When I dropped my job as a political reporter in order to come to Poona, some of my friends who are engaged in the struggle against atomic power, destruction of the environment, the dismantling of democratic freedoms, etcetera, called me an escapist.
Sometimes I wonder if they are right. Are they?
Satyananda, they are right, but they are right in a totally different sense of which they are not aware.
One can escape from reality, one can also escape to reality.
And the second is the case. When you move into meditation or into sannyas it is escaping to reality, not from reality. Because the most real thing in you is your own center. The farther away you are from your center, the farther away you are from reality.
And the struggle that they are continuing against atomic power, destruction of the environment, the dismantling of democratic freedoms, etcetera is not going to succeed in their way – it is not possible to succeed that way.
We are not struggling against anything like that here, because we are cutting the very roots. They are struggling only against the leaves. From where does atomic power come? Who has created it, and why? From where does war come, and why? Who has destroyed the environment, and why? From where does all this destructiveness come?
Why is there no democracy in the world? Why is there no individual freedom in the world? Who has done all this? Do you think you can make some party, some class, some section of the society, responsible for it? Then you will be utterly wrong.
It is the human mind that is responsible. The way the human mind has existed up to now is somehow wrong. The human mind has not yet learned how to be creative, hence there is destruction. And there will be destruction, unless we change the very foundation of the human mind.
Struggling against war is not going to help, because that is again another war. Have you not seen the pacifists and their processions, and how they howl and scream and how angry they are? And they are pacifists. And every pacifist procession ends in destruction: they start looting the shops and burning the buses and throwing stones at the police. And they had come to propagate peace.
This is an old stupidity. All wars are fought in the name of peace, all the wars have always been fought in the name of peace. Can’t you see he point? Man wants to fight, any excuse will do. And peace is a beautiful excuse.
All politicians talk about peace and prepare for war. And if you ask them why, they will say “how can we protect peace? We have to be strong, otherwise peace will be destroyed. So we have to prepare for war in order to have a peaceful world.” And when the preparation has gone on for long then you have to do something, because otherwise the preparation becomes heavy.
For example, a person has been continuously exercising and preparing himself, just in order to be ready to fight. Then one day he is ready. Now he hankers to fight; now his whole preparation forces him to fight. And he was not exercising alone: the neighbor was also going to the gym, and also getting muscular, and also becoming a Muhammad Ali. And both walk before each other’s house in a very aggressive way, and both are afraid of each other. And then finally somebody has to begin to fight.
Machiavelli said the best way to defend is to be offensive, the best means of defense is to be offensive. Then somebody has to start it, because it becomes heavy. It becomes a tension, and the tension has to be released.
Now, when you go on piling up arms and bombs, how long can you go on piling them up? One day you have to start selling them; it is dangerous to go on accumulating them. Then, somewhere or other, there has to be a war: it becomes an economic necessity.
Big world wars are fought once in a while, and between two big wars small wars go on – sometimes in Israel, sometimes in Korea, sometimes in Vietnam, sometimes Bangladesh, Kashmir… they go on. Because the great powers are creating bombs and the Pakistanis will fight; they will become the market. Then the Israelis and the Arabs will fight, and they will become the market.
Just see the whole point. If Israel gets arms from America, then the Arabs will get arms from Russia: both need a market. If India gets arms from Russia, then Pakistan gets arms from America: they both are in need. And they are improving their arms every day – so what to do with out-of-date arms? They are useless. You can destroy them, dump them in the ocean, but then all that you have put into them is lost.
Sell them to backward countries. For them they are great things. For Russia and America they are out of date, useless, but for India and Pakistan they are just the last word. They are primitive as far as American technology and Russian technology are concerned; they are of no use. If Russia and America go to war they will not be of any use; there is no point in keeping them.
So this whole game continues. We go on talking of peace, and we go on creating war.
We have to understand the human mind; the human mind has to be changed from the roots. If the human mind remains ambitious then there is no possibility of a world without war: ambition is war. If the human mind remains sectarian – Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan – there is no possibility of any peace. Because those sects will divide people, and any division is the beginning of war.
Satyananda, you have not escaped from reality, you have escaped to reality. We are not talking about peace; there is no point in talking about it. We are creating the foundation of it. We are not pacifists and we are not marching on the streets and going on a long walk – to the capital – a pacifist procession with slogans and shouting. We are not doing all that nonsense, it is pointless! It simply helps a few people to throw out and cathart their destructiveness, that’s all. They enjoy it.
I know those people, they are always in every protest march. I lived in Jabalpur for many years, and I was watching every kind of thing that went around. So whenever there was a protest march or anything, I would go and watch. I was surprised: I found one man in all protest marches, all kinds – communist, socialist, jansanghi, hinduites, arya samajis, anybody! He was always there. I was puzzled: he is congressee, he is a communist, he is a socialist, he is a jansanghi….
One day I caught hold of him and I asked him, “You puzzle me very much. I see you in every procession, every protest, and you shout the best!”
He said, “I am also puzzled, because I see you always watching, and you never participate! How do you manage it? And I was afraid that one day or other you were going to ask me,” he said, “because you see me in every protest. I enjoy shouting. I don’t care for whom I am shouting or against whom I am shouting. I enjoy shouting! It is such good exercise, and I feel so thrilled and excited, and it always gives me a good appetite. And it brings some excitement; otherwise life is a boredom.” […]
We are not doing anything like that here. So those who are doing such things will think that this is an escape from reality, because they think what they are doing is reality. It is not.
And naturally, sitting silently here – meditating, dancing, with closed eyes doing vipassana, watching, being alert – certainly, for them it is an escape. It is an escape, but in a different sense.
You are going, Satyananda, to the very root of all diseases. And we are trying to cut that very root. We are trying to create a new kind of human being – without ego, without ambition, without any desire to succeed in the world. We are trying to create a human being who wants to dance, sing, love, who wants to celebrate life. We are trying to create a creative human mind.
And remember, only a no-mind is a creative mind. When the so-called mind disappears and there is just pure emptiness, virgin emptiness, out of that virgin emptiness arises creativity. A thousand and one flowers bloom in that emptiness.
That is the garden Hakim Sanai is talking about: the hadiqa, the garden. We are trying to create that garden. We will make our bodies a compost, we will make our minds a compost, so that the golden flower can bloom in us.
This is not an escape from reality, this is escaping into reality.
From Unio Mystica, V.1, Chapter Two
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