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JUST LIKE THAT

Chapter 6: Blind man's buff

 

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SAADI SAID: A MAN HAD AN UGLY DAUGHTER. HE MARRIED HER TO A BLIND MAN BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WOULD HAVE HER.
A DOCTOR OFFERED TO RESTORE THE BLIND MAN'S SIGHT. BUT THE FATHER WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM FOR FEAR THAT HE WOULD THEN DIVORCE HIS DAUGHTER.
SAADI CONCLUDED: THE HUSBAND OF AN UGLY WOMAN IS BEST BLIND.

Man is ignorant, blind, as if living in sleep, drunk, not aware. This is the situation. This has always been so. Many cures have been invented, many methods to awaken him. But he resists. So the real problem is not ignorance but the resistance. Ignorance can be cured, but man insists on remaining ignorant. His eyes can be opened -- the medicine exists, the doctors are there but man is not ready to open his eyes. He is against it.
This is the real problem. Ignorance is not the real problem; it can be cured. It is a simple disease, there is no complexity in it. But something in man is against curing it. There seems to be a great investment in it, as if with ignorance many other things will disappear; as if man clings to ignorance in the hope that something valuable is hidden there, a treasure.
Once it happened: A man was brought to me; his wife brought him. He was seriously ill but he wouldn't go to the doctor, and he would deny absolutely that he was ill. He would say, "What is the need to go to the doctor's? I am not ill. I am perfectly healthy. Something has gone wrong with my wife -- she has become neurotic, she is obsessed with the idea of bringing me to the doctor's... not only that, she wants to hospitalize me. For what?"
The man was really ill, and he was saying these things to me: "I am not ill. What is the purpose? Why are people forcing me? What do they want? There must be something they want out of it. All my relatives, my wife, my children -- they are all conspiring against me, and I am perfectly healthy!"
I could see that the man was trembling, his face was ill and pale, his body weak, his eyes murky, with no health around his body, no wellbeing. What to do with this man? Why is he insisting...? I asked the wife the details.
She said, "He has always been afraid of death, always afraid of illness. When he was healthy, then too it was difficult for him to go to the hospital, even if some relative was there, or friend; even to see and visit the patient was difficult for him. The moment he reaches near a hospital something in him catches fear -- death, the idea of death. And now it is creating trouble because he is ill and he won't go -- and he insists that he is not ill so what is the use of going to any doctor? Why should he go?"
I looked at the whole situation. The man was really afraid. I told him, "Your wife has gone really mad. You are perfectly healthy" -- he smiled, his face changed -- "nothing is wrong with you."
As if a new lease of energy, something came up. He started laughing and he said, "I always suspected it. You are the only man who has understood me. Nobody understands! I am perfectly healthy." And he told his wife, "Look! Look at what Osho says: I am perfectly healthy. Do you need any other certificate?" He asked me, "Now there is no need to go to the hospital?"
I said, "Absolutely no need to go to any doctor, to any physician. Don't think of it, you are perfectly healthy. Rarely have I seen such a healthy man."
He smiled, but a suspicion was there in his eyes. He could not believe me completely -- how could an ill man believe me? He knows deep down that he is ill, but he is afraid to accept the fact. Then he said, "Then there is no need?"
I said, "There is no need, but just for your neurotic wife, it will be good if you go to the doctor. You are perfectly healthy -- but this poor woman is suffering so much."
He laughed. He said, "Then I can go. But are you certain that I am not ill?"
I said, "Absolutely certain. Nothing is wrong with you. But just to console this poor woman, go to the doctor and let your body be examined. There is nothing wrong."
He said, "Then I can go." And that's how he was caught in the hospital.
And the same is the trouble with you. The same is the trouble with every man. You are afraid of something. From Socrates up to now, or from the Vedas up to now, all those who have had any glimpse of themselves have been insisting on self knowledge: Know thyself. Nobody listens to them, nobody really listens to them. Everybody creates a protective armor around himself AGAINST self knowledge. Something seems to be at risk. And the problem seems to be very complex. Why are you afraid of self knowledge?
In your ignorance you have a certain feeling of blissfulness. Ignorance gives a false feeling of blissfulness because one lives on the surface. In fact one doesn't live, one simply drifts. Irresponsibly one drifts. With self knowledge enters responsibility. You cannot be as you are if you know yourself. You cannot indulge in whatsoever you are indulging if you know yourself. You cannot remain the same if you know yourself. There is going to be a radical change through self knowledge, and that change seems to be too much. You feel almost established. You feel almost in comfort.
You have made a house; you think this is the home. But you have made the house on the road. The journey has not yet ended, but you have convinced yourself that the end has come. Now, to know yourself will mean again a beginning, again a birth, again moving. Now, to know yourself will mean this is not a house where you are staying. This may be a serai, a DHARMSALA, but it is not a home. For an overnight stay it is good, but in the morning -- the journey.
You feel comfortable. Even in your misery, anguish and anxiety, you feel comfortable because everything looks familiar. If you start trying to know yourself you are moving into the world of the unknown, the unfamiliar. That gives fear, a trembling comes. Why bother? Things are going well -- not so well that you KNOW, but still, somehow well. Things are drifting, time is passing. Half your life you have lived, only half is left; you can drift the same way. And then comes death, and oblivion. And nobody knows where one goes. Why bother about self knowledge?
In your ignorance you have created a comfortable, an established life, a secure life with a bank balance, insurance, the government, the society, membership of a religion, the church -- you have created a false world around you. Nothing is protective, just it gives the notion that you are protected. Nothing is secure -- just an illusion of security.
You have a wife -- what is secure in it? Tomorrow she can fall in love with someone. She fell in love with you, one day you were also a stranger to her; she can fall in love again with another stranger. She could fall in love with you, so what is wrong in falling for another stranger? You were a stranger one day. You could fall in love with this woman, you can fall in love with another woman. What is secure?
But man tries to create a notion of security. You have a marriage certificate, that is your security; you can go to the court. But what type of security is it if the court is needed to protect love, if the policeman is needed to protect marriage, if the vast machinery of government, of violence, is needed to protect your love? What type of security is this? You are not together, you are forced to be together: the government is forcing, the police are there with the bayonet.
And the government is nothing but the agency of absolute violence. No government can be nonviolent; a government has to be violent. It is violence, pure violence. Are you in love really? Or just protected, forced, by bayonets and the courts and the laws...? But it gives a feeling that things are secure.
With self knowledge again a chaos is born, a chaos which unsettles everything, which unsettles all values. It is a transvaluation of all values. You again have a new vision. You look at the world -- not with the old eyes, nothing will seem to be the same -- as if you have been suddenly thrown into a strange world.
You were fast asleep, comfortably tucked in your blanket, sleeping, having a beautiful dream, and suddenly self knowledge awakens you. The dream is not there. You may have been an emperor in the dream -- and all beggars always dream that they are emperors. They have to substitute. A dream is a substitute; whatsoever you don't have in life, you substitute in your dreams.
Suddenly you are no more an emperor. The dream disappears, the cozy comfort of sleep disappears. The day stands, the sun has risen, and the world of worries, responsibilities, anxiety -- this is nothing. When one awakens, then for the first time one feels responsible. And not responsible as an obligation -- no, one simply feels responsible, without any obligation in it. It becomes part of one's being.
You also feel responsible, because this woman is your wife, so you are responsible  to feed her and look after her. You have to go to work and to the job. You have children, you feel responsible.... But this responsibility is just a duty. You have to do it, so you do it. But you are not really responsible, it is not coming from the heart.
When somebody awakens he becomes responsible for whatsoever he is; even for his breathing he becomes responsible. And he becomes responsible for the whole existence; whatsoever happens anywhere he feels that he is part of it. If there is violence in Vietnam, he feels: "I am part of it, I am responsible for it -- not related at all, but still responsible." ... Because a man of self knowledge comes to know, "No man is an island, and the whole existence is interlinked. The whole existence is one, one organ. We are waves in it, and whatsoever happens in the world, I am responsible. Not only for whatsoever is happening today: for whatsoever has happened in the past I am responsible, and for whatsoever is going to happen in the future I am responsible, because now I have become a conscious part of the whole. Up to now I was an unconscious part. Somebody was killing somebody else -- I was not responsible. I had a small responsibility around my family, my wife, my children, and that was all. Somebody is killing somebody else -- how am I responsible? No, that doesn't bother me."
But a man of knowledge, a man of awakening, a buddha, knows now consciously that he is part of every leaf and every tree, and every tree and every leaf is part of him. The individuality is no more there, he has become universal. The self is a universal entity, it has nothing to do with you. The self is BRAHMAN.
Your hidden being has nothing to do with you. Your innermost center is the very center of existence itself. One suspects it somehow. One feels the tremors on the surface of this phenomenon. One doesn't want to awake -- it will be too much responsibility.
Right now you may be moral or immoral, but your morality and immorality are just on the surface, conditioning. A society thinks something is moral -- it conditions you. But you are not moral yet. Only a man who has awakened becomes moral, moral in the sense that now nothing wrong can happen through him. Not that he avoids wrong, not that he tries to do the good; now there is no effort to do the good and no effort to avoid the wrong.
With awakening, with awareness, only that which is true, that which is good, that which is right, happens. That which is untrue, evil, bad, does not happen. It is just as if you have lighted a candle in the room and the darkness disappears. When one is awake the immorality, the sin, the evil, disappears. One has, for the first time, virtue.
This has to be understood, because it is one of the most delicate things. A perfect man has no character; he can't have. He has consciousness, not character. You have character, no consciousness. Character is a poor substitute for consciousness, a very very poor substitute. That's why your life is a life of poverty -- impoverished.
What is the difference between character and consciousness? When I say Buddha has no character, try to understand it. A buddha can't have any character, there is no need. Character means you are not so alert, you cannot be allowed total freedom to be. A character hangs around you to force you to do the right.
We teach every child not to be untrue, not to steal; be true. Why? -- because we can't rely on the child himself, his consciousness. We have to force a pattern over his being. We have to give him a character. Character means a conditioning. If you go on enforcing.... A character means just a dead pattern given from the past. And then the being of the man starts flowing through the lines that the character allows. He is not free.
A man of character is in bondage. He is a slave, a slave of a particular society he happened to be born in. He may have a Hindu character or a Mohammedan character; both are slaves. He may have a Christian character or a non-Christian character; both are slaves. He is a slave of the society; the society has forced his mind to learn certain things. Now they hang around him. He cannot go in any way different from his character. If he goes, then he feels guilt. That guilt brings him back, because it is too much.
A man of character has a conscience. The perfect man has no conscience, no character. He is simply conscious, but being conscious is enough. He does not live his life through the past, he lives his life here and now. And he is aware, so he need not have concepts from the past, routine morality from the past; he need not have any notion of what is good and what is wrong. It is not needed.
Look: if a blind man is sitting here and he wants to go out, he will start inquiring where the door is. He has to inquire, he has no eyes. And even if he has inquired from you he would like to inquire from a few other people because, who knows, you may be deceiving him. How can he trust you? He will inquire from a few others, "Where is the door?" -- because many times people have played tricks on him. People are cruel. They even play tricks on blind men. They will say: "This is the door" -- and the wall is there, and the blind man has stumbled many times, and then people laugh.
People are ugly. He cannot trust them. He will have to ask a few more, and if everybody says, "This is the door," only then can he believe, at least ninety-nine percent. Then too he will grope for the door with his stick. He cannot just go, he has to check.
This is what a character is. A man who is not conscious -- he has a character. Character means notions, values, given by others. He has a conscience. Conscience is a trick played by society on the blind man. Conscience means, if you go wrong; wrong means, if you go against the society. The society may itself be wrong altogether -- that is not the point. If you go against the society, the society has put the idea inside you that you are doing something wrong and you will suffer through it. You yourself will feel condemned. You will feel rejected by yourself -- not worthy, not valuable. You will feel a deep rejection, a repulsion against yourself. This is the trick of the society. You are punished by your own being.
The society has placed the court and the constable on the road, and conscience inside you. Conscience is the constable standing inside and the constable is the conscience standing outside. The society tries to control you from the outside and the inside, both. It appreciates if you follow. It awards you, rewards you, if you follow. It punishes you, condemns you, if you go astray.
A man of perfect awareness has nothing to do with character. He comes out of it. He has no conscience because he has consciousness. He is like a man who has eyes. He doesn't ask, "Where is the door?" He himself can see. And he doesn't grope with his stick -- where is the door? There is no need, he has eyes. In fact, a man who can see does not think at all: Where is the door? Even thinking is not needed. When he wants to go out he simply goes out, without even thinking: Where is the door, what is the door, and how to go through it? He may not even for a single moment think about the door, he simply passes through it. A man of awareness simply passes through the door, he doesn't stumble against the walls. Whatsoever he does is good. He never repents. He has no conscience, he never feels guilty.
He lives moment to moment. He does not live out of the past, he lives in the present. He does not live out of the future, he lives just here, just now. This is all. His existence culminates, converges, on the only existential moment that is -- here and now.
You live through the past. Your parents are still guiding you. Your society is still following you like a ghost. You live through the past -- The Bible, the Vedas, the Koran still guiding you -- the dead leading the alive. Mohammed, Manu and Marx, they still go on forcing you to move in certain directions. You are not an alive man yet, because the dead are still your leaders. Or you live through the future. Either through the past which is no more, or through the future which is not yet. Rewards in heaven, or rewards on this Earth; some future rewards -- respectability, honor, hope of gaining something in the future -- these are the forces that lead you.
A man of awareness is not controlled either by past or by future. He has nobody to force him. The Vedas are no more on his head, Mahavira and Mohammed and Christ no more force him to move anywhere. He is free. That's why in India we call him a MUKTA. A mukta means he who is totally free. He IS freedom.
In this moment, whatsoever the situation he responds with full awareness. That is his responsibility. He is capable of response. His responsibility is not an obligation, it is a sensitivity to the present moment. The meaning of responsibility changes. It is not responsibility as an obligation, as a duty, as a burden, as something which has to be done. No, responsibility is just a sensitivity, a mirrorlike phenomenon. You come before the mirror, and the mirror reflects, responds. Whatsoever happens, a man of awareness responds with his totality. He does not hold anything back; that's why he never regrets, that's why he never feels guilty -- whatsoever could be done, he has done, he is finished with it. He lives each moment totally and completely.
In your ignorance everything is incomplete. You have not completed anything. Millions of experiences are inside you, waiting for their completion. You wanted to laugh, but the society wouldn't allow it. You suppressed it. That laughter is waiting there as a wound. What a miserable state -- even laughter becomes a wound! When you don't allow laughter it becomes a wound, an incomplete thing inside you waiting and waiting and waiting someday to be completed.
You loved somebody, but you could not love totally, the character prohibited it, the conscience wouldn't allow it. Even when you are with your beloved in the dark night, alone in your room, the society is present. The constable is standing there and watching. You are not alone. You have a conscience, your beloved has a conscience: how can you be alone? The whole society is there, the whole marketplace is standing all around. And God, looking from the top, watching you, what you are doing, God seems to be the universal Peeping Tom -- he goes on looking.
The society has used God's eyes to control you, to make you a slave. You cannot even love totally, you cannot hate totally, you cannot be angry totally. You cannot be total in anything. You eat halfheartedly, you walk halfheartedly, you laugh halfheartedly. You cannot cry -- you are holding thousands of tears in your eyes. Everything is a burdened thing, loaded; the whole past you are carrying unnecessarily. And this is your character.
Yes, I say to you, a buddha has no character because he is fluid, because he is flexible. A character means inflexibility. It is armorlike. It protects you from certain things, but then it kills you also.
Just now India has absorbed a small Himalayan country, Sikkim. It is the same game of politics. China absorbed Tibet; then India was against -- now they have absorbed Sikkim in the same way; China is against.
The king of Sikkim, the CHOGYAM, is under house arrest. But the Indian government says that he is not under house arrest, the military is surrounding his palace so that nobody enters and harms him, because people are against him. So the Indian government is protecting him; he is not under house arrest but under protection, because his own people are against him and they may kill him, or they may enter the palace, they may burn the palace. So the Indian government says, "The military is there to protect him from his people." And he goes on saying that he is under house arrest and he is not allowed to go out.
This is what is happening to everybody. You are under house arrest by the society. The character is the army around you. But the society says, "You are not under house arrest. We are protecting you; otherwise you may do something wrong or something wrong will be done to you. It is a protection."
But as I see it, everybody is under house arrest. And this is a subtle house arrest; even if you escape to the Himalayas you cannot escape it, because character is now something inbuilt in you. It is not around you, it has penetrated you. It is not like a dress that you can take off; it is now like the skin. You cannot peel it off easily. It is going to be hard. It is going to be a TAPASCHARYA, an austerity.
That's why you are afraid to leave your ignorance, you go on protecting it because you feel it protects you. Ignorance is not a simple thing; otherwise the cure exists. There are a thousand and one complexities in it. You want to remain ignorant, you insist. You like to remain ignorant because in your ignorance in the past you have created a volcano within you, a volcano of incomplete desires, incomplete experiences. That volcano is there, suppressed but alive, waiting for the moment when it can explode and throw you to thousands and millions of bits.
You are afraid. You don't want to go in, you want to go out. Everybody is interested in going out, nobody is interested in going in, because the moment you think of going in you think of many things that are there, hidden. YOU have suppressed them, nobody else, so you know well that anger is there, hatred is there, sex is there, greed is there, jealousy is there.... Thousands of things are bubbling and boiling and any moment they can explode. It is better to go out, not to go in. It is better to escape somewhere and you have tried many ways to escape.
People want to remain occupied. If they have nothing to do they will find something to do, something or other. They may start reading the same newspaper again. In the first place it was rubbish, so why are you reading it again? Nothing to do -- and you would like to do something, because whenever you are not doing anything, suddenly the energy starts moving inwards. If it has something to cling to, only then can it remain out.
Sitting alone you feel restless. You want to go to the club, to the theater, or just to go and move in the market so that you are occupied. At least walking, looking at the shops, at the shop windows, or talking to people about absolutely nonsense things -- neither you need to talk, nor do they want to listen, but people are talking and talking -- somehow, something to cling to....
People are busy without business. And they may say that they would like to rest, but nobody wants to rest because if you rest really it automatically becomes a meditation and you start falling inwards. You start moving towards your inner center and fear grips you. You become afraid. So go to the market, go to the club, become a member of the Rotary Club, the Lions Club -- thousands of stupidities exist all around for you to waste your time in.
Do something. And if you cannot find anything, or if to be a Rotarian is difficult, or you are not rich enough and you cannot go to the restaurant, you can go to the church, you can go to the mosque, you can go to the temple. They are at least free; there you can chant, "Hare Krishna, Hare Rama," and get occupied. Or you can listen to a stupid priest who is repeating the same thing again and again. But at least you are occupied. Remain occupied. Go on moving outwards and cling to something exterior, because if you don't cling, suddenly the energy starts moving inwards.
When people come to me and they ask, "How to meditate?" I tell them, "There is no need to ask how to meditate, just ask how to remain unoccupied. Meditation happens spontaneously. Just ask how to remain unoccupied, that's all. That's the whole trick of meditation -- how to remain unoccupied. Then you cannot do anything. The meditation will flower."
When you are not doing anything the energy moves towards the center, it settles down towards the center. When you are doing something the energy moves out. Doing is a way of moving out. Nondoing is a way of moving in. Occupation is an escape. You can read The Bible, you can make it an occupation. There is no difference between religious occupation and secular occupation: all occupations are occupations, and they help you to cling outside your being. They are excuses to remain outside.
Man is ignorant and blind, and he wants to remain ignorant and blind, because to come inwards looks like entering into a chaos. And it is so; inside you have created a chaos. You have to encounter it and go through it. Courage is needed -- courage to be oneself, and courage to move inwards. I have not come across a greater courage than that -- the courage to be meditative.
But people who are engaged outside with worldly things or nonworldly things, but occupied all the same, they think -- and they have created a rumor around it, they have their own philosophers -- they say that if you are an introvert you are somehow morbid, something is wrong with you. And they are in the majority. If you meditate, if you sit silently, they will joke about you: "What are you doing? -- gazing at your navel? What are you doing? -- opening the third eye? Where are you going? Are you morbid?... because what is there to do inside? There is nothing inside."
Inside doesn't exist for the majority of people, only the outside exists. And just the opposite is the case. Only inside is real; outside is nothing but a dream. But they call introverts morbid, they call meditators morbid. In the West they think that the East is a little morbid. What is the point of sitting alone and looking inwards? What are you going to get there? There is nothing.
David Hume, one of the great British philosophers, tried once... because he was studying the Upanishads and they go on saying: Go in, go in, go in -- that is their only message. So he tried it. He closed his eyes one day -- a totally secular man, very logical, empirical, but not meditative at all -- he closed his eyes and he said, "It is so boring! It is a boredom to look in. Thoughts move, sometimes a few emotions, and they go on racing in the mind, and you go on looking at them -- what is the point of it? It is useless. It has no utility."
And this is the understanding of many people. Hume's standpoint is that of the majority: What are you going to get inside? There is darkness, thoughts floating here and there. What will you do? What will come out of it? Had Hume waited a little longer -- and that is difficult for such people -- if he had been a little more patient, by and by thoughts disappear, emotions subside. But if it had happened to him he would have said, "That is even worse, because emptiness comes. At least first there were thoughts, something to be occupied with, to look at, to think about. Now even thoughts have disappeared; only emptiness.... What to do with emptiness? It is absolutely useless."
But had he waited a little more, then darkness also disappears. It is just like when you come from the hot sun and you enter your house: everything looks dark because your eyes need a little attunement. They are fixed on the hot sun outside. Comparatively, your house looks dark. You cannot see, you feel as if it is night. But you wait, you sit, you rest in a chair, and after a few seconds the eyes get attuned. Now it is not dark, a little more light.... You rest for an hour, and everything is light, there is no darkness at all.
If Hume had waited a little longer, then darkness also disappears. Because you have lived in the hot sun outside for many lives your eyes have become fixed, they have lost the flexibility. They need tuning. When one comes inside the house it takes a little while, a little time, a patience. Don't be in a hurry.
In haste nobody can come to know himself. It is a very very deep awaiting. Infinite patience is needed. By and by darkness disappears. There comes a light with no source. There is no flame in it, no lamp is burning, no sun is there. A light, just like it is in the morning: the night has disappeared, and the sun has not risen.... Or in the evening -- the twilight, when the sun has set and the night has not yet descended. That's why Hindus call their prayer time SANDHYA. Sandhya means twilight, light without any source.
When you move inwards you will come to the light without any source. In that light, for the first time you start understanding yourself, who you are, because you ARE that light. You are that twilight, that sandhya, that pure clarity, that perception, where the observer and the observed disappear, and only the light remains.
But it takes time. In the beginning you will feel chaos. One has to pass through it. And nobody else can do it for you, remember, you have to pass through it. The master can only do this much -- he can help you to pass, he can give you courage. He can say, "Don't be afraid, just a few steps more."
It happened: Buddha was moving from one town to another. They had lost their way. They asked a few villagers on the way, "How far until the next town?"
They said, "Just two miles," as is always said in India. Whether it is fifty miles or twenty miles, it makes no difference; villagers always say, "Just two miles."
Buddha and his disciple Ananda, they walked two miles but there was no sign of any village coming nearer. They couldn't see any possibility that the village was any nearer. They asked again a few villagers, "How far is the village?"
They said, "Just two miles."
They moved two miles. Ananda became desperate. He said, "Are these people absolute fools or are they knowingly deceiving us? -- because we have again moved two miles and there is no village. Are they playing tricks? Why should they lie?"
Buddha said, "You don't understand. They are like me. It is because of compassion that they say, 'Just two miles,' so you get courage. And you say, 'Okay, so just two miles? Let two miles be passed.' They help you. If they say, 'It is a hundred miles,' you will drop dead. You will be flat on the earth. You will lose courage."
A master cannot do it for you. He cannot pass through the misery, through the chaos. If he could he would have done it, but that is not possible in the nature of things. But he can help you, he can give you courage, he can say, "Come on, just a little more, and the night will pass. And when the night is the darkest the morning is nearest." He will give you courage, and that is needed.
That's why without a master it is almost impossible to travel on the path, because who will help give you courage? Who will say, "Just two miles more..."? Who will say that you are almost at the end of the journey, you have almost reached, just a little bit more...? And as Lao Tzu says, a thousand-league journey is completed by taking only one step at a time. You take one step, then another, then another, and a thousand-mile journey is completed.
Chaos is going to be there. When you enter inside, all diseases that you have suppressed will erupt to the surface. All the miseries that you have been avoiding -- they are waiting for you there, restlessly waiting for you. They will surface. You will pass through hell. But nobody ever reaches heaven if he is not ready to pass through hell. Hell is the gateway. Hell is the way, heaven is the journey's end. But one has to pass through the hell. Through a dark night one has to pass to come to the morning. And you will have to encounter it.
Man is ignorant, and he resists any effort to break his ignorance because he is afraid a chaos is waiting. And you rightly suspect, the chaos IS there. You will almost go mad. A master will be needed who can hold your hand while you are going mad, and take you out of the madness.
These are the implications. That's why the mind goes on playing games with you. It says, "Yes, tomorrow I am going to meditate." But it is afraid. Meditation is like death. And it is. You will have to die as you are; only then the new can be born.
This is a small story by Sheikh Saadi, one of the great Sufi mystic poets. A very simple anecdote, but carrying much meaning. And all those who have known, they talk in the simplest words possible... because the truth itself is so complex. Why make it more complex by complex words and theories? The truth is itself so difficult to reach, why make the journey more difficult? They talk in parables, so that even a child can understand -- and as far as that ultimate is concerned, everybody is a child, ignorant, playing with toys and wasting life.
Said Sheikh Saadi: A MAN HAD AN UGLY DAUGHTER. HE MARRIED HER TO A BLIND MAN BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WOULD HAVE HER.
Yes, this is the case. Many things that you are embracing are such that no man with eyes would look at them. But you are blind. You can marry an ugly woman, you are already married to an ugly woman. This world is the ugly woman you are married to. Money is the ugly woman you are married to. Politics is the ugly woman you are married to. Ambition is the ugly woman you are married to. But you cannot see the ugliness.
Have you ever watched an ambitious man, how ugly he looks? He loses all grace, because with ambition grace is not possible. An ambitious man is violent, aggressive. An ambitious man is almost mad. And that's why only mad people succeed in this race of ambition: Hitler and Mao Zedong and Stalin -- they reach the top because they are the maddest. They become powerful... because if you are a little sane you cannot be in the competition at all. You will feel foolish. The madder a person is the more he is competitive because the more aggression is in him. He is full of fever. He has to do something. He is so restless that he has to run in the race. Of course, he will win.
Those who win in politics in fact should be in madhouses; they should not be in the capitals. But they are in the capitals, unfortunately, and they create wars and they create suffering and they create misery all over the Earth.... They are bound to create them -- mad people in power.... You have given a sword to a madman: now he is going to cut many throats and many heads. Without a sword he was dangerous enough; now he is danger incarnate.
Watch yourself. Whenever you feel ambitious go and look in the mirror. You will see a certain ugliness spreading on your face, in your eyes; you will lose the grace that belongs naturally to a human being. You even lose the grace that belongs to animals. You lose the grace -- even that that belongs to rocks.
Violence is ugliness. A man after money, a victim of money mania -- look how ugly! A miserly man, clinging to money -- you cannot find more ugly a phenomenon in the world. Greed is like spiritual leprosy. Everything stinks. Saadi is right in writing this small anecdote.
A MAN HAD AN UGLY DAUGHTER. HE MARRIED HER TO A BLIND MAN BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WOULD HAVE HER.
Who would have an ugly wife? If you were not blind you would not have been married to this world and all its uglinesses. And deep down the suspicion comes to you also. How can it be otherwise? Howsoever unaware, a ray of awareness is in you. If the ray was not there I could not help you. If the ray was not there Buddha could not help you. If the ray was not there then nothing could be done. If the ray is there, then through that ray you can move towards the very source of light. That ray will become the bridge. You also suspect in your more silent moments, in your still moments you also become aware of the ugliness that you are doing, the ugliness that has become your life, the ugliness that is your ambition, aggression, violence, hatred.... You have become so ugly that even if you touch love it becomes ugly. You touch gold and immediately it is dust; no more gold is there.
A DOCTOR OFFERED TO RESTORE THE BLIND MAN'S SIGHT. BUT THE FATHER WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM FOR FEAR THAT HE WOULD THEN DIVORCE HIS DAUGHTER.
Who is this father? Can you suspect and find this father within you? This is what we have been calling the ego. All your miseries, all that has happened to you and is happening -- the ego is fathering it all. And the ego won't allow the physician to cure your eyes. I am here, ready to cure your eyes. Who is creating the resistance?
The ego says, "No, don't surrender. Be an individual, and be free. If you surrender you become a slave! And why surrender? There is no need -- one has to be oneself...." And the ego goes on rationalizing.
But the whole point is, it protects your blindness because once your eyes are open the ego will not have any possibility to exist. It will not have any place to exist inside you. It is like darkness; light comes in -- it has to leave. That's why it is afraid. It is afraid to go nearer a buddha because buddhahood is infectious. The ego creates all sorts of barriers.
I have come across people who are dead against me. They have not seen me, they have not read a single book, they have not listened to me,
they don't know what I am doing and they are dead against me. Sometimes it is surprising. Even to be against, one has to come a little nearer, to know, to watch, to judge. They have not even seen me. They will not recognize me if suddenly they come across me. But they would like to kill me.
What has happened to them? A deep fear -- the volcano inside and the ego is sitting on top of it. And they are afraid to come near. Even to hear they are afraid; to read, they are afraid, because, who knows, you may be caught in the trap. So it is better to protect yourself and protect your ignorance. Create some idea. That becomes the barrier.
The father is not somewhere outside of you. It is within you, the ego.... He is fathering all your hell.
A DOCTOR OFFERED TO RESTORE THE BLIND MAN'S SIGHT. BUT THE FATHER WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM FOR FEAR THAT HE WOULD THEN DIVORCE HIS DAUGHTER.
There is investment; the father is afraid, the ego is afraid.
SAADI CONCLUDED: THE HUSBAND OF AN UGLY WOMAN IS BEST BLIND.
If you are a husband of an ugly woman you will have to protect your blindness -- one way. The other way is: if you want to drop your blindness you have to be ready to face all ugliness that your ego, your blindness, your ignorance, has created in its wake. You have to encounter yourself.
Self encounter is a suffering in the beginning, painful, deeply painful; it hurts, and hurts like hell. But only through suffering bliss is achieved; there is no other way. One who has passed through all sufferings becomes capable of the ultimate ecstasy -- what Abraham Maslow and the humanistic psychologists call the "Aha!" experience.
When you have passed through a suffering it is like a long journey. Journey-tired you come, you cannot even move, and suddenly you see the goal -- and your whole being feels: Aha! -- an ecstasy, and all suffering disappears. And you are in a totally different dimension.
Self encounter is the deepest suffering in the world; that's why you are avoiding it. Socrates goes on saying: Know thyself -- but nobody listens, because to know thyself means to know thyself as suffering. Of course, bliss follows, but that is not in the beginning, that is in the end. The beginning is painful. It is like a birth. Birth IS painful.
If a child becomes afraid in the womb of the mother, afraid to pass through the birth passage -- it is very narrow, it is painful, suffocating, it is a trauma, it leaves a wound forever -- if the child becomes afraid, then there will be no birth, and there will be no life. Then the child will die in the womb. If the bird in the egg becomes afraid to leave the protecting shell.... He is closed in, completely closed in, and protected from everything, and he has whatsoever he needs inside. If a seed becomes afraid to sprout... because as a seed there is no suffering, there is no death because there is no life. As a seed there is no danger; the seed can remain for millions of years.
In Mohenjo Daro seeds have been found that are ten thousand years old. They are still alive, they can sprout. In a cave in China seeds have been found which are one million years old. They are still alive. Put them in the soil, water them, care -- and they will sprout. One million years a seed has remained inside!
And you are the same seed. Wherever you are, in the cave of China or in the cave of New York, it makes no difference: you have been a seed for millions of lives. You have been afraid to take the jump and become a plant. It is a great jump. It is a risk. The shell is torn asunder, the protection lost; the security disappears.
The tender plant comes out, so delicate, so tender, and such a difficult world! -- where all sorts of hazards exist. Animals are there, and children are there -- and nobody knows what will happen. And the plant is so tender, so soft, so feminine, and the seed was so masculine, so protective, so hard, so strong. And life IS soft, death IS hard. Life IS tender.... For death there exists no hazard, because a dead person cannot die again. For life -- millions of hazards. Hazards and hazards -- it is an adventure into the unknown.
Watch a seed sprouting, breaking the hard shell, then the hard crust of the earth, then rising into the world -- the unknown, unmapped, uncharted future. Nobody knows what is going to happen and all sorts of danger all around. If the plant becomes afraid and remains in the seed, then it will never taste what life is.
Don't be afraid. Come out of your ignorance, come out of your protective shell, come out of the ego. Ego is just like the egg: a shell which protects. Come out of your character, come out of your conscience. Take the challenge! Adventure into the unknown.

In the beginning much misery, much suffering will happen. But it is only in the beginning, I promise you; it is only in the beginning. And if you can pass through it -- and the more totally you pass through it the sooner it passes away.... If you can be really total, in a single moment it passes away. But in the single moment you suffer all hell.
And that suffering, when it passes then you know what it has done to you. It cleanses you, it purifies you. It is like fire; you are like gold. It purifies you. It doesn't burn you, it doesn't destroy you. It destroys only all that is rubbish in you, all that is not gold. All that is just foreign to you is destroyed.
But your nature, your TAO, is saved, purified, absolutely cleansed of all impurities. And in that pure heart happens that ecstasy which we call MOKSHA, the absolute liberation. Or you can call it God. Purified, you become God. Purified, cleansed, you become divine.
That ultimate ecstasy is yours, but at a cost. And the cost is to pass through the suffering.
Enough for today.

 

 

Next: Chapter 7: A man who loved seagulls

 


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