NATURE in itself is innocent. But the moment man becomes aware of it many problems arise, and what is natural and innocent is interpreted. And when it is interpreted it is neither innocent nor natural. Nature in itself is innocent. But when humanity becomes aware of it man begins to interpret it, and the very interpretation begins to produce many concepts of guilt, of sin, of morality, of immorality.
The story of Adam and Eve says that when the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was eaten, for the first time they became aware of their nakedness and felt ashamed. They were naked, but they had never been aware of it. The awareness, the very awareness, creates a gap. The moment you are aware of something, you begin to judge. Then you are different from it. For example: Adam was naked. Everyone is born naked like Adam, but children are not aware of their nakedness. They cannot judge it - whether it is good or bad. They are not aware so they cannot judge. When Adam became aware that he was naked, judgement entered over whether this nakedness was good or bad.
Every animal was naked around him, but no animal was aware of his nakedness. Adam became aware, and with this awareness Adam became unique. Now to be naked was to be like an animal, and Adam, of course, would not like to be an animal. No man likes it, although every man is.
When for the first time Darwin said that man is a growth, a growth from certain animal species, he was opposed vehemently because man has always been thinking of himself as a descendant of God - just a little bit lower than the angels. And to conceive of the ape as man's father was very difficult - in a way, impossible. God had been the father, and suddenly Darwin changed it. God became dethroned and apes were throned; the ape became the father. Even Darwin felt guilty about it as he was a religious man. This was a misfortune, that the facts were saying that man has come through animal evolution, that he is part of the animal world, that he is not something different from animals.
Adam felt ashamed. That shame came because he could now Compare himself with animals. In a way, he was different now because he was aware. Man clothed himself just to differentiate between animals and himself. And then we are always ashamed about something which looks animal-like; the moment someone is doing something animal-like we say, "What are you doing? Are you an animal?" We can condemn anything if we can prove that it is just animal-like. We condemn sex because it is animalistic. We can condemn anything if somewhere it can be linked with animals.
With awareness came condemnation - condemnation of the animal. And this condemnation has produced the whole body of suppression, because man is an animal. He can go beyond it; that is another thing. But he belongs to animals. He can transcend, but he comes from the animal. He is an animal. One day he may not be; he can go beyond. But he cannot deny the animal heritage. It is there. And once this thought came to the human mind, that we are different from animals, then man began to suppress everything in him that was part of animal heritage. This suppression has created a bifurcation, so every man is two, double. The real, the basic, remains the animal; and the intellectual, the cerebral, goes on thinking in terms of fallacious things that are abstract - about the Divine. So only a part of your mind is identified by you as yourself and the whole is denied.
Even in the body we have divisions. The lower body is something condemned. It is not only physically lower; it is lower in terms of values also. The upper body is not only upper; it is higher.
You feel guilty about your lower body. And if someone says. "Where are you located?" you will point to your head. That is the locus - the cerebral, the head, the intellect. We identify ourselves with the intellect, not with the body. And if someone presses us more, then we will identify ourselves with the upper body, never with the lower. The lower is something condemned.
Why? Body is one. You cannot divide it. There is no division. The head and feet are one, and your brain and your sex organs are one. They function as a unity. But to deny sex, to condemn sex, we condemn the whole lower body.
Sin came to Adam because for the first time he could feel himself different from other animals. And sex is the most animalistic thing. I use the word "animalistic" in a purely factual way, without any condemnatory tone. The most animalistic thing is bound to be sex, because sex is life and the origin and the source of life. Adam and Eve became conscious of sex. They tried to hide it not only outwardly: they tried to hide the very fact even in inner consciousness. That created the division between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Mind is also one, just as the body is one. But if you condemn something then that condemned part will become unconscious. You condemn it so much that you yourself become afraid of knowing it, that it exists somewhere within you. You create a barrier; you create a wall. And you throw everything that is condemned by you beyond the wall and then you can forget it. It remains there, it goes on working from there, it remains your master, but still you can deceive yourself that now it is no more.
That condemned part of our being becomes the unconscious. That is why we never think that our unconscious is ours. You dream in the night: you dream a very sexual dream or a violent dream in which you murder someone, in which you murder your wife. In the morning you do not feel any guilt; you say it was just a dream. It is not just a dream. Nothing is just something. It was your dream, but it belongs to your unconscious. In the morning you identify yourself with the conscious, so you say, "It is just a dream. It does not belong to me; it just happened. It is irrelevant, accidental." You never feel associated with it. But it was your dream and you created it. And it was your mind and it was you who did the act. Even in the dream it was you who murdered, who killed or who raped.
Because of this condemnatory phenomenon of consciousness, Adam and Eve became afraid, ashamed of their nakedness. They tried to hide their bodies - not only their bodies, but later on their minds also. We are also doing the same thing. What is "good", what is taken as good by our society, you put into your conscious, and what is "bad", what is condemned by our society as bad, you throw into the unconscious. It becomes a rubbish bag. You go on throwing things into it and they remain there. Deep down in your roots they go on working. They affect you every moment.
Your conscious mind is just impotent against your unconscious, because your conscious mind is just a by-product of the society, and your unconscious is natural, biological; it has the energy, the force.
So you can go on thinking "good" things, but you will go on doing "bad" things.
St. Augustine is reported to have said, "My God, this is the only problem for me: whatsoever I think is worth doing I never do, and whatsoever I know is not to be done I do always." This is not a problem only for Augustine - it is a problem for everyone who is divided into the conscious and unconscious.
With the feeling of shame Adam was divided into two. He became ashamed of himself. And that part of which he became ashamed was cut loose from his conscious mind. Since then man has lived a bifurcated, fragmented life. And why did he become ashamed? There was no one - no preacher, no religious church - to tell him to be ashamed.
The moment you become aware, ego enters in. You become an observer. Without awareness you are just part, part of a great life; you are not different and separate. If a wave in the ocean can become aware, the wave can create an ego different from the ocean that very moment. If the wave can become aware and think "I am", then the wave cannot think itself to be one with the ocean, one with other waves. It becomes different - separate. Ego is created. Knowledge creates the ego.
Children are without egos because they are without knowledge. They are ignorant, and ego cannot come up in ignorance. The more you grow, the more you grow toward ego. Old men have very strengthened, deep-rooted egos. It is natural. Their egos have existed for seventy or eighty years.
They have a long history.
If you go back in memory and try to remember your childhood you may be surprised to know why you cannot remember. You cannot regress beyond your fourth or third year. Ordinarily, you can remember facts which belong to your fifth year or fourth year, or at the most to the third year, but the first three years are just vacant. They were there and many things happened, but why can we not remember? It is because the ego was not there, so it is difficult to remember. In a way, you were not, so how can you remember? If you were there you would remember, but you were not.
You cannot remember. Memory exists only after the ego has come into existence, because memory needs a center on which to hang. If you are not, where will the memory hang? Three years is a big thing. and for a child every moment is an event. Everything is something phenomenal; nothing is ordinary. Really, he should remember more. He should remember the first years, the first days of life, because then everything was colourful, everything was unique. Whatsoever happened was new. But there is no memory of it. Why? Because the ego was not there. The memory needs an ego on which to hang.
The moment the child begins to feel himself as separate from others, he will begin to feel shame.
He will begin to feel the same shame that came to Adam. Adam found himself naked - naked like animals, naked like everything else. You must be different and unique, you must not be like others; only then can you grow in ego. The first act was to hide nakedness. Suddenly Adam became different. He was not an animal.
Man is born like Adam and with Adam's shame; with Adam's feeling of shame, man is born. A child is not a man. He becomes a man only when he begins to feel himself separate, different from others - when he becomes an ego. So, really, it is not religion which gives you the feeling of guilt, it is your ego. Religion exploits it; that is another matter. Every father exploits it; that, too. is another matter.
Every father is saying to his son, "What are you doing, behaving like an animal? Do not laugh, do not cry; do not do this, do not do that; do not do this before others. What are you doing? - behaving like an animal!" And if the child thinks that he is an animal, his ego is hurt. To fulfill his ego, he follows, he falls in line.
To be an animal is very blissful, because there is a freedom, a deep freedom, to move, to do. But it is painful to the ego, so one has to choose. If you choose freedom, then you will be like the animals - condemned. In this world and in the other world, too, you will be condemned; you will be thrown into Hell by the society. So you must "Be a man; do not be like an animal!" Then the ego is fed.
One begins to live around the ego, then one begins to act according to what is ego fulfilling. But you cannot deny nature absolutely. It goes on affecting you. Then one begins to live two lives: one, the pre-Adam life; the other, the after-Adam life. One begins to live two lives; one begins to live a double-bind existence. Then a face is created to show to the society. One is a private face and one a public face. But you are your private face, and everyone is Adam - naked, animal-like. But you cannot show it to the public. To the public you show the after-Adam face - everything clean, everything fitted to the social norm. Everything you show to the other is not the real but the desired, not that which is but that which should be.
So everyone has to go continuously from one face to another. From private to public you are changing every moment. This is a great strain. This dissipates much energy. But I am not saying to be like an animal: now you cannot be. The forbidden fruit cannot be returned. You have eaten it; it has become your blood and bones. There is no way of throwing it; there is no way to return it and go to God the Father and say, "I return this - this forbidden fruit of Knowledge. Forgive me." There is no way! There is no way to go back!
Now it is your blood. We cannot go back; we can only go forward. There is no going back. We cannot go below knowledge. We can only go beyond knowledge. Only a different innocence is possible - the innocence of total awareness.
There are two types of innocence. One is below knowledge - the childlike, the pre-Adam-like, the animal-like. Below knowledge you are not, the ego is not, the troublemaker is not; you exist as part of the Cosmic Whole. You do not know that you are part, you do not know that there is a Cosmic Whole: you know nothing. You exist without knowing. Of course, there is no suffering because suffering is impossible without knowledge. One has to be aware of suffering to suffer it. How can you suffer if you are not aware?
You are being operated upon: a surgeon is operating on you. If you are conscious, you suffer. If you are unconscious, there is no suffering. The leg is cut completely, thrown, and there is no suffering because suffering is nowhere recorded, nowhere known - you are unconscious. You cannot suffer in unconsciousness. You can suffer only when you are conscious. The more conscious, the more you suffer. That is why the more man grows in knowledge, the more he suffers.
Primitive people cannot suffer so much as you can suffer - not because they are better, but because they are ignorant. Even today, villagers are not yet part of the modern world and they live in a more innocent way. They do not suffer so much. Because of this, many fallacies have come to the thinkers, to the philosophers. For example, Rousseau or Tolstoy or Gandhi: they think that because villagers are more blissful it would be good if the whole world became primitive again, went back to the jungle, back to the forest, back to nature. But they are wrong because the man who has lived in a civilized city will suffer in a village. No villagers have suffered that way.
Rousseau goes on talking about going back to nature, and he continues to live in Paris. He himself will not go to the village. He talks about the poetry of village life, of the beauty, of the innocence, but he himself will never go. And if he goes, then he will know that he will suffer as no villager has suffered, because once consciousness is attained you cannot throw it. IT IS YOU! It is not something that you can throw; it is you! How can you throw yourself? Your consciousness is you.
Adam suffered shame; he felt his nakedness. Ego is the reason. Adam attained a center; though false, it was still a center. Now Adam was different from the whole Cosmos. Trees were there, stars were there, everything was there, but Adam was now an island suffering. Now his life was his life, not part of the Cosmic Whole. And the moment your life is your life, struggle enters. You have to fight inch by inch to exist, to survive.
Animals are not in a struggle. Even if they appear to us or to Darwin to be in a struggle, they are not in a struggle. They appear to Darwin to be in a struggle because we go on projecting our own ideas.
They cannot be in a struggle. They appear to us to be in a struggle because for us everything is a struggle. With the ego everything is a struggle. They seem to be fighting to exist, but they are not fighting to exist: they are just flowing in the Cosmic Unity. Even if they are doing something, there is no doer behind it. It is a natural phenomenon.
If a lion is killing some victim for his food, there is no doer, there is no violence. It is a simple phenomenon - just hunger after food. There is no hungry one but simply hunger - a mechanism of finding food, not violence. Only man can be violent, because only man can be a doer. You can kill without hunger, but a lion can never kill without hunger - because in a lion the hunger kills, not the lion. A lion can never kill in play. There is nothing like hunting for a lion. It exists only for man. You can kill in play, just for fun. If a lion is satisfied, there is no violence, no play, no game, nothing. It is a hunger phenomenon. The doer is not there.
Nature exists as a deep Cosmic flow. In this flow Adam becomes aware of himself, and he becomes aware because he has eaten the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Knowledge was forbidden: "Do not eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge!" was the commandment. Adam disobeyed it, then he could not go back. And the Bible says that every man will suffer for Adam's rebelliousness, because in a way every man is Adam again.
But you cannot suffer for it. How can you suffer for something someone else did somewhere? But it is a continuous history repeated every day. Every child has to pass from the Garden of Eden to the expulsion. Every child is born as Adam, and then he is expelled. That is why there is so much nostalgia in poets, in painters, in literary persons. In all those who can manipulate to express, there is always a nostalgia. They think that the golden age was childhood.
Everyone thinks that childhood was something good, utopian, and everyone wants to go back to it. Even an old man just on the deathbed thinks nostalgically of childhood - of the beauty, of the happiness, of the bliss, of the flowers, of the butterflies, of the dreams, of fairies. Everyone is in a wonderland in his childhood - not only Alice but everyone. This shadow follows.
Why is childhood so beautiful, so blissful? Because you were still a part of the Cosmic flow, with no responsibility, with absolute freedom, with no conscience, with no burden. You existed, not as if it was something to be done by you, rather it was just there, taken for granted. And then comes the ego, and then comes the conflict and the struggle. Then everything becomes a responsibility, and every moment is a bondage with no freedom.
Psychologists say that religions only reflect this nostalgia - the wish to be again in childhood. And they go even further: they say that ultimately everyone longs to be in the womb of the mother because when you were in the womb you were really part of the Cosmos. The Cosmos was even feeding you. Even to breathe was not required of you. The mother was breathing for you. You were not aware of the mother, you were not aware of yourself. You were there without awareness.
The womb is the.Garden of Eden. So every man is born as Adam, and everyone has to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge, because the moment you grow you grow in knowledge. That is inevitable. So it is not that Adam rebelled. Rebellion is part of growth. He could not do otherwise:
he had to eat the fruit. Every child has to rebel, has to eat the fruit. Every child has to rebel, has to disobey. Life demands it. He has to go further away from the mother, from the father. He will long for it; again and again he will desire and dream, but still he will go further away. This is an inevitable process.
It is asked, "What is the deeper meaning behind this feeling?" This is the meaning: knowledge gives you ego; ego gives you comparison, judgement, individuality. You cannot think of yourself as an animal. Man has done everything to hide the fact that he is an animal. He has done everything! We are doing things every day to hide the fact that we are animals. But we are animals. And by hiding the fact, the fact is not destroyed; rather, it becomes a perverted fact. So whenever that hidden perversion comes up, man proves to be more animalistic than any animal. If you are violent, no animal can compete with you. How can it? No animal has known anything like Hiroshima, Vietnam.
Only man can create a Hiroshima. There is no comparison.
All the animals in all of history are just playing with dolls in comparison to Hiroshima. Their violence is nothing. This is accumulated violence - hidden, accumulated. We go on hiding, and then we are accumulating. And the more we accumulate, the more ashamed we feel, because we know what is hidden inside. We cannot escape it.
A certain psychologist was experimenting with hidden facts, which, howsoever you try, you actually cannot hide. For Example, if someone says that he is not attracted to women, he can practise not being attracted, and he can convince himself and others also that he is not attracted. But Adam is bound to be attracted to Eve, Eve is bound to be attracted to Adam; that is part of human nature - unless one goes beyond, unless one becomes a Buddha.
But then Buddha never says, "I am not attracted to women" - because even to say that, you have to think in terms of attraction and repulsion. He will not say, "I am repelled by women," because one cannot be repelled by anything unless one is attracted. If you ask him, he will simply say, "Men and women both have become irrelevant to me. I am neither. If I am a man, then a woman will be there hidden somewhere. If I am a woman then a man will be there hidden somewhere."
Anyhow, this psychologist just recently experimented with a man who said, "I am not affected by women." And he was not, as far as outer things go. He was never seen to be attracted to anyone.
Then this psychologist showed him some pictures - ten pictures of different things. Only one picture was of a naked woman. The psychologist was not seeing what picture he was seeing. He was just seeing his eyes. The back of the picture was in front of the psychologist. He would show a picture to the man and just look in his eyes. He said, "If you are not attracted, I will know. Otherwise r will ten you when you are seeing the picture of a naked woman just by seeing your eyes. I am not seeing the picture."
The picture was shown, and that very time the psychologist said, "Now you are seeing the naked woman," because the moment a naked woman is there, the eyes extend. And that is non-voluntary; you cannot control it. You cannot do anything. It is a reflex action. Eyes are made that way biologically. The man says, "I am not attracted," but this is only the conscious mind. The unconscious is attracted all the same.
When you hide certain facts they go on manipulating you, and then you become more and more ashamed. The higher the civilization and the higher the culture, the more ashamed the human being will be - the more ashamed! Really, the more ashamed you are about sex the more civilized you are. But then civilized man is bound to be insane, schizophrenic, divided. This division started with Adam.
And, secondly, it has been asked, "It has been said that the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is knowledge of sex. What is your view about this?"
Of course, it is. But not only that. Sex is the first knowledge, and sex is also the last knowledge.
When you enter humanity, the first thing you begin to feel and be aware of is sex, and the last thing, when you go beyond humanity, is again sex - the first and the last. Because sex is more foundational it is bound to be the first. It is the alpha and the omega.
A child is just a child unless he becomes sexually mature. The moment he becomes sexually mature, he is a man. With sexual maturity, the whole world becomes different. It is not the same world because your approach, your outlook, your way of seeing things, changes. When you begin to be aware of women, you begin to be a man.
Really, in the old Biblical texts, the word "knowledge" is used in the Hebrew language with a sexual meaning. For example, with such sentences: "He did not 'know' his wife for two years" or "She did not 'know' her husband for two years," it means there was no sexual relationship for two years. "He 'knew' his wife for the first time on that day": it means there was a sexual relationship for the first time. "Knowledge" in Hebrew is used for sexual knowledge, so it is correct that Adam became aware of sex after eating the apple.
Sex is most foundational. Without sex there is no life. Life exists because of sex and life disappears with sex. That is why Buddha and Mahavir say that unless you go beyond sex you will be born again and again. You cannot go beyond life, because with the sexual desire inside you will be born again.
So sex is not only giving birth to someone else; ultimately, it is giving birth to yourself also. It works in a double way. You reproduce someone through sex, but that is not so important - because of your sexual desire, you are reborn; you reproduce yourself again and again. Adam became aware of his sex; that was the first awareness. But this sex is only a beginning. Then everything else will follow.
Really, psychologists say that every curiosity is sexual in a way. So if a person is born impotent, he will not-be curious about anything - not even about Truth, because curiosity inside is basically sexual. To discover something hidden, to know something which is not known, to know the unknown, is sexual. Children will play with each other to find out the hidden parts of the body. That is the beginning of curiosity and the beginning of all science - to find out that which is hidden, that which is not known.
Really, it happens that the more sexual a person, the more inventive he can be; the more sexual a person, the more intelligent. With less sex energy, less intelligence exists and with more energy, more intelligence - because sex is a deep fact to uncover: not only in the body, not only in the body of the opposite sex, but in everything that is hidden.
So if a society is very sex-condemning, it can never be scientific, because then it condemns curiosity.
The East could not be scientific because of so much antagonism toward sex. And the West also could not have become scientific if Christianity had retained its hold. It was only when the Vatican disappeared, when Rome was not significant at all, only within these three hundred years when the palace of Christianity came down and disappeared, that the West could be scientific. The release of sex energy also became a release into research.
A sexually free society can be scientific, and a sexually prohibited society will be non-scientific.
With sex everything begins to be alive. If your child begins to behave rebelliously when he attains maturity, sexual maturity, forget it. It is but natural. With a new energy coming into his veins, with a new life running, he is bound to be rebellious. That rebellion is just a part. He is also bound to be an inventor. He will invent new things, new ways, new styles, new manners of life, a new society.
He can dream new dreams, he will think about a new utopia. If you condemn sex, then there is no rebellion of youth. All over the world, the rebellion of youth is a part of sexual freedom.
In the old culture there was no rebellion because sex was so much condemned, the energy was too much suppressed. With that energy suppressed, every rebellion is suppressed. If you give freedom to sex energy, every rebellion will be there, every type of rebellion will be there.
Knowledge in itself has a sexual dimension, so it is right in a way to say that Adam became aware of sex, the dimension of sex. But with that dimension of sex he became aware of many other things also. This whole extension of knowledge, this explosion of knowledge, this probing into the unknown, this going to the moon and to other planets, is a sexual thirst. And it will go further and further into knowledge, because now the energy is released, and now the energy will take new shapes, new adventures.
With sex and the awareness of sex, Adam started on a long journey. We are on it, everyone is on it, because sex is not just a part of your body - it is you. You are born of sex, and you will die of sex, exhausted. Your birth is a birth of sex and your death is a death of sex. So the moment you feel that sexual energy has vanished, know that death is coming near.
Thirty-five is the peak age. Sex energy is at the peak, and then everything declines and one begins to be old, on the dying path. Seventy or so will be the death age. If fifty can be the peak of sexual energy, then a hundred will be the death age. The West will soon attain a hundred years as a normal, average age, because now a fifty-year-old behaves like a boy. It is good. It shows the society is alive.
It shows that now life will be lengthened.
If a hundred-year-old man can behave like a playboy, then life will be lengthened to two hundred years, because sex is the basic energy. Because of sex you are young and because of sex you will be old. Because of sex you are born and because of sex you will die. And not only that: Buddha and Mahavir and Krishna, they say that because of sexual desire you will be born again. Not only is your present body run by sex, but all your bodies in continuity are run by sexual desire.
Of course, when Adam became conscious for the first time, he became conscious of sex. That is the most foundational fact. But this was misinterpreted by Christianity and then much nonsense followed. It was said that because Adam became aware of his sex and felt ashamed, sex is bad and a sin - the original sin. It is not. It is original light. He became ashamed not because sex is bad; he became ashamed because he saw that sex is an animal affair and thought, "I am not an animal." So sex has to be fought, cut and thrown. Somehow, one has to become without sex. This is a misinterpretation - the Christian interpretation of the parable. So: "Fight against sex!" Religion became just a fight against sex. And if religion is a fight against sex; then religion is a fight against life.
Truly, religion is not a fight against sex. Rather, it is an effort to go beyond, not against. If you are against you will remain on the same level with sex. Then you can never go beyond.
So Christian mystics and saints, they are fighting until their deathbed against sex. Then temptation comes, and every moment they are tempted. There is no one there to tempt them. Their own suppression is the creator of their temptation. They live in a very tortured world of the inner mind in which they are constantly fighting with themselves.
Religion is to go beyond, not against. And if you want to go beyond, you have to step beyond sex.
So use sex energy to transcend it. You have to move with it, not fight with it. You have to know it more. To be ignorant now is impossible. You have to know it more. Knowledge is freedom. If you know it more and more and more, and the moment comes when you are totally aware, then sex disappears. In that total awareness, the energy is transformed, mutated. You now have a different dimension of the same energy.
Sex is horizontal. When you are totally aware, sex becomes vertical. And that vertical movement of sex is kundalini. If sex moves horizontally, then you go on reproducing others and reproducing yourself. If the energy begins to move upward, vertically, you just go out - out of the wheel of Existence: as the Buddhists say, out of the wheel of life. This is a new birth - not in a new body, but in a new dimension of Existence. This Buddhists have called Nirvana. You can call it MOKSHA - liberation - or whatsoever you like to call it. Names do not mean much.
So there are two ways. Adam became aware of his sex, then he could suppress it: he could move horizontally, fighting with it in a constant anguish, always knowing that the animal is hidden inside and always pretending that it is not there. This is the anguish, and one can move horizontally for lives together reaching nowhere, because it is a repetitive circle. That is why we call it a wheel - a repetitive circle. But you can jump out of the wheel. That jumping will not be through suppression; it will be through more knowledge. So I will say you have eaten the fruit of the forbidden tree; now eat the whole tree. That is the only way. Now eat the whole tree! Do not leave even a single leaf! Let there be no tree: eat it totally! Only then will you be free from knowledge - never before.
And when I say eat the whole tree, I mean now; when you have become aware, be aware totally.
Fragmentary awareness is the problem. Either be totally ignorant or be totally aware. Totality is bliss.
Be totally ignorant; then you are in bliss. You will not be aware of it, but you will be in bliss; just as when you are in deep sleep - not even dreaming, but simply asleep with no movement of the mind - you are in bliss, but you cannot feel it. You can say in the morning that the night's sleep was very blissful, but it was not felt when the sleep was there. It was felt only when you came out of it. When knowledge enters, awareness comes, then you can say the night was very blissful.
Either be totally ignorant, which is impossible. or be totally knowing, which is possible. With totality there is bliss. Totality is bliss. So eat the tree, root and all, and be aware. This is what is meant by an Awakened man, a Buddha - an Enlightened One: he has eaten the whole tree. Now no one is left to be aware, but a simple awareness exists. This simple awareness is a re-entry into Eden. You cannot find the old way again; it is missed forever. But you can find a new way; you can enter again.
And, really, whatsoever the Devil promised to Adam will be fulfilled: you will be like gods. He was right in a way. If you eat the fruit of knowledge, you will be like gods.
We cannot conceive of this in our present state of mind because we are just in a hell. Because of this Devil's temptation, we are in hell. We are as if suspended in between two things, always divided - in agony, in anguish. It seems that the Devil deceived Adam, deceived us. This is not the whole thing; the history is incomplete. You can complete it, and only then can you judge whether whatsoever the Devil said was right or not. Eat the whole tree, and you will be like gods.
A person who has become totally aware is Divine. He is not human. Humanity is a sort of disease - I mean a "dis-ease", a continuous "dis-ease". Either be like animals and you are healthy, or be like gods and you are healthy - healthy because you are whole, in a wholeness.
The English word "holy" is good. It doesn't only mean fully pure; really, it means to be whole. And unless you are whole you cannot be holy. Be whole! And there are only two types of wholeness:
one is the animal type, the other is the god type.
As man is, he is without a center - without a real, authentic center. He has a center, so to speak, but the center is false. He only thinks he has a center. The ego is a false center. You feel that it is there, but it is not. If you go to find it, you will not find it at all.
Bodhidharma reached China 1100 years after Buddha. He was a Buddha himself. The Emperor Wu came to receive Bodhidharma. When no one was there, he asked Bodhidharma, "I am very, very disturbed. My mind is never at ease. What can I do? Tell me. Make my mind at peace, at ease. I am in deep conflict; an inner struggle continues - so do something."
Bodhidharma said, "I can do something. Come early in the morning at four o'clock, but remember to bring your self."
The Emperor felt: "Either this man is mad or I have not understood what he is saying." He said, "Of course, I will come. I will come with my self."
Bodhidharma still insisted, "Do not forget. Bring your self with you. Otherwise, whom am I going to put at ease?"
The whole night the Emperor could not sleep. It was such a strange thing. I looked weird. What does this man mean? And then he began to feel doubtful about whether to go or not, and it was to be in the early hours, at four o'clock in the morning. And Bodhidharma had said to come alone: "Let your self only be with you; no one else." So no one could know what he was going to do, and he looked mad. It was even dangerous. But still, he was tempted. This man was really a different type of being. He attracted! He was magnetic! So the Emperor couldn't stay at home, he came.
When he was coming near, Bodhidharma said, "You have come, but where is your self?"
Wu said, "You make me puzzled. The whole night I couldn't sleep. What do you mean by 'my self'?
I am here."
So Bodhidharma said, "Give me your self. I will make it silent, at peace, at ease. Close your eyes and find out where it is. Point it out to me and I will make it disappear totally, and there will be never any problem again."
So the Emperor Wu closed his eyes and sat before Bodhidharma. The morning was absolutely silent. No one was there. He could even hear his own breath; he could hear his own heartbeat.
And Bodhidharma was there constantly telling him, "Go in and find out where it is. If you cannot find it, then what can I do?" And he searched and searched and searched for hours together. Then he opened his eyes, and he was a different man.
He said, "I do not find it anywhere. It is all void. There is no self."
Bodhidharma said, "If there is no self and there is void, are you disturbed now? Is someone at a dis-ease inside? Now where is the anguish you were talking about? So much talking about it, and now where is it?"
Wu said, "It is nowhere, because the person has disappeared, so how can dis-ease exist without him? I tried and tried, but it is nowhere to be found. Really, I was myself in deception. I always thought 'I' am inside. I tried to find it, and it is not there. There is simply a void - SHOONYA - an emptiness, a nothingness."
So Bodhidharma said, "Now go to your home, and whenever you feel that something is to be done with your self, first find out where it is."
It is a false entity. Because we have never searched for it, it seems to exist. Because we have never gone in, we go on talking about the "I". It is not there. So the first thing to be understood is that if you meditate, if you become silent, you will feel a void, because you cannot find the ego. The ego was all the furniture; now the furniture has disappeared. You are just a room - rather, a room-ness.
Even the walls have disappeared. They were part of the ego. The whole structure has disappeared, so you will find a void.
This is the first step - when the ego disappears. It is a false entity; it is not there. It only appears to be, and you go on thinking that it is there. It belongs to your thinking, not to your being. It belongs to your mind, not to your existence. Because you think it is there, it is there. When you go to find it, it is not found. Then you feel the void, emptiness. Now persist in this emptiness, remain in this void.
The mind is very cunning. It can play games. If you begin to think and observe this, this voidness, if you begin to think, you will fill it again. Even if you say, "This is void," you are out of it, already out of it. The void has disappeared - you have come in. Remain with the void; remain void. Do not think.
It is difficult, very frightening. One gets dizzy. It is an abyss - an infinite abyss. You are falling down and falling down with no bottom to reach. One gets dizzy; one begins to think. The moment you think, you have found the ground again. Now you are not in the void.
If you can be in the void without escaping it by any thinking whatsoever, suddenly the void will also disappear, as the ego has disappeared - because, really, it is because of the ego that it looks like a void. Ego was the thing which was fulfilling. That was the furniture, and there was no void. Now the ego has disappeared; that is why you feel it as a void. This feeling of emptiness is just because something which was always there is now not there.
If you see me in this chair, then suddenly if you do not find me in the chair, the chair will look empty - not because the chair is empty, but simply because someone was there filling it and now he is no more there. So you see the void, not the chair. You see the void because the absence of something looks like an emptiness. You are still not seeing the chair. You were seeing a person there; now you are seeing the absence of the person. But the chair is still not seen. So when the ego disappears, you feel the void. This is only a beginning, because this void is also the negative part of the ego - the other aspect. This void must also disappear.
It is reported about Rinzai, a Zen Master, that when he was learning with his Teacher, the Teacher always insisted that he should attain the void, the nothingness, the shoonya. So one day he came; he had attained it. It was a long effort. To dissolve the ego is a long effort. It was a long journey - difficult, sometimes virtually impossible - but he had attained. So he came, laughing, dancing, happy in ecstasy. He fell down ar his Master's feet and said, "I have attained. Now the void is there."
The Master looked at him very unsympathetically and said, "Now you go and throw this void also.
Do not bring it here. Throw this void also. Throw this nothingness, because if you have nothingness it becomes something again."
Even a void is something. If you can feel it, it is something; if you can know it, it is something; if you can observe it, it is something. Even nothing becomes something if it is in your hands.
The Master said, "Throw this void out. Only come to me when even nothingness is not there."
Rinzai wept. Why couldn't he see it himself? A void is an attainment, it is something. If you have achieved nothingness, nothingness becomes a thing. When you go deep in the void - without any thinking, without any vibration in the mind - if you remain in this, suddenly the void just disappears and then the Self is known. Then you are centered. Then you have come to the real center.
There is the false center, the absence of the false center, and then the real center. By "centering" I mean the ground, the very ground of Being. It is not your center, because you are the false center.
So it is not your center. It is the center - just the center of Being. The very Existence is centered in it.
You are the false center; you will disappear. But even in your disappearance, if you begin to feel fulfilled with void, the ego has returned in a very subtle way. In a very subtle way, it has come back.
It will say, "I have attained this void," so it is still there.
Do not allow it to come back. Remain in the void. Do not do anything with the void: do not even think about it, do not even feel anything about it. The void is there: be at ease; let it be there. It will disappear. It is just a negative part. The real thing has disappeared. It is just shadow. Do not catch the shadow, do not cling to the shadow. because the shadow can remain only if the real thing is nearby. Only then can the shadow remain. Ultimately the void disappears, and then there is centering. Then for the first time you are not and YOU ARE - not as you, but as pure Being; rather, as the All. And this point must be noted carefully - that it is not your center; it is the center of All.
Forget your false center. Go in and dig for it: then it dissolves. It is never found. It is not, so you cannot find it. Then a more arduous thing befalls you: you encounter the void. It is very silent.
Compared to the ego world, it is very silent. You are in a deep peace. But do not be satisfied with it. It is false, because it is part of the ego. And if you feel satisfied, the ego will re-enter; it will come back. A part of it was still there. That part will bring it back again, whole. Remain with the void without any thinking.
That is just deathlike. One is dying before one's own eyes - everything dissolving in a great abyss.
And soon you will disappear and only the abyss will be there - not even the knower of the abyss, not even the observer of the abyss, but just the abyss. Then you are centered - centered in the Cosmic Center: it is not your center. For the first time, you are.
Now language will have a different meaning. You are not and you are. Here, yes and no lose their traditional difference, their customary meaning. You are not there as you. Now you are there as the Divine - as the Cosmos itself. This is the existential centering - the centering in the Existence.