Chapter 5: The Discipline of Transcendence
Watch, and you will see the truth of Buddha’s saying. It is a fact, it has nothing to do with any theory. Buddha is not interested in abstract systems, he simply says that which is. He’s not formulating a philosophy. Always remember it, never forget it - that he is very experimental, existential. His whole approach is just to say something that you can immediately experience. And your experience will prove that he is right. There is no other way to prove right or wrong. There is no way to argue about it.
Just sometimes sit silently; even if for a single moment desire stops, you will see that all turmoil has disappeared. Sitting silently, not desiring anything; sitting silently, not moving in the future; sitting silently, contented; in that single moment you will be able to understand what Buddha means. Suddenly you will see that there are no waves at all. All the waves have gone. The waves arise only when you desire, when you are discontented with the present and you hope for the future.
Desire is a tension between the present and the future. In that tension, waves arise. Then you are shattered - and consciousness is very fragile. Consciousness is very soft: just a slight desire, just a flicker of desire, and the whole lake is disturbed. Go sometimes, watch, sit by the bank of a lake. See.there are no ripples. Throw a small pebble, a very small pebble, in the biggest of lakes, and the small pebble will start creating ripples, and those ripples will go on spreading to the farthest bank. Just a small pebble creates so much disturbance. Just a slight desire and disturbance comes through the back door. Desire is disturbance, passion is a fever. In passion you are not yourself. In passion you are beside yourself. In passion you are not centered: you lose your balance. In passion you do things you cannot even imagine that you could have done. Many murderers have confessed in the courts, down through the centuries, that they had not committed the crime; it happened. They were in such rage, they were almost mad. They had not done it deliberately; it had happened. They are not criminals, they are victims of their own rage. You may think they are deceiving; you may think they are now trying to escape from punishment. No, it is not so.
Murder is impossible if you are conscious, if you are silent, if you are centered. It happens only when you are not, when you are so clouded, when there are only waves and waves and the surface of the lake is completely disturbed - then it happens. All wrong happens only when you are disturbed. Ordinarily religious people say, “Cultivate character.” Buddha says: Cultivate consciousness. Ordinary religious teachers say, “Do good.” Buddha says: Be silent and good will be done. The good follows silence as your shadow follows you. And there is no way to do good unless you are silent. You can do good, but only wrong will happen if you are not silent. That’s why the so-called do-gooders go on doing a thousand and one mischiefs in the world. Your so-called do-gooders are the most mischievous people, but they are doing good for your sake, they are doing it for good, and you cannot even escape from them.