A moment comes when you forget completely who you are, and all that you knew before is no longer there, all the old leaves have fallen. Now this is the moment, and now there will be an interval for a time being. This interval will be of much anguish because the old has left and the new has not yet come. When the old leaves drop from the tree, the tree will be naked for a few days, just waiting for the new to emerge. The new leaves are coming, they are on the way, the old have left a place. Now that the place is vacant the new are flowing towards the space and sooner or later they will emerge. But you will have to wait. While meditating in aloneness, society will drop, the mind will drop, the ego will drop and there will be a gap. You will have to pass through that gap also. Now the tree is awaiting for the new leaves to come, but one cannot do anything. What can the tree do? Nothing can be done to bring them sooner, they will take their own course.
It is good that the old have dropped – because now the place is there. Space is there for the new to emerge. Now there will be no barrier.
So there is an autumn of the inner mind. Leaves will drop. It will be painful. You have lived with those old leaves for so long that you will feel that you are losing something. And then there will be a winter of waiting, an inner winter, when you will be nude – with no leaves, a naked tree against the sky. And you don’t know what is going to happen. Now everything has stopped. Now no bird comes to sing on your branches; now no one comes to sit under you, under your shadow to wait, to relax. Now you are not in any way aware of whether you are dead or whether a new life is going to happen to you. This is the gap, the interval.
Christian mystics have called it the dark night of the soul – before the sunrise. All artificial lights have been put off. The night has become very dark. And the moment nearest to the sunrise will be the darkest.
So there is a winter of the inner soul when there are no leaves, and no birds sing, and no one comes to wait under you and relax. You feel dead. Everything has stopped. All movement is gone. This has to be passed – because then there will be spring, new leaves will come, new life, new flowers. A totally new dimension will appear within you.
But remember the autumn, remember the winter – only then is spring possible. The autumn is also part of the spring – if you can understand – it is making the way for the spring to happen. So autumn is not against spring, it is just the beginning of it. And the gap is also necessary, because in the gap you become ready. The old has left. You are not tormented by it now, not burdened by it. You are pregnant – but pregnancy is waiting, the new child is growing. Before it emerges, manifests itself in the world, it will have to hide deep in the unconscious, because every seed has to go deep into darkness, underneath, hidden. Only then does life happen to it. If you put the seed in the sunlight nothing will happen to it. It needs deep darkness, a womb. So there will be winter while you are pregnant: all movement ceases, you just have to carry the burden, consciously, understandingly, lovingly, hoping, praying, waiting.
And then there will be spring. It has been always so. Man is also a tree.
And remember, aloneness is wholeness, they are not contradictory. Ego is part, ego is fragmented, ego cannot be whole, ego is against the whole. In aloneness ego disappears. You become one with the whole and the boundary disappears. When you are really alone you are the cosmos, you are Brahma.
The third question: