Chapter 5: The Oasis of Your Awareness
You say, “I have had enlightening experiences.” They were not enlightening experiences. They may have been lightning experiences, but not enlightening - flashes; you are not enlightened through them, you don’t become a buddha through them. In fact you become more of a mess out of them. The LSD changes your body chemistry, as mushrooms do. It changes your body chemistry. It does not change you, it changes your body - just as food changes your body, air changes your body, climate changes your body, the moon, the full moon changes your body. But you are not being changed by it. All those changes happen in the body, all those changes are chemical changes - not alchemical but only chemical. What is an alchemical change? - when your consciousness changes. And consciousness cannot be changed by anything that comes from the outside.
Consciousness cannot be changed by food, eating this food or that. Consciousness cannot be changed by non-eating, by fasting. Remember, there is not much difference between people who take LSD and the people who go on a long fast, no difference! Both are trying to change the body chemistry. The people who take mushrooms and other drugs are not doing anything different from the people who do yoga exercises, because in both ways the body is changed. The change is not happening in consciousness. Consciousness remains beyond all chemicals.
If you fast long enough, naturally your body chemistry can’t be the same. A few things disappear from your body chemistry and a few things accumulate too much. Your body has a different combination of chemicals. After a one month long fast you will feel beautiful things, but those beautiful things are created by the chemical change. Start eating and those beautiful things will disappear. You do certain yoga postures continuously, for years, pressing your body structure at certain points, certain important points, pressing your body meridians at certain junctures continuously; it changes your body chemistry. Breathe in a certain way for years, always in a certain way - it changes your body chemistry, because the oxygen and the carbon dioxide balance will be changed by your breathing.
Have you not noticed it - when you are angry you breathe in a different way. Why? That different way of breathing releases some chemicals in your body which are helpful to being angry. If you don’t breathe in a different way you will not be able to be angry. Try it: breathe in the Buddhist way and you will not be able to go into anger, because the Buddhist way won’t allow your body to release the chemicals that are needed for anger.
You are afraid - you breathe in a different way. Different chemicals are needed, because a man who is frightened needs to escape fast, as fast as possible. He needs flight, certain chemicals are needed so he can flee fast. When you are in sexual passion your breathing changes. Continue to breathe normally and you will not be able to achieve orgasm. For the orgasm to be triggered a certain kind of breathing is needed.
But these changes are physical; these are not going to affect your consciousness. The consciousness is the witness to all changes. Just try to understand.