Chapter 9: Discover Your Original Face
Buddha talks again and again in these sutras about falling into darkness, but you can fall into darkness only if your inside is full of darkness. Whatsoever is your inside is going to be your destiny. If the inner is full of light, the whole existence is full of light. If the inner is dark, then of course it is nothing but a dark night of the soul all around. You live through your inner core, so whatsoever is the case with your center is going to be reflected by your circumference. The whole world only reflects you, echoes you, resounds you. It is nothing but you multiplied a millionfold. So if you come across ugliness, it must be somewhere inside you. If you meet the enemy, you must have projected it. If you see death, that means something in you is rotten, something in you corresponds to death with which you have become identified.
The world is a mirror; it always shows your real face to you. Buddha insists again and again: “Use the world as a mirror, and then go inside and find the cause.” The cause is always in the inner; the effect is in the outer. Don’t be deceived by the effect. Don’t start thinking that the effect is the cause because then you will be leading a life rooted in utter ignorance. The face in the mirror is not the cause; the face in the mirror is only the effect. Don’t try to change the face in the mirror, don’t try to paint it.
That’s what we go on doing; that’s what our whole life consists of. We are always trying to look good in the eyes of others; that is trying to look good in the mirror. What are those eyes of others but mirrors? We are always trying to convince others of our goodness, of our truth, of our sincerity, authenticity, religiousness, spirituality. What is the point of convincing anybody? In fact, by convincing others we are trying to convince ourselves. If others are convinced - if the mirror can reflect a beautiful face - then we can be at ease with ourselves. We can also believe that we are beautiful.
This is the illusion in which we live, and this is the illusion that the society helps to strengthen. The society feeds it, the society nourishes it. The whole effort of the society is to make the mirror more important than yourself, because then you can be dominated, you can be reduced to slaves. And the mirror is in others’ hands.
Somebody says to you, “You are so holy!” If you believe him, if this becomes an ego nourishment for you, unconsciously you have become dependent on that person. Now you will be afraid of him - he can withdraw it any moment. He can say to you any moment, “You are no longer holy.” You have to go on convincing him. You have to behave according to his idea of holiness. If he wants you to fast, you will have to fast. If he wants you to go to church every Sunday, you will have to go to the church every Sunday. If you want to keep your face beautiful in his eyes then you have to follow his ideas of what spirituality means.
This is a very subtle slavery and the society uses it. It respects those who become instruments of the society, of the tradition. It respects those who are conformists.
Buddha says: “Discover your original face.” Don’t be bothered about the mirror, because mirrors can be made which may show your ugly face as beautiful. You must have seen mirrors of many kinds; they can show different kinds of faces to you. One mirror shows your face very long, another mirror shows your face very fat, another mirror shows your face very thin. They can distort, they can make it ugly, they can make it beautiful too. And the mirror is in the hands of society.