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THE SUN RISES IN THE EVENING

Chapter 3: Cutting off the Root

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            The Sun Rises in the Evening

 

CUTTING OFF THE ROOT (OF LIFE AND DEATH) DIRECTLY,
THIS IS THE MARK OF BUDDHAHOOD;
IF YOU GO ON PLUCKING LEAVES (OF CREEDS) AND
SEEKING BRANCHES (OF ABSTRACT PRINCIPLES),
I CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU.
DO NOT SEEK FOR THE TRUTH,
DO NOT CUT OFF DELUSIONS.
TRYING TO GET RID OF ILLUSION,
AND SEEKING TO GRASP REALITY,
THIS GIVING UP AND KEEPING
IS MERE SOPHISTRY AND LIES.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fulness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh, hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception -- which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error; and to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.
YES, THESE WORDS of Robert Browning are right, absolutely right. Truth is not something outside. Truth is not an object that you have to find, search for, seek. Truth is your subjectivity: truth is the one who is seeking; truth is not the sought, but the seeker himself. To think of truth as something outside is to miss from the very beginning; and once you take a wrong step, you go on taking more and more wrong steps because one step leads to another. It is a chain.
The first step is the most important step. In fact, it is almost half the journey. If the first step is right, you have already arrived; you have moved in the right direction.
Truth is not without but within. And everybody has been seeking it without, hence everybody is missing it. And it is not only true about truth but about all search as such. Bliss is within, so is beauty, so is love, so is joy. All the values that one wants to attain to are within one's own being.
These words of Robert Browning are of immense significance:
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe.
And man has believed down the ages in some truth which is somewhere in heaven far away. And one has to travel to it, and one has to go on a long, long pilgrimage. There is bound to be great effort -- practising, cultivating, preparing -- and truth is all the time waiting for you within yourself.
All the beliefs mislead you because all the beliefs are based on the false idea that truth is an object. People come to me and they ask 'Where is God?' And they think that they are asking a very relevant question -- as if God can be somewhere. They have not looked into the problem deeply. First they have to search into this questioning itself Who is the one asking for God? Who is this one searching for God? One should start from the very start. 'Who am I?' is the only significant question one can ask. And once this question is solved, all other questions are solved because God is found.
Raman Maharshi used to give only one meditation to everyone, whosoever would come to him: just to go on and on pondering, observing, watching, witnessing one thing -- to let this question become so utterly your existence that it persists even when you are asleep -- Who am I? And it has not to be repeated like a mantra. If you repeat it like a mantra you will have missed the point; it is not a mantra, it is an inquiry, and the greatest inquiry there is. It has not to be used as a meditation technique, it has to become your very life. Walking, let the inquiry be there -- 'Who is walking?' Listening right now, let the inquiry be there -- 'Who is listening?' And finally the inquiry has to penetrate to such profound depths that when you ask 'Who am I?' the inquiry is there -- 'Who is asking this question?'
Move to the innermost centre of your being. This inquiry is a movement withinwards. And this single question can solve all the problems; it is a master key: it unlocks all the locks.
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe.
Your belief is not going to change the nature of things. You can believe that a rose flower is a lotus -- and you can believe stubbornly, you can believe blindly and madly -- but the rose remains a rose; just by your belief it is not transformed into a lotus. Yes, you can remain in a kind of illusion, you can remain hallucinating, you can even start seeing it as a lotus. Belief creates dreams, but it cannot create reality. Belief cannot deliver reality to you because all belief is a hindrance. Belief basically means that you have believed before knowing; you are deceiving yourself. All believers are deceivers: they have lied to themselves. They have not known God, and they have started believing in a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Hindu God. They know nothing; they have not experienced anything.
Once a man came to me. He had listened for ten days, and then he came to me. He was crying, and he was an old man. And he said 'You have destroyed all that I have believed, and now I am at a loss. For almost thirty-five years I have practised a certain kind of life. I have done all that possibly can be done. And I was living in a beautiful dream, and you have shattered it all. I was thinking that I had started seeing God. I had great visions of God, and now they all have disappeared.' And he was crying like a small child whose toys have been taken away, he said 'Now, help me to start again!' And I had to laugh even though he was crying, I said 'Start again? Then you will be getting trapped into another illusion. What do you mean by starting again?' He said 'My old beliefs are destroyed; now, give me new beliefs. That's what I mean.'
People go on changing beliefs, but that never brings a radical revolution; it cannot bring. A Hindu can become a Mohammedan -- nothing changes; just you have changed your dream. A Christian becomes a Buddhist -- nothing changes; deep down everything remains the same. Unless you drop believing nothing is going to change, because belief is a deception. Belief means that you don't know and yet you think you know. And the less you know, the more stubbornly you believe -- naturally, you have to complement it. The less you know, the more arrogant, the more dogmatic, more violent you are in your belief -- ready to fight, kill and be killed because you are afraid. If somebody brings light to you, and you come to SEE that your belief is just a belief and nothing else, then all that you have invested in it has gone down the drain, then your life has been a stupid life. The life of a believer is a stupid life, it is inintelligent.
Robert Browning is right. He says 'whate'er you may believe.' Your beliefs cannot make any change. Truth is as it is. Truth is not an object; you cannot believe in it, you cannot worship it, you cannot pray to it. Truth is your hidden reality. You are part of it, it is part of you; there is no separation between you and truth. And the first door to be opened has to open within you, then all the doors open. I am not saying that truth is not there without, but once it is known within, then you will know it without. There is no other way. Once you have seen it within yourself, then you will see it in a tree, in a mountain, in a star -- in everything. Because now you have tasted the centre; now the centre is everywhere. Now you have known the inside of things. God is the inside of things.
But the first approach, the first acquaintance, has to happen within you because that inside whIch exists within you is the closest inside. How can you penetrate into the inside of a tree? It is very very far away. You have not even penetrated your own inside -- where you already are.
It happened...
Leo Tolstoy had gone for a morning walk with Chekhov. They came across a beautiful horse in the woods, and Tolstoy started talking about the horse. And he talked in such a way that Chekhov could not believe it. He said 'What are you saying? You are talking as if you know the very inside of the horse!' -- because Tolstoy was talking about 'this morning, these birds, these trees, this sun, this sky, these clouds...' and how the horse was feeling about the clouds, and how he was feeling about the trees and the smell of the wet earth; how the horse was feeling about the grass and the flowers and the sun. And he was saying it as if it were directly from the horse's mouth. Checkhov himself was a great artist, a great novelist, a great genius, but he had never visualized how the horse would feel. And Tolstoy was saying it so deeply, profoundly, that he said 'Leo Tolstoy, I feel as if you had once been a horse in your past lives!' Tolstoy started laughing, and said 'No, but the day I cam across my own inside, I cam across everybody's inside. Before that, I knew myself as the body -- I knew myself as if from the outside.
Have you any acquaintance with yourself from the inside, or do you only know that which the mirror says about you? That is as if you were standing outside yourself and looking from there. You know all that people say about you. Somebody says that you are beautiful, and you think you are beautiful; and somebody says that you are ugly, and you start feeling miserable; and somebody says that you are intelligent, and you are flying high; and somebody says that you are stupid, and you are shattered. Again, this is nothing but a mirror: others' opinions cannot be more than mirrors. But have you never seen yourself from the inside? And there you are; there you have always been, you are abiding there. And if you cannot know this space that you are abiding in, how can you know the inner reality of a tree or a mountain or a star? And how can you know the inner reality of the totality?
God is inside of totality. But to enter into that, one has to enter within one's own door.
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate'er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all
Where truth abides in fulness...
True, absolutely true. And sometimes it happens that poets come very close to the mystics. Poetry comes closer to religion than anything else. Poetry is a glimpse into truth; mysticism is living there. Poetry is like the Himalayas seen from far away -- those sunlit peaks, those virgin snows; religion is living there as those sunlit peaks, as that virgin snow. Poetry is a distant vision of truth; mysticism, or religion, is becoming one with it, knowing it as one's innermost centre. But poetry comes closest.

Where truth abides in fulness...
Nothing is lacking in you, nothing has to be added to you. You are born perfect, because you are born of perfection. You are perfect, because the perfect is breathing within you, living in you. You are an extension of perfection. If God is perfect, then nothing can be imperfect, because all is his expression. How can it be imperfect? So, there is no need to seek perfection, there is no need to improve upon yourself. All that is needed is to know who you are, and in that very knowing one comes to feel the completion, the perfection. One has not to become perfect; one already is. and because we are trying to become perfect we are becoming more and more ridiculous.
Down the ages man has tried to become more and more perfect, and the only result is that man has become more and more ugly. The very effort is absurd. In trying to become perfect people have become guilty. In trying to become perfect they have become pathological.
In trying to become perfect, and failing again and again -- and they have to fail because they are already perfect... You cannot attain to that which you already have, so the effort is doomed to fail. And when you fail again and again and again,, naturally, a great sadness settles; one feels utterly depressed. All hope disappears, and all joy with it. Life becomes an ugly evil; one has to bear it somehow. Life becomes sin. If you are trying to become perfect, life will become sin, because you will fail, you will condemn yourself, you will hate yourself -- and a man who hates himself has gone as far away from himself as it is possible to go.
There is an inmost centre in us all
Where truth abides in fulness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross Flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception -- which is truth.
Truth is not a thing but the clarity of perception. It is not that you will have to see something; it is only the clarity of seeing that is truth. All objects disappear, all content disappears, only a clarity remains. Everything becomes transparent -- you can see, you can see totally; nothing is hidden from you. That perception is truth.
Truth is not an object but an awakening in you. Let me emphasize it again and again that truth is within not without; it is an awakening within you; it is an awareness within you; it is intelligence functioning at its optimum. You cannot see truth; it is not a thing. You cannot grasp truth; it is not a thing. You cannot give or take truth; it is not a thing. It is your inner eye, your inner perception -- what the Hindus call the third eye.
To be alert and awake is to be true. So, let us define. Untruth is unconsciousness, and truth is consciousness. Untruth is living like a somnambulist; truth is living like a Buddha, alert, watchful, witnessing.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error; and to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.
The splendour is within you. It is just like a fountain hidden behind a rock, and because of the rock it cannot flow. Remove the rock, and the fountain starts flowing. This insight is also of tremendous significance. And I say 'hidden behind a rock' not 'behind rocks' because there is only one rock. Somebody thinks it is because of greed that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce greed. Somebody else thinks it is because of anger, violence, that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce anger, violence. Somebody else thinks it is because of money, possessions, so one has to renounce all possessions. Somebody else thinks it is because of sex, love, attachment, so one has to renounce that. And people think that there are so many rocks: anger, sex, sadness, possessiveness, greed, etcetera, etcetera. No, there are not rocks, there is only one rock, and that rock is unawareness. Everything else is a by-product of that unawareness. It becomes greed, it becomes sex, it becomes anger; it can take many forms. But basically it is only one thing: forgetfulness, unawareness.
We have become completely oblivious of who we are.
... and to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.
Don't search for any light outside. The last words of Buddha were 'Be a light unto yourself. Be a lamp unto yourself' Don't search for light anywhere else; the light is already there, the fire is already there. Just probe a little deeper into your being, enquire. Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire... just t?robe deep inside, and you will find the spark again. And once you have found a single spark inside yourself, you will become a flame soon, you will be a fire -- a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms, a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.
It is because of this that Martin Heidegger uses the word 'releasement' instead of 'enlightenment'. His word is beautiful. It is a releasement: something is already there, it has only to be released. Just like the seed sprouting, becoming a big tree, and then comes the spring... and there is great joy, and the tree bursts forth into thousands of flowers. But they were all hidden in the seed, the small seed. The seed has been carrying the blueprint for all that: the colour, the shape, the fragrance -- all was hidden in the seed. The tree is not anything new. The seed was unmanifest; the tree is its manifestation. It is a releasement.
I like Heidegger's word, it is beautiful. It is a releasement: enlightenment is a releasement.
You are already that. You have never been other than that. Remember, remind yourself, shake yourself into awareness. Use all the opportunities of life as triggering points, as occasions, so that you can become alert and aware of who you are.
These words of one of the great Greek mystics, Plotinus, will be of help. 'You do not really go away from It, for It is there; you do not "go" anywhere but remain present to It, yet you turn your back on It.' Or as Raman Maharshi used to say 'Enlightenment is simply to admit that you are already enlightened.'
Just to admit... Yes, Raman is stating the simple fact: it is only admitting. You are enlightened; you consist of it. You are made of light; light is the stuff' that you are made of. Then why can't you admit it? Why can't you recognize it? And rather than recognizing it, you do a thousand and one other things: you search for God, you go to the Himalayas, you move to the monasteries, you torture yourselves, you become masochists in the name of religion, you destroy yourselves, you slowly slowly commit suicide. You do everything, but just a simple thing you never do: you don't admit. Why can't you admit it? And nothing is being taken away from you. In recognizing the fact, all is gained, nothing is lost. But you have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your misery -- you have started thinking that this is you.
It is like an emperor who has fallen asleep and dreams that he has become a beggar. And in his dream he has a begging bowl and rotten rags, and somebody is trying to snatch the begging bowl from him. And he will fight, he will fight to the very bitter end. It is a question of life and death -- somebody trying to snatch his begging bowl? He will give a great fight; he is not going to give it easily -- that's all that he has.
That's what has happened. Misery is all that you have. You cannot admit that you are enlightened because then you will not be able to afford misery any more. So, many times you come to the brink, many times the recognition is very close by -- you see the point -- but you withdraw, you immediately start getting as far away from it as possible. You withdraw, you turn back. You have become too attached to your misery: that looks as if that is your kingdom.
This is my observation: listening to thousands of sannyasins, one thing seems to be absolutely certain: that nobody wants to renounce his misery. People are even ready to renounce their little bits of happiness; they are ready. This is strange, but this is how it is. If I say to them 'Renounce your wife, renounce your children, renounce your home' they are ready, they say 'We are ready to go with you, Osho, wherever you say. We can renounce.' But if I say 'Renounce your misery, renounce your chains' then immediately I see that they cannot gather that much courage. They cling to it, they will fight for it.
Raman is simply saying that all that is needed for enlightenment is to admit that you are enlightened. Just think of it. Just for a moment meditate over it. Can you admit that you are enlightened? And immediately you will see that it is difficult, because if you admit that you are enlightened then there will be trouble. And the trouble will be: you cannot be angry, and you cannot be sad, and you cannot fight with your wife or with your husband, and you cannot be possessive. All is lost, and that has been your whole life. Now, this is too much, you will say 'How can one become enlightened so suddenly? First I will have to practise.' That is only a way of postponing. You are saying 'I cannot deny the truth of what you say, but I cannot admit it right now either. Yes, you are right, you must be right; but I have to prepare myself for it.' And this is how you have been preparing for so many lives.
You missed Buddha, you missed Yoka -- you can miss me too.
And you are always preparing, and you are always postponing, and you say 'Yes, we understand what you are saying.'
Many times you are almost enlightened, and then immediately you shrink back. I say 'almost' because you can still shrink back, that's why I say 'almost'. Just one step more... but then fear grips you, you become so frightened. Then what will happen to your whole past and all your investments?
You will think that this should not be so -- what investment can there be in misery? There is; people remain miserable because through misery they gain sympathy, at least sympathy. If they cannot get love, they can get sympathy, they can get attention.
And you are too attached to attention. Things are complicated then. You are too attached to attention -- people should pay attention to you -- and you don't know what else to do. If you are miserable, they pay attention. If you are ill, they take care of you. If you go mad, everybody is kind to you. Just see the point why so many people go mad and when they go mad. There is a perfect timing to it. Whenever they are passing into some crisis, through some crisis, and they need attention, love, sympathy, care, they immediately choose madness. It is a choice -- unconscious, but still a choice. If they remain sane, everybody is hard. If they remain sane then the world is too much; then the wife is hard, the children are hard, the boss is hard -- everything is hard. And they are tired. But if they are insane, if they have a certificate to say that they are mad, if the psychiatrist says that they are not in a position that anything should be expected from them, they can relax. Now nobody expects anything from them, and they can expect everything from everybody else.
Thousands of people who live in madhouses have only learned a trick; this is their way of life; they have learned a style. They are not all mad; they have just found a beautiful way of life where care has to be taken of them by others -- they need not worry.
Just look into all the investments that you have put into your misery. You hanker for love, and your husband never sits by your side. You hanker for love, and your wife never comes and massages you. Now, you have a headache, and she comes and she is all love. Just see the point: the headache has become a need; because love is not freely available so you start paying for love with your headache. Whenever you need love, when there is starvation, when you feel that love will be nourishing, suddenly your mind triggers the mechanism -- the headache comes.
And I am not saying that you are just pretending, I am not saying that you are pretending -- a real headache comes; there is no pretension in it. I am not saying that you are just deceiving your wife, no; you are deceiving your wife and yourself too. The headache is real, but you have learned a trick. Whenever love is starved, a mechanism triggers itself; it is autonomous. It immediately brings some illness to you, and with illness, love comes. Your wife becomes your mother -- you always wanted her to be your mother. You have been in search of a mother not in search of a wife. Every man is in search of a mother. Every woman is in search of a father.
It is difficult to accept it, but it must be so because people's mental age remains hanging somewhere nearabout thirteen -- nobody grows psychologically more than that. Now, what more can you expect of a thirteen-year-old boy or girl? Psychologically that is the average age, so even the man who is seventy or eighty remains interested in the breasts of women -- why? for what? He is still childish. Those breasts symbolize the mother; they are symbols. He is still hankering for a mother, for a warm womb -- somebody to encompass him. But the only way seems to be to be ill, to be miserable, to be sad. And it seems that the prize is worth it; that's why you can't agree with Raman Maharshi that all that is needed for enlightenment is just a recognition. One has to admit that 'I am enlightened.' But from that admission your life will never be the same again; you cannot afford those toys you have been playing with.
Yoka's sutras:
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT (OF LIFE AND DEATH) DIRECTLY,
THIS IS THE MARK OF BUDDHAHOOD;
YOU GO ON PLUCKING LEAVES (OF CREEDS) AND
SEEKING BRANCHES (OF ABSTRACT PRINCIPLES),
I CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU.
First thing: CUTTING OFF THE ROOT -- that is Yoka's statement; in brackets the translator has put OF LIFE AND DEATH. Yoka's words have much more significance, that significance is destroyed by this addition in brackets.
Listen:
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT DIRECTLY,
THIS IS THE MARK OF BUDDHAHOOD;
IF YOU GO ON PLUCKING LEAVES AND SEEKING BRANCHES,
I CAN DO NOTHING FOR_YOU.
Again the translator has added in brackets OF ABSTRACT PRINCIPLES to SEEKING BRANCHES. He is not wrong, but he has made Yoka's statement very small, narrowed. The statement is very wide and big -- of enormous significance. This is only one of the meanings. What is put in brackets is only one of the meanings, and that too only a secondary meaning.
So, first we will think about Yoka's own statement:
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT DIRECTLY... What is the root? I told you there is only one rock that is repressing the fountain of your life, of your enlightenment, of your releasement. The rock of unawareness -- that is the root. The rock of forgetfulness -- that is the root.
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT DIRECTLY... Now, don't go on plucking leaves and cutting branches. That's what people go on doing: a small change here and a small change there; decorating, polishing, whitewashing, renovating. 'The plaster has fallen here, fix it. Something else has to be done, do it.' But the structure remains the same, the basic structure does not change. You go on adding to it, or deleting a few things from it.
If you cut the leaves of a tree, the tree is not going to be destroyed by it, the foliage will become thicker. Ask any gardener, ask Mukta. Whenever you go on pruning, the foliage becomes thicker because the tree is an alive phenomenon, it asserts itself. If you cut one leaf, it replies by growing three leaves instead. It says 'Look, this is not the way. I have to survive. You cannot just destroy me by cutting one leaf.' It responds. It takes the challenge. Trees are people -- and very natural and spontaneous. They don't bother much about etiquette, etcetera. You cut one leaf, the tree replies by growing three leaves. You cut three, and you will see many more have come. After all, the tree has tO survive, it has to protect itself. By cutting leaves you cannot destroy the tree; in fact, the tree becomes more strengthened.
And exactly the same happens in the inner world of man. You cut anger, and you become more angry. In fact, the more you go on cutting anger -- cutting anger means repressing anger here and there -- one day you find that you are almost absolutely angry, and angry twenty-four hours a day; you are in a rage. If you go on doing it, you will be a raving maniac soon. What can you do? If you repress anger, what can you expect? Anger goes on accumulating.
That's what happens to people who force celibacy. There is a celibacy that comes of its own accord; it grows out of understanding. It grows because love becomes so deep, so profound, that sex simply melts into it; sex becomes irrelevant. But there are people who force celibacy on themselves. The more they force celibacy on themselves, the more their mind is obsessed with sex; they become sex-maniacs. That's what happens to your so-called monks, SADHUS, your so-called saints and MAHATMAS: they become sex-obsessed. They think only of sex because the repressed tries to assert itself -- it gives a great fight.
And this is no way of transforming your energies; this is simply stupid. You can change your greed from one side, it asserts itself on another side, and with more force. You can leave the world, because if you live in the world you have to be greedy, then you become greedy about heaven and paradise, and you start thinking about how much pleasure you are going to have there. This is again greed, pure greed -- call it religious but it doesn't make any difference, it is pious greed. But a poison is poison -- it may be pious poison, but it makes no difference.
Just watch people. Those who have been cutting branches and leaves -- you will find them becoming more and more deeply rooted in the world. Their heaven is nothing but an extension of this world; all the joys and gratifications that they have renounced here they are asking for there, and a millionfold. Naturally, they have renounced so much that they want to be rewarded there. All the religions of the world fantasize a heaven with beautiful women, women who never age, who remain stuck at eighteen -- they have always been eighteen. They don't perspire, they don't need deodorants. They have golden bodies; their bodies are always full of fragrance -- the fragrance of flowers, fresh. And the heaven has all the comforts that the saint has renounced here, just more and more of them. This is greed asserting itself again.
Yoka says:
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT DIRECTLY...
Don't be bothered with the branches and the leaves. One thing about the root: it is hidden, so you don't see it. It is invisible, so whatsoever you see as your problem cannot be the root, remember it. Somebody says 'Sex is my problem.' It cannot be, because he can see it. Somebody says 'Greed is my problem.' It cannot be, because he can see it. Whatsoever you see ordinarily is not your problem and cannot be. These are just leaves and branches; the roots remain hidden deep down underneath. They are not available to ordinary consciousness; they become available when you become extraordinarily conscious.
That's what meditation is all about: becoming extraordinarily conscious, going deeper and deeper into things, not being deceived by appearances -- 'leaves and branches'; looking deeper and deeper, finding a deeper problem hidden in a problem, and going on and on just like peeling an onion. And there are many layers, many layers, and if you go on, deeper, deeper, you will be surprised: there are not 'rocks' but only one rock. In the end you will find the only problem is how to remember -- what Buddha calls 'right mindfulness', and Gurdjieff calls 'self-remembering', what Krishnamurti calls 'awareness'. The only problem is how to become luminous at the very centre of your being, alert, aware, THERE, with no sleep -- radiantly aware. That is the root: unawareness is the root. Cut the root, and you are released. This very moment you can be released.
And to cut the root you need not go on preparing; you cannot say that 'First I will cut the leaves, and then the branches, because how can I cut the root immediately? I have to prepare.' There is no connection. By cutting the branches and the leaves you are not getting ready to cut the root; it helps in no way. You can go on cutting the branches and the leaves for millions of years and you are in the same situation. Whenever you have to cut the root, you will have to cut the root.
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT DIRECTLY... And this word 'directly' is very important: immediately, right now, without postponing, without bringing time in. If you bring time in, you will never be able to cut the roots, because if you say 'Tomorrow I will do it' then your forgetfulness, your unawareness, will have lived twenty-four hours more; your roots will become more strong. If you say 'Next life...' then meanwhile you will be nourishing your unconsciousness -- strengthening it. If it is difficult now, it is going to be more difficult tomorrow, and so on and so forth.
If you see the point, do it right now -- cut it! Don't postpone, don't bring time in.
In fact, there are two kinds of times, and you have to understand them. One is the clock time, the chronological time; I am not talking about that. There is another kind of time, the psychological time, which I am talking about.
What is psychological time? It is the gap between you as you are and the idea of you as you would like to be. That gap is psychological time. You are poor and you would like to be rich -- that gap is psychological time. You are a sinner and you would like to be a saint, and that gap is psychological time. You are angry and you would like to be full of compassion -- that gap is psychological time. Ideals create psychological time, and man is caught in psychological time. And you have so many ideals: you would like to be this, you would like to be that, and those ideals are preventing you from being that which you are. This 'should' is psychological time, the 'ought' is psychological time.
Let 'shoulds' disappear. Let there be no 'oughts'. Forget about ideals. You are not to be anybody else. You cannot be anybody else. All that you can be you already are. To see it is to cut the root. Then there is no postponement; you cannot say 'Tomorrow I will do...' Either you understand or you don't understand. If you understand, do it right now. If you don't understand, simply say 'I don't understand', but don't say 'I will do it tomorrow.' That is tricky: you are pretending that you have understood.
If you see this is poison -- and you were just going to drink, and I say 'This is poison' -- will you say 'Tomorrow I will not drink it, but right now I have poured it in the cup and I am halfway... tomorrow...'? You are saying the truth: 'Tomorrow I will not drink it, but how can I do it right now?' If you have seen the point, if you have understood me, that this is poison, will you say 'I will do it tomorrow'? In fact, the cup will slip from your hand of its Own accord; it will fall down on the floor.
'This is poison', if understood, brings immediate, radical change. This is what he means by 'directly'. Once you understand a thing, if you understand it at all, it affects you immediately. But people say 'We can understand, intellectually we have comprehended it, now we will practise, now we will think more about it, now we will change our character slowly slowly -- gradually we will go.'
To go gradually is to go indirectly. To go abruptly, suddenly, in the moment, is to go directly. And the roots can only be cut directly; leaves can be cut indirectly because they are indirect. Roots are direct: once you cut the roots, the whole tree will die. They are at the source.
Remember, the psychological time has to disappear; it is your creation. The clock will continue, and the calendar will continue, the outside time will continue, but the inside time will disappear. When inside time disappears you don't have any past and you don't have any future; then this moment is all. And when this moment is all you are direct. This is what Zen people call 'transformation in one blow'.
Try to understand this psychological gap: it is between what is and what should be. Understanding is immediate; it is not of time. Just listening to me, if you see the point, you see the point. Then, suddenly, it is there in its totality. Not that you will understand it gradually -- there is no gradualness, there is no progression in it -- it comes like a sword and enters in your very core; suddenly you will see it. But yes, you can try to forget it because of your investments.
Many times I see in your eyes sudden understanding arising, but then immediately you shrink back, you withdraw. You become afraid of understanding it -- it is too much -- and you start thinking 'Wait. Don't be in a hurry. There is no hurry; we can do it tomorrow. Let us enjoy the day as we have always enjoyed.' And you have never enjoyed, you have only been miserable. 'Let's remain the same -- at least for today -- and tomorrow we will change.' And tomorrow never comes. When you bring tomorrow in, you have missed the point.
CUTTING OFF THE ROOT DIRECTLY,
THIS IS THE MARK OF BUDDHAHOOD;
IF YOU GO ON PLUCKING LEAVES AND
SEEKING BRANCHES,
I CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU.
Yoka is right, and clear-cut. He says: I cannot do anything for you if you go on plucking leaves and branches. And that's what I would like to say to you too: Don't go on cutting leaves and branches. The problems that you bring to me every day are problems of how to cut this branch, how to cut that leaf. Rarely do you come to ask about the roots. Things are not going well with your wife, and you come to me. Things are not going well with your children, and you come to me. And the modern mind has been conditioned with such ideologies, philosophies, and psychologies, that not only do you bring the present-day leaves and branches, but dead things. Somebody comes because he has read about Primal Therapy, and now he asks 'There must have been some problem, birth trauma, when I was born -- how to resolve it?' Now you are digging up graves. Birth trauma? It may be fifty years since you were born, but the idea appeals to you.
People are always interested in the past and the future, because in both ways the mind can go on living perfectly well; only in the present does it die. These are great problems: birth trauma. 'Something has gone wrong between me and my mother, or me and my father. Now, what to do?' The mother may be dead. Now, you have a great problem. 'How to solve it?' Somebody wants to know whether to give birth to a child or not. Somebody wants to become a mother, and 'Is it the right time to give birth to a child?' Now you are becoming interested in the future. Somebody is interested in his mother and somebody is interested in his future child. When are you going to be in the present? And these problems which you bring to me... Very rarely do you come with the root problem. These are trivia; they look very significant when you are passing through them -- they are not, they are all rubbish, superficial.
I help you to understand them in the hope that slowly slowly you will start diving deeper than the surface, slowly slowly, one day or other, you will be intelligent enough to bring the root problem. And, yes, a few people start bringing the root problem. But only the root problem has to be solved, nothing else.
Yoka is right: I can do nothing for you if you cannot understand this approach. The root has to be cut -- and suddenly, and immediately. How to cut the root? Where is the sword? From where to get the sword? And what sword? You have to understand it.
There are two kinds of thinking. One, the positive thinking, the other, the negative thinking. Negative thinking is the sword; it cuts the problem from the very root. That's why Buddhism is called the negative way, the way of negation, VIA NEGATIVA -- it is. Positive thinking means you are thinking about something. Positive thinking is thinking about something. Positive thinking creates beliefs. Positive thinking creates ideals. Positive thinking gives you images of the future, ideas, conclusions about how to live, how to improve. Positive thinking moves from a conclusion. You take the conclusion for granted, and then you start.
For example, 'God is because Jesus has said so' -- you have taken the conclusion. Now, Jesus may be wrong, Jesus may be deluded -- who knows? I may be wrong, I may be deluded -- how can you take a conclusion from me? My conclusion is my conclusion, and it cannot be yours in any way; if you make it your conclusion, it will be false. In my hand it was an alive bird, in your hand it is a corpse, and
Soon it will stink. In my hand it was my experience, transferred to your hand it is borrowed. It has no meaning because it has no life. And that's what happens. Whenever a live truth is transferred, communicated, it never reaches the same to the other; it changes through a thousand and one forms. Now, Jesus is twenty centuries past; in twenty centuries man has done all kinds of mischiefs with his words.
Just a few years back a Christian missionary came to see me. He said 'Are you the Christ? If you are the Christ, can you do the miracles that he did?' I was in a generous mood, so I said 'Okay. You just tell me what miracles.' He said 'First, he walked on water -- can you walk on water?' I said 'I walk on nothing. That is old cap, walking on water. Underneath me the whole earth has disappeared.' He said ' With a few loaves of bread he fed thousands of people...' I said 'Without any loaf of bread I am feeding thousands of people; many are nourished. And with a loaf of bread the nourishment cannot go very deep. I am feeding with loaves o f spirit.' Now, he looked a little puzzled, he said 'And he turned water into wine...' I said 'What do you think I am doing? Can't you see so many intoxicated people around? I am turning air into wine!' Then the last thing he said 'And... but... he called Lazarus out of his death...' I said 'That's what every Buddha has always been doing -- calling people out of their graves. It is nothing special, it is not a miracle -- that's the function of a Buddha. People are dead; everybody is a Lazarus. There is nothing special in Jesus calling Lazarus out of the grave, but there is something special in Lazarus that he heard it.' I said to the missionary 'I can call you back from your grave, but will you hear? The point is not with Jesus, the miracle was done by Lazarus. Jesus was calling, but only Lazarus came out of the grave, and Jesus was calling many people. I am also calling many people out of their graves, a few come.'
But this is how words become slowly slowly false; they lose all beauty, all truth -- they become stories, they become myth. When I say something to you it is alive, when it reaches your hand it will be dead. To me it was truth, to you it will be a belief. Positive thinking starts with belief: 'Believe first.' Positive thinking's essential formula is: 'Believing is seeing. If you believe you will see.' If you believe totally you will certainly see. You can believe in anything, and it will start happening to you. But that will be just a dream enhanced by your belief, created by your belief, projected by you.
Buddha's approach is negative. The negative mind, the negative thinking, does not start with any conclusion. It drops all conclusions, it simply gets rid of all beliefs, all scriptures, all doctrines, all creeds. It says 'This is not my experience, so I cannot claim truth for it. Why should I carry it? This is all junk.' Negative thinking means that you drop all the conclusions that you have taken for granted from others. A point comes when nothing is left in your mind, because all is borrowed.
Just look inside. All that you think of as your knowledge is borrowed knowledge, and how can the borrowed be knowledge? It is information. You are just repeating it; you are being mechanical in repeating it. Negative thinking begins with no conclusion, with no belief, with no thought.
Drop all belief, drop all thoughts. That's why I say R. H. Blyth is right when he says:
IF YOU GO ON PLUCKING LEAVES (OF CREEDS) AND
SEEKING BRANCHES (OF ABSTRACT PRINCIPLES),
I CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU.
That is one of the meanings: the definition of negative thinking. Just try to see the point. If you are in a negating state -- when you have negated all -- what will be left? Only your consciousness, pure consciousness. You have eliminated all, you have dropped all that was given by the society, you have dropped all conditioning, you are no more a Hindu or a Jaina or a Christian; you don't know who you are, you are simply a nobody.
The negative mind has to-come to this point of being a nobody. You are just void, empty -- empty of all that has been poured into you from the outside; you have emptied it out, you are a clean slate. You are just a pure mirror with not even a single particle of dust on it. In this moment the root is cut. In this moment the sword is created. How can you remain unenlightened in such a moment when your eyes are absolutely clear?
This clarity, this crystalline clarity, this utter purity of vision, perception -- this is truth; it creates the sword of negative thinking. And negative thinking is the highest kind of thinking -- the greatest. Only mediocre minds cling to positive thinking. The highest mind moves to the peaks of negativity. He drops all burdens; he simply becomes unburdened. In that unburdening is freedom, releasement.
And when thinking stops, thanking begins.
This negative thinking is synonymous with waiting, because there is nothing to do. You don't have any conclusion. You cannot search for God because you don't know. God has no meaning in the world of negative thinking. You cannot search for liberation -- it has no meaning. You cannot practise virtue -- you don't know what is virtue and what is sin. In the state of negativity you don't know anything, so nothing can be done. One can only wait, and only wait.
Just the other night I gave sannyas to a new, beautiful woman. I have given her the name Tada; it is a Japanese word, it means 'just', 'only'. When there is nothing left but only you, not even the idea of I, but only the essence of I -- TADA; just consciousness is left, all content has been dropped; contentless consciousness is left -- what can you do now? You cannot go to the East, you cannot go to the West, because those are all beliefs. You cannot look up, you cannot look down -- those are all beliefs. You cannot do this, you cannot do that, because the choice is always from a conclusion. You cannot be good, you cannot be bad. Then what is left? Then waiting is left, just waiting . TADA; and that purity of waiting is immense; that is the greatest benediction that can happen to a man, the greatest joy that one can know, because in that waiting all happens. It is not a search, it is a waiting.
Waiting allows the whole to take possession. You disappear, the whole appears. Waiting is vacating for the truth to be. It is void, voidness -- empty of all that we have known, experienced, believed -- and then from nowhere, or everywhere, comes the feeling of being lifted up. Gratitude arises naturally and spontaneously as when we receive a loving gift. Thinking stops, thanking begins. This is prayer. It has nothing to do with your silly ideas of God, and prayer, and all that. This is prayer : when you are waiting, waiting, waiting, empty. And there is nothing to do, there is no way to do; you cannot get occupied. When you are just silent, utterly silent -- a kind of absence -- one is lifted up; the whole takes you. In that lifting up arise gratitude and prayer.
This will help you to understand the miracle, or the puzzle, of a Buddhist praying. Christians have been puzzled. Hindus have remained confused about it -- how a Buddhist can pray, because he does not believe in God. How can a Buddhist pray? The Buddhist can pray, but his prayer is not your so-called prayer. His prayer is a sheer feeling of gratitude. It is not addressed to anybody. He does not pray to God; he simply prays. What can he do? He is lifted up. The whole has taken him, possessed him; the whole has come in him, rushing from every side, from everywhere or from nowhere. He is no more the same; all is light, all is freedom, and all is love. How can you remain ungrateful? He does not bow down to anybody in particular, he simply bows down. His bowing down is pure: it is a gesture, unaddressed. He does not thank God, because there is no God, but he thanks, he thanks the whole existence.
Enlightenment has not to be sought actively, to be brought about, because it is already there. Waiting is all that is needed: waiting, just waiting, TADA, with no object. If you are waiting for something, you are not waiting; then positive thinking has come in. If you are waiting for Krishna to come and play on his flute, this is not waiting. If you are waiting for Christ to come and save you, this is not waiting. If you are waiting for me to come and help you, this is not waiting; positive thinking has started.
Waiting is simply waiting; not waiting for somebody, not waiting for something to happen. How can you wait for something you don't know? And all that you will think should happen will be wrong, because it will come out of your past, and your past has been nothing but darkness, your past has been nothing but ignorance. Negative thinking cannot do anything -- not even think about what is going to happen. This state, this silence, this utter purity, is the death and the resurrection.
Waiting has no object, and that's what meditation is. Let me define meditation: meditation is waiting without prospect, waiting for waiting's sake. And truth is always there, pulsating at the core of being. Waiting allows it to bloom. Waiting helps you to melt. Waiting helps the innermost to express itself. Waiting releases the song that you are, the celebration that you are.
That's why Yoka says:
DO NOT SEEK FOR THE TRUTH,
DO NOT CUT OFF DELUSIONS.
If you seek, you will miss. Seek not, because seeking is a positive effort. Wait. Jesus says: Seek, and you shall find. Yoka says: Wait, and you have found. There is no 'shall' in it. Wait, and you have found. Jesus says: Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. Yoka says: Wait, and the doors are already open; they have never been closed. And do not cut off delusions because there is no need. Unless you know truth, you cannot know what delusion is, what illusion is. Those are all beliefs: 'the world is illusory'. And you have not even known truth, so how can you know what is illusion? To know the false as false you will have to know the real as real, then only can the false be understood. They both come into your understanding simultaneously: you cannot know the real without knowing the false, you cannot know the false without knowing the real. They are together; it is a single understanding! Seeing the real, you know what is false and what is real. But when you know what is false you need not destroy it, because it is false. It is not there to be destroyed at all.
DO NOT SEEK FOR THE TRUTH... wait, and DO NOT CUT OFF DELUSIONS... because if you start cutting off delusions, you will again be cutting leaves and branches. Create negative thinking, create the negative mind. That negates all, and negates absolutely, and leaves nothing inside -- keeps you utterly void. That is the sword; it cuts the roots. In that negative state self-remembering arises -- it just overflows, you are full of it, you are it.
TRYING TO GET RID OF ILLUSION,
AND SEEKING TO GRASP REALITY, --
THIS GIVING UP AND KEEPING
IS MERE SOPHISTRY AND LIES.
Yoka is very clearcut. He says: Trying to get rid of illusion, trying to get rid of maya, and the world, and this and that, is all nonsense. You don't know what illusion is. The moment you know, you are already out of it. Trying to get rid of illusion is like, in a dream, trying to get rid of a dream. And you are in a dream. And you know perfectly well that there are dreams within dreams within dreams.
You can dream, in a dream, that you are going to bed to sleep. And then you sleep, and then you can start dreaming -- dream within dream -- and in the dream you see that you have gone to the movie, and you see the movie. And you can go on and on in this way. In a dream you can dream also that you are renouncing the world: you have become a renunciate, and you are going to the Himalayas. To be in the market or to be in the Himalayas is all dream. In the morning, when you wake up, are you going to say 'Now I am going to destroy all those dreams because they are not'? How can you destroy them when they are not? You will simply laugh, you will say 'Ha ha ha! So there is nothing!'
TRYING TO GET RID OF ILLUSION, AND SEEKING TO GRASP REALITY, -- THIS GIVING UP AND KEEPING IS MERE SOPHISTRY AND LIES.

If you can understand this, you have a key. And do it right now. Be direct and immediate. There is no need to destroy illusions and there is no need to grasp reality, because reality is all that is, and illusion is not there and never has been there. All that is needed is to drop all lies and sophistries. In the name of philosophy, only sophistry continues: philosophy is nothing but very sophisticated sophistry -- cunning, clever, calculating. Forget all about philosophies, religions, creeds, dogmas. Be alone. Wait. And wait for nothing in particular; wait for waiting's sake, and all is yours.


 

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