Chapter 11: Sober Up
Meditation is a totally different technique. There is no need to believe, no need to move to the other; you are alone there. But you have to wake yourself: that is what that monk is doing. He is not calling the name of Ram, he is not calling the name of Allah, he is calling the name of himself, and only himself, because nothing else is certain. He calls his whole name, “Are you there?” And he doesn’t wait for any God to reply. He himself replies, “Yes sir, I am here.”
This is the Buddhist attitude, that you are alone here. If you are asleep you have to call yourself, you have to answer. It is a monologue. Don’t wait for any God to answer you; there is no one to answer you, your questions will be lost in the empty sky, your prayers will not be heard - there is nobody else to hear them. So this monk seems foolish, but really, all those who are in prayer may be more foolish than this monk. This monk is doing a more certain thing, calling himself and answering himself.
You can make yourself alert. I tell you, your name is the mantra. Don’t call Ram, don’t call Allah, call your own name. Many times a day, whenever you feel sleepy, whenever you feel that the game is taking over and you are losing yourself in it, call yourself, “Are you there?” - and answer yourself. Don’t wait for anybody’s answer; there is no one to answer you. Answer, “Yes sir, I am here.” And don’t answer verbally, feel the answer: “I am here.” And be there, alert. In that alertness thoughts stop, in that alertness the mind disappears, even for a moment. And when there is no mind there is meditation; when the mind has stopped, meditation has come into being.
Remember, meditation is not something that is done by the mind, it is the absence of mind. When mind ceases, meditation happens. It is not something out of the mind, it is something beyond mind. And whenever you are alert, mind is not. So we can conclude that your sleepiness is your mind, your unawareness is your mind, your somnambulism is your mind. You move as if drunk, not knowing who you are, not knowing where you are going, not knowing why you are going.
And the third thing the monk says is to remember not to be fooled by others. Others are fooling you continuously. Not only are you fooling yourself, others are also fooling you. How are the others fooling you? The whole society, culture, civilization, is a collective conspiracy. That’s why no society allows rebellious people; every society requires obedience, conformity. No society allows rebellious thoughts. Why? - because rebellious thoughts make people aware that the whole thing is just a game, and when people become aware that the whole thing is just a game they become dangerous, they start going beyond the society.
Society exists as a hypnotic state, and the crowd is a hypnotizing factor. You are born, but when you are born you are neither a Hindu nor a Mohammedan nor a Parsi; you cannot be, because consciousness cannot belong to any sect. Consciousness belongs to the whole, it cannot be sectarian. A child simply is, innocent of all nonsense of Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas. A child is a pure mirror. But immediately society starts working on the child - a mold has to be given. A child is born as a freedom, but immediately society starts killing his freedom. A mold has to be given, a pattern.