One thing you have to do: don’t create hindrances after the third. And once the fourth has happened these stages will follow. They follow just as a river flows to the sea. Once it has started, once it has crossed mountains – because in the mountains there will be a little struggle, effort, resistance; the rocks, the valleys, the mountains…. Once the river has followed the mountains, has crossed them and has come to the flat land, then there is no problem, things flow easily. It will reach one day to the ocean.
The three stages for your river are as if in the mountains, then from the fourth you are on plain ground, you can flow. Sooner or later the ocean will be there and you will fall down into it. And the whole course is now going to be spontaneous, you have just to flow and not do anything. And for flowing one need not do anything, flowing is not something to do.
You enter a river: if you want to swim, then you will have to do something. But if you just want to flow with the river you need not do anything, you have simply to allow the river to take you – no resistance. That’s why a miracle happens. A live man may be drowned, but no river can drown a dead man, no river is so powerful it can drown a dead man. And any man who is live, alive, can be drowned by a small river also. The dead man must know some secret which alive men don’t know.
The alive man fights with the river. The river is not drowning him; through his own fight he gets exhausted, he becomes tired, dissipates energy, becomes impotent – through his own fight, unnecessary fight. The river is not fighting him, he is fighting the river and wants to swim upstream. Every one of you wants to swim upstream, because only when you fight with the river and swim upstream is ego created. Then you feel you are winning, you are becoming victorious. The swimming upstream creates the ego.
One day you are bound to get tired of it, and then the river will drown you because then you will have no energy left. But a dead man knows a secret. He cannot fight, he is dead; he cannot flow upstream. He simply allows the river to take him anywhere it wants. Not he, but the river now wills. No river can drown him. He can move, he can become the flow.
After the third stage you have to become like a dead man, that is the negative effort. That’s what is meant by old Indian scriptures when they say that the guru, the master, is like death, he will kill you. Only when you are dead will the grace become possible to you. So all the efforts you are making here are just to become available to me so I can kill you. I have to be a murderer, because unless you are dead grace will not be possible for you, you cannot receive it.
Dead men flow. They are spontaneous because they have no will of their own. After the third stage you should be like dead men. Then these stages follow:
On the attainment of the fifth stage –
the fourth is advaita, the feeling of nonduality –
the mind of the seeker ceases, like clouds in an autumn sky, and only truth remains.