Chapter 3: In Accord with the Way
When you are alert about the transcendental, your life has a beautiful charm, a grace. Then your life has energy, intelligence. Then your life has a sharpness, a creativity. Then your life has a holy aura to it. By becoming aware of the transcendental, you become part of the transcendental. He has penetrated in your awareness. A ray of light has entered into the dark night of your soul. You are no more alone, and you are no more a stranger in existence. You are deeply rooted in it. This is your home.
A religious person is one who feels existence as his home. A religious person is one who feels existence constantly evolving and evolving, going higher and higher, towards that ultimate omega point where you disappear, where all limitations disappear and only infinity is left, only eternity is left.
So this game of life has to be played very skillfully. Buddha calls skill, upaya. It is one of his most beautiful words. He says, “be skillful.” If you are not skillful, you will miss much that is valuable. Be skillful means be aware. Just don’t go on dragging yourself half asleep, half awake. Shake yourself into awareness. Bring more awareness into each act of your life, into each step of your being. Then only, with open eyes, you start seeing something which cannot ordinarily be seen when you are asleep, when you are unconscious. Shake all the dust from the eyes.
Be skillful and live life consciously. Otherwise life becomes boring. You feel it. You know how it feels. Sooner or later everything feels boring; one is bored to death. One goes on living because one is not courageous enough to commit suicide. One goes on living just in the hope that sooner or later one will die - the death is coming.
Mulla Nasruddin was going on a world tour and he was traveling in a ship for the first time, and he was very seasick. The captain came to him and said, “Don’t be worried, Nasruddin. I have been working as a captain for twenty years and I have never seen any man die from seasickness. Don’t be worried.”
Mulla said, “My god! That was my only hope - that I will die. You have taken even that hope!”
People are living just in the hope that some day or other they are going to die. So they go on saying to themselves, “Don’t lose heart - death is coming.”
If you are waiting for death, if you are so bored, then there is no possibility for any encounter with “God.” The encounter can only happen in radiance, in sharpness, in awareness.
But why do we get bored? The Buddhist explanation is of tremendous import. Buddha says you have done the same things - not only in this life; you have been doing them for millions of lives, hence boredom. You may not remember them, but deep down the memory is there. Nothing is lost as far as memory is concerned.
There is a reservoir of memory. Buddha calls it alaya vigyan, reservoir of memory. It is exactly what Jung calls the collective unconscious. You carry it. The body changes, the identity changes, but the bundle of memories goes on jumping from one life to another. And it goes on accumulating, gathering. It goes on becoming bigger and bigger.