THERE WAS ONCE A KING who had three sons. Desiring to determine the fitness of each of them for the prospective job of ruling the kingdom, he hit upon a strange test.
The king ordered his sons to accompany him, with bows and arrows, on a ride into the country.
Pausing at a spot beside the road near an open field, the king pointed out a vulture sitting on a tree limb, within easy bow shot.
"I wish you to shoot at that vulture," said the king to his eldest son. "But tell me first, what do you see?"
Wonderingly, the prince replied, "Why, I see grass, the clouds, the sky, the river, a tree, and..."
"Enough!" said the king, and beckoned the second son to make ready to shoot. The latter was about to do so when his father again said, "Tell me first, what do you see?"
"Ah, I see the horses, the ground, a field of wheat, and an old dead tree with a vulture on it," answered the youth.
"Never mind shooting it," the king said, and turning to his youngest son, ordered him to hit the vulture, and again repeated the question, "First, what do you see?"
The youth replied deliberately, not taking his gaze for an instant from his intended victim as he drew taut the bowstring and aimed the shaft, "I see," he said, "the point where the wings join the body..." and the young man let fly the arrow and the bird tumbled to the ground.
The third son became the king.
The kingdom belongs to those who can work in a concentrated way - and with the kingdom of the within, more so. The way of moving in life with a direction. with a goal, with a clearcut vision, crystallizes your energies. The goal is just an excuse. The direction is just a device.
Ordinarily you are scattered all over the place, one part going in this direction, another part going in another direction. Ordinarily you are many, a mob, and each fragment of your being is constantly contradicting the other fragment. How can you achieve anything in life? How can you feel fulfilled?
If misery becomes your whole story, and if life proves to be nothing but a tragedy, there is no need to wonder. Except you, nobody else is responsible.
You have an inexhaustible source of energy, but even that can be wasted. If your fragments are in a kind of civil war you will not achieve anything worthwhile - to say nothing about God, to say nothing about truth. You will not achieve ANYTHING worthwhile, because all realization, either of the without or of the within, needs one thing absolutely: that you be one - so that your whole energy can pour into your work, so that your whole energy can become a quest.
Questions you have many; that is not going to help unless all your questions are together and create a quest in you. When your life becomes a quest, when it has a direction, it starts moving towards fulfillment. Then it will have crystallization. Crystallization means slowly, slowly you become one piece, slowly, slowly individuation arises in you. And the ultimate realization of truth is nothing but the ultimate realization of unity within your being. That is the meaning of the word 'God'. God is not there somewhere in the heavens, waiting for you. God is waiting within you, but you can find Him only if you are one - because only the one can find the one. Remember the famous words of the great mystic, Plotinus: "Flight of the alone to the alone". First you have to become alone.
That's what I was saying yesterday to Amrito: become alone. Alone means become all one. This aloneness, or alloneness, this inner unity, releases immense power because all dissipation stops.
You stop leaking. The ordinary man is like an earthen pot which is leaking from everywhere, has many holes in it. You can go on filling it again and again, but again and again you will find it is empty.
Your effort will not bring any fruition; first the holes have to be stopped.
Think of your life as a great occasion to become one. Once you start moving in one direction, you pull yourself together. Something in you starts settling. A center arises, and that center is the door to God.
These sutras are of immense value. They are very mysterious too, because when one starts imparting truth one has to use the language of poetry, parable, mystery. There is no other way.
The language of mathematics is inadequate; one has to be very metaphorical.
Before we enter into the sutras, listen to this small story.
The great Zen Master, Nansen, was getting very old and was waiting for his successor to arrive. In fact, he was ready to leave the body but was just hanging around for the successor to come so he could transfer whatsoever he had attained, so he could give the key.
Now he had many disciples, so it looks very strange; he had thousands of disciples. Why could he not give his key to one of these thousands of disciples? He had great scholars around him - very skillful, very logical, efficient, intellectual - but he had to wait. These people were able to understand logic but they were not able to understand love. And love speaks a totally different language. These people were capable of understanding mathematics but were absolutely incapable of understanding the language of metaphor. These people were perfectly able to understand prose but were not available to the mysteries of poetry - so he had to wait.
He was lying down on his bed in his chamber, sick, old, and hanging around the old body somehow, managing somehow. It was on that day that for the first time he saw his successor, Joshu, coming into the room. His very coming... not a single word had been uttered. Neither had the Master spoken nor the disciple, the future disciple. He was a stranger, but the way he entered the room was enough.
The Master asked him, "Where have you come from?"
For days the Master had not spoken: he was so sick, so old. He was preserving his energy in every way, he was not even speaking. After many days, these were his first words - to Joshu, "Where have you come from?"
Joshu said, "From Zuizo Temple." Zuizo means figure of bliss.
Nansen laughed - he had not laughed for many months - and asked, "Have you seen the figure of bliss?"
Joshu said, "The figure of bliss, I have not seen. A lying Buddha, I have seen."
At this Nansen stood up - he had not been out of his bed for almost a year. At this Nansen stood up and asked, "Do you have a Master already?"
Joshu answered, "I have."
Nansen asked, "Who is your Master?" as if all sickness had disappeared, as if he were young again.
His voice was clear, youthful, vigorous, vital: "Who is your Master?!"
Joshu laughed and said, "Although winter is past its peak it is still very cold. May I suggest, my Master, that you take good care of your body?" And that was that.
And Nansen said, "Now I can die peacefully. A man has arrived who can understand my language.
A man has arrived who can meet not on the surface but in the depth."
Joshu said, "My Master, take good care of your body." Just saying that, the initiation had happened.
And the way Joshu said, "Although winter is past its peak, it is still very cold," he knew how to speak in metaphors. He knew the way of poetry. And he knows the way of love. That's why he said, "May I suggest, my Master, that you take good care of your body. Please lie down. You need not jump out of your bed. You are my Master! I have not seen bliss yet, but I have seen a Buddha."
The Master recognized the disciple, the disciple recognized the Master - in a single split moment.
What transpired? That which transpired is beyond language, but still that, EVEN THAT, has to be told in language. Even this story has to be related to you in language; there is no other way.
These words of Master Lu-tsu are very mysterious. Try to understand them through your heart in a very loving, sympathetic way.
There are two ways to listen to a thing. One is the way of the critic who is constantly inside criticizing, judging, evaluating whether it is right or wrong, whether it fits with me or not, whether it agrees with my knowledge or not? He's constantly comparing, criticizing. That is not the way to understand these beautiful sutras. These sutras are beyond the critical mind. They are available only to one who is sympathetic; or, even better, to one who is empathetic, who can fall in tune, who can become just open and listen totally so it is not only the physical heart but the deep, hidden spiritual heart that is stirred by them.
Master Lu-tsu said, FOUR WORDS CRYSTALLIZE THE SPIRIT IN THE SPACE OF ENERGY.
You have the energy, you have all that you will ever need. Still you are poor, still you are a beggar.
You have not used your energy, you have not opened your treasure yet. You have not even looked at what God has given to you. Without looking in you are rushing out, hence the misery. And the misery is going to remain, because you cannot find anything in the outside world that can satisfy you. Nobody has ever found anything in the outside world, not even the great Alexander. You can have the whole kingdom of the earth. You can become a CHAKRAVARTIN, the ruler of the whole earth, of all the seven continents.
You will be surprised: modern geography says there are only six continents, but the ancient Indian geography says there are seven continents. It must be Atlantis that they count in. And a person who rules over all the seven continents is called a CHAKRAVARTIN. Even if you become a CHAKRAVARTIN you will remain poor, you will not gain anything. In fact, you will have lost much, because your whole life you will have been struggling for the trivial, for the mundane, for the meaningless, for the futile - which is going to be taken away by death any moment. Unless you have something of the within, you are not going to become rich.
Only the kingdom of the within makes one rich, because even death cannot take it away. It cannot be robbed, it cannot be destroyed, it cannot be taken away. Once you have known it, it is yours forever.
You have the inner space, you have the inner energy; all is available. You have just not looked into it.
You have the beautiful veena but you have not even touched it, you have not even seen what music it contains. You have almost become oblivious to it.
Lu-tsu says, "Four words..." only four words can crystallize your being, can create an emperor in you, can make you a Buddha or a Christ or a Krishna. What are those four words?
Now try to understand these four metaphors.
IN THE SIXTH MONTH WHITE SNOW IS SUDDENLY SEEN TO FLY.
AT THE THIRD WATCH THE SUN'S DISK SENDS OUT BLINDING RAYS.
IN THE WATER BLOWS THE WIND OF THE GENTLE.
WANDERING IN HEAVEN, ONE EATS THE SPIRIT-ENERGY OF THE RECEPTIVE. AND THE STILL DEEPER SECRET OF THE SECRETS: THE LAND THAT IS NOWHERE, THAT IS THE TRUE HOME...
Now try to decipher these mysterious words, these esoteric statements. They have great hidden beauty and great hidden meaning. Be very sympathetic, because that is the only way to understand something esoteric.
IN THE SIXTH MONTH WHITE SNOW...
The sixth month is the middle of the year. It represents the middle of everything. And if you can be in the middle of everything; never leaning to any extreme, you have fulfilled the first requirement.
This has immense value for the seeker, for those who are on an existential quest: be in the middle.
Always remember the middle,'The Golden Mean'. Don't eat too much and don't fast too much - neither this way nor that. Don't become too attached to things and don't renounce them either. Be with people but not too much, not so much that you cannot be alone at all. And don't start being solitary, don't become addicted to loneliness; don't avoid people. Be in the world but don't let the world enter in you. There is no need to escape from the world.
Never move to the extreme: this is one of the most fundamental things to be remembered, because the mind always moves from one extreme to another extreme. Mind lives through extremes, mind dies in the middle - this is the secret.
There are people who will eat too much, and then for a few days they will diet. And then after a few days' suffering, the so-called dieting, they will start eating too much again, with a vengeance, and again. And this is a vicious circle: from one extreme they will move to the other, from the other, again back. Back and forth, back and forth; like a pendulum of an old clock, they go on moving. And they don't know that because the pendulum moves, the clock remains alive. It is a beautiful metaphor:
the clock. If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops.
So is the mind: if you move from extreme to another extreme, mind continues, time continues. Mind and time are synonymous. The moment you stop in the middle time disappears, the clock stops; mind disappears, the mind stops. And in that moment, when there is no mind and no time, suddenly you become aware for the first time of who you are. All clouds have disappeared and the sky is open and the sun is shining bright.
IN THE SIXTH MONTH WHITE SNOW...
And in China, in the part where these sutras were written, it is the sixth month of the year when the snow appears. It is the middle path - when coolness appears in your being.
White snow represents a few things. First, whiteness, purity, coolness, tranquility, virgin freshness, beauty, grace. Be in the middle and you will see that your inner being is becoming like the Himalayas, Himalayan peaks covered with virgin snow, and all is cool, and all is utterly silent, and all is utterly fresh, all impurities gone.
The impurity is of the mind. When there is no mind, no thought, there is no impurity. It is thought that pollutes your being.
IN THE SIXTH MONTH WHITE SNOW IS SUDDENLY SEEN TO FLY.
And it happens suddenly. Just be in the middle, and out of nowhere, out of the blue, the white snow starts appearing. You try it; this is an experiment. It is not a philosophy to be understood, it is an experiment to be done. Try to be in the middle of anything and you will see great coolness, calmness, collectedness arising in you.
AT THE THIRD WATCH THE SUN'S DISK SENDS OUT BLINDING RAYS.
And the second metaphor: the third watch.
Man has three layers: first is the body, second the mind, third is the soul. If you have fulfilled the first requirement, then the second will be possible. You cannot do the second before doing the first, so you will have to move methodologically. You cannot do from the middle. You cannot take any step from anywhere: there is a sequence. First attain the middle of everything, and the whole day watch whether your mind is going to extremes. Avoid the extremes and then the second thing will become possible. When you avoid the extremes you will become aware of three things in you: the body, the gross part of you, the mind, the subtle part of you, and the soul, the beyond.
Body and mind are two aspects of matter. Body is visible matter, mind is invisible matter. And when you see the bodymind both, you, the seer, are the third. That is the third watch: the watcher, the observer, the witness.
AT THE THIRD WATCH THE SUN'S DISK SENDS OUT BLINDING RAYS.
And then when you are attuned to your watching, one with your witness, suddenly, as if in the middle of the night the sun rises and there is great light, you are full of light within and without. The whole existence becomes aflame.
And the third:
IN THE WATER BLOWS THE WIND OF THE GENTLE.
Water, in Taoism, represents the ultimate source of things. It represents the Tao itself. Lao Tzu has called his path 'The Watercourse Way' for many reasons. First, the water is soft, humble, seeks the lowest place. Just as Jesus says, "Those who are the last in this world will be the first in my kingdom of God, and those who are the first will be the last," water seeks the lowest place, the lowest level. It may rain on Everest but it doesn't remain there; it starts running towards the valley. And in the valley too, it will reach to the deepest part. It remains the last, it is non-ambition. It has no ambitions to be the first.
And to be water means to be a sannyasin. To be water-like means to be utterly happy in your being a nobody.
And secondly, water means movement. It is always moving. And whenever it is not moving it becomes dirty, impure, even poisonous. It dies. Its life is in movement, in dynamism, in flow. The whole life is a flow, nothing is static.
The scientist, Eddington, is reported to have said that the word 'rest' is utterly meaningless, because in existence, there is never anything at rest. It corresponds to no reality, to no fact. Everything is growing, moving, on the way. Life is a pilgrimage. In life, nouns are false, only verbs are true. In language we have created nouns. Those nouns give a very false impression about life; they are not right. Some day, in future, when language will become more existential, nouns will disappear and will be replaced - ALL nouns will be replaced - by verbs. There is nothing like river, but rivering; there is nothing like a tree, but treeing - because never for a moment is the tree static. It is never in a state of is-ness. It is always becoming, flowing, going somewhere. Existence is fluid, hence the metaphor of water,'in the water'.
If you have seen the witness, then the third thing becomes possible: you will see the beauty of the flow. You will not hanker for security and you will not hanker for things to remain as they are. You will start moving with the river, you will become part of the river of existence. You will start enjoying change.
People are REALLY afraid of change, VERY afraid of change. Even if the change is for the better, they are afraid. They are afraid of the new because the mind becomes very clever with the old and is always embarrassed with the new. With the new the mind has to learn again from ABC - and who wants to learn? The mind wants the world to remain static. It is because of the mind that societies are conformist, orthodox. Millions of people in the world are conventional. Why? There must be some deep investment in it. This is the investment: nobody wants to learn, nobody wants to grow, nobody wants to be acquainted with the new. People want to go on moving in the old rut, and then naturally they are bored. Then they say, "Why are we bored?" and "How to drop boredom?" - and they are creating the boredom, and they don't see the mechanism of how they create it.
Many people come to me and they say they are bored: "How to get out of boredom?" Boredom is not the problem, boredom is a by-product. Deep down the problem is: are you ready to explore the new? Are you ready to go for an adventure? Adventure means risk; one never knows - it may turn out better, it may turn out worse than you had known before. One can never be certain about it.
The only certainty in life is uncertainty. One can only be certain about uncertainty and about nothing else.
The new makes people very apprehensive. They cling to the old. Hence, the conventional people in the world - and they are the dead weight; because of them the world remains static - they will go on insisting on their old patterns.
For example, in India people have lived for almost five thousand years with the same structure that Manu created. It may have been good in those days, must have been of some significance, but five thousand years have passed and still in India the untouchable exists. There are people who cannot even be touched; they are not human beings. The really orthodox will not even touch their shadows.
It used to be so. It is still so in a few villages that when an untouchable, a SUDRA, passes on the street, he has to shout "Please get out of my way. I am coming" - because if his shadow falls on somebody of the high caste, that will be a crime. He can be beaten, beaten to death! Still people are being burned for this crime, and this stupid structure has lived for five thousand years. So inhuman!
So undemocratic! That's why in India it seems democracy cannot succeed: the whole Hindu mind is undemocratic. How can you succeed in creating a democratic country if the whole structure of the mind, the conditioning of the mind, is undemocratic? The basic fundamental of a democracy is that each man is equal; nobody has more value than the other - but that is not acceptable to the Hindu.
In fact, the SUDRA, the untouchable. cannot be counted as a human being. He has to be counted with animals, not with man. Women cannot be counted with men; she has also been counted with the animals. Now this type of mind - how can it become democratic? So in the name of democracy there is only chaos and nothing else, because there are no foundations for democracy. But for five thousand years this country has lived with this structure and is not ready to leave the structure. What is the beauty of this structure? There is nothing like beauty in it. It is utterly ugly, horrible, repulsive, nauseating! The only thing is, because people have lived so long, they don't want to learn anything else. They want to live with it, they are at ease with it. They abhor any change.
Remember, this tendency is in every human being, more or less: you don't want change. You are afraid to change because with the change new responsibilities, new challenges will arise. And you are afraid whether you will be able to cope with them or not, so it is better to remain with the old because with the old you have become skillful, efficient. With the old you are the master. With the new, who knows? You may be the master, you may not be the master.
Only children are capable of learning. Because they don't have any past, because they don't have anything old to cling to - that's why children are ready to learn. The more they grow the less they learn. Nearabout the age of thirteen, people stop learning; that remains their mental age.
If you are a seeker you will have to learn continuously. Life is learning. Learning never stops. Even at the moment of death the seeker goes on learning; he learns death. He's always ready to change.
Water represents the changing element, the eternally changing, flux-like phenomenon. Those who are ready to change, and forget and forgive the past, and are ready to go with the moment, are the REAL human beings because they are the adventurers. They know the beauties of life and the benedictions of life. And life reveals its mysteries only to these people, and ONLY to these people - because they are worthy, they have earned it. By risking, they have earned. They are courageous.
IN THE WATER BLOWS THE WIND OF THE GENTLE.
And if you become a waterlike phenomenon, changing, constantly changing, moving, flowing, never clinging to the past and the old, always searching for the new and always enjoying the new, then...
the wind of the Gentle blows. Then grace descends. Then beatitude descends in your being. Then, the first dance of the divinity in you... that is called 'the wind of the Gentle'.
God is very gentle. He never knocks on your doors. You never hear His footsteps. When He comes, He comes so silently, without making any noise. Unless you are water-like, the breeze of God will never dance on you. First become fluid.
That is my message too, to my sannyasins: remain fluid.
And remember, the future belongs to those who are ready to change constantly, because now the world is changing so fast that the people who cling to the old are going to suffer very much. In the past they have not suffered very much. On the contrary, the people who were ready to change have suffered very much.
In the future, just the reverse is going to be the case: the future belongs to those who will love change and who will be dancingly ready to change, who will celebrate change. And whenever there will be an occasion to change, they will never miss it. The future is going to be with them. History is taking a great turn; it is moving on another plane. That's why my insistence is always that whenever something is changing, don't prevent it.
If your relationship with your woman is changing, don't prevent it. Allow it, let it have. its own course.
Even if you have to separate, don't be worried. That clinging mind will keep you miserable. If it is changing, it is changing! Enjoy the change, enjoy the new. Receive the new, welcome it. And soon you will see that if you become capable of receiving the new without any fuss about the old, your life will start having an elegance, a grace, a gentleness. You will become like a soft flower.
This is the moment when a seeker starts dancing. This is the moment when celebration starts. And remember, porpoises and chimpanzees may play, but only man celebrates. Celebration is utterly human. You have heard many definitions; somebody says man is the rational animal, and somebody says something else. I say man is the celebrating animal. That is where he is different from all other animals.
But how can you celebrate if you are clinging to the old? Then you live in your grave because you live in the past, you live in the dead, and you don't allow life to reach you. It is as if a rosebush has become addicted to the old roses which are dead, dried up, and goes on collecting those petals that have fallen, and is afraid of new buds and new flowers, and i! afraid of the spring.
This is the situation of millions of people, the majority o people: they remain clinging to the dead petals, dried; they go on collecting them. They live in their memories... they call it nostalgia; it is stupidity, nothing else.
A real man has no nostalgia at all. He never looks back because it is no longer there. He lives in the moment and remains open for the future. The present is his, and the present makes him capable of receiving the future. His doors are always open for the wind, for the rain, for the sun. He is an opening.
IN THE WATER BLOWS THE WIND OF THE GENTLE.
And this is the moment one becomes aware of God, not before it. First, you start balancing yourself in the center. Second, you start becoming aware of the witness, the soul. And third, you start becoming aware of the presence, some unknown mysterious presence, the wind of the Gentle.
And the fourth:
WANDERING IN HEAVEN, ONE EATS THE SPIRIT-ENERGY OF THE RECEPTIVE.
And the fourth phenomenon is: when you have started becoming aware of the presence of God, your duality, your fundamental polarity starts disappearing. Then you are neither man nor woman, neither yin nor yang. Then suddenly your man eats your woman, your woman eats your man. At this point, the Hindu concept of ARDHANARISHWAR becomes significant. Then you are both and neither; you have transcended the duality of the positive and the negative.
WANDERING IN HEAVEN...
... But this is possible only when you have known the gentle breeze, the subtle dance, the presence of God, and you have started wandering into the open sky. You are no more clinging to anything, you are no more crawling and creeping on the earth. You are not in your grave, you have opened your wings. You are on the wing in the sky, available to existence and all its challenges - no longer orthodox, no longer conventional, no longer conformist. You are a rebel. And only the rebellious spirit starts feeling the presence of God. This is heaven! - the presence of God.
Then the fourth miracle happens which crystallizes you absolutely: your duality disappears.
Otherwise, deep down, you remain split. If you are a man you go on repressing your woman; you have to. The society teaches you, "Remember, you are a man." If you cry and weep, somebody is bound to comment, "What are you doing? It is okay for women to cry and weep, but you are a man. You are not expected to weep." And immediately your tears dry, you pull them back, you hold them back. You are a man, you are supposed to be a man, and you cannot cry.
If you cannot cry how are you going to laugh? Your laughter will be half-hearted, lukewarm, because you will be afraid that if you laugh too much you may be so relaxed that the tears that you are holding back may start flowing from your eyes.
Have you not watched this phenomenon? If somebody laughs too much, he starts crying. Why?
Why do eyes become tearful when you laugh too much? - because laughter means you are allowing.
And if you are allowing, you are allowing everything. You cannot allow one thing and prevent another thing; that is not possible. If you have to repress one thing you will have to repress ALL things.
This is something very basic to be learned: repress one thing and your whole personality has to be repressed to the same extent. If you cannot weep, you cannot laugh. If you cannot laugh, you cannot weep. If you cannot be angry, you cannot have compassion. If you cannot be compassionate, you cannot be angry either. Life maintains a certain level: whatsoever you allow to one thing you will have to allow the same amount to other things in your life. You cannot do one thing: "I will hold my tears back but I will laugh whole-heartedly." This is impossible.
Man is taught to become more and more masculine. Small boys - we start changing their basic, fundamental balance and forcing them towards one polarity. The boy has to be forced to be a man, so a few things are not allowed to him. If he fights we say it is perfectly okay: he has to fight for his whole life. If he plays with guns and pistols and kills and reads detective novels, we say it is okay.
But, to the girl we don't allow the gun. To the girl we say, "You play with dolls. Arrange marriages.
Become a mother. Make a house. Cook food. Play things like that, because this is your life and this is going to be your life; prepare for it." We don't allow girls to climb on the trees, to hang on the branches upside-down. We don't allow it. We say, "You are a girl. This is not supposed to be done.
This is not graceful for you."
Slowly, slowly we emphasize the polarity, one polarity, and the other polarity is repressed utterly; this is the basic schizophrenia. And everybody suffers from it because the society has not yet been able to accept your whole being. Moving towards reality you will have to accept your whole being.
You are man/woman together, woman/man together. Nobody is just man and nobody is just woman.
And this is beautiful that you are both, because that gives richness to your life, to your being. It gives you many colors. You are the whole spectrum, the whole rainbow. You are not a single color, all colors are yours.
At the fourth, when you start moving into the divine presence, all schizophrenia disappears - and there is no other way for the schizophrenia to disappear. Psychoanalysis is not going to help much.
In fact, it goes on emphasizing your polarity. Psychology has yet to come to a point where it is not male-dominated, otherwise stupid things go on in the name of psychology.
Sigmund Freud says that women suffer from penis-envy. Utter nonsense! He never says that men suffer from breast-envy. This is male-oriented. In fact, women never suffer from any envy. On the contrary, man suffers very much because he cannot reproduce, he cannot create a child. Because he cannot create a child he moves into many other creativities as substitutes: he writes poetry, he paints, he sculpts, he makes architecture. These are substitute creations, because deep down he knows one thing: that he cannot produce life.
But Freud never talks about that; that would have been truer. He says WOMEN suffer from penis- envy. This is utter nonsense. Psychology is still carrying the same division between man and woman.
The human being is both, but this ultimate integration happens only at the fourth stage.
WANDERING IN HEAVEN, ONE EATS THE SPIRIT-ENERGY OF THE RECEPTIVE.
The receptive means the female. One eats one's opposite. And remember, eating means absorbing.
That's why there are ancient sayings that each disciple has to become a cannibal - because he has to eat his Master. Don't take it literally. It is just a metaphor, but very significant, because eating means you absorb, you digest. The Master becomes part of you, is no more separate. That's what Jesus says at The Last Supper when he is taking leave of his disciples. He breaks bread and gives the bread to his disciples and says, "This is me. Eat it, this is my flesh"; pours wine and gives it to his disciples and says, "This is me. Drink it, this is my blood." Again this is a metaphor. He's saying to his disciples, "Become cannibals. Eat your Master, digest your Master, so there is no division between you and your Master."
The same is true about this fourth statement: you have to eat the other polarity in you. Lu-tsu must have been speaking to his male disciples, because down the ages it is the man who has been more adventurous, more in quest. The woman seems to be more settled, at home. So there must have been male disciples, he must have been talking to male disciples. That's why he says, "Eat your woman." But the same is true about women disciples: they have to eat their man. Inside, the other has to be absorbed so the duality disappears.
And once these four words have been fulfilled, then the greatest secret of all becomes available to you.
AND THE STILL DEEPER SECRET OF THE SECRETS: THE LAND THAT IS NOWHERE, THAT IS THE TRUE HOME...
And now, for the first time you will become aware that you are not, but your non-existence does not mean mere emptiness. The person in you disappears, but presence appears. Separation from existence in you disappears, but the whole starts abiding in you. You are no more an island. Now there is no way to locate where you are.
Hence, THE LAND THAT IS NOWHERE, THAT IS THE TRUE HOME...
Now you cannot say where you are, who you are... and this is the true home.
This word 'nowhere' is really beautiful.
A great Indian mystic, Swami Ramateertha, used to say again??? and again that he had a friend who was a Supreme Court advocate, and he was utterly atheistic, continuously arguing against God. He was so atheistic that he had written on the walls in his drawing room in big letters, capital letters:
God is nowhere - to provoke somebody. Whosoever would come to see him or visit him would first have to see 'God is nowhere'. And he was always ready to jump upon you if you said "God is."
Then his child was born, and the child started learning language; the child was just at the beginning.
One day the child was sitting in the lap of the father and he started reading. Now 'nowhere' is a big word and the child could not read it, so he split it in two and he read: God is now-here. Nowhere can be split into two words: now, here. And the father was surprised, because he had written those words but he had never read it that way. The meaning was diametrically changed... God is now-here. He looked into the eyes of the child, those innocent eyes, and for the first time he felt something mysterious. For the first time he felt as if God had spoken through the child. His atheism, his lifelong atheism, disappeared because of the statement of the child. And Ramateertha says that when he died he was one of the most religious persons he had known in his life. But the change happened through the child, just by mistake - because the child could not read the word 'nowhere' together, as one word.
This word 'now-here', 'nowhere', is beautiful. When you know God is now-here, then you know God is nowhere; both are the same. God is NOT somewhere, that is true, so you cannot say where He is. You cannot locate, you cannot pinpoint.
Nanak has said that to ask where God is, is utterly wrong; ask where He is not. And if He is everywhere, to say God is everywhere or to say God is nowhere means the same - because when He is everywhere, there is no point in saying where. He Is The land that is nowhere is now-here.
Now is the only time, and here, the only space. And if you cannot find God now-here, you will not be able to find Him anywhere else. This moment, THIS VERY MOMENT...
If three steps have been fulfilled and the fourth achieved, this will happen, this is the secret of the secrets: that God is not a person sitting somewhere. God will never be known as a person, has never been known as a person - and those people who have known God as a person were simply befooled by their own imaginations. If you see Christ, it is your imagination. You are creating it. If you see Krishna, it is your imagination. You can cultivate your imagination, you can practise it, but you are creating a dream, you are projecting a dream. It is your dream-mind functioning.
Truth is not a person and truth is not THERE, not outside. It is not found as an object, it is your witnessing subjectivity. And that is possible only when your man and woman have disappeared into one.
As the French say: There are three sexes - men, women, and clergymen. They say it jokingly but it has something significant in it. There ARE three sexes: men, women and the Buddhas.
The Buddha cannot be called a man or a woman. Although he has a certain body - it may be of man or woman - but a Buddha is no more identified with his body He's just a pure witness He's as away from his body as you are away from his body, as distant as you are distant from his body. You are standing there outside looking at his body, he's standing deep down inside looking at his body. But the distance from you to his body and from his body to himself is the same. He is no more identified with his body. You cannot call him a man or a woman; he is simply beyond.
And when this beyond has opened, THE LAND THAT IS NOWHERE, THAT IS THE TRUE HOME...
You have come home.
THESE VERSES ARE FULL OF MYSTERY. THE MEANING IS: THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE GREAT TAO ARE THE WORDS: ACTION THROUGH NON-ACTION.
Only when you have come home will you know the ultimate meaning of the words 'action through non-action'. But from the very beginning you have to keep moving in that direction; only then one day, the ultimate happens.
What is the meaning of action through non-action? It is very easy to be active, it is very easy to be inactive. There are people who are active, continuously active, restless, day in, day out. That's what has happened in the West: people have become super-active. They cannot sit in rest even for a single moment. Even sitting in their beautiful, comfortable chairs, they are fidgeting, they are changing their posture. They cannot be at rest. Their whole life is a turmoil; they need something to keep them occupied. They are driving themselves mad through activity.
In the East people have become very inactive, lazy. They are dying out of their laziness. They are poor because of their laziness. They go on condemning the whole world, as if they are poor because of the world, because of other people. They are poor because they are lazy, utterly lazy. They are poor because action has completely disappeared - how can they be productive? How can they be rich? And it is not that they are poor because they have been exploited; even if you distribute all the money that the rich people in India have, the poverty will not disappear. All those rich people will become poor, that is true, but no poor persons will become rich. Poverty is there, deep down, because of inaction. And it is very easy to choose one polarity: action is male, inaction is female.
Lu-tsu says, "One has to learn action through non-action." One has to learn this complex game. One has to do, but not become a doer. One has to do almost as if one is functioning as an instrument of God. One has to do and yet remain egoless. Act, respond, but don't become restless. When the action is complete, you have responded adequately, go into rest. Work when it is needed to work, play when it is needed to play. Rest, lie down on the beach, when you have worked and played.
When you are lying down on the beach under the sun, don't think of work - don't think of the office, don't think of the files. Forget all about the world. Lying in the sun, lie in the sun. Enjoy it. This is possible only when you learn the secret of action through inaction. And then in the office, do whatsoever is needed. In the factory do whatsoever is needed, but even while you are doing remain a witness: deep down, in deep rest, utterly centered, the periphery moving like a wheel, but the center is the center of the cyclone. Nothing is moving at the center.
This man is the perfect man: his soul is at rest, his center is absolutely tranquil, his periphery in action, in doing a thousand and one things of the world. This is my concept of a sannyasin. That's why I say don't leave the world, remain in the world. Act in the world, do whatsoever is needful, and yet remain transcendental, aloof, detached, a lotus Rower in the pond.
NON-ACTION PREVENTS A MAN FROM BECOMING ENTANGLED IN FORM AND IMAGE.
If you remember that your deepest core is in non-action you will not be deceived, you will not be entangled by form and image. That is materiality. You will not become worldly.
ACTION IN NON-ACTION PREVENTS A MAN FROM SINKING INTO NUMBING EMPTINESS AND DEAD NOTHINGNESS.
And the other danger is: you can regress into a kind of numbness, deadness, dullness, a negative kind of emptiness, nothingness. That too has to be avoided. Action in non-action will prevent this.
Action will keep you positive, inaction will keep you negative. Action will keep you male, inaction will keep you female. If both are balanced then they cancel each other and the beyond opens, and suddenly you see Buddha arising in you.
HERETOFORE WE HAVE SPOKEN OF THE CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT, INDICATING THEREBY THE INITIAL RELEASE WHICH WORKS FROM WITHOUT UPON WHAT LIES WITHIN.
THIS IS TO AID ONE IN OBTAINING THE MASTER.
The first two words: IN THE SIXTH MONTH WHITE SNOW IS SUDDENLY SEEN TO FLY, and the second: AT THE THIRD WATCH THE SUN'S DISK SENDS OUT BLINDING RAYS - these are the lower steps; and the second two are the higher steps: IN THE WATER BLOWS THE WIND OF THE GENTLE; and the fourth: WANDERING IN HEAVEN, ONE EATS THE SPIRIT-ENERGY OF THE RECEPTIVE.
The first two are the lower steps; they help you to find the Master. If you come across a Master you will recognize him only if these two steps have been taken before. Otherwise you can come across a Buddha and you can pass a Buddha without ever becoming aware of what you have missed.
Someday, later in life, when you will have attained these two steps, then you will weep and cry and repent because then you will remember a Buddha had passed you on the Way. Then you will feel great guilt at how you could miss.
The first two help to find the Master. With the first two, you have to work from the without towards the within. The work is to start from without - because it is there where you are - and you have to start moving withinwards.
With the second two: you have found the Master, the Master has found you. Now the second two are to fulfill his commandments. The process is reversed: now the within starts working on the without.
With the first two you were cultivating, practising, meditating. You were working, searching, groping in the dark. With the second two you have found the Master, you have heard his voice, you have seen his eyes, you have felt his heart. His presence has permeated your being. Trust has arisen.
Now you simply follow, you simply fulfill his commandments - and in fulfilling those commandments is your fulfillment.
IT IS FOR PUPILS IN THE BEGINNING STAGES. THEY GO THROUGH THE TWO LOWER TRANSITIONS IN ORDER TO GAIN THE UPPER ONE. AFTER THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IS CLEAR AND THE NATURE OF THE RELEASE IS KNOWN, HEAVEN NO LONGER WITHHOLDS THE WAY, BUT REVEALS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH. DISCIPLES, KEEP IT SECRET AND REDOUBLE YOUR EFFORT!
The first two will need great concentrated effort on your part. You will have to be consciously working, deliberately working. It is arduous. The first two steps are arduous because your eyes are closed, your heart is not beating. The second two steps are easy because now your eyes are open. You have recognized the Master, you have heard the message. Now things are clear. Now you can see.
Even if the Himalayan peak is far away, you can see it. Maybe it is a thousand-mile journey yet, but you can see it. Even from far away you can see the sunlit peaks of the Himalayas, you know they are there. Now it is only a question of time. And now you know a guide is with you who has been coming down and up on those peaks again and again. Now you can listen and you can follow.
The first two steps are in great doubt: one has to struggle. Every possibility is there that one may go astray. Small things can lead people astray, very small things. When they will think later on, they will know the ridiculousness of them; very small things, of no meaning at all, but they can prevent you.
The seeker has to be very alert. In the first two steps he has to be very cautious; only then can he fulfill the lower steps. The lower fulfilled, the higher becomes available.
... HEAVEN NO LONGER WITHHOLDS THE WAY..
Through the Master, heaven starts opening the Way.
... BUT REVEALS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH. DISCIPLES, KEEP IT SECRET AND REDOUBLE YOUR EFFORT!
THE CIRCULATION OF THE LIGHT IS THE INCLUSIVE TERM. THE FURTHER THE WORK ADVANCES, THE MORE DOES THE GOLDEN FLOWER BLOOM. BUT THERE IS A STILL MORE MARVELLOUS KIND OF CIRCULATION.
Up to now we have talked about the circulation of the light that you do, that you have to manage, practise. But there is a still more marvellous kind of circulation that need not be practised, it happens of its own accord. It is a gift, it is a grace.
When you have fulfilled the first two steps, the Master arrives. When you have fulfilled the second two higher steps, God arrives.
And the fifth secret, the secret of the secrets is that now things start happening on their own.
You need not do anything. In fact, if you do anything it will be a hindrance. Now everything is spontaneous on its own. Tao has taken possession of you - or call it God. You are possessed! You have disappeared utterly; now only God is in you. Just as He blooms in flowers and the trees, He will bloom in you in the Golden Flower. Now it is up to Him, now it is none of your concern. Now it is His will, your will has done its work.
In the first two steps, great will was needed. In the second two steps, a willing surrender was needed.
And after the four steps are finished there is no need of will; there is no need of surrender either.
Remember, surrender is also just to drop the will. In the first two steps you cultivate the will. In the second two steps you have to drop the will. That is surrender. And when will has been dropped by surrender, the ultimate secret of secrets is neither will nor surrender. Again, will is man, surrender is woman; with the fourth crossed, you have crossed man and woman both. Will gone, surrender too, gone... now you are not there, you are nowhere to be found. There is nobody, nothingness, NIRVANA. And Tao now fulfills its own work - just as spring comes and trees bloom and rains come and clouds gather and morning comes and the sun rises, and in the night the sky is full of stars - all goes on without any effort anywhere. The sun is not making any effort to rise in the morning, neither do the stars struggle to shine in the night, nor do the flowers have to make great effort to bloom. You have become part of the ultimate nature.
BUT THERE IS STILL A MORE MARVELLOUS KIND OF CIRCULATION. TILL NOW WE HAVE WORKED FROM THE OUTSIDE ON WHAT IS WITHIN; NOW WE STAY IN THE CENTER AND RULE WHAT IS ETERNAL. HITHERTO IT WAS A SERVICE IN AID OF THE MASTER; NOW IT IS A DISSEMINATION OF THE COMMANDS OF THE MASTER. THE WHOLE RELATIONSHIP IS NOW REVERSED. IF ONE WANTS TO PENETRATE THE MORE SUBTLE REGIONS BY THIS METHOD, ONE MUST FIRST SEE TO IT THAT BODY AND HEART ARE COMPLETELY CONTROLLED, THAT ONE IS QUITE FREE AND AT PEACE, LETTING GO OF ALL ENTANGLEMENTS, UNTROUBLED BY THE SLIGHTEST EXCITEMENT, AND WITH THE HEAVENLY HEART EXACTLY IN THE MIDDLE. WHEN THE ROTATING LIGHT SHINES TOWARDS WHAT IS WITHIN, IT DOES NOT DEVELOP A DEPENDENCE ON THINGS, THE ENERGY OF THE DARK IS FIXED, AND THE GOLDEN FLOWER SHINES CONCENTRATEDLY.
THIS IS THEN THE COLLECTED LIGHT OF POLARITY. RELATED THINGS ATTRACT EACH OTHER. THUS THE POLARIZED LIGHT-LINE OF THE ABYSMAL PRESSES UPWARD.
If you are divided in two, into man and woman, negative/ positive, darkness/light, mind/heart, thought/feeling - if you are divided in two, your energy will be going downward. Division is the way of the downward. When you are undivided, one, you start moving upward. To be one is to move upward, to be two is to move downward. Duality is the way to hell, non-duality is the way to heaven.
THUS THE POLARIZED LIGHT-LINE OF THE ABYSMAL PRESSES UPWARD. IT IS NOT ONLY THE LIGHT IN THE ABYSS, BUT IT IS CREATIVE LIGHT WHICH MEETS CREATIVE LIGHT.
And when this unity has happened within you, great creativity explodes. One never knows what potential one is carrying about. There may be a poet waiting, or a painter, or a singer, or a dancer.
One never knows who is waiting inside you. When your man and woman will meet, your potential will be released; it will become actual. That's how the Upanishads were born, and the Koran, and the Bible, and Khajuraho, and Konarak, and the Taj Mahal, and Ajanta and Ellora. All this creativity is totally different from the so-called creativity that you know in the modern age. Picasso is a totally different kind of creator from the man who conceived the Taj Mahal.
The man who conceived the Taj Mahal - his polarity had disappeared. He was a Sufi mystic. It was his vision, it was out of deep meditation. Still if you meditate on the Taj Mahal on a full moon night you will be surprised: something deep inside you will start rising up, will start moving upwards. If you meditate deeply on the Taj Mahal for one hour on a full moon night, sitting there, just looking at it, something will become cool in you. Snow, coolness, freshness will appear within you. Or the statues of Buddha that were carved by the great Buddhist mystics - just meditating, looking at the statue something settles inside you.
Look at a Picasso painting and you feel it will drive you mad. If you go on looking at it for one hour, you will feel nausea. It is more like vomiting, not like creativity - as if Picasso is pouring his neurosis on the painting. Maybe it relieves him of his neurosis. That's what psychologists say too: many times it has been found that a madman was given color and canvas and was told to paint, and the moment he started painting his madness started disappearing. So now there are schools in psychoanalysis; they say: psychotherapy through painting, therapy through painting. Yes, it is possible; it releases.
What has been going on inside you is poured onto the canvas, you are relieved.
It is just the same kind of relief that you feel when your stomach is disturbed, you are feeling sick, and you vomit. After vomiting you feel relieved, but what about the people who will look at the vomit?
But who cares about them? And foolish people are always there: if you tell them that this is modern art - it may be just vomit - they will appreciate. They will say, "If critics are saying this is modern art, it must be."
I have heard...
There was an exhibition of a modern painter, and people were standing in front of a painting and appreciating greatly. Great critics had gathered and they were also applauding it. Then the painter came and he said, "Wait! The painting is hanging upside-down."
Nobody had seen that the painting was hanging upside-down. In fact, because it was hanging upside-down, it was looking more mysterious.
People are just stupid: in anything, they follow the fashion. This is not creativity. This is neurosis, or a neurotic kind of creativity.
There is another kind of creativity, what Gurdjieff used to call 'the objective art'.
When the inner polarity is no longer polar, when your inner divisions have disappeared and you have become one, then creativity is released. Then you do something that will be of immense help to humanity, because it will be coming out of your wholeness and out of your health. It will be a song of wholeness. It will be like the Song of Solomon - of immense beauty, of immense splendor.
RELATED THINGS ATTRACT EACH OTHER.
When you are one, God is attracted towards you - because the one is attracted towards the one...
the flight of the alone to the alone. You start flying towards God and God starts flying towards you.
IT IS NOT ONLY THE LIGHT IN THE ABYSS, BUT IT IS CREATIVE LIGHT WHICH MEETS CREATIVE LIGHT. AS SOON AS THESE TWO SUBSTANCES MEET EACH OTHER, THEY UNITE INSEPARABLY, AND THERE DEVELOPS AN UNCEASING LIFE; IT COMES AND GOES, RISES AND FALLS OF ITSELF, IN THE HOUSE OF THE PRIMAL ENERGY.
And when your creativity is fully released the creativity of God descends in you, and there is a meeting between these two creators. Only a creator can meet the creator. Only the creator is worthy of meeting the creator. And when these two creativities, human and divine, meet...
Remember, there are two meetings. The first meeting is the meeting of the man and the woman within you; and the second, ultimate meeting is the meeting of you as a human being, total, whole, with the whole, the meeting of the human with the divine, the ultimate meeting. That is eternal. Once that has happened you are beyond death. It cannot be undone again.
ONE IS AWARE OF EFFULGENCE AND INFINITY. THE WHOLE BODY FEELS LIGHT AND WOULD LIKE TO FLY. THIS IS THE STATE OF WHICH IT IS SAID: CLOUDS FILL THE THOUSAND MOUNTAINS.
Now you are infinite like clouds filling the thousand mountains.
GRADUALLY IT GOES TO AND FRO QUITE SOFTLY: IT RISES AND FALLS IMPERCEPTIBLY.
THE PULSE STANDS STILL AND BREATHING STOPS. THIS IS THE MOMENT OF TRUE CREATIVE UNION, THE STATE OF WHICH IT IS SAID: THE MOON GATHERS UP THE TEN THOUSAND WATERS. IN THE MIDST OF THIS DARKNESS, THE HEAVENLY HEART SUDDENLY BEGINS A MOVEMENT. THIS IS THE RETURN OF THE ONE LIGHT, THE TIME WHEN THE CHILD COMES TO LIFE.
And when it happens - this meeting of the creator within you with the creator of the whole - when it happens, it happens when you are so silent, so totally silent, so absent that the pulse stands still and breathing stops.
THIS IS THE MOMENT OF TRUE CREATIVE UNION, THE STATE OF WHICH IT IS SAID: THE MOON GATHERS UP THE TEN THOUSAND WATERS...
You know that when the moon is full, sea water starts rising towards the moon, wants to go to the moon. Exactly like that, man wants to reach to God. But unless you create this capacity in you, this utter emptiness in you, you will rise a little and you will fall again. But when you have become an absence - an absence but not negative, an absence of utter positivity - then the moon gathers up the ten thousand waters. Then you rise and you go on rising, and the meeting with the moon!...
IN THE MIDST OF THIS DARKNESS, THE HEAVENLY HEART SUDDENLY BEGINS A MOVEMENT.
And when your ordinary heart has stopped and your ordinary pulse has stopped, then for the first time you feel a totally different quality starting. You again breathe, but the breathing is no more the same. Your pulse again starts pulsating, but it is no more the same pulse. Now God lives in you.
Now you are not there, only God is.
That's why we call Buddha 'Bhagwan': a moment came when God started living in him. The man disappeared. Then the man was just a hollow bamboo and the song of God started flowing through him. This is the ultimate goal.