You said that noise and disturbances are not outside in the world, but are because of your own minds and ego, but why do the saints and mystics always live in unnoisy crowded places?
Because they are still not saints and mystics. They are still endeavoring, still working. They are seekers, not siddhas. They have not reached. Noise will disturb them, the crowd will disturb them.
The crowd will pull them back to its own level. They are still weak, they need protection. They are still not confident. They cannot move into temptation. They have to protect themselves in the lonely solitude where they can grow and become strong. When they are strong there will be no problem.
Mahavir moved into the wilderness. For twelve years he was alone, silent, not talking, not moving in villages or cities. Then he became enlightened. Then he came back to the world. Buddha was in total silence for six years. Then he came back to the world. Jesus or Mohammed, or anyone – when they are growing they need protected conditions. When they have grown, then there is no problem.
So if you find a mystic afraid of moving in a crowd, then know well that he is still a child, growing. Otherwise why should a mystic be afraid of moving in crowds? Nothing can be done to him by the crowd, by the noise, by the world, by the objects of the world. With all this madness around him, nothing can be done to him. He cannot be touched. He can move and he can live – anywhere it happens for his emptiness to live, he can live.
But in the beginning it is good to be alone, to be in a harmonious, natural surrounding. So remember, don’t think that because you live in a noisy Bombay you are a mystic, or you have grown up and have become a siddha. If you want to grow you will also have to move sometimes, for some definite periods, into loneliness – out of the crowd, out of the concerns of the world, relations of the world, objects of the world – into such a place where you can be alone and not disturbed by others. As you are now you can be disturbed, but once you have the strength, once you have the inner power, once you are crystallized and you know that now no one can shatter your inner center, you can move anywhere. Then the whole world is lonely. Then wherever you are is wilderness. Then the space of silence moves with you because you are the creator of it. Then around you, you create your own inner silence, and wherever you move, you are in silence. No one can penetrate that silence. No noise can disturb it.
But unless the crystallization has happened, don’t believe that you will not be disturbed. You are disturbed, whether you know it or don’t know it. Really, you are so disturbed that you cannot know it. You have become accustomed to disturbance. Every nerve is on edge; you are continuously disturbed. Right now you don’t feel the disturbance – to feel the disturbance sometimes you need to be not disturbed. Only then can you feel it in contrast. You are continuously disturbed but you have become accustomed to it, habituated to it. You think this is how life is. It would be good if you move into the Himalayas for some time. It would be good to go into some remove village, a remote forest, and be alone for a few days’ silence – as if the whole of humanity has disappeared. Then come back to Bombay. Then you will know what disturbance you have been living in. You will be suddenly disturbed. Now you have a contrast. You had an inner music, now it is shattered. For seekers solitariness is good; for siddhas it is irrelevant.
And there are two types of wrong people. With the first type, if you say to them that it is they who are disturbed, the situation is irrelevant, then they will never go into solitariness to have a glimpse of what silence is. Then they will remain here and they will say, “Nothing disturbs us. It is us really, not the surrounding. So we remain here.” And they are disturbed but their theory will become a rationalization.
Then there are other people, the other type of wrong people, who, if you tell them to move into silence, to solitude, because it will help, they will move – but then they will never come back. Then it becomes an addiction and they will remain weak forever, they will always feel afraid of coming back to the world. Then their solitariness has not been a help; rather, it has become a hindrance. They are not stronger through it, they have become weaker. Now they cannot move in the world. Both these types are wrong.
Be the third type, which is the right type. In the beginning, know well that you are disturbed by circumstances; so sometimes try, manage, to move out of them. Then when you are out of them, whatsoever silence you attain, bring it back to your circumstances and try to preserve it. If you can preserve it in the circumstances, then only will the theory have become an experience. Then you know that nothing disturbs. Then you know it is you ultimately who are disturbed or not disturbed.
But make it an experience – just as a theory it is useless.
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #80, Q3
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