Chapter 2: Magicless Magic
The first question:
Yesterday while sitting in zazen I felt myself get hit with a stick on my head. But Pradeepa that time had not hit me. Also today during the lecture I got hit twice on the head but no stick-hitter was around. Is this magicless magic?
It is sheer imagination, and on the path of meditation imagination is the greatest pitfall. Be aware of it. You can imagine so deeply and you can believe in your imagination so intensely that it can appear more real than the real.
Imagination is a great force. On the path of meditation, imagination is a barrier; on the path of love, imagination is a help. On the path of love, imagination is used as a device: you are told to imagine as intensely and passionately as possible. But on the path of meditation the same thing becomes a barrier.
Imagination simply means that you visualize a certain thing but you put so much energy into it that it almost becomes real. Every night we all dream. While dreaming, every dream looks real. To come to know in a dream that this is a dream will be the end of it; then you will find yourself awake. The dream can continue only if you believe that it is real. And even people who are very skeptical, doubting, of the scientific attitude, even they go on believing in the night, they go on believing in their dreams.
Every morning you find that it was just imagination but again every night you become a victim to it. And again when the dream unfolds you start believing it. On the path of meditation that hold of the dream faculty has to be loosened. Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples. “Unless you can remember in a dream that it is a dream, you will never awake.” This whole world is a dream - a dream is a private world, the world is a common dream. If you cannot awake while dreaming, it will be impossible to awake while you are awake, because now the dream is very big, and it is not only your energy that is creating the dream, it is the energy of all. It will be difficult. If you cannot come to see that something in your dream is false, when you alone are to decide and nobody else can interfere.. It is nobody else’s business. You cannot invite anybody else into your dream because it is so private.
It happened that two patients of a psychoanalyst tried to play a trick on the analyst. It was the first of April and perfectly appropriate.
They decided that the next day they would come, separately, and they would relate the same dream - they decided on the details of the dream - to the psychiatrist and watch how he feels. It is impossible to dream the same dream together, two persons have never dreamed one dream together, so they wanted to shock him.