If you can become aware of your mind, its senses, and be just a watcher, two things will disappear: the self and the other selves, I and thou.
One of the great Jewish thinkers of our age, Martin Buber, has worked his whole life on only one theme. His theme was dialogue, and his central and the most essential book about it is I And Thou. He says, “The ultimate experience is a dialogue between I and Thou.”
He is very articulate, tremendously intelligent, certainly one of the greatest geniuses of this age – but he is not a mystic. He is still talking in terms of the duality, I and thou. What he is proposing is beautiful: that there should be a dialogue. Right now, even if you love somebody there is no dialogue; there is continuous conflict, an effort to dominate, not an effort to understand each other.
One of my friends is a professor. His doctors are tired, his wife, his children, everybody is tired of his drinking. The doctor came to me and said, “We have tried every possible way, but your friend simply seems to be incapable of dropping his habit of drinking. He is willing to die, but not to drop drinking.”
So I went to see him. Before I could see him – he was in his bathroom – his wife told me, “Just the other day I read in the newspaper all the harm that can happen to drunkards. So I went in the bedroom…because he still had a hangover. I shook him and told him, ‘Look how many dangers there are for drunkards, how many things in the body can go wrong.’
He listened, and I was happy because he said, ‘Enough is enough, I will stop it from tomorrow.’ And from the next day he stopped purchasing the newspaper, but the drinking continued – why bother about newspapers that create such trouble?”
What kind of dialogue is possible? Nobody seems to listen to anybody else: everybody is talking, but they are all having a monologue.
So Martin Buber’s thesis has an importance of its own: that mankind will be better if people could come to an understanding, could see the other’s point of view, could stand in his shoes. That is the only possibility for having a peaceful world. But he does not understand that even a dialogue, although a beautiful thing in itself, is not going to bring peace in the world.
Only one thing can bring peace in the world, and that is when I and thou, the self and other selves, all disappear. A feeling arises of oneness, of one consciousness, of one being. And it can arise, because it is the reality.