Jesus said: Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.
Exactly the same words are in the Upanishads. They say that there are two birds on a tree, one sitting on a lower branch, another sitting on a higher branch. The bird on the lower branch thinks, gets worried, desires, demands, accumulates, fights, competes; it remains in anguish, tension, jumps from this branch to that, always moving, never in repose. The other bird, who is sitting on a higher branch, is in repose. He is so silent, as if he is not. He has no desires, no dreams happen to him. He has no needs to fulfill, as if everything is fulfilled, as if he has attained, nowhere to go. He simply sits, enjoying himself, and he watches the bird who is on the lower branch.
These are the two dimensions in you. You are the tree. And the lower is always disturbed. The lower is your body and the bodily needs and the bodily desires, and if you forget yourself completely into it then you become one with it. On the higher branch, at the top of the tree, sits the other bird who is a witness, who simply looks down at this foolish bird jumping, moving in anguish, anxiety, anger, sex. Everything happens to it; this other bird is simply a witness, he simply looks on and on, he is just a spectator. You are the tree.
Jesus says the same thing with a different symbol: Jesus said: Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.
Now the whole question is to whom the attention should be paid. Towards whom should you move, towards whom should your whole energy flow? Who should become your goal?
Ordinarily, that one who is going to die is your goal. That’s why you are always in anxiety, because you are building a house on sands. It is going to fall – even before it is built it will fall and become a ruin. You are always trembling because you are making your signature on water – before you have completed it, it is gone. Your anxiety is because you are concerned with the realm of death and you have not looked towards life. And on each bed two are sleeping – the other is just a witness.
Pay more attention to it, turn towards it more and more – that’s what conversion means. Conversion doesn’t mean a Hindu becoming a Christian, or a Christian becoming a Hindu. This is foolishness, you simply change labels. Nothing is changed because the inner man remains the same, the old pattern. Conversion means the movement of attention from the death realm to the life realm. It is an about-turn: looking at the witness, becoming one with the witness, losing yourself into the witness, into awareness, and then you know that which is going to die will die. It makes no trouble, no problem, and you know you are not going to die so there is no fear.
Jesus said: Two will rest on a bed: The one will die, the one will live.
And it is up to you. If you want to remain in trouble, never pay attention to the inner one; if you want to remain always in anguish then remain on the periphery, don’t look within. But if you want repose, a peaceful eternity, truth, the doors of heaven open for you, then look within. It is difficult – it is difficult because it is very subtle. Where the invisible and the visible meet, where matter and spirit meet, it is very subtle. You can see matter, you cannot see spirit, it cannot be seen. You can see where the visible ends, you cannot see the invisible, it cannot be seen.
Then what is to be done? Just remain at the boundary of the visible, and don’t look at the visible, look in the opposite direction. Gradually the invisible can be felt. It is a feeling, it is not an understanding; you cannot see it, you can only feel it. It is just like a breeze: it comes, you feel it, but you cannot see it. It is just like the sky: it is there, but you cannot say where, you cannot pinpoint it, you cannot touch it. It is always there, you are in it but you cannot touch it.
Remain at the boundary of the visible looking in the opposite direction. This is what all meditation is about. Whenever you can find a peaceful moment close your eyes, leave the body behind and the bodily affairs and the world of death; the market, the office, the wife, the children – leave them all. The first time you will not feel anything inside.
Hume has said, “Many people have talked about going in and looking there. Whenever I look, I find nothing – just thoughts, desires, dreams, floating here and there – just a chaos.” You will also feel the same. And if you conclude that there is nothing worthwhile in going again and again to see this chaos, then you will miss.
In the beginning you will see this, because your eyes can only see this – they need a tuning. Just remain there looking at the floating dreams. They float like clouds in the sky, but between two clouds, sometimes you will see the blueness; between two dreams, two thoughts, sometimes there will be a glimpse of the sky behind. Just don’t be in a hurry. That’s why they say that if you hurry you will miss.
There is one Zen saying which says, “Hurry slowly.” That’s right! Hurry, that’s right, because you are going to die – in that sense hurry. But inside, if you are in too much of a hurry you will miss, because you will conclude too soon, before your eyes have become attuned. Don’t conclude too soon.
Hurry slowly. Just wait! Go there and sit and wait. By and by, a new world of the invisible becomes clear, comes to you. You become attuned to it, then you can hear the harmony, the melody; the silence starts its own music. It is always there, but it is so silent that very trained ears are needed. It is not like a noise, it is like silence. The sound within is like silence, the form within is like the formless. There is no time and no space within, and all that you know is either in space or in time. Things are in space, events are in time, and now physicists say these two things are not two; even time is just a fourth dimension of space.
You know only time and space, the world of things and events. You don’t know the world of the witnessing self. It is beyond both, it is not confined to any space and it is not confined to any time. There is duration without time, there is space but without any height, length, breadth – it is a totally different world. You will need to become attuned to it, so don’t be impatient – impatience is the greatest barrier. I have come to feel that when people start working towards the inner one, impatience is the greatest barrier. Infinite patience is needed. It can happen the next moment, but infinite patience is needed.
If you are impatient it may not happen for lives, because the very impatience will not allow you the repose that Jesus talks about, the tranquility. Even if you are expecting, that will be a disturbance. If you are thinking something is going to happen, something extraordinary, then nothing will happen. If you are waiting, expecting that some enlightenment is going to happen, you will miss it. Don’t expect. All expectations belong to the world of death, the dimension of time and space.
No goal belongs to the inner. There is no way to it except by waiting, infinite patience.
Jesus has said, “Watch and be patient.” And one day, suddenly you are illumined. One day, when the right tuning happens, when you are ready, suddenly you are illumined. All darkness disappears, you are filled with life, eternal life, which never dies.
Enough for today.
From The Mustard Seed, Chapter Fourteen
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Listen to the discourse excerpt Hurry Slowly.