The ninth sutra:
Regard most earnestly your own heart.
For through your own heart comes the one light which can illuminate life and make it clear to your eyes.
Only one thing is more difficult to know – your own heart. Not until the bonds of personality are loosed, can that profound mystery of the self begin to be seen. Not till you stand aside from it will it in any way reveal itself to your understanding. Then, and not till then, can you grasp and guide it. Then, and not till then, can you use all its powers and devote them to a worthy service.
Regard most earnestly your own heart. The most basic thing to be understood is that you cannot understand your own nature, your own heart, your own being, because of your personality, because of a false entity that you have created around you.
We live encased in personalities. Personalities are false. They are simply masks, facades to be shown to others. But the practice becomes so deep that you forget your original face completely. Showing your false faces to others, by and by you get identified with them and you begin to think that these are your faces. Then your original face, your real face, remains hidden.
Whatsoever you do, howsoever you act, whatsoever you say, remember well whether it comes from your heart or from your personality. Make the distinction clear. It will be a great help to you in the inner search.
When you say to someone, “I love you,” from where are these words coming? From where? What is the origin of them? Are they coming from your heart? Really, is your heart filled with love? Or are they just coming from your personality, just from your false face? Are you saying them just as a way of manners, a formality, an etiquette, or are you saying them as a means to something else?
You may desire someone’s body, you may desire sex with someone, but you say, “I love you.” This saying is just a deception. It would be better if you said, “I desire sex with you, but no love is there. Your body is attractive to me, magnetic to me, but there is no love. It may grow, but right now there is no love. I am interested only in your body.”
But if someone says that only your body is attractive to him, you are not going to be in love with the man. You will escape! You will say, “What nonsense are you saying?” The false face must be there. Only then can the body be given or taken.
So you go on cultivating your personality. When you are feeling hurt within, sad, even then you go on smiling. Consider whether your smile is just a painted smile, just on the lips, an exertion by the lips, or whether it is coming from deep down and spreading on the lips. Is the source rooted somewhere deep, or is there no source, is it just a painted smile? When you smile, observe it and you will come to know when the smile is false and when the smile is real.
When someone is sad, or someone is in misery, or someone has lost a friend, a beloved, a husband, a wife, you go to him. Your face looks sad and sorrowful. Remember, and consider deep within, whether this sadness is real or whether you are just displaying it and deep down you are simply bored, deep down you are trying to figure out how to leave, deep down you are thinking of other things, not at all interested in the person: his misery, his suffering. Go on considering this and you will come to know two different layers within you. The false one is the personality.
The word ‘personality’ is very significant. It comes from a Greek word persona. Persona means ‘the mask’. In Greek drama the actors used masks, false faces. Those false faces were called personae. And from that, the word ‘personality’ comes. It is beautiful. It means that you are acting with a false face. It is not you. You are hiding behind the false face, because you cannot reveal your real face.
I am not saying to necessarily go on revealing your real face everywhere. There is no need. Somewhere, the persona is needed. But be clear that this is the persona; this is not you. Inside, you must know when you are acting and when you are real. You must not be deceived by your acting! You must not become identified with your acting! I know that faces are needed. Otherwise, it will be difficult to live in society, very difficult. Faces are good in a way. They facilitate, they work as lubricants. And in a big society with so many people, you need not reveal your reality everywhere.
Someone meets you in the morning. You feel disturbed by it. You think, “Why have I seen this man’s face this morning? His face may destroy my whole day.” But, outwardly, you smile and say, “Good morning. How happy I am to see you.” Inwardly, you are not happy at all!
But this is okay as far as manners are concerned. It will not be good to say to the man, “I am feeling very unhappy. You have destroyed my morning. Your face is dangerous. I am afraid that seeing you will ruin my whole day.” This will not be good. Unnecessary. Unnecessarily disturbing to the other man. There is no need.
But you must know what is a mask and what is real. You must be aware of what is going on within. What is within is your real being and what is going on on the surface is just a social utility. If you can make a clear-cut distinction between you and your personality, then personality becomes just like clothing. You can drop it at any moment and become naked.
If you cannot drop it, it means that you are so attached to it that the distinction is not there, the separation is not there; there is no gap. A gap is needed so that at least in your room, in your bathroom, you can put your personality away and become real. At least in meditation, you can throw the personality and become real. There, it is not needed.
Meditation is nonsocial. It is not concerned with anyone else; it is concerned only with yourself. So no mask is needed; you can be authentic. But you cannot be authentic because you don’t know the distinction. Even in meditation I feel that you are doing many false things.
Freud became aware – when he first started psychoanalysis, he was not aware of it, but by and by he became aware that patients would say things that were not real just to make Freud happy, to confirm his theories – because when Freud was happy, they also felt happy. Only after twenty years of psychoanalysis did he become aware that what they were saying was not real.
For example, Freud says that sex is the root of every mental disturbance. Patients would come to him and tell him about their disturbances. Then they would reveal that sex was the root of their disturbances. Freud thought that his theories were confirmed by thousands and thousands of examples. Only later on did he become aware that many of them were lying just to make him happy, to confirm his theory.
Sometimes I feel the same thing. When I say, “Go mad!” and you go mad, I know that you are going mad just to make me happy. But there is no need. I am already too much happy! There is no need. Don’t do anything that is not real. It is not going to help anyone. Be authentic, be real, at least in your meditation – because there, you alone are concerned.
Tillich has said somewhere that religion is the concern of the individual, a totally personal concern with oneself. It is not concerned with anyone else. Religion is individual, so you need not think of anyone else while meditating, not even of me. Be real. Throw your masks. Anything authentic will help you to move inward, anything unreal will help you to move outward.
That is the reason why Shankara calls the world illusion. The more you move away from yourself, the more you are moving into illusion; and the more you go inward, the more you are moving into reality. Your personality is the gateway toward illusion, toward an unreal dream world. Throw that gate, throw that bridge completely. At least in meditation.
I am not saying for you to go and move in society and be authentic. You will be in difficulty. If you feel happy to do it you can do it, but I’m not saying that; don’t put the blame on me. The society will create troubles for you. It doesn’t want your real faces; it wants your unreal faces.
And it is okay as far as the society is concerned. Use an unreal face when you go out, but when you go within, throw that face completely. Don’t get identified with it, don’t carry it inward. A day may come when you will become so strong that even in society you would like to move with a real face, but that depends on you. First, look inward and, at least momentarily, put aside your personalities.
For through your own heart comes the one light which can illuminate life and make it clear to your eyes.
Only one thing is more difficult to know – your own heart. Not until the bonds of personality are loosed, can that profound mystery of self begin to be seen.
The personality works as a barrier and the light from your heart cannot come to you. Discard the personality, even momentarily, temporarily and the light will flood you, and you will enter in a different world: the world of the heart.
Not till you stand aside from it will it in any way reveal itself to your understanding.
You have to put yourself aside: your personality, your ego.
Not till you stand aside from it will it in any way reveal itself to your understanding. Then, and not till then, can you grasp and guide it. Then, and not till then, can you use all its powers, and devote them to a worthy service.
And before the moment that you yourself have come into deep contact with your innermost heart, you cannot do anything that is good, that is worthy. You cannot be of any service to anyone. Whatsoever you do, even with good will, will create evil, because the doer is ignorant. What you do is not significant. Who you are is more significant.
If you are ignorant, living in total darkness – if the light from the heart has not penetrated in you, has not filled you yet – you may have good wishes, good will, but whatsoever you do will result in evil, because nothing good can come out of a dark heart.
So don’t try to be of any service to anyone unless you have come to the inner light. Then, your whole life will become a service. Then there will be no need to make it a duty, then you will not serve anyone as a duty. Then service will flow out. Of you spontaneously. And when service becomes spontaneous, with no concept of duty in it, when service becomes love – you cannot do anything else but serve; when there is no question of making others happy; when really the contrary has happened: you are so happy that now the happiness overflows in you and reaches to others – only then does good result from whatsoever you do.
It has happened that even without any goodwill, good happens – if you are filled with light and happiness. But much goodwill, without the inner light, may be dangerous for others. People who are engaged in service toward others without any inner sadhana create much mischief. The whole society is suffering from these mischievous people who go on serving others without in any way having realized their own inner light. Remember this: the first thing is your own self-realization. Serving others is secondary. And don’t think that, through serving others, you can realize your self. Through realizing your self you can move into serving others, not vice versa.
It is impossible to help others till you have obtained some certainty of your own. When you have learned the first fifteen rules and have entered the hall of learning you’re your powers developed and sense unchained, then you will find there is a fount within you from which speech will arise.
These notes are written only for those who can read what I have written with the inner as well as the outer sense.
Remember this. It is impossible to help others till you have obtained some certainty of your own. Resist the temptation to help others. It is evil unless you have obtained some certainty of your own.
Don’t try to be a guru, don’t try to be a helper. because you will disturb; you will create more problems. Remember well that you cannot help. you cannot guide anyone. unless you have got the inner light. When the inner light is there, the help, the guidance, will flow from you.
Resist the temptation. The temptation is great, because the ego feels very fulfilled. Someone comes to ask your advice. The temptation is there to give advice without knowing what you are doing, without being aware that you don’t know. If someone asks you whether God is, you are not strong enough to say, “I don’t know.” You say something. Either you say, “Yes. God is. I am a believer,” or you say, “No, God is not. I am a disbeliever,” but in both cases you give advice. In both cases you confirm something that you don’t know.
Remember this, for the spiritual seeker a very basic, very significant point: whatsoever you really know, confirm only that. If you don’t know, it is better to say, “I don’t know.” Someone asked Albert Einstein once, “What is the difference between science and philosophy?”
His reply is one of the wisest. He said, “If you come to a scientist and ask a hundred questions, about ninety-nine he will say, ‘I don’t know.’ Only about one will he say, ‘I know. But this too,’ he will say, ‘is only relative knowledge. Tomorrow it can change. It is not absolute.’
If you go to a philosopher and ask one question, he will give a hundred answers. And with absolute conviction that this is so. If someone says something else, he will be condemned to hell. “He is wrong!” That’s why philosophy leads nowhere. Answers and answers and answers leading nowhere. Answering so much and not even answering a single question. The basic thing is lacking: the philosopher is not strong enough to say, “I don’t know.”
The scientist is stronger. He can say, “I don’t know.” And even when he says, “I know,” he says, “Up until now this has been true. But I cannot say anything about tomorrow. Things may change, many new facts may become known and then the truth will have to be readjusted.” I would like to tell you that yoga is also a science; it is not a philosophy. Meditation is a science: it is not a philosophy. Remember this, don’t guide anyone unless you have a certain knowledge, a certain experience. And even then, tell others that “this is my experience. It may not be so for you. It is how I have come to it. Your way may differ; it may not prove true for you. So don’t take my advice blindly. You can experiment with it. It is an open experiment.”
Then you can be of some help. Otherwise. you can create disturbances. Don’t get tempted. Don’t advise unless you really know. Don’t guide. First be a disciple; don’t try to be a master. Mastership will come. When your discipleship has become complete and total, the master will emerge within you. But not before that moment, not before that time. Wait for it. It happens.
From The New Alchemy to Turn You On, Discourse #14
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