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Chapter 9: You Are Your Prison

Disturbance is another word for the mind. Existentially, disturbance and mind are synonymous - but not in the dictionary. If you look in the dictionary you will not find anywhere the word disturbance meaning mind, or mind meaning disturbance. It is not necessary for etymologists to know existence. Those who do know existence don’t create language because they say, “It is difficult to express it in language.”

The existential experience is: where there is disturbance, there is mind. Mind means disturbance, so the words peaceful mind are contradictory; such a state cannot exist. Just as there is no such thing as a healthy disease or a calm storm, so there is also nothing like a peaceful mind.

A diseased person can become healthy, remember it, but the disease itself can never be healthy. The diseased man can become healthy because the disease is not the diseased; it is separate from him, it comes and it goes. It is very interesting to note that the sick man can be without the disease, but the disease cannot exist without the sick man. Consciousness can exist without mind, but mind cannot exist without consciousness.

Mind is a disease. The sage sees it as granthi - a knot, a bondage, a dis-ease, an illness. Mind is a disease. Mind is a disturbed state of consciousness - agitated, unstable and full of waves. When peace is achieved mind disappears, it ceases; when peace disappears, mind appears.

If we go deep into it, there is a reason why we describe it as a knot. Understand the word granthi, because it is a valuable word in yoga terminology. It is so valuable that when Mahavira became enlightened the Jainas called him nirgrantha - free of all the granthis, knots - he who has no knot within. Try to understand this concept of a knot.

A knot is a strange thing. You must have seen many knots but had never noticed this: that when you tie a knot in a rope, is there any change in the rope, in its nature, in its existence? Does it weigh more? Is there any qualitative change? What happens to the rope? Nothing happens to the rope.but even then, a lot happens. Nothing happens to the rope, nothing is added to it and nothing is taken away; it remains as it is, but still it is not the same; it is knotted, entangled. The rope’s nature is not changed a bit, but a knot can arise without any change in its nature. Actually nothing is changed in the rope, yet everything is changed. The rope is of no more use; now you cannot tie anything with it because it itself is entangled. Now it is of no use, but there is no qualitative change, no existential change to it. It has not changed at all.

And what is this knot? Is it an object? Try to understand it correctly. Is the knot an object? Had it been an object it would have existed without the rope, the knot could have been put aside. But the knot cannot be separated from the rope. It does not mean that the rope cannot be freed from the knot, it can be. The rope can be freed from the knot, but the knot cannot be separated from the rope. You cannot separate the knot and the rope into two things.

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