Chapter 16: Beyond All - the Witness
So when the feeling of doing is outside, simultaneously the feeling of the experiencer happens inside. And the bigger the sense of doing, the bigger the desires of the experiencer. Therefore the bigger the sense of doing the more anguish in life, because the desires of the experiencer increase in the same proportion - the greater the passion, the greater the discontentment. That is why those who strive more are often found to be very miserable because they feel that they have done so much, but what did they achieve? What could they enjoy? In fact you go on doing and doing in the hope that one day you will sit back and enjoy. It goes on this way for the whole of your life, but the moment to enjoy never comes.
There is another example of this proximity. You know when you are eating food that you do not create the hunger - hence you are not the doer. This is not so difficult to understand. You do not create hunger, it simply comes. If it does not come, there is no way to create it. So this much is clear, that hunger happens, we do not create it. We eat food because there is hunger. But we experience the taste - it feels good or bad, bitter or sweet. So let us accept that hunger is not created by us, we do not produce it - it comes. We do not create hunger but we certainly do experience the taste. Taste is more subtle. Do we really experience the taste? Or does that also happen in the mechanism of our bodies and because of our proximity to it we think, “I am tasting it.”
Taste also happens in our mechanism. That is why when you have a fever you cannot taste anything. You are the same, but your mechanism is dull and incapable of experiencing it. Taste happens in the mechanism.
Pavlov has done many experiments in Russia. There is something to be understood in this context from those experiments. Pavlov asks: “Is taste a pleasing experience or an unpleasant one? If a foul smell is released around you each time you are eating food, by and by eating will become a suffering. Or if you are given an electric shock through the chair whenever you are eating, after ten or fifteen days each mealtime you will be expecting the pain, ‘Now it’s going to come!’ Once this pattern is established, then even if you are not given the shock anymore you will not be able to relish the food.”
Many mothers have a problem with their children, that they do not enjoy eating. They make a thousand and one efforts, but their children do not want to eat. And it never occurs to them that the child is not at fault. In fact the way the mother may have behaved whenever the child asked for milk is what has spoiled its interest in food. An association has formed. Whenever the child has asked for milk, the way the mother responded has created a bad association, a bad taste. So the mother’s behavior has become associated with the food.