The other night I heard you say there is no reincarnation, no soul, so spirit after death, only pure consciousness, pure silence.
Is it then so, that part of us, of our own consciousness, is aware of that endless silence, of being part of the whole?
All your questions arise out of your mind, and I am trying to take you beyond the mind. Beyond the mind there is no question, there is nobody to ask. But if you start thinking about meditation, that is not meditation. If you start thinking, “What happens when awareness witnesses the wholeness of existence?” – if you start thinking, you are moving inside the mind in a circle, in a vicious circle, you may find some answer, but that answer is not the truth.
You have to go beyond thinking, beyond questioning.
Just be silent and you will know.
You are not, only the universe is.
You are just a ripple in the river, arisen in a certain moment and dissolved back again, but not for a single moment separate from the river. This whole existence is nothing but a vast ocean in which all kinds of ripples, tidal waves, arise and disappear, and the ocean remains.
That which remains is your authentic reality. That which comes and goes is just a dream, or just a phenomenal, illusory reality. For a moment the tidal wave can think, “I am separate from the ocean.”
But you know, however the wave may be tidal, it is not separate from the ocean. Even when it is thinking it is separate – and it looks separate – deep down it is part of the ocean.
I am taking you deep down into the ocean. In that ocean nobody is separate. Suddenly a tremendous joy arises that you are eternal, that you are oceanic, that you have always been and you will always be… but not those small personalities that you have taken again and again. This time you stop taking personalities and simply become the whole.
The whole feels more cozy than nothingness, but they are simply two ways of saying the same thing. The whole appears cozy, it seems you are becoming more than you were before. And nothing seems dangerous – you are becoming even less than you were before. You were at least something, now you are becoming nothing. But becoming whole, you have to become nothing. Becoming part of this vast existence, you have to relax the separateness, the individuality.
The questioner goes on asking:
Does the dewdrop still feel or experience some aliveness inside, when first it melts into the ocean?
The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels for the first time a vast life. Only the boundaries that were making it a small dewdrop have disappeared. The dewdrop is still there, but it is no longer a dewdrop, it has become the ocean.
I have told you about Kabir, one of the most important mystics of the East….
When he became enlightened he wrote down a small statement: “The dewdrop has disappeared into the ocean – Bund samani samund mein.” But before dying, he called his son Kamal, and told him, “Please correct it. It was my first experience, now I know better. The dewdrop has not entered into the ocean; on the contrary, the ocean has entered into the dewdrop. So write it down that the ocean has entered into the dewdrop.”
Both mean the same, but one is the experience of the beginner. The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels like you are going into a vast nothingness. But once you have reached into that vastness, when you are no more, suddenly that vastness is you. There will be no self, no sense of I, but a sense of totality, of wholeness.
It is difficult to bring it into language. That difficulty is shown in Kabir’s changing the statement. In fact, no statement is right. Whether you say the dewdrop has entered into the ocean, or you say the ocean has entered into the dewdrop, you are still talking of two things: the dewdrop and the ocean.
If I had been present there, I would have said, “It is better to cancel both. Whatever has happened has happened, nothing can be said about it. One thing is certain, there is no more separation. So what has entered into what does not matter. There have been two, now there are not two.”
From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #7
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Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Only the Universe Is.