The seventh sutra:
Regard earnestly all the life that surrounds you.
Regard the constantly and moving life which surrounds you, for it is formed by the hearts of men, and as you learn to understand their constitution and meaning, you will by degrees be able to read the larger world of life.
Reverence for life, regard for life. Ordinarily, the so-called religious are life negative. They are against life. Look at their faces, look at their eyes. They are condemning everything. This negative attitude has created a denial of life all over the earth. Religion has appeared to become an ally of death not a friend of life. It appears to be against life because it constantly goes on telling you, “Leave life. Transcend it. Move to some other life which is beyond this life.”
God seems to be against you being a part of life. It is as if life has been taken as a punishment. “You are here because you sinned. You would not be here if there was no sin in your life.” But this whole attitude is ill, pathological. Really, the divine and life are not two things. Rather, they are an extension of one phenomenon.
Here and there (this and the beyond) are not two things. What is here, this life, is a step toward the beyond. If you deny this life, you will not reach the other; you cannot go beyond. To go beyond this, no denial is needed.
To go beyond, a deep insight into life is needed. How to create a deep insight into life? Unless you have a reverence for life it is impossible. Revere life wherever you find it; help it to grow. Be creative toward it; don’t be destructive.
But we are destructive in many ways. Look around you. Everything that is deeply connected to life is condemned. Sex is condemned, love is condemned, because they are the source of life.
A person who is religious must be a monk, a celibate. Why? Why should a seeker of the divine be a celibate? What is the need? Why is there so much propaganda against sex, against love, against life? It is because sex seems to be the source of life; it seems to be the original energy that moves the world. Those who are against the world are bound to be against sex. “Cut sex completely from your life!” – that is their teaching. But if you cut sex, you cut all of life. If you are against sex, you cannot revere life. You have gone against life itself.
These sutras are very meaningful. They say to revere life in all its forms because the more reverence you have the deeper you can go. God is not really beyond, but rather within this life. God is the center, the very center. and life is just the periphery. Move deeply in life and you will reach to the very center, the very ground of life itself.
God is not the creator; he is the very creativity. Christian and Mohammedan concepts about ‘God the creator’ have created much confusion. These attitudes are a little childish. Good if you are talking to children, but nonsense if you are talking to persons of understanding.
It appears from the Christian and Mohammedan dogmas that God created the world somewhere in the past. He created the world within six days and then, on the seventh, he relaxed. And after that, he has not done anything. The world started running on its own.
This concept creates a divisive attitude: that God and the world are two different things. That’s not true. God has not created the world and made it separate from himself. It is not like when a painter paints a picture. The painter is one thing; the picture is something different. The Hindu concept is deeper. It says that God is not like a painter but, rather, like a dancer: Shiva the dancer. Like a dancer, because the dance and the dancer are not two. You cannot separate them. The painter can be separated from his painting, but the dancer cannot be separated from his dance. Dancer and dancing are one.
God is not the creator, not a separate entity. God is the very creativity, the very life. So if you are against life, you are against God.
Gurdjieff is reported to have said somewhere a very paradoxical but very true statement. He has said that the so-called religions are all against God because they are against life.
But authentic religiousness is always for life, never against it.
If you move deeper in the dance, you will reach the dancer. The dance is just the form. If you move deeper in the dance, you will reach to the very heart of the dancer. And if you move deeply into life, you will reach to the life-originating principle: God.
God is creativity. Or, if you allow me to say it, I would like to say that God is the very existence itself. God is life. Jesus has said, “God is love.” That was one of the reasons he was crucified – because he called God ‘love’. Love is condemned, it is a sin, and he called God ‘love’. He must have looked very rebellious; he must have seemed to be too much in favor of the life on earth. The old Jewish mind, the old religious mind, couldn’t tolerate it. This is sacrilege! Jesus talking about God in terms of love? God is beyond life and love! You must leave everything: life, love, everything. Only then can you find him. And this man Jesus – he brings God down to earth, and he talks in terms of love.
Really, God is life, God is love. God is this very world. Don’t create a division, don’t create a dualism. Only then can you revere life. Whenever you see life anywhere – a seed sprouting, a tree flowering, stars moving, a river flowing, a child laughing – remember God is near you. When a child laughs, look at the laughter. Enter into it. You have entered the very temple. When the river flows, watch lovingly. Be one with its flow; be in a deep reverence.
Hindus have called all rivers goddesses; they have called all hills deities. They have made the earth holy. It is one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened in human consciousness. Hindus call the Ganges: Mother. This is reverence for life. Hills they call gods. This is reverence for life. They worship trees. Those who have become intellectually sophisticated think they are stupid, superstitious people, but they are not. The tree is not the thing. When they are worshipping a tree or a river, they are worshipping life.
A tree is more alive than any temple, than any church; a river is more alive than any mosque. The stone idols in your temples are dead; a tree is more alive. You may be superstitious, but the person who is worshipping a tree is not. He may not be aware of what he is doing, but a deep reverence for life in all its forms is there, a deep respect.
And celebrate. Wherever you feel that life is growing, celebrate it, love it, welcome it, and a great transformation will happen to you because if life is revered in all its forms, you become more alive. You become more receptive to life, and life begins to flow abundantly in you; it overflows in you. That is what bliss is: life overflowing.
But you are more interested in death and less interested in life. More interested in destruction, in hate; more interested in wars than in love, in life. It makes you dead and dull. Before you are really dead, you are dead. When death really occurs to you, you are already dead.
Whatsoever you revere you will become. If you revere life, you will become life and more life. If you revere death, you will become death and more death.
Regard the constantly changing and moving life which surrounds you, for it is formed by the hearts of men; and as you learn to understand their constitution and meaning, you will by degrees be able to read the larger world of life.
The eighth sutra:
Learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men.
Study the hearts of men, that you may know what is that world in which you live and of which you will be a part.
We never look directly into anyone’s heart. It is dangerous, insecure, because then you may become involved; you may have to do something. So we never touch anyone. We just remain aloof, far away, removed. We move without touching anyone. And when I say this, I don’t only mean physically. Psychologically also.
We move without touching anyone physically. We are afraid to touch anyone or to have anyone touch us. Psychologically also we live in a shell: enclosed, encapsulated.
There are reasons for it. If you penetrate into somebody’s heart, you will have to do something about it. You will be filled with love, you will be filled with higher, superior values. Then you cannot remain as mean as you are, you cannot remain as unkind as you are, you cannot remain as self-centered as you are. If you look into the heart of the other, you will have to melt. The very looking into the heart of the other will become a merging of your egos.
So, no one looks at anyone. We don’t even look into the hearts of our friends. We take them for granted. We never even look into the hearts of our wives and husbands, our lovers and beloveds. We create an image, and we live with the image. We never talk to each other directly, because if you talk directly, you don’t feel safe; you become vulnerable. Remember this, if you penetrate into anyone’s heart, simultaneously your own heart becomes vulnerable. Otherwise, is not possible. If I look deeply inside you, I become available to you. You can also look deeply within me.
But that feels dangerous. I don’t want anyone to look deeply within me, because on the surface I am different, a false person. Deep down, I am someone else. On the surface I go on smiling – very kind, very loving – and deep down much hatred is there, much ugliness is there. So I don’t want anyone to penetrate within me.
But if I penetrate within you, the very effort to penetrate you simultaneously makes me available to you. We are afraid. We don’t want anyone to trespass, to look within us. It is dangerous to look into anyone’s heart and to be looked into by anyone. We become encapsulated, dead. We go on moving within an imprisonment.
Then how can you know life? If even a human heart is strange to you, and you have not looked into it, how can you move deeply into the greater heart of the divine, the very center of existence? Learn to look. From looking into the hearts of others you can learn to look deeply. It is the person’s depths. The depth of the person is his heart.
We talk through the mind. That is not the depth. The mind is on the surface, on the periphery. We talk, we discuss, we communicate only with words. We never remain silent even for a few minutes. Even those who are in love go on talking constantly, because if you are silent the heart can be penetrated. So we go on talking and talking.
The husband comes home. He starts talking. Nonsense, irrelevant things. What happened in the market, what happened in the shop, what is in the news, what’s come on the radio. He goes on talking. And the wife also goes on talking: what other wives are talking about in their houses and so on. They go on talking, they go on talking, until they fall asleep. Why so much talking? What is the purpose of it? Are they really interested in communicating something? No! They are afraid to communicate. If they are silent then their hearts will start communicating, so they go on talking. Talking creates a barrier. Mind to mind they meet so that heart to heart they will not meet. A heart-to-heart meeting is possible only in silence.
This is the way we are living. Then we say that we are living in misery. What else is possible? Misery will be your fate. But it is not your destiny. It is your own created misery; it is you who have created it. Encapsulated, you will be in misery. Open, vulnerable. you will become capable of being blissful. This opening is to be learned through looking into the hearts of men.
This sutra says:
Learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men.
Intelligence is impartial: no man is your enemy: no man is your friend. All alike are your teachers. Your enemy becomes a mystery that must be solved, even though it takes ages: for man must be understood. Your friend becomes a part of yourself, an extension of yourself, a riddle hard to read.
The sutra says Learn to look intelligently . . . By intelligently is meant be impartial. If you are partial, you cannot reach to the heart. All partiality focuses you in the mind; only impartial consciousness comes to the heart.
The heart is impartial; the mind is always partial. The mind is always party-bound, sectarian, for this and against that. The heart is neither for nor against. The heart is simply an opening, a receiving, a welcoming. It has no enemies and no friends; only the mind has enemies and friends. By ‘intelligence’ is meant impartiality. Only then are you intelligent.
If you are partial, you are not intelligent. You may appear to be sophisticated, educated, logical, but you are not wise, not really intelligent. Intelligence has the quality of no prejudice, no partiality, no feeling for and against, because only then can you look at the whole.
For example, if I say that you are my friend, it will be impossible for me to enter your heart. Or if I say that you are my enemy, then too it will be impossible to reach your heart. When I say you are my friend, or my enemy, I have taken you for granted. I feel that I know you. I understand that I have understood you. Otherwise, how is friendship possible? When I say you are my friend, I show that I like you; I’m saying that I like you. And when I say I like you, I have become partial. Then I cannot reach your heart. My liking will become a barrier.
When I say I like you, I am really imposing myself upon you. My liking. I say you are good because how you are is according to my liking. Now I have entered in you, I have imposed myself upon you. I cannot reach your heart, I cannot know you as you are, because of my liking.
When I say you are my enemy, I am saying I don’t like you, I dislike you. This dislike becomes a barrier. When I say I like you, I try to find out things which I like. When I say I dislike you, I try to find out things which I dislike. Then I am just trying to prove myself, not trying to know you as you are. Liking/friendship, disliking/enmity are my interpretations, my fictions. Your naked fact, your naked facticity, is forgotten.
Intelligence means that you are neither my friend nor my enemy. You are you; I am I. I am not going to impose myself upon you. Now I will try to understand what you are. Not according to my likes and dislikes, but what you are. Every man is a mystery, every man is a riddle. If you try to solve the mystery of even one single individual, if you are capable of solving even one single riddle, you will have become capable of much more, because even one individual is understood through the heart. You have come to know the art: how to penetrate into the heart.
And the same technique, the same method, will help you to penetrate into the divine heart. The divine heart is greater, infinite, but the human heart is a glimpse of it. The human heart is a fragment of it, alive. So don’t be dead toward the humanity that is around you. Learn to love it, revere it. And, learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men.
This learning will make you more mature; this learning will make you more sensitive toward a higher learning, which is divine. The heart of the divine can be penetrated only by those who have become capable of knowing the human heart for what it is.
From The New Alchemy to Turn You On, Discourse #13
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