Chapter 4: Meditation Is Death and Resurrection
Like the sense of smell, many other things came into man’s awareness only gradually. They did not exist in the past. Man’s awareness of color makes an astonishing story. In his books Aristotle talks of only three colors. At that time, people in Greece were aware of only three colors; they did not know of any others. It was over a long period of time, and very gradually, that some other colors became visible to them. And don’t think that even today there are only as many colors as we see with our eyes. There are many more than these, but we have yet to become aware of them. Our sensitivity is not yet that developed. That is why sometimes under the influence of LSD or mescaline or hashish or marijuana, some new colors, which we have never seen before, become visible to our eyes. And colors are numerous. But it is only gradually and over a long span of time that we become sensitive to them.
Even today, there are any number of people in the world who are colorblind, who have no sense of color. If there are a thousand persons sitting here, at least fifty of them will be blind to one color or another, although they themselves may not be aware of it. There may be a few people who cannot distinguish between green and yellow. Leave aside ordinary people, even some great and distinguished people have been found to be colorblind.
A man like Bernard Shaw could not distinguish green from yellow. And until the age of sixty he was not even aware that he could not distinguish between them. He became aware only on his sixtieth birthday when someone gave him a suit as a birthday gift. It was green in color, but the suit lacked one thing - a tie. The friend had forgotten to buy a tie along with the suit.
So Shaw went to the market to buy a tie matching the suit, and he asked for a tie which was yellow. The shopkeeper politely said that a yellow tie will not match with a green suit. Shaw was surprised, and insisted that the color of the tie and the suit was the same.
It was now the turn of the shopkeeper to be amused, and, knowing that Shaw was good at jokes, he asked, “How are they the same color, sir? Are you kidding? It is just a joke perhaps that you say that the suit and the tie are the same color. They aren’t; the tie is yellow while the suit is green.”
But still Shaw insisted and inquired what the yellow color was. It was then that he had his eyes examined and the doctor confirmed that he was blind to the color yellow.
There was a time when yellow was not visible to human eyes. This is the latest addition to the list of colors known to man. Some other colors are new, too.
Music does not have meaning for everybody. It has meaning for only a few people. And only a few people appreciate its nuances really deeply. For the rest it is nothing more than sound and noise - signifying nothing. Their awareness and appreciation of musical notes has yet to develop and deepen. In fact, up to now music has not been the collective experience of mankind.
So far as truth, godliness, is concerned, it is a very, very distant experience which transcends all senses, which is beyond all senses. It is the ultimate experience; there is nothing beyond it. That is why very few become awakened, though the potential to be awakened lies within everybody and comes to them with birth.