Look at it in this way. You see a person walking on the street. Suddenly you have a feeling that you remember the face or you feel that you even know the name, and you say it is just on the tip of your tongue, but it is not coming. The more effort you make the more frustrated you feel – it is not coming. But you cannot leave it at that, because you have the feeling that you know this face, you know the name. And there is even this feeling that somewhere, just in the corner of the mind, the name is waiting, you have only to recall it.
You make all effort, you try in every way. You close your eyes, you contemplate, you ponder over it, you try to associate, you go into the past, you start feeling for some key, some clue, but nothing happens. You get frustrated, bored; you leave the whole effort, and you go into the garden and start working, or you start smoking, or you take a cup of tea. Suddenly the name is there, suddenly the memory has come, suddenly you have recognized.
Now two things are happening. One: you are making every effort possible, but it is not coming through the effort. Then you leave all the effort, and then it comes. Effort is needed but is not enough. If you don’t make any effort it will not come when you go to the garden or when you take a cup of tea. If you have not made total effort it is not going to come. And if you make just the effort – total even – then too it is not going to come. So total effort is needed, then total relaxation also – then it will bubble up.
Many Nobel prizes have been given for certain discoveries which happened in this way. One Nobel prize winner was working on the inner structure of the human cell, the lymph cell. He was working for years, contemplating, brooding, making many experiments, and nothing was happening, every effort was a failure. After many years of research, effort, failure, one night suddenly he had a dream, and in the dream he saw the structure, the very structure he was looking for, the structure of the human cell, just as if a magnified picture was there. He got up. Immediately he drew the drawing and then he worked on it, and it proved that the dream was true.
But remember, you are not going to have this dream, it cannot happen to you. It happened after so many years of effort. The conscious was exhausted. The conscious did everything that could be done and then the conscious was tired, the conscious mind was finished, the conscious accepted the failure. When the conscious is exhausted the unconscious comes into focus and starts working – but it comes only when the conscious is exhausted. If the conscious is still hoping, if the conscious is still trying, then the unconscious will not function. And this is one of the basic laws of the human psyche: that if you want the unconscious to function, exhaust the conscious completely.
Effort will not lead you to enlightenment, but without effort no one has ever achieved it. This may look like a paradox. It is not, it is a simple law.