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Chapter 25: The Watcher Is Always in the Now

The mind is just like a TV screen on which thoughts, dreams, imaginations, projections, desires, and a thousand and one things go on passing. The watcher is not on the screen, he is sitting in the movie hall. But the problem arises when the watcher becomes identified with something on the movie screen.

You must have seen yourself sometimes crying, sometimes laughing, sometimes becoming sad.and you know perfectly well that there is nothing on the screen. It is empty, and all that you are seeing is only a projection, just a film being projected through light.

I have heard that when for the first time the silent movies came into existence, the first show happened in London, and a man watched the movie in the matinee showing. Everybody left, but he remained. The manager came to him and said, “The show is over.”

He said, “I want to see the second show also.” The manager said, “What is the point? You have seen it.”

He said, “It is none of your business. This is the money for the ticket. I am not going to leave.”

He saw the second show, and the manager was thinking, “What happens after the second show?” He came back again; the crowd had gone, but the man was still there, because there was still a third show. The manager said, “Do you want to see the third show also?” He said, “Yes. This is the money.”

The manager said, “But you have seen it twice!” He said, “You don’t understand a thing. There is a scene in which a beautiful woman is undressing. She is just about to become nude and jump into a beautiful lake to swim. At that very moment a train passes by, and that train becomes a curtain, and when the train has gone, the woman is already in the water.”

The manager said, “But I still don’t understand the point.”

The man said, “The point is, the train is going to be late sometime!”

Now the projected film has taken on a reality in his mind. He has become identified; it is no longer a film, he is part of it. He is not waiting, he is not watching; he is participating.

It happened that one of India’s very learned men, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was invited to inaugurate a drama. He inaugurated the drama, and of course he was sitting in front.

In the drama there is a character - a very cunning man, ugly and disgusting - who is after a beautiful woman, harassing her in every possible way. And one day he finds the woman alone, passing on a path that moves through a thick forest. He takes the opportunity, catches hold of the woman - he wants to rape her. This was too much: Vidyasagar completely forgot that it was a drama. He jumped on the stage, took out one of his shoes, and started beating the poor character, the actor!

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