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Chapter 3: The Lifting of the Veil

So reasons go on changing. One says beautiful, one says ugly. One says good, another says bad - this goes on accumulating. And on the basis of these opposing opinions you fashion your being. You are riding on a bullock cart that has bullocks pulling it in all directions, and the cart tries to move in every direction at once. Your very bones get tired. You are only dragged. You reach nowhere, you cannot move.

Today’s first sutra says:

You are the one observer of all, and in reality always free.

The individual is the observer, not the observed.

There are three types of people. Those who have become objects to be seen, performers - they are in the deepest darkness.. Second are those who have become spectators. They are a little better than the first, but there is not much difference. Third are those who have become the observer. It is good to understand these three clearly.

When you become the observed, you become a thing; you have lost your soul. It is difficult to find a soul in a political leader. It is difficult to find a soul in an actor. He has become an object to be seen, he lives to be an object to be seen. His whole effort is to impress people: how to look good, how to look beautiful, how to look the best. It is not an effort to be the best, but an effort just to appear the best. One who becomes the observed becomes a hypocrite. He covers his face with a mask. He presents a good outward show but is rotting inside.

Second are those who have become spectators. They are the vast crowd. Naturally, the first type of people needs the second type; otherwise, how can people become performers? Someone becomes a politician, he gets a crowd to clap for him. There is great harmony between them. A leader needs followers. If someone is dancing, spectators are needed. If someone sings, listeners are needed; hence some busy themselves as performers and some remain spectators. Spectators are the vast crowd.

Western psychologists are very worried because people are becoming mere spectators. They go to the movies, switch on the radio, or sit in front of the television for hours. In America, the average person spends about six hours a day watching television. If there is a football game, they watch it; a wrestling match, they watch it; a baseball game or the Olympics, they watch that. Now they have become mere spectators, spectators standing at the side of the road: the procession of life passes and you go on watching.

There are some who have joined the procession. That is harder. There is much competition. To join the procession is not so easy. A lot of fighting and aggression are required. But spectators are also needed to watch the procession. They stand on the sides and watch. If they are not there, the procession too will disappear.

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