I used to listen to you without understanding and feel perfectly blissful – And I’ve heard you say that this is right listening. Lately I’ve had an intense desire to understand what you say. At first I was sad; it seemed I had taken a wrong turn. But it feels good: my head tingles and feels intensely alive. Is there anything I can do other than enjoy it?
There is no need to do anything else. If you are enjoying it, you have heard me from the heart. It is an overflowing with love, an understanding beyond words. You have not tried to understand; you have never used the mind. It is good, perfectly good – that’s how the journey should begin.
When the heart is completely full of joy, it starts overflowing in all directions; the mind is not kept apart. That’s what is happening: you suddenly started listening with an effort to understand, and you feel your head is full of a strange tingling. That means something is overflowing from the heart, because that tingle cannot be possible by understanding only words. And if you are feeling joyful, enjoying it, then there is no problem: it is simply the heart and mind are getting into tune; their conflict is dissolving, their antagonism is disappearing. Soon they will be one thing.
Then the very hearing is both – it reaches to your heart as a vibe, a thrill, and to the mind as an understanding – and both are connected with you. The problem is only when the head starts the journey. It is a miser. In the first place it cannot understand many things but it pretends to understand them, so it creates a falsity. And it cannot give anything to the heart; it is not even aware of the heart. It does not know giving, it knows only getting; it is greedy.
You will be surprised to know that the English word ‘greed’ comes from a Sanskrit word. In Sanskrit the vulture is called gridha. Gridha and greed come from the same root. The mind is a vulture. It is significant to understand because the vulture is always present if there is a corpse, if somebody is dead.
If you go to Bombay, the Parsee cemetery is something to see. It is one of the most beautiful places, exactly in the middle of Bombay. Parsees exist only in Bombay. Originally they were Persians and from Persian has come the Hindi word parsee. Because they were not willing to be converted to Mohammedanism, they escaped and landed in Bombay. Since then their whole existence in the world has been within the boundaries of Bombay, because the whole of Persia became Mohammedan – forcibly.
When they had first come, the place they chose for their cemetery was outside Bombay. But all Bombay has been growing tremendously and now it is exactly in the middle – a thick forest. The Parsee cemetery has something strange: it has a very big well, and on the top of the well there are iron rods. They put the corpse on the rods so that it cannot fall into the well. Then the vultures eat the corpse, and only the bones fall into the well. The well is full of bones – it is a very big well. And on all the trees you will find thousands of vultures sitting, waiting for somebody to die. They live only on the dead.
Strange it is that the mind also lives on something dead, not on anything living. When the mind starts the journey it thinks it is trying to understand the meaning, but it really kills the meaning. All that was alive in those words is left out; only the dead part is absorbed. That’s what I mean when I say someone is intellectual. That means he has collected many dead bones, but he has not tasted life at all. He is full of words, but he himself gives meaning to them; he does not take meaning from them, so the whole journey goes wrong.
If one starts from the mind, one remains confined to the mind. He collects words, becomes a scholar, an intellectual, but it is not intelligence. His first step, to begin with the mind, is unintelligent.
I have never come up against any intelligent intellectual. That looks absurd because ordinarily we think intellectuals are intelligent people, but that is not true. Intellectuals live only on dead words. Intelligence cannot do that. Intelligence drops the word – that is the corpse – and just takes the living vibe in it.
So it is good to start the journey from the heart. The intelligent man’s way is the way of the heart, because the heart is not interested in words; it is interested only in the juice that comes in the containers of the words. It does not collect containers; it simply drinks the juice and throws away the container. The mind does just the opposite: it throws away the juice and collects the containers. Containers look beautiful, and a great collection of containers makes a man a great intellectual giant.
If you start the journey from the head you will go on round and round and round inside the head. Your head will become swollen; you will become more egoistic.
Hasya was asking me, “Why don’t we invite intellectuals, authors, writers, professors to understand you?” This is the problem: they cannot understand. It is good if they read my books; they may be able to collect some words, some containers, but to be in my presence they will feel awkward, because my whole emphasis is on the juice, not on the containers. I am trying hard so that you throw away the container and you simply take the juice.
The heart knows how to become drunk, and the heart knows how to give, how to share. It is willing to share even with the mind. And when the heart shares with the mind then there is a difference because the heart has no containers; it can share only the juice. If the mind is willing to take, it will have to take the juice. That’s why you are feeling the tingling sensation. Soon the heart will also fill the mind with the same juice. It will fill your whole body with the same tingling sensation. It is a dance of each cell in your being.
So what is happening is perfectly good – and it is happening; you are not doing. Doing is always suspicious; happening is never suspicious. So whenever something is happening, go with it – go with it totally, with no reservations at all, and you will always be getting into deeper benediction, into deeper blessings.
Taken from The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #2
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