The light that you seek is within you. So the search is going to be an inward search. It is not a journey to some goal in the outer space; it is a journey in the inner space. You have to reach your core. That which you are seeking is already within you. You just have to peel the onion: layers and layers of ignorance are there. The diamond is hidden in the mud; the diamond is not to be created. The diamond is already there — only the layers of mud have to be removed.
This is very basic to understand: the treasure is already there. Maybe you don’t have the key. The key has to be found, but not the treasure. This is basic, very radical, because the whole effort will depend on this understanding. If the treasure has to be created then it is going to be a very long process; and nobody can be certain whether it can be created or not. Only the key has to be found. The treasure is there, just nearby. A few layers of locks have to be removed.
That’s why the search for truth is negative. It is not a positive search. You are not to add something to your being; rather you have to delete something. You have to cut something from you. The search for truth is surgical. It is not medical; it is surgical. Nothing is to be added to you; rather on the contrary, something has to be removed from you, negated.
Hence, the method of the Upanishads: neti, neti. The meaning of neti, neti is: go on negating until you reach to the negator; go on negating until there is not any possibility to negate, only you are left, you in your core, in your consciousness which cannot be negated — because who will negate it? So go on negating, “I am neither this nor that.” Go on. “Neti, neti….” Then a point comes when only you are, the negator; there is nothing else to cut anymore, the surgery is over; you have come to the treasure.
If this is understood rightly, then the burden is not very heavy; the search is very light. You can move easily, knowing well all the time on the way that the treasure may be forgotten, but it is not lost. You may not be able to know where exactly it is, but it is within you. You can rest assured; there is no uncertainty about it. In fact even if you want to lose it you cannot lose it, because it is your very being. It is not something external to you; it is intrinsic.
People come to me and they say, “we are in search of God.’ I ask them, “Where have you lost him? Why are you seeking? Have you lost him somewhere? If you have lost him somewhere, then tell me where you have lost him; because only there will you be able to find him.” They say, “No, we have not lost him.” Then why are you seeking? Then just close your eyes. Maybe because of the search you cannot find him. Maybe you are much too concerned with seeking; you have not looked at your own inner being: that the king of kings is sitting there already, waiting for you to come home. And you are a great seeker so you are going to Mecca and Medina, Kashi, and Kailash. You are a great seeker. You are going all over the world, except one place — where you are. The seeker is the sought… when one is quiet and still.
Nothing new is achieved. One simply starts understanding that looking out was the whole point of missing. Looking in, it is there. It has always been there. There has never been a single moment when it was not there — and there will never be a single moment — because God is not external, truth is not external to you: it is you glorified; it is you in your total splendor; it is you in your absolute purity.
Excerpt from Yoga: A New Direction (previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.5), Discourse #5
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