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Chapter 3: The “I” Cannot Belong to You

The first question:

You said that when the master is in an absentlike presence and the disciple is also absentlike, then the divine work begins. If both are to be absentlike, then please explain the role of the master in the spiritual endeavor.

There is no role as such. The role is possible only if the master exists as a person. If he exists as somebody, then he can play a role. Really, our personality consists of nothing but roles. Your personality is the many roles you go on playing and those roles are your faces. In the morning you have a different face, a different role to play; in the office you have a different face; back home again you change your face. You go on changing the whole day, moment to moment. Whenever you have to play a role, you create a face, you become an actor.

The master is one who has stopped playing roles. He is not playing anything, he is not doing anything. Really, he has come to understand that the doer is the total. The individual is in illusion if he thinks that he is doing something. The master cannot think that he is helping the disciple or that he is endeavoring for his transformation. All this happens of course: the transformation happens, the disciple changes, is reborn, but this is not something done on the part of the master.

The master has become a nobody. He exists not as a presence, but as an absence. Within him there is no mind, within him there is no ego, within him there is no center. The center has been given back to the divine; the ego has been surrendered. He has become a vehicle, he has become a passage - just a flute. Now the divine sings through it. Now no song belongs to the master - nothing. How can he play a role? How can he endeavor? How can he do something?

All these words - do, role, endeavor, help - are egocentric. They mean that the master is doing something. No, the master cannot do anything. He is not, but things happen around him. I am not saying that the disciple will not be transformed: he will be transformed, but he can only be transformed through a master who is not doing anything. If the master is doing something, the disciple cannot be transformed. The very effort on the part of the master shows that the master is not there yet. There is no question of effort.

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