Since I have been a sannyasin, I have thought that I needed to use my mind less if I was to be in touch with my heart. Yet I heard you say the other day that we should train our minds to keep our intelligence alive and help it become sharper and sharper. Could you please clarify this?
Life is not as simple as you think; it is very complicated. It is true that if you want to be in touch with me, you will be more and more in the heart, not in the mind, because the mind has no qualities for inner growth. It has immense powers for outer research, for objective, scientific work. But for religious growth, it is absolutely impotent.
So if you listen to me through the mind, then what I am saying to you is lost in a desert. It will never reach to your heart. That’s why I have always insisted: put the mind aside and be with me with your heart, with your love, with your trust.
But that is only one part of the story. When I said I would like you to make your mind as sharp as possible, that is a totally different dimension, because unless your mind is sharp enough you are going to be enslaved by the society. You are already enslaved by the society because your mind has not fought against it; it has been obedient to it.
Both these statements belong to different contexts, so don’t get mixed up. When I say be with me with your heart, put the mind aside, it is one thing, one context, that of being a disciple. And if you can really do it totally you can reach to the highest peak that is of being a devotee.
These are the three stages. The student listens only from the mind; he will collect knowledge, but he will not become a knower. The disciple tries to put the mind aside and listen from the heart. He is making an effort. The mind will come again and again in between; the effort will not be total, but still, if something reaches to the heart, even a few seeds, soon it will change the whole color of your being. The season will not be far away when the heart will start blossoming. That is the point when you reach to the boundary line of being a devotee.
Now you are capable of putting the mind completely, totally, away without any interference… as if you are not a mind at all. You are just heart and heart. Your every fiber is simply vibrating with love, openness, vulnerability. The devotee and the master start melting into each other.
The disciple once in a while gets a glimpse, but the devotee becomes totally one with the master. The disciple can fall back, can get into the mind again. The devotee has broken the bridge that leads to the mind. He cannot go back; the past is finished. He has become part and parcel of the master’s energy.
This is one context. And you are mixing it with another context. As far as the society, the outside world, the religions, the governments are concerned, you have to be very sharp and very intelligent; otherwise they will enslave you. They will exploit you. They have been doing it for centuries. They have not allowed millions of people to go beyond the age of thirteen as far as the mind is concerned. The person may be seventy years old; he has the mind of a thirteen-year-old child. This is what I mean by retardedness.
Society does not want you to grow up; it simply wants you to grow old. It wants you to function as a machine, a robot – absolutely obedient, no argument, no question. It needs you only to be efficient. To the society you are not an individual to be respected but only a mechanism to be used, and there is no other insult, no other humiliation more ugly than using people as machines, as things.
Against the society, use the mind. Mind is a perfect means to keep you independent, to keep you alert. It is a good fighter, but it is not a lover. So when there is need to fight, when there is need to stand up for your liberty, use the mind; heart will not be of any use. Heart knows no way to fight.
But the context is totally different, and I call that man conscious who can use his capacities in their right context and does not get mixed up. Eyes are for seeing – you cannot hear from them. And ears are for hearing – you cannot see from them. So use them whenever the need is there, and don’t let them come in each other’s way.
Mind is a beautiful instrument. It has to be sharpened, but remember its limitations. It should remain a servant to the heart. The moment it becomes the master, the heart simply dies. In slavery, the heart cannot exist.
So there is no contradiction in what I have said – just two different contexts. And your consciousness is different from both, so a conscious person can use his heart when needed, can use his mind when needed, can put both to silence when he wants to be absolutely in a state of nirvana, where neither the mind is needed nor the heart. When he wants simply to be himself, both are not needed.
If you are the master of your instruments, there is no problem. If you have a flute and I ask you, “Can you stop playing on it for a few moments – I want to talk to you,” and you say, “I cannot do it; the flute won’t stop,” what will be thought about you? You are insane. The flute won’t stop? So you are not playing the flute, the flute is playing you. When you want to stop the mind, just say, “Stop” – it has to stop. If it moves even a little bit, that means something has to be done urgently. This is dangerous: the servant is trying to be the master. The servant should be the servant, and the master should be the master. And beyond both is your being which is neither servant nor master… which simply is. That ‘isness’ is the goal of all meditations.
Taken from The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 37
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