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Chapter 4: The Last Chance to Rebel

But the East knows something still more. There is a point, the fourth state of consciousness. It is called turiya, simply “the fourth”; it has no other name. Turiya means the fourth. When waking, dreaming and sleep all disappear, one is simply a witness. You cannot call it waking, because this witness never sleeps; you cannot call it dreaming, because for this witness no dream ever appears; you cannot call it sleep, because this witness never sleeps. It is eternal awareness. This is the bodhichitta of Atisha, this is christ-consciousness, this is buddhahood, enlightenment.

So always be careful. Be more careful of your dreams than your waking, be more careful again of your dreamless sleep than of dreaming. And remember that you have to search for the fourth, because only the fourth is the ultimate. With the fourth you have arrived home. Now there is nowhere to go.

You say you have forgotten all about the dream, but only remembered one phrase, “Poetry is surrender.” That is the very essence of my teaching. The most fundamental thing about my message to the world is, poetry is surrender - and vice versa, surrender is poetry.

I would like my sannyasins, all of my sannyasins, to be creative - poets, musicians, painters, sculptors, and so on and so forth. In the past, the sannyasins of all the religions have lived a very uncreative life. They were respected for their uncreativity, and because of this uncreativity they have not added any beauty to the world. They have been a burden; they have not brought something of paradise to the earth. In fact they have been destructive - because you can either be creative, or you are bound to be destructive. You cannot remain neutral; either you have to affirm life with all its joys, or you start condemning life.

The past has been a long, long drawn-out nightmare of destructive attitudes, life-negative approaches. I teach you life-affirmation. I teach you reverence for life. I teach you not renunciation but rejoicing. Become poets! And when I say become poets, I don’t mean that you all have to become Shakespeares, Miltons and Tennysons. If I come across Shakespeare and Milton and Tennyson, then too I will say please become poets - because they are only dreaming about poetry.

Real poetry happens in the fourth state of consciousness. All the great so-called poets have only been dreamers; they were confined to the second state of consciousness. Prose remains confined to the first - waking consciousness, and your poetry is confined to the second.

The poetry I am talking about is possible only in the fourth. When you have become fully alert, clear, when there is no mind any more, then whatsoever you do will be poetry, whatsoever you do will be music. And even if you don’t do a thing, poetry will surround you, it will be your fragrance, it will be your very presence.

You ask me, “Since then I have been wondering what poetry has to do with surrender, and vice versa, and how poetry can be a path like love, prayer and meditation.” Love is a path, prayer is a path, meditation is a path, because they are ways to poetry. Anything that leads you to godliness is bound to lead you to poetry. The godly man can be nothing but a poet. He will sing a song, not his own any more of course: he will sing a song of existence. He will give utterance to the silence of existence, he will be a mouthpiece to the whole.

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