Are you self-realized? And how do you explain your relationship with existence and with people?
The word you say, “self-realized,” is not right, because realization always means a transcendence of the self. The word “self-realization” is, therefore, contradictory. If you realize, you know there is no self. If you do not realize, then there is the self. Whereas selfhood is non-realization, realization is non-selfhood. So I cannot say I am self-realized. I can only say there is no self now!
There was a self. That was only up to the door. The moment you enter the temple of realization, you find it no more. It is a shadow which follows you up to the door, and not only follows you but clings to you. But only up to the door. It cannot enter the temple. If you have to save it you will have to remain outside. The self is the last thing one has to throw. And one can throw everything, but to throw the “self” is so impossible because the effort for self-realization, the endeavor for self-realization, is an effort “of the self for the self”. The moment you realize, “you” will not be; you will not try.
So all the great preachers have used words which are fallacious. “Self-realization” is a fallacious word. But you do not understand if they say “no-self realization”. It will become absurd. But that is the real thing — no-self realization. Only Buddha used anatta, no-self. Anatta. Only Buddha used it. That is why Buddha was uprooted from India. He was just thrown out, and Buddhism could not get roots unless Buddhism began to use the word “self-realization”. In China and Japan it again came back, and they began to use “self-realization”. Buddha used “no-self realization”. I am also using no-self realization. That is the only realization. The moment there is no self you have become cosmic.
It is not realizing something. It is a great game. To know the self is the only, no doubt the greatest, the ultimate, game. The self is not something which is to be protected. It is something to be destroyed. It is something which is the barrier toward your ultimate potentiality, toward your ultimate realization.
So I cannot say I am self-realized. I will say, I am no-self realized, and that is the only realization that is possible. No other realization exists. The emphasis of all who claim self-realization is on the “self” and not on realization. My emphasis is on realization. That is why I emphatically deny the “self”.
How am I related to the cosmos and to other people?
Relationship exists between two selves. I am one who is not related, one who is not in relationship. Relationship is always between two. This may look paradoxical, but in every relationship you remain unrelated. Howsoever you are related, you will remain unrelated, because relationship exists between two. The two will be there. So relationship is only a facade to hide the duality. For moments you delude yourself that you are related, but again you are. You have fallen back to yourself and there is no relationship.
For example, when we are in so-called “love” we appear to be related. We create the fallacy of relationship, but, in fact, we are just deceiving ourselves. The two will remain two. However near, the two will always remain two. Even in a sex communion, they will be two. The twoness only creates a fallacy of oneness. Oneness can never exist between two selves. Oneness can only exist between two non-selves.
So as far as I am concerned, I am not related to the cosmic reality, not related at all, and by that I do not mean that I am isolated. By that I mean there is no one who can exist in relationship. As far as the cosmic reality is concerned, I am one, and the cosmic reality is one with me. From my side, I am one, but as far as people are concerned, I am not one from their side. They are related. Someone is related as a friend, someone is related as an enemy, someone is related as a brother, and someone is related as a disciple. They may be related to me, but I am not related to them. And the whole happening in me is to make them unrelated. But there cannot be any effort on their part. That only can be a realization of no-self.
If they know that there is no one who can be a disciple and who can be a guru, if they know that there is no one who can be related to anyone, only then the self falls and your emptiness is naked. And there are no clothes which give you a boundary, a self. In your total nakedness, when you know that there is no self, you are but a space, an inner sky — emptiness. Then you become one, or I may say then you really become related, but then there is no relation. When one is really related, then there is indeed no relationship, and when there is relationship, then one is not really related. When oneness happens, then one’s self is not.
You have asked me how I am related to the cosmic and to the people. To me they are not two things — the cosmic and the people. The cosmic happens in so many ways, and one of the ways is the people. The cosmic happens in so many ways, such as: the sun, the stars, the earth, the trees, the animals, the people. Only frequencies differ. The divinity is the same. So to me, the cosmic and the people are not two things. Whatever I have said before is not from thinking; it is a fact. But if I think — and I have to think if I am to understand your side — then you are related to me because you are and as long as you are, you will be related. That creates a very difficult situation. Daily, moment to moment, it creates a difficult situation.
You feel yourself related to me. You feel that you belong to me. Then you begin to expect that I should belong to you. Because you feel that you are related to me, you begin to expect that I should be related to you. Because of that expectation, I know that you are bound to be frustrated. Even with a person who is a “self”, it is bound to be frustrating, but it may take a greater time gap. If you are with a person who is a “no-self”, it will not take even a time gap. Every moment will be frustrating because there will be no fulfillment of your expectations. There is no one to fulfill them.
So I am very irresponsible because there is no one who can be responsible. There are responses, but no one who is responsible; and each response, therefore, is atomic. It cannot be a sequence. So you cannot expect anything from the moment that will follow. I even do not know. The response is going to be atomic, each complete in itself, not in any way related with the past or with the future.
The ego is a series of events, happenings and memories. It is so because you exist in a series, and you try to win with me, to take me as a series; but that becomes difficult. So everyone will feel, sometime or other, angry with me, because my response is atomic and not a serial one. The serial response becomes responsibility. Then you can rely.
I am very unreliable. You can never rely on me. I myself cannot rely on me. I do not know what is going to happen. I am completely open and accepting to anything that happens. And I never think in terms of relationship. I cannot think; rather, I live in terms of oneness.
Whenever you are near me, it does not mean that I am related to you. It is that I become one with you. And this oneness you interpret as love. But this oneness is neither love nor hate, because all that is known as love can change into hatred any moment. But this oneness can never change into hate. You may be near, you may be far; you may be a friend, you may be an enemy; it makes no difference. As far as I am concerned, you may come to me or go from me. It makes no difference.
Relationship is conditional; oneness is non-conditional. Relationship is always with conditions. Something changes in the condition, and the relationship will change. Everything is always on a volcano. Every relationship is always in a wavering state, always in a dying process, always changing. So every relationship creates fear, because always there is the danger of its being broken. And the more there is fear, the more you cling. And the more you cling, the more fear you create.
But oneness is quite diametrically opposite. Oneness is unconditional. It exists not because of any condition, not any expectation, not any fulfilment, not I am consciousness, I am freedom any future result, is hoped. It is neither conditioned by the past nor oriented to the future. It is a momentary, atomic existence, unrelated with the past, unrelated with the future.
So I feel oneness with the cosmic and with the people also. But from the cosmic the feeling is the same, as I feel one with it. From the cosmic the feeling is of the oneness. Once I was not feeling this, but I now know that the cosmic has always been in the same feeling towards me.
Oneness is always flowing. It has always been flowing. There has been an eternal waiting for the cosmic. Now I feel it toward the cosmic. I feel it also toward the people. The moment someone feels this oneness toward me, he becomes a part of the cosmic. He is then not a person. He becomes cosmic. And once you feel oneness, even with one person, you have known the taste; you have known the taste of ecstasy. Then you can jump into the all.
So this is what is happening around me. I do not say I am doing. This is happening around me.
I will call you near just to give you a taste of oneness. And if you can realize this even for a single moment, then you will never be the same again. This is a very patient effort — very unknown, unpredictable. No one can say when the moment is near. Sometimes your mind is so tuned that you can feel the oneness. That is why I insist on meditation, because it is nothing but tuning the mind to such a peak that you can jump into the oneness.
Meditation to me means tuning of the mind toward oneness, opening of the mind toward oneness. This can only happen when your meditation has gone beyond you. Otherwise, it can never happen. If it is below you, you are doing it, you are the controller. Then it cannot happen, because you are the disease. So I persuade you toward meditation in which, beyond certain limits, you will not be. Meditation will take you over. By and by you will be pushed. Of course, you will begin the meditation, because there can be no other way. You will have to begin, but you will not end the meditation. You will begin, but you will not end it. In between somewhere the happening will happen. The meditation will catch hold of you. You will be thrown, and the meditation will come in. Then you will be tuned to the infinite. Then you will be tuned to the cosmic. Then you will be one.
Oneness is important, not relationship. Relationship is sansar, relationship is the world. And because of relationship we have to be born again and again. Once you have known oneness, then there is no birth, then there is no death. Then there is no one except you. All are included. You have become the cosmic. The individual must go before the oneness comes. The ego must go before the divine comes.
Ego is the source of all relationship. The world is the relationship. God is not a relationship. The divine is not a relationship. The divine is not-selfness. This means you cannot become one with it. So a bhakta, a devotee, can never reach the cosmic, because he thinks in terms of relationship — God the father, God the lover, God the beloved. He thinks in terms of relationship. He goes on thinking in terms of “self” and the “other”. He can never transcend the ego. This is something very subtle, because the devotee is always struggling to surrender. Devotion, the path of devotion, is the path of surrender. He is trying to surrender, but to someone.
If you try to surrender to someone, the other is there. And the other cannot exist if you are not; so you will go on existing in the shadows. You will forget yourself, but forgetting yourself is not surrender. You remember the divine so much that you cannot remember yourself now. But you are in the back; you exist in the shadows. Otherwise, God cannot exist as the other.
So the path of devotion, as it exists, cannot lead you to the transcendental, to the cosmic, to the one. To me, it is not a question of surrendering to someone. It is just a question of surrendering the self — not at someone’s feet — just surrendering yourself. If there is no self, then you have become one.
The self can go on creating the seeds, it can go on creating the deception. And the greatest and most certain deception is that of the devotee and God — a religious deception. Any deception which becomes religious can be dangerous, because you cannot even deny it. Even to deny it will create guilt. You will feel guilty to deny selfhood to the divine. But to the divine the selfhood is the projection of your self. The moment you are not-self, there is no self as far as God is concerned. The whole existence has become selfless. And when the whole existence has become selfless, then you are one with it.
Selflessness is the path.
Selflessness is the real devotion.
Selflessness is the authentic surrender.
So the problem is always of the self. Even if we think of liberation, moksha, we think of freedom of the self, not freedom from the self. We think that then we will be free. But then you cannot be free. Moksha is not the freedom of the self, but it is freedom from the self. So I exist in a selflessness, in a flux, in a process of selflessness. Neither am I a self nor is anyone else a self. No one is a self . . . waves in the ocean, but each wave misconceives itself as separate from the ocean. It appears to be separate; it can deceive itself: There are so many waves around and each wave appears different. If my wave is higher and your wave is lower, or my wave is lower and yours higher, how can they be the same? And waves cannot look deep down in the sea. Only the surface is known. Your wave is dying and my wave is young and rising. Your wave has reached the shore and I am far off. How can I think that we both are the same? But yet, whether we think so or not, we are the same.
So the wave that is known as me is not an ego. It is not a self. This wave has known that the ocean is the wave. The wave is just a surface phenomenon: a surface appearance; a surface movement. This wave that I call “I” has not known that wavelessness — the waveless ocean — is the real. And that is one. Even your wave is not different.
I have known that which joins all. You may call it self-realization. I will not. I will call it no-self realization, because this is the essence of all realizations. This is no-selfness.
I think you understand what I mean. Whatsoever I said may not be what I mean and what I mean may not be what I said. So do not confuse my sayings with my meanings, but always look into the deep. Always listen to that which has not been said but indicated. There are things which cannot be said but shown, indicated. And all that is deep and all that is ultimate can only be shown and never said. And I am saying things which cannot be said. So do not think of my words. Always throw the words as meaningless. Then go deep down to the wordless meaning, to the silent meaning. It is always there behind the words. The words are always dead, the meaning is always living. One can be open to the words, but one can never be open through the intellectual understanding. You can be open with your total being, not with only your intellect. It is not that the intellect sometimes misunderstands. It is like this: that the intellect always misunderstands. It is not that the intellect sometimes errs. It is that the intellect is the error. It always errs.
So whatsoever is being said, be sympathetic with it. Do not try to understand it. Let it go deep in you. Be vulnerable, open to it. Let it go deep into the heart. Do not create intellectual barriers to it. Then, with your full being in participation, you will know. You may not understand, but you will know. And understanding is not enough. Knowing is needed. And sometimes you understand or think that you have understood. Thus, you create a barrier to the knowing. The intellect understands. The being knows. The intellect is just a part. It is your being that is the real.
When you know, you know with your blood, you know with your bones, you know with your heartbeats. But if you understand, you understand only with the mechanism of the mind which is not so deep. It is only a device, a utilitarian device, which is needed to survive, which is needed to be related, but which becomes a barrier toward oneness and toward spiritual death and resurrection. It is only a natural device to survive. It is not meant to reveal the ultimate truth. It is not meant to know the hidden mysteries, and the mysteries are hidden.
So whatsoever I am saying, do not think about it. Go home and sleep over it. Just let it go in. Let it penetrate. Do not guard yourself. Be open. Each guarding is against knowing. And only when it has reached your innermost being will it be known and really understood. That is what is meant by shraddha — faith. It does not mean belief. Belief is intellectual. One can believe intellectually; one can disbelieve intellectually. Both are intellectual. Faith is not belief; faith is not intellectual at all. It is the total mystic participation. It is being one with the hidden mysteries. It is a jump.
So whatsoever I am saying, I am not interested in any theory at all. I am not interested in any philosophies at all. I am interested in the existential jump. When I say something, it is only to lead you to that which cannot be said; and when I use words, I use them only to lead you toward silence. When I assert something, it is only to indicate the unassertable. My expression is not really to express something, but to indicate the inexpressible.
So be sympathetic, because only sympathy can be the opening. Let whatever I said drop into you. It will have a flowering. If the seed goes into the depths, it will have its flowering.
When the flower comes, you will know that which has been said but could not be said. You will know that which has been said but yet remains unsaid.
From I Am the Gate, Discourse #1, Q2
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