Chapter 2: Magicless Magic
Nobody is sending anybody. There is no agency like that. Imagination is playing the last tricks, and when your meditation goes deep, deeper layers of imagination are provoked. Ordinarily, when meditation is not there, you live on the surface of the mind. Of course, your imagination is also superficial then. The deeper you move in meditation, the more the deeper layers of imagination will be revealed to you, they will be more real. They will be so real that you cannot even think that they can be imagination.
Now you can even bring proofs that they are not imagination. For example, this sannyasin who has been hit twice, he can even show his head and you can find the marks. Now, he will say, “How can it be imagination? Nobody has hit me - and these marks are here?” Then you ask people who know about hypnosis. In deep hypnosis, the hypnotist suggests that he is putting fire in your hand, and he puts nothing - but the hand gets burnt. Now what happened? It was just that the imagination worked so tremendously. The body is also under control of imagination. So if you think yourself beautiful you will become beautiful. If you think yourself ugly you will become ugly. Your imagination will give a mold to your body.
That’s how there are fire-walkers. If your imagination takes it deeply that you are not going to be burnt and God is protecting you, you will not be burnt. You can pass through a pit full of burning coals without being burnt. But even if a slight suspicion arises in your mind, then immediately you will be burnt. Because that slight suspicion is a loophole in your imagination. Then you are no longer protected by the seal of your own imagination.
So the deeper you go in meditation, the deeper will be the games of imagination. Sometimes it will come as apsaras, beautiful maidens, dancing, provoking, seducing you. Sometimes it will come as tremendous fire-monsters throwing fire from their mouths. Or anything that you can imagine will surround you. And if you get caught into it, if for a single moment you forget that this is imagination, then the imagination has destroyed your penetration into meditation. You are thrown back to the surface again. Then you will have to seek the path again. So if you are sitting in zazen, as the sannyasin has said, then remember it.
But this is a good indication. That you could imagine so deeply shows that meditation is going deep. The deeper the meditation, the deeper will be the imagination. Only at the last point does meditation take over. Until the last, the struggle continues between imagination and meditation. And sometimes the imagination is so beautiful.. This is not such a beautiful imagination, you have been hit twice! Still you want to believe in it, because just to think that miracles have started to happen to you, just to think that your master is working hard on you, just to think that he goes on making you aware and hits on your head when you were falling asleep, is very ego fulfilling.
There are many beautiful imaginations - they will come. Flowers will shower on you and you can almost smell them. It is possible that you can imagine very deeply that roses are falling on you and you can smell them. That’s okay - but somebody else passing by your side may be able to smell your roses. Then it becomes tremendously powerful.