In the context of pleasure and pain, the desire for pleasurable things is called the sense of pleasure, and aversion to painful things is called the sense of pain. And because of what one does to gain pleasure and shun pain, one is called a doer.
Sound, touch, form, taste and smell – these five objects are causes of pleasure and pain. When the self, in pursuit of virtuous and sinful acts, identifies itself with the body, which it is not, then it is called the diseased being.
Why this bondage with the body and bodies? What is the secret? How are we in it, and why do we continue to be in it? Why is it such a struggle to go beyond? If bliss is inwards, and outwardly we cannot achieve anything other than anguish, then why this absurdity of living outward and outward? Why not go inward? Who is preventing you?
You are the prisoner.
And you are the imprisoned.
No one else is involved in it – No one except you, yourself.
Then why not take the jump?
There must be something which hinders you, which prevents you, which becomes a barrier to you. What is that? This rishi says that the longing for pleasure, the fear of misery, and the fear of pain are the root causes – the longing for pleasure and the effort to avoid any pain, any suffering, any dukha. And the illusion is created because pleasure and pain, happiness and misery, are not two things, are not two opposites; they are two polarities of one phenomenon, two ends of one phenomenon.
They are joined and one. That’s why pleasure turns into misery; they are convertible. Anything that you feel as pleasurable this moment may become unpleasurable the next. So pleasure and pain are not qualities of a thing, because the thing remains the same. I love you and feel happy; you remain the same. And the next moment, I hate you and feel miserable. But happiness and misery are not qualities of you, you remain the same. They must belong to my mind, to my attitude; they must belong to me.
That’s why the same thing can be a source of deep happiness to one, and a deep source of misery to someone else. The same thing can be a source of happiness to you this moment, and the next moment a source of your very hell. Pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering are not qualities of things as we presume; they are not. They are your attitudes – they belong to you.
So try an experiment: You are feeling happy in some situation – then be in that situation and begin to feel unhappy. And soon, soon you will begin to feel unhappy – it depends on your choice. Your beloved is nearby; you are feeling happy – now begin to feel unhappy, and soon you will be able to create unhappiness. Begin to feel happy, and soon you will change the whole situation – it depends on you.
Once you know the secret, the whole clinging drops – with pleasure or with fear of pain, the whole clinging just drops. The moment you know you are the master – whether to feel happy or to feel miserable depends on you – you become free of all dependence on others. But one has to know, one has to experience.
Things are just neutral; they don’t give you anything. It is you who contributes the feeling – not the thing. Really, you determine the whole thing unconsciously; that is why there is clinging. Determine it consciously.
Try an experiment. You are feeling very pained, suffering, you are ill. Then accept the illness; don’t fight it, remain in it, be a companion to it – don’t try to escape. Accept it totally, be with it, and soon a moment comes when you explode into a new dimension. The illness may be there still, but now it belongs only to the body, not to you. It is just on the periphery somewhere, as if it belongs to someone else – you have transcended.
Once the consciousness begins to feel that there is no bondage from the outside, then the longing for pleasure drops, because it is your projection. Then the fear of suffering drops, because it is your projection. In a very subtle way you become the master, the converter. You can convert anything into anything, because it is only your choice, your decision, your mind. Whatsoever you put into things you can get back – it is really just an echo.
You fall in love with someone, and if I ask you why, you will say, “Because the face is beautiful, the person is beautiful.” But really the thing is quite the reverse. It is not that the person is beautiful and so you have fallen in love; rather, because you have fallen in love the person looks beautiful. Your falling in love is primary, and the second thing is just a projection, because the same person can become ugly the next day – he remains the same with the same face, but everything has changed. This happens so often but still we are unaware. You say, “I cannot live without you!” And soon a moment comes when you cannot live with him. Why? – because you have not taken things in the right order.
You fall in love – that means you begin to project; love is a hypnosis. Love is a very delicate state of mind in which you can project anything – anything! So the beloved is not really there outside, it is here inside. It is a projection, and the person is just a screen. And you have projected much, you have contributed much. The moment you withdraw your contribution, the person is just ordinary. There is no halo around, no aura; everything has just dropped. The person is just ordinary, even more ordinary than ordinary, because now, it is so without luster. Now dreams have dropped, and dreams were the thing the whole stuff was made of.
Remember this fact: It is your mind which begins to feel happy or miserable – it depends on you. And once you know the secret, you have become really the master. Now you know the alchemy; you are the alchemist now, you can change any base metal into the higher. Now, you have the secret to turn anything into gold – now you can convert. And once you begin to convert base metals into higher metals, nothing is higher and nothing base. Now you know it is just you and your projection – your mind is doing the whole trick.
But one has to do much to be aware of this fact; one has to go deep into the facticity, into the very phenomenon of desiring, of avoiding, of longing for this and trying to escape that – one has to go deep into it. And it is not a doctrine – whatsoever the rishi is saying is not a doctrine – it is not a conception really; it is the facticity. It is how the mechanism of the mind works; it is just a fact. It is not a philosophy; it is a science in the sense that it is how the mind works. You project first, then you begin to believe. Then any moment you can withdraw your projection and the idol is lost, the temple is destroyed, and there is nothing left. But again, you will do the same thing, and you will go on doing the same thing: projecting, then feeling miserable or happy, and never being aware that you are creating – that you are the creator.
Everyone is a magician – everyone is a magician, and everyone goes on doing tricks with himself. Then these tricks become habits, mechanical habits; you can repeat them ad infinitum. And we have repeated them ad infinitum – lives and lives and lives. We have been repeating them always.
Buddha and Mahavira both tried a very novel experiment with the human mind. Whenever someone would come to them, seeking, they would tell the seeker, “First, try to remember your past lives. First, go deep into past lives.” But the seeker would say, “There is no need. I am concerned with the future; I am concerned with how to know the truth, how to realize the divine, how to be liberated, how to get to nirvana. What is the need of going into past lives?”
And Buddha would say, Mahavira would say, “There is a deep need. Unless you know your past, you will never be able to see that you have been playing tricks with yourself, continually, repeatedly. In each life you have done the same. It is a repetition: the same love – the falling in love and then frustration; riches, and then the feeling of inner poverty; prestige and power, and yet the helplessness. And the same!”
But we forget. Every life we drop all memories and we forget, and we begin anew. Esoteric science says that this forgetfulness is intentional. It is intentional that you have forgotten your past lives, because you wanted to forget. Psychologists say that you forget all that you want to forget. Sometimes you say, “I know your name, but I wonder why I have forgotten it.” Really, you wanted to forget. You are playing tricks with yourself; you wanted to forget; you never wanted to remember the name – that’s why you have forgotten.
We go on forgetting things. For example: Everyone remembers childhood as the very heaven, but it has never been so. Ask any child – he is in a hell. He is trying to grown up rapidly, trying to be a young man soon, because he feels very helpless. Everyone is more powerful than him, and everyone is suppressing him; everyone is just trying to destroy him. Everyone is just ordering him to do this and that; everyone is trying to discipline him. He is not at all free, he is feeling he is in prison and trying to get away soon from all this – trying to be a grown-up. But when he is grown-up he says, “What bliss it was to be a child.”
And when he is old, he is remembering childhood, painting about it, making poetries about it, dreaming about it. What has happened? – the trick of the mind. He has forgotten all that was not good to remember; now, he remembers only the good things, and all else has been just dropped. Now he remembers the love; now he remembers the freedom from all responsibilities; now he remembers… it was never a fact!
Whatsoever he felt as total helplessness, now he feels as freedom from responsibility. Whatsoever he has really felt in the past as a very bothersome burden of the parents, now he feels as love. He has dropped all that was not good, not ego strengthening, not creating a beautiful image – he has dropped it all.
Bring that man into deep hypnosis and ask him, “How was your childhood?” And he will begin to say that it was just hell. Awake, out of hypnosis, he says, “It was a heaven; I am longing again and again to go back.” Put him into hypnosis, then ask, and he will say, “It was just hell. There was nothing in my childhood.”
Psychologists have come to know now that all the misery, all the diseases, all the schizophrenia, all the insanity that develops later in life, is just a by-product of your childhood. So how was it a heaven? They say all that happens later on is just a by-product of your childhood. In your childhood, seeds are put into you which will develop into insanities, into abnormal perversions.
But the poets have always been talking about the innocence of childhood, the beauty of it, the benediction, the blessedness.
Psychoanalysts know more, and better. Whenever someone is ill, they have to bring out this very seed that has been planted in childhood. Unless that seed is destroyed – that seed is traumatic – unless it is destroyed you can never be really well. So psychoanalysis goes on trying to make you free from your childhood and all its impressions, all that childhood has done with you. If you are free from it, only then you can grow positively; otherwise, positive growth is impossible.
Buddha and Mahavira will say, “First go deep” – and there are methods. There are methods which can bring you back all the memories of your past lives. And once you know and go back on this time track, once you know that you have done the same nonsense every time, and you have longed for the same things, and always received quite the opposite . . . This has been a wheel constantly turning and turning and turning, and always forgetting and forgetting, and doing the same thing again and again. If one becomes aware of it, the very awareness becomes transforming.
The very awareness is transformation.
It is an inner revolution.
But leave aside past lives; even this life is enough – if you can go back in this very life and can find out that whatsoever was happiness one day became misery the other, that whatsoever you longed for, when you achieved it, was totally frustrating…. One of the greatest miseries of human life is to get that which you long for. If you never get it you are still happy, happy in the hope, happy in the possibility. But when you get it, even hope is lost. Now there is no future – you have got it.
Every achievement is frustrating. They say, “Nothing succeeds like success.” But I say, “Nothing fails like success.”
Nothing fails like success.
The moment you succeed, you know nothing has been achieved. It was just a dream, and now you are disillusioned.
So go back in this life, even this life is enough; go back and feel. Really we always go to the future, never to the past; we always go for the tomorrow, never for the yesterday. Go back and feel, go back. You have lived with the same desires, with the same longing, with the same dreams. Now take account of your past – what have you achieved? What have you gained? Was any hope ever fulfilled, or has every hope just proved hopeless? – go back. Don’t always move into the future, because in the future you will be doing the same – repeating the past. Go back. Realize your whole past; feel what has been wrong with it and don’t continue that wrong again. Drop it. Drop it consciously because it has become a habit now, it has become a mechanical routine. Drop it consciously!
Don’t repeat the past in the future, and you will be a new man.
This is what I mean by sannyas, by renunciation – to be a new man. This is what I mean by “breaking with the past,” discontinuity with the past. Remember what you have done with yourself in the past, and then drop it! Don’t drop it in steps, because you can never drop anything in steps – drop it totally, suddenly. Only then there is a discontinuity; otherwise, if you drop it in steps, there is a continuity.
Drop it suddenly.
This is what is meant by sannyas: Dropping the past as useless for the future.
This is a reorientation of all your attitudes, a reorientation of your total consciousness. Once this reorientation is there, you begin a new journey, and that journey is inwards. Then you can pass all the five bodies and come to the one which is embodied, but is not a body itself.
Why does consciousness become so involved with the body – not only involved, but identified? Why do we begin to feel that we are the bodies? – not that we are in the bodies, but we are the bodies?
This is really a miracle, because the knower can never be the known; the observer, the source of consciousness, can never be identified with the object. This body we know as an object; this hand I know, I feel, as an object. I never feel . . . I Can never feel it as me. It is always something outside – an object. It hurts, I know; it doesn’t hurt, I know – but I remain the knower.
But why does it happen that the knower becomes the known? How? How does the subject become the object? It cannot become really – that is impossible; becoming is impossible. The subject can never become the object – but it appears, it appears that it has become the object. We have become the bodies, and we go on living as if we are bodies.
Vahinger, a western philosopher has written a very strange book. The book is called The Philosophy of “As-if.” Really, this is our whole lives. We behave as if we are bodies; we behave as if we are material. We behave always not as we are, but as if – the “as if” is always there. How does this happen? – this which is impossible – how does this impossibility happen? What is the key? What is the clue?
The clue is very simple. The logic in the trick is very simple. You begin to be identified with anything which is pleasurable, because if you feel identified with the pleasure, you can feel more pleasure. If you do not feel identified with pleasure, then you cannot feel the pleasure at all, really. So the lover begins to feel identified with the beloved, the friend with the friend, the father with his son, the mother with her son; they begin to feel identified. The mother feels as if she is living in the son, and that if the son succeeds, the mother succeeds. If the son achieves, the father achieves. Then the son becomes just an extended part of the father’s ego.
With whatsoever we feel as pleasure, we begin to be identified. The moment the son becomes rebellious or becomes a criminal, the father tries to destroy the identification. He says, “Now, no more. You don’t belong to me at all.” Why? Why does the son belong at all?
I have a friend – he is an old man, an old politician, with many ambitions unfulfilled, obviously. A politician can never feel fulfilled, mm? That is intrinsically impossible. He is now seventy-five. His son died; he was only forty, but he was a minister in a state.
The son was a minister; this old man could never be a minister; he had tried in every way. And now he says, “There were many chances but I just escaped; I never wanted to be in any post.” He had tried everything possible, but now he says that he is beyond. But his son was a minister . . . he had two sons – one was just ordinary; the second was extraordinary. The old man has never felt identified with the first son – never. His identity was with the second one, who was a minister. Then the second son died, and this old man began to feel that he could not live anymore.
He came to me and asked, “What to do? I think of committing suicide, I cannot live anymore. My son has died; my young son has died, and I am old and I am still . . . It is not good – the father should die first.”
I asked him, “Had your son been a criminal, bad, evil, unsuccessful, would you have felt the same?” He pondered over it and said, “No.” Then I told him, “It is not the death of the son which has become so significant to you, really – it is your death, your ambition’s death.”
I asked him, “If your other son dies, will you commit suicide?” He said, “I have never loved him at all. He is just ordinary.” He has loved his ambition, not the son. The other son is as much a son, but there has been no communication between the two, never. They have not even talked. He said, “No, if he had not been up to my conceptions I would not have felt like this.”
The ego begins to be identified with something which is pleasurable. And this is the logic of our minds, the logic of this whole illusion, that we feel that our body is the source of pleasure. Of course, there are pains and there are sufferings, but we always transfer pains and sufferings to others. Suffering is always created by someone else, mm?
Jean-Paul Sartre has said – and said a very beautiful thing, but of course absolutely nonsense. He has said, “The other is hell.” The other is hell, always the other is hell. Oneself? – it is heaven, the very heaven. The other is the hell – this is the division, the bifurcation.
We continue to be identified with the body because we feel this is the source of pleasure. Whenever someone else’s body becomes the source of pleasure, we begin to be identified with that also. But always, pain comes from someone else; suffering comes from someone else. With this trick, this deep involvement in identification becomes possible.
The truth, the fact, is quite different: the body is both or neither. Either it is both the source of pain and pleasure . . . Remember this; it is both, because it cannot be one or the other. Pleasure and pain are one. Your body is the source of both. If you can feel this and realize this, then they both negate each other; the pain and the pleasure both negate each other and the body becomes neutral. Or, feel that pleasure and pain both come from outside, both are devices. They both come from outside; don’t divide, take them as a whole. Then also there is no identification with the body; the body is neutral.
And if the body is neutral, this rishi says you become a soul; otherwise, you are a conditioned soul. And this conditioned soul is the bondage; this conditioning is the bondage. And the rishi says this is the only disease, the spiritual disease: to be conditioned so much, identified so much with the body that one begins to feel as if one is the body.
This “as if” must be broken.
But it begins to be difficult. One feels to break it, but it looks impossible, because we have investments in it. We can break it if someone can make us confident that “if you break this body consciousness, you will be very happy and blissful” – then we can break it. But again, the old fallacy goes on, the old longing goes on. So I am not saying that if you want happiness, then break this conditioning and identification with the body, because you cannot break it. Rather, be aware of the fact that happiness or misery both will always remain side by side; you cannot leave one and choose the other. That is not possible. They are just like negative and positive poles of electricity; they are two parts of one phenomenon.
So be aware of this, that they are two parts of one phenomenon. Then you can just drop them without any further longing.
You cannot drop anything if there is a desire to gain something else; then that desire is again desire for happiness, pleasure. Be aware of the fact that both are one; pleasure and pain are one. Your interpretation differs, but the thing is always the same. This awareness of the fact becomes the dropping, the turning. And the soul, for the first time, realizes that it has never been identified with any object at all; it is the subjectivity.
Kierkegaard has said, “To know the subjectivity as the subjectivity is the realization. To know the subjectivity as an object is the bondage.”
From That Art Thou, Discourse #8
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The Very Awareness is Transformation is from the morning talk, That Moment Becomes the Door to the Divine is from the evening talk of the same day.