Chapter 10: The Cause of Misery
In the Upanishads it is said that a person who is watching himself is like a tree upon which two birds are sitting: one bird just jumping, enjoying, eating, singing, and the other bird just sitting on the top of the tree looking at the first bird.
If you can have a witnessing self on the top which goes on looking at the drama below, where you are the actor, where you participate, dance and jump and sing and talk and think and get involved; if somebody deep in you can go on looking at this drama, if you can be in such a state where you are also playing as an actor on the stage and simultaneously sitting in the audience looking at it; if you can be the actor and the audience both, then witnessing has come in. This witnessing will make you capable of knowing, of understanding, of wisdom.
So it looks paradoxical. If you go to Buddha he can move into deep details of your problems not because he is in the problem, only because he is not in the problem. He can penetrate you. He can put himself in your situation and still remain a witness.
So those who are in the world, they cannot understand the world. Those who have gone beyond it, only they understand it. So whatsoever you want to understand, go beyond it. This appears paradoxical. Whatsoever you want to know, go beyond it; only then will knowledge happen. Moving as an insider in anything you may collect much information, but you will not become a wise man.
You can practice it moment to moment. You can do both: be the actor and be the audience both. When you are angry you can shift the mind. This is a deep art, but if you try you will be able; you can shift.
For a single moment you can be angry. Then get detached, look at the anger, at your own face in the mirror. Look at what you are doing, look at what is happening around you, look at what you have done to the others, how they are reacting. Look for a moment, then again be angry, move into the anger. Then again become an observer. This can be done, but then very deep practice is needed.
You try it. While eating, for one moment become the eater. Enjoy, become the food, become the eating; forget that there is anyone who can look at it. When you have moved enough, then for a single moment move away. Go on eating but start looking at it - the food, the eater, and you standing above looking at it.
Soon you will become efficient and you can shift the gears of the mind from the actor to the audience, from the participant to the onlooker. And then this will be revealed to you: that through participation nothing is known. Only through observation, things become revealed and known. That’s why those who have left the world, they have become the guides. Those who have gone beyond, they have become the masters.