Chapter 4: Alight with the Inner Fire
First, we can see only what is already hidden within our own desires. The truth is not visible to us because our eyes can see only what we want to see. There is choice in seeing and there is choice in hearing: we hear only what we want to hear and what we don’t want to hear our ears will miss; and what we don’t want to see our eyes will not see. Hence every man lives in his own world, the world of his own desires.
Many people are present here and you will all give your own meaning to what I am saying. Everyone will hear what he wants to hear: he will choose whatsoever is meaningful for him and the rest he will discard. Or he will interpret a meaning which fits with, which is in accord with, his desires. In this world we are able to see only what is hidden in our desires.
People ask me, “Where is God?” Now this is a wrong question. The right question would be, “Do I have a longing for the divine?” And unless there is a deep longing for the divine, a deep thirst for the divine, the divine cannot be seen - not because it does not exist but because your eyes do not want to see it. Even if the divine were in front of you, you would miss it. Even if the divine were to knock at your door, you would give some other meaning to it. You would not be able to recognize the divine.
A river may be flowing nearby, but if you have no thirst you will not take any notice of the river. If there is thirst, only then will you see the river. Only when you have the longing can a thing become visible to you. This phenomenon is so complex that if your thirst is strong, then many times you will even see things which don’t exist. And if your thirst is weak, then even that which is will not be visible to you.
We live in the world of our desires and we see and recognize only things which will allow the expansion of our desires. In the East, Yoga has known this truth for a very long time. Now the psychologists in the West are also accepting this truth.
In the last fifty years Western psychologists have discovered many things. One of them is that we are able to see only two percent of the things that exist around us. If one hundred things happen, we are able to see only two of them and we miss ninety-eight of them because our eyes are choosing, our ears are choosing, our hands and our minds are choosing.
So whatsoever you know, it is your own choice, you have chosen it. You don’t know the reality. And if your choice is very strong then you will create a world of imagination around you which does not exist in reality. What is happening to people who are locked inside insane asylums? - they have projected a world which does not exist anywhere except in their own minds. In their own minds, it exists. If you go to a madhouse you will find someone talking loudly to somebody, but he is alone: the person he is talking to does not exist for you, but he absolutely exists for the madman. He is receiving answers, he is quarreling, and he has no doubt about the presence of the other person. He has created the other man out of his own imagination. Possessed by some deep desire, this imagination has become crystallized.