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Chapter 7: I Too Am Listening

You may be surprised to know that something within you dies every day; so the portion that dies has to be replaced by food. There is no other reason. Some parts within you die, so you have to replace those dead portions by living ones so that you can remain alive. Hence you lose one pound of weight when you fast for one day. What is the reason? That one pound has died and you have not replaced it. You will again have to replace it. Scientists say a person can remain hungry for ninety days. In the end this will cause great difficulty because he goes on living for those ninety days by consuming the accumulated fat in the body; but day by day, exhausting his reserves of fat, he is dying. He will grow weaker day by day, losing weight and feeling worn out, but he will continue to live.

We replace our dead elements by food; the deficiency is made good. But the soul does not die. No element of it is lessened, so there is no reason for the soul to feel hungry. There is one interesting thing to know about this happening. The soul does not feel hungry; the body does not know hunger. The body feels hungry but the soul knows hunger. This whole phenomenon is something like that story which you may have heard.

Once a forest caught fire. A blind man and a lame man were crossing the forest. The blind man could not see, but he was able to walk; he had strong legs. It was dangerous to proceed. Fortunately the fire had not spread where they were standing. The lame man was unable to walk but could see the fire approaching. Those two must have been wise people, though ordinarily such people are not. How can you expect the blind to be wise when those with eyes are not? How can the lame be wise when people with legs are not? But those two were and they came to an understanding. The lame man said, “If we wish to save our lives there is only one way. Let me sit on your shoulders. We will use my eyes and your legs. I will guide and you will walk accordingly.” Hence they saved their lives.

The life journey is also a kind of deep understanding between the body and the soul. It is a journey of the blind and the lame. The soul has the experience - it experiences - but there is no happening; happenings take place in the body, but it does not experience. All experiences are felt by the soul; and all happenings take place in the body, but the body does not experience them. Hence all this trouble!

That day also some trouble must have arisen, but Aesop, who wrote this story of the blind and the lame, has made no mention of it. It was necessary for the two men to hurry, so when the blind man ran fast and the lame man looked quickly, it is possible that the blind man felt, “I can see,” and the lame man felt, “I am running.”

This is exactly what happens with us. It is this happening that has to be broken. Both should be clearly distinguished. Both should be separated, otherwise our wires are crossed. All happenings take place in the body, and the soul experiences them. You will begin to grasp the sutra of vidya when you separate these two. Then your journey towards the immortal will begin.

Enough for today. We shall talk again tomorrow morning. Let us now start our journey towards the immortal.