Chapter 15: Seeing the Past as a Dream
In the same way you have to go backward with this technique. What will happen? Going backward, unwinding the mind, you are a witness. You are seeing things that happened to you, but now they are not happening to you. Now you are just an observer and they are happening on the screen of the mind.
While doing this daily, suddenly one day you will become aware during the day, while working in the market, in your office or anywhere, that you can be a witness to events that are happening just now. If you can be a witness later on, and look back at someone who had insulted you without becoming angry about it, why not right now, to what is presently happening?
Someone is insulting you: what is the difficulty? You can pull yourself aside just now and you can see that someone is insulting you, and still you are different from your body, from your mind, from that which is insulted. You can witness it. If you can be a witness to this, you will not get angry; then it is impossible. Anger is possible only when you are identified. If you are not identified, anger is impossible - anger means identification.
This technique says, look at any happening of the past - your form will be there. The sutra says your form, not you. You were never there. Always your form is involved; you are never involved. When you insult me, you do not insult me. You cannot insult me, you can insult only the form. The form which I am is there just here and now for you. You can insult that form and I can detach myself from the form. That is why Hindus have always been insisting on being detached from name and form. You are neither your name nor your form. You are the consciousness who knows the form and the name, and the consciousness is different, totally different.
But it is difficult. So start with the past, then it is easy, because now, with the past there is no urgency. Someone insulted you twenty years back, so there is no urgency in it. The man may have died and everything is finished. It is just a dead affair, just dead from the past; it is easy to be aware of it. But once you can become aware there is no difficulty in doing the same with what is happening just here and now.
But to start from here and now is difficult. The problem is so urgent and it is so near that there is no space to move. It is difficult to create space and move away from the incident. That is why the sutra says to start with the past: look at your own form, detached, standing aloof and different, and be transformed through it.
You will be transformed through it because it is a deep cleaning, an unwinding. Then you can know that your body, your mind, your existence in time are not your basic reality. The substantial reality is different. Things come and go upon it without touching it in the least. You remain innocent, untouched; you remain virgin. The whole thing passes, the whole life passes: good and bad, success and failure, praise and blame - everything passes. Disease and health, youth and old age, birth and death - everything passes, and you are untouched by it.