Appearances and the Reality
Repeatedly you have been saying that events are causeless, a
thing just happens and
cause can be assigned to it. Surely everything has a cause, or
several causes. How am I to
the causelessness of things?
From the highest point of view the world has no cause.
But what is your own experience?
Everything is uncaused. The world has no cause.
I am not enquiring about the causes that led to the creation
of the world. Who has seen the
of the world? It may even be without a beginning, always
existing. But I am not talking of
world. I take the world to exist -- somehow. It contains so
many things. Surely, each must have
cause, or several causes.
Once you create for yourself a world in time and space,
governed by causality, you are bound to
for and find causes for everything. You put the question and
impose an answer.
My question is very simple: I see all kinds of things and I
understand that each must have a
or a number of causes. You say they are uncaused -- from your
point of view. But, to you
has being and, therefore, the question of causation does not
arise. Yet you seem to admit
existence of things, but deny them causation. This is what I
cannot grasp. Once you accept the
of things, why reject their causes?
I see only consciousness, and know everything to be but
consciousness, as you know the
on the cinema screen to be but light.
Still, the movements of light have a cause.
The light does not move at all. You know very well that the
movement is illusory, a sequence of
and colour-ings in the film. What moves is the film -- which
is the mind.
This does not make the picture causeless. The film is there,
and the actors with the technicians,
director, the producer, the various manufacturers. The world
is governed by causality.
Of course, everything is inter-linked. And therefore
everything has numberless causes. The
universe contributes to the least thing. A thing is as it is,
because the world is as it is. You
you deal in gold ornaments and I -- in gold. Between the
different ornaments there is no causal
When you re-melt an ornament to make another, there is no
causal relation between the
The common factor is the gold. But you cannot say gold is the
cause. It cannot be called a
for it causes nothing by itself. It is reflected in the mind
as 'I am', as the ornament's particular
and shape. Yet all is only gold. In the same way reality makes
everything possible and yet
that makes a thing what it is, its name and form, comes from
why worry so much about causation? What do causes matter, when
things themselves are
Let come what comes and let go what goes -- why catch hold of
things and enquire about
From the relative point of view, everything must have a cause.
Of what use is the relative view to you? You are able to look
from the absolute point of view --
go back to the relative? Are you afraid of the absolute?
I am afraid. I am afraid of falling asleep over my so-called
absolute certainties. For living a life
absolutes don't help. When you need a shirt, you buy cloth,
call a tailor and so on.
All this talk shows ignorance.
And what is the knower's view?
There is only light and the light is all. Everything else is
but a picture made of light. The picture
in the light and the light is in the picture. Life and death,
self and not-self --- abandon all these
They are of no use to you.
From what point of view you deny causation? From the relative
-- the universe is the cause of
From the absolute -- there is no thing at all.
From which state are you asking?
From the daily waking state, in which alone all these
discussions take place.
In the waking state all these problems arise, for such is its
nature. But, you are not always in
state. What good can you do in a state into which you fall and
from which you emerge,
In what way does it help you to know that things are causally
related -- as they may
to be in your waking state?
The world and the waking state emerge and subside together.
When the mind is still, absolutely silent, the waking state is
Words like God, universe, the total, absolute, supreme are
just noises in the air, because no
can be taken on them.
You are bringing up questions which you alone can answer.
Don't brush me off like this! You are so quick to speak for
the totality, the universe and such
things! They cannot come and forbid you to talk on their
behalf. I hate those irresponsible
And you are so prone to personalise them. Without causality
there will be no order;
purposeful action will be possible.
Do you want to know all the causes of each event? Is it
I know it is not possible! All I want to know is if there are
causes for everything and the causes
be influenced, thereby affecting the events?
To influence events, you need not know the causes. What a
roundabout way of doing things!
you not the source and the end of every event? Control it at
the source itself.
Every morning I pick up the newspaper and read with dismay
that the world's sorrows --
hatred and wars -- continue unabated. My questions are
concerning the fact of sorrow, the
the remedy. Don't brush me off saying that it is Buddhism!
Don't label me. Your insistence
causelessness removes all hope of the world ever changing.
You are confused, because you believe that you are in the
world, not the world in you. Who
first -- you or your parents? You imagine that you were born
at a certain time and place, that
have a father and a mother, a body and a name. This is your
sin and your calamity! Surely you
change your world if you work at it. By all means, work. Who
stops you? I have never
you. Causes or no causes, you have made this world and you can
A causeless world is entirely beyond my control.
On the contrary, a world of which you are the only source and
ground is fully within your power
change. What is created can be always dissolved and
re-created. All will happen as you want it,
you really want it.
All I want to know is how to deal with the world's sorrows.
You have created them out of your own desires and fears, you
deal with them. All is due to your
forgotten your own being. Having given reality to the picture
on the screen, you love its
and suffer for them and seek to save them. It is just not so.
You must begin with yourself.
is no other way. Work, of course. There is no harm in working.
Your universe seems to contain every possible experience. The
individual traces a line through
and experiences pleasant and unpleasant states. This gives
rise to questioning and seeking,
broaden the outlook and enable the individual to go beyond his
and self-centred world. This personal world can be changed --
in time. The universe is
To take appearance for reality is a grievous sin and the cause
of all calamities. You are the all-
eternal and infinitely creative awareness -- consciousness.
All else is local and
Don't forget what you are. In the meantime work to your
heart's content. Work and
should go hand in hand.
My own feeling is that my spiritual development is not in my
hands. Making one's own plans
carrying them out leads no where. I just run in circles round
myself. When God considers the
to be ripe, He will pluck it and eat it. Whichever fruit seems
green to Him will remain on the
tree for another day.
You think God knows you? Even the world He does not know.
Yours is a different God. Mine is different. Mine is merciful.
He suffers along with us.
You pray to save one, while thousands die. And if all stop
dying, there will be no space on earth.
I am not afraid of death. My concern is with sorrow and
suffering. My God is a simple God and
helpless. He has no power to compel us to be wise. He can only
stand and wait.
If you and your God are both helpless, does it not imply that
the world is accidental? And if it is.
only thing you can do is to go beyond it.