You offer meditation as a means for my leaving my misery behind and all I do is resist. The thought of being still and silent doesn’t excite me; in fact it scares me.
Could you explain my resistence to meditation?
The thought of stillness and silence excites nobody. It is not your personal problem. It is the problem of human mind as such, because to be still, to be silent, means to be in a state of no-mind.
Mind cannot be still. It needs continuous thinking, worrying. The mind functions like a bicycle; if you go on pedaling it, it continues. The moment you stop the pedaling, you are going to fall down. Mind is a two-wheeled vehicle just like a bicycle, and your thinking is a constant pedaling. Even sometimes if you are a little bit silent you immediately start worrying, “Why am I silent?” Anything will do to create worrying, thinking, because mind can exist only in one way – in running, always running after something or running from something, but always running. In the running is the mind. The moment you stop, the mind disappears.
Right now you are identified with the mind. You think you are it. From there comes the fear. If you are identified with the mind, naturally if mind stops you are finished, you are no more. And you don’t know anything beyond mind.
The reality is you are not mind, you are something beyond mind; hence it is absolutely necessary that the mind stops so that for the first time you can know that you are not mind, because you are still there. Mind is gone, you are still there...and with greater joy, greater glory, greater light, greater consciousness, greater being. Mind was pretending, and you had fallen into the trap.
What you have to understand is the process of identification...how one can get identified with something which one is not.
The ancient parable in the East is that a lioness was jumping from one hillock to another hillock and just in the middle she gave birth to a kid. The kid fell down on the road where a big crowd of sheep was passing. Naturally he mixed with the sheep, lived with the sheep, behaved like a sheep. He had no idea, not even in his dreams, that he is a lion. How could he have? All around him were sheep and more sheep. He had never roared like a lion; a sheep does not roar. He had never been alone like a lion; a sheep is never alone. She is always in the crowd; the crowd is cozy, secure, safe. If you see sheep walking, they walk so close together that they are almost stumbling on each other. They are so afraid to be alone.
But the lion started growing up. It was a strange phenomenon. He was identified mentally with being a sheep, but biology does not go according to your identification; nature is not going to follow you.
He became a beautiful young lion, but because things happened so slowly the sheep also became accustomed to the lion while the lion was becoming accustomed to the sheep. The sheep thought he is a little crazy, naturally. He’s not behaving – a little cuckoo – and he goes on growing. It is not supposed to be so. And pretending to be a lion...but he is not a lion. They have seen him from his very birth, they have brought him up, they have given their milk to him. And he was a nonvegetarian by nature. No lion is vegetarian, but this lion was vegetarian because sheep are vegetarian. He used to eat grass with great joy.
They accepted this little difference, that he is a little big and looks like a lion. A very wise sheep said, “It is just a freak of nature. Once in a while it happens.” And he himself also accepted that it is true. His color is different, his body is different; he must be a freak, abnormal. But the idea that he is a lion was impossible! He was surrounded by all those sheep, and sheep psychoanalysts gave him explanations: “You are just a freak of nature. Don’t be worried. We are here to take care of you.”
But one day an old lion passed and saw this young lion far above the crowd of sheep. He could not believe his eyes! He had never seen such a thing nor had he ever heard in the history of the whole past that a lion was in the middle of a crowd of sheep and no sheep was afraid. And the lion was walking exactly like the sheep, grazing on grass.
The old lion could not believe his eyes. He forgot he was going to catch a sheep for his breakfast. He completely forgot the breakfast. It was something so strange that he tried to catch the young lion. But he was old, and the young lion was young – he ran away. Although he believed that he was a sheep, when there was danger the identification was forgotten. He ran like a lion, and the old lion had great difficulty in catching him. But finally the old lion got hold of him and he was crying and weeping and saying, “Just forgive me, I am a poor sheep.” The old lion said, “You idiot! You simply stop and come with me to the pond.”
Just nearby there was a pond. He took the young lion there. The young lion was not going willingly. He went reluctantly, but what can you do against a lion if you are only a sheep? He may kill you if you don’t follow him, so he went with him. The pond was silent, with no ripples, almost like a mirror. And the old lion said to the young, “Just look. Look at my face and look at your face. Look at my body and look at your body in the water.”
In a second there came a great roar! All the hills echoed it. The sheep disappeared; he was a totally different being – he recognized himself. The identification with sheep was not a reality, it was just a mental concept. Now he had seen the reality. And the old lion said, “Now I don’t have to say anything. You have understood.”
The young lion could feel strange energy he had never felt...as if it had been dormant. He could feel tremendous power, and he had always been a weak, humble sheep. All that humbleness, all that weakness, simply evaporated.
This is an ancient parable about the master and the disciple. The function of the master is only to bring the disciple to see who he is and that what he goes on believing is not true.
Your mind is not created by nature. Try to keep the distinction always: your brain is created by nature. Your brain is the mechanism that belongs to the body, but your mind is created by the society in which you live – by the religion, by the church, by the ideology that your parents followed, by the educational system that you were taught in, by all kinds of things. That’s why there is a Christian mind and a Hindu mind, a Mohammedan mind and a communist mind. Brains are natural, but minds are a created phenomenon. It depends on which flock of sheep you belong to. Was the flock of the sheep Hindu? Then naturally you will behave like a Hindu.
Meditation is the only method that can make you aware that you are not the mind; and that gives you a tremendous mastery. Then you can choose what is right with your mind and what is not right with your mind, because you are distant, an observer, a watcher. Then you are not so much attached to the mind, and that is your fear.
You have completely forgotten yourself; you have become the mind. The identification is complete. So when I say, “Be silent. Be still. Be alert and watchful of your thought processes,” you freak out, you become afraid. It looks like death. In a way you are right but it is not your death, it is the death of your conditionings. Combined they are called your mind.
Once you are capable of seeing the distinction clearly – that you are separate from the mind and the mind is separate from the brain – it immediately happens. Simultaneously, as you withdraw from the mind, you suddenly see that the mind is in the middle; on both sides there is brain and consciousness.
The brain is simply a mechanism. Whatever you want to do with it, you can do. Mind is the problem, because others make it for you. It is not you, it is not even your own; it is all borrowed.
The priests, the politicians, the people who are in power, the people who have vested interests, don’t want you to know that you are above mind, beyond mind. Their whole effort has been to keep you identified with the mind, because mind is managed by them, not by you. You are being deceived in such a subtle way. The managers of your mind are outside.
When the consciousness becomes identified with the mind, then the brain is helpless. The brain is simply mechanical. Whatever mind wants, the brain does. But if you are separate, then the mind loses its power; otherwise it is sovereign. And you are afraid of meditation because of that.
I don’t belong to any religion, I don’t belong to any political ideology, I don’t belong to any nation. I don’t have myself filled up with all kinds of nonsense called “holy scriptures.” I have simply pushed the mind aside. I use the brain directly; there is no need of any conditioning, there is no need of any mediator.
But your fear is understandable. You have been brought up with certain concepts, and perhaps you are afraid to lose them.