You have often said that no improvement is needed; no goal is there to be achieved. And you have also spoken about how, in the buddhafield, a person can be helped by those who are further along the path who can help those who are a few steps behind them. Are there different stages of spiritual growth? And if so, can you talk to us about them, and how people in these different stages can be helpful to each other?
In one sense, it is an indivisible reality. Because what it is on the first step, so it is on the last step. It is pure witnessing. But on the first step, you are witnessing only the activities of the body. On the second step, you are witnessing the activities of the mind. On the third step, you are witnessing the activities of the heart. And on the fourth, you are simply witnessing your witnessing itself.
So if you look at witnessing, it is just the same reality — indivisible. But if you look at the objects of witnessing, then you can divide it into steps. The person who is witnessing only his bodily activities can be immensely helped by the person who has passed that stage and is witnessing his mind, thoughts, dreams, imaginations — all the activities that mind is capable of. The person who is on the third stage can help both — the first stage person and the second stage person, because now he is witnessing very subtle moods, feelings, emotions — very fine, very subtle, very slippery. And the person who has come to the fourth and the last stage can help all the three.
The help is a kind of encouragement. First he can explain to you that whatever hindrances you are feeling are natural. He has experienced them himself, so don’t be worried. Go on working on them, however hard they look. They may be rocks, and your witnessing may be as soft as water, but in the long run, the water wins and the rock simply disappears into sand. At the first glance it seems that there is no way for the water to win. How can it win over the rock? But finally, that’s what happens. Just somebody who has seen it happen has to help you, that says “Don’t be discouraged by the rock and its strength. It is nothing before the water.”
Lao Tzu used to call his way the watercourse way — a beautiful name, so soft, so liquid, no rigidity. You can put it into any form. It is always ready, gives no resistance. If you put it in a bottle, it takes the shape of the bottle. If you put it into a jar, it takes the shape of the jar, with no resistance at all. Such a nonresistant element finally destroys the rock. But somebody has to say to you, “I have faced the same situation. Don’t be discouraged. The rock will disappear, will have to disappear. That is the way of existence.”
So as far as objects are concerned, you can divide the way into three steps: the body, the mind, the heart. The fourth happens on its own accord. Nobody can do it. If you can fulfill three steps totally and completely, suddenly there is a quantum leap. You find yourself at the very center of your being. The seer is there, but there is nothing to see. The awareness is there, but there is nothing to be aware of when awareness has nothing to be aware of, it turn upon itself. It becomes its own object. And this is what we call realization. You have known thousands of things; for the first time, you know your knowing. You have been conscious of many things; for the first time you become conscious of consciousness itself. You have arrived home.
So remember, whenever I say that it is indivisible, I mean witnessing. Whenever I say that people can be more advanced, less advanced, I mean that their objects of witnessing can be gross, can be subtle, can be very subtle — or, there may be nothing as an object. That is the moment of revolution; and that is the only revolution there is. It opens the doors of all the mysteries of existence. It allows you to feel deathlessness, eternity. It gives you the taste of pure existence. Yes, it is a taste — that’s why there is no way to say it, no way to explain it — one can only experience.
[NOTE: This interview is published in the book: The Last Testament, Volume 1, as Chapter 19.]
Question asked by Ma Yoga Pratima, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon
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