Chapter 11: The Whole and Holy Circle
A state of no-thought, an interval.and it is always happening, but you are not alert about it, otherwise there is no problem in it. One thought comes, then another comes, and between these two thoughts there is always a small gap. And that gap is the door to the divine, that gap is contemplation. If you look into that gap deeply, it starts becoming bigger and bigger.
The mind is like a road full of traffic: one car passes by, then another car passes by, and you become so concerned with the cars that you don’t see the gap that is always there between two cars. Otherwise they would collide. They don’t collide; something is there between them that keeps them separate. Your thoughts don’t collide, they don’t run over each other, into each other. They don’t even overlap in any way. Each thought has its own boundary, each thought is definable. But the procession of thoughts is so fast, so speedy, that you cannot see the gap unless you are really waiting for it, searching for it.
Contemplation means changing the gestalt. Ordinarily we look at thoughts: one thought, another thought, another thought. When you change the gestalt you look: one interval, another interval, another interval. Your emphasis is no longer on the thoughts but on the interval.
For example, you are sitting here. I can look at you in two ways: either one person, another person, another person - my emphasis is on persons, I can count how many people there are - or I can forget about the persons and I can count the gaps between the persons, how many gaps are there. This is the change of gestalt. If you count the gaps you will be surprised: persons become vague, you don’t see them clearly because you are looking into the gaps, you are counting the gaps.
Some day, standing by the side of the road, just count how many gaps pass by and you will be surprised that you don’t see the color of the cars, you don’t see the make of the cars, you don’t see the drivers and the passengers in the cars, but you do see gaps. One gap gone, another gap gone - you go on counting the gaps. Your gestalt is different.
Contemplation is the change of gestalt: not jumping from one thought to another thought, but jumping from one gap to another gap. Slowly slowly you become very very aware of the gaps. And that is one of the greatest secrets of life, because it is through those gaps that you will fall into your own being, into your own center.
Master Lu-tsu said:
Nothing is possible without contemplation. Perceiving brings one to the goal.