For one year I was also in the same state that this parable talks about. For one year it was almost impossible to know what was happening. For one year continuously it was even difficult to keep myself alive. Just to keep myself alive was a very difficult thing – because all appetite disappeared. Days would pass and I would not feel any hunger, days would pass and I would not feel any thirst. I had to force myself to eat, force myself to drink. The body was so non-existential that I had to hurt myself to feel that I was still in the body. I had to knock my head against the wall to feel whether my head was still there or not. Only when it hurt would I be a little in the body.
Every morning and every evening I would run for five to eight miles. People used to think that I was mad. Why was I running so much? Sixteen miles a day! It was just to feel myself, to feel that I still was, not to lose contact with myself – just to wait until my eyes became attuned to the new that was happening.
And I had to keep myself close to myself. I would not talk to anybody because everything had become so inconsistent that even to formulate one sentence was difficult. In the middle of the sentence I would forget what I was saying, in the middle of the way I would forget where I was going. Then I would have to come back. I would read a book – I would read fifty pages – and then suddenly I would remember, “What am I reading? I don’t remember at all.” My situation was such.
The door of the psychiatrist’s office burst open and a man rushed in.
“Doctor!” he cried. “You’ve got to help me. I’m sure I’m losing my mind. I can’t remember anything – what happened a year ago, or even what happened yesterday. I must be going crazy!”
“Hmmmmmmm,” pondered the headshrinker. “Just when did you first become aware of this problem?”
The man looked puzzled, “What problem?”
This was my situation! Even to complete a full sentence was difficult. I had to keep myself shut in my room. I made it a point not to talk, not to say anything, because to say anything was to say that I was mad.
For one year it persisted. I would simply lie on the floor and look at the ceiling and count from one to a hundred then back from a hundred to one. Just to remain capable of counting was at least something. Again and again I would forget. It took one year for me to gain a focus again, to have a perspective.
It happened. It was a miracle. But it was difficult. There was nobody to support me, there was nobody to say where I was going and what was happening. In fact, everybody was against it, my teachers, my friends, my well-wishers. All were against it. But they could not do anything, they could only condemn, they could only ask what I was doing.
I was not doing anything! Now it was beyond me; it was happening. I had done something, unknowingly I had knocked at the door, now the door had opened. I had been meditating for many years, just sitting silently doing nothing, and by and by I started getting into that space, that heart-space, where you are and you are not doing anything, you are simply there, a presence, a watcher.