Chapter 15: Flowers, Not Thorns
From what I heard you say, I understood that for enlightenment to happen, meditation is a preparation, but also an intense urge is required, a realization that nothing else really matters. I see myself being interested in all kinds of things, all kinds of mind-stories, music, women, sense perceptions. Will these interests prevent enlightenment?
A very ancient story is that an old man came to his master and said, “I have been to see a great number of teachers and I have given up a great number of pleasures. I have fasted, been celibate, and stayed awake all night, seeking enlightenment. I have given up everything I was asked to give up and I have suffered, but I have not been enlightened. What should I do?”
The master replied, “Give up suffering.”
Neither music can prevent your enlightenment, nor sense perceptions, nor women. Only one thing can prevent your enlightenment, and that is suffering. Enlightenment is the ultimate celebration, so any small celebrations that you are having will become just like steps towards it. But suffering cannot become a step towards enlightenment.
You are asking, “I see myself being interested in all kinds of things, all kinds of mind-stories..” They will disappear as your meditation grows, just as when you bring the light in, the darkness disappears. The darkness can never be a hindrance. You cannot say that the darkness is so thick and so old that whenever I bring the light in, the light goes out. Darkness cannot put the light out.
Your mind-stories are just soap bubbles. Once you have touched even a glimpse of meditation - what to say about stories, mind itself disappears.
Music will be deepened as your meditation grows; your music will have new flavors, new flowers, new fragrances. Your music will become more and more in tune with your meditation. Ultimately the music comes to a point of perfection when no instrument is needed.but pure silence, without any sounds. In fact, what you call music is a play between sound and silence. Those who emphasize the sound miss the deeper meaning of music. The deeper meaning is between two sounds, in the gaps.
Meditation is not against music. On the contrary, music has been born out of meditative consciousness. When it was used for the first time, it was used to express something about meditation. But the gestalt has to change; from sound the emphasis should change to the silence. And meditation will do that miracle automatically.
As far as women are concerned.it is impossible to become enlightened without women. They are the real driving force! People say that behind every great man there is a woman. That may be right, may not be right, but behind every enlightened man there are many women - torturing him, harassing him until finally he decides it is better to become enlightened. If there is no woman to harass you, why should you try to become enlightened in the first place? Women have not become enlightened for the simple reason that no man is harassing them. So don’t be afraid of women; they are an immense help, absolutely necessary.