Chapter 7: The Secret of Awareness
Swan, I’d like you to tell me your whole story!
Where you first appeared, and what dark sand
you are going toward,
and where you sleep at night, and what you are
It’s morning, swan, wake up, climb in the air,
I know of a country that spiritual flatness
does not control, nor constant depression,
and those alive are not afraid to die.
There wild flowers come up through the leafy floor,
and the fragrance of “I am he” floats on the wind.
There the bee of the heart stays deep inside the flower,
and cares for no other thing.
Don’t go outside your house to see flowers.
My friend, don’t bother with that excursion.
Inside your body there are flowers.
One flower has a thousand petals.
That will do for a place to sit.
Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty
inside the body and out of it,
before gardens and after gardens.
Man is awake and yet not awake. His wakefulness is very thin, his wakefulness is almost of no use. He is not asleep, that is true, but he is not awake either - he is in limbo, in the middle. He has awakened from the world of animals, but he is fast asleep to the world of gods.
Man is a transitory period. Man is not a being but a becoming - on the way. The past is left behind and the future is not attained yet. Hence the agony, the anguish; man is torn apart. The past pulls him back. To be an animal again seems to be pleasant, and it is, because it has not the agony of man and the anguish and the anxiety of man.
If you watch the animals you will feel jealous. Walt Whitman has written it exactly in his diaries that: “Whenever I see animals, I feel jealous. We have missed something.”
We have not missed really, but the peace, the calm, the collectedness of the animal is lost. The animal is happy because he is unaware - unaware of death, unaware of the problems of life. The animal is happy because there is no consciousness. Consciousness first brings pain, because suddenly you become aware of a thousand and one problems facing you. You have to encounter them, you have to solve them or dissolve them. All peace disappears.
But human consciousness is still worthwhile. And I don’t agree with Walt Whitman, I agree with Socrates who say: “I would like to be a discontented Socrates rather than a contented pig.” The statement of Socrates is of immense value. It has to be understood by every seeker, because the goal is ahead; there is no going back. The pig may look contented - because he is not aware, not really because he is contented. But to know discontent one needs consciousness.