Chapter 2: The Root Problem of All Problems
The same happens inside: you are the vast blueness of the sky, and thoughts are just like clouds hovering around you, filling you. But the gaps exist; the sky exists. To have a glimpse of the sky is satori, and to become the sky is samadhi. From satori to samadhi, the whole process is a deep insight into the mind, nothing else.
Mind doesn’t exist as an entity - the first thing. Only thoughts exist.
The second thing: the thoughts exist separate from you, they are not one with your nature; they come and go. You remain; you persist. You are like the sky: never comes, never goes, it is always there. Clouds come and go, they are momentary phenomena; they are not eternal. Even if you try to cling to a thought, you cannot retain it for long; it has to go, it has its own birth and death. Thoughts are not yours; they don’t belong to you. They come as visitors, guests, but they are not the host.
Watch deeply, then you will become the host and thoughts will be the guests. And as guests they are beautiful, but if you forget completely that you are the host, and they become the hosts, then you are in a mess. This is what hell is. You are the master of the house, the house belongs to you, and guests have become the masters. Receive them, take care of them, but don’t get identified with them; otherwise, they will become the masters.
The mind becomes the problem because you have taken thoughts so deeply inside you that you have forgotten completely the distance, that they are visitors, they come and go. Always remember that which abides: that is your nature, your tao. Always be attentive to that which never comes and never goes, just like the sky. Change the gestalt, don’t be focused on the visitors, remain rooted in the host; the visitors will come and go.
Of course, there are bad visitors and good visitors, but you need not be worried about them. A good host treats all the guests in the same way, without making any distinctions. A good host is just a good host: a bad thought comes and he treats the bad thought also in the same way as he treats a good thought. It is not his concern that the thought is good or bad, because once you make the distinction that this thought is good and that thought is bad, what are you doing? You are bringing the good thought nearer to yourself and pushing the bad thought further away. Sooner or later you will get identified with the good thought; the good thought will become the host. And any thought creates misery when it becomes the host, because it is not the truth. The thought is a pretender and you get identified with it. Identification is the disease.
Gurdjieff used to say that only one thing is needed: not to be identified with that which comes and goes. The morning comes, the noon comes, the evening comes, and they go; the night comes and again the morning. You abide: not as you, because that too is a thought - as pure consciousness; not your name, because that too is a thought; not your form, because that too is a thought, not your body, because one day you will realize that too is a thought. Just pure consciousness, with no name, no form, just the purity, just the formlessness and namelessness, just the very phenomenon of being aware - only that abides.