Chapter 13: The Mirror Goes on Reflecting
This robot-like existence has to be changed, utterly changed. You have to be made a conscious being. All the devices that have been used in the past and are being used now are nothing but a single device manifesting in different ways, and the single device is: how to destroy the idea that you are. You are not, God is. Only God is.
This is the fundamental of Sufism: you are not, God is. And this is our fundamental illusion: “I am, and where is God? I don’t see any God anywhere.”
If you are, you will never see God. The very existence of the ego prevents seeing. The ego functions like a blindfold on your eyes. Then the sun rises, but you remain in darkness. The music goes on and on, but you don’t hear a thing. You live in the ocean of love, but your heart is non-functioning, nothing is felt. No prayer arises, no gratitude, no ecstasy. You remain uprooted. You remain like a dying tree with no roots in the earth. You remain impotent; no fruits come to you, no flowers bloom. And then of course life looks like a long, long drawn-out tragedy, and one starts wondering why one is alive at all; the whole thing seems to be so ridiculously meaningless.
That’s what is being felt all over the world by all kinds of thinkers today: that life is meaningless, that man seems to be just an accident, that consciousness is just as accidental as any rock. There seems to be no meaning, no relevance. Not that there is no meaning, but man, as he is today, cannot see meaning. Meaning is another name for God.
The ego will not allow you to see the reality because it creates a separation between you and the reality. The ego says, “I am separate,” and you are not. The moment the tree thinks it is separate from the earth, it starts dying. It becomes suicidal, its whole being is poisoned. The tree has to know that it exists only as an extension of the earth, it is not separate. Then the shape from the earth rises in the tree. Then it is nourished, fed by the earth. Then it is nourished by the sun and the moon and the stars, and then the tree is at home; it is not an outsider.
Man feels very much like an outsider, as if he does not belong anywhere. Nobody else is responsible except you, and the very idea that “I am.” There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who think “I am,” and those who think “I am not.” Those who think “I am” are the irreligious people, and those who know “I am not” are the religious people.
There is a great statement of Buddha. He says, “Samadhi is enlightenment, but before it is enlightenment it is an extinguishing.” That is tremendously meaningful, significant - before you can become light, before you can become enlightened, you will have to extinguish completely the flame of the ego. First you will have to fall into deep darkness, and then that very darkness becomes light. This is the miracle of the inward journey.