Chapter 7: Full Emptiness
Somebody becomes a food addict, somebody becomes a power addict, somebody becomes a money addict - they are all addictions. These are the real drugs. LSD or marijuana are nothing compared to money, compared to power. These are the really destructive elements. And I am not saying that LSD or marijuana are not destructive; they are destructive, but they are nothing compared to money or power.
Whenever you are trying to fill your inner emptiness with anything, you are going against God - because that inner emptiness is the face of God. When you stop stuffing yourself with food, money, power, et cetera, et cetera, then suddenly you become aware of who you are.
Sufis say that the first thing to be understood, experienced, is nafs, and by understanding it there is a dropping. It is not that you have to drop it - just to see it is to drop it, just to realize the fact and the absurdity and the neurosis of it is to drop it. That dropping has a beautiful name - Sufis call it tambah.
Tambah means turning; tambah means exactly what Jesus says when he says “repent.” The original root word from which “repent” comes has nothing to do with repentance. It means “return to the source.” Return - that is the meaning of repent. It has no idea of guilt in it, just return to your source. Sufis call it tambah, Patanjali calls it pratyahar - turning towards oneself - and Mahavira calls it prankramana - coming back home. It is the same process.
First understand the nature of nafs, desire, desire for more, that mad, neurotic desire for more - understand it, and tambah happens. Seeing the futility of it you turn back. Then you don’t rush towards the horizon, you start moving towards yourself. A one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn, an about-turn, that s what tambah is.
Through this turning the third thing starts happening - Sufis call it hal. Hal means a state of being, but a temporary one; an altered state, a changed state of being; a state of no-mind, but for single moments, like flashes. For a single moment you are rooted in your being and again you are uprooted. It comes like lightning. Hal means a state of consciousness, but temporary.
In the beginning it will happen only in a momentary way - sometimes it will be there and sometimes it will not be there. It will be like a ray of light in your darkness, or a single star in the dark sky, clouded sky. And sometimes you will be able to see it and sometimes you will not be able to see it. This is called hal, what in America they now call “altered states of consciousness.” In fact, I have heard a suggestion from somebody that now they should be told to change the name of the United States of America. Jimmy Carter should be told to change the name to Altered States of America. That will be more relevant. The consciousness is changing. Man is more interested in consciousness now than ever.