Chapter 10: The Law - Ancient and Inexhaustible
A picture is static. It remains as it is, it never changes. The unconscious mind functions like a camera, it functions like a photoplate. The watchful mind, the meditative mind, functions like a mirror. It catches no impression; it remains utterly empty, always empty. So whatsoever comes in front of the mirror, it is reflected. If you are standing before the mirror, it reflects you. If you are gone, don’t say that the mirror betrays you. The mirror is simply a mirror. When you are gone, it no longer reflects you; it has no obligation to reflect you anymore. Now somebody else is facing it - it reflects somebody else. If nobody is there, it reflects nothing. It is always true to life.
The photoplate is never true to life. Even if your photo is taken right now, by the time the photographer has taken it out of the camera, you are no longer the same! Much water has already gone down the Ganges. You have grown, changed, you have become older. Maybe only one minute has passed, but one minute can be a great thing - you may be dead! Just one minute before you were alive; after one minute, you may be dead. The picture will never die.
But in the mirror, if you are alive, you are alive; if you are dead, you are dead.
Buddha says: Learn sitting silently - become a mirror. Silence makes a mirror out of your consciousness, and then you function moment to moment. You reflect life. You don’t carry an album within your head. Then your eyes are clear and innocent, you have clarity, you have vision, and you are never untrue to life.
This is authentic living.
The third question:
Why is it that nobody likes to be criticized, and yet everybody loves to criticize others?
The ego is very sensitive and very fragile, and is very afraid of criticism. The ego depends on others’ opinions. It has no reality of its own. It is not a real entity, it is not substantial - it is just a collection of others’ opinions.
Somebody says, “You are beautiful,” and you collect it. Somebody says, “You are intelligent,” and you collect it. And somebody says, “I have never come across such a unique person,” and you collect it. And then one day a person comes and he says, “You are repulsive!” Now how can you accept criticism? It goes against the image that you have been creating of yourself. You will retaliate, you will fight tooth and nail. But whatsoever you do, the mind has taken the impression of this opinion too. Then somebody says, “You are ugly,” and somebody says, “You are stupid.” And there are millions of people in the world and they all have their own opinions, likes and dislikes.