The fifth sutra:
Store in your memory the melody you hear.
Only fragments of the great sound come to your ears while yet you are but man. But if you listen to it, remember it faithfully, so that none which has reached you is lost, and endeavor to learn from it the meaning of the mystery which surrounds you. In time you will need no teacher as the individual has voice, so has that in which the individual exists.
Store in your memory the melody you hear. There are moments – rare, unique, but still there are moments when you come nearer to the melody of existence. Situations may be different, but the melody is the same.
A child running after a butterfly, a child picking flowers in a garden, a child just lying relaxed on the grass, feels a certain harmony in the existence, feels a certain melody. In that moment, lying on the grass relaxed or running – running for a butterfly, or running to gather flowers – or not doing anything: just playing with pebbles on the shore – in that moment, the child is totally one with existence. There is no regret, no negativity. The child accepts the existence as it is and is accepted by existence.
When you accept existence, the existence accepts you. When you reject, you are rejected. You are echoed by existence. Whatsoever you do with it is done with you.
The child accepts. There is no past for the child, no future. The moment, the present moment is enough. The child exists here and now. Then he feels a certain harmony; a melody is felt.
That is why, later on, even when you become very old, you go on remembering childhood; you go on saying childhood was a paradise. Why? Because many moments happened when you were totally accepting. And a child is totally accepting. The moment the child starts rejecting, he is no longer a child. Childhood is lost, paradise is lost.
Remember some moments of your childhood when you had the feeling that life was bliss, that just to be was ecstatic. Just to be, just to breathe, was enough. You didn’t need anything to make you blissful. Whatsoever you were was enough to be blissful.
Gather those moments. Remember them, relive them. Sometimes, forget your age. Close your eyes and move back, regress, be a child again. Not just remembering, but reliving. Be a child again. In your memory, run as a child, sing as a child, play as a child. Just replay your childhood again and you will get a new light, a new awakening. A new life energy will run through you.
When you were young, you loved someone. Again, there was ecstasy. Again, you felt absolutely okay. Nothing was wrong. Life was good; everything was as it should be. Again, a moment. Gather, nourish, such moments. Go into them again and again.
Then you were old – sitting in some temple meditating, or in some mosque praying, or in some church. And again, you felt a silence entering you.
Collect all these moments, because they will make you more capable and sensitive to hear the greater music of the spheres. They are only fragments, but you have heard in them something that goes beyond you. Whatsoever the situation – if a certain happiness descended upon you, cherish that moment and make a part of your heart vacant from all other memories. Collect these memories of blissful music that you have sometimes heard; it will be helpful.
You cannot hear the whole of the music suddenly. You can hear it only in fragments, because the mind is such a small thing. The aperture of the mind is very small, and the sky is very big. You can only see fragments. But collect those fragments. Create a unity in them, feel a certain oneness in them, and you will become more capable, more sensitive, more alive to receive more. You will become more receptive.
But look at the human mind. It collects miseries, it collects sufferings, it collects pains. It never collects happy moments. It goes on collecting misery upon misery. Then life becomes a hell. It is your collection; it is your way of looking at things.
You go on saying that happiness is just momentary. But no one says that suffering is momentary, no one says that anguish is momentary. You go on feeling that anguish is permanent, suffering is permanent, and happiness is just momentary. This is wrong. Both are similar and equal. Both are momentary.
And ultimately, the reverse is true. Suffering proves to be momentary, and bliss proves to be eternal. But right now, with this mind, everything is momentary. Suffering comes and goes; bliss comes and goes. But you go on collecting suffering, so it appears to be permanent; and you never collect, you never cherish and nourish, happiness and happy moments so they look momentary.
This is your choice. Change this choice – because with too much suffering collected, you will gather more suffering. Suffering will increase; you are helping it to increase. Then a moment may come when you are so clouded with suffering that you cannot see any possible bliss. Then you become totally negative.
Do quite the contrary. Only that will be a help for your meditation. Whenever suffering happens, don’t collect it. Allow it to happen, but don’t nourish it. Why go on talking about it? Everyone talks about his suffering. Why is there so much emphasis on it? Why give so much attention to it? Remember one of the laws: that whatsoever you pay much attention to grows. Attention is a growth helping element. If you pay attention to something, it grows more.
Now, biologists say that a child grows more if he is loved, because through love, he gets more attention. Even a plant grows more if the gardener gives attention to it. If it is neglected, if everything else is given to it – the right soil, fertilizers, rain, sunrays; everything is given to it except conscious attention – it takes a longer time to grow. Now this is a scientific fact: observed and found correct. If you love the plant and you pay much attention to it, if you talk to it, if you sometimes say to it, “I love you,” it grows faster. Attention is a vitamin. The most vital thing in existence is attention.
If no one loves you, you start withering away. If no one pays attention to you, death settles in. You want to die. If someone pays attention to you, you become alive again. Attention is life, elan vital.
If no one loves you, you will commit suicide, because you are not capable of loving yourself. If you were capable of loving yourself, if you were capable of giving attention to yourself, you would not need anyone else’s attention. A Buddha can live alone on this earth. You cannot. If you are alone, you will immediately commit suicide. You will say, “What is the use? Why should I live? Who will love me? Whom shall I love?”
Inside also, psychologically also, the same law applies. If you pay much attention to suffering, you help it to grow. If you pay much attention to happiness, you help it to grow. Don’t be your own enemy. If you are immersed in suffering it is because you have been paying attention to the wrong things. Shift your attention. Even if you have only one memory of a blissful moment it is enough. Pay attention to it and it will grow. The seed will grow, and it will become a big tree. Then you can rest in its shade, you can dance in its shadow. You can relax under it.
This sutra says: Store in your memory the melody you hear. Wherever you have heard the melody of life, wherever . . . Happiness means a melody. Suffering means an anarchic experience, a chaotic experience. Suffering means a crowd of unrelated experiences: noise, with no music in it. Happiness means music. Not noise but an inner harmony, not chaos but an inner unity.
Store in your memory the melody you hear, and then it will grow and one day you will become capable of hearing the whole of the universal music. Then you will need no teacher. Then you will not need to learn from anyone else. Then you will be directly in contact with the divine and no mediator will be needed.
A teacher is a mediator. You cannot hear, and he can hear. You cannot see, and he can see. You cannot feel, and he can feel. He is needed only up to the point when you yourself have become capable of hearing, seeing, merging. Then the teacher is of no use. Then you are immediately, directly, in contact with the universal force. Now you are in the river itself.
And once you have become capable of remaining blissful, once you have become capable of remaining in the melody, once you have entered the river, God can talk with you directly.
I remember a story about a Sufi mystic, Bayazid, who remained in one village for many years. One day the villagers said to Bayazid, “We have been seeing you and hearing you for at least five years. You were always praying and talking to God. Now we see that you never talk, you never pray. Why this change? Have you become an atheist? Have you lost your belief in the divine? You never talk now, you never pray.”
Bayazid laughed and said, “Before, I was talking and praying. Now God has started talking to me, so I have to be silent and listen. The whole process has changed. Now I need not talk. Now, he talks to me.”
This moment comes. But this moment comes only when your heart is filled with melody and a divine silence has come into you. There is no more noise. Wherever you look you feel the music; wherever you look you feel the unity; wherever you look you feel the one in different forms. Now you have become aware of the sea. Waves have disappeared for you. There are no waves; only the ocean exists. Then, the divine talks to you directly.
It is not a metaphor. Existence speaks to you directly; it is not a metaphor; it is not a poetic expression. It happens! But you have to be ready. And that readiness means a heart filled with music, a heart filled with silence.
The sixth sutra:
Learn from it the lesson of harmony.
Life itself has speech and is never silent. And its utterance is not, as you that are deaf may suppose, a cry. It is a song. Learn from it that you are part of the harmony, learn from it to obey the laws of the harmony.
As you are right now, life appears to be a cry. It is not. It appears to be a cry because you are disturbed. Life is a song, but to hear the song you must become a song yourself, because only the like can understand the like.
You are a cry. That is why the song of life appears like a cry and like a scream. It is because of you. You destroy it, you disturb it, you distort it. When it comes to you it comes as a song, but when it hits you, it becomes a cry, because you are a cry. You are ill, you are diseased. You are fragmentary; you are not total. The song is destroyed within you.
Become a song yourself and then the whole of life appears to be a song. Then there is no negativity. When you are positive, the whole of life becomes positive.
This is what I mean by a theist. Theism doesn’t mean a belief in God; theism doesn’t mean believing in a theology. Theism means a total yes to existence, saying yes to existence.
But when can you say yes? You can say it only when you have heard the song. How can you say yes to a cry; how can you say yes to a noise, a mad noise; how can you say yes to the insanity that appears all around, the death, the misery? How can you say yes to it? But it is there because of you, because of your eyes. Your eyes are a distorting factor. It is because of your heart. Your heart is filled with suffering and misery, so it cannot find anything else. It is your own echo.
This sutra says:
Learn from it the lesson of harmony.
Whatsoever beautiful moments, whatsoever ecstatic moments, happy moments you have had – collect them, cherish them, live with them, live them. You will become more sensitive to happiness. Happiness will be more attracted toward you, love will happen to you more, meditation will come to you more easily. Life will become a benediction; existence will become a celebration. But you have to create a happy heart.
And then, in the fragmentary experience of bliss, find out the common note. A child picking flowers, a young man loving a girl, an old man sitting under a tree meditating. They all say it is blissful – there must be something common to all of them. On the periphery, from the outside, nothing appears to be common. A child picking flowers, a young man loving a girl, an old man chanting a mantra. Nothing seems to be common between them. But if they all say, “This was blissful!” there must be something common. Find out that common element. Find out the one thing that is always there and without which they cannot say that all these moments are blissful moments.
It may be that the old man will deny any common element. He may say, “This young man is just foolish. There is nothing in girls, only bones and flesh and everything dirty. This young man is just foolish. He is wasting his time.”
Or the young man may say, “This small child picking up flowers is living in a fantasy. It is not real. When he becomes more knowing he will throw these flowers. This is stupid. Collecting flowers is useless; he is wasting time. He is ignorant.”
But, still, there must be something common to all of them. If the old man says that the young man is foolish or the young man says that the child is foolish, this simply means that for the old man life has not yet become a unity. It simply means that the old man is still angry at his own childhood. He couldn’t absorb it into his life current. His youth has not become a part of his life. The old man is fragmented, divided.
If the old man is really undivided, if he has been searching for the common element in all experiences, that is wisdom. To find out the common element in all experiences, the essential element is wisdom. If the old man has come to realize what is essential in all blissful experiences, he will see that when he was sitting with a girl in deep love the same thing was happening that is now happening in his meditation. When he was picking flowers in the garden as a child, or playing with pebbles on the seashore, it was the same thing.
What is the common element? Attention, deep attention, absorption. The child was absorbed with his stones, playing with them. The whole existence was forgotten. The child forgot himself. Nothing existed in that moment, no mind existed. The child was totally absorbed. Because of that absorption, that total annihilation of the ego, bliss happened. It became a meditation.
The young man was absorbed in his beloved. The whole existence dropped away as if nothing else existed. Only the beloved existed. Even that disappeared: the lover and the beloved disappeared. Only love existed. A moment existed that was eternal, a moment that was eternity itself. No past, no future. The now was all. It was a meditation. Love is a meditation. And then bliss happened.
Now, the old man is chanting under a tree, or sitting in a temple listening to the bells of the temple and feeling very happy, ecstatic. What is happening? The same thing is happening in a different situation, in a different age, in a different experience. The same thing is happening. The world disappears. The old man is no more, the temple disappears. The present moment becomes total. He is here and now. The bells go on ringing. They don’t ring in the future: they ring in the present. No past memory enters no future desire. The old man is here and now.
Whenever you are here and now, bliss happens.
As a child playing with stones, as a young man playing with your beloved, or an old man playing with chanting and meditation. If all three experiences can be felt as harmonious, you have found one of the ultimate laws of life. You have become wise. Wisdom has happened to you.
From The New Alchemy: to Turn you On, Discourse #12
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