Chapter 7: Temple Fire
Sleep means you are in the past, sleep means you are in the future. Mind is the sleep, mind is a deep hypnosis - fast asleep. And you try many ways, but nothing seems to help you - because anything done in your sleep will not be of much help, because if you do it in sleep it will not be more than a dream.
I have heard that once a man came to a psychoanalyst, a very absentminded psychoanalyst - and everybody is absentminded because mind is absent-mindedness, not at home; that’s what absent-mindedness means. A man went to this very absentminded psychoanalyst and told him. “I am in great trouble. I have knocked at the doors of all types of doctors but nobody could help me, and they say that nothing is wrong. But I am in trouble. I snore so loudly in my sleep that I wake myself up. And this happens so many times in the night: the snoring is so loud that I wake myself up!”
Without exactly listening to what this man was saying, the psychoanalyst said, “This is nothing. A simple thing can change the whole matter. You simply sleep in another room.”
You understand? - this is exactly what everybody is doing. You go on changing rooms, but sleep continues, snoring continues, because you cannot leave it in another room. It is not something separate from you; it is you, it is your mind, it is your whole accumulated past, your memory, your knowledge - what Hindus call samskaras, all the conditionings that make your mind. You go in another room, they follow you there.
You can change your religion: you can become a Christian from a Hindu, you can become a Hindu from a Christian - you change rooms. Nothing will come of it. You can go on changing your masters - from one master to another, from one ashram to another: nothing will be of much help. You are changing rooms; and the basic thing is not to change rooms but to change you. The room is not concerned with your snoring; the room is not the cause, you are the cause. This is the first thing to be understood; then you will be able to follow this beautiful story.
Your mind, as it is, is asleep. But you cannot feel how it is asleep because you look quite awake, with open eyes. But have you ever seen anything? You look wide awake with your open ears, but have you ever heard anything?
You are listening to me so you will say, Yes! But are you listening to me or listening to your mind inside? Your mind is constantly commenting. I am here, talking to you, but you are not there listening to me. Your mind constantly comments, “Yes, it is right, I agree”; “I don’t agree, this is absolutely false”; your mind is standing there, constantly commenting. Through this commentary, this fog of the mind, I cannot penetrate you. Understanding comes when you are not interpreting, when you simply listen.
In a small school the teacher found that one boy was not listening. He was very lazy and fidgety, restless. So she asked: “Why? Are you in some difficulty? Are you not able to hear me?”
The boy said, “Hearing is okay, listening is the problem.”