Physician of the inner world

Fri, 13 June 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Rebel
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Archive Code:
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Question 1:





Devageet, Oscar Wilde is right. It often happens that what psychologists cannot explain about the human mind, the creative artist, the poet, can easily explore to the depths which are beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond scientific research.

Oscar Wilde's statement is of tremendous value. When he says, "When the Gods want to punish us, they answer our prayers," he is saying something about our unconsciousness. We are not aware what we are doing, we are not aware what we are asking, we are not aware what we are praying for.

Our consciousness is so superficial and our unconsciousness is so deep that it is bound to be that, if our prayers are fulfilled, it will not be a reward, it will be a punishment; because we had asked for something in our sleep and we will repent that we asked for it.

For example, you are all aware of the Greek mythological story of King Midas. His only prayer for years was that he should be granted the power that whatever he touches becomes gold. Years came and went, his prayer remained unheard. He became more and more impatient, started fasting, started austerities to force the divine powers to grant him the power he had been asking for years.

He also thought that what he was asking for was tremendously beautiful, great. If you were given the chance, you would also accept the opportunity immediately, without hesitation.

Finally, the prayer was heard and his wish was fulfilled. He became capable of changing anything into gold. But then he became aware that he had destroyed himself by asking the gods to grant him this power because he could not eat, could not drink - he would touch a glass and the glass and the water would turn into gold. He would touch his food and it would turn into gold. Even his own wife would not come close to him. His own children would run away, because whomsoever he touched he turned into gold.

Just within a week the man was almost mad, dying. He asked the gods again and again, "Take the power back, I had no idea what I was asking. I have been punished enough." His wife had turned into gold, his children had turned into gold. For seven days he had not eaten anything, he had not even been able to drink water; he was dying of thirst and hunger.

While he was praying for years, he had been dreaming that if he were granted this power he would become the richest man in the whole world; and now he had become the poorest man ever - past, present, future. Nobody has ever been so poor. Friends would not come to see him. His own ministers all went on leave. He would sit in the court and nobody would turn up; he was left alone, and he had always been surrounded by people. He was a great king, now even beggars were not ready to be friendly with him or to come close to him.

There are many mythological stories of the same type in all the languages, and they are not simply stories. They are descriptions of our unconscious mind. Unless you are fully conscious, your prayer is going to be a punishment if it is fulfilled. Because from where will it come? And the moment you are fully conscious you will not ask anything because the greatest treasure has already been given to you.

A Gautam Buddha has nothing to ask for. He does not pray. He has no prayer, he has no god, he is utterly fulfilled and contented. He has no desire, he has nothing to ask, he is no more a beggar.

The man of consciousness becomes an emperor.

But millions of people who are praying in the temples, in the churches, in the mosques, in the synagogues should give a little more thought to what they are asking for. And if it is fulfilled what will be the consequences? They are bound to take their prayers back, because all their desires are arising out of their deep unconsciousness. They don't know what will be the consequence, what will be the ultimate result.

Devageet, Oscar Wilde is a great genius, a poet, a creative artist. And these are the people - not your so-called dead saints - who have given humanity new insights into their own beings, into the possibilities of what they can ask and whether it is right to ask, or wait for the moment when you have come to a point of desirelessness.

All your desires are going to be wrong, however logical they may appear. Their ultimate result will prove fatal. You can watch it in yourself.

I am reminded of a story: Alexander the great was coming towards India. This was his last country to invade and then he would be a world conqueror. In the desert of Arabia he met a mystic, and the mystic had such a majesty, such a charismatic energy field that he could not resist. He stopped his horse and got down. He had been carrying a question since the day he had left Athens towards the East; because he had heard that in the East there are people who have attained immortality... just rumors reaching Greece.

This man seemed to be ancient and yet very young, very fresh. Alexander exposed himself for the first time in the long journey from Greece to the boundary of India. He said to the man, "I would like to know the secret of becoming an immortal."

The mystic laughed and he said, "What a coincidence. You have asked the right person; otherwise, in this big world there are so many people. You could have asked anybody and nobody could have shown you the way. I know, and I will show you the way.

"Just close by, not more than two miles away from here, there is an oasis absolutely unknown to people. No path goes towards it, it is a secret place known only to the immortals. If you can drink the water of that oasis - there is a small stream coming out of a cave - you will become immortal."

Alexander never used to go alone anywhere. It was risky, it was a question of security. His bodyguards, his security people, his advisers, they were always all around him. But he did not want anybody to go with him on this adventure, he did not want anybody to know the place. So he ordered that nobody should follow him and the army should stay there. He would go alone and soon he would be back.

He reached it quickly - he had the fastest horse of those days. And you can imagine his joy that his desire, the deepest desire, to be immortal... who wants to die? It is everybody's desire not to die.

But have you ever thought about what it means?

Neither had Alexander ever thought about it. He jumped from the horse, rushed towards the cave from where the small stream was coming out, crystal clear water, and just as he was going to make a cup of his hands and take the water into the hands and drink it, a crow who was sitting on the rocks said, "Wait a minute." He could not believe it. He had never even dreamed that a crow could speak, but now everything was possible when you were standing before a stream which could make you immortal.

He asked, "Why you are stopping me?"

The crow said, "Just a minute, so that I can tell my story to you. I have also drunk from the same source, millions of years before, and since then I have tried to kill myself in every possible way. I am tired, I want to die and go to eternal rest. But no poison works, no effort succeeds. Fire does not burn me, and just the idea that I have to remain eternally bored with life...

"I have seen everything, I have lived everything, it is all repetition, repetition, repetition. I have been searching for someone to tell me where I can find the antidote to this nectar that you are going to drink. I wanted to say it to you so that you don't drink it unconsciously. Don't commit the same mistake that I have committed. But still, if you want to drink, you are free."

Alexander had never thought about this side of things - that immortality would be unbearable. All your friends will be gone, all your contemporaries will be gone, all those you have loved and all those who have loved you will be gone. New generations will go on passing; the gap between you and the people will go on becoming greater and greater. Nobody will understand you, neither will you be able to understand the new people who will inhabit the earth. And your life will be just a repetition, a wheel revolving eternally; the same route every morning, every evening, and there is no way to escape, no exit.

A great fear... he dropped the water from his hands and he thanked the crow. He said, "I will remain grateful to you forever, and I pray that you please remain here to prevent anybody else from committing the same mistake. Because anybody, without exception, would like to commit it."

This is our unconscious desire: not to die. But we have never looked at the implications of it. What will happen if you cannot die, if you cannot commit suicide; if death cannot come by itself and there is no way for you to get out of this vicious circle of life? You will be utterly helpless and your anguish will be almost intolerable. You will repent tears of blood and there will be no solace for you.

Oscar Wilde had a great insight. And this man was turned out of England, expelled because of his strange ideas. His contemporaries thought that he was a little bit crazy. Do you think a crazy man can have such a great clarity, such a great consciousness? But this is the fate of all those who are born ahead of their time. The gap between their understanding and that of their contemporaries is so vast that they are always misfits. Oscar Wilde is one of the most famous misfit geniuses of the world.

But always remember: whenever you can find any book, any poetry of a man who was condemned by his contemporaries, look into the poetry, into the book, into the statement; because that statement must be carrying something of tremendous value which the contemporaries could not understand.

The great man has to wait centuries to be understood. The people who can understand them come when they are long dead. They live a life disrespected, dishonored in their own lands by their own people. And they give tremendous treasures, but there is no appreciation in their contemporaries.

These rebels are the very salt of the earth. It is because of these rebels that humanity has a little hope, that consciousness has grown a little bit higher.

Just take away these few rebels from the history of man, and mankind disappears and there are only barbarious, inhuman, ugly creatures left behind. But the people who have given you all the wisdom that you have, all the consciousness that you have, all the sensibility that you have... you have paid them with crucifixions.

Oscar Wilde lived his life being deported from this place to another, from that place to another, without any honor. Still, not a single word of complaint, no grudge against anybody, but a simple acceptance that "I have come before my time. It is not their fault, it is just my fault. I should have waited a little longer."

But perhaps even today he would have been before his time; still his time has not come. I have looked into his words and I can say it authoritatively: still he will have to wait for his people. The people who are living around the earth, even today, misbehave with him as the people of his own day did.

But I would like my people to understand these rebels, because these are authentic human beings.

These are the crystallized souls, integrated consciousnesses.

Not your bogus saints, but great poets, great mystics, great painters, great creators in any dimension... they have a vision which goes to infinity; they have a depth like the Pacific and they have the heights of the Himalayan peaks. If you can make friends with these rebels, something of their flavor may enter into your own being too. It may become a seed in you, and in the right time may bring great flowers and great fragrance.

Once Gautam Buddha was asked, "Why don't you teach your people to pray?" It was an obvious question - a religion without prayer is simply inconceivable to many people. And the answer Buddha gave is as fresh today as it was twenty-five centuries before, as new and as revolutionary. He said, "I don't teach my people to pray because their prayers will harm them. Right now they are not conscious enough to ask for anything, and whatsoever they ask will be wrong. First, let them become conscious enough. I teach them how to become more conscious and then it is up to them.

When they are fully conscious, if they want to pray, they are free. They are not my slaves. But I can say one thing: that anybody who is fully conscious has nothing to ask for. He has got everything that one can ever ask for."

Mildred had been nagging her family for years, and everyone had become accustomed to her whining and her sour face. One day she attended a "positive thinking" lecture, where the speaker talked for an hour on the winning qualities of the face with a smile. Mildred went home, very impressed, and decided to reform.

Next morning she got up early, put on her favorite dress, and prepared a good breakfast. When the family came in to the dining room she greeted them with a beaming smile. Her husband George took a good look at her face and collapsed in a chair.

"Along with everything else," he moaned, "she has gone and developed lockjaw."

He could not believe that her smile could be true. It must be lockjaw!

People try to pray, people try to smile, people try to look happy, people try to be truthful, honest - whatever qualities are praised. But their unconsciousness stands there behind every act of theirs, and their unconsciousness distorts their honesty, distorts their smiles, distorts their truth.

But no morality in the world teaches people to first be conscious and only then to find, by your own consciousness, what qualities you would like to blossom in your being.... Honesty, sincerity, truth, love, compassion?

Except for a very few rebels like Gautam Buddha, nobody has thought about your unconscious - that first it has to be dropped, changed, your inner being has to be full of light, and then whatever you do is going to be right. Out of a totally conscious mind nothing can go wrong. But who listens?

For forty-two years continuously, Gautam Buddha went on telling people only one thing: be more alert, be more conscious. They became accustomed to hearing him, and for forty-two years continuously he said, "I am not here for you to worship me. If you have any respect for me, do what I am saying - don't waste your life by worshipping me, because that is not going to help. And the worship of unconscious human beings is absolutely futile, meaningless; it is a deception - a deception that you have understood me."

The last day of his life he repeated again, for the last time, "Don't make my statues. If you love me, do what I have been telling you for forty-two years continuously: be more alert. Don't raise temples and statues in my name."

But it is something that shows how our unconscious mind functions. Gautam Buddha's statues were the first statues to come into existence. And he has more statues in the world than anybody else. There are temples which are almost a whole mountain, carved. One temple in China has ten thousand statues of Gautam Buddha. The whole mountain has been carved in statues, it is called the temple of ten thousand Buddhas.

In the Arabian countries, people became aware that something like statues were possible, by seeing Buddha's statues in Mongolia. And because those statues were called buddhas... that's why in Arabic, in Persian, in Urdu, the word for statue is 'buth'. It is just a word derived from 'buddh'. The word 'buddh' itself became synonymous with a statue, and yet the man had devoted his whole life...

saying that he should not be worshipped, he should be understood.

But rebels are either to be crucified or they have to be worshipped - which are exactly the same.

Crucifixion is a barbarous way of getting rid of them; worshipping is a little more civilized way of getting rid of them. But in both ways, we simply get rid of them.

What Oscar Wilde is saying, you should remember. My place is not a place of prayer. My place is not a place where you can come for your wishes to be fulfilled. My place exists only to help you become more conscious, alert, so that you can be a light unto yourself. Then whatever you do is good, is beautiful, is spiritual, is godly.

Question 2:




Turiya, it is good to realize that you cannot see your own blind spots of unconsciousness - although you are in the role of a therapist and can help others to solve their problems. It is good to be aware of it, because many therapists, psychologists, psychoanalysts, and psychiatrists fall into a trap because they can help people through their expertise. They forget completely that their own problems have remained unsolved. In fact, they have become so much concerned in solving others' problems, they have forgotten that they also have problems to solve.

Perhaps the deeper psychological reason of people becoming therapists, psychoanalysts, psychologists, is really to avoid their own problems; because when you become too much involved in solving other people's problems, you neither have time nor space to think about your own, about yourself. It is a good way of escaping from your own reality, your blindness, your darkness. That's why I say it is a good realization on your part, Turiya, that you are conscious about your spots of unconsciousness. Help others, but don't forget yourself.

Remember that to solve your own problems is more basic, more fundamental, and in fact, unless you have solved your own problems, you can help others only in a very superficial way. You have read about things, you have knowledge, you have expertise, but that does not go very deep.

You don't have the authority of your own experience and you can't understand the other person and his complexity. Every person who is in the profession of helping others psychologically, spiritually, has to remember continuously that his advice is authentic only if it comes from his own experience. If it is coming only from knowledge it may help some superficial things, but it cannot bring transformation in people's lives.

Thousands of psychologists in the world, of different schools, are working on people, but in their own lives they are troubled by the same kinds of problems about which they are very great experts. As far as somebody else's problem is concerned, they can stand aloof. Then they are just observers, they don't have any involvement. They can give good advice, but their advice cannot have depth.

Their advice will have only as much depth as their experience, not as their knowledge.

Western psychology and its schools are immensely lacking in one thing: they are not meditative.

They don't have anything even close to meditation. What psychoanalysis cannot change in a patient in years, can be changed in weeks through meditation. And if the psychoanalyst himself was a meditator, he could have looked at the problem from a far different space. He would not have thought of analyzing it, because analysis is useless. You can go on analyzing and the mind goes on producing new problems.

Analysis is like pruning trees. You go on pruning leaves and branches, and new leaves and new branches are coming up. In fact if you prune one leaf, the tree takes up the challenge and instead of one leaf, at least three leaves will come up. You cannot defeat the tree in this way, it is a living being. You have been destructive, it has taken up the challenge.

The psychoanalyst analyzes one problem: mind takes up the challenge, it creates a dozen problems instead of one. Mind is a problem-creating factory - and automatic. You don't have to start it, you don't have to turn it off, it goes on and on. It starts only once, in the beginning when you are born, and it dies only once, when you are dead. Otherwise your whole life it goes on and on without any need of lubrication. It is a great feat of nature!

A man who has no experience of meditation knows nothing beyond the mind. And one mind cannot help another mind. It may be more knowledgeable. It may, for a moment, repress some problems.

But the problem will come up in another form. You have to be beyond mind yourself. From that perspective you can see other people's problems.

And in fact, there are not many problems; there is only one problem, and that is to be in the mind.

And there is only one solution, and that is to be beyond the mind. To find a way out of the mind is the only answer. And it does not matter whose mind. It may be the mind of an uneducated, uncultured, poor man or the mind of a very cultured, very knowledgeable, very educated person. The solution is the same: both have to come out of the mind.

And, Turiya, you can help them only if you help yourself. The ancient saying of the alchemist physician - "first, heal thyself" - is of great importance. Certainly it is not relevant to the ordinary physician; because the ordinary physician may have a headache, still he can prescribe medicine for you and cure your headache. The ordinary physician may have tuberculosis, still he can cure your tuberculosis. Hence that ancient statement - "physician, heal thyself first" - is not concerned with the ordinary physicians. Its concern is alchemical, its concern is about the physician of the inner world. There, if you are sick you cannot help anybody.

Yes, in helping others you can forget your own sickness - it is the easiest way to forget it. You become so involved in the name of service, in the name of compassion... beautiful names hiding only escape.

Turiya, you have to go deeper into meditation and you have to help those people who come into your therapy groups towards meditation. Give them as much help as you can through your expertise, but make meditation the foundation.

And while you are running a group... as a therapist you know much more than the people who are participants, but as a meditator you can join them as a participant, not as a therapist. That will bring you closer to them. That will give you a deeper understanding of your heart, and they will also feel your humanity more clearly, more deeply, your compassion and your love.

Meditate with them. Make it a point that in every therapy group one hour should be devoted to meditation. The remaining time you work your methodology, your technique - but start with meditation and end the group in the night with meditation. People should go to sleep after meditation.

After meditation they should not do anything else, so that their whole night has some aroma of meditation, some vibe of meditation continuously floating in their being. And as they wake up, they wake up in a different way than they have ever awakened before: more peaceful, more serene, more calm, more collected.

So, the first thing should be meditation and the last thing should be meditation, and in between you do your therapy group. In times of meditation you should be a participant. You should join hands with them, you should be one amongst them. In the therapy group you have a higher position - you are more knowledgeable, they are less so. They have come for help, you are helping them - certainly you have a superiority.

But in meditation no one is superior, no one is inferior. Begin with this beautiful equality and end your group with the same phenomenon. And your therapy group will become both together: a meditative therapy or a therapeutic meditation.

Joe is sitting in his living room reading the newspaper. His wife comes over, takes the paper out of his hand, and gives him a hard slap across his face. "What is that for?" cries Joe.

"That is for being such a lousy lover," she says. A little while later Joe gets up, goes over to where his wife is watching TV and gives her a resounding slap.

"What is that for?" she yells at him.

"That is for knowing the difference," Joe says.

It took a little time for him to figure out, that "If I am a lousy lover, how has she come to know the difference?" So it has taken a little time for you, Turiya, but it is not too late.

Not only you, but other therapists also should make it a point: it is one of my basic approaches to create a synthesis between therapy and meditation, because that will create the final synthesis between West and East. That is a very fundamental beginning. Because the West continues to work within the mind, goes on round and round in the mind, and the East has taken steps out of the mind long before, centuries before. And what the West is searching for in the mind, the East has found beyond the mind, without any difficulty.

A synthesis is needed. Western techniques of psychotherapy can be helpful in resolving life problems, relationship problems, mundane problems, ordinary problems, but they cannot resolve your fundamental problem of the meaning of life. They cannot resolve the quest for truth. The East can resolve the problems which are not of this world. And if both are together we can help man in both ways: we can make him more capable to live in the world - with more efficiency, with more culture, with more lovingness - and we can also help him to go into his aloneness and to move out of the world. Even though he is in the world he can remain always in touch with the eternal.

Once a man has become efficient in both, he is a healthy bird with both wings ready to fly into the vast sky - to his ultimate destiny of faraway stars. Therapy can help in such ways.

When the new patient arrived at the psychiatric hospital, he announced that he was Ronald Reagan.

This was potentially difficult, because the institution already had a President Reagan. The head psychiatrist decided to put them in the same room, feeling that the similarity of their delusions might help to cure them. The patients were introduced and then left alone. The room was quiet the whole night.

Next morning the doctor talked with his new patient. "Doctor," said the new patient, "I have been suffering from a delusion. I now know that I am not President Reagan."

"That's wonderful," said the doctor.

"Yes," added the patient, "I am Mrs. Reagan."

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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"[The world] forgets, in its ignorance and narrowness of heart,
that when we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat,
the subordinate officers of the revolutionary party; when we rise,
there rises also the terrible power of the purse."

(The Jewish State, New York, 1917)