Chapter 9: The Phenomenon of Unconsciousness
After about ten minutes he came to a garage and told his story to the owner. “You mean to say that there was nobody near the car except a horse?” asked the garage proprietor.
“Was it by any chance a white horse with a black patch on its head?”
“Yes, it was!”
“Well, ignore him. He doesn’t know a thing about cars.”
The unconscious man is never surprised by anything. He takes life for granted. He knows nothing of surprise. He knows nothing of wonder. He knows nothing of the mysterious, the miraculous. And the miraculous is all around and the mystery surrounds you. But because you are unconscious, you go on moving in this mysterious world, dull, dead, fast asleep. You are not surprised by anything. If you are alive, conscious, each and every thing will surprise you! The grass leaf in the morning sun.and you will feel like worshipping. The rose flower in the moonlit night.and you will feel like kneeling down and going into prayer. The stars, and the people, and the children, and the animals and the birds - each and every thing will surprise you, each and every thing will challenge.
When life is a mystery only then are you religious.
But why is life not a mystery? - because you are so dull. Such dust has gathered on your consciousness that you go on pulling yourself somehow, mechanically. You are not living life, you are simply dragging. One thing leads you to another, one thing pushes you towards another, and you go on, stumbling, till you die. If you watch an ordinary man’s life, from birth to death it is nothing but stumbling from one accident to another. One goes on stumbling and finally stumbles into one’s grave.
This is not life - not life as Jesus would like to define life, not life as I would like to define it. Life starts only by being conscious. And if you start being conscious you will not take anything for granted. You will not take your wife for granted, or your husband for granted. And small things will reveal their mystery to you. A bird will come and sit by your windowpane, and will start singing a song. And you will be thrilled and excited and ecstatic. Nothing thrills you right now. Nothing gives you excitement, nothing gives you ecstasy. You are insensitive. The insensitivity is always in the proportion that you are unconscious. The sensitivity comes only with consciousness.
The windows of the car parked in a lay-by late one dark night were well and truly steamed up when the couple on the back seat heard the voice of the law outside the car saying “Hello, hello, hello! What’s going on here then?” The policeman opened the car door, gave the couple a two-minute lecture about the laws of the country and then shone his torch on them as he informed them that he was going to report them.