So what I am saying is not that which I am.
Buddha was passing through a forest. The whole forest was full of dry leaves; leaves were falling. The trees were naked. His disciple, Ananda, asked him, "Bhagwan, a question has been persisting in my mind again and again. And now I cannot resist -- I have to ask it. This is my question: you have told us many things -- have you told all that you know? or is it only a part?"
Buddha took a few leaves, dry leaves, from the ground in his hand and said, "Ananda, how many leaves have I in my hand?"
Ananda said, "Not more than a dozen, just a few."
And Buddha said, "How many leaves are in this forest?"
And Ananda said, "Millions and millions -- cannot be counted."
And Buddha said, "So is the case, Ananda: what I have said is just like the leaves in my hand, and what I have not said is like the leaves in this whole forest. But don't think that I am a miser, that I don't want to say those things -- they cannot be said by their very nature. It is impossible to say them."
The student will learn only that which has been said. The disciple learns that which is not said and cannot be said. To the student, words reach, and he will become knowledgeable. To the disciple, the being reaches, and he becomes knowing, not knowledgeable.
That is the function of the relationship between a Master and a disciple. It is a love affair! It is intimacy. It is ajar more intense intimacy than happens in any other love. When two persons are in love, it is the intensity of sexual desire, a physical closeness. Soon it will disappear. It is not going to last long. It is momentary, because sexual energy is momentary. The body is momentary.
The relationship between a Master and a disciple is the relationship between two souls which are eternal. Once established, it
Kenneth, you say: I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO YOUR WORDS FOR SOME TIME AND I CAN ACCEPT EVERYTHING YOU SAY ON TRUTH AND NO-TRUTH.
And it is not a question of acceptance either. It is a question of being DROWNED in me! Accepting, you remain yourself. Accepting, you are not coming out of your ego. You say, "Yes, my logic also says this is right -- I agree." This is a kind of agreement. You remain you, I remain me, and there is a kind of agreement. But when you dissolve, it is not a kind of agreement. It is not that you accept what I say. There is no question of acceptance or nonacceptance .
Remember: if you accept, any day you can reject -- because there is no guarantee that tomorrow also I will be saying the same thing. Today you have accepted something that I have said; tomorrow you may not be able to accept it.
But the disciple is one for whom acceptance, non-acceptance, have become meaningless. He is drowned in me. So if today I am saying one thing, he listens joyously. And there never arises an idea whether to accept it or reject it -- there is no question because there is no separation. As if what I am saying, he is saying. Not that he agrees. There is nobody to agree with it. Not that he nods his head in agreement -- that head has disappeared; there is nothing to nod. Then tomorrow, even if I say just the opposite of it, there is no problem, because there is nobody to reject.
Yesterday it was like that. Today it is like this. Tomorrow it will be like that. His attunement with my being is so total that he understands. It is not a question of acceptance but of tremendous understanding -- which knows no rejection. This is trust. Between the Master and the disciple blooms a flower called trust. And it is trust that leads you to God, to totality.
You say: ONLY ONE QUESTION REMAINS IN MY MIND...
And that is not one question -- that is thousands of questions. In one question are condensed all the questions possible.
IF MY ENLIGHTENMENT DEPENDS ON ME AND MY RELATIONSHIP WITH TOTALITY AND NOTHING...
Yes, I say again and again: Your enlightenment depends on you -- but not as you are today, not as you are now. This you has to go. Another kind of you has to come into existence. This you is the barrier; enlightenment doesn't depend on it. Otherwise, it could have happened already. This 'I' that you are carrying, this person Kenneth, in you who says "I am" -- no, on this enlightenment does not depend. It is the barrier, it is the hindrance.
If this 'I' dies, then a different kind of phenomenon arises in you -- which is no more 'I' but a kind of pure 'amness'. When you say "I am," I is false, am is true. And you will need a Master to destroy your I and to free your am. That amness, undefined, pure existence, being, innocence -- that amness is the door to enlightenment.
But where are you going to drop your I? That I is surrounding your am so much that you cannot even conceive what amness will mean without I. In fact, the question will arise: How can there be amness if there is no l? I seems to be more important; am seems to be just shadow to it. The truth is just the opposite.
I is false: amness is the truth.
And when you surrender to a Master, you don't surrender your amness -- it CANNOT be surrendered -- you only surrender your I. A Master takes away things which you believe you have but you don't have. A Master takes away your diseases only. And when all the diseases have been taken away, health wells up.
The health cannot be given by the Master, that's true -- because a given thing will be a given thing. And if it is given, it can be taken away. If it is a given thing, somebody can steal it. If it is a given thing, somewhere you can forget, lose track of it. A given thing is not of much importance. The Master never gives you truth: he only takes your lies away. When all the rocks of the lies have been removed, truth flows. That is your innermost spring. Nobody needs to give it to you.
But who will take your I? Who will drink this poison of your I? You will need somebody who has come to a point where his immortality is revealed to him -- he can drink all your poison.
You must have seen pictures of Shiva. A beautiful myth is behind those pictures. If you have looked closely into a Shiva picture, you will see that his throat is blue. That is a very very beautiful story. DEVAS, gods, and the anti-gods, ASURAS, were churning the ocean to find elixirs -- but you cannot find elixir directly. It is hidden deep.
The first thing that they came across was not elixir but poison. Now who should drink the poison? Shiva drank it. That's why his throat has become blue. Only HE could drink it. You can drink death only when you know you are deathless.
When the disciple comes to the Master, he brings all kinds of poisons. Unknowingly he has been nourishing those poisons. And the ego is the greatest poison. And before your immortality can be revealed to you, your poison has to be removed. Who is going to drink it?! Only one who knows that he is deathless can drink it.
The Master drinks all the poison out of the disciple's system. Slowly slowly, he takes away all the poisons from the disciple. And one day, when all the poison has been taken out, the immortal is there in all its glory.
You say to me: ONLY ONE QUESTION REMAINS IN MY MIND: IF MY ENLIGHTENMENT DEPENDS ON ME...
Certainly it depends on you, but not as you are right now. This you is false. This you has to go. This you has to cease, then the real you will arrive.
... AND MY RELATIONSHIP WITH TOTALITY AND NOTHING ELSE, WHAT IS THE POINT IN MY SURRENDERING TO A HUMAN MASTER?
It is certainly true that the question is of your relationship with totality and nothing else is needed -- but as long as you are, you will resist totality, you will fight totality. You cannot relate with totality. You have to go, only then is the relationship there.
The Master is needed only to take away all that is unnecessarily around you -- the hindrances, the barriers. The Master will give you your real being by taking all that is unreal in you. When you surrender to a Master, you surrender only the unreal because you have only the unreal! If you already have the real, there is no point in surrendering to a Master. But if you HAD that, you would not have been here in the first place.
What are you doing here? Why are you even listening to me? For what? It all depends on you and your relationship with totality... why listen to me? This must be somewhere a deep ego which is rationalizing. The ego is VERY clever. When it listens to such statements, that the enlightenment depends on you, the ego says, "Look, so it depends on me -- there is no need to surrender." When it is said that it is only a question of your being with totality, the ego says, "Perfectly true -- there is no need to surrender."
I am not interested in your surrender at all -- because what have you got to surrender to me? Only diseases, poisons. You have no riches to surrender to me! Only miseries, frustrations, despairs, anxieties. What have you got to surrender to me? But people cling even to their misery. They think it is some kind of treasure.
Watch the cunning ways of the ego.
And when you surrender to a Master, you surrender only all that is false. And in that surrendering, the Master is just an excuse. If you can surrender directly to the totality, perfectly good -- you go and surrender to totality. But where are you going to find the totality? Where? You don't have the eyes to see the totality. And totality cannot be encountered directly. You will come across it only in indirect ways. You will fall in love with a woman -- surrender! because the woman represents a kind of totality. The feminine aspect of it. You may fall in love with a friend -- surrender! He represents another kind of totality, another aspect of it. Another window opens. You love music -- surrender!
Don't go on using this word 'totality'. "Why should I surrender to music? I am going to surrender to totality. Why should I surrender to love? I am going to surrender to totality. Why should I surrender to beauty? I am going to surrender to totality."
Where will you find totality? Totality exists in millions of forms... the beauty of the sunrise, and the silence of the night, and the loving eyes of a friend, and the warm hand of a woman. These are ALL gestures of totality. Totality comes in these ways. These are totality's approaches towards you.
The Master is the CLEAREST way of totality reaching towards you, a CONSCIOUS way of totality reaching to you. The woman is unconscious, the friend is unconscious -- they are unconsciously parts of totality. A Master is consciously part of totality; hence, there is no substitute for a Master.
Jesus is right when he says: I am the way -- unless you go through me, you will not reach. He is not talking only about himself -- the Master is speaking. And whenever a Master speaks, he speaks for all the Masters, past, present future.
The third question:
WHY AM I SO AFRAID TO ASK YOU A QUESTION?
EVERYBODY IS, BECAUSE TO ASK a question means to put your head in front of me. And one never knows what I am going to do with your head. I may hit, I may cut it. I may make a football of it... nobody knows! Fear is natural.
One thing is certain, that I am going to do something drastic. Fear is nothing out of place, but still ask -- because that is the purpose of your being here and my being here.
Ask if a question arises; don't be afraid. And if you are very much afraid, you can do one thing a few people do: you can ask in somebody else's name. Then he gets the beating and you envoy.
But ask. Without asking, it will persist. And it may be important; it may have something of immense importance. It may change... the answer may become a new vision. In spite of the fear, go on asking -- till questions disappear and the questioner disappears too.
But fear is natural.
I have heard:
A man came to a doctor complaining that he had an uncontrollable cough. The doctor gave him a bottle of castor oil and said, "Go home and drink down the entire bottle and come back tomorrow. "
When the patient came back next day, the doctor asked, "Did you take the castor oil?"
The man answered, "Yes."
The doctor then continued, "Do you still cough?"
The patient said, "Yes, I continue to cough."
The doctor gave him a second bottle of castor oil and said "Take this, and come back tomorrow."
The next day the man returned. The doctor asked him, "Do you still cough?"
And the patient said, "Yes, I still cough regularly."
The doctor then gave him yet another bottle of castor oil, and said, "Drink this entire bottle tonight and come back tomorrow morning."
The patient returned and the doctor looked at the poor wretch and said, "Do you cough now?"
The patient quiveringly answered, "I don't cough any more -- I am afraid to."
You go on asking questions and I will go on giving you castor oil bottles. Sooner or later, one day you will be afraid to cough -- afraid to ask a question.
Your system has to be cleansed. Your question should not be just out of curiosity. Remember that. Never ask a question just out of curiosity; that is meaningless. If a question has something important for you, if your life depends on it, if it has something to do with your lifestyle, with your habits -- mechanical, robot like -- if it has something about it that if it is solved you will become more aware, ask it. Don't ask metaphysical questions, because they are not going to change you. Ask psychological questions -- only they are going to transform you.
Bertrand Russell has said: There are three possibilities of man's approach towards life. One is conflict with nature, second is conflict with other human beings, and third is conflict with oneself.
The first has been the way of the Western philosophy, Western science, Western speculation, thinking. A fight with nature. The Western mill became objective: How to transform nature? -- that became the root question. They have not been able to transform it, although they have destroyed it. They have destroyed the rhythm of nature. They have destroyed the ecosystem. They have created havoc in nature's harmony. And now there seems to be no going back. The earth is dying.
There seems to be only one possibility, that man should migrate from this planet to another planet. Within a hundred years it will be impossible to live on this earth. It is almost turning into a corpse. This earth has been so much raped by science, so much wounded, crippled, paralyzed, because of that approach: conquer nature! And man became absolutely absorbed and occupied with only one thing: how to conquer nature? -- and forgot everything else.
The Chinese mind has moved in a different way. Its sole concern has been: How to live with man? Its concern has been social. Man is a social animal. How to create better moralities? How to create better social systems? How to have a better society? a higher culture? a better civilization? About nature, the Chinese mind has not been in conflict. It appreciates nature, it loves nature. Nature has an aesthetic value for the Chinese. Enjoy it! There is no need to conquer. Celebrate it! There is no need to fight.
The basic problem for the Chinese mind has been: How should we make man more human? The whole struggle is: How to destroy between man and man, -- hatred, anger, rage, animality -- the beast-like attitudes, the violence? China has created one of most civilized cultures there ever has been.
The Indian mind has taken the third route: How to transform oneself? The West has given birth to science, China has given birth to a higher quality sociology, India has given birth to the supreme science of psychology -- the science of the soul. That's exactly what psychology means. In fact, Western psychology should not call itself psychology, because it is not a science of the soul at all. On the contrary, it only observes human behavior -- from the outside. It thinks about man also as an object. It reduces man's dignity. It turns man into a mechanism.
It is not important for the Western psychology to think: What is inside man? All that is important is what he DOES, how he functions -- his behavior. But in the Indian consciousness, the only basic problem has been: How to conquer oneself? How to raise one's consciousness to the highest peak possible? How to become a Buddha?
These three approaches have been prevalent.
Never ask a question which is not really of any concern to your spiritual growth. My whole concern here is to help you become more conscious. Don't ask stupid questions. And sometimes even very intelligent people ask stupid questions.
Just the other night I was reading an ancient book written by a great Hindu philosopher, Kumaril. He criticizes Buddha on many accounts, but one thing was so ridiculous that I could not believe that a man of the intelligence of Kumaril should raise such a question!
It is said -- by the disciples of Buddha, of course -- that he was all-knowing. 'All-knowing' does not mean that he was a kind of Encyclopedia Britannica. 'All knowing means that he knew all that is worth knowing. 'All-knowing' means that he knew all that is helpful for the consciousness to grow. And what has this Kumaril done? He says, "This is wrong, because he did not know how many insects are in the world." Now this Brahmin, Kumaril, must have been a stupid kind of person. How many insects there are in the world Buddha did not know, so he is not all-knowing.
Sometimes it can happen: you may be an intelligent person on the surface, you may have logical acumen, cleverness, and still, deep down, you are stupid. Now what kind of question is this? It is so absurd just to think of it.
Never ask a question which is not relevant to your spiritual growth. And whenever a question arises about your spiritual growth, put all fear aside -- you have to ask it! Even if my answer shatters you, even if I hit HARD on your head, I do that, I teach you, by hammering your head... I keep an invisible hammer in my hand always, and whenever I see that some skull is worth breaking, I really break it.
But you will be grateful one day that your skull was broken, that you were killed in your stupidities. So whatsoever the cause of your fear, you have to ask it. That is the only way to come closer to me. Each question asked, answered, brings you closer.
And I am not saying that if there is no question, then too you have to ask -- then there is no problem. Don't ask if you don't have any question. That too happens. People are such that they live in extremes. There are people who write to me: "So many people ask questions and I have not asked a single question up to now -- am I doing something wrong?" If you don't have a question, there is no need to ask one. But if you HAVE a question, it has to be asked -- whatsoever the cost.
The fourth question:
WHAT IS A MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE?
MARGO, FIRST: a mystical experience is not an experience at all. It is called 'mystical experience' because we have to call it something, but it is not an experience at all.
An experience is always outside you. You see the clouds in the sky, or the lightning in the sky. Or, you can see the same inside too: you can close your eyes and you can see light inside That too is outside -- because the seer remains always outside the seen, the observer remains outside the observed, the experiencer remains outside the experienced. And the mystical experience is not something outside you: it is very special kind of experience, unique.
What is its uniqueness?
The experience and the experienced become one, the knower and the known become one. There is no division at all. It is not that you see something, but that you are it. God is never experi-enced as an object : God is always experienced as your innermost being,. "ANA'L HAQ!" declares Al-Hillaj Mansoor -- "I am God! " the Sufi says. Or "AHAM BRAHMASMI!" the Upanishads declare -- "I am all!" It is not an experience! All experiences have been dissolved. Nothing is left. Only pure consciousness is there, but in that pure consciousness this understanding arises. The knower and the known are no more separate.
The mystical experience is such that you are involved in it with your totality. It is not in the head, it is not in the heart either; it is not in the body, it is not in the mind, it is not in the soul only. It pulsates all over you and beyond you. It pulsates with your totality .
I have heard a very ancient parable:
Once it happened, three saints, very famous saints, well-known saints, were passing through a forest. They all had worked hard, disciplined their lives arduously. They were great seekers. One was a bhakti yogi -- a follower on the path of devotion, love, prayer. Another was a gyan yogi -- a follower on the path of knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, awareness. And the third was a karma yogi -- a follower on the path of action, service, commitment.
They all had done all that a man can do, all that is humanly possible, but yet they had not experienced God. Now they were getting old, and getting a little bit frustrated too. Time was slipping out of their hands, and the goal was as far away as ever, and coldness was settling. But that day a miracle happened.
Suddenly, it started raining,. They all had to rush into a small temple. The temple was very small; just four pillars and a roof, open from all sides, and the rain was really strong, and the wind was strong, and the wind was bringing rainwater inside the temple. It was getting wet almost over the place. So they all had to stand just in the middle, surrounding the Shivalinga -- it must have been a Shiva temple. And as the water started coming more and more inwards, they had to come closer and closer.
They were coming so close that they were touching coach other. Suddenly, when they touched each other, they felt that they were not three there but four. Surprised, startled... and the fourth, and the presence of the fourth, was so strong that they asked each other, "What are you feeling?" And they all said, "Something strange is present here."
Slowly slowly, the presence became very very clear and radiant. It was such ecstasy to see that presence. They all fell on their knees, and they asked the presence -- because it was SO clear that it was God and nobody else -- they asked, "Why? We have worked our whole life and we could not even see a glimpse of you, and today what has happened? Why have you suddenly come?"
And God laughed and said, "Because you all are together here. Touching each other, you have become total. And I can only be available to you when you are total. Now, you are not fragments. Up to now you have been fragments: one was working through the heart, another was working through the head, and the third was working through the body. You were fragmentary. And I am not available to the fragments: I,am available only when somebody becomes total. In this moment, your energies met and mingled with each other.
"I have always followed you, but have remained invisible because the I can only see me when it is total. Now you can touch me! Now you can have me! You have been missing me for only one reason: you were adamant, stubborn; you were clinging to one fragment -- and God is a totality."
This is my message to you: A mystical experience is a total experience -- of the body, of the mind, of the soul. ALL IS INVOLVED IN IT. Nothing is outside it. So don't reject anything in your life; let everything be absorbed. That's why I say 'from sex to super consciousness' -- everything has to be absorbed in it, nothing has to be rejected. The person who rejects anything has rejected God himself -- because God IS totality.
Accept all, appreciate all. Rejoice in all! And let your life become a total organic unity. When you are organically one, you will have that orgasmic, oceanic experience called the mystic experience. It is not an experience... you ARE it. The experience is not separate from it.
God is not seen: one becomes God.
Liberation does not happen to you: you become liberation. Nirvana is not something in your hands: you are Nirvana.
Enlightenment is not something that happens in you: you are it!
Hence, though we call it, 'spiritual experience', it really cannot be called spiritual experience. There are sexual experiences, but no spiritual experiences. There are aesthetic experiences, but no spiritual experiences. There are MANY kinds of experiences, but spiritual, mystical experience is not one of them: it is absolutely a separate reality. It is all alone. It is a category in itself.
The basic thing to remember: in all our experiences, the knower remains separate from the known; in spiritual, mystical experience, the knower and the known dissolve into each other. And that is the beauty of it, and its benediction, and its freedom.