Chapter 2: Attraction to the Difficult
When you say that Patanjali seems to be very great, and his teaching very great, you are simply saying that you couldn’t understand Heraclitus at all. And if you cannot understand him, that simply shows that he is very, very far beyond you; he is further beyond you than Patanjali is. At least you can understand this much - that Patanjali seems to be difficult. Now follow me closely: if something is difficult, you can tackle it - howsoever difficult, you can tackle it. More hard effort is needed, but that can be done.
Heraclitus is not easy; he is simply impossible. Patanjali is difficult. You can understand the difficult; you can do something. You can bring your will to it, your effort, your whole energy to it and it can be solved. The difficult can be made easy, more subtle methods can be found. But what will you do with the impossible? It cannot be made easy but you can deceive yourself. You can say there is nothing in it, that it is a kindergarten teaching and you are such a grown-up, that it is for children, not for you.
This is a trick of the mind to avoid the impossible, because you know you will not be able to tackle it. So the easiest course is simply to say, “It is not for me; it is below me - a kindergarten teaching,” and you are a grown-up mature person. You need a university; you don’t need a kindergarten school. Patanjali suits you. He looks very difficult, but he can be solved. The impossible cannot be solved.
If you want to understand Heraclitus, there is no way except by dropping your mind completely. If you want to understand Patanjali, there is a gradual way. He gives you steps - what to do - but remember, finally, eventually, he will also say to you, “Drop the mind.” What Heraclitus says in the beginning, he will say in the end. But on the path, the whole way, you can be fooled. In the end he is going to say the same thing, but still he will be understandable because he makes grades, and the jump doesn’t look like a jump when you have steps.
This is the situation: Heraclitus just brings you to an abyss and says, “Jump!” You look down; your mind simply cannot comprehend what he is saying. It looks suicidal. There are no steps. You ask, “How?,” and he says, “There is no “how,” you simply jump!” What is the “how”? Because there are no steps, “how” cannot be explained. You simply jump!” He says, “If you are ready I can push you, but there are no methods.” Is there any method in taking a jump? A jump is sudden; methods exist when a thing, a process is gradual. Finding it impossible, you make an about-turn, but to console yourself that you are not such a weakling you say that it is for children - it is not difficult enough. It is not for you.
Patanjali brings you to the same abyss, but he has made steps. He says to take one step at a time. It appeals - you can understand. The mathematics is simple: take one step, then another. There is no jump. But remember, sooner or later he will bring you to the point from where you have to jump. He has created steps, but they don’t lead to the bottom, just to the middle - and the bottom is so far away that you can exactly say that it is a bottomless abyss.