A few days ago, I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice. When I try to find the answer, I only find silence.
Chidvilas, the moment you look into your self you only find silence. But are you not aware that you are also there? Who finds the silence? Silence itself cannot find itself; there is somebody as a witness who is finding the silence. Just your focus is wrong; you are still focusing on the object. It is just an old habit, perhaps cultivated for many, many lives, that you always focus yourself on the object, and you always forget yourself.
An ancient Eastern story is that ten blind men crossed a stream. The current was very strong, so they took hold of each other’s hands because they were afraid somebody may be taken away by the current. They reached the other shore, and somebody amongst them suggested, “It is better we should count because the current and the stream were really dangerous. Somebody may have slipped, and we may not even be aware.”
So they started counting. It was a great shock, and they were all crying and weeping; everybody tried, but the count was always nine—because nobody was counting himself.
Naturally, he would start counting, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….
My God, one has gone!” So they all were crying.
A woodcutter was watching all this drama and he said… he had never seen ten blind men together, in the first place. Second, what a stupid idea these people had. What was the need to cross the stream when it was so strong and flooded? And, above all, now they were counting, and crying and weeping for someone — they did not know who, but certainly someone had been taken away by the current. Watching them counting, he was simply amazed how was it possible that they were ten persons, but the count always came to nine?
Some help was needed, so he came down from his tree and he said, “What is the matter?”
They all said, “We have lost one of our friends. We were ten, and now we are only nine.”
The man said, “I can find your tenth man. You are right, you used to be ten, but there is a condition.”
They said, “We will accept any condition, but our friend….”
He said, “It is not a very big condition, it is a simple condition. I will hit on the first man’s head; he has to say “one.” Then I will hit on the second person’s head two times; he has to say “two.” Then I will hit on the third person’s three times; he has to say “three.” As many times as I hit, the person has to speak the number.”
They said, “If this is the way to find the lost friend, we are ready.”
So he enjoyed hitting very much, and he hit them in turn. When he had hit the tenth man ten times he said “ten.” All the nine said, “You idiot, where have you been?
Unnecessarily we have all been beaten! Where you have been hiding up to now?”
He said, “I was standing here, I was myself counting, and it always came to nine. This man seems to be a miracle man; he managed to find the tenth man.”
The story is significant for the simple reason that it has become our habit not to count ourselves. So when you are watching your thoughts, inside, you are not aware that there is a watcher too. When you are watching silence, you are not aware that you cannot watch silence if you are not there.
Chidvilas, you are asking, “A few days ago I heard you say that the voice speaking inside of us is always the mind, so I wonder who in me is hearing this voice?” Certainly I am not hearing it, and as far as I know nobody else is hearing it. You must be the guy who is hearing this voice. Everybody else has his own problem!
“When I try to find the answer I only find silence.” But then too the question arises: Who finds the silence? It is the same guy who was hearing the voice. His name is Chidvilas.
You have to become more subjective, more alert to yourself; we are always alert to everything around us.
Pat followed his friend Mike’s example and left Ireland to work in England. Though they had since lost contact, Mike had mentioned how easy it was to get a job at Whipsnade Open Zoo, so Pat applied. Unfortunately they had no keeper’s jobs available; there was not even the position of a sweeper vacant.
“But I tell you what, Pat,” the manager said, “the gorilla died a couple of days ago, and what is a zoo without a gorilla? But we have kept his pelt entire; now if you crawl into that skin and take over his enclosure, we will feed and house you, and pay you handsomely as well.”
Pat had a look over the lovely field that was the gorilla enclosure; he surveyed the comfortable gorilla house, and tested the bed provided. He agreed to take the job. Very soon Pat had become a great favorite with visitors to the zoo. Being a bit of an extrovert, he would always put on a good act, tumbling, chest-thumping, and growling. But the climax of his performance was most popular. Whenever there was a good crowd, Pat would scale a large oak tree at the side of his enclosure where it adjoined the lion’s pen and pelt the lioness with acorns. The big-maned lion, in particular, would roar with rage and stamp about, and the crowd would roar with delight.
One public holiday a particularly large crowd had gathered, and Pat was aloft and reaching the peak of his performance. He had just finished off the acorn pelting with a bit of chest-thumping when the branch he was balanced on broke; he fell to the ground at the lion’s feet. Pat jumped up, shouting for help, and was about to scarper when the lioness whispered, “Hold your tongue Pat, do you want to lose us the best jobs we have ever had?”
Here, everybody has different skins only; inside is the same consciousness. Whether you are hearing a voice, or you are hearing silence, remember more about yourself—who is the watcher? Who is the witness?
In every experience, when you are angry, when you are in love, when you are in greed, when you are in despair, it is the same key: just watch—are you really in danger, or are you only a witness. Here we are, just sitting. Deep down, who are you? Always a witness.
Whatever happens on the outside, you may be young, you may be old, you may be alive, you may be dead—whatever happens on the outside, inside is the same witness.
This witness is our truth. This witness is our ultimate reality, our eternal reality. So all your work is concerned with shifting your focus from the object to the subject.
Don’t be bothered about anger, or silence, or love. Be concerned about whom all this is happening to, and remain centered there. This centering will bring you the greatest experience of your life. It will make you a superman.
From The Golden Future, Discourse #3
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation