When you said that if we don’t achieve total consciousness in this life, we will have to start from the very beginning again, and go through the whole evolution of mankind one more time, I was very touched. Is it possible that we will totally lose these few glimpses of light, beauty and consciousness that we’ve got through being sannyasins?
Antar Ashiko, it is a very complicated question. Whatever you achieve in this life will remain with you, but it has to be an achievement not just a glimpse. And there is a great difference between an achievement and a glimpse. You can see the Himalayan peaks from thousands of miles away — it is a glimpse; but to reach those peaks will be an achievement.
A glimpse helps you to move onward, towards achievement; but unless something becomes a crystallized experience in your life, it is going to be lost — you will have to start from the very beginning.
There will be a little difference, and that will be that in your unconscious a shadow of your past life, a faraway echo — as if you have seen something — will remain. And when you again get the glimpse you may feel that this is not new, I have known it before. But otherwise, only crystallized achievements go with you, consciously, into the other life… knowingly, not just a dark shadow, a faraway echo in the unconscious, but consciously knowing that these Himalayan peaks exist, and you have been on those peaks. There will be no doubt about it, no wavering about it, no question about it.
You are asking, “Is it possible that we will totally lose these few glimpses of light, beauty, and consciousness that we have got through being sannyasins?” Such glimpses you have got in many lives before too, and you have lost them. They never became part of your being; they remained only beautiful memories. But the memories are not achievements. It is as if you have seen something in a dream — perhaps it may be true, perhaps it may not be true.
So if you feel that there is something happening now, make every effort that it does not remain only a glimpse but becomes an actual experience, becomes part of your being. Only then can it go with you into another life.
It is possible to take all your experiences with you into another life, and never to begin from scratch but always to begin where you had left off in the past life. But be clear that just a glimpse is very fragile, just a glimpse is very superficial. Howsoever touching it may be in the moment, even tomorrow you may start doubting whether it really happened or you imagined it. And the life after this life is a faraway journey.
Glimpses are simply incentives to move towards crystallization. Make it an experience so deep that it becomes part of you, and there is no way to forget it or to lose it. Don’t remain satisfied with glimpses. Enjoy them, but use them only as an indicator towards greater things to happen.
To see something from far away is one thing, and to become that thing is totally another.
A glimpse of love is just like a breeze that passes within seconds; a glimpse of silence is just like the fragrance of a rose flower that you felt for a moment, and now you don’t know where it has gone.
When I say, “Crystallize your experience,” I mean it is not enough to have beautiful glimpses. It is good, but not good enough. You should become the fragrance of the rose itself; the glimpse was only an arrow pointing towards the possibility — it did its work, but you remain there. In the past life also, many times you have come across many beautiful experiences and right now you don’t know even that there have been past lives. Only once in a while you see somebody, and you have a very strange feeling, almost weird, as if you have seen this man before — and certainly not in this life. You come to a place, and suddenly you are startled, as if you had come to this place before too — although certainly not in this life. Everything seems to be known, but has been dormant in your unconscious.
Life has a mechanism that whenever a person dies, unless he is enlightened, he becomes almost unconscious; he goes into a coma before death, actual death, happens. So he knows nothing about the death, and he remains in a state of coma till he is born again. All those nine months in the mother’s womb are a state of coma; the child is fast asleep twenty-four hours a day for nine months.
It rarely happens that somebody dies consciously. It happens only to great meditators, who know well the path death will be coming on because in their meditations they have traveled on the path again and again — it is the same path. As they go deep in their meditation the body is left far away, mind is left far away; the heart is left far away; only a beautiful silence — fully alert and conscious — remains.
The same happens when you die. If you have been meditating, then death is not a new experience. You will be surprised that in your meditation you have been dying every day, and you have been coming back to life every day. Such a person dies very consciously, so he knows what death is — and such a person remains conscious in the mother’s womb. He is also born consciously. From his very first moment on the earth, he knows all that has passed before in the past life, and he remembers it.
I have come across many children…. And this happens most particularly in India, because outside India — where Christianity is prominent or Judaism is prominent or Mohammedanism is prominent — they have conditioned the mind that there is only one life. They don’t know anything about meditation. They have substituted meditation with prayer, and prayer is praising a fictitious god; it is very childish.
Meditation needs no god — you are enough. You are a reality, and you explore your reality to the deepest core.
In India all the religions are agreed on one point; they differ in their philosophies, they differ on every other thing, but on one thing they are all agreed — that life is a continuity; death comes millions of times. Death is only a change of the body, a change of the house, and this process goes on—unless you become totally enlightened. Then there is no need to enter another womb, because life was just a school, a training; you have completed it. Your enlightenment is the culmination of your education about existence. Now you need not enter into another body. You can enter into the womb of the universe itself — you are prepared for it.
So whenever you are having glimpses, don’t be satisfied with them. Your glimpses should create great discontent in you, not content. They should create a longing that what is seen far away you would like to come closer, and closer, and closer. You don’t want just to see it, even from closeness; you want to become it.
You can become love, you can become silence, you can become joy, you can become all these experiences: beauty, light, consciousness. These are not things that you cannot become; they are your potentials. So take every glimpse to its ultimate end. That’s what I call crystallization.
Once it is crystallized, once you have known yourself to be love, yourself to be light, yourself to be consciousness, then there is no problem of forgetting it. Then these experiences will go with you. And in your future life you will be growing further ahead, from consciousness to super-consciousness; you will be going beyond these experiences. But if you remain satisfied with your glimpses, there is every danger they will be erased. Death is such a shock and such a surgery and such a long coma that when you wake up, you will have forgotten all those glimpses.
“Someone stole my bike,” complained a priest to his minister friend.
“Bring up the Ten Commandments in your sermon tomorrow and as soon as you mention, ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ look around in your congregation; you will find the guilty party. Invite him to come forward. Tell him that this is the way to confess, and this is the way to get the forgiveness of God,” the minister said confidently.
The next day the priest visited the minister and happily reported that he had found his bike. “Yes”, he went on, “when I came to ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ I remembered where I had left it.”
From The Golden Future, Discourse #2
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