This is how man is: in darkness, utterly unconscious; doing things, not knowing why; simply doing because there is an unconscious urge to do. Now, this is not only a mystic hypothesis about man. Sigmund Freud, Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler and others, the modern researchers into the psyche of man, have also come across the same fact.
Freud says man lives unconsciously, although the mind is so cunning that it can find reasons, motives. At least it can create a facade as if you are living a conscious life – and that is very dangerous because you can start believing in your own facade. Then your life is gone, then you will not be able to use this tremendously valuable opportunity.
People go on doing unconscious things – although they suffer, although they are immensely miserable, still they go on doing the same things which bring misery to them. They don’t know what else to do. They are not there, they are not present; hence they can’t do anything. They are trapped in the unconscious instincts.
Hennessy, loaded to the gills, was lurking on a dark and deserted street corner. Soon a man came walking by, and Hennessy sprang out of the shadows, a gun in his hand.
“Stay where you are!” he slobbered. Then he pulled a bottle out of his pocket. “Here,” Hennessy ordered, “take a drink of this.”
Too terrified to resist, the poor schnook took the bottle and drank deeply. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “That stuff tastes awful!”
“I know,” gurgled the crocked Irishman. “Now you hold the gun and force me to drink some.”
The stuff that you are drinking, that stuff that you call your life, is really awful! But you go on forcing yourself, doing the same repetitive acts again and again – not knowing what else to do, not knowing where else to go, not knowing that there are other alternatives possible, that there are alternative life-styles possible. And the greatest alternative is the religious dimension.
The religious dimension simply means the dimension of being conscious, of being alert, of living a life with self-remembrance. Let me add that by self-remembrance I don’t mean self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is a false phenomenon; it is another name of ego. Self-remembering is a totally different phenomenon; it is the cessation of the ego. In self-consciousness there is no consciousness, there is only self; in self-remembering there is no self, only remembering.