I have heard a story about an old doctor. One day his assistant phoned him because he was in very great difficulty – his patient was choking himself to death. A billiard ball was stuck in his throat, and the assistant was at a loss for what to do. So he asked the old doctor, ‘What am I supposed to do now?’ The old doctor said, ‘Tickle the patient with a feather.’
After a few minutes the assistant phoned again, very happy and jubilant, and said, ‘Your treatment proved wonderful – the patient started laughing and he spat the ball out. But tell me from where you learned this remarkable technique.’
The old doctor said, ‘I just made it up. This has always been my motto: When you don’t know what to do, do something.’
But this will not do as far as meditation is concerned. If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything, because mind is very intricate, complex, delicate. If you don’t know what to do, it is better not to do anything, because whatsoever you do without knowing, is going to create more complexities than it can solve. It may even prove fatal, it may even prove suicidal.
If you don’t know anything about the mind…. And really, you don’t know anything about it. Mind is just a word. You don’t know the complexity of it. Mind is the most complex thing in existence; there is nothing comparable to it. And it is the most delicate – you can destroy it, you can do something which cannot then be undone. These techniques are based on a very deep knowledge, on a very deep encounter with the human mind. Each technique is based on long experimentation.
So remember this, don’t do anything on your own, and don’t mix two techniques, because their functioning is different, their ways are different, their bases are different. They lead to the same end, but as means they are totally different. Sometimes they may even be diametrically opposite. So don’t mix two techniques. Really, don’t mix anything – use the technique as it is given.
Don’t change it, don’t improve it, because you cannot improve it, and any change you bring to it will be fatal. And before you start doing a technique, be fully alert that you have understood it. If you feel confused and you don’t know really what the technique is, it is better not to do it, because each technique is to bring about a revolution in you.
These techniques are not evolutionary. By evolution I mean that if you don’t do anything and just go on living, in millions of years the meditation will happen automatically to you, in millions of lives you will evolve. In the natural course of time, you will come to the point to which a Buddha comes through a revolution. These techniques are revolutionary. Really, they are shortcuts; they are not natural. Nature will lead you to Buddhahood, to enlightenment – you will come to it one day – but then it is up to nature; you cannot do anything about it except just go on living in misery. It will take a very long time; really, millions of years and lives.
Religion is revolutionary. It gives you a technique which can shorten the lengthy process, and with which you can take a jump – a jump which will avoid millions of lives. In a single moment you can travel millions of years. So it is dangerous, and unless you understand it rightly, don’t do it. Don’t mix anything on your own. Don’t change.
First try to understand the technique absolutely rightly. When you have understood it, then try it. And don’t use this old doctor’s motto that when you don’t know what to do, do something. No, don’t do anything. Non-doing will be more beneficial to you than any doing. This is so because the mind is so delicate that if you do something wrongly it is very difficult to undo it – very difficult to undo it. It is very easy to do something wrong, but very difficult to undo it. Remember this.
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #57
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