Chapter 3: Here, Now, This
When they went to take him out from his prison cell, it was very difficult - because he was in a hal, in that mystic state. He was no longer a person, he was just pure energy. How to drag pure energy out? The people who went there were just struck dumb! What was happening in that dark cell was so fantastic! It was so luminous. Mansoor was surrounded by an aura not of this world. Mansoor was not there as a person. Sufis have two words for it: one is baka, another is fana. Baka means you are defined by a personality, you have a definition around you, you have a demarcation line that this is you. Fana means that you are dissolved into God and you don’t have any definition. Baka is like an ice cube and fana is like the ice cube which has melted and become one with the river.
This constantly happens to the mystics: they move from baka to fana, from fana to baka. It is almost like day and night. By and by there comes a kind of rhythm. Sometimes you will find the mystic in the state of baka - and when you find him in the state of baka you will see the most unique individuality that has ever been seen. In the state of baka he will be a unique individual - very original, very pure, clear-cut. he will be like a peak standing against the sky, or like a star in the dark night - so clear, so separate, so individual. That is the meaning of baka - individual.
You will not find these kinds of individuals in the ordinary world. There are people but not individuals, persons but not individuals A person is one who has no individuality; he is just an anonymous part of a mass. He lives like they live, he talks like they talk, he eats like they eat, he goes to the movie that they go to, he purchases the car that they purchase, he makes a house like they make - he is continuously following “they,” the mass, the collectivity, the crowd. He is not himself; he is very confused. His boundary lines are very messy. They are there but they are in a mess; they are not clear-cut. If you look into him you will not find him there. You will find layers upon layers of conditioning. He will be a Mohammedan because he was born in a Mohammedan house. He will be a Hindu because he was born into a Hindu family. He will be reciting the Gita because his father used to recite it - and his father’s father. For ages they have been reciting it, so he is reciting it. It all seems accidental. He has no uniqueness in him. He is just a part. He lives like they live, he dies like they die. He lives their life, he dies their death. He never asserts himself, he is never rebellious. This is the state of the ordinary personality. This is not individuality.
Individuality arises only when you become very clear-cut, when you attain an original shape of your being, when you do your thing, when you don’t care what others say, when you are ready to sacrifice your whole life for your freedom, when freedom becomes your ultimate value and nothing else matters - then you become baka, individual. And this is the paradox: only individuals can go into fana, into that utter dissolution, desolation, into that utter disappearance.
First you have to be, only then can you disappear. If you are not, then what is going to disappear? First you have to detach yourself from the crowd, only then can you take the jump. So this is the paradox: the man in the state of baka can go into the state of fana, and only he can go.