Chapter 10: Religion Is a Search for Meditation
You see a man running on the street. He has heard that his house is on fire. You greet him. He sees you and yet he does not see you. He hears you and yet he does not hear you. You ask him the next day why he didn’t return your greeting and he replies, “My house was on fire. At that time I couldn’t see anything except my house, I couldn’t hear anything except the noise, the sound around the house, people shouting ‘The house is on fire!’ I am sure you must have seen me, greeted me, but I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t hear you.” Now, was this man awake or asleep? In every sense he was awake, of course, and yet, as far as the man who met him on the street was concerned, he was almost asleep. He was more asleep than the other man, the one who heard “Rama” being called in his sleep.
So what is being asleep and being awake? The first thing I would like to say is: they are not two opposite things. Matter and godliness are not two opposite things. Sleep and wakefulness, light and darkness, the devil and the divine, good and bad are not opposite things. But the human mind immediately divides things into two. In fact, no sooner does the mind raise a question than it divides the thing into two. The moment mind thinks, it divides into two.
To think and to divide into two constitute one and the same thing. The moment you think, you divide. Thinking is a process of division - you immediately divide into two. The more a man is used to thinking, the more he will keep on dividing. Ultimately, he will end up with fragments and the whole will be completely lost. The answer to every question lies in this wholeness, in this totality.
The mind is unable to find the answer to any question. In fact, it raises a number of questions from each answer it finds. No matter how significant the answer is, the mind will immediately raise dozens of questions - but it can never find an answer to anything. There is a reason for this: the answer lies in the wholeness, but the mind is helpless. It cannot function without making divisions.
For example, I am sitting here talking to you. You are listening to me and you are also looking at me. The one you are looking at and the one you are listening to are not two different individuals. However, as far as you are concerned, you are looking with your eyes and hearing with your ears. You have divided me into two parts. If you were to sit close to me and smell my body, you would have divided me into three. Then you will put these three parts together and create an image of me. But that won’t be my image, it will be your addition of the parts. It will be misleading. You can never create the whole by adding up the parts, because the whole is that which was before the parts were made.
No sooner do we ask about consciousness and unconsciousness than we begin to divide. In my view, they are one. But when I say they are one, I do not mean they are one and the same. I am not saying consciousness itself is unconsciousness. When I say darkness and light are one, I don’t mean you can walk in the dark as you do when there is light. When I say darkness and light are one, I mean existence is made of varying degrees of the same manifesting reality. The difference consists in being a little more or a little less, not in is and is-not.