Chapter 23: Inner and Outer Realities
The question was raised again and again - that these people are enlightened; their bodies should be more healthy. And that seems to be very logical, but existence does not listen to logic. Existentially, to be enlightened is going beyond the capacities of body and brain. You are bringing something into your body and brain for which they are not made, for which they are not ready. So this new phenomenon.and the new phenomenon is so powerful that it is going to create many kinds of disturbances. Particularly sleep can be disturbed; most often it will be disturbed because enlightenment has brought so much awareness that you cannot exhaust it in the day, you cannot exhaust it whatever you do.
Just as for the ordinary man it is difficult to be awake - the sleep is so much and the gravity of sleep drowns all his efforts to be awake - he tries for a moment and forgets; sleep takes over. Just the opposite is the case when enlightenment happens: the awareness is so much that it is impossible for sleep to enter into your body. At the most your body can relax - it can relax more than ever, it can rest more than ever - but sleep has disappeared.
It is recorded that Buddha never changed his posture in sleep; he would sleep in the same posture the whole night. His disciple, Ananda, was puzzled. Many times he would wake up and look, and he could not believe how Buddha managed - in sleep you cannot manage to keep the same posture. People cannot even manage the same posture while they are awake; there is so much restlessness that they have to turn this way and that. But in sleep you are unconscious..
One day Ananda finally asked, “How do you manage the same posture the whole night?”
Buddha said, “You will understand one day when you become enlightened. I will give you the answer but it will be difficult to grasp. I simply rest, I don’t sleep. The day I became awakened, sleep has disappeared.”
Other things in the body in different persons may be disturbed for different reasons, but the idea that enlightenment will bring better health is absolutely wrong. It will bring a wholeness of your consciousness, which is tremendously fulfilling. But just as the bird in the egg one day has to leave the egg behind, which has been its protection, its life.without it, it could not have survived. But the bird doesn’t look back: it opens its wings and finds the whole sky is his.
The body is also a certain kind of egg in which the ultimate potential of enlightenment can happen - and unless it happens you will continue to have new bodies - but the moment it happens, the body becomes useless.
Most of the people who become enlightened die instantly. They simply cannot breathe anymore. There is no reason why they should breathe. The experience is so big that the heart stops. They have never seen anything of the kind, it is so unknown. It takes their breath away - literally.
Very few people survive enlightenment and the reason why these people survive is strange: people who have been adventurous, people who have enjoyed taking risks, who have lived like a tightrope walker, whose life has been a razor’s edge, may survive. The shock will be there, but they are accustomed to smaller shocks. They have never seen such a big shock, but smaller shocks have prepared them to accept even this enormous phenomenon. They still continue to breathe; their heart still continues to beat. But still the body suffers in many ways because something has happened that the body cannot understand.