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Chapter 43: Living in Consciousness

So, first get grounded in your watchfulness and then try it on small things. Eating; be watchful. Taking a shower; be watchful. Small things which don’t mean anything: putting your dress on; be watchful. It is simply to create more and more consolidity in watchfulness so that when you watch something with which you are emotionally concerned, your watchfulness is strong enough to cut through all emotional investment.

And if your watchfulness becomes really strong then it may be music, it may be dance, it may be love; it makes no difference. It simply cuts like a sharp sword between you and the object, whatever it is.

Religious people are, perhaps, the farthest from watchfulness because they are trying prayer; they are trying devotion to God; they are trying to believe in God. They will be afraid of watching because watching will mean that God will simply disappear - because it was only a belief, not a fact. The prayer will disappear because it was devoted to, addressed to a God who does not exist. The devotion will disappear because there is no one high above in the sky to be devoted to.

Religious people are the most afraid of watchfulness. That’s my experience. They do not want to meditate, they do not want to be alert, they do not want to be aware, because their whole religion will be at stake. And if they call me dangerous, they are right, because I am telling them something that will destroy their whole edifice, the whole system according to which they were living, believing, hoping. They will be left in a desert.

It is very difficult to convince those people that right now you are in a desert of false beliefs; that watchfulness will bring you out of the desert into the garden of existence with all its greenery, with all its flowers.

I have found it most difficult to teach a saint - whether Hindu, Mohammedan, Jaina, Christian - meditation. That simply makes his whole being tremble because he has lived according to a certain belief system for fifty or sixty years, and it has paid well: people respect him, worship him.

It happened in Hyderabad that one Jaina monk who was very much respected in South India became interested in me. Listening to me, reading my books, he finally gathered courage and dropped the monkhood.

I told him, “You are taking a very risky step. Don’t blame me for it later on because there is no need to drop it; you can keep this show. What I am saying is, remain alert. I don’t even say to an actor to stop acting, so what is the problem? You act the saint; let this whole life be a drama. Remain alert. So my teaching is to be alert - I am not telling you to drop all this nonsense.”

“But,” he said, “it seems insincere. I had believed in it; then it was one thing. Now it will be sheer hypocrisy. And I cannot speak with the same authority. You have taken away my authority. I know it is all bogus; I cannot play this act.”

I said, “Then remember there will be risk.”

He said, “I understand.” He dropped the monkhood.

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