Chapter 38: Toward the Authentic Being
A child is born. He is a simple consciousness, but you have to call him, you have to give him a name. In the beginning, the child will use his own name. He will not say, “I am feeling hungry”; he will say, “Ram is feeling hungry.” “Ram “is his name. He will say, “Ram is feeling very angry.” Only later on will he learn that this cannot be used in this way; he cannot call himself “Ram.” Ram is the name that he is to be called by others. Then he will learn the use of “I.”
First he will become identified with “Ram,” the name that others call him; then he will become identified with “I.” This is utilitarian. You need it. Without it survival will be difficult. Because of this utilitarian necessity, one becomes identified. You can go beyond this identification, and the moment you start going beyond and reclaiming your original consciousness, you have started meditation, and you can start meditation only when you become frustrated with your name and form and the world that belongs to it.
Religion starts when you become frustrated, totally frustrated, with the world of name and form and when the whole thing looks meaningless. It is! Ultimately it is meaningless. This feeling of meaninglessness of the world that is created around name and form makes you uneasy. That uneasiness is the beginning of a religious search. You become uneasy because with this label you cannot become totally identified. The label remains a label; you remain what you are. This label covers you a little, but it cannot become your totality. And sooner or later you become fed up with this label. You want to know who you really are. And the moment you ask sincerely, “Who am I?” you are on a different journey; you are transcending.
This identification is natural. There is another reason why it is so easy to become identified. This is a room. If I say to you, “Look at the room,” where will you look? You will look at the walls. The walls are not the room: the room is just “roominess”; it is not the walls, the walls are just the boundaries of the space that we call “room.” But if I tell you to look at the room, you will look at the walls because the “roominess” cannot be looked at.
You are just inner space; your name and form are the walls. They give you a boundary, they give you a definition, they give you a definite place. You can be identified with that definiteness; otherwise you are just a zero, shunya - a nothingness. That nothingness is there, that inner space is there.
Look at it in this way. You breathe in, you breathe out. If you breathe in and breathe out silently and there is no thinking in the mind, if you are simply sitting under a tree breathing in and breathing out, what will you feel? You will feel that there is outer space, there is inner space. The breath comes into the inner space, the breath moves out to the outer space, but where are you? There are simply two spaces. Your throat is just a door, a swinging door. When the breath comes in, the breath forces the door and moves in. When the breath goes out, it again forces the door and goes out. Your throat is just a swinging door, and there are two spaces - the outer and the inner. And if this door is broken, then there are not even two spaces - just one space.