Chapter 13: The Mirror Goes on Reflecting
One falls into darkness. Because right now you have a small light of the ego to help you to see, to grope, to find your way - just a small light of the ego - and you are afraid to extinguish it because then you will fall into utter darkness. And that is true: you will fall for a time, while all light will disappear from your life. That’s what Christian mystics call “the dark night of the soul”. The ordinary light that ego gives you is not much, but still it gives you a little light. It is like a glowworm: it does not lead you anywhere, but at least, on a dark night, even a glowworm is quite a hope that light exists. And when you extinguish it, you fall into utter darkness.
That is the beginning of the journey. That is daring: to lose that which you have for that which may be, may not be. And for the unknown, no guarantee can be given. Only in deep trust with a master can you move into this darkness, the womb of darkness; and out of this darkness arises a new light. In fact, the darkness itself proves to be a new light. Just because you are not acquainted with it, in the beginning it looks like darkness. As you become acquainted, attuned, as your eyes become accustomed to the new darkness, you are surprised - the darkness is turning into light, infinite light.
Buddha is right: first you have to go through an extinguishing, and then that very extinguishing becomes enlightenment.
That’s what Sufis say. Their words are fana and baka: fana means “extinguishing,” baka means “enlightenment.” Fana means “falling into nothingness, disappearing as an ego”; baka means “arising again not as an ego, but as divine, as God himself.” Ana el haq, “I am the truth” - there is no “I” in that experience; only truth is felt.
And whenever there is a man of truth - who has dropped his ego, has dropped his mind, whose thoughts have disappeared - he becomes a mirror. To be with a mirror, to be in front of a mirror, is to be a disciple.
It really needs courage to be with a master, because you will be known in your nudity. One does not want to be known in one’s nudity. One wants to hide, one wants to pretend, one wants to show oneself as one is not; that’s why we wear masks. And everybody is carrying hundreds of masks because each moment you need different masks. Each moment you encounter a new situation; a new mask is needed.
Watch.. When you are talking to your servant you have a different face - next time be aware - when you are talking to your boss you again have a different face. If you are talking to a person with whom you have nothing to do, who is not going to fulfill any of your desires, watch your face. And the next day you may be talking to the same person, but now you are in need and he can be of help; watch your face. When you need somebody’s help you smile, you are very polite, you are very seductive. When you don’t need somebody’s help you remain unconcerned, cold, no smile; you don’t even show formality, you simply ignore the person. The same person becomes powerful one day, and see how you start wagging your tail. If the person is no more in power, again you don’t take any note of him. Just go on watching yourself.