The Western psychology insists on introspection, and the Eastern psychology insists on self-remembering. When you introspect, what do you do? For example, you are angry: you start thinking about anger – how it is caused. You start analyzing why it is caused. You start judging whether it is good or bad. You start rationalizing that you had been angry because the situation was such. You brood about anger, you analyze anger, but the focus of attention is on the anger, not on the self. Your whole consciousness is focused on the anger – you are watching, analyzing, associating, thinking about it, trying to figure out how to avoid, how to get rid of it, how not to do it again. This is a thinking process. You will judge it “bad” because it is destructive. You will take a vow that “I will never commit the same mistake again.” You will try to control this anger through will. That’s why the Western psychology has become analytical…analysis, dissection.
The Eastern emphasis is not on the anger. The Eastern emphasis is on the self. To be aware when you are angry, to be so aware…. Not to think, because thinking is a sleeping thing. You can think while you are fast asleep; there is no need for awareness. In fact you continuously think without being at all aware. The thinking goes on and on and on. Even when you are fast asleep in the night, the thinking continues, the mind goes on continuing its inner chatter. It is a mechanical thing.
The Eastern psychology says, “Be aware. Don’t try to analyze anger, there is no need. Just look at it, but look with awareness. Don’t start thinking.” In fact if you start thinking then thinking will become a barrier to looking at anger. Then thinking will garb it. Then thinking will be like a cloud surrounding it; the clarity will be lost. Don’t think at all. Be in a state of no-thought, and look.
When there is not even a ripple of thinking between you and the anger, the anger is faced, encountered. You don’t dissect it. You don’t bother to go to its source, because the source is in the past. You don’t judge it, because the moment you judge, thinking starts. You don’t take any vow that “I will not do it,” because that vow leads you into the future. In awareness you remain with the feeling of anger – exactly here-now. You are not interested in changing it, you are not interested in thinking about it: you are interested to look at it directly, face to face, immediate. Then it is self-remembering.
And this is the beauty of it: that if you can look at anger it disappears. It not only disappears at this moment: the very disappearance of it by your deep look gives you the key that there is no need to use will, there is no need to make any decision for the future, and there is no need to go to the original source from where it comes. It is unnecessary. You have the key now: look at anger, and anger disappears. And this look is available forever. Whenever anger will be there you can look; then this look grows deeper.
There are three stages of the look. First, when the anger has already happened and gone. Almost, you look at the tail disappearing – the elephant has gone, only the tail is there – because when the anger was there, really, you were so deeply involved in it you could not be aware. When the anger has almost disappeared, ninety-nine per cent – only one per cent, the last part of it is going, disappearing into the farther horizon – then you become aware: this is the first state of awareness. Good, but not enough.
The second state is when the elephant is there, not the tail: when the situation is ripe, you are really angry to the peak – boiling, burning – then you become aware.