Buddha turned the whole question toward himself and he asked, “Am I going to die?” The chariot driver said, “I cannot lie to you. Everyone is prone to death, everyone is going to die.” Buddha said, “Then turn back the chariot. If I am going to die, then what is the use of life? You have created a deep anxiety in me. Unless this anxiety is resolved, I cannot be at ease.”
What is this anxiety? It is a basic anxiety. So if you become aware of the very basic situation of life – of body, of mind – a subtle anxiety will creep in, and then that anxiety will continue to tremble within you. Whatsoever you are doing or not doing, the anxiety will be there – a deep anguish. The mind is bridging an abyss, an impossible abyss. The body is going to die, and you have something – X – within you which is deathless.
These are two contradictions. It is as if you are standing in two boats which are moving in opposite directions. Then you will be in a deep conflict. That conflict is the conflict of the mind. The mind is between two opposites: – that is one thing.
Secondly, mind is a process, not a thing. Mind is not a thing; it is a process. The word mind is a false notion. When we say “mind,” it appears as if there is something like a mind within you. There is nothing! Mind is not a thing, mind is a process. So it is better to call it “minding,” not mind. We have a word in Sanskrit, chitta, which means minding. Not mind, but minding – a process.
A process can never be silent. A process will always be tense; a process means a turmoil. And mind is always moving from the past to the future. The past goes on being a burden on it, so it has to move into the future. This constant movement creates another tension within you. If you become too much conscious about it, you may go mad.
So that is why we are always engaged in something or other; we do not want to be unoccupied. If you are unoccupied, then you will become conscious of the inner process, of the minding, and that will give you very strange and peculiar tensions. So everyone wants to be occupied in some way or other. If there is nothing else to do, one goes on reading the same newspaper again and again. Why? Can you not sit silently? It is difficult, because if you sit silently you become aware of the totally tense process within.
So everyone is in search of escapes. Alcohol can give that – you become unconscious. Sex can give that – for a moment you forget yourself completely. Television can give that, music can give that… anything where you can forget yourself and become occupied so much that for the time being you are as if you are not. This constant escaping from oneself is really because of this process of minding. If you are unoccupied – and unoccupiedness means meditation – if you are totally unoccupied, you will become aware of your inner processes. And mind is the basic process within.