you dream that you are in Rome, and if suddenly somebody wakes you up, are you going to say to him, "Wait! I have to catch a flight from Rome to Poona - because right now I am in Rome." No, the moment you are awake, Rome disappears. You find you are in your bed, in your room in your house, you have never gone to Rome.
This is our actual situation. We think we have gone somewhere, far away from ourselves. No, absolutely no... you are only dreaming that you have gone far away. The moment you wake up, you suddenly find that you have always been here, and you will always remain here.
Here and now is the only existence.
There is no other existence.
AND THE FLIER WAS ALSO THE CREEPER; FOR WHEN MY WINGS WERE SPREAD IN THE SUN THEIR SHADOW UPON THE EARTH WAS A TURTLE.
A beautiful metaphor: When my wings were under the sun, far away in the sky, my shadow was just a turtle on the ground. It was my shadow. However distant it may be, it belonged to me.
The problem is that you have become identified with the turtle, the shadow, and you have forgotten "the flier under the sun," which is your reality. The moment you understand that getting identified with your shadow is the only problem....
One early morning, a fox came out of its hole, very hungry, searching for breakfast. The sun was rising and the fox made such a long shadow that she said, "My God! It seems I need at least one elephant, if not two, for my breakfast."
She started searching for elephants, but she was not able to find any. At noontime the sun was just over her head, and she again checked about the shadow. There was no shadow - the shadow was just underneath her, even smaller than her. She said, "What happened? Has hunger reduced me to such a small creature? Now if I can get just a rabbit, that will do."
It is a parable from Aesop. Aesop has written only parables, but they carry so much meaning that each parable can become a light for you to find yourself.
With what are you identified?
Drop all identification, and suddenly you will find your reality.
AND I THE BELIEVER WAS ALSO THE DOUBTER....
People ordinarily divide; they say somebody is a believer, and somebody is a doubter. They don't know how you can believe if you don't doubt. What are you going to believe if you don't doubt? And what can you doubt, if you don't believe? They are two sides of the same coin.
Every believer has repressed his doubt by belief, and every doubter has repressed his belief by his doubt. There is no difference. At the most, the difference is that you are standing on your head, and somebody is standing on his feet. But what is the difference?
I have heard that the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, used to do a headstand every day in his park, on the lawn. And a donkey that was representing other donkeys was sent with a message. They said, "We are a majority, and the minority is ruling us. Donkeys in India are three times more in number than men - and most of the men only look like men, but they belong to the donkeys."
The donkeys were very angry. They had a national conference and chose the most articulate donkey who was able to speak for them . This donkey had become articulate because his master was very addicted to newspapers, and from the early morning he was reading newspapers, and the donkey would stand by his side. By and by, the donkey also started looking in the newspaper. Slowly, slowly he learned what was in the newspaper since the master had the habit of not reading silently, but reading aloud. Many people read aloud; unless they hear it, they don't believe their eyes. So the donkey became, by and by, almost a scholar. He was chosen to go to pandit Nehru and tell him, "A minority is ruling the country and we donkeys are in the majority. This is not democracy. We demand our rights!"
There were two policemen at the gate - the gatekeepers - but they did not bother about the donkey.
If there was some man they would have stopped him, but it was only a donkey... and if he is enjoying a little walk in the garden, let him enjoy. They were tired, almost sleeping - the whole night standing there - and they were just waiting for others to take their place.
So the donkey entered and he found Jawaharlal standing on his head. The donkey said to him, "Good morning, Sir." Jawaharlal jumped; he had never heard a donkey speak. He looked all around...
who is speaking? The donkey said, "Please forgive me. Don't get angry, I am a speaking donkey."
Jawaharlal said, "The whole day in the parliament - who do you think I am dealing with? And if speaking people behave like donkeys, what is strange about a donkey speaking? So go on and say what you want."
The donkey said, "We want our basic right that the constitution provides - but nobody bothers with our majority."
Jawaharlal said, "Who allowed you in? This is not the time for me. First you should take an appointment. You are disturbing my exercise."
The donkey said: "I came in front of the eyes of two gatekeepers, and they did not stop me. Perhaps they thought that a donkey could do no harm. He cannot assassinate the prime minister; he has no firearms. He is just a poor donkey.
"But they had no idea that I am a scholar. And if I am not heard, all the donkeys are going on a strike. We will block all the roads and all the traffic, and then you will understand. And I am not going to take an appointment: you will have to take an appointment to meet me. I am going - good-bye."
It is said that Nehru was never shocked as much as he was shocked when the donkey started speaking. But what is the difference?
People are able to speak, but if their speech is not arising from a deep well of silence, it is just the same as a donkey's.
Donkeys can be loaded with the Koran, and the Bible, and the Gita, and the Vedas, and the Torah, and they can carry all that load. Do you think that will make a donkey a great scholar? If your head inside is only carrying ideas of others, there is not much difference. The load is in your head and the load on the donkey is on his back. In fact he is less loaded than you are, because on the back there is a limitation - but in your head there is no limitation.
Scientists say that a single human brain can contain all the libraries of the world; that much is the capacity of the load that you can carry. The donkey cannot carry all the libraries of the world. so just having a different body, just standing on two feet, does not make any basic and fundamental difference. The only difference comes when your still, small voice from within is heard, and that is heard only when the mind is completely silent, empty.
Right now the mind is full and your heart is empty.
The reverse should be the case.
Your mind should be empty - a passage - and your heart should be full. The mind should be just a servant to the heart - then it is a beautiful mechanism. But it has become the master. Then it is a very ugly situation.
FOR OFTEN HAVE I PUT MY FINGER IN MY OWN WOUND THAT I MIGHT HAVE THE GREATER BELIEF IN YOU AND THE GREATER KNOWLEDGE OF YOU.
He is saying that you go on hiding your wounds - but you cannot hide your wounds from me. OFTEN, HAVE I PUT MY FINGER IN MY OWN WOUND... to feel how much pain you must be carrying, to know what kind of wound everybody is carrying. But why should there be a wound, rather than a flower? The wound is not your destiny, but blossoming in the spring is your destiny.
AND IT IS WITH THIS BELIEF AND THIS KNOWLEDGE THAT I SAY, YOU ARE NOT ENCLOSED WITHIN YOUR BODIES, NOR CONFINED TO HOUSES OR FIELDS.
THAT WHICH IS YOU DWELLS ABOVE THE MOUNTAIN AND ROVES WITH THE WIND.
With my experience in going to the mountains, to the forests, I can say with certainty that you are not confined to your bodies. Your real being is vast. It can contain the whole sky within it.
IT IS NOT A THING THAT CRAWLS INTO THE SUN FOR WARMTH OR DIGS HOLES INTO DARKNESS FOR SAFETY, BUT A THING FREE, A SPIRIT THAT ENVELOPS THE EARTH AND MOVES IN THE ETHER.
You are nothing but essential freedom, and unless you come to realize it, you have wasted your life.
In the East, the best word for the ultimate experience is MOKSHA, and MOKSHA means "absolute freedom," freedom from all fetters - body, mind - anything that confines you - thought, prejudice, knowledge - anything that makes a limitation to you.
Only innocence can be as vast as the sky, because innocence has no limits.
IF THESE BE VAGUE WORDS, THEN SEEK NOT TO CLEAR THEM.
Remember this statement. Because mystics are helpless, they can only speak in vague words.
Words are not capable to express their vast experience - they are too small - hence they have to use vague words, symbols, metaphors, poetry, parables.
IF THESE BE VAGUE WORDS, THEN SEEK NOT TO CLEAR THEM.... There are thinkers and philosophers who are doing only one work - they try to make the words of mystics clear, solid. But they destroy... they destroy the mystery. The vagueness of the words has the mystery.
VAGUE AND NEBULOUS IS THE BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS, BUT NOT THEIR END, AND I FAIN WOULD HAVE YOU REMEMBER ME AS A BEGINNING.
No true mystic, no true wise man, can say, "I am the end." He can only say, "I am the beginning,"
because nobody has ever reached the end.
We live in an infinite, eternal existence.
The end is not possible - only growth, and more growth. You are always coming closer and closer and closer, but you never reach. But the beginning is beautiful - just as the early morning is beautiful.
And wisdom has no sunset.
AND FAIN I WOULD HAVE YOU REMEMBER ME AS A BEGINNING.
LIFE, AND ALL THAT LIVES, IS CONCEIVED IN THE MIST AND NOT IN THE CRYSTAL.
AND WHO KNOWS BUT A CRYSTAL IS MIST IN DECAY?
Remember your mystery.
That is one of the crimes that science is committing... the whole program of scientific knowledge is to know everything, and to know it clearly - crystal-clear. In another way it can be said: Science is a demystification of existence. But by demystifying existence, it destroys all beauty, all truth, all that is not material. Science is good for the objective world.
Religion is mystery.
Science is demystifying.
Avoid letting your inner experiences be demystified. Let them remain a mystery, because only as mystery can they breathe, can they expand, can they grow. The moment you demystify them, you kill them.
That's why science has not come to the conclusion yet that there is a soul within you - because they will believe in the soul only if they can find it by dissecting you, cutting you into fragments, and catching hold of your soul and bringing it out. Then they will say, "Yes, there is a soul."
It is as stupid as taking a roseflower to a scientist. You say, "It is beautiful," and he will say, "I will find out," and he takes all the petals out, cuts them, dissects them, and says, "I don't see any beauty."
By his very dissection, he has destroyed the beauty. By the very dissection, he destroys the human soul. Everything that is beautiful, everything that is alive, is beyond science.
Where science ends, religion begins.
Almustafa is right: REMEMBER ME always AS A BEGINNING.
It is true about religion itself.
It is always a beginning.
It is always a sunrise, and there is no sunset.