The desire to be a saint, to be a holy person, is hidden in everyone; it is even hidden in the mind of the greatest sinner. Whenever you are going to do something terrible – even though you may have been doing it for lives – the mind will caution you not to. It will say, “Don’t do this. It is bad.” If the mind were only body, then nothing would be bad. At the body’s level nothing is good or bad; neither holy act nor sin can exist. In the case of the enlightened man both disappear, and for the ignorant man neither exists. For the ignorant man, there is no possibility of the existence of good or bad, and the enlightened man has reached a place where both of these are left far behind.
When you are at prayer or at worship the mind will ask, “Why are you wasting your time?” When you are going to steal something, when you are going to commit a theft, the mind will ask, “Why are you committing a sin?” When you are preparing to give something away in charity the mind will ask, “Why are you throwing your money away unnecessarily?” Then you are in a great fix trying to figure out what the mind wants.
The mind is like a bridge joining the two banks – the bank of the body and the bank of the soul. Half of the mind is on either side, and so there will always be a problem. If you follow the mind you will always be unsteady. Whatsoever you do, bad or good, the mind will repent it. Then you will fall into great difficulty and confusion; then you will be at a loss to know what to do.
When you are in good spirits you lean to one side, and when those good spirits have left you, you lean to the other. In between the two you are torn to pieces, just as a rock is reduced to dust between the stones of a gristmill.
Kabir has said:
Between two millstones
none remain unbroken.
These two stones are within you, and you are that gristmill.
Seeing the wheel turning,
Kabir broke into tears.
If you become a little alert you will be able to see this gristmill working within you; you will be able to see yourself going round and round. The mind joins the two millstones.
Because of the mind you think, “I am the body,” and because of the mind you also think, “I am the soul.” When the mind disappears, these mistaken notions that you are the body and that you are the soul disappear. They evaporate because the person who made these claims is no more. Only you, the soul, remains. Only your original nature remains; the claimant is gone. What will there be to say then? To whom will the soul speak when the body is not? That which is opposite to the body we call the soul. That is where the highest delight arises.
So the first thing to be understood is that the mind can never be whole, can never be total. The mind will always remain divided. And if you decide you need the mind’s approval before doing something you will never be able to do anything. You will never commit a sinful act or a holy deed, a religious act or an irreligious one, an act of sansara or an act of sannyas. You will not be able to do anything at all. The mind will always remain indecisive, perplexed.