Chapter 7: A Man Who Loved Seagulls
Emile Coue is more alert than Jefferson. Emile Coue has discovered a law he calls The Law of Reverse Effect. There are certain things which, if you try to do, you will undo. If you don’t try to do them you may be able to do them. The very effort leads you to the reverse effect. For example, sleep. You want to go to sleep - what can you do? Everybody has a fundamental right to sleep, but what can you do? Can you ask the police to come and help? What can you do when you don’t feel like going to sleep? Whatsoever you do is going to disturb you because the very effort works against sleep. Sleep is an effortlessness. When you simply relax, not doing anything, by and by you drift into sleep. You cannot swim towards it - you drift. You cannot make any conscious effort.
And this is the problem with all those people who suffer from sleeplessness, insomnia. All insomniacs have their rituals. They do certain things to cause sleep to come to them. And that is where they miss, that is where everything goes wrong. How can you force sleep? The more you force the more you will be there - aware, alert, conscious. Every effort will make you more aware, more alert, and sleep will be put off.
What do you do when you want to go to sleep? You don’t do anything. You simply wait, in a restful mood. You simply allow sleep to come to you - you cannot force it. You cannot demand, you cannot say, “Come!” With closed eyes, in a dark room, on your pillow, you simply wait.and waiting, you start drifting. Like a cloud glides, drifts, you drift by and by from the conscious mind to the unconscious.
You lose all control. You have to lose control; otherwise you cannot go to sleep, because the part that controls is the conscious mind. It has to allow. Control has to be left completely. Then - you don’t know when and why and how - sleep comes to you. Only in the morning you become aware that you have been asleep, and you slept well. Ninety-nine percent of people who suffer from sleeplessness create their own trouble. I have not come across more than one percent of insomniacs who are really suffering from something in their body chemistry. Ninety-nine percent are simply suffering because they don’t know Emile Coue’s Law of Reverse Effect. They are followers of Jefferson; they think sleep is a right.
In life, only on the surface, in the marketplace, rights exist. As you move deeper, rights disappear. As you move deeper, gifts appear. This is one of the most basic things to remember always: you have not deserved life, and life is there! Absolutely undeserved, you are alive, with tremendous energy - alive!
How does it happen? And if life can happen without deserving it, without any right to it, why not happiness? why not love? why not ecstasy? They can all happen, but you have to understand the law. The law is: don’t try directly. Happiness cannot be pursued. It can be persuaded. Persuasion is indirect. It is not an attack. You move, but not directly, because when you are direct you are aggressive. Nothing is as direct as violence. And nothing is as violent as directness.
Life moves in circles, not direct. The Earth moves around the sun. The sun moves around some greater sun. Galaxies move, the whole universe moves, in rounds. Seasons move in a round. Childhood, youth, old age, move in a round. The whole of life is circular, it never goes direct. It is not like an arrow that goes direct to the target. An arrow is man’s invention. In life there is nothing like an arrow. An arrow is man’s violent mind. An arrow chooses the very shortest cut between two points. The arrow is in a great hurry, seems to be too time-conscious. But God is not in a hurry.