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Dhammapada-Buddhism-Buddha

THE DHAMMAPADA: THE WAY OF THE BUDDHA, VOL. 1

Chapter 5: Wakefulness is life

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Dhammapada         The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 1

 

WAKEFULNESS IS THE WAY TO LIFE.

THE FOOL SLEEPS

AS IF HE WERE ALREADY DEAD,

BUT THE MASTER IS AWAKE

AND HE LIVES FOREVER.

HE WATCHES.

HE IS CLEAR.

HOW HAPPY HE IS!

FOR HE SEES THAT WAKEFULNESS IS LIFE.

HOW HAPPY HE IS,

FOLLOWING THE PATH OF THE AWAKENED.

WITH GREAT PERSEVERANCE

HE MEDITATES, SEEKING

FREEDOM AND HAPPINESS.

SO AWAKE, REFLECT, WATCH.

WORK WITH CARE AND ATTENTION.

LIVE IN THE WAY

AND THE LIGHT WILL GROW IN YOU.

BY WATCHING AND WORKING

THE MASTER MAKES FOR HIMSELF AN ISLAND

WHICH THE FLOOD CANNOT OVERWHELM.

One of the most important things to be understood about man is that man is asleep. Even while he thinks he is awake, he is not. His wakefulness is very fragile; his wakefulness is so tiny it doesn't matter at all. His wakefulness is only a beautiful name, but utterly empty.

You sleep in the night, you sleep in the day; from birth to death you go on changing your patterns of sleep, but you never really awake. Just by opening the eyes don't befool yourself that you are awake. Unless the inner eyes open, unless your inside becomes full of light, unless you can see yourself, who you are, don't think that you are awake.

That is the greatest illusion man lives in. And once you accept that you are already awake, then there is no question of making any effort to be awake.

The first thing to sink deep in your heart is that you are asleep, utterly asleep. You are dreaming, day in, day out. You are dreaming sometimes with open eyes and sometimes with closed eyes, but you are dreaming, you are a dream. You are not yet a reality.

And, of course, in a dream whatsoever you do is meaningless, whatsoever you think is pointless, whatsoever you project remains part of your dreams and never allows you to see that which is. Hence Buddha's insistence...and not only Gautama the Buddha but all the buddhas have insisted on only one thing: Awake! Continuously, for centuries, their whole teaching can be contained in a single word: Be awake!

And they have been devising methods, strategies, they have been creating contexts and spaces, and energy fields in which you can be shocked into awareness. Yes, unless you are shocked, shaken to your very foundations, you will not awaken. The sleep has been so long, it has reached to the very core of your being; you are soaked in it. Each cell of your body and each fiber of your mind has become full of sleep. It is not a small phenomenon. Hence great effort is needed to be alert, to be attentive, to be watchful, to become a witness.

If on any one single theme all the buddhas of the world agree, this is the theme: that man as he is is asleep, and man as he should be should be awake. Wakefulness is the goal, and wakefulness is the taste of all their teachings. Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, Bahauddin, Kabir, Nanak -- all the awakened ones have been teaching one single theme, in different languages, in different metaphors, but their song is the same. Just as the sea tastes of salt -- whether the sea is tasted from the north or from the east or from the west, the sea always tastes of salt -- the taste of buddhahood is wakefulness.

But you will not make any effort if you go on believing that you are already awake; then there is no question of making any effort. Why bother? And you have created religions, gods, prayers, rituals, out of your dreams -- your gods are as much part of your dreams as anything else. Your politics is part of your dreams, your religions are part of your dreams, your poetry, your painting, your art -- whatsoever you do, because you are asleep, you make it according to your own state of mind.

The Bible says God created man in his own image -- the truth seems to be just the opposite: man has created God in his own image. Your gods are false because you are false. Your religion is pseudo because you are pseudo. Your scriptures cannot have any significance because you don't have any significance.

Two priest are playing golf. The younger one misses an easy putt and says, "Shit!" The older one berates him for this, saying that if he continues to use profanity like that God will certainly blast him with a thunderbolt. They keep playing and the younger priest misses another putt, and again says, "Shit!"

The skies suddenly open: a thunderbolt flashes out, and strikes the older priest dead. There is a pause, and the heavenly voice is heard saying in accents of thunder, "Shit!"

Your gods cannot be different from you. Who will create them? Who will give them shape and color and form? You create them, you sculpt them; they have eyes like you, noses like you -- and minds like you! The Old Testament God says, "I am a very jealous God!" Now who has created this God who is jealous? God cannot be jealous. And if God is jealous, then what is wrong in being jealous? If even God is jealous, why should you be thought to be doing something wrong when you are jealous? Then jealousy is divine.

The Old Testament God says, "I am a very angry God! If you don't follow my commandments, I will destroy you. You will be thrown into hellfire for eternity. And because I am very jealous," the God says, "don't worship anybody else. I cannot tolerate it."

Who created such a God? It must be out of our own jealousy, out of our own anger, that we have created this image.

A Jew who has a long run of bad luck goes out into the woods and lifts his voice in prayer and recrimination. "Oh, God," he asks heaven tearfully, "haven't I always been a good Jew? Haven't I always given charity, even to those damn goyim? Didn't I bring up my family decent? Never drink, swear, gamble; no bad women, nothing! Why do you do this to me God? Why? Why?"

A dark cloud suddenly appears overhead, and a tremendous voice replies, "You piss me off!"

The God certainly cannot be different from you. It is your projection, it is your shadow. It echoes you and nobody else. That's why there are so many gods in the world. The Hindus have a certain idea about God -- the Hindu idea -- it reflects the Hindu mind.

If you go back into Hindu scriptures you will be surprised. You will not be able to believe what kind of gods Hindus have created -- very sexual. Adultery is very common amongst Hindu gods, and not only do they play their games of adultery in the Hindu paradise, they can't even leave the earth alone; they come to the earth too, to rape women, to seduce simple women. They don't even leave the wives of the great seers alone. And because they have infinite power they can even appear as the husbands, they can look like the husbands. And the women have no idea who is hiding behind the facade.

Who has created these gods? -- it must have been deep down a very sexual mind.

And the same is the case with all other gods of all other religions. It is because of this that Buddha never talked about God. He said: What is the point of talking about God to people who are asleep? They will listen in their sleep. They will dream about whatsoever is said to them, and they will create their own gods -- which will be utterly false, utterly impotent, utterly meaningless. It is better not to have such gods.

That's why Buddha is not interested in talking about gods. His whole interest is in waking you up.

It is said about a Buddhist enlightened master who was sitting by the side of the river one evening, enjoying the sound of the water, the sound of the wind passing through the trees.... A man came and asked him, "Can you tell me in a single word the essence of your religion?"

The master remained silent, utterly silent, as if he had not heard the question. The questioner said, "Are you deaf or something?"

The master said, "I have heard your question, and I have answered it too! Silence is the answer. I remained silent -- that pause, that interval, was my answer."

The man said, "I cannot understand such a mysterious answer. Can't you be a little more clear?"

So the master wrote on the sand "meditation," in small letters with his finger. The man said, "I can read now. It is a little better than at first. At least I have got a word to ponder over. But can't you make it a little more clear?"

The master wrote again "MEDITATION." Of course this time he wrote in bigger letters. The man was feeling a little embarrassed, puzzled, offended, angry. He said, "Again you write meditation? Can't you be a little clear for me?"

And the master wrote in very big letters, capital letters, "M E D I T A T I O N."

The man said, "You seem to be mad."

The master said, "I have already come down very much. The first answer was the right answer, the second was not so right, the third even more wrong, the fourth has gone very wrong" -- because when you write "MEDITATION" with capital letters you have made a god out of it.

That's why the word 'God' is written with capital 'G'. Whenever you want to make something supreme, ultimate, you write it with a capital letter.

The master said, "I have already committed a sin." He erased all those words he had written, and he said, "Please listen to my first answer -- only then I am true."

Silence is the space in which one awakens, and the noisy mind is the space in which one remains asleep. If your mind continues chattering, you are asleep. Sitting silently, if the mind disappears and you can hear the chattering birds and no mind inside, a silence...this whistle of the bird, the chirping, and no mind functioning in your head, utter silence...then awareness wells up in you. It does not come from the outside, it arises in you, it grows in you. Otherwise remember: you are asleep.

A husband and wife were asleep. About 3 AM the wife dreamt of secretly meeting another man. Then she dreamt she saw her husband coming.

In her sleep she shrieked, "Heavens, my husband!"

Her husband, waking suddenly, leapt out of the window.

And remember, it is not a laughing matter; it is the reality, it is how you are living. It is how man exists in his ordinary state.

A wife tries to win back her husband's love, on the advice of a woman friend, by bringing him his slippers and pipe when he comes home late one night, giving him a tall drink, cuddling up in his lap dressed only in a silk dressing gown, and ending with the murmured offer, "Let's go upstairs, darling!"

"I might as well," says her bemused husband, "I'll get hell when I get home anyway!"

We go on living absolutely inattentive to what is happening around us. Yes, we have become very efficient in doing things. What we are doing, we have become so efficient in doing that we don't need any awareness to do it. It has become mechanical, automatic. We function like robots. We are not men yet; we are machines.

That's what George Gurdjieff used to say again and again, that man as he exists is a machine. He offended many people, because nobody likes to be called a machine. Machines like to be called gods; then they feel very happy, puffed up. Gurdjieff used to call people machines, and he was right. If you watch yourself you will know how mechanically you behave.

The Russian psychologist Pavlov, and the American psychologist Skinner, are ninety-nine point nine percent right about man: they believe that man is a beautiful machine, that's all. There is no soul in him. I say ninety-nine point nine percent they are right; they only miss by a very small margin. In that small margin are the buddhas, the awakened ones. But they can be forgiven, because Pavlov never came across a buddha -- he came across millions of people like you.

Skinner has been studying men and rats and finds no difference. Rats are simple beings, that's all; man is a little more complicated. Man is a highly sophisticated machine, rats are simple machines. It is easier to study rats; that's why psychologists go on studying rats. They study rats and they conclude about man -- and their conclusions are almost right. I say "almost," mind you, because that point one percent is the most important phenomenon that has happened: a Buddha, a Jesus, a Mohammed. These few awakened people are the real men, but where can B.F. Skinner find a buddha? Certainly not in America.

I have heard:

A man asked a rabbi, "Why didn't Jesus choose to be born in twentieth-century America?"

The rabbi shrugged his shoulders and said, "In America? It would have been impossible. Where can you find a virgin, firstly? And secondly, where will you find three wise men?"

And without a virgin mother and three wise men, how can Jesus be born?

I have heard:

In a church, the priest asked the audience, "Please stand up, all the women who are virgins!"

Just one woman with a small baby girl stood up. Certainly she was a mother, and the priest said, "Do you think yourself to be a virgin? You are a mother!"

She said, "Yes, I am -- but this girl is a virgin, and she cannot stand on her own."

Where is B.F. Skinner going to find a buddha? And even if he can find a buddha, his preconceived prejudices, ideas, will not allow him to see. He will go on seeing his rats. He cannot understand anything that rats cannot do. Now, rats don't meditate, rats don't become enlightened. And his conception of man is only a magnified form of a rat. And still I say that he is right about the greater majority of people; his conclusions are not wrong. And buddhas will agree with him about the so-called normal humanity: the normal humanity is utterly asleep. Even animals are not so asleep.

Have you seen a deer in the jungle -- how alert he looks, how watchfully he walks? Have you seen a bird sitting on the tree -- how intelligently he goes on watching what is happening all around? You move towards the bird -- there is a certain space he allows; beyond that, one step more, and he flies away. He has a certain alertness about his territory. If somebody enters into that territory then it is dangerous.

If you look around you will be surprised: man seems to be the most asleep animal on the earth.

A woman buys a parrot at an auction of the furnishings of a fancy whorehouse, and keeps the parrot's cage covered for two weeks to make it forget its profane vocabulary. When the cage is finally uncovered, the parrot looks around and remarks, "Awrrk! New house. New madam." When the woman's daughters come in, he adds, "Awrrk! New girls."

When her husband comes home that night, the parrot says, "Awrrk! Awrrk! Same old customers. Hello, Joe!"

Man is in a very fallen state. In fact, that is the meaning of the Christian parable of the fall of Adam, his expulsion. But why were Adam and Eve expelled from paradise? They were expelled because they had eaten the fruit of knowledge. They were expelled because they had become minds, and they had lost their consciousness. If you become a mind you lose consciousness -- mind means sleep, mind means noise, mind means mechanicalness.

If you become a mind you lose consciousness. Hence, the whole work that has to be done is: how to become consciousness again and lose the mind. You have to throw out of your system all that you have gathered as knowledge. It is knowledge that keeps you asleep; hence, the more knowledgeable a person is, the more asleep.

That has been my own observation too. Innocent villagers are far more alert and awake than the professors in the universities and the pundits in the temples. The pundits are nothing but parrots; the academicians in the universities are full of nothing but holy cow dung, full of absolutely meaningless noise -- just minds and no consciousness.

People who work with nature -- farmers, gardeners, woodcutters, carpenters, painters -- they are far more alert than the people that function in the universities as deans and vice-chancellors and chancellors. Because when you work with nature, nature is alert, trees are alert; their form of alertness is certainly different, but they are very alert.

Now there are scientific proofs of their alertness. If the woodcutter comes with an axe in his hand and with the deliberate desire to cut the tree, all the trees that see him coming tremble. Now there are scientific proofs about it; I am not talking poetry, I am talking science when I say this. Now there are instruments to measure whether the tree is happy or unhappy, afraid or unafraid, sad or ecstatic. When the woodcutter comes, all the trees that see him start trembling. They become aware that death is close by. And the woodcutter has not cut any tree yet -- just his coming....

And one thing more, far more strange: if the woodcutter is simply passing by there with no deliberate idea to cut a tree, then no tree becomes afraid. It is the same woodcutter, with the same axe. It seems that his intention to cut a tree affects the trees. It means that his intention is being understood; it means the very vibe is being decoded by the trees.

And one more significant fact has been observed scientifically: that if you go into the forest and kill an animal, it is not only the animal kingdom around that becomes shaken, but trees also. If you kill a deer, all the deer that are around feel the vibe of murder, become sad; a great trembling arises in them. Suddenly they are afraid for no particular reason at all. They may not have seen the deer being killed, but somehow, in a subtle way, they are affected -- instinctively, intuitively. But it is not only the deer which are affected -- the trees are affected, the parrots are affected, the tigers are affected, the eagles are affected, the grass leaves are affected. Murder has happened, destruction has happened, death has happened -- everything that is around is affected.

Man seems to be the most asleep....

These sutras of Buddha have to be meditated on deeply, imbibed, followed.

WAKEFULNESS IS THE WAY TO LIFE.

You are alive only in the proportion that you are aware. Awareness is the difference between death and life. You are not alive just because you are breathing, you are not alive just because your heart is beating. Physiologically you can be kept alive in a hospital, without any consciousness. Your heart will go on beating and you will be able to breathe. You can be kept in such a mechanical arrangement that you will remain alive for years -- in the sense of breathing and the heart beating and the blood circulating. There are now many people around the world in advanced countries who are just vegetating in the hospitals, because advanced technology has made it possible for your death to be postponed indefinitely -- for years, for centuries, you can be kept alive. If this is life, then you can be kept alive. But this is not life at all. Just to vegetate is not life.

Buddhas have a different definition. Their definition consists of awareness. They don't say you are alive because you can breathe, they don't say you are alive because your blood circulates; they say you are alive if you are awake. So except for the awakened ones nobody is really alive. You are corpses -- walking, talking, doing things -- you are robots.

WAKEFULNESS IS THE WAY TO LIFE, says Buddha. Become more wakeful and you will become more alive. And life is God -- there is no other God. Hence Buddha talks about life and awareness. Life is the goal and awareness is the methodology, the technique to attain it.

THE FOOL SLEEPS....

And all are asleep, so all are foolish. Don't feel offended. The facts have to be stated as they are. You function in sleep; that's why you go on stumbling, you go on doing things you don't want to do. You go on doing things you have decided not to do. You go on doing things you know are not right to do, and you don't do things which you know are right.

How is this possible? Why can't you walk straight? Why do you go on getting trapped into bypaths? Why do you go on going astray?

A young man with a fine voice is asked to take part in a pageant play, though he tries to beg off, saying he always gets embarrassed under such circumstances. He is assured it will be very simple, and he will have only one line to say: "I come to snatch a kiss, and dart into the fray. Hark! I hear a pistol shot..." and then stride offstage.

At the performance he comes onstage, very embarrassed already by the tight-fitting colonial knee-breeches he has been made to put on at the last moment, and becomes completely unstrung at the sight of the beautiful heroine lying back on a garden seat, awaiting him, in a white gown. He clears his throat and announces: "I come to kiss your snatch -- no! -- snatch a kiss, and fart into the dray -- I mean, dart into the fray! Hark! -- I hear a shistol pot -- no! -- a shostil pit, a pistil shit. Oh, bat shit, rat shit, shit on you all! I never wanted to be in this damned play anyhow!"

This is what is happening. Watch your life: everything that you go on doing is so confused and so confusing. You don't have any clarity, you don't have any perceptiveness. You are not alert. You can't see! You can't hear! Certainly, you have ears so you can hear, but there is nobody inside to understand it. Certainly you have eyes so you can see, but there is nobody present inside. So your eyes go on seeing and your ears go on listening, but nothing is understood.

If you really had eyes you would see God everywhere. And if you could hear you would hear the celestial music, you would hear the harmony of existence.

And on each step you stumble, on each step you commit something wrong. And still you go on believing that you are aware. Drop that idea completely. Dropping it is a great leap, a great step, because once you drop the idea that "I am aware" you will start seeking and searching for ways and means to be aware. So the first thing to sink into you is that you are asleep, utterly asleep.

Modern psychology has discovered a few things which are significant; although they have been discovered only intellectually, still it is a good beginning. If intellectually they have been discovered, then sooner or later existentially also they will be experienced.

Freud is a great pioneer; of course, not a buddha, but still a man of great significance, because he was the first to make the idea accepted by the larger part of humanity that man has a great unconscious hidden in him. The conscious mind is only one tenth, and the unconscious mind is nine times bigger than the conscious.

Then his disciple, Jung, went a little further, a little deeper, and discovered the collective unconscious. Behind the individual unconscious there is a collective unconscious. Now somebody is needed to discover one thing more which is there, and I hope.... Sooner or later the psychological investigations that are going on, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, are bound to discover it -- the cosmic unconscious. Buddhas have talked about it.

So we can say: the conscious mind, a very fragile thing, a very small part of your being. Behind the conscious is the subconscious mind -- vague. You can hear its whispering but you cannot figure it out. It is always there, behind the conscious, pulling its strings.

Third: the unconscious mind which you come across only in dreams or when you take drugs. Then, the collective unconscious mind. You come across it only when you go into a very deep inquiry into your unconscious mind; then you come across the collective unconscious. And if you go still further, deeper, you will come to the cosmic unconscious.

The cosmic unconscious is nature. The collective unconscious is the whole of humanity that has lived up to now, it is part of you. The unconscious is your individual unconscious that the society has repressed in you, that has not been allowed expression. Hence it comes by the back door in the night, in your dreams. And the conscious mind...I will call it the so-called conscious mind because it is only so-called. It is so tiny, just a flicker, but even if it is just a flicker it is important because it has the seed; the seeds are always small. It has great potential.

Now a totally new dimension is opening up. Just as Freud opened the dimension below the conscious, Sri Aurobindo opened the dimension above the conscious. Freud and Sri Aurobindo are the two most important people of this age. Both are intellectuals, neither of them is an awakened person, but both have done a great service to humanity. Intellectually they have made us aware that we are not so small as we appear from the surface, that the surface is hiding great depths and heights.

Freud went into the depths, Sri Aurobindo tried to penetrate into the heights. Above our so-called conscious mind is the real conscious mind; that is attained only through meditation. When your ordinary conscious mind is added to meditation, when the ordinary conscious mind is plus meditation, it becomes the real conscious mind. Beyond the real conscious mind is the superconscious mind.

When you are meditating you have only glimpses. Meditation is a groping in the dark. Yes, a few windows open up, but you fall back again and again. Superconscious mind means samadhi -- you have attained a crystal-clear perceptiveness, you have attained an integrated awareness. Now you cannot fall below it; it is yours. Even in sleep it will remain with you.

Beyond the superconscious is the collective superconscious; the collective superconscious is what is known as "gods" in religions. And beyond the collective superconscious is the cosmic superconscious which even goes beyond gods. Buddha calls it nirvana, Mahavira calls it kaivalya, Hindu mystics have called it moksha; you can call it the truth.

These are the nine states of your being, and you are just living in a small corner of your being -- the tiny conscious mind; as if somebody has a palace and has completely forgotten about the palace and has started living on the porch -- and thinks this is all.

Freud and Sri Aurobindo are both great intellectual giants, pioneers, philosophers, but both are doing great guesswork. Instead of teaching students the philosophy of Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, it would be far better if people were taught more about Sri Aurobindo, because he is the greatest philosopher of this age. But he is completely neglected, ignored by the academic world -- for a certain reason.

The reason is, even to read Sri Aurobindo will make you feel that you are unaware; and he himself is not a buddha yet, but still he will create a very embarrassing situation for you. If he is right, then what are you doing? Then why are you not exploring the heights of your being?

Freud was accepted with great resistance, but finally he was accepted. Sri Aurobindo is not even accepted yet. In fact there is not even any opposition to him; he is simply ignored. And the reason is clear. Freud talks about something below you -- that is not so embarrassing; you can feel good knowing that you are conscious, and below your consciousness there is subconsciousness and unconsciousness and collective unconsciousness. But those states are all below you; you are at the top, you can feel very good. But if you study Sri Aurobindo, you will feel embarrassed, offended, because there are higher states than you -- and man's ego never wants to accept that there is anything higher than him. Man wants to believe that he is the highest pinnacle, the climax, the Gourishankar, the Everest -- that there is nothing higher than him....

That's why the modern man wants to deny God, because to accept God means you have to accept something higher than you. And the modern ego is so puffed up that the modern mind says there is no God and there is no beyond and there is no afterlife. And it feels very good -- denying your own kingdom, denying your own heights, you feel very good. Look at the foolishness of it.

Buddha is right. He says:

THE FOOL SLEEPS

AS IF HE WERE ALREADY DEAD,

BUT THE MASTER IS AWAKE

AND HE LIVES FOREVER.

Awareness is eternal, it knows no death. Only unawareness dies. So if you remain unconscious, asleep, you will have to die again. If you want to get rid of this whole misery of being born and dying again and again, if you want to get rid of the wheel of birth and death, you will have to become absolutely alert. You will have to reach higher and higher into consciousness.

And these things are not to be accepted on intellectual grounds; these things have to become experiential, these things have to become existential. I am not telling you to be convinced philosophically, because philosophical conviction brings nothing, no harvest. The real harvest comes only when you make great effort to wake yourself up.

But these intellectual maps can create a desire, a longing in you; can make you aware of the potential, of the possible; can make you aware that you are not what you appear to be -- you are far more.

THE FOOL SLEEPS AS IF HE WERE ALREADY DEAD, BUT THE MASTER IS AWAKE AND HE LIVES FOREVER.

HE WATCHES.

HE IS CLEAR.

Simple and beautiful statements. Truth is always simple and always beautiful. Just to see the simplicity of these two statements...but how much they contain -- worlds within worlds, infinite worlds. HE WATCHES. HE IS CLEAR.

The only thing that has to be learned is watchfulness. Watch! Watch every act that you do. Watch every thought that passes in your mind. Watch every desire that takes possession of you. Watch even small gestures -- walking, talking, eating, taking a bath. Go on watching everything. Let everything become an opportunity to watch.

Don't eat mechanically, don't just go on stuffing yourself -- be very watchful. Chew well and watchfully...and you will be surprised how much you have been missing up to now, because each bite will give you tremendous satisfaction; if you eat watchfully, it will become more tasteful. Even ordinary food tastes if you are watchful; and if you are not watchful, you can eat the most tasteful food but there will be no taste in it, because there is nobody to watch. You simply go on stuffing yourself.

Eat slowly, watchfully; each bite has to be chewed, tasted. Smell, touch, feel the breeze and the sunrays. Look at the moon and become just a silent pool of watchfulness, and the moon will be reflected in you with tremendous beauty. Move in life remaining continuously watchful.

Again and again you will forget. Don't become miserable because of that; it is natural. For millions of lives you have never tried watchfulness, so it is simple, natural, that you go on forgetting again and again. But the moment you remember, again watch.

Remember one thing: when you remember that you have forgotten watching, don't become repentful, don't repent; otherwise, again you are wasting time. Don't feel miserable: "I missed again." Don't start feeling, "I am a sinner." Don't start condemning yourself, because this is a sheer waste of time. Never repent for the past! Live in the moment. If you had forgotten, so what? It was natural -- it has become a habit, and habits die hard. And these are not habits imbibed in one life; these are habits imbibed in millions of lives. So if you can remain watchful even for a few moments, feel thankful to God -- feel thankful. Even those few moments are more than expected.

HE WATCHES. HE IS CLEAR.

And when you watch, a clarity arises. Why does clarity arise out of watchfulness? Because the more watchful you become, the more all your hastiness slows down. You become more graceful. As you watch, your chattering mind chatters less, because the energy that was becoming chattering is turning and becoming watchfulness -- it is the same energy! Now more and more energy will be transformed into watchfulness and the mind will not get its nourishment. Thoughts will start becoming thinner, they will start losing weight. Slowly slowly, they will start dying. And as thoughts start dying, clarity arises. Now your mind becomes a mirror.

HOW HAPPY HE IS! And when one is clear, one is blissful. It is confusion that is the root cause of misery; it is clarity that is the foundation of blissfulness.

HOW HAPPY HE IS!

FOR HE SEES THAT WAKEFULNESS IS LIFE.

And now he knows there is no death, because wakefulness can never be destroyed. When death comes, you will watch it too. You will die watching; watching will not die. Your body will disappear, dust unto dust, but your watchfulness will remain; it will become part of the cosmic whole. It will become cosmic consciousness.

In these moments the seers of the Upanishads declare, "Aham brahmasmi! -- I am the cosmic consciousness!" It is in such spaces that al-Hillaj Mansoor announced, "Ana'l haq! -- I am the truth!"

These are the heights which are your birthright. If you are not getting them, only you are responsible and nobody else.

HOW HAPPY HE IS! FOR HE SEES THAT WAKEFULNESS IS LIFE.

HOW HAPPY HE IS,

FOLLOWING THE PATH OF THE AWAKENED.

WITH GREAT PERSEVERANCE

HE MEDITATES, SEEKING

FREEDOM AND HAPPINESS.

Listen to these words very attentively: WITH GREAT PERSEVERANCE.... Unless you bring total effort to waking yourself up it is not going to happen. Partial efforts are futile. You cannot be just so-so, you cannot be just lukewarm. It is not going to help. Lukewarm water cannot evaporate, and lukewarm efforts to be alert are bound to fail. Transformation happens only when you put your total energy into it. When you are boiling at a hundred degrees heat, then you evaporate, then the alchemical change happens. Then you start rising up.

Have you not watched? -- water flows downwards, but vapor rises upwards. Exactly the same happens: unconsciousness goes downwards, consciousness goes upwards. And one thing more: upwards is synonymous with inwards, and downwards is synonymous with outwards. Consciousness goes inwards, unconsciousness goes outwards. Unconsciousness makes you interested in others -- things, people, but it is always the others. Unconsciousness keeps you completely in darkness; your eyes go on being focused on others. It creates a kind of exteriority, it makes you extroverts. Consciousness creates interiority, it makes you introverts; it takes you inward, deeper and deeper.

And deeper and deeper also means higher and higher; they grow simultaneously, just as a tree grows. You only see it going upwards, you don't see the roots going downwards. But first the roots have to go downwards, only then can the tree go upwards. If a tree wants to reach the sky, then it will have to send roots to the very bottom, to the lowest depths possible. The tree grows simultaneously in both directions. In exactly the same way consciousness grows upwards...downwards, it sends its roots into your being.

I talked about nine states of consciousness. Your branches of consciousness will go upwards, from conscious -- so-called conscious -- to real conscious, from real conscious to superconscious, from superconscious to collective conscious, from collective conscious to cosmic conscious. And your roots will be growing from so-called conscious to subconscious, from subconscious to unconscious, from unconscious to collective unconscious, from collective unconscious to cosmic unconscious. The moment your roots reach nature, your flowers start blooming in God. Hence nature and God are not divided -- in the awakened one they are bridged.

The really awakened one is not against nature, cannot be; he is all for nature. In fact, he helps you to go both ways -- on one side into nature, on the other side into God. That's my effort here. I would like you to be natural, so natural that your roots go to the deepest core of your being -- because that is the only way to help you grow upwards. Roots have to be strongly in the soil, so strong that they can support a high-rising cedar of Lebanon. If it has to go hundreds of feet upwards, it will need great roots. Because of this I am being misunderstood all over this country particularly, and all over the world in general.

Roots have to reach to the sex energy, because that is the lowest, the bottom in you; only then can your flowers bloom in superconsciousness, in samadhi. The lotus can bloom only if it is rooted in the mud deep down in the lake. This is possible only with great perseverance. Man as he is is very lazy; because he is asleep he is lazy.

This story is of a husband and wife who agree that whoever speaks first will have to close the street door which has accidentally been left open. Robbers find the open door, enter, and seeing the silent couple making no move, eat the food on the table, take all the valuables, and finally rape the wife, and propose to shave off the husband's beard.

"Alright," the husband cries at that point, "I'll close the goddamn door!"

People are really lazy, utterly lazy. Laziness is part of sleep. Hence, perseverance, effort, continuous effort, constant effort, will be needed. You will fall back again and again. You are in the state of a drunkard; hence falling backward is forgivable. But the moment you recognize, whenever a ray of light happens and you remember, put your total energy into it again. Don't remain a fool, don't remain asleep, don't remain a drunkard.

There were these three drunkards walking down the street. One was carrying a loaf of bread, the other a jug of wine and the third a car door. As they were walking along, a policeman stopped them and asked, "Where are you going?"

"On a picnic," replied the man with the bread.

"On a picnic?" said the cop. "The bread I can understand -- you can eat it when you get hungry; the wine you can drink when you get thirsty. But why the car door? -- that I can't understand."

"Well," said the man with the door, "if it gets too cold I can roll up the window."

You will have to come out of many layers of drunkenness. Greed is a state of drunkenness, and everybody is greedy -- greedy for more. Mind continuously asks for more and more, and the demand is never-ending. If you are after money, more money. If you are after political power, more power. If you are after prestige, more prestige. If you are interested in becoming humble, then more humbleness, because you have to be the most humble man in the world. If you are after renunciation, then more and more renunciation. There is never any end to this constant demand of the mind -- more....

Greed is a drunkenness, it is a sleep. So is anger. Have you not observed that in anger you can do things which you cannot do ordinarily? You say things for which you repent later on. And you cannot believe later on that you uttered such nonsense, that you are capable of uttering such nonsense. What happens when you are angry? You are in a state of drunkenness.

Become more watchful and anger will be less and greed will be less and jealousy will be less.

I don't say to you: Don't be angry, because that's what has been said to you down the ages. Your so-called saints have been telling you, "Don't be angry!" so you have learned ways of repressing anger. But the more you repress anger, the bigger the unconscious you are creating in yourself. You are throwing things into the basement, and then you will be afraid to enter into the basement, because all these things -- anger and greed and sex -- are there. You know! You have been throwing them there. All kinds of rubbish are there, and dangerous, poisonous. You will not be ready to go in.

That's why people don't want to go in, because going in means encountering all these things. And nobody wants to encounter these things; one wants to avoid them. For thousands of years you have been told to repress, and because of repression you have become more and more unconscious. I cannot say to you repress. I would like to say to you just the opposite: don't repress -- watch, be alert. When anger arises, sit down in your room, close your doors and watch it.

You know only two ways: either to be angry, be violent, destructive, or to repress it. You don't know the third way, and the third way is the way of the buddhas: neither indulge nor repress -- watch. Indulgence creates habit. If you become angry today and again tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow again, you are creating a habit; you are conditioning yourself to be more and more angry.

So indulgence cannot take you out of it. That's where the modern growth movement is stuck. Encounter groups, primal therapy, gestalt, bioenergetics...and so many beautiful things are happening in the world, but they are stuck at a certain point. Their problem is: they teach expression -- and it is good, it is far better than repression. If there is only this choice, repress or express, then I would suggest express. But this is not the real choice; there is a third alternative far more important than both these. If you express, you become habitual; you learn by doing it again and again -- you can't get out of it.

In this commune there are at least fifty therapy groups running, for a certain reason. It is just to balance the thousands of years of repression; it is just to balance. It is just to bring to light all that you have repressed as Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Jainas, Buddhists. It is just to undo the centuries' old harm that has been done to you.

But remember, these groups are not the end; they only prepare you for meditation. They are not the goal; they are just simple means to undo the wrong of the past. Once you have thrown out of your system all that you have been repressing all along, I have to lead you into watchfulness. Now it will be easier to watch.

But you are not to become a group-addicted person, you are not to become a groupie. There are people now in the world who are group-addicted; they go from one group to another. One encounter finishes -- then another marathon, then gestalt, then this and that.... After just a few days the itch arises -- because where to express? In the normal society they cannot express, they have to repress.

So the group becomes just an outlet. The normal society forces you to repress, the group helps you to express but you are not really growing. Again you will be back in the normal society, again repressing. And if you express in the normal society, you will be getting into far more dangerous situations. You may murder somebody -- you have so much anger. You will be in jail, imprisoned forever. Or if you go on fighting with everybody -- if you slap the boss in the office, if you beat your wife, your children, your husband -- then your whole life will become a chaos, it will be impossible to live it. So after a few days of accumulation you need another encounter. A few days of encountering and you feel unburdened; back in society you will be burdened again.

This is not going to help. This is a temporary relief. You can scream to your heart's desire in a primal therapy group, but if you start screaming on the road, then you will be taken to the police station. You can scream in a group context -- it is allowed, helped, provoked; you are persuaded to scream, because since your childhood you have been repressing it. It has become a wound; it needs to be opened. If the pus oozes out and the wound is left open to the winds and to the sun and to the rain, it will heal itself, because you have a healing energy; it is inbuilt. But back in the society again...how long can you remain in a primal therapy group? Back in the same old society again, you will have to repress; you cannot go on screaming there.

Then the scream gathers, then the steam gathers. Then one day you have to go into the group again. This is a temporary relief; good as far as it goes, but it cannot make you a buddha. That's where this commune is different from institutes like Esalen. They end with groups -- we begin with groups. Where they end, that's exactly the point from where we begin.

And it is not a coincidence that thousands of therapists have become interested in my work. They have come here.... Among my sannyasins, the greatest group from any profession is that of psychotherapists. A great need is felt now all over the world that encounter, primal therapy, gestalt, can help a little bit to unburden people, but they cannot help to make them buddhas -- they cannot help them to become awakened.

Indulgence creates habit, repression gathers the poison within. In indulgence you throw the poison on others, but they are not going to remain silent -- they will throw it back. It becomes a match: you throw your anger on others, they throw their anger on you -- but nobody is helped, everybody is harmed and hurt.

And if you repress.... Because of this futility of indulgence, priests invented repression. It keeps you out of danger. Repression keeps you a good citizen, a gentleman. It keeps you out of the dangers of getting caught by the law, getting caught into enmity; it keeps you smooth. Repression helps you to become a better social person, that's true. But it makes you a wound inside, just a wound, and the pus goes on gathering inside. Outside it functions as a lubricating agent, but inside you become more and more mad.

If this society and this century are the maddest in the whole history, the credit goes to the past. Five thousand years of saintly advice to people -- the credit goes to those saints. If people are becoming mad, if people are becoming insane, if people are committing suicide, if people are becoming murderous, the credit certainly goes to all your so-called saints, priests, preachers, leaders. They are responsible for it.

Just the other day I was telling you the Canadian government wants to investigate, make a deep investigation of this commune because one American citizen who was a sannyasin has committed suicide, and another American who was a sannyasin has gone mad too. Now, I wonder: the person who has committed suicide was sixty years old. He has been a Christian for sixty years, but Christianity is not investigated. And he has been a sannyasin for not even sixty days! The credit goes to Christianity, not to me.

The man who went mad was a Protestant. Now, I am condemned because he was a sannyasin, but the Protestant church is not condemned. And he was brought up as a Protestant, he lived as a Protestant for thirty-five years, and for just a few days he was a sannyasin. Now, American society is not condemned.

This is strange logic...and I am trying to help people. When he had come here, he was already mad. He has come here after six years of psychoanalysis; because psychoanalysis could not help him he had come here and became a sannyasin. Because the Protestant church and the priests could not help him, he had come here and become a sannyasin. But they had done such a good job that it was difficult to bring him back down to earth.

And he did not remain here for long; he was here for only three weeks. Now, the credit cannot go to me. If he becomes mad, I cannot be held responsible. But this strange logic is there.

Here, also, the same logic continues. If a sannyasin misbehaves, I am condemned. But so many Hindus are put in jail every day -- Hinduism is not condemned. So many Mohammedans misbehave, but Mohammedanism is not condemned. If a Sikh murders somebody, Sikhism is not condemned. This is a very stupid and absurd world.

People come to me for help. Many are helped. Ninety-nine percent of people are helped. But the one percent has been damaged so much that it is almost impossible to help them. They can also be helped, but I am not allowed to help them.

For example, an exhibitionist comes here who once in a while exposes himself naked. Now, he can be helped, easily helped -- if he is allowed to move naked. He is not dangerous; he is not doing any harm to anybody. He simply has this eccentric idea...he enjoys it to shock you. This is the way of shocking you, this is the way of gaining attention: he exposes himself naked. If he is simply allowed to move naked and nobody pays any attention to him, he will be cured.

The cure is simple, very simple! Don't be shocked, and don't pay attention. It is to shock you and to get your attention that he is an exhibitionist. If nobody pays any attention, if he comes naked to you and you talk to him as if he is not naked, he will be puzzled. He will not be able to believe what is happening. He will go and look in the mirror to see whether he is naked or not! And what is the point? If nobody pays any attention and nobody is shocked, he may try wearing clothes -- maybe these are strange people and they can be shocked by wearing clothes!

People can be helped, but the society does not allow me to help them. Even that one percent can be cured, because nobody is really incurable. But time will be needed, perseverance will be needed.

Buddha says: WITH GREAT PERSEVERANCE HE MEDITATES, SEEKING FREEDOM AND HAPPINESS.

Meditate -- meditation means watchfulness -- and you will attain to freedom and bliss.

SO AWAKE, REFLECT, WATCH.

WORK WITH CARE AND ATTENTION.

LIVE IN THE WAY

AND THE LIGHT WILL GROW IN YOU.

The light grows of its own accord. You simply become more silent, more watchful, more meditative, and the light descends in you -- of its own accord. You need not go anywhere.

BY WATCHING AND WORKING

THE MASTER MAKES FOR HIMSELF AN ISLAND

WHICH THE FLOOD CANNOT OVERWHELM.

Your watchfulness becomes an island, a citadel, which no passion, no lust, no greed, no anger, can possess. With that island, for the first time you become an integrated individual. For the first time you become a human being.

This human being is absolutely needed today, this new human being -- homo novus.

Enough for today.

 

Next: Chapter 6: Through a glass darkly, Question 1

 

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