I cannot leave my garden unfinished
WHEN THINGS BECOME DIFFICULT FOR ME I TAKE REFUGE IN THE HERE AND NOW. IN THE MOMENT ALL IS STILL, AND IT IS THE ONLY WAY FOR ME TO STAND ON THE RAZOR'S EDGE. AND YET A DOUBT COMES IN THAT I AM ESCAPING WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING:
I MAY SIMPLY BE WEARING BLINKERS. BELOVED, PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND WHICH IS TRUE.
Never listen to the mind. Mind is the great deceiver. If you are feeling silent and still in the present moment, that experience is so valuable that mind has no authority to judge it. Mind is far below it.
Mind is always of the past or about the future. Either memory or imagination, it knows nothing of the present. And all that is, is in the present.
Mind is a beggar. It goes on hoping that tomorrow things will be better, that the golden age is going to come... or the golden age has passed and there is nothing in the future except darkness. These are the two possibilities for the mind to take. About the present, whatsoever it says is a lie, because it has no experience of it; it has never come into the moment. By its very nature it is either in the past or in the future.
Because the mind has no experience - and cannot have any experience - of the present, don't listen to it when it comes with any judgment concerning the present moment. And silence is of the present. Joy is of the present. Ecstasy is of the present.
Mind can do only one thing: it can create doubt. It cannot say directly, "What you are experiencing is wrong," because that much is beyond it, but it can say, "You are escaping from the reality that is past, or the reality that is to come, the future." It can condemn you as an escapist, saying, "You are afraid of life. Life is big enough; the present moment is too small. Life is vast. Don't escape from life just to enjoy a momentary silence and joy and peace." And it looks logical on the surface.
But life consists only of moments; there is no past life, there is no future life. Whenever life is, it is always in the present.
And this is the dichotomy: life is herenow, and mind is never herenow. This is one of the most important discoveries of the East, that mind is absolutely impotent as far as your subjectivity is concerned, as far as your being is concerned.
Mind is perfectly all right with objects, but the moment it comes close to life, it starts doubting even the existence of life. It starts creating philosophies that life is only a by-product.
Materialism is an old philosophy, but one of the most dull and dead. From the charvakas in India, five thousand years past, to Karl Marx, it has repeatedly said the same thing in different languages - that life is a by-product, it has no existence by itself. Man is just a machine, pure matter. Just a certain combination creates the illusion of life and consciousness - they are epiphenomena.
Materialism, to me, seems to be the most unprogressive ideology in the world, because in five thousand years it has not produced a single new argument - the same old rut. But mind feels very happy with it, because then there is no need to bother about meditation - which is a deep fear for the mind, because it is committing suicide as far as the mind is concerned. Then there is no need to be in the present. But you will be missing everything, the whole treasure that existence is ready to bestow upon you.
Whenever you experience something that is beyond mind, mind will create doubt, will argue against it, will make you look embarrassed about it. These are its old techniques. It cannot produce anything of the quality that the present moment creates. In fact mind is not creative at all. All creation in any dimension of life comes from the no-mind - the greatest paintings, the great music, the great poetry - all that is beautiful, all that makes man different from animals, comes from that small moment.
If knowingly you enter into it, it can lead you to enlightenment. If unknowingly, accidentally, it happens, then it still leads to a tremendous silence, relaxation, peace, intelligence. If it is just an accident... you had reached the temple but missed by just one more step. That's where I think all creative artists, dancers, musicians, scientists, are... just one step more.
The mystic enters to the very core of the present moment and finds the golden key; his whole life becomes a divine rejoicing. Whatever happens, his rejoicing is not going to be affected.
But until you have entered the shrine, even at the very last moment, mind will still try to pull you back: "Where are you going? This is sheer madness! You are escaping from life."
And mind has never given you any life. It has never given you any taste so that you can see what life is. It has never revealed any mystery. But it is constantly pulling you back, because once you enter the shrine it will be left outside, just where you leave your shoes. It cannot enter into the shrine. It is not in its capacity, its potential.
So be watchful. When the mind says to you that you are escaping from life, say to the mind, "Where is life? What life are you talking about? I am escaping into life, not from life." Be very alert about the mind because that is your enemy inside you, and if you are not alert, that enemy can sabotage every possibility of growth. Just a little alertness, and mind cannot do any harm.
I FEEL TODAY AS IF I AM HAVING A BRIEF RESPITE AFTER BEING PUT THROUGH A WASHING MACHINE IN THE LAST TWO DAYS. IT IS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE SWEET AND CLEANSING EXPERIENCE TO LET OURSELVES BE TAKEN UP IN WHATEVER WHIRLWIND IS PRECIPITATED BY OR AROUND YOU... SO MUCH SO THAT ONE IS SIMPLY QUIETLY AMAZED TO FIND THAT ONE HAS EMERGED FROM THE OTHER END.
I DON'T THINK THIS IS A QUESTION, JUST A WAY OF SAYING "AHHHHH!"
Aha! This is not a question; otherwise I would have to answer it. Great! Thank you!
WHEN I HEARD YOU SAY LAUGHTER IS A SMALL RELEASE FROM OUR MISERY, MY MIND WOULD NOT COMPUTE. IT FELT AS THOUGH HYSTERIA WAS FILLING THE ROOM AS WE ALL LAUGHED, AND I AM STILL ASKING MYSELF, "WHAT HAPPENED?"
You can see what happened! It can look like hysteria. For example, when you understand something and laughter happens as a relief from misery, a great energy is released. Every understanding releases accumulated energies in you.
For example, you are not laughing the whole day - only once in a while. You are not being loving the whole day - only once in a while. What happens to the energy in the big gaps? It accumulates, and if you come to an understanding of a certain phenomenon there is a great release, and the release is so strong that it will feel hysterical. But it is not hysterical; it is really getting relief from energy which could have become hysterical any moment.
You can find people in madhouses laughing for hours, laughing so much that tears come to their eyes. They are mad because they could not manage to release their energies in a healthy, in a proportionate way.
Those energies accumulated in you are a potential danger - and your whole society is for repression.
Everything has to be according to the manners and the etiquette; you can never have a good hearty laugh. The society does not allow you that much.
It seems there is a fear running in the society from generation to generation that allowing all man's energies to be expressed is dangerous, because there is anger, there is violence, there is jealousy, there is a suicidal instinct, and so many things. If all these are allowed, everybody will go mad - he will not be able to control them. So our whole society is based on controlling and repressing. But it has not created a beautiful man. It may have avoided madness, but it is a negative phenomenon - it has not created sanity.
My approach is simple: energies should not be repressed but expressed, and you should find ways of expressing them so that those very ways become creative.
In India I used to visit jails to talk to the prisoners, and the strangest thing that I came to understand was, these prisoners were more innocent than the ordinary people outside. At first it was very puzzling because these were criminals: somebody was a murderer, somebody was a rapist. They had done every kind of thing against the law, against society, against order, but they looked very innocent, and they had a certain calmness. You could not see on their faces violence, murder, rape - no signs. Outside you can stand on the road and you can see on people's faces all kinds of crimes that they are repressing.
The thing was clear: these people did not repress. They simply did whatever came to their mind; they simply did it. They did not bother about law and society; naturally society cannot tolerate these people. They have to be criminals, they have to be punished. It is a vengeance.
I enquired of all the superintendents whose jails I had visited... because the governor of my state was a very innocent man, almost childlike. He was not a politician. He had come into power... because when the British government left, it was not a question of only politicians getting the power. The first generation of politicians were almost nonpolitical, because India had not been free for almost two thousand years so there was no politics. And these people were chosen for their qualities - particularly the governors because they were not elected. They were appointed by the president.
The president himself was a very simple man. He had a great attraction for my way of thinking, and he used to tell me, "Just do one thing: when I die, just tell God that I was not a bad man."
"But," I said, "there is no God, and even if there is, I have no direct communication with him!"
He said, "I will not listen to you, and you cannot deceive me. You have to promise me that when I die you will tell God, ?This man was not bad.' "
I said, "This is a strange idea! I don't have any God, and I don't think you need any recommendation.
You are a good man; only bad people need recommendations." But he was very innocent, and he told me, "If you can go to the jails and help these people..."
I had time, and I started going to the jails. I asked all the superintendents, "Has any criminal who has murdered, raped, done any other major crime, ever gone mad?" And the answer was always no.
I said, "Have you ever thought about it? - that outside, people go mad? These are the people who should go mad, if your theologies and your religions and your so-called philosophies are right, because they have done everything that you think is wrong. But they are so innocent, simple."
They said, "We have never thought about it." It seems nobody is concerned with the basic human evolution. These criminals are so innocent, because they don't have anything repressed; that is their innocence. And because they don't have anything repressed, madness is impossible.
I am not saying that everybody should start committing crimes to avoid madness and to become innocent. What I am saying is that this can give you an indication that energies should not be collected. They should be used. And if we live in a right society, they will be used creatively. The same violence which kills a man can sculpt a beautiful Gautam Buddha, because as far as the hand is concerned, it releases energy whether you cut off somebody's head or you cut stones or you cut wood. It doesn't matter to the hand and to the energy - the energy is released.
I have known many hunters in India - accidentally, because I was touring all over India, and I was often a guest in a maharaja's palace. And all these maharajas - and there were hundreds in India - and their sons and their brothers, they were all hunters. They had their own forests reserved for their hunting. But I found them very human. Their hunting was taking all their violence. You could see from their faces that there was no tension.
But hunting animals is also violence. We can find ways in which the energy can be used and yet no harm happens to anybody; on the contrary, something beautiful is created.
In one of our therapy groups a man's hand was fractured, and it got immense publicity against me - although I was not involved in any way; I was not present in the therapy group. But nobody asked the man himself.
I called him and asked him, "What is your feeling? How are you feeling?" - the fracture was now healed, the plaster had been removed.
He said, "I am amazed. I have always had the feeling that I could murder somebody. Since the fracture of the hand that feeling has disappeared. I don't know what has happened, how it has happened, but since that time I am feeling very humble; otherwise I was very arrogant." Perhaps his hand was collecting violence and he was repressing it. The fracture released the energy.
I was condemned all over the world by the newspapers, that in my therapy groups violence is being used. But I was amazed: not a single journalist had the sense to have an interview with the man and enquire what had been his experience. His experience was totally different. He was feeling fortunate that it happened, because a load that he was carrying from his childhood had simply disappeared.
So one thing: we should understand every energy - its mechanics, its working - and give it expression.
I had a meditation specially for laughing and many people came to me and told me that it was something they had never experienced, that it was almost psychedelic. And it was nothing: just a group was sitting, and they would start laughing. One would start, then naturally it would catch others; others would simply laugh because "this idiot is laughing for no reason." Then others would laugh at them, and soon it would become a collective unconscious phenomenon: everybody was laughing as they had never laughed but had always wanted to.
And it looked hysterical because they wanted to stop it but they were not able to stop it. They had opened a door that they were not able to close - and that made them laugh even more. "This is strange! Nothing is happening, there is nothing to laugh at, and I am laughing like a madman." And this made them laugh more! And it is catching, contagious. After one hour's laughter they were all relaxing because they were tired, but a great peace... They had released an energy which society does not allow you unless there is a proper occasion.
You have to go to a movie, you have to read a book, you have to talk gossips, meaningless, just to release it. But why not simply release it? Sit in a corner and start it. You will think that it will be difficult; it won't be difficult, it will be very simple. Once you start, then it goes on increasing on its own.
I have developed many meditations simply to help you unburden. And anybody who has come as an outsider to see will think, "These people are mad! Why are they laughing?" - as if the energy needs any "why." It has to be expressed. All the energies have to be expressed. Those which can be creative, make them creative; those which cannot be made creative, make them harmless. And you will be surprised that as you release energies, you are unburdened and you are saner. There is less possibility of you ever falling into madness.
And secondly, you will find fresher energies arising in you. We are continuously creating in ourselves, by food, by breathing, by exercise, by the sun, by the moon, by the stars... from everywhere energy is being poured into us. And you are carrying loads of stale energy because you don't have space for the new energy. It is always good to have fresh and new energy, because that will keep you younger, fresher, sharper, more intelligent and more innocent.
The meditation looked hysterical - it was not. It was releasing hysteria; otherwise you were keeping it in. And it is good if you feel anything like that in you, just sit in your room and laugh. It is your room, and it is nobody's business to interfere, unless somebody wants to join - he can join. And you will be surprised that by and by others will join, and you will find that everybody has come. First perhaps they had come just to see what is happening, and then seeing it, they will get triggered and they will become part of it.
In Japan there was an enlightened man called Hotei, whose only teaching was laughter. He would laugh, his disciples would laugh. His disciples would laugh because, "This is absolutely absurd! A buddha has never laughed! All the buddhas have been serious; this Hotei is simply falling out of the category of buddhas." But his laughter was catching, and then others who would be judging him would start laughing, and it would spread like a fire amongst his disciples, and for hours they would enjoy... until everybody had fallen on the floor, asleep. They had laughed so much that they were like small babies, lying down.
Hotei was very much condemned by other so-called religious people, but people like Hotei don't care. They say, "Who bothers? This is my teaching, this is my way. And if you can laugh all the way towards enlightenment then why choose another way!"
And many of his disciples became enlightened just by laughing. They became so innocent, so unburdened; slowly slowly they understood what the man was doing, and they were grateful. By teaching perhaps he would not have been so helpful, but he had found something existential. He would move from one place to another place with his group of disciples, and wherever he was, the people were laughing - even the people in the town were laughing hearing the noise that Hotei's people were making. They were simply laughing - "We have never heard that religion has anything to do with laughter!" But seeing this buddha, seeing Hotei himself and Hotei's disciples, they had to recognize that "Whatever their way may be - a little berserk, bizarre - Hotei has changed people's lives; he has made them saner."
SOMETHING YOU SAID STRUCK ME LIKE A GONG. YOU SAID - OR I HEARD - THAT ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE LAST EXPERIENCE OF THE MIND. CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THIS PLEASE?
It looks very contradictory to my other statements. I have said again and again that enlightenment is beyond mind. So naturally when you heard it, that I am saying enlightenment is the last experience of the mind, the contradiction was absolutely clear. But you have to understand something very subtle:
experience as such needs a mind. What experience it is, does not matter, because experience means duality: the experiencer and the experienced.
So what I have said before was just to help you drop the mind. My words are devices, not statements.
What I said yesterday was actually the fact. It is the mind's last experience - because for experience mind is needed.
If there is no mind, there is no experience. You are, but you cannot talk about any experience of bliss, of ecstasy, of godliness, of nirvana. You cannot talk.
And the problem for me is that unless I give you these incentives, why should you bother to be enlightened? If with the mind gone, enlightenment is also gone, and just eternal silence prevails - that too you cannot say is your experience. You are no more. That old world of subject and object, I and you, does not exist.
You should also try to understand the difficulty of the master, just the way the master tries to understand your difficulties. His difficulties are far greater.
I have to give you an incentive, encouragement. The idea of being blissful, the idea of being enlightened, the idea of attaining the truth, somehow catches a few people's minds, and they start moving in that direction. Finally they will find that all these things will happen - but they will still be of the mind. Don't stop at that. But that can be said only to those who have traveled the path. There is something more than experience that is beyond mind.
Gautam Buddha used two words. For enlightenment he uses a word: nirvana. But he knows that there is still a step more, so he calls it mahaparinirvana.
The word nirvana itself means attaining to a state of silence so deep that no self exists - because that is also a disturbance. Nothing exists. You are in a state of selflessness, but still it is an experience, so you may not be seeing the self but the self is experiencing it as a selfless state.
It is difficult to bring even this experience into language, but there is something more, which is absolutely difficult: he calls it mahaparinirvana. And he does not define it; he does not say what it means. You have to experience it - that he leaves to you. Up to nirvana he is willing to explain, because mind, in a very subtle way, still exists to experience the selflessness, the silence, the blissfulness. But when the mind is completely gone... So he has made a word in which nirvana is there: maha means bigger, higher, greater than nirvana; and pari means transcendental. So to translate it will mean: a selflessness which is greater than the selflessness you experienced in nirvana, because now there is no experiencer.
You cannot call it an experience; hence he calls it parinirvana. It transcends everything that can be conceived, because anything that you can conceive is conceived by the mind. We have to use the mind for a certain stage, but we cannot say that with the mind we have achieved the ultimate.
So nirvana is the last milestone from where the road ends. Beyond that one has simply to go and see. Just to indicate it, he calls it mahaparinirvana: the great transcendental selflessness.
The problem is that I had to talk to many kinds of people all my life, and I had to talk the way they can understand; otherwise it is pointless. Slowly slowly I gathered my own people, and I started talking irrespective of whether they understand or not, because I knew they loved me: they will try to understand it.
But many of them could not rise to that level where they are ready to understand, in spite of themselves, something that goes beyond their heads. But now I am going to talk only to those people whom I can completely forget when I am talking. I can trust that they will manage to get at least a certain sense and taste of it.
So you will find more and more contradictions because now I will not be talking to you, I will be simply saying whatever is the case - whether you can understand it or not. If you don't understand, you can go on asking questions, but before I leave the world I have to complete what I have started.
I cannot leave my garden unfinished.