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Chapter 3: The Center and the Periphery

From another standpoint, mind is like dust a traveler gathers on his clothes. And you have been traveling and traveling and traveling for millions of lives and never taken a bath. Much dust has collected, naturally - nothing wrong in it, has to be so - layers of dust, and you think those layers are your personality. You have become so much identified with them, you have lived with those layers of dust so long they look like your skin. You have become identified.

Mind is the past, the memory, the dust. Everybody has to gather it. If you travel, you will gather dust. But no need to be identified with it, no need to become one with it, because if you become one, then you will be in trouble because you are not the dust, you are consciousness. Says Omar Khayyam, “Dust unto dust.” When a man dies, what happens? Dust returns unto dust. If you are just dust, then everything will return to dust, nothing will be left behind. But are you just dust, layers of dust, or is something inside you which is not dust at all, not of the earth at all? That is your consciousness, your awareness.

Awareness is your being, consciousness is your being, and the dust that awareness collects around it is your mind. There are two ways to deal with this dust. The ordinary religious way is to clean the clothes, to rub your body hard. But those methods cannot help much. Howsoever you clean your clothes, the clothes have become so dirty they are beyond redemption; you cannot clean them. On the contrary, whatsoever you do may make them more unclean.

It happened.

Mulla Nasruddin once came to me, and he is a drunkard. Eating, drinking tea, his hands shake, everything falls on his clothes, so all his clothes were stained with tea and pan, and this and that. So I told Nasruddin, “Why don’t you go to the chemist and find something? There are solutions and these stains can be washed.”

So he went. After seven days he came back; his clothes were in a worse condition, worse than before. I asked, “What is the matter? Didn’t you go to the chemist?”

He said, “I went. And that chemical solution is wonderful - it works. All the stains of tea and paan are gone. Now I need another solution because that solution has left its own stains.”

Religious people supply you the soaps and chemical solutions to wipe, to wash away the dirt, but then those solutions leave their own stains. That’s why an immoral person can become moral, but remains dirty - now in a moral way, but he remains dirty. Sometimes the situation is even worse than before.

An immoral man is in many ways innocent, less egoistic. A moral man has all the immorality inside the mind. And new things that he has gathered: those are the moralistic, the puritan, egoistic attitudes. He feels superior. He feels he is the chosen one and everybody else is condemned to hell. Only he is going to heaven. And all the immorality remains inside, because you cannot control mind from the surface - there is no way. It simply doesn’t happen that way. Only one control exists, and that is the perception from the center.

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