The first question:
LATELY SEVERAL FRIENDS HAVE ASKED ME IF I WAS SCEPTICAL TOWARDS SANNYAS, THE ASHRAM AND YOU. I HAD TO ADMIT TO THE TRUTH AND SAID, 'YES, AT TIMES I AM.'
THIS LEFT ME WITH A FEELING OF GUILT. HAVE I COMMITTED SOME UNFORGIVABLE, SACRILEGIOUS CRIME OR IS IT NATURAL TO BE SCEPTICAL OUT OF BEING SURE? I DO NOT KNOW IF YOU ARE ENLIGHTENED. I CAN ONLY FEEL YOUR BEAUTY AND TRUST.
Bhava, faith is afraid of doubt - afraid because it has repressed it. And whatsoever you repress you will remain afraid of, because it is always there deep inside you, waiting to take revenge, and whenever the opportunity arises it is going to explode in you with vengeance. Your faith sits on an earth-quake and every day the doubt becomes stronger, because every day you have to repress it.
Sooner or later it is more than you can repress, it is more than your faith. Then it simply throws your faith away.
But trust is not afraid of doubt because trust is not against doubt. Trust uses doubt, trust knows how to use the energy contained in doubt itself. That's the difference between faith and trust. Faith is false; it creates a pseudo kind of religion, it creates hypocrites. Trust has a sublime beauty and truth about it. It grows through doubt, it uses doubt as manure, it transforms doubt. Doubt is a friend, doubt is not the enemy.
And unless your trust has moved through many doubts it will remain impotent. From where will it gather strength, from where will it gather integration? If there is no challenge it is bound to remain weak. Doubt is a challenge. If your trust can respond to the challenge, can befriend your doubt, it will grow through it. And you will not be a split person - deep down doubting and just on the surface faithful, believing - you will have a kind of unity, you will be an individual, undivided. And that individuality is what is called 'soul' in the old religions.
The soul is arrived at through doubt, not through believing. Belief is just a mask: you are hiding your original face. Trust is a transformation: you are becoming more illumined. And because you are using doubt as a challenge, as an opportunity, there is never any repression. Slowly slowly doubt disappears, because its energy has been taken by trust.
Doubt, in fact, is nothing but trust growing. Doubt is trust on the way. Always think of doubt in such a way: that doubt is trust on the way. Doubt is inquiry and trust is the fulfillment of the inquiry.
Doubt is the question and trust is the answer. The answer is not against the question - there will be no possibility of any answer if there is no question - the question has created the occasion for the answer to happen.
So, please, never feel guilty around mc. I am utterly against any kind of guilt. Guilt is absolutely wrong.
But it has been used by the priests and the politicians and the puritans down the ages - for centuries.
Guilt is a strategy, a strategy to exploit people, to make them feel guilty. Once you have succeeded in making them feel guilty, they will be your slaves. Because of the guilt they will never be integrated enough. Because of the guilt they will remain divided. Because of the guilt they will never be able to accept themselves, they will be always condemning. Because of the guilt they will be ready to believe in anything, just to get rid of guilt. They will do anything - any nonsense, any nonsense ritual they will perform - just to get rid of the guilt. Down the centuries the priest has made people guilty.
All the so-called religions exist on your guilt, they don't exist on the existence of God. They have nothing to do with God and God has nothing to do with them. They exist on your guilt.
You are afraid, you know that you are wrong: you have to seek the help of somebody who is not wrong. You know that you are unworthy: you have to bow down, you have to serve those who are worthy. You know that you cannot trust your-self, because you are divided. Only an undivided person can trust himself, his feeling, his intuition. You are always shaking, trembling inside; you need somebody to lean on. And once you lean on somebody, once you become dependent on somebody, you remain childish, you never grow. Your mind age remains that of a child. You never attain to any maturity, you never become independent. And the priest does not want you to become independent.
Independent, and you are lost to him; dependent, and you are his whole market-place, his whole business.
I am utterly against any kind of guilt. Remember it always: if you start feeling guilty about something around me, then you are doing it on your own, then you are still carrying the voices of your parents, the priests within you; you have not yet heard me, you have not yet listened to me. I want you to be totally free of all guilt.
Once you are free of guilt you are a religious person. That's my definition of a religious person. Use doubt - doubt is beautiful - because it is only through doubt that the trust attains to maturity. How can it be otherwise? It has to be beautiful - it is only through doubt that the trust becomes centred.
It is only through doubt that the trust flowers, blooms. It is the dark night of doubt that brings the golden morning closer to you. The dark night is not against the dawn, the dark night is the womb for the dawn. The dawn is getting ready in the very being of the dark night.
Think of doubt and trust as complementary: just as man and woman are, just as night and day, summer and winter, life and death. Always think of those pairs in terms of inevitable complementariness, never think in terms of opposition. Even though on the surface they seem to be opposed, deep down they are friends, helping each other. Think of a person who has no trust:
he will not have any doubt either, because he has nothing to doubt about. Just think of a person who has no trust at all - how can he doubt, what has he to doubt? Only a man of trust has something to doubt. Because you trust, hence you doubt. Your doubt proves your trust, not otherwise. Think of a man who cannot doubt - how can he trust? If he is even incapable of doubt, how can he be capable of trust?
Trust is the highest form of the same energy; doubt is the lowest rung of the same ladder and trust is the highest rung of the same ladder. Use doubt, use it joyfully. There is no need to feel guilty at all.
It is perfectly human and natural to feel great doubts about me sometimes and great doubts about what is going on here. It is perfectly human - there is nothing extraordinary in it. If it doesn't happen, then something seems to be abnormal. But remember that one has to reach to the trust. Use doubt, but don't forget the goal, don't forget the highest rung of the ladder. Even if you are standing on the lowest, look at the highest. You have to reach there. In fact, doubt is pushing you towards that because nobody can feel at ease with doubt.
Have you not watched it? When there is doubt there is uneasiness. Don't change that uneasiness, don't interpret that uneasiness as guilt. Yes, uneasiness is there, because doubt means you are uncertain of the ground you are standing on, doubt means you are ambiguous, doubt means you are not yet a unity. How can you be at ease? You are a crowd, you are not one person, you are many persons. How can you be at ease? There must be great noise inside you, one part pulling you in this direction and another part in that direction. How can you grow if you are pulled in so many directions simultaneously? There is bound to be unease, tension, anguish, anxiety.
Nobody can live with doubt and in doubt. Doubt pushes you towards trust, doubt says, 'Go and find a place where you can relax, where you can be totally.' Doubt is your friend. It simply says, 'This is not the home. Go ahead, search, seek, inquire.' It creates the urge to inquire, to explore.
Once you start seeing doubt as a friend, as an occasion, not against trust but pushing you towards it, suddenly, guilt disappears. There is great joy. Even when you doubt, you doubt joyously, you doubt consciously, and you use doubt to find trust. It is absolutely normal.
You say, 'I do not know if you are enlightened.'
How can you know it? There is no way to know it unless you become enlightened. How can you know what has happened to me unless it happens to you too? It is absolutely right to feel that you cannot trust me sometimes. The miracle is that sometimes you can trust. Just those few moments will be enough. Don't be worried. Trust has such infinite power. Trust is just like light and doubt is like darkness.
Just a small candle of trust is enough to destroy the darkness of ages. The darkness cannot say, 'I have lived in this place for so long, I cannot leave so easily and I cannot leave only because of this small candle.' Even a small candle is more potential than the darkness of ages, of centuries, of thousands of lives. But it will have to go... once the light is there it has to go.
Those few moments of trust - let them be far and few in between, don't be worried - they are enough to destroy all your doubts, slowly slowly. And by 'destroying' I mean just releasing the energy contained in doubt. Just breaking the shell called doubt... and deep inside you will find the pure energy to trust. Once it is released more and more trust will be available to you.
You say, 'I do not know if you are enlightened.'
Good that you don't believe. If you start believing you will stop seeking. A believer never moves - he has already believed. That's why there are millions of people worshipping in the churches, temples, mosques, GURUDWARA... But their worship is out of belief; because it is out of belief, those millions of people remain irreligious. They don't search for God, they don't seek God - they have already accepted. Their acceptance is lame; they have not struggled for it, they have not earned it. You have to fight, you have to struggle, you have to earn. Nothing is without a price in life; you have to pay the price. They have not paid the price. And they think that just by worshipping in a temple they will attain? They are utter fools, they are wasting their time! All their worship is just an illusion.
The really religious person cannot believe; he searches. Because he cannot believe, he remains in doubt, and nobody can be at rest with doubt. One has to seek and search and to find. Doubt goes on gnawing at your being, goes on goading you: 'Search, seek, find, and don't be contented before you have found.'
Good that you cannot believe. Only remember: there is no need to believe and there is no need to disbelieve. And that's happening. And I am happy.
You say, 'I can only feel your beauty and trust.'
That's all that is needed. That's enough, more than enough; that will become the boat to the other shore. If you can feel my love, if you can feel my trust in you, if you can feel my hope in you, if you can see that something beautiful has happened although you don't know what exactly it is - you cannot define it and you cannot explain it - but you can even feel that something of the beyond...
That's what beauty is: beauty is always of the beyond. Whenever you see a rose flower and you say, 'It is beautiful,' what do you mean? You say you have seen something of the beyond. Something invisible has become visible to you; you cannot prove it. If somebody else standing by your side denies seeing any beauty in the rose, you cannot prove it to him - there is no way. You will just have to shrug your shoulders. You will say, 'Then nothing can be done about it. I see and you don't see, and that is that.'
You cannot go to the scientist to dissect the rose and find whether it contains beauty or not. It does not contain it; the beauty is not contained in the rose. The beauty is from the beyond, it simply dances on the rose. Those who have eyes, they will see; those who don't have eyes, they will not see. You can take the rose to the chemist; he will dissect it, he will find everything that is in the rose - but beauty is not in the rose. The rose was just an occasion for beauty to descend from the beyond.
The rose was just a screen for the beauty to play upon. The rose was just a stage for the drama to happen; it is not the drama itself. You take the rose away, you dissect the rose, you cut it into pieces, you find all the constituents - but beauty is not a constituent of the rose, although without the rose the beauty cannot descend.
It is just like the sun rises in the morning and the rays are dancing on the lotus pond. You don't see the rays themselves, you can't see. That's what THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER says:
you can't see essence, you can't see life, all that you see are only consequences .
Have you ever seen the light itself? No, you have never seen it. If you think you have seen light itself, you have not thought about it, you have not pondered over it. You have seen lighted things, you have not seen light itself. You have seen the lighted pond, you have seen the lighted lotus, you have seen the lighted face of your woman or man or your child, you have seen the lighted world, but have you seen the light itself? If there is nothing for the light to play upon, you will not be able to see it.
That's why the moment the astronauts go away from the earth, even in the daytime, the sky is dark, utterly dark, because you cannot see light itself and there is nothing there for the light to play upon.
Hence the infinite sky is dark. You see light on the stars because stars become the playground for the light, but surrounding the stars it is all darkness because there is nothing to obstruct the light.
And unless light is obstructed you cannot see it.
You cannot see enlightenment, you can see only the consequence of it. You cannot see what has happened to me, but you can see something has happened, something like x. There is no need to call it enlightenment either, just x will do. Something mysterious has happened. And the more you feel me, the more you will become aware of it; and when you become more aware of it, something inside you will start responding to it. What has happened to me can trigger a process in you. It cannot be the cause of your enlightenment, remember; your enlightenment will not be the effect of my enlightenment. There is no cause/effect relationship between the Master and the disciple, there is a totally different kind of relationship.
Just in this century Carl Gustav Jung was able to penetrate into the mystery of that different kind of relationship. He calls it 'synchronicity'. Cause and effect is a scientific relationship; synchronicity is a poetic relationship. By 'synchronicity' what is meant is that if something has happened somewhere and you become available to it, you remain vulnerable to it, something can start responding in you parallel to it. But it has not been the cause of it, it cannot cause it.
It is just like somebody is playing beautiful music and a great desire arises in you to dance. It is not caused by the music, it is a parallel response in you. Something that was fast asleep in you - the energy to dance - has been hit; not caused, just hit, provoked, inspired. It is synchronicity. If it is a cause then it will happen to everybody.
For example, you are here, three thousand sannyasins are present. I am available to all of you, but you are not all available to me or, even if you are available to me, you are available in different ways.
The quality differs, the quantity differs. If I can be a cause of your enlightenment, then all three thousand of you will become enlightened. But I am not the cause, I can only become a catalytic agent. But for that, you have to be open towards me. If I were a cause, there would be no need for you to be open to me. Fire burns whether the wood is open to it or not; it is a cause. Water evaporates at hundred-degree heat; whether it is open to the heat or not doesn't matter.
Cause and effect is a blind relationship, it is materialistic: it is between matter and matter. But synchronicity is not material, it is spiritual, it is poetic, it is a love affair. If you become open to me, something will start happening to you. And remember, I am not the cause of it. You need not thank me, you need not be grateful to me. I am not the cause of it. If anybody is the cause of it it is you, because you opened towards me. I could not have done it alone. There is no doing on my part. I am present, all that is needed is that you also be present here and something will start happening. And nobody is doing it, neither I am doing it nor are you doing it. I am available, you become available, and these two energies fall into a love affair, they start dancing together.
So don't be worried that you cannot know about my enlightenment.
You say, 'I can only feel your beauty and trust.'
This is enough. This will do. And once it has happened in you, you will know. To know a Buddha one has to become a Buddha, to know a Christ one has to be a Christ.
The second question:
IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS, JUST WHEN I AM FEELING OVERWHELMED WITH THE MYSTERY AND MIRACLE OF LIFE AND THIS WORLD, I SUDDENLY FEEL EVERYTHING OUTSIDE ME DESCENDING CLOSER AND CLOSER UNTIL IT GOES INSIDE MY EYES. I THEN FIND MYSELF LOOKING AT WHAT SEEMS LIKE A ONE-DIMENSIONAL SCREEN SITTING JUST AT MY EYES.
IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THERE IS NOTHING BUT ME AND I AM SO ALONE. BUT THEN PEOPLE ARE ON THE SCENE INTERACTING WITH ME AND I BECOME CONFUSED. AND WHAT ABOUT YOU? YOU ALSO SEEM JUST PART OF THE PAINTING.
EVEN THOUGH THIS LASTS ONLY A FEW SECONDS, I BECOME SO TERRIFIED WHEN THIS HAPPENS. IS THIS MY MIND PLAYING WITH ME? HOW COULD I REALLY BE SO ALONE?
Maitri, one is alone - aloneness is ultimate - but aloneness is not loneliness. You are not lonely.
And that's where the whole misunderstanding lies and that's what makes you so terrified. To be lonely means you are missing the other. To be lonely is a negative state. To be lonely means you are feeling empty: you are searching for the other - you believe in the other, you depend on the other - and the other is not there. And because the other is not there, there is great nothingness, but that nothingness is a kind of negative nothingness. You are groping for the other, and you cannot find the other, and everything starts disappearing. And when everything starts disappearing the real problem is that you cannot remain yourself.
When everything else has disappeared, you will have to disappear too, because you depend on others, you are just a reflection of the others. You have seen your face in the eyes of others; they have been mirrors. Now there are no longer any mirrors, who are you? All has disappeared, then how can you remain in this loneliness? You also start evaporating and that creates great fear, the fear of death.
The ego starts dying and the ego starts searching somewhere for somebody to cling to. And that's why soon you start interacting with people. Out of the fear of death you start getting occupied with others again. And then great confusion is bound to be there because your natural being was moving into a deep nothingness but you became frightened and you pulled yourself out of it. You created a contradiction in the energy: the energy was going in and you jumped out, hence the confusion. But aloneness is ultimate. And when I say aloneness is ultimate, I mean that there is only one, there are not many. You are not separate from existence.
Nobody is separate from anybody else, existence is utterly one. The very idea of separation is our misery, the very idea that 'I am an island' creates hell. Nobody is an island, we belong to the continent, we are part of this oceanic existence, past, present, future. In all directions and all dimensions, it is all one. In fact, the word alone means 'all-oneness' - that is alone-ness. 'All one' is alone.
But for that, Maitri, you will have to go a little more into this nothingness. First the nothingness is negative; its outermost core, the shell part is negative. If you go a little deeper you will find the positive negativeness. The positive negativeness is what Buddha calls NIRVANA, enlightenment, SHUNYA. When you move deeper and you have crossed the shell part, the hard negative part, the dark part, suddenly there is light. The night is over.
And then you feel a totally new kind of aloneness which you have never felt before, and then you know the distinction between loneliness and aloneness. In loneliness you were searching for the other, in aloneness the other has disappeared and so has disappeared the ego. Now there is nobody inside and nobody outside, and all is one. This unity, this absolute oneness brings benediction.
Then there is no fear, there cannot be, because now there can be no death - how can there be fear? The death has already happened, that which could die has died. Now you are in the world of immortality, you have found the elixir. This is the nectar we will be talking about again and again in these sutras of THE SECRET OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER. This is the nectar, AMRIT. This is the elixir, the philosopher's stone. Once you have tasted of it, all death has disappeared, all time has disappeared, all distinctions have disappeared. Now you will see the tree as your extension, the cloud as your extension, or you as the extension of the tree. Now the centre is everywhere and nowhere. The 'I' does not exist anywhere anymore. The very word has become utterly false.
Once a Christian missionary asked a Zen Master, 'Isn't the end-point of man's journey the union with God?'
The Zen Master said, 'The end-point of man's journey is NOT union with God, because there has never been a separation. All that is needed is the flash of insight that makes one see it.'
Tao, Zen, Tantra - their insight is far more deep than the so-called market-place religion. Christianity thinks in terms of joining with God, of being one with God, but the Zen Master's insight is far more penetrating, and deeper. He says: But where has there been a separation? When? It has not happened at all, you have been dreaming that you are separate. Just come out of the dream! There is no union, you have ALWAYS been one with existence. Not for a single moment has there been a separation, there is no possibility of separation.
Maitri, you are coming to a very very important, significant insight. If you don't get frightened and run out of this experience, you may attain the flash of insight that makes one see it: that all is one.
But fear always comes. It is not new - each seeker has to go through it. And it is really so much that before you have thought about it you have already run out of it. It is so frightening that it does not give you time, space, to ponder over it - what to do. It is like the house is on fire. You don't think anymore: 'Should I get out or not?' There are no more alternatives left; you simply run out of the house without thinking. There is no time to think. Later on you can think. When you are outside the house, sitting under a tree, you can think and ponder in luxury. But when the house is on fire, how can you think? Action is needed immediately and thought is never immediate.
That's the problem: when you go into your aloneness, at first it is very lonely, because you have lived with the idea of the other. It was a dream idea; the other is not there. 'I' and 'thou' - both are false.
Martin Buber says that the ultimate quality of prayer is a dialogue between 'I' and 'thou'. That's where Judaism got stuck. The ultimate prayer is not a dialogue at all, the ultimate prayer is a monologue, because the other is not there.
A Zen Master used to call his own name in the morning; every morning he would shout his own name, and say, 'How are you?' And he would answer, 'I am perfectly well, sir.'
You will think he is mad, but this is prayer. There is no 'I', there is no 'thou'. You have to play the part of both. It is a game, it is a play. Prayer is a play: playing with your own self. There is no 'other'.
But Judaism got stuck there, with the idea of 'I' and 'thou'. That's why they were so much against Jesus, because he declared - although not in such a drastic way as a Zen Master declares... It was not possible to be more drastic than he was in his situations. But still he said, 'I and my Father are one.' But that was enough to infuriate people. People were mad. 'What is he saying? Declaring himself God?' He is not saying anything, he is not declaring himself God, he is simply saying there is no God and no devotee, there is only One. You can call it 'devotee' in a certain situation, you can call it 'God' in another situation. That's why he says, 'I and my Father are one. If you look at my body I am the son, if you look at my soul I am the Father. If you look at my form I am a man, son of man, if you look at my essence I am son of God.'
That's why he goes on repeating it again and again. Sometimes he says: I am son of man, and sometimes he says: I am son of God. Looks contradictory, it is not.
Maitri, you say, 'In the past few weeks, just when I am feeling overwhelmed with the mystery and miracle of life and this world, I suddenly feel everything outside me descending closer and closer until it goes inside my eyes.'
All that you see is a projection of your eyes. The world as it Is you have not seen yet. What you have seen is just a projection, so when you start moving inwards, everything that you have projected on the world will come closer and closer and closer to the eyes and will disappear into your eyes. This world is a projection of your eyes. You don't see that which is, you project a dream upon it.
For example, there is a great diamond, the Kohinoor. Now, it is just a stone like any other stone, but we have projected so much value on it. Many people have died because of the Kohinoor; whosoever possessed it was killed. Now see the whole nonsense of it: just that stone has proved very murderous because of the projections of people. It is one of the most precious things in the world, the costliest thing in the world, but if man disappears from the earth will it be anything more than any other pebble? It will be just lying there with other pebbles in the same way. There will be no distinction, no difference.
From where does the difference come? Our eyes project, we make it special. We go on pouring our desire, greed, onto it. It becomes very precious, and very dangerous too. If you are meditating on the Kohinoor, silently seeing it, seeing it, one moment will come when you see that something from the Kohinoor is coming closer and closer to your eyes and then it disappears into the eyes. Then you open your eyes - the Kohinoor has disappeared. There is something, but you had not known it before and the one that you had known before is no more there.
A beautiful experience, tremendously significant. Go into it, go deeper and deeper into it. Let the whole world disappear. Yes, I will also disappear into that, because that which I am you have not seen yet and that which you see is your projection. Your projection will disappear, and when all your projections have disappeared, then the world comes in its nakedness, as it is.
And the wonder of it! Then small things are so wonderful then ordinary pebbles are so wonderful.
Because of the Kohinoor they cannot be wonderful; you have projected all on the Kohinoor, you have not left any love for anything else. Once the projection disappears and you open your eyes, EMPTY EYES, not projecting anything at all, just seeing whatsoever it is, with no idea what it is, with no names, no labels, no interpretations, just seeing, emptied, passive, the world comes to have a totally different meaning, significance.
'I suddenly feel everything outside me descending closer and closer until it goes inside my eyes. I then find myself looking at what seems like a one-dimensional screen sitting just at my eyes.'
Perfectly good and perfectly right. This is the way one moves deeper into meditation.
'It seems as though there is nothing but me and I am so alone.'
The only problem is that you are still there, that's why you feel so alone. You mean lonely. The 'I' remains alone; 'thou' has disappeared, and without the 'thou' the 'I' is lonely. The 'I' exists only in relationship; the 'I' is not an entity but a relationship - it cannot exist without the 'thou', it needs the 'thou'. How can the lover exist without the beloved? Once the beloved is not there the lover starts disappearing. You need the beloved. Love is a relationship, so is the 'I' a relationship. And because you are still protecting the 'I' somehow, you have not yet been courageous enough to let it go too.
Just as the whole world has disappeared, let this 'I' also disappear. It will be frightening in the beginning; it will be a death process - it is a death process. It will look like you are committing suicide, it will look... Who knows where you are going, whether you will be coming back again or not? It will look as if madness is exploding in you. And great fear will arise and in that fear you will be thrown out again and again. It will happen many times. Slowly slowly you will have to learn not to be so afraid; there is nothing to fear. You are very close to the treasure.
These are the moments when a Master is needed to help you, to give you courage, to hold your hand, to say to you, 'Maitri, all is perfectly right. Go in!'
I had to pass through the same and I was also as much afraid as you are. And many times I came out just as you are coming out. And you are more fortunate than me because I had no Master - nobody to give me courage, nobody to hold my hand. I was simply struggling by myself. There was nobody who could tell me what was going to happen ahead. I had to grope and go into it - and it was dangerous, it was maddening. And the people who were around me in those days had already started believing that I had gone mad. Everybody who loved me was worried - my friends were worried, my teachers, my professors in the university were worried, my parents were worried, everybody was worried. But I had to go. Many times I went out, the fear was so much. I am perfectly acquainted with the fear.
But one day, one has to face it and go through it, because again and again you fall upon it and you rush out. And the out is not meaningful anymore: the out is all empty. And you come inside... and the fear. You have to choose between the two. The outside is no more relevant. You can go on making empty gestures, but how long can you deceive yourself? You know the screen is empty and all your projections are dead. And you go inside... and the fear, a great storm of fear arises.
But there is no other way - one has to go through it to know exactly what happens after this death.
The sooner you gather courage the better. And I say again you are more fortunate, because I am standing ahead of you in that utter emptiness, calling you forth again and again 'Come on! Come ye all! Come!' And I go on calling you forth just as Christ called Lazarus from the grave 'Lazarus, come out!'
In fact, that parable is not a historical fact, it is a parable. It is a parable of moving from the outside to the inside. The outside becomes a grave when it loses meaning. The outside becomes just futility, a wasteland, a grave. Nothing grows in it anymore, nothing flowers in it anymore - no possibility of any song and dance - and you live only in empty motions, empty gestures.
But the Master is standing where you are afraid to go and he calls from there. I am not only standing outside you; you will meet me in that innermost nothingness - not as me, of course, not as a person but as a presence; not separate from you but one with you.
That's why I insist so much on sannyas. Unless you are a sannyasin it will be difficult for me to call you from the inside. I can call you from the outside, but then you remain just a student. I can teach you a few things - that will become knowledge - but I cannot call you from your inside, from your very heart. And the need is there. That is possible only if you become a disciple, if you are a sannyasin, if you are ready to go with me, if you are ready to trust me, at least in some moments. I will use those 'some moments' and sooner or later they will become your very state of being.
So go on. Let this 'me', this 'I' also disappear. And once this 'I' disappears there is no loneliness, there is aloneness. And aloneness is beautiful, aloneness is freedom, it is a very positive feeling of well-being, a positive feeling of great joy. It is a very great, festive moment, it is celebration.
'It seems as though there is nothing but me and I am so alone.'
Yes, if 'I' remains you will remain lonely.
'But then people are on the scene interacting with me and I become confused. And what about you?
You also seem just part of the painting.'
Allow me to become part of the painting on the outside, only then can I start working from the inside.
Let me disappear from the outside so that you can see me inside. And that will be my truth. And that is the truth of Christ and that is the truth of the Buddha and Krishna. That is the truth of all the Masters, of all those who have become awakened.
'Even though this lasts only a few seconds, I become so terrified when this happens.'
It is natural, but gather courage. I am with you. Go in.
'Is this my mind playing with me?
No, not at all. Mind creates the fear, not this experience. Mind is playing when it creates the fear. It is not mind when you see all your projections coming closer and closer and disappearing into your eyes. It is not mind when everything becomes a white empty screen. It is not mind, it is meditation:
it is movement towards no-mind. MIND creates the fear. When it comes very close to the no-mind, it becomes so afraid of death that it creates fear. And in that fear you rush out again.
Next time it happens, Maitri, go in, in spite of the fear. Just be like the elephant who goes on moving although the dogs go on barking. Let the dogs of the mind bark. Go on moving like an elephant.
Don't care at all about the mind - what it is saying.
The third question:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN ENLIGHTENED MAN SLIDES BACK INTO DELUSION?
Fallen flowers don't jump back to the branches. That is not possible. The enlightened person cannot slide back into illusion. There is no way; for many reasons there is no way.
The first reason: the enlightened man is no more - who will slide back? Enlightenment is. There is nothing like an 'enlightened person'. Enlightenment is perfectly there, but there is nobody who is enlightened. That is just a way of speaking, a linguistic fallacy. Who will slide back? The one who could have slid back has disappeared. And where can one slide back? Once you have found it is illusion, it is no more there. When once you have seen it is no more there, it is finished! Where can you go back? It is not possible.
But the idea arises in our mind because in life we have never seen anything like that. We attain one thing and we fall back; we are in love and then we fall back out of it. We fall in love and we fall out of it. We are happy and then we become unhappy, we are feeling good and then we start feeling very bad. We know the duality, the duality never disappears, so we naturally think about enlightenment also as if one can slide back. Enlightenment is the realization of the non-dual. That's why Zen Masters say SAMSARA IS NIRVANA: the very world is NIRVANA, the very illusion is truth; there is no distinction left. It is not that this is truth and that is illusion; all is truth, only truth is. Where can you fall back? You have gone beyond the point of no return. Nobody has ever fallen back.
And don't be worried about these people - you should worry about yourself. First become enlightened and then try to slide back, and then you will see - it is easier to become enlightened! It is very difficult to slide back. I have tried, but I have not been successful.
The last question:
PLEASE EXPLAIN ABOUT BLISS AND MISERY,FOR WHENEVER I ENCOUNTER LOVE OR BEAUTY, I ONLY FEEL TREMENDOUS PAIN BUT NOT BLISS, AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS.
Suparna, you have been told again and again, you have been taught again and again, that to be joyous is wrong and to be miserable is right. You may not have been told so directly, but indirectly you have been conditioned and hypnotized for misery. You have started believing that misery is natural. You see misery all around, misery abounds, everybody is miserable. It seems to be the way things are.
When you were born, you were a happy child - as every child is happy. It has not happened otherwise, never. Whenever a child is born he is happy, utterly happy. And that's why children look very selfish: they only think of themselves, they are not worried about the world. And they are happy about small things. A butterfly in the garden, and the utter joy and their wonder - at small things, at nothings; but they are happy, they are naturally happy.
But slowly slowly we cripple their happiness, we destroy it. We cannot tolerate so much happiness.
The world is very miserable and we have to prepare them for the world. So indirectly we start indoctrinating them that 'The world is misery,' that 'You cannot afford to be happy,' that 'Happiness is just a hope, how can you be happy? Don't be so selfish! There is so much misery all around - feel for others, consider others.' Slowly slowly the child gets the feeling that to be happy is a kind of sin.
How can you be happy when the world is in such misery?
People write letters to me asking: 'How can you teach people meditation when the world is in such a misery? How can one be happy when people are starving?' As if by being unhappy you will help them! As if by not being meditative you will be of any kind of service to them! As if wars will disappear If you don't meditate, and poverty will disappear if you are not happy!
But misery has been put on a pedestal, misery has been worshipped. I always suspect that Christianity became the greatest religion because of the cross. It represents misery, suffering.
Krishna could not become a great religion because of his flute because of his dance. Even those who worship him feel a little guilty about him. How can you be so happy and dancing with girlfriends?
And not just one - thousands! And singing and playing on the flute! And people are dying and there is death and starvation and war and violence and all kinds of things are going around. It is hell, and you are playing on your flute! It seems callous, it seems cruel. Jesus seems to be more suitable, dying on the cross. Look at the face of Jesus! The way Christians have painted him his face is very long, sad. He is carrying the whole burden of the earth. He has come to take all the sins of all the people on himself. He seems to be the greatest servant - very unselfish.
But my feeling is that Christians have depicted Christ wrongly. This Christ is a myth, the real Christ was more like Krishna. In fact, if you go deep down into the word 'Christ' you will be surprised: it comes from 'Krishna'; its root is 'Krishna'. He must have been a very joyous man, otherwise how can you think of him eating, drinking, making merry? There are so many scenes where friends have gathered and they are eating and drinking and gossipping. He is not always 'gospelling', sometimes he is gossipping too! And he seems to be the only messenger from God who drinks and eats well and enjoys the small pleasures of life. My feeling is that if Zen Masters were to create a religion out of Jesus, they would make him laugh on the cross - a belly laugh. Jesus would have as big a belly as Bodhidharma! And the belly would be shaking like an earthquake with great laughter! And that would have been more true, far more true.
Even in Japan and China the statue of the Buddha is made with a big belly. In India they don't make that big belly, no, not at all. The Indian concept, the yogic concept is that the belly has to be very small and the chest has to be big, because the yogic breathing is a false breathing, it is not natural. It can make a Mohammed Ali out of you but not a Buddha. It will give you the shape of a Mr Universe, but have you seen any other kinds of people in the world who are more ugly? Mr Universe seems to be the ugliest. I don't think any woman can fall in love with a Mr Universe. He looks so animalistic - all muscles and no man, just a kind of mechanism. Just see his muscles moving - just a kind of mechanism, a machine, but no soul! The Indian statue of Buddha is the yogic statue. When they made Buddha's statue in China, they made it with a big belly.
When one laughs and when one breathes naturally, the belly becomes slowly bigger, because then one breathes from the belly and not from the chest - the breath goes the whole way down. If Zen were to make a religion out of Christianity Jesus would be on the cross, but with laughter, such laughter that it would resound down the centuries. But that may not have been a successful religion, because how would it suit the people who know only crying and weeping? He would look completely eccentric, outlandish. To be on the cross and sad looks perfectly right, because everybody is on a certain cross and sad.
And you must have been taught from your very childhood that the world is a wrong place. How can you be happy in this place? We are suffering a kind of punishment. God ordered Adam and Eve to leave paradise because they disobeyed, and humanity is under that curse. How can you be happy?
To be a Christian and happy will be a contradiction in terms.
So, Suparna, you must have been taught that the world is a miserable place; misery is perfectly right in it, in tune with it. And everybody is miserable; it will be very hard and cruel on your part to be happy and joyous. That's why people feel guilty and hold back even when there are moments to enjoy.
Larson took Charlotte for a drive way out in the country and parked the car in a desolate stretch. 'If you try to molest me,' said Charlotte, 'I'll scream.'
'What good would that do?' asked Larson. 'There's not a soul around for miles.'
'I know,' said Charlotte, 'but I want to satisfy my conscience before I start having a good time.'
People even make love with sad faces as if they are on the cross - serious, doing a duty. And even if they want to enjoy, they hide it, it 'doesn't look right'; they feel guilty.
If people really make love with joy, they will scream, they will shout, they will cry, they will weep, they will laugh. One never knows what kind of emotions will surface, so it is better to keep yourself in control, otherwise you will look so foolish. And then what will the neighbours think? And modern walls are so thin that you even have to make love in a yoga posture - SHAVASANA, the dead-body posture. 'And be finished with it as soon as possible, don't let it become orgasmic. What are you doing? And Jesus suffered for you on the cross! And you are shouting with joy? Think of Jesus, poor Jesus, what will he think of you? And think of God - who is a kind of peeping Torn who always looks through keyholes - what will he think?'
If you think of all the gods and then the angels and the Christs and the saints - and they are all watching you making love, and with such relish - you will suffer in hell! It is better to keep control, it is good to feel guilty. That's why after making love people feel a kind of sadness, a kind of frustration, as if they have done something criminal. Again they enjoyed themselves and 'that is not right'.
Just see. Whenever you are feeling miserable something feels good. It will look like a contradiction, but it is like this: whenever you are miserable you feel blissful and whenever you are blissful you feel miserable.
You say, 'Please explain about bliss and misery, for whenever I encounter love or beauty I only feel tremendous pain but not bliss, and I don't understand this.'
You will not be able to understand this at all because your whole understanding has been poisoned.
You will have to drop the whole mind! There is no need to understand. You have to go into it with innocence, not with understanding, because that understanding is again a kind of calculation. That understanding is again the knowledge that has been given by the society, and that knowledge is creating the whole trouble. You have to become a child again, innocent.
But you want to understand. Forget all about understanding! Understanding is again calculation, cunningness.
I have heard...
An elderly couple went to a doctor. The man said, 'We want to know if we are making love properly.
Will you look at us?'
'Go ahead,' said the doctor. They made love.
'You are making love perfectly,' the doctor said. 'That will be 10.
They came back six weeks in a row and did the same thing. On the seventh visit the doctor said, 'What are you coming here like this for - I told you you are making love properly!'
'She can't come to my house,' said the man, 'and I can't go to her house. A motel costs
Don't be calculating, don't be cunning with life. Now what kind of love will this be? Business and business and business... Knowledge is needed for business, innocence is needed for life.
Knowledge is a must in the market-place, but not needed at all when you are moving into the mysteries. You cannot know, you can only be. Drop this mind, drop all this conditioning, and start moving. When you feel joyous, Feel joyous, help yourself to feel joyous, dance, sing. The old habits will pull you back - don't listen to them.
You will have to get rid of the old habits slowly slowly. It will be a kind of struggle, because no habit leaves you easily. But these habits are against you and against God, because anything that is against joy is against God. If God can be defined by any word, that word is 'bliss' and nothing else.
Suparna, whenever you feel something beautiful and the pain arises in you, that pain is not in your being, that pain is in your mind. Your being is trying to go into the beautiful, but your mind is pulling you back. Whenever you feel love arising, bliss arising, and pain also, choose the bliss. Neglect the pain, ignore it. Ignoring it, it will die; if you go on paying attention to it you will feed it. Attention is food. Never pay attention to anything that is wrong, otherwise you are helping it to be there, you are giving it more and more strength. Ignore it - there is nothing better than ignoring it. Yes, let it be there, just say, 'Okay, you be there. You are just a hangover from my past. You be there. I am going ahead, I am not going to listen to you.'
Listen to blissful provocations, always go with them, and you are moving in the right direction - you are moving towards God. Never listen to anything that gives you guilt, pain, misery - you are moving away from God. Whenever you are miserable, you are in hell - farthest away from God - and whenever you are utterly joyous, you ARE in God, you are in heaven.
You say, 'Please explain about bliss and misery.'
Misery is unnatural, bliss is your nature. Misery is taught by others, bliss is given by God. Misery is a conditioning, bliss is your inner soul, your essence. Misery is personality, just the structure around you; bliss is your freedom, it is unstructured.
'Please explain about bliss and misery, for whenever I encounter love or beauty I only feel tremendous pain but not bliss, and I don't understand this.'
Don't try to understand this at all. Just leave the pain there, accept it for a few days, and go into love - go into love madly. Go into beauty, dance around a tree, and you will feel something of the shape of the tree has started reaching you. Dance under the stars. In the beginning you may feel that your legs are not moving and you have to move - because you have been forced to live without dance for so long, your legs have forgotten the language of dance. But soon they will learn, because it is a natural language.
Each child knows how to dance, each child knows how to be joyous. You will have to learn it again.
But because it is natural, it comes fast. Just a few efforts and, suddenly, one day you are out of the trap. Your crutches have to be thrown away. Even if sometimes you fall, it is perfectly good, but you have to stand on your own feet. The crutches of the society, of the organized religion, of the priests, have to be thrown even if for d few days you will feel impoverished. It is natural to feel impoverished for a few days; you have to accept it. But if you go on moving towards the natural, you will find Tao in your life.
Tao is a natural flowering. Follow nature. Nobody wants to be miserable and everybody is. They are not following nature. Nobody wants to be anything other than blissful and nobody is blissful. Listen to the desire - the deepest desire indicates the right path. Your longing is for bliss, for beauty, for something that will overwhelm you, for something that will take you to the other shore, for something which will be so tremendous and incredible that the past and the future will be washed away and you will be just herenow.
But don't try to understand. If you start trying to understand, you will become a victim of psychoanalysis. And the analysis is a process AD INFINITUM. You can go on analyzing and analyzing and it is never finished. There is not a single person in the world who is totally psychoanalyzed, there can never be.
This is where I differ from psychoanalysis. Don't go into analysis. Put the whole mind aside. Jump out of it! There is no need to understand. All that is needed is to live, authentically live. All that is needed is to be.