Chapter 3: Cutting off the Root
Down the ages man has tried to become more and more perfect, and the only result is that man has become more and more ugly. The very effort is absurd. In trying to become perfect, people have become guilty. In trying to become perfect, they have become pathological.
In trying to become perfect, and failing again and again.and they have to fail because they are already perfect. You cannot attain to that which you already have, so the effort is doomed to fail. And when you fail again and again and again, naturally a great sadness settles; one feels utterly depressed. All hope disappears, and all joy with it. Life becomes an ugly evil; one has to bear it somehow. Life becomes sin. If you are trying to become perfect, life will become sin - because you will fail, you will condemn yourself, you will hate yourself. And a man who hates himself has gone as far away from himself as it is possible to go.
There is an inmost center in us all
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception - which is truth.
Truth is not a thing but the clarity of perception. It is not that you will have to see something; it is only the clarity of seeing that is truth. All objects disappear, all content disappears, only a clarity remains. Everything becomes transparent - you can see, you can see totally; nothing is hidden from you. That perception is truth.
Truth is not an object but an awakening in you. Let me emphasize it again and again that truth is within, not without. It is an awakening within you, it is an awareness within you, it is intelligence functioning at its optimum. You cannot see truth, it is not a thing. You cannot grasp truth, it is not a thing. You cannot give or take truth, it is not a thing. It is your inner eye, your inner perception - what the Hindus call the third eye.
To be alert and awake is to be true. So, let us define: Untruth is unconsciousness, and truth is consciousness. Untruth is living like a somnambulist; truth is living like a buddha, alert, watchful, witnessing.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error; and to know
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendor may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.