Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart.
Three things. First, if knowledge is important then the head is the center; if childlike innocence is important then the heart is the center. The child lives in the heart; we live in the head. The child feels; we think. Even when we say that we feel, we think that we feel. Thinking becomes primary for us, feeling becomes secondary. Thinking is the tool for science, feeling is the tool for religion.
You must start to be a feeling organism again. And both the dimensions are different. When you think, you remain separate; when you feel, you melt.
Think about a flower, a rose flower. When you think, you are separate; there is a gap, a distance, a space. For thinking, space is needed; for thoughts to move, distance is needed. Feel the flower and the gap disappears, the distance drops. Because for feeling, distance is the barrier. The closer you come, the more you feel. A moment comes when even closeness appears to be a sort of distance – and then melting happens. Then you cannot feel the boundaries of where you are and where the flower is, of where you end and where the flower begins. Then boundaries melt into each other: the flower enters you in a way; you enter the flower in a way. Feeling is losing the boundaries; thinking is creating the boundaries. That is why thinking always insists on definitions, because without definitions you cannot create boundaries.
Thinking says define first, and feeling says don’t define. If you define, feeling stops.
The child feels; we think. The child comes close to existence; he melts and allows the existence to melt into him. We are isolated, imprisoned in the head. We are like islands.
This sutra says to come back to the heart center. Start feeling things. It will be a great experiment if you start feeling things. Whatsoever you do, give a certain amount of your time and energy to feeling. You are sitting here, you can listen to me – but that will be part of thinking. You can also feel me here but that will not be a part of thinking. If you can feel my presence, then definitions are lost. Then really, if you come to a moment of feeling, you don’t know who is speaking and who is listening. This can happen right this very moment. Then the speaker becomes the listener and the listener becomes the speaker. Then really they are not two, rather, they are two poles of one phenomenon: on one pole is the speaker, on another pole is the listener. But these are just poles, isolated. They are not real. The real thing is just in-between these two – the life, the flow. Whenever you feel, something other than your ego becomes important. Object and subject lose their definitions. A flow, a wave, exists – on one pole the speaker, on another pole the listener, but the life is the wave.
Head gives you clarity, and because of this clarity much confusion has come into being because the head defines clearly, marks boundaries, makes maps. With reason, everything is clear-cut: no vagueness, no mystery is allowed. All that is vague is rejected, only the clear is real. Reason gives you a clarity, and because of clarity, a great misunderstanding arises. Clarity is not reality. Reality is always unclear, vague. Concepts are clear, reality is mysterious; concepts are rational, reality is irrational.
Words are clear, logic is clear life is not clear. The heart gives you a melting vagueness. It reaches reality more intimately, but it is not clear. And because we have chosen clarity as the goal, we have been missing reality. You must have unclear eyes to enter reality again. You must be vague, you must be ready to enter into something which cannot be conceptualized, into something which is not logic, into something which is staggering and real, staggering and alive.
Clarity is dead. It remains fixed. Life is a flux, nothing is fixed, nothing remains the same the next moment. How can you be clear about it? If you insist too much on clarity you will lose contact with it. That is what has happened.
This sutra says that the basic thing is to come back to the heart center – but how to come to it?
Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart.
The word ‘mindstuff’ is not a good translation of the original Sanskrit word chitt. But English has no other equivalent. So it is good in a way, it carries the meaning, not of ‘mind’ but of ‘mindstuff’.
Mind means mentation, thinking, thought, and mindstuff means the background upon which these thoughts float – just as in the sky the clouds move. Clouds are the thoughts and the sky is the background upon which they move. That sky, consciousness, has been called mindstuff. Your mind can be without thoughts; then it is chitt, then it is pure mind. When it has thoughts it is impure mind.
If your mind can be without thought, then it is very subtle, the subtlest thing possible in existence. You cannot conceive of a more subtle possibility. Consciousness is the most subtle thing. So when there are no thoughts in the mind, you have pure mind. The pure mind can move towards the heart, the impure mind cannot. By impurity I don’t mean any immoral thoughts in the mind, by impurity I mean all thoughts – thought as such is impure.
Even if you are thinking of God it is an impurity, because the cloud is moving. The cloud is very white, but the cloud is there and the purity of the space is not there. A cloudless sky is not there. A cloud may be a black cloud, a sexual thought moving in the mind, or the cloud may be a white cloud, beautiful, a prayer moving in the mind, but in both cases the pure mind is not there. It is impure, clouded. And if the mind is clouded you cannot move in the heart.
This has to be understood because with thoughts you cling to the head. Thoughts are the roots, and unless those roots are cut you cannot fall back to the heart.
The child remains in the heart only up to the moment that thoughts crystalize, that thoughts start floating in his mind. Then they take root; then through education, culture, cultivation, they become rooted; then by and by the consciousness moves from the heart to the head. The consciousness can remain in the head only if there are thoughts. This is basic. If there are no thoughts, consciousness immediately drops back to its original innocence in the heart.
Hence so much emphasis on meditation, so much emphasis on non-thinking, on thoughtless awareness, on choiceless awareness, or on Buddha’s ‘right mindfulness’, which is just mindfulness without any thought, just being aware. What happens then? A very great phenomenon happens because when the roots are cut, immediately consciousness drops back to the heart, to the original place where it had been. You become a child again.
Jesus said, “Only those who are like children will enter into the kingdom of my God.” He refers to those persons whose consciousness has come back to the heart. They have become innocent, childlike.
But the first basic requirement is to put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness….
Thoughts can be expressed. There is not a single thought which is inexpressible, nor can there be. If it is inexpressible you cannot think it; if you can think it, it is expressible. There is not a single thought which you can say is inexpressible. The moment you can think it, it has become expressible – you have already expressed it to yourself.
Consciousness, pure consciousness, is inexpressible. That is why mystics go on saying that they cannot express what they know. Logicians always raise the question that if you know, then why can’t you say it? And their argument has meaning and significance. If you really say that you know then why can’t you express it?
For a logician, knowledge must be expressible – that which can be known can be made known to others, there is no problem. If you have known it, then where is the problem? You can make it known to others. But the mystic’s knowledge is not of thoughts. He has not known it as a thought, he has known it as a feeling. So really, it is not good to say, ”I know God.” It is better to say, “I feel.” It is not good to say, “I have known God.” It is better to say, “I have felt him.” That is a more accurate description of the phenomenon because the ‘knowledge’ is through the heart it is like feeling, it is not like knowledge.
Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness…. Mindstuff, consciousness, chitt, is inexpressible. If a single thought is moving, it is expressible. So, to put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness means to come to a point where you are conscious, but not conscious of any thought; where you are alert, but there is no thought moving in the mind. This is a delicate point and very difficult – you can miss it easily.
We know two states of mind. One is when thoughts are there. When thoughts are there, you cannot move to the heart. Then we know another state of mind – when thoughts are not there. When thoughts are not there, you fall asleep. Then too, you cannot move to the heart. Every night, for a few moments, for a few hours, you fall out of thinking. Thoughts cease, but you don’t reach to the heart because you are unconscious. So a very delicate balance is needed. Thoughts must cease as they cease in deep sleep, when there is no dream – and you must be as alert as you are while awake. These two points must meet. Mind must be as thoughtless as it is in deep sleep, but you must not be asleep, you must be perfectly alert, aware.
When awareness and this thoughtlessness meet, it is meditation. That is why Patanjali says that samadhi is like sushupti. The highest ecstasy, samadhi, is like the deepest sleep, with only one difference: in it you are not asleep. But the quality is the same – thoughtless, dreamless, undisturbed, without a single ripple, totally calm and quiet, but alert. When you are aware and there is no thought, you will feel a sudden transformation in your consciousness. The center changes. You are thrown back. You are thrown to the heart. And from the heart, when you look at the world, there is no world, there is only God. From the head, when you look towards existence, there is no God, there is only material existence.
Matter, material existence, the world, and God are not two things, two outlooks, two perspectives. They are the same phenomenon looked at from two centers of being.
Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart. Be totally in it, merged, immersed. Be simply consciousness, above, below, in the heart; the whole heart surrounded by simple consciousness; not thinking anything in particular, just being aware, with no word, with no verbalization, not thinking at all, just being.
Put mindstuff above, below, and in your heart, and everything will become possible to you. All the doors of perception will be cleansed and all the doors of mysteries will be opened. Suddenly there will be no problem, and suddenly there will be no misery – it is as if the darkness has disappeared completely. Once you know this you can move back to the head but you will not be the same. Now you can use the head as an instrument. You can work with it, but now you are not identified with it, and even while working with it and looking at the world through it, you will know that whatsoever you are seeing is because of the intellect. Now you are acquainted with a higher standpoint, a deeper view – and any moment you want to you can drop back.
Once you know the passage and how consciousness drops back; how your age, your past, your memory and your knowledge, disappear and you become a newborn child again – once you know this secret, this passage, you can travel to that point as many times as you like, and you can be refreshed again and again. If you have to move to the head, you can use it; you can move in the ordinary world, working but not getting involved in it, because deep down you know that that which is known by the intellect is partial. It is not the whole truth. And a partial truth is more dangerous than a lie, because it appears to be true and you can be deceived by it.
Some more points. When you move to the heart, you look at existence as a total being. The heart is not departmental, the heart is not a fragment of you, the heart means you in your totality. Mind is a fragment, hand is a fragment, leg is a fragment, stomach is a fragment, the whole body taken in parts is fragmented. The heart is not a fragment. That is why my hand can be cut off and I will be alive. Even my brain can be removed and I will be alive, but if the heart is gone, I am gone.
Really, my whole body can be removed but if my heart is beating I am alive. The heart means your wholeness, so when the heart fails, you are no longer there. All other things are just parts, disposable. If the heart is beating you will remain intact. The center of the heart is the very core of your existence. I can touch you with my hand. That touch will give me a certain knowledge about you, about your skin, whether it is smooth or not. The hand will give a certain knowledge to me, but that knowledge will be partial because the hand is not my wholeness. I can see you. My eyes will give a certain knowledge from a different standpoint but that will not be the whole. I can think about you – again the same thing. But I cannot feel you in part. If I feel you at all I feel you in your wholeness. That is why, unless you know through love, you never know the wholeness of any person.
Only love can reveal the whole personality to you, the whole being, the essential, the total. Because love means knowing through the heart, feeling through the heart. So to me, feeling and knowing are not two fragments of your being. Feeling is your whole being and knowing is just a fragment of it.
To religion love is the highest knowledge. That is why religion is expressed more in poetic terms than in scientific ones. Scientific terms cannot be used, they belong to the realm of knowing. Poetry can be used. And those who have come to know reality through love, whatsoever they say becomes poetry. The Upanishads, the Vedas, the sayings of Jesus or Buddha or Krishna, they are all poetic statements.
It is not just a coincidence that all the old religious scriptures are written in poetry. It has a significance. It shows that there is some affinity between the world of a poet and the world of a mystic. The mystic is also using the language of the heart.
The poet is only a mystic in certain moments of flight, just as when you jump you can go away from the gravitation of the earth, but you again come back to it. A poet means a person who has been for some seconds on a flight into the world of the mystics. He has had some glimpses. A mystic is one who has gone beyond gravitation completely, who lives in the world of love, who lives through the heart. This has become his very abode. For the poetic person it is just a glimpse: sometimes he falls down from the head to the heart. But this is just for the time being – again he goes back to the head. So if you see a beautiful poem, don’t try to see the poet who has written it because you will not meet the same person. You will be disappointed because you will meet a very ordinary man.
He had a glimpse. For certain moments reality was revealed to him and he came down to the heart. But he doesn’t know the passage. He is not the master of it. It has been a happening and he cannot move to it by his own will.
When Coleridge died he left about forty thousand incomplete poems. He really completed only seven poems in his whole life. He became a great poet, one of the greatest in the world, but he was asked many times, “Why do you go on piling up incomplete poems, and when are you going to complete them?” He said, “I cannot do anything. Sometimes a few lines come to me and then they stop. So how can I complete them? I will wait. I will have to wait. If it happens again and the glimpse comes to me, and I again have the world revealed to me, the reality, then I will complete it. But on my own I can do nothing.” He must have been a very sincere poet. To find such sincere poets is difficult, because the tendency of the mind is to supply. If three lines have come then you will supply the fourth, and the fourth will kill all the three because it will come from a very lower state of mind – when you are back on the earth. When you jumped, and you were freed for some moments from gravitation, you had a different dimension of being.
A poet moves on the earth but sometimes he jumps. In those jumps he has glimpses. A mystic lives in the heart. He doesn’t move on the earth, the heart has become his abode. So he doesn’t really create poetry but whatsoever he does becomes poetic, whatsoever he says becomes poetry. Really, a mystic cannot use prose because his prose is also poetry – it is coming through the heart, it is coming through love.
Put mindstuff in such inexpressible fineness above, below and in your heart. The heart is your total being, and when you are total you can know the total – remember this. Only the similar can know the similar. When you are fragmentary you cannot know the total. As within, so without. When you are total within, the total reality without is revealed to you; you have become capable of knowing it, you have earned the right to know it. When you are fragmented within, the reality is fragmented without. So whatsoever you are within will be the without for you.
Deep in the heart the whole world is different, the gestalt is different. I am looking at you. If I am looking at you through the head, through intellect, through one of my parts of knowing, then a few friends are here, individuals, egos – separate. But if I am looking at you through the heart, then individuals are not here. Then just an oceanic consciousness is here and individuals are just waves. If I look at you through the heart, then you and your neighbor are not two, then the reality is between you and your neighbor. You are just two poles, and the real is just in-between. Then here there is an ocean of consciousness in which you exist as waves. But waves are not separate, they are linked together. And you are melting every moment into the other, whether you know it or not.
The breath that was within you just a moment ago has left you – now it is moving into your neighbor. Just a moment before, it was your life and you would have died without it, and now it is moving into your neighbor. It is his life now. Your body is continuously radiating vibrations, you are a radiator, so your life energy is constantly moving into the neighbor and his life energy is moving into you.
If I look at you from my heart, if I look at you with loving eyes, if I look at you totally, then you are just radiating points, and life is moving continuously from you to others and from others to you…. And not only just in this room, this whole universe is a constant flux of life energy. It goes on moving. There are no individual units, it is a cosmic whole. But through intellect the cosmic never appears, only fragments, atomic fragments, appear. And this is not a question which can be comprehended through intellect. If you try to comprehend through intellect it will be impossible to comprehend it. It is a totally different outlook, from a different point of existence.
If you are total within, the totality without is revealed to you. Some have called that revelation God-realization: some have called it moksha, liberation; some have called it nirvana, cessation. Different words, altogether different words, but they signify the same core, the same essence.
One thing is basic to all these expressions – the individual disappears. You may call it God-realization, then you are no longer an individual; you can call it liberation, then you are no longer a self; you can call it cessation – as Buddha has called it – then just as a lamp, a flame, ceases to be, disappears, disperses, you cannot find it anywhere again, you cannot locate it, it has gone into nonbeing, so the individual disappears. But this point has to be pondered over. Why do all religions say that the individual, the self, the ego, disappears when you realize the truth? If all religions emphasize this, this means that the self must be illusory – otherwise how can it disappear? The self must not be there really, only then can it disappear. This may seem paradoxical, but this is so: only that which is not can disappear. That which is will persist in being, it cannot disappear.
Just because of the head a false entity has come into being – the individual. If you come down to the heart, the false entity disappears. It was a creation of the head. From the heart the cosmic is, the individual is not; the whole is, the parts are not. And remember, when you are not, you cannot create a hell; when you are not, you cannot be in misery; when you are not, there can be no anxiety, no suffering. All anxiety, all suffering, exists because of you – the shadow of the shadow. The self is unreal, the ego is unreal, and because of that unreal self many unreal shadows are created. They follow you, you go on fighting with them, but you will never be victorious because the base goes on being hidden within you.
Swami Ramteerth has said somewhere that he was staying in a house, in a poor villager’s house. The small child of the villager was playing just in front of the hut, and the sun was rising and the child saw his shadow. He tried to catch it, but the more he moved, the more the shadow would move ahead. The child started crying. He was a failure. He tried in every way to catch it, but it was impossible. To catch a shadow is impossible – not because a shadow is such a difficult thing to catch, it is impossible because the child was moving to catch it. When he was moving, the shadow moved ahead. You cannot catch a shadow because a shadow has no substance, and only a substance can be caught. Ramteerth was sitting there. He was laughing and the child was crying, and the mother was at a loss about what to do. How to console the child? So she said to Ramteerth, “Swamiji, can you help me?” Ramteerth went to the child, caught the child’s hand and put it on his head – the shadow was caught. Now that the child had put his hand on his head, the shadow was caught. The child started laughing. Now he could see that his hand had caught the shadow.
You cannot catch a shadow, but you can catch yourself. And the moment you catch yourself, the shadow is caught.
Suffering is just a shadow of the ego. We are all like that child, fighting with suffering, anxiety, anguish, and trying to disperse them. We can never be victorious. It is not a question of strength – the whole effort is absurd, impossible. You must catch the self, the ego, and once you catch it, suffering suddenly disappears. It was just a shadow.
There are persons who start fighting with the self. It has been taught, “Disperse the self, be egoless, and you will be in bliss,” so they start fighting the self, the ego. But if you fight you are still believing that the self exists. Your fight will give food to it, it will become an energy-giving thing to it, you will be feeding it. This technique says don’t think of the ego, just move from the head to the heart and the ego will disappear. The ego is a projection of the head. Don’t fight with it. You can go on fighting for lives together, but if you remain in the head you cannot win.
Just change the standpoint, just move from the head to a different standpoint, to a deeper standpoint of the being, and the whole thing changes because now you can look from a different perspective. From the heart there is no ego. Because of this we have become afraid of the heart. We never allow it to have its own way, we always interfere with it, we always bring mind into it. We try to control the heart through the mind because we have become afraid – if you move to the heart, you lose yourself. And this losing is just like death. Hence the incapacity to love, hence the fear of falling in love. Because you lose yourself, you are not in control. Something greater than you grips you and takes possession. Then you are not on sure ground and you don’t know where you are moving. So the head says, ‘Don’t be a fool, move with reason. Don’t be mad.”
Whenever someone is in love everyone thinks that he is mad. He himself thinks that something has gone crazy, “I am not in my senses!” Why does it happen? Because now there is no control. Something is happening that he cannot control, he cannot manage and manipulate. Rather, something is manipulating him, a greater force has taken him over. He is possessed…. But unless you are ready to be possessed there can be no God for you. Unless you are ready to be possessed there is no mystery for you, and no bliss, no benediction. One who is ready to be possessed by love, by prayer, by the cosmos, means one who is ready to die as an ego. Only that one can know what life really is, what life has to give. What is possible becomes immediately actual, but you must put yourself at the stake.
This technique is beautiful. It doesn’t say anything about your ego. It doesn’t say anything about it. It simply gives you a technique, and if you follow the technique, the ego will have disappeared.
From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #65
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