All religions tell you to enjoy aloneness – because how can you go into yourself until you enjoy aloneness? You must go there alone. This is why all the religions tell you to light the lamp of meditation. Only that lamp can accompany you, nothing else – neither wealth, nor position, nor prestige. Only the lamp of meditation can go there with you, just you and the lamp of meditation. Then you can descend into the deepest well. And this well is certainly very deep. Your depths are unfathomable. You are as deep as existence itself, so how can the well be any less deep? How can it be any smaller? When you peep into the well you will not be able to glimpse the water – it is too far down. The journey is long. The journey into oneself is the longest journey.
This seems contradictory because we always think, “Me? I’m right here. All I have to do is close my eyes to find myself.” If only it were that easy. Certainly one reaches by closing one’s eyes, but by just closing your eyes your eyes don’t really close: you close them, but your dreams of the outside world continue, the outer transactions go on. Your eyes close, but the images of others continue to arise – friends, your loved ones, your relatives and kin. You close your eyes, but you are never alone. If you could be alone, you could go into yourself even with your eyes open.
The question is of removing the crowd. You will have to put aside all your scriptures, all your doctrines – because you will never be able to go inside yourself with such a burden. Such a burden will make it impossible. This journey is possible only when you are weightless.
And remember: no one else can go with you, no one else can give you the answer. Often answers are an obstacle. Because you have accepted these borrowed answers you don’t go within yourself, you don’t search. If you have already accepted that the soul is there inside you, why would you even try to find it? These borrowed answers, these beliefs, don’t allow you to experience your life.
So the first thing I say to you when you ask, “Who am I,” is that you exist. How could you ask this question if you didn’t? You must be someone. And whatsoever you are, ABC, whatever your name is, you are conscious – otherwise how could this question arise? Rocks don’t ask such things. You are conscious. I am deriving this conclusion from your question. I am not answering your question, merely clarifying it, analyzing it – because if the question is diagnosed properly, the treatment won’t be hard to find. The diagnosis is the important thing. If the diagnosis is correct, then it will not be difficult to find the right medicine. If the diagnosis is wrong, you can use as many drugs as you like but they will never benefit you; they may even cause you harm, because if you take the wrong medicine it can harm you.
I am diagnosing your question, analyzing it. I want to hold the pulse of your question in my hand.
The first thing: you are not a rock. A rock doesn’t ask a question. I have met many rocks. A rock never asks, “Who am I?” You are consciousness, therefore questions arise. Plants don’t ask, trees don’t ask. They are more alive than rocks, but still questions don’t arise in them. It takes more than just having life to ask a question. You are something more than life. Animals and birds don’t ask questions. They are more evolved than plants, they can fly, they can move around; if someone attacks them, they can protect themselves. They are afraid of death, but they know nothing about life.