Chapter 34: Only a Question of Awareness
This is a great insight into true religiousness: don’t divide into good and evil. Only divide into good and not-good. Not-good is only the absence of awareness, and good is the presence of awareness. Life becomes very simple, transformation becomes easy.
You need not torture yourself, because by torturing you cannot transform yourself. You need not stand on your head and do yoga postures, distorting your body this way and that way. If you are preparing for a circus that is another thing, but if all these yoga practitioners reach heaven then God must be surrounded by a continuous circus - all over paradise people are doing strange and distorting things.
Yoga cannot purify you. It may give you better health. I am in absolute support of yoga as being part of gymnasiums, but not as part of temples. In the gymnasium it has a contribution to make. It can give you better health, longer life, it can prevent many possible diseases, it can cure many diseases that are already with you. But it cannot transform that which is not-good into good, because it cannot give you awareness.
Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.
A Gautam Buddha speaking is God himself speaking, existence using Gautam Buddha as a vehicle to give you the message, to wake you up - for what have you come here? It is good, because it is coming out of total awareness, absolute silence. It is not Gautam Buddha speaking to you, it is Gautam Buddha only making himself available to existence to speak through him.
Existence cannot speak directly to you, it needs some vehicle, it needs some hollow bamboo to become a flute. Then the lips of existence can create a beautiful song and music. But the “hollow bamboo” means, you are so aware that there is no ego in you. Ego exists only in the dark corners of your being. When awareness is total, ego disappears.
The ego has never been found by anyone who has been searching for it inside with the light of awareness; it does not exist. Again, it is an absence, it is not an evil; ego is not-good, but it is not evil.
Ego means you have never turned toward your being, you have never seen your own inside, you have never brought your awareness to your interiority, to your subjectivity. Once you turn in, ego disappears.
It will not disappear by fasting, remember; it will not disappear by yoga postures, remember - it may even become more strengthened, it may become even more subtle, more dangerous. It is not a question of discipline, it is simply a question of being alert.
Kahlil Gibran is right, that even in the night when you sometimes stutter, purposelessly, some words - relevant, irrelevant - it is not evil. It is simply not-good - your sleep is disturbed. Don’t condemn it.