Doctors were called; surgeons consulted amongst themselves. This was absolutely absurd! The mind was playing some trick. But they tried to understand what was happening. Then the whole body was x-rayed, and this was the thing they came upon: the nerve that was carrying the message of the pain in the toe was still carrying it. It was trembling in the same way as it would tremble if there was a toe and there was pain in it.
When the nerve is bringing a message, of course the brain has to decode it. The brain has no way to check whether the nerve is carrying a right message, a wrong message, real, unreal. The brain cannot come out and check the nerve. The brain has to depend on the nerve, and the brain decodes it to the mind. Now the mind has no way to check the brain – it has simply to believe it – and the mind delivers the knowledge to the consciousness. Now the consciousness is suffering for a toe which doesn’t exist.
This is what Hindus call maya. “The world doesn’t exist,” Hindus say, “and you are suffering terribly, suffering for something which doesn’t exist.” This is how the mechanism of knowledge functions. It is very difficult in this process to check anywhere, unless you can come out of yourself. The mind cannot do that because the mind cannot exist outside the body. It has to depend on the brain, it is rooted in the brain. The brain cannot do it because the brain is rooted in the whole nervous system; it cannot come out. Only at one point does the possibility exist to check, and that is at consciousness.
Consciousness is not rooted in the body; the body is just an abode. As you come out of your house and go in, consciousness can come out of the house and go in. Only consciousness can come out of this whole mechanism and look at things, what is happening.
In nirvichara samadhi this happens – thoughts cease. The connection between the mind and the consciousness is cut, because thought is the connection. Without thought you don’t have any mind, and when you don’t have any mind the connection with the brain is broken. And when you don’t have any mind and the connection with the brain is broken, the connection with the nervous system is broken. Your consciousness can now float out and in; all the doors are open. In nirvichara samadhi, when thoughts cease, consciousness is free to move and float. It becomes like a cloud without any roots, without any home. It becomes free of the mechanism you have lived with. It can come out, it can go in; there is no hindrance on its path.
Now direct knowledge is possible. Direct knowledge is knowing. Now you can see immediately, without any messengers between you and the source of knowledge. It is a tremendous phenomenon when your consciousness comes out and looks at a flower. You cannot imagine it because it is not part of imagination; you cannot believe what happens! When the consciousness can look directly at the flower, for the first time the flower is known – and not only the flower, through the flower the whole existence. In a small pebble, the all is hidden; in a small leaf dancing in the wind, the whole dances. In a small flower by the side of the road, the whole has a smile.