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Chapter 40: Sudden Enlightenment and Its Obstacles

Something is possible through gradual process, but not enlightenment - not enlightenment, something else. And that something else becomes helpful. For example, if you are making water to evaporate it, heating it, evaporation will come suddenly. At a certain point, at a hundred degrees, evaporation will happen - suddenly! There will be no gradual growth between water and vapor. You cannot divide; you cannot say that this water is a little vapor and a little water. Either it is water or it is all vapor. Suddenly the water jumps into the state of vapor. There is a jump - not gradual growth. But by heating you are gradually giving heat to the water. You are helping it to reach the hundred-degree point, the evaporating point. This is a natural growth. Up to the evaporating point, the water will grow in the sense of being more and more hot. Then evaporation will happen suddenly.

So there have been masters who were wise, compassionate, who used the language of the human mind which you can understand, telling you, “Yes, there is a gradual growth.” It gives you courage and confidence and hope, and a possibility that it can happen to you also. You cannot attain in a sudden explosion, but by and by, step by step, with your limitations, with your weaknesses, you can grow to it. It may take many lives, but still there is hope. You will just get heated by all your efforts.

The second thing to remember: even hot water is still water. So even if you become more clear in your mind, more pure in your perceptions, more moral, more centered, you are still man, not a buddha, not enlightened. You become more silent, more still, calmer. You feel a deep bliss, but still you are a man, and your feelings are really negative, not positive.

You feel calm because you are now less tense. You feel blissful because now you are clinging less to your miseries; you are not creating them. You feel collected. It is not that you have come to realize the one, but only because now you are less divided. Remember this: your growth is negative. You are just hot water. The possibility is there that at any moment you will come to the point where evaporation happens. When it happens, you will not feel calmness, you will not even feel blissful, you will not feel silent, because these attributes are relative to their opposites. When you are tense, you can feel silence. When you feel noise, you can feel stillness. When you are divided, fragmentary, you can feel oneness. When you are in suffering, anguish, you can feel bliss.

That is why Buddha was silent - because language cannot now express that which is beyond polarities. He cannot say, “Now I am filled with bliss,” because even this feeling that “Now I am filled with bliss” is possible only with a background of suffering and anguish. You can feel health only with a background of illness and disease; you can feel life only with a background of death. Buddha cannot say, “Now I am deathless,” because death has disappeared so completely that deathlessness cannot be felt.

If the misery has disappeared so completely, how can you feel blissful? If the noise and the anguish are so absolutely non-existent, how can you feel silence? All these experiences, feelings, are related to their opposites. Without their opposites they cannot be felt. If darkness disappears completely, how can you feel light? It is impossible.

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