It is said again and again that being aware is enough for transformation. How does it work?
It is a significant question, because if you are aware of your cancer, the cancer will not be cured by just being aware of it – that is true. But as far as psychological transformations are concerned, the moment you are aware of them they disappear – because they do not exist as realities, they exist only as illusions.
You have seen a ghost standing in the dark: now you bring light, and you say there is nobody. Just the shape of the tree was giving you the false impression that somebody was standing there. The ghost has disappeared, because in the first place the ghost was not there.
Awareness helps, brings transformation, because the illusions that you are suffering from are not realities. If you become aware of a rock, the rock is not going to disappear. But if you become aware of the ego, the ego is going to disappear, because the ego is not a reality.
If you become aware, fear is going to disappear, because fear is not a reality. If you become aware, death is going to disappear, because death is a lie, it is not a reality.
Awareness functions in two ways. One: if something is real and you become aware of it, it becomes tremendously beautiful, it becomes psychedelic, it becomes very colorful. If it is unreal, it disappears. If it is real, it becomes more real; if it is unreal, it becomes absolutely unreal.
Awareness is a light. If you bring light into the dark room, darkness will disappear, but the paintings on the wall will appear. When the room was dark, the paintings were not there; although they were there, you could not have seen them – for you they were not there and darkness was there. When you bring light, darkness is there no more and the paintings have appeared.
Something disappears when you become aware, and something appears. Death disappears, deathlessness appears. The ego disappears, egolessness appears. You disappear as a separate entity: God appears. God means, “I am no longer separate.”
“Was you ever in love, Dusty?” asked Walker Long of old Dusty Rhodes one day as they were picking up and putting them down on a railroad right-of-way.
“Yeah, once when I was a young squirt, I was in love,” answered old Dusty.
“Well, you never did get married, did you?” pursued Walker Long.
“Nope, I never did marry,” vouchsafed old Dusty.
“How did that happen?”
“Well, it was like this. The gal I was in love with wouldn’t marry me when I was drunk, and I wouldn’t marry her when I was sober.”
Awareness has its own ways. If you are aware, you will not be able to do many things you have been doing up till now, and you will be able to do many things you have never thought of doing before. If you are aware, you cannot be angry, because anger can exist only in a state of unawareness: that is a prerequisite for anger to exist.
If you are aware, anger is impossible and compassion becomes a natural outcome: the same energy that was becoming anger becomes compassion. If you are aware, sex disappears and love arises: the same energy that was becoming sexuality through unawareness takes on a new manifestation of love through awareness.
As far as psychological transformation is concerned, awareness is enough, analysis is not needed.
That is the difference between Eastern and Western psychology: Western psychology is too concerned with analysis. In the East, for five thousand years psychology has existed; it is the most ancient science in the East. But its concern is totally different; it is not at all interested in analyzing, the whole thing seems to be unnecessary.
And now Western psychology is also becoming aware of the fact that analysis leads nowhere. Have you ever come across a person who is totally analyzed? Even Sigmund Freud was not. Nobody can be totally analyzed. You can analyze one dream, but another day another dream arises. You can go on analyzing – people go to the analyst for years, but dreams don’t disappear, they go on coming; analysis does not make them disappear.
But in the East we know the art of making them disappear. So who bothers? It is as if you see a ghost in the dark – there is no ghost, just the form of the tree – and you start analyzing. You never come close to the tree, you never bring light; you start analyzing the form from far away. You can go on analyzing: nothing is going to happen out of that analysis.
Eastern psychology says: Light a candle, bring the candle to the place, and first see whether the ghost exists at all. If the ghost does not exist, then why bother? Why many, many years of analysis? The analyzed goes on pouring out rubbish, and the analyst goes on dissecting, analyzing, labeling and categorizing the rubbish. Much work goes on, and all futile, much ado about nothing.
Western psychology is based on analysis, Eastern psychology is based on awareness.
Just watch. There is no need to analyze. Become more and more intensely alert. And if you are aware of a problem, half the problem is already solved just by becoming aware of it. Just a slight awareness of the problem, and half the problem is already solved, because you have taken some energy out of it: that energy has become awareness. Become more aware, and the problem becomes dissolved.
Chunk by chunk, the problem disappears as you become aware, because you are pulling back energy which you had been pouring into the problem – that was creating the problem. You are taking your energy back, you are not cooperating any more. You were the creator of the problem: you have taken your energy back.
When all energy has been taken back, a moment comes when the problem flops. First become aware of a problem and then become more and more alert. Nothing else is needed; you need not go to any psychoanalyst.
It is one thing to have a problem, but it is another not even to be aware that you have a problem. That is like the eighty-year-old I heard about in Miami. He was vacationing with another octogenarian in Florida. During their stay they both made the acquaintance of some ladies younger than themselves. They both fell in love and decided to get married in Florida in a double ceremony. Following the wedding night, they are both in their rocking chairs after breakfast.
The one says, “You know, I better see a doctor.”
The other says, “Why?”
“Well,” the first said, “I couldn’t consummate the marriage.”
“Oh,” said the second. “I better see a psychiatrist.”
“Why?” said the first.
“I didn’t even give it a thought.”
First become aware of your problem, and then go on becoming more and more aware of it. Don’t judge; judgment is an obstacle in becoming aware. Don’t call it any names, don’t evaluate. Don’t say it is good, don’t say it is bad, don’t label, don’t categorize. Just be alert: whatsoever it is, simply mirror it.
If you take a stand and you say, “This is bad,” then you have already blocked your awareness. You have concluded – now you are no longer impartial, you have already made a decision. And the moment you say something is bad, you cannot look at it eye to eye. When you say some man is bad, you can’t face him, you can’t encounter him; you avoid him. When you say something is good, you become positively attached; when you say something is bad, you become negatively attached.
Observation means no attachment at all, this way or that, neither negative nor positive. You are simply an impartial mirror-like reflection, you simply reflect whatsoever is. In that awareness, problems melt. In that awareness, lies, falsities and fallacies disappear. And in that awareness, when falsities and appearances have disappeared, reality comes with radiant colors.
You need not take LSD or marijuana or psylocybin. Take a dose of awareness – and life is so beautiful, it is so utterly glorious, it is such an incredible splendor, that no LSD, no marijuana, can add anything to it. All that you need is awareness, and life becomes such a beautiful experience that you cannot imagine that there could be anything better. Ordinary life becomes so luminous. The ordinary tree that you have passed your whole life – coming home, going to the office, you have always been passing the tree – for the first time you see the greenery of it. For the first time you see the luminous presence of the tree, the utter beauty of it.
Life is such a gift, and we go on missing it. And the reason is, between us and life there are so many lies crowding. Your awareness will destroy those lies: they will disappear, and reality will be nakedly encountered.
And to know reality in its utter nakedness is to know God.
From Unio Mystica, V.2, chapter 15
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