After today’s lecture, I felt as if levitating and flying. I walked along the road in front of the ashram gate, approached a flowering bush, and looked at it, suddenly having the sensation of being one with nature and floating like driftwood in the rover. All of a sudden I realized that the driftwood had stepped into a heap of dog shit. Do you happen to see any symbolic significance to this?
The significance is there, but not symbolic; it is very real. You need not go into symbolism, because it is not a dream, It happened when you were perfectly awake. The reality is saying something to you . . .
Listening to me you can feel that you are levitating, but you cannot levitate. The feeling is not the thing, not the real thing. Listening to me you can feel very happy, but that happiness is like a reflection. It is my happiness reflected in your mirror; it is not your happiness. You are bound to land somewhere in dog shit.
One should not depend on anybody else. You need your happiness. Listening to me, you can become engulfed, you can be overwhelmed, but the farther you go from me, that music will start disappearing from you. It was not yours in the first place.
It is as if I am sitting here: in my light your darkness disappears. Then you go away; the farther away you go, the darkness starts surrounding you again.
It is as the Sufis say:
Two travelers were going into a forest. One had a lamp, a lantern of his own, the other had none. But the other was not even aware of the fact. They both walked in light because one had the lantern, so the other also had the light on the path. Then came the moment where they had to depart; their paths were going separately. And when the man with the lantern went on his path, suddenly the other traveler recognized, realized, that there was immense darkness all around.
You can walk with me to a certain extent. The disciple can walk with the Master to a certain extent, but then the paths separate. Then you have to go on your own way. Suddenly you will find you are in darkness.
So while you are with a Master, don’t just enjoy his bliss. Enjoy, but learn also how to create your own bliss and your own light. Those moments with a Master have to be tremendously enjoyed — good. But just enjoyment is not enough. You have to learn the secret of how to create your own light — so when the Master departs, or you have to go on your own way and paths are separate, you are not lost in darkness. Otherwise, this will happen again and again.
I heard one day that Mulla Nasrudin had been caught by the police, so I went to see him in the jail. I asked him, “Mulla, how do you happen to be here? What happened?”
He said, “Housebreaking, and my fault too.”
I asked, “And how was that?”
He said, “I spent three months getting acquainted with the dog, and then I went and stepped on the cat.”
You have to be fully aware.
In Zen they say: The art of meditation is almost the art of being a thief.
You have to be so aware that you can walk into somebody else’s house where you may never have been before; not only can you walk, you can remove things without making any noise; not only that, but without any light in the dark night. You have to be like a thief: very aware, very conscious.
What happened to this questioner? — he was floating, he was no more in this world, he had moved into another world. A vision had dawned on him; he was in a dream, he was not aware, he was drunk. Hence he stepped into dog shit.
This is very, very meaningful; remember it. Otherwise there are many ways to land in wrong places. Unless you are tremendously aware, many times you will come nearer to home and again you will miss the door.
From The Discipline of Transcendence, V. 4, Discourse #2, Q2
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