Chapter 6: Either This or That
You can do similar things in many different areas of life. Once your words begin to come true, your confidence will grow and you will feel ever more powerful. The more your words come true, the more you will feel yourself to be full of some divine power, some siddhi - the power to do miracles. This confidence will strengthen your mantra, and the mantra will increase your confidence; slowly you will come to experience many powers. Yoga has named these experiences of power as siddhis. These siddhis are the greatest obstacle on the way to realization. Patanjali has mentioned them in the Yoga Sutras, so that one can keep clear of them. Never move in that direction; and if you have, then come back - and the sooner the better, because all the time spent in their company is time wasted, and every time you travel further in that direction, the coming back becomes more and more difficult.
My own point is that “the world” means the search for power, the search for siddhis; “godliness” means the search for peace, the search for emptiness - and in this search you slowly disappear and dissolve. But in pursuit of siddhis you will still be there in the end, and there will be no trace of godliness. In pursuit of peace, in the end you will not remain; only godliness will remain. It is out of necessity that one of the two has to disappear, the two cannot exist simultaneously. You and truth cannot coexist, it is impossible. When you are, truth is not. When truth is, you are not.
Yes, the power-trip into siddhis will strengthen you, and this is why those who practice the use of mantras seem to be so full of ego. The ego of the rich man does not even compare, nor that of the politician who prides himself on his position. And there is a good reason for this. Money can be snatched away, money can be stolen; what is the value of money? And one cannot rely too much on a political post. It is here today, tomorrow it may not be. But the power of a mantra is more reliable. No thief can steal it, no public opinion can change its status. The power of the mantra depends solely on your own mind, not on anyone else. So you can feel more powerful, more self-reliant, standing on your own two feet.
A seeker after siddhis has already gone astray, though there is going to be much in it to interest him - the ego is always ready to be fascinated by such matters. An ant was coming toward you, and through willpower you altered its course; the ego is highly impressed by such feats, even though the act in itself is of no importance at all.
There is a woman in Russia who has been the subject of many scientific experiments. With her mental powers she can move anything. She stands six feet from a table, concentrates her mind for fifteen minutes, and she can move the table either toward or away from herself. Every detail has been scientifically investigated, and it is now clear that there is no trick involved. What does the woman gain out of it? During the fifteen minutes of the experiment she loses two pounds in weight, and for a fortnight she is so weak that she has to rest in bed. The body loses two pounds in just a few minutes. When you send out your energy through mental concentration, your body loses that energy.