What are the physical and psychic factors that are necessary for the encounter of the inner light in meditation? And how can one grow in them?
Three things to be remembered: one, you must be consciously frustrated about the life outside – consciously frustrated! We are all frustrated but unconsciously. And whenever we are frustrated unconsciously, we only change objects of desire. But one object changed for another will not help you to go in. You remain outside. You change one thing for another, then for another. Because you are frustrated by object A, you substitute your desire by object B. Then you are frustrated by object B, so you go on to C. You go on changing objects because you are only unconsciously frustrated. If you become conscious, then you will not change objects – you will change direction.
I can change. I can love one woman, then another, then another. I can love one man, then another, then another. This is unconscious frustration. So I think that A is not good and B might be, so I choose B. Then B is not good and – who knows? – C may be, so I choose C. This is unconscious frustration. If you become conscious, then it is not a question of A, B or C. It is a question of the very relationship, of the very expectation, of the very desire. This desire to get happiness through someone else is the root. You go on changing persons, but this direction is never changed.
When I say become consciously frustrated, I mean know well that persons are irrelevant. Unless you change your direction in the search for happiness nothing is going to happen. So there are two ways: either change A for object B or change direction A for direction B. A is outward-going, B is inward-going – so change the direction. By changing the direction, you begin to change yourself; by changing objects you remain the same.
I can go on changing objects for years and years, and lives and lives. I will remain the same. And with every object, since I am the same, the same is going to be the result, the same suffering is going to follow. When I say be consciously frustrated, I mean don’t be frustrated by others – be frustrated by yourself, be frustrated about yourself. Then only does the direction change.
We are all frustrated by everyone else. The husband is frustrated by the wife, and the wife is frustrated by the husband; and the son is frustrated by the father, and the father is frustrated by the son. Everyone is frustrated by others. This is the outgoing mind. Be frustrated with yourself, and then the direction changes: you begin to be ingoing. And unless you are frustrated with yourself there is no possibility for transformation.
A Buddha is not really frustrated by the world. If he is frustrated by the world, he must try to change it for another world, he must try to get another world. He is really frustrated with himself, so he begins to change himself. The object of frustration becomes the object of transformation.
So the inward journey begins, the search for inner life begins. only when you begin to feel that outside is nothing but darkness. And unless you turn your eyes inwards, light is not to be found. So the first thing: be consciously frustrated. But this much is not enough. It is necessary, but not enough, because you can be frustrated with yourself and can go on living in frustration. Then you will be just a living corpse. You will be just dead – a burden to yourself. This is necessary, but not enough.
The second thing to realize is that whatsoever you are it is because of you yourself. We say, “I am like this because of my destiny, because of the Divine Creator, because of the forces of nature, because of heredity, because of environment, because of society.” Whatsoever I am, I am always because of something or someone else. It may be the God in heaven, or it may be the heredity in the books of biology, or it may be just the society of the communists, or it may be just the childhood trauma of Freudians – but something else. You are not responsible.
The society has gone on changing causes. Sometimes it is God: then you are at ease. Then whatsoever you are, you cannot help it. Then sometimes it is karma: it is past actions which have produced you as you are, and nothing can be done. Then communism says it is the society. Communism says that it is not consciousness which determines the society; on the contrary. It is the society which determines consciousness. You are just a cog in the wheel. You have been determined. You have been manipulated. You are a by-product, so you are not responsible.
Then Freudians say that it is not economics as Marx says. Really, it is the childhood which determines you. So whatsoever you are, your seven years of childhood have made you that way. Now you cannot be a child again, and those seven years cannot be changed. So whatsoever you are, you are. At the most, through psychoanalysis, you can come to an adjustment with yourself. You can begin to feel: “Okay, now nothing can be done. and I am as I am.” Again, you begin to deteriorate.
You can be frustrated with yourself: this is a negative part. The positive, the second thing, is to remember that whatsoever you are, you are responsible. Society may have played a part, and even destiny may have played a part, and childhood also may have played a part, but ultimately you are responsible. This feeling is the base of all religion. So if Freudians win and Marxists win, religion will disappear – because the base of religion is the possibility that you can transform, the possibility that you can change yourself. And this possibility depends on the feeling of whether you are responsible for yourself or not.
If I am just determined by my cells, by heredity, then what can I do? I cannot change my bio-cells. That is not possible. And if my bio-cells have a built-in program, they will go on unfolding. What can I do? And if God has determined everything, then what can I do? And it makes no difference whether it is God or bio cells or heredity or childhood – it makes no difference! The basic thing is that if you are putting your responsibility on something else, X-Y-Z, you cannot go in.
So the second thing: remember, whatsoever you are – if you are sexual – you are responsible. If you are angry, anger-filled, if you are afraid, if fear is your chief characteristic, then you are responsible. Everything else may have played a part, but only a part, and that part also can be played only because you cooperated. And if you destroy your cooperation this very moment, you will be different. So the second positive thing is to be constantly aware that whatsoever you are, you are responsible.
It is difficult. To feel frustrated is very easy. Even to feel frustrated with oneself is not very difficult, but to feel that “whatsoever I am, I am responsible” is very difficult – very difficult, because then there is no excuse. This is one thing. And, secondly, if whatsoever I am, I am responsible for it, then if I am not changing. I am responsible even for that. If I am not transforming, then no one else but I am guilty. That’s why we create many theories – to escape from one’s own responsibility.
Responsibility is the basis of all religious transformation. You may have heard someone say that to believe in God is the base of religion. It is not! One can be religious without any god, and one can be very irreligious with all the gods. Someone else says it is rebirth, reincarnation, that is the base. It is not, because you can believe in reincarnation and your life’s duration becomes longer, but how, by just a longer duration, can you become religious? Time is not the factor to make you religious. You may be eternal: how does it help you to be religious?
No, the real thing, the base of all religiousness, is the feeling of responsibility – you are responsible for yourself. Then suddenly something opens in you. If you are responsible, then you can change. With this you can enter inwards. So feel frustrated with yourself.
Nietzsche has said somewhere, very beautifully, that that day will be the doomsday when no one feels frustrated with oneself, because then there is no possibility for further evolution. But I must add hurriedly that even if everyone feels frustrated, but no one feels responsible for it, that will be an even greater doomsday.
Frustration is negative. Feel responsible positively, and you gain much power. The moment you know that if you are bad, it is because of you, then you can be good. Then it is in your hands. You gain power, you become powerful. You release much energy, and only this releasing of energy can be used for the inner journey, just as when an atom is split, much energy is released. That is what is meant by atomic energy. Just like that, if in your mind this thing goes deep that “I am responsible for whatsoever I am, and whatsoever I like to be I can be,” this concept will release much energy. And only with that energy can you go to the inner light.
And, thirdly, remain continuously in discontent unless the light is achieved – continuously in discontent! Again, that is one of the most basic qualities of a religious mind. Ordinarily we think that a religious man is a contented man. That is nonsense. He looks contented because he has the discontent of another dimension. He looks contented. He can live in a poor house, he can live in ordinary clothes, he can live naked, he can live under a tree. He can look contented, not because he is contented with these things, but because, really, his discontent has gone towards other things, and now he cannot be bothered with these things.
He is so discontented with the inner revolution, so discontented hoping for inner light, that he cannot bother about these things. These things have just become peripheral. Really, they don’t mean anything to him. It is not that he is contented – they don’t mean anything, they are irrelevant! They are somewhere on the periphery; he is not concerned. But he lives in a deep discontent, in a fiery discontent, and only that discontent can lead you inwards.
Remember, it is discontent which leads you outside. If you are discontented with your house, then you can make a bigger one. If you are discontented with your financial position, you can change it. In the outward journey, it is discontent which leads you on and on. The same is the factor in the inward journey also. Be discontented! Unless you achieve light, unless you transcend mind, be discontent, remain discontented – this is the third point.
These three points: frustration with oneself, not with others; responsibility on oneself, not on others; and a new discontent for something which is inner – these will help. Even in a single moment it is possible to reach the ultimate goal. But then you must be absolutely discontented. Then lukewarm discontents will not do. Then you must be uncompromising. Then nothing should deter you, nothing should come in your way. Whatsoever happens outside, you must be unconcerned about it, because you have no energy to move that way. All the energy is moving inwards. These three things can help you.
These are just helps. The central thing is meditation. Meditate, and with these helps the inner light can be achieved. It is there, it is not far off – only you have no discontent, only you have no longing for it, or your longing is just dissipated outside. Accumulate it, collect it, and turn the direction. The arrow must not move from you towards the world. The arrow must move from you towards yourself, to the center. So meditation has to be done! These three are just helps. Without meditation these three will not do anything, but meditation can do even without them. They are just helps.
But when I say meditation can do even without them, don’t misunderstand me, don’t think that they are not needed. For ninety-nine percent of people those helps are a must, because unless these three things are there you are not going to meditate at all. Only for one percent these three are not needed – not because they are inessential, but because meditation is such a whole-hearted effort in itself that nothing is needed as a side help.
I remember a Sufi mystic, Hassan. He went to his teacher and he asked the teacher, “Tell me, what am I to do?”
The teacher began to explain to him; he was going to deliver a long lecture. This Hassan was just new to him, he didn’t know him. He simply said, “Meditation . . . ” This was just the beginning word. He was going to tell many things, but first he simply said, “Meditation . . . ” Hassan closed his eyes. The teacher looked at him and said, “Are you feeling sleepy?” but he had gone.
The teacher had to wait for hours. When he came back, the teacher said, “What were you doing here? I just began to explain, and you closed your eyes. For what have you come to me?”
Hassan said, “But you said the key word to me. You said ‘meditation’. It is more than enough. What more is needed now? I went in, and I am thankful that you gave me the key.”
But this one percent type is rare. To find a Hassan is rare. It is rare: just a word can click something. He was just on the verge – just a push: “meditation”, he hears a word and takes the jump.
Even this may not have been necessary. Many times, it has happened that a bird flies in the sky, and someone achieves Enlightenment. Not even the word “meditation” is uttered. Just a bird flies in the sky against the sun, and someone achieves meditation. A dry leaf falls down from the tree, and someone sees it and achieves – and achieves! These people are just on the verge. Anything absolutely irrelevant-looking can do it. How does it make sense?
Lao Tzu achieved his Enlightenment. He was just sitting under a tree and a dry leaf fell down. He looked at the fallen leaf, and he began to dance. And if anyone would ask him he would say, “How can I teach you? It is very difficult. Sit under a tree, let a dry leaf fall down, look at it, and it happens – and one begins to dance!” And he was really not joking. This had happened to him.
But such a simple, innocent mind is rare. He was meditating and meditating, upon life, upon death – and then a sudden dry leaf drops down, and everything opens. Life disappears, death becomes the reality. And in the dropping of the leaf, he sees his own death, and everything is finished. But this is rare. For ninety-nine percent of people helps are musts, so don’t misunderstand me.
From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1 #12, Q2
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