Chapter 18: Beware of the Mind: It Is Blind
The meditator becomes finally a mirror. Any situation is reflected in him and he responds in the present moment, out of presence. Hence, his every response has a newness, a freshness, a clarity, a beauty, a grace. It is not some old idea that he is repeating. This is something to be understood, that no situation is ever exactly the same as any other situation that you have encountered before. So if you are reacting out of the past, you are not able to tackle the situation; you are lagging far behind.
That is the cause of your failure. You don’t see the situation, you are more concerned with your response; you are blind to the situation. The man of meditation is simply open with his eyes, available to see the situation and let the situation provoke the response in him. He is not carrying a ready-made answer to it.
A beautiful story about Gautam Buddha..
One morning a man asked him, “Is there a God?” Buddha looked at the man, looked into his eyes and said, “No, there is no God.”
That very day in the afternoon another man asked, “What do you think about God? Is there a God?” Again he looked at the man and into his eyes and said, “Yes, there is a God.”
Ananda, who was with him, became very much puzzled, but he was always very careful not to interfere in anything. He had his time when everybody had left in the night and Buddha was going to sleep; if he had to ask anything, he would ask at that time.
But by the evening, as the sun was setting, a third man came with almost the same question, formulated differently. He said, “There are people who believe in God, there are people who don’t believe in God. I myself don’t know with whom I should stand. You help me.”
Ananda was very intensely listening now to what Buddha says. He had given two absolutely contradictory answers in the same day, and now the third opportunity has arisen - and there is no third answer. But Buddha gave him the third answer. He did not speak, he closed his eyes. It was a beautiful evening. The birds had settled in their trees - Buddha was staying in a mango grove - the sun had set, a cool breeze had started blowing. The man, seeing Buddha sitting with closed eyes, thought that perhaps this is his answer, so he also sat with closed eyes with him.
An hour passed, the man opened his eyes, touched the feet of Buddha and said, “Your compassion is great. You have given me the answer. I will always remain obliged to you.”
Ananda could not believe it, because Buddha had not spoken a single word. And as the man went away, perfectly satisfied and contented, Ananda asked Buddha, “This is too much! You should think of me - you will drive me mad. I am just on the verge of a nervous breakdown. To one man you say there is no God, to another man you say there is a God, and to the third you don’t answer. And that strange fellow says that he has received the answer and he is perfectly satisfied and obliged, and touches your feet. What is going on?”