You know about Pavlov, one Russian psychologist, who in the beginning of this century proved the law of association – which is his great contribution. In Russia you will not hear the name of Freud, Adler or Jung – only Pavlov. He has developed a totally different psychology – Pavlovian psychology. And because it fits with communism, they have rejected all other psychologies; there is only one psychology, and that is Pavlovian. It is not a complete picture of the human psyche, but this law is certainly true.
He used to give his dog…all his experiments were with dogs…he had seventy dogs. Even after the revolution when private property was dissolved, the communist government allowed him to have private property – because how could he manage his seventy dogs and a big lab with strange kinds of instruments? But his psychology was proving in some way that communism should be allowed. He was the only man in the Soviet Union who was allowed to remain exactly the same way as before the revolution.
He would feed the dog, and while the dog was eating he would go on ringing a bell. Now, a bell has nothing to do with food; you can ring a bell before any dog and he will not take any interest. He will think that you are a little crackpot: “What are you doing ringing a bell before a dog? What is the point?” He may even turn away just to avoid listening to your ringing bell.
But you could not have expected what happened to Pavlov’s dogs. After fifteen days of feeding the dog and at the same time ringing the bell, on the sixteenth day there was no food, just the ringing of the bell – and the dog was ready for food, his tongue hanging out. And this was done with not one dog but seventy dogs. He was a scientist: one dog cannot prove anything, you need to have enough evidence – seventy dogs. As the bell was ringing, their saliva was dripping, their tongues were hanging out. Nobody could believe that with the ringing of a bell this could happen. This he called the law of association.
While he was eating, the dog was also listening to the ringing of the bell. The eating of the food and the listening to the bell became associated in his mind. They became locked, so much so that not only when you rang the bell was the dog ready for food – although there was no food – but he was perfectly ready to eat. And vice versa: when the food was there, he was waiting for the bell to ring and he would not eat.
That was a surprise to Pavlov himself. He was thinking that the first thing was okay – that the bell became associated with food. But food is associated with hunger and biology…. The dog would look at him as if to say, “What are you doing? Ring the bell!” – because it had become locked. Without the ringing of the bell, the dog would not feel that the food was juicy. It became a kind of music that helped him to taste the food better – and not one dog but seventy dogs were behaving in the same way.
So always remember this law. When you are entering inwards, don’t get associated with anything that can become a hindrance.