Chapter 6: Don’t Take Enlightenment Seriously
Hindus go on repeating methods invented by people like Patanjali, Manu, Yagnavalkya. Thousands of years have passed, but the orthodox mind clings to the letter; it is afraid to change anything. And without understanding the spirit of it, it goes on repeating like a parrot. And situations go on changing.
Now Patanjali cannot be applied to modern human beings exactly as he has taught to his disciples. Five thousand years have passed, man is no longer the same. If you want to apply Patanjali you will need another Patanjali to shift many things, to change many things, to drop many things, to add many things. He will have to create the whole methodology again, because man does not exist for any methods - all methods exist for man.
No system is so valuable that man can be sacrificed to the system; all systems have to serve man. If they serve, good; if they become useless, out-of-date, irrelevant, they have to be dropped - with deep reverence, with gratitude - they have done their work.
But the human mind is such, it always loves the past. The more ancient a method is, the more it is loved. In fact, the more useless it is: it can’t change you, it can’t help you to change.
Each time a new person becomes aware of his innermost being, listen to him, and while he is alive be available to him. It is going to be hard to be available to the alive master, because he will not only be teaching you words, he will be cutting chunks of your being. It hurts, because you have gathered so much unnecessary garbage around yourself; it has to be cut, mercilessly cut. Only then can your essential being be revealed in all its beauty.
A farmer gathered his sons around him and demanded, “Which one of you boys pushed the outhouse into the creek?”
The culprit did not step forward. “Now, boys,” said the farmer, “remember the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. It is true that young George chopped down that tree, but he told his father the truth and his father was proud of him.”
Whereupon the farmer’s youngest son stepped forward and admitted that he had pushed the outhouse into the creek. The farmer picked up a switch and proceeded to whip his son soundly.
“But Pa,” protested the boy tearfully, “you told me that George Washington’s father was proud of him when he confessed to chopping down the cherry tree.”
“He was, son,” replied the farmer, “but George Washington’s father was not sitting in the cherry tree when his son chopped it down!”
The situation has changed.and you go on repeating old formulas. First watch the situation. Hence, methods that have worked before are not going to work now.
Enlightenment is the most simple thing, but because man is very complex - and as time passes man becomes more and more complex - he will need more and more complex methods.