Chapter 27: The Soul Is a Quest
In fact there is no way to prove that others exist, because you have never touched anybody and you have never seen anybody. When you see somebody, you don’t see him really; all that happens is that a picture is seen inside your brain. It may correspond to some reality, it may not correspond. There is no way to know, because we cannot know reality directly.
Always it is through the senses that we know reality. Senses may be deceiving - and you know perfectly well that under the impact of alcohol they deceive; under the impact of psychedelics they deceive very much. One can act in a stupid way, in a suicidal way, under the impact of some psychedelic.
One woman in New York took LSD and thought that she could fly. And when you are under the impact of LSD you simply believe it, it is so. It is not a question of a dream or a desire or a fantasy; it is so real, it is more real than the world outside, than the objective world. She simply flew out of the window from the ninth floor, dashed on the ground, died. This type of accident has been happening all over the world.
The existence of the other, the existence of the outside world, is not absolutely certain. Berkeley still remains un-refuted, there is no way to refute him. The only thing that is absolutely certain is your own existence. The dream may be false, but the dreamer cannot be. Even for the false dream to exist there is a need of a real dreamer to be deceived, at least somebody is needed to be deceived.
The world may be illusion, but who is an illusion? At least some consciousness is needed, absolutely needed, categorically needed; without some consciousness the illusion cannot exist. The rope may not be the snake, the snake may be the illusion. But the person who has the illusion is not an illusion himself.
This has to be remembered, that “I am real.” This has to be remembered, that “I am the only certain reality,” - everything else may be, may not be.”
We never look inwards for this absolute reality; and we go on living a life without basing it on this rock of certainty. Hence our lives are just castles in the air, or at the most, sandcastles - signatures made on water; you have not even completed it, and the signature is gone. Our lives are like that: one moment we are here, another moment we are gone, and that moment could have been used for self-remembering.
Only people who use their life for self-remembering are using this great opportunity.
A man runs into an old friend who has become a drunkard. “But why do you drink so much?” he asks him.
“To forget,” the drunkard replies.
“To forget what?” asks his friend.
“Oh,” says the drunkard, scratching his head, “I forgot.”
A man goes to the psychoanalyst. “Doctor,” he says, “you have to help me. I have a terrible problem: I forget everything, absolutely everything.”