The first question:
Could there be an ultimate goal of the physical evolutionary process? If so, what is it?
Digvijay, there is no goal of life. Life itself is its goal. It is not moving towards some target. It is herenow, it has no future. Life is always in the present. But the mind cannot live in the present: mind dies in the present. Hence, down the ages, mystics have invented devices to bring the mind to the present. The moment the mind comes to the present, it melts as snow, melts in the hot sun; it disappears, evaporates.
And the disappearance of the mind is the greatest experience possible to human beings, because in that disappearance is the appearance of godliness.
Mind lives in the future; the future is its territory, its kingdom. And the future is possible only through goal orientation. So mind makes goals out of everything; life must have a goal – not only a goal but an ultimate goal. Then mind is perfectly happy, then it can project itself: how to achieve that goal, how to reach to that ultimate?
The moment you ask how, mind is perfectly at ease. It is very clever, cunning, skillful in inventing ways and means to achieve something, whatsoever it is – but it has to be there in the future. Mind lives through creating goals: political, social, evolutionary, spiritual, and so on and so forth; but the mind needs some goal to exist, it feeds on it.
In truth, all is and nothing is going to happen. Tomorrow never comes. It is always now and here.
The mystic approach is totally different from the goal-oriented mind. The mystic says, “Live the moment in its totality, love the moment in its totality, drown yourself in this overwhelming existence, and you will come closer and closer to God.” By God I don’t mean some person; by God I simply mean the essential core of existence, the center of the cyclone.
The universe is the circumference and godliness is the center. If you dive deep in the now, in the here, you are bound to encounter the center. And the miracle is that the center of all is also your center too. To become aware of it, to live that center, from that center, into full awareness, is to be a buddha, is to be enlightened.
But remember, buddhahood is not an ultimate goal. It is not something which has to be achieved somewhere else. It is available right now –it is available immediately, not ultimately. Remember these two words: the ultimate and the immediate. The ultimate brings in the mind, the immediate helps the mind to disappear.