In the natural course, after millions of years and lives, one will be enlightened. But we might have already passed through millions of years and lives and yet are not enlightened. Why?
You cannot ask why. You can ask why only if you are doing something. If nature is doing something you cannot ask why; it is up to nature. And nature is not responsible; it is not going to answer you. It is completely silent. And for nature, millions of lives are nothing; for nature it may be just seconds. To you, millions of lives and years is a long history; for nature it is nothing. Nature is not worried, and nature is not interested in you particularly. Nature goes on working – someday it will happen, but you cannot ask why, because nature is silent.
If you are worried about why it has not happened yet, then you have to do something. If worry has entered you, then you have to do something. Only your doing will help you to come to a point where enlightenment can happen. Nature’s ways are very patient, slow. There is no hurry, because for nature there is no limit to time. It is eternal. There is no beginning and no end. But man has come to a point: he has become conscious; he has started asking.
A tree never asks – even the Bodhi tree under which Buddha became enlightened. The tree will never ask, ‘Why have I not become enlightened? – because I have also been existing for as many millions of years as you have existed, Gautam. Why?’ The tree will never ask. The tree is absolutely natural. The questioning makes man unnatural. The unnatural has entered in you: you have started questioning why – why it has not happened yet.
This questioning is good, because it can lead you to a decisive moment where you can start working upon yourself. And man cannot leave it to nature, because man has become conscious. You cannot leave it to nature now. That’s why man has created religions. No animal has any religion. There is no need: they are not asking; they are not in a hurry. In nature everything is unhurried – moving so slowly as if not moving at all; continuously repeating the same pattern, infinitely repeating the same circle.
Man has become conscious. Man has become conscious of time, and the moment you become conscious of time, you are thrown out of eternity. Then you are in a hurry. So as man’s consciousness evolves more, he is more hurried, he becomes more and more time conscious. Go to a primitive society: they are not time conscious. The more civilized a society, the more time conscious. A primitive society is nearer nature: unhurried, it moves slowly. Just as nature moves, it moves. The more you become civilized, the more you become conscious of time. Really, time can be the criterion: how civilized a society is can be known by how time conscious it is. Then you are in a hurry, then you cannot wait, then you cannot leave it to nature. You have to take it in your own hands.
And man can take it in his own hands: he can do something and the process can be finished sooner. It can even be finished in a single moment. All that millions of years have not done, have not been able to do, you can do in a single moment. In that single moment you can become so intense that millions of years and millions of lives are traveled simultaneously.
That’s possible – because it is possible you are worried. Your worry is a symptom that something which is possible you are not making actual – that is the worry, that is the human dilemma. You can do it and you are not doing it – that creates an inner worry, anguish. When you cannot do it the question never arises, there is no worry. The worry shows that it is possible now that you can jump – many lives which are unnecessary you can just by-pass – and you are not by-passing. You have become conscious, and you have come above nature.
Consciousness is a new phenomenon. You have come above nature and now you can consciously evolve. Conscious evolution is revolution. You can do something about it. You are not just a victim, not just a puppet. You can take your destiny in your hands. That is possible, and because it is possible and you are not doing anything, it creates inner anxiety. And the more you become aware that this is possible, the more the anxiety will be felt.
A Buddha is very worried; you are not so worried. Buddha was very worried, in deep anguish, suffering. Unless he attained, he would live in hell, because he was perfectly aware that something was absolutely possible, was just at hand, just by the corner, and he felt, ‘Still I am missing it. If I just stretch my hand it will happen – and my hand is paralyzed. Just a step and I will be out of it – and I cannot take that step. I am afraid of taking a jump.’
When you are near the goal, and you can feel it and you can see it and still you go on missing, then you feel anguish. When you are very far away and you cannot feel it, you cannot see it, you are not even aware that there is a goal, you are perfectly unaware of any destiny, then there is no anxiety. Animals are not in anguish. They appear happy – happier then man. What is the reason? Trees are even more happy than animals. They are perfectly unaware of what can happen, of what is possible, of what is just near at hand. They are blissfully unaware. There is no anxiety. They drift. Man becomes anxious, and the greater a man, the more anxiety will be there.
If you simply live, you are living an animal existence. Religious anguish arises the moment you become aware that something is possible – The seed is there and I have to do something. I have to do something and the seed will sprout. The flowers are not very far away, and I can reap this crop’ – but still nothing is happening. A very impotent state is felt.
That was the Buddha’s condition before he became a Buddha. He was just on the verge of committing suicide. You will have to pass through that. And you cannot leave it to nature; you have to do something about it – and you can do. And the goal is not very far.
So don’t be depressed if you feel anxiety. If you feel a very tense anguish within you, a suffering, agony, don’t feel depressed about it – that’s a good sign. That shows you are becoming more and more aware of that which is possible, and now you will never be at ease unless it becomes actual.
Man cannot leave it to nature because man has become conscious. Only a very minor part of his being is conscious, but that changes everything. And unless your total being becomes conscious, you cannot know again the simple happiness of the animal or of the trees. There is only one way to know it now: to become more and more alert, more and more aware, and more and more conscious. You cannot regress. There is no process for going back; no one can go back. You can either remain where you are and suffer, or you have to go forward and go beyond suffering. You cannot go back.
Total unconsciousness is blissful, total consciousness is blissful – and you are in between. A part of you has become conscious, and the major part of you is still unconscious. You are divided. You have become two, you are not one. The integration is lost. Animals are integrated and then saints are integrated. Man is disintegrated: a part remains animal and a part has become saintly. There is a struggle, conflict, and whatsoever you do you can never do with one heart.
So there are two ways. One is just to deceive yourself – that is to become totally unconscious again. You can take drugs, you can take alcohol, you can take intoxicants – you fall back to the animal world. You drug the part that has become conscious; you become totally unconscious. But this is a temporary deception; you will arise again. The effect of the chemical will be lost and your consciousness will become conscious again. The part which you have forcibly suppressed with alcohol or drugs or something else will arise again, and then you will feel more suffering, because then you can compare. You will feel more suffering.
You can go on drugging yourself. There are many methods – not only chemical. There are religious methods. You can use a japa, a mantra: you can chant it and create an intoxicating effect. You can do many things which can make you unconscious again, but that is going to be temporary, you will have to come out – and you will come out with a deeper suffering with you, because then you will be able to compare. If in unconsciousness this is possible, what will be possible in total consciousness? You will become more hungry for it, you will feel more starved.
Remember one thing: totality is bliss. If you are unconscious totally then too it is bliss, but you are not aware of it. Animals are happy but they are not aware of their happiness. So it is futile. It is just like when you are asleep you are happy, and whenever you are awake you are unhappy. Totality is bliss.
You can be total in consciousness also. Then there will be bliss and you will be perfectly aware of it. This is possible through sadhana, through methods, through practicing techniques which increase your consciousness. You are not enlightened because you have not done anything for it, but you have become aware that you are not enlightened. This has been done by nature; in millions of years nature has made you aware.
You may not be aware of the fact that man has stopped growing as far as body is concerned. We have skeletons that are millions of years old, but there is no visible change; they are similar to our skeletons. So for millions of years there has been no growth in the body, it has remained the same. Even the brain has not grown; it has remained the same. As far as body is concerned, evolution has done whatsoever could have been done. In a sense, man is now responsible for his own growth. And the growth is not going to be of the physical; the growth is going to be of the spiritual.
The skeleton of a Buddha and your skeleton are not basically different, but you and Buddha are absolutely different. Evolution is working horizontally; methods, techniques, religions, they work vertically. Your body has stopped: it has come to a point, an omega point. Now there is no further growth for it. Horizontally, evolution has stopped; now a vertical evolution starts. Now, wherever you are, you have to take a jump vertically. That vertical evolution will be of consciousness, not of body. And you are responsible for it.
You cannot ask nature why, but nature can ask you why you are not enlightened yet, because everything is provided now. Your body has all that which is needed; you have a Buddha’s body. Exactly whatsoever is needed for the buddha to happen to you, you have got. Only a new arrangement, a new synthesis of all the elements that are given, and the buddha will happen to you. Nature can ask you why you are not enlightened yet, because nature has provided you with everything.
And nature asking you will not be irrelevant, but you asking nature is absurd. You cannot be allowed to ask. Now you are aware and you can do something. All the elements are given to you. The hydrogen is there, the oxygen is there, the electricity is there; you have to just make certain efforts and experiments and the water will happen.
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #58, Q2
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