We hear what you say, but we in the West keep the information in our heads. How can we get out of our heads? What methods can we use, and can will-power help us?
No. Will-power will not help you. Will-power is not a power at all, because will depends on the ego – a very tiny phenomenon, it cannot create much power. When you are will-less, then you are powerful – because then you are one with the whole.
Deep down, will-power is a sort of impotency. To hide the fact that we are impotent, we create will. We create the opposite to deceive ourselves and others.
Persons who feel they are foolish try to show that they are wise. They are constantly aware that they are foolish, so they do everything to look wise. Persons who are ugly or feel they are ugly always try to beautify themselves – even a painted beauty, just a face, a mask. People who are weak always try to look strong. The opposite is created; that is the only way to hide the reality within.
A Hitler is a weakling. That’s why he creates so much will-power around him, just to hide the fact. A person who is really strong will be unaware that he is strong. Strength will be flowing, it will be there, but he will not even be conscious of it.
Says Lao Tzu: A man of real virtue never knows that he is virtuous. A man who is really moral is never aware that he is moral. But a man who is aware that he is moral has immorality hidden deep down. A man who thinks he is good, saintly, a sage, is a sinner – and he knows it! And just to hide the fact he creates the opposite.
Will-power is not really power but weakness. A really powerful man has no will of his own – the whole is his will. He floats like a white cloud, one with existence, in tune with it. Your will will always create conflict. It will shrink you, make you an island, and then the struggle starts.
A will-less person will be naturally headless. And remember, you cannot get out of your head. You can cut it – and that is easier. Getting out of it is almost impossible, because even this concept of getting out is part of it. The head is a mess, it is a chaos. You think, and you also think against thinking. The thinking that is against thinking is also thinking. You are not moving out of it. You can condemn your thoughts, but this condemning is again a thought. Nothing has been achieved, you are moving in a vicious circle. You can go on moving, but you will not be out.
So, what to do? How to get out of the head?
Only one thing is possible: don’t create any fight inside and don’t create any effort to come out, because every effort will be self-suicidal. What can be done then? Simply watch. Be in and watch.
Don’t try to get out – be in and watch.
If you can watch, in those moments of watchfulness, there will be no head. Suddenly you will be beyond. Not out – beyond. Suddenly you will be hovering beyond yourself.
There is one Zen story – very absurd, as all Zen stories are. But they have to be absurd because life is such; they depict life as it is.
One Zen master used to ask his disciples: Some time ago, I put a goose in a bottle. Now the goose has grown, and the neck of the bottle is very small so the goose cannot come out. The bottle is very precious and I don’t want to break it, so now there is a crisis. If the goose is not allowed out, she will die. I can break the bottle and the goose will be out, but I don’t want to break the bottle – the bottle is precious. I don’t want to kill the goose either. So what would you do?
This is the problem! The goose is in the head and the neck is very narrow. You can break the head, but it is precious. Or you can let the goose die, but that too cannot be allowed – because you are the goose.
That old Zen master continued asking his disciples, and beating them, and saying to them: Find out a way because there is no time. And only once did he allow an answer. One disciple said: The goose is out! Many answers were tried, but he would always beat the person and say no. Someone would suggest doing something with the bottle, but again the master would say: The bottle will be broken, or something will go wrong, and that cannot be allowed. Or somebody would say: Let the goose die if the bottle is so precious. These were the only two ways; there was no other way. and the master wouldn’t give any other clue. But to this disciple he bowed down and touched his feet and said: He is right – the goose is out! It has never been in.
You are out! You have NEVER been in. The feeling that you are in is just a false conception.
So there is no real problem of how to bring you out of your head. Just watch. When you watch, what happens? Just close your eyes and watch the thoughts. What happens? Thoughts are there, in, but you are not in. The watcher is always beyond. The watcher is always standing on the hill. Everything moves around and around, and the watcher is beyond.
The watcher can never be the in, can never be the insider – he is always out. Watching means to be out. You may call it witnessing, awareness, mindfulness, or whatsoever you choose to call it, but the secret is – watch!
So whenever you feel the head is too much, just sit under a tree and watch, and don’t try to come out. Who will come out? No one has been in. The whole effort is futile, because if you have never been in then how can you come out? You may go on trying and trying and getting involved in it, you may get mad but you will never be out.
Once you know that in a moment of watchfulness you are beyond, transcending – you are out. And from that moment you will be headless. The head belongs to the body, not to YOU.
The head is part of the body, it belongs to the body, it has a function in the body, it is beautiful, it is good. The bottle is precious, and if you know the way, the secrets of it, it can be used. When I am talking to you, what am I doing? Using the bottle. When Buddha is preaching, what is he doing? – using the bottle. The bottle is really precious, worth preserving. But this is no way to preserve it – to get into it and get caught into it, and then make efforts to come out. The whole life becomes chaos.
Once you know that watching you are out, you become headless. Then you move on this earth without any head. What a beautiful phenomenon, a man moving without a head! That’s what I mean when I say become a white cloud – a headless phenomenon.
You cannot even imagine how much silence can descend upon you when the head is not there. Your physical head will be there, but the involvement, the obsession, is not there.
The head is not a problem! It is beautiful, a wonderful device, the greatest computer yet invented, such a complex, such an efficient mechanism. It is beautiful. It can be used, you can enjoy using it.
But from where have you got the idea that you are in it? It seems to be just a false teaching. You may not be aware that in old Japan, and still old people in Japan, if you ask them: Where do you think from? they will point to their belly, because in Japan it was taught that the belly is the center of thinking. So when for the first time Europeans reached Japan, they couldn’t believe that a whole country thinks that the head is in the belly not in the head.
This is just a Western attitude that you are in the head. In old Japan thinking from the belly really worked, but now they are shifting from the belly to the head. There have been other traditions that have thought from other parts of the body. Lao Tzu says you think from the soles of your feet. So there are techniques in Taoist yoga to get out of the soles of your feet – because there the thinking is going on.
What is the reality? The reality is: you are beyond. But you can get attached to any part of the body – the head is a Western obsession, the belly was the Eastern obsession. You must have heard about D.H. Lawrence. He used to think that one thinks from the sex center, that that is the real thinking center, nowhere else.
And all are equal – equally wrong or equally right. There is nothing to choose because the witness is beyond. It is all around the body and beyond the body. You can get attached to any part of the body and start thinking that this is the part.
There is no need to come out because you have never been in. The goose is out – already out!
Watch…and when you watch you have to remember that while watching, don’t judge. If you judge, watching is lost. While watching, don’t evaluate. If you evaluate, watching is lost. While watching, don’t comment. If you comment, you have missed the point.
While watching just watch…a river flowing, the stream of consciousness flowing, atomic thoughts floating like bubbles, and you sitting on the bank watching. The stream goes on and on and on. You don’t say this is good, you don’t say this is bad, and you don’t say this should not have been, and you don’t say this should have been. You don’t say anything – you simply watch. You are not asked to comment. You are not a judge – just a watcher.
Then see what happens. Watching the river, suddenly you will be beyond…and the goose will be out. And once you know this, that you are out, you can remain out. And then you can move on this earth without a head.
So, this is the way to cut the head. Everybody is interested in cutting others’ heads – that won’t help. You have already done that too much. Cut your own. To be headless is to be in deep meditation.
From My Way: The Way of the White Clouds, Chapter Three