Chapter 17: Becoming Is Going Away from Being
When I see you my heart explodes, when you dance I feel so joyous, when you speak I enjoy it immensely. So often these days, with all the blessings you shower upon us, I feel so overcome. Who needs to be enlightened, with such an exquisite, outrageous master like you around? I’m enjoying life more than ever before, and I don’t care about enlightenment. Am I being irresponsible or dependent on you by not wanting enlightenment? Or should I just keep enjoying your beauty, your grace, and the immensity of your love?
The first thing to be understood: you cannot want enlightenment. If you want it, you are not going to get it. Wanting is the greatest barrier, because wanting is of the mind - and enlightenment is the experience beyond mind.
So it is good that you don’t care about enlightenment. Do you think I care? As far as I am concerned, you are enlightened, you are just not aware of it.
Enlightenment is not something far away, a goal that you have to achieve; it is not that you have to compete with others, that you have to be fast and speedy.
Enlightenment is your very being.
You are born with it, it is your inner luminosity.
So the question of wanting takes you away from your being. Wanting means desiring.
You can desire everything in the world, but you cannot desire enlightenment; because everything else is there outside you, but enlightenment is your very center of being. It is just that you are looking outward, so your own being is not in your consciousness.
The whole art of meditation is just to turn your consciousness inwards, so that you can become acquainted with yourself. You are not yet introduced to yourself. You know what your name is - but you did not come with that name; that label has been put by others. You know you are a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew - but you were not born as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan, as a Christian.
You were born as a deep and tremendous luminosity, innocence. You were born enlightened - but before you could become aware of it, people started putting all kinds of garbage on you. Before you could have a look inside, they turned your eyes outside and focused them on other things: “You have to become the greatest scientist in the world, you have to become the richest man in the world, you have to become the president.”
They managed one thing: they took your attention from being and focused it on becoming. Becoming is going away from being. The more you attain your desires, the farther away you are from yourself. And there is no end to becoming. Always there is a horizon calling you forth. Becoming is unending, so people go on running after shadows for their whole life. And where do they end up? In a graveyard - presidents and all. The ultimate attainment of all their efforts is the grave. And the grave of a president and the grave of a beggar are not different.
In the East it has been a beautiful tradition that whenever anybody dies, he is burned. The grave is not made, he is not put in a grave but on a funeral pyre. It signifies that this man burned his whole life, this is the ultimate result.