Chapter 30: You Are the Watcher, Not the Actor
And he was right, that everything remains superficial - you can neither sing a beautiful song nor can you use real four-letter words of your language. In both cases, it remains lukewarm. The mind certainly is a mechanism for recording experiences from the outside, and reacting and responding accordingly. It is not you. But unfortunately the psychologists think the mind is all, beyond mind there is nothing. That means you are nothing but impressions from the outside. You don’t have any soul of your own. The very idea of the soul is also given by the outside.
This is where the mystics are different; they will agree absolutely that about the mind, the contemporary scientific research is right. But it is not right about man’s total personality. Beyond the mind, there is an awareness which is not given by the outside and which is not an idea, and there is no experiment up to now which has found any center in the brain which corresponds to awareness.
The whole work of religion, of meditation, is to make you aware of all that is the mind and dis-identify yourself with it. When the mind is angry, you should think it is simply a gramophone record. When the mind is sad, you should simply remember it is only a gramophone record. A certain situation is pressing the remote controller, and you feel sad, you feel angry, you feel frustrated, you feel worried, you feel tense - all these things are coming from the outside, and the mind is responding to them.
But you are the watcher. You are not the actor. It is not your reaction. Hence the whole art of meditation is to learn awareness, alertness, consciousness.
While you are feeling angry, don’t repress it; let it be there. Just become aware. See it as if it is some object outside you. Slowly, slowly, go on cutting your identifications with the mind. Then you have found your real individuality, your being, your soul. Finding this awareness is enlightenment - you have become luminous. You are no longer in darkness, and you are no longer just a puppet in the hands of the mind. You are a master, not a servant. Now the mind cannot react automatically, autonomously, the way it used to do before. It needs your permission.
Somebody insults you, and you don’t want to be angry. Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples that to be angry is so stupid that it is inconceivable that intelligent human beings go on doing it. Somebody else is doing something and you are getting angry. He may be doing something wrong, he may be saying something wrong, he may be making some effort to humiliate you, to insult you, but that is his freedom. If you react, you are a slave. And if you say to the person, “It is your joy to insult me, it is my joy not to be angry,” you are behaving like a master. And unless this master becomes crystal clear in you, crystallized, you don’t have any soul. You are just a phonograph record. As you grow older, your recording goes on becoming longer and longer. You become more knowledgeable. People think you are becoming wiser - you are simply becoming a donkey loaded with scriptures.