It is as if you are standing on the bank of a lake or pond, looking at your reflection in the water. If you look only at your reflection you will feel as if your image is upside down – your head on the bottom and your feet on top. If all other doors of your perception are closed and you are able only to see your reflection, you will experience it upside down. Then suddenly one day you awaken, your eyes freed of the reflection, and you look at yourself. Then you face a great difficulty, because you will feel that everything became reversed – that your head is on the top and your feet are on the bottom.
Carl Gustav Jung’s secretary has written some memoirs. She describes how vexed Jung used to become sometimes over very small issues: he would become extremely annoyed just over very minor points. One day it happened again that she made a small mistake and Jung became very annoyed about it. This time she felt very hurt because it was such a trifling matter; the matter was such a negligible one, not worth getting angry or so heated up about. So she was unhappy and sad and thought that she should leave this job. As she was about to take her leave of him that evening, he asked her to come into the garden with him. There in the garden, Jung did a headstand and said to her, “Come on, you can do a headstand as well. I want you also to stand on your head!”
She could not understand: What absurdity was this and what did he mean by it? But when a man like Jung says something there must be some meaning behind it. So she stood on her head, and then she began to laugh because the whole world looked upside down. Jung smiled and said goodbye to her.
Some time later the realization came to her that what was such a negligible matter to her might not be so for Jung. Just as everything appears inverted in a headstand, what was a small matter in her view could be a great matter in Jung’s view.
A mystic is someone who is standing in a kind of headstand. He has entered an opposite viewpoint to yours. All your conceptions and conventions he has inverted for himself. You value the material, and for him the material has no value at all. For you the body is all, for him the body is nothing. For you all the treasures are hidden in money; for him it is no more than rubbish. You are looking outward, he is looking inward. You are seeking the taste and the essence of life in others; he seeks for it within himself. He is in shirshasana – he is standing upside down. So your world will look upside down to him, just as his world will look upside down to you. This is the experience of inverted flute-playing. And whenever someone has seen the world from this inverted viewpoint, whatever he has seen has looked very paradoxical to you.
This song of Kabir’s is one such melody – played on the inverted flute. Everyone has seen nectar showering from the sky, but who has seen the earth showering the sky with nectar? We see the blessing in the falling rain, we see something coming down from above, but we cannot see that the earth is also giving something to the sky. Yet it must be so, because all of life’s processes are made of both giving and taking. Only to receive is not possible, there must be some giving too. If there were only taking, the whole exchange of life would be brought to a halt. You breathe in and you have to breathe out. There is no way that you can only take, that you can only breathe in, and if you do not exhale then inhaling will become impossible. Thus the law of giving is implied in the law of taking.