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Chapter 1: Ask a Question Close to Home

Dharana, concentration, is confining the mind
to the object being meditated upon.

The object, the subject, and the beyond - these three have to be remembered. You look at me I am the object; the one who is looking at me is the subject. And if you become a little more perceptive, you can see yourself looking at me that is the beyond. You can see yourself looking at me. Just try. I am the object, you are looking at me. You are the subject who is looking at me. You can stand by the side within yourself. You can see that you are looking at me. That is the beyond.

First, one has to concentrate on the object. Concentration means narrowing of the mind.

Ordinarily, mind is in a constant traffic - a thousand and one thoughts go on moving, like a crowd, a mob. With so many objects, you are confused, split. With so many objects you are moving in all directions simultaneously. With so many objects you are always, almost, in a state of insanity, as if you are being pulled from every direction and everything is incomplete. You go to the left, and something pulls you to the right; you go to the south, and something pulls you to the north. You are never going anywhere, just a muddled energy, a whirlpool, constant turmoil, anxiety.

This is the state of ordinary mind - so many objects that the subjectivity is almost covered by them. You cannot have a feel who you are, because you are so much concerned with so many things you don’t have a gap to look into yourself. You don’t have that stillness, that aloneness. You are always in the crowd. You cannot find a space, a corner, where you can slip into yourself. And the objects continuously asking for attention, every thought asking for attention, forcing exactly that the attention should be given to it. This is the ordinary state. This is almost insanity.

In fact to divide mad people from non-mad people is not good. The distinction is only of degrees. It is not of quality: it is only of quantity. Maybe you are ninety-nine percent mad and he has gone beyond - a hundred and one percent. Just watch yourself. Many times you also cross the boundary in anger you become mad - you do things you cannot conceive of yourself doing. You do things for which you repent later on. You do things for which you say later on, “I did it in spite of me.” You say, “.as if somebody forced me to do it, as if I was possessed. Some evil spirit, some devil forced me to do it. I never wanted to do it.” Many times you also cross the boundary, but you come back again and again to your normal state of madness.

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