This is the first degree of mumuksha. You can find many people who are stuck there. You will feel a certain quality in them: they don’t react, they don’t get irritated, you cannot make them angry, you cannot put them in anxiety. They have attained something, but still you feel something is lacking. They are not at ease. Even non-angry, they don’t have compassion. They may not be angry at you, but they cannot forgive. The difference is subtle. They are not angry, that is right; but even in their being non-angry there is no forgiveness. They are stuck.
They don’t bother about you, your insult; but they are in a way cut off from relationship. They can’t share. Trying not to be angry, they have moved out of all relationships. They have become like islands – closed. And when you are an island, closed, you are uprooted. You cannot flower, you cannot be happy, you cannot have a well-being. It is a negative achievement. Something has been thrown out, but nothing has been attained. The path is clear, of course. Even to throw something out is very good because now the possibility comes into existence: you can attain something.
Patanjali calls them mridu: soft. The first degree of attainment, negative. You will find many sannyasins in India, many monks in Catholic monasteries, who are stuck at the first degree. They are good people, but you will find them dull. It is very good not to be angry, but it is not enough. Something is missing; nothing positive has happened. They are empty vessels. They have emptied themselves, but somehow they have not been refilled. The higher has not descended, but the lower has been thrown out.
Then there is a second degree of mumuksha – the second degree of the right seeker – who puts two-thirds of himself into the effort. Not yet total, he is just in the middle. Because of the middle, Patanjali calls him madhya – the middle man. He attains something. The first-degree man is in him, but something more is added. He is at peace – silent, cool, collected. Whatsoever happens in the world does not affect him. He remains unaffected, detached. He becomes like a peak: very peaceful.
If you come near him you will feel his peace surrounding you; just as you go in a garden and the cool air and the fragrance of the flowers and the singing of the birds all surround you, they touch you, you can feel them. With the first-degree man, the mridu, you will not feel anything, you will feel only an emptiness – a desertlike being. And the first type of man will suck you. If you go near him you will feel that you have been emptied – somebody has been sucking you because he is a desert. With him you will feel yourself being dried, and you will be afraid.
You will feel this with many sannyasins. If you go near them you will feel they are sucking you, not knowingly. They have attained the first degree. They have become empty, and that very emptiness becomes like a hole and you are sucked by it automatically.
It is said in Tibet that this first-degree man, if he is anywhere, should not be allowed to move in the town. When lamas in Tibet attain to the first degree they are prohibited to go out of the monasteries – because if this man comes near anybody, he sucks. That sucking is beyond his control; he cannot do anything about it. He is like a desert. Anything that comes near becomes sucked, exploited.