Chapter 30: You Are the Watcher, Not the Actor
Reading a scientific report about brain manipulation, questions arose in me.
For instance, if every feeling - like happiness, sadness, sexuality, aggression, and so on - can be stimulated by electrodes, or indirectly by chemistry, can be manipulated from the outside, then these feelings are not my own; they are just puppets in someone’s hands. They are either manipulated from the outside or from the inside as automatic reactions to situations; they are not me. This is about feelings.
Maybe some day thoughts can be manipulated equally easily. Then what is really mine? Then what is left? Then who am I?
Questioning and thinking in these directions, I came to recognize that I often think about myself, about life, about truth in these ways. And then the question arose: is this way of questioning and thinking the way the mind tries to know something? Is it able to reach any truth at all? If not, is this thinking or questioning just a futile effort, just a waste of time? Or is it not the mind, not the intellect, but a deeper intelligence, a deeper instrument that is able to come to some truth?
Would you please comment?
It is absolutely true: your emotions, your sentiments, your thoughts - the whole paraphernalia of the mind - are from the outside, are manipulated by the outside.
Scientifically it has become clearer. But even without scientific investigation, the mystics, for thousands of years, have been saying exactly the same thing: that all these things that your mind is filled with are not yours; you are beyond them. You get identified with them, and that’s the only sin. For example, somebody insults you and you become angry. You think you are becoming angry - but seen scientifically, his insult is only a remote controller. The man who has insulted you is managing your behavior. Your anger is in his hands, you are behaving like a puppet.
Now scientists are able to put electrodes in the brain at certain centers - there are seven hundred centers. And it is almost unbelievable - the mystics have been talking about these seven hundred centers in the brain for almost seven, eight thousand years. Science has just now discovered that there are exactly seven hundred centers controlling all your behavior. An electrode can be put at a particular center - for example, anger - with a remote control so you cannot see that anybody is doing anything to you. Nobody insults you, nobody humiliates you, nobody says anything to you; you are sitting silently, happily, and somebody pushes the button of the remote control and you become angry. It is a very strange feeling because you cannot see the reason anywhere, why you are becoming angry. Perhaps you will rationalize somehow - you see a man passing down the street and you remember that he insulted you - you will find some rationalization just to console yourself that you are not going mad. Sitting silently.and suddenly feeling so angry without any provocation?
And the same remote controller can work to make you happy: sitting in your chair you start giggling, and you look all around in case somebody sees you - he will think you are going crazy. Nobody has said anything, nothing has happened, nobody has slipped on a banana peel, so why are you giggling? But you will rationalize it; you will give some apparently rational grounds for giggling. And the strangest thing is that when the next time the same button is pushed and you giggle, you will again have the same rationale, the same consolation, the same explanation - that too is not yours. It is almost like a gramophone record.