Chapter 14: Gurus and Etceteranandas
Try it in small acts. You are not supposed to do big things. Eating, taking a bath, swimming, walking, talking, listening, cooking your food, washing your clothes - de-automatize the processes. Remember the word de-automatization; that is the whole secret of becoming aware.
The mind is a robot. The robot has its utility; this is the way the mind functions. You learn something; when you learn it, in the beginning you are aware. For example, if you learn swimming you are very alert, because life is in danger. Or if you learn to drive a car you are very alert. You have to be alert. You have to be careful about many things - the steering wheel, the road, the people passing by, the accelerator, the brake, the clutch. You have to be aware of everything. So many things to remember, and you are nervous, and it is dangerous to commit a mistake. It is so dangerous, that’s why you have to keep aware. But the moment you have learned driving, this awareness will not be needed. Then the robot part of your mind will take it over.
That’s what we call learning. Learning means something has been transferred from consciousness to the robot. That’s what learning is all about. Once you have learned a thing it is no more part of the conscious, it has been delivered to the unconscious. Now the unconscious can do it; now your consciousness is free to learn something else.
This is in itself tremendously significant. Otherwise you will remain learning a single thing your whole life. The mind is a great servant, a great computer. Use it, but remember that it should not overpower you. Remember that you should remain capable of being aware, that it should not possess you in toto, that it should not become all and all, that a door should be left open from where you can come out of the robot.
That opening of the door is called meditation. But remember, the robot is so skillful, it can even take meditation into its control. Once you have learned it, the mind says, “Now you need not be worried about it, I am capable of doing it. I will do it, you leave it to me.”
And the mind is skillful; it is a very beautiful machine, it functions well. In fact all our science, together with all our so-called progress in knowledge, has not yet been able to create something so sophisticated as the human mind. The greatest computers in existence are still rudimentary compared to the mind.
The mind is simply a miracle.
But when something is so powerful, there is danger in it. You can be hypnotized so much by it and its power that you can lose your soul. If you have completely forgotten how to be aware, then the ego is created.
Ego is the state of utter unawareness. The mind has taken possession of your whole being; it has spread like a cancer all over you, nothing is left out. The ego is the cancer of the inner, the cancer of the soul.