Chapter 17: Immediate and Ultimate Ordinariness
I heard you saying that we are all enlightened. If so, why am I waiting for something to happen? Is it an old habit?
It is one thing to hear; it is another thing to understand. You certainly heard me saying that we are all enlightened, but you did not trust it - at least you excluded yourself. “Perhaps everybody else is, but I am enlightened?” This was too much for you to accept; hence the question.
Your question shows your innermost turmoil. You are saying, “If so.” I had not said that your enlightenment is some probability - perhaps you are enlightened, perhaps you are not. There were no ifs and no buts; it was a simple statement. I repeat again:
You are enlightened and you cannot be anything else.
But I can understand your difficulty. You have been told you are ignorant and you have accepted it. You have been told you are unworthy and you have accepted it. You have been told you are not beautiful and you have accepted it.
Just look at how many things you have accepted without creating ifs and buts, without even asking a question.
When I was a student in the university, my philosophy class consisted only of three persons. Two were girls and I was the third. And a certain Professor Bhattacharya - a little cynical, as is almost expected from professors of philosophy - had a certain idea of celibacy. He used to teach the class with closed eyes. When I saw this on the first day, I could not figure it out - what is the problem? After the class I approached him and asked him.
He said, “I cannot see women.”
I said, “If you cannot see women, why do you close your eyes?”
He said, “You don’t understand me. I don’t want to see women.”
I said, “Even then, you have seen them; it does not matter whether you want to or not. Women are all around. Just by closing your eyes, do you think you are not seeing women? Then what are people doing in their dreams? I insist on the point that if you are keeping your eyes closed because of the women, you will be consistently reminded only of women. And remember that no woman is so beautiful with open eyes as she becomes when your eyes are closed. Then the woman becomes a romantic dream. Reality is not so romantic. With your eyes closed you are taking a very dangerous step.”
The next day I also closed my eyes. He looked at me and thought perhaps I had also become convinced of his ideology of celibacy. After the class he asked me, “So it seems you are also convinced.”
I said, “The reality is that I slept the whole hour. And now I will sleep every day: if you are free to close your eyes, I am also free to close my eyes. It does not matter what happens with closed eyes - you dream, I sleep.”