98. Freedom from Self-identification
Can you sit on the floor? Do you need a pillow? Have you any questions
to ask? Not that
need to ask, you can as well be quiet. To be, just be, is important.
You need not ask anything,
do anything. Such apparently lazy way of spending time is highly
regarded in India. It means
for the time being you are free from the obsession with 'what next'.
When you Are not in a hurry
the mind is free from anxieties, it becomes quiet and in the silence
something may be heard
is ordinarily too fine and subtle for perception. The mind must be
open and quiet to see. What
are trying to do here is to bring our minds into the right state for
understanding what is real.
How do we learn to cut out worries?
You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Do not try to be
quiet; do not make 'being quiet'
a task to be performed. Don't be restless about 'being quiet',
miserable about 'being happy'.
be aware that you are and remain aware -- don't say: 'yes, I am; what
next?' There is no 'next'
'I am'. It is a timeless state.
If it is a timeless state, it will assert itself anyhow.
You are what you are, timelessly, but of what use is it to you unless
you know it and act on it?
begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it,
you are a pauper. You
know your inner worth and trust it and express it in the daily
sacrifice of desire and fear.
If I know myself, shall I not desire and fear?
For some time the mental habits may linger in spite of the new vision,
the habit of longing for the
past and fearing the unknown future. When you know these are of the
mind only, you can go
them. As long as you have all sorts of ideas about yourself, you know
yourself through the
of these ideas; to know yourself as you are, give up all ideas. You
cannot imagine the taste of
water, you can only discover it by abandoning all flavourings.
long as you are interested in your present way of living, you will not
abandon it. Discovery
come as long as you cling to the familiar. It is only when you realise
fully the immense
of your life and revolt against it, that a way out can be found.
I can now see that the secret of India's eternal life lies in these
dimensions of existence, of
India was always the custodian.
It is an open secret and there were always people willing and ready to
share it. Teachers --
are many, fearless disciples -- very few.
I am quite willing to learn.
Learning words is not enough. You may know the theory, but without the
actual experience of
as the impersonal and unqualified centre of being, love and bliss,
mere verbal knowledge is
Then, what am I to do?
Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is 'try'. Allot enough
time daily for sitting quietly and
just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and
obsessions. Don't ask how, it
be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you
persevere, there can be no
What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness; you must really have
had surfeit of being
person you are, now see the urgent need of being free of this
a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the
unnecessary is the secret
all, you are what you are every moment of your life, but you are never
conscious of it, except,
at the point of awakening from sleep. All you need is to be aware of
being, not as a verbal
but as an ever-present fact. The a awareness that you are will open
your eyes to what
are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contact
with your self, be with yourself
the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of
and grow into a centre of love in action. 'I am' is a tiny seed which
will grow into a
tree -- quite naturally, without a trace of effort.
I see so much evil in myself. Must I not change it?
Evil is the shadow of inattention. In the light of self-awareness it
will wither and fall off.
dependence on another is futile, for what others can give others will
take away. Only what is
own at the start will remain your own in the end. Accept no guidance
but from within, and even
sift out all memories for they will mislead you. Even if you are quite
ignorant of the ways and
means, keep quiet and look within; guidance is sure to come. You are
never left without
what your next step should be. The trouble is that you may shirk it.
The Guru is there for
you courage because of his experience and success. But only what you
own awareness, your own effort, will be of permanent use to you.
nothing you perceive is your own. Nothing of value can come to you
from outside; it is
your own feeling and understanding that are relevant and revealing.
Words, heard or read, will
create images in your mind, but you are not a mental image. You are
the power of perception
action behind and beyond the image.
You seem to advise me to be self-centred to the point of egoism. Must
I not yield even to my
in other people?
Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented.
You are not interested in others
persons, but only as far as they enrich, or ennoble your own image of
yourself. And the ultimate
selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and
multiplication of one's own body.
body I mean all that is related to your name and shape -- your family,
tribe, country, race, etc. To
attached to one's name and shape is selfishness. A man who knows that
he is neither body nor
cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for. Or, you may
say, he is equally 'selfish'
behalf of everybody he meets; everybody's welfare is his own. The
feeling 'I am the world, the
is myself' becomes quite natural; once it is established, there is
just no way of being selfish.
be selfish means to covet, acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part
against the whole.
One may be rich with many possessions, by inheritance, or marriage, or
just good luck.
If you do not hold on to, it will be taken away from you.
In your present state can you love another person as a person?
I am the other person, the other person is myself; in name and shape
we are different, but there
no separation. At the root of our being we are one.
Is it not so whenever there is love between people?
It is, but they are not conscious of it. They feel the attraction, but
do not know the reason.
Why is love selective?
Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no
strangers. When the centre of
is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is
no longer interested
being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible
energy, the ecstasy of
from a perennial source.
Mustn't I begin by solving for myself the problem of right and wrong?
What is pleasant people take it to be good and what is painful they
take it to be bad.
Yes, that is how it is with us, ordinary people. But how is it with
you, at the level of oneness?
you what is good and what is bad?
What increases suffering is bad and what removes it is good.
So you deny goodness to suffering itself. There are religions in which
suffering is considered
or destiny, is an expression of a beneficial law: the universal trend
and unity. At every moment, whatever happens now, is for the best. It
may appear painful
ugly, a suffering bitter and meaningless, yet considering the past and
the future it is for the
as the only way out of a disastrous situation.
Does one suffer only for one's own sins?
One suffers along with what one thinks oneself to be. If you feel one
with humanity, you suffer
And since you claim to be one with the sufferers, there is no limit in
time or space to your
To be is to suffer. The narrower the circle of my self-identification,
the more acute the suffering
by desire and fear.
Christianity accepts suffering as purifying and ennobling, while
Hinduism looks at it with
Christianity is one way of putting words together and Hinduism is
another. The real is, behind
beyond words, incommunicable, directly experienced, explosive in its
effect on the mind. It is
had when nothing else is wanted. The innards created by imagination
and perpetuated by
Can there be no suffering that is necessary and good?
Accidental or incidental pain is inevitable and transitory; deliberate
pain, inflicted with even the
of intentions, is meaningless and cruel.
You would not punish crime?
Punishment is but legalised crime. In a society built on prevention,
rather than retaliation, there
be very little crime. The few exceptions will be treated medically, as
of unsound mind and
You seem to have little use for religion.
What is religion? A cloud in the sky. I live in the sky, not in the
clouds, which are so many words
together. Remove the verbiage and what remains? Truth remains. My home
is in the
which appears to be a state of constant reconciliation and integration
come here to learn about the actual existence of such a state, the
obstacles to its
and, once perceived, the art of stabilising it in consciousness, so
that there is no clash
understanding and living. The state itself is beyond the mind and need
not be learnt. The
can only focus the obstacles; seeing an obstacle as an obstacle is
effective, because it is the
acting on the mind. Begin from the beginning: give attention to the
fact that you
At no time can you say 'I was not' all you can say: 'I do not
remember'. You know how unreliable
memory. Accept that, engrossed in petty personal affairs you have
forgotten what you are; try to
back the lost memory through the elimination of the known. You cannot
be told what will happen,
is it desirable; anticipation will create illusions. In the inner
search the unexpected is inevitable; the
is invariably beyond all imagination. Just as an unborn child cannot
know life after birth,
it has nothing in its mind with which to form a valid picture, so is
the mind unable to think of the
in terms of the unreal, except by negation: ‘Not this, not that'. The
acceptance of the unreal as
is the obstacle; to see the false as false and abandon the false
brings reality into being. The
of utter clarity, immense love, utter fearlessness; these are mere
words at the present,
without colour, hints at what can be. You are like a blind man
expecting to see as a result of
operation -- provided you do not shirk the operation! The state I am
in words do not matter at all.
is there any addiction to words. Only facts matter.
There can be no religion without words.
Recorded religions are mere heaps of verbiage. Religions show their
true face in action, in silent
To know what man believes, watch how he acts. For most of the people
service of their
and their minds is their religion. They may have religious ideas, but
they do not act on them.
play with them, they are often very fond of them, but they will not
act on them.
Words are needed for communication.
For exchange of information -- yes. But real communication between
people is not verbal. For
and maintaining relationship affectionate awareness expressed in
direct action is
Not what you say, but what you do is that matters. Words are made by
the mind and are
only on the level of the mind. The word ‘bread’: neither can you eat
nor live by it; it
conveys an idea. It acquires meaning only with the actual eating. In
the same sense am I
you that the Normal State is not verbal. I may say it is wise love
expressed in action, but
words convey little, unless you experience them in their fullness and
have their limited usefulness, but we put no limits to them and bring
ourselves to the brink of
Our noble ideas are finely balanced by ignoble actions. We talk of
God, Truth and Love,
instead of direct experience we have definitions. Instead of enlarging
and deepening action we
our definitions. And we imagine that we know what we can define!
How can one convey experience except through words?
Experience cannot be conveyed through words. It comes with action. A
man who is intense in
experience will radiate confidence and courage. Others too will act
and gain experience born out
action. Verbal teaching has its use, it prepares the mind for voiding
itself of its accumulations.
level of mental maturity is reached when nothing external is of any
value and the heart is ready to
all. Then the real has a chance and it grasps it. Delays, if any, are
caused by the mind
unwilling to see or to discard.
Are we so totally alone?
Oh, no, we are not. Those who have, can give. And such givers are
many. The world itself is a
gift, maintained by loving sacrifice. But the right receivers, wise
and humble, are so few.
and you shall be given' is the eternal law.
many words you have learnt, so many you have spoken. You know
everything, but you do not
yourself. For the self is not known through words -- only direct
insight will reveal it. Look
It is very difficult to abandon words. Our mental life is one
continuous stream of words.
It is not a matter of easy, or difficult. You have no alternative.
Either you try or you don't. It is up
I have tried many times and failed.
Try again. If you keep on trying, something may happen. But if you
don't, you are stuck. You
know all the right words, quote the scriptures, be brilliant in your
discussions and yet remain a
of bones. Or you may be inconspicuous and humble, an insignificant
person altogether, yet
with loving kindness and deep wisdom.