TANTRA: THE SUPREME UNDERSTANDING
Chapter 3: The Nature of Darkness and of Light
THE SONG CONTINUES:
THE DARKNESS OF AGES CANNOT SHROUD THE GLOWING SUN; THE LONG KALPAS OF SAMSARA NE'ER CAN HIDE -- THE MIND'S BRILLIANT LIGHT.
THOUGH WORDS ARE SPOKEN TO EXPLAIN THE VOID, -- THE VOID AS SUCH CAN NEVER BE EXPRESSED. THOUGH WE SAY "THE MIND IS BRIGHT AS LIGHT," IT IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS. ALTHOUGH THE MIND IS VOID IN ESSENCE, ALL THINGS IT EMBRACES AND CONTAINS.
Let us first meditate a little on the nature of darkness. It is one of the most mysterious things in existence -- and your life is so much involved in it, you cannot afford not to think about it. One has to come to terms with the nature of darkness because the same is the nature of sleep, and the same is the nature of death, and the same is the nature of all ignorance.
The first thing, if you meditate on darkness, that will be revealed to you is that darkness does not exist, it is there without any existence. It is more mysterious than light. It has no existence at all; rather, on the contrary, it is just an absence of light. There is no darkness anywhere, you cannot find it, it is simply an absence. It is not in itself, it has no "in-itself" existence, it is simply that the light is not present.
If the light is there, there is no darkness; if the light is not there, there is darkness -- absence of light, it is not a presence of something. That's why light comes and goes -- darkness remains. It is not, but it persists. Light you can create, light you can destroy, but you cannot create darkness and you cannot destroy darkness: it is always there WITHOUT being there at all.
The second thing, if you contemplate, you will come to realize that because it is nonexistential you cannot do anything to it. And if you try to do anything to it, YOU will be defeated. Darkness cannot be defeated, how can you defeat something which is not? And when you will be defeated you will think: "It is very powerful because it has defeated me." This is absurd! Darkness has no power; how can a thing have power which is not? You are not defeated by the darkness and its power, you are defeated by your foolishness. In the FIRST place you started fighting -- that was foolish. How can you fight with something which is not? And remember, you have been fighting with many things which are not, they are just like darkness.
The whole morality is a fight against darkness, that's why it is stupid. The whole morality, unconditionally, is a fight with darkness, fighting with something which in itself is not. Hate is not real, it is just the absence of love. Anger is not real, it is just the absence of compassion. Ignorance is not real, it is just the absence of buddhahood, of enlightenment. Sex is not real, it is just the absence of brahmacharya. And the whole morality goes on fighting with that which is not. A moralist can never succeed, it is impossible. Finally he has to be defeated -- his whole effort is nonsense.
And there is the distinction between religion and morality: morality tries to fight with darkness, and religion tries to awaken the light which is hidden within. It doesn't bother about the darkness, it simply tries to find the light within. Once the light is there, darkness disappears; once the light is there, you need not do anything to darkness -- simply it is not there.
This is the second thing, that nothing can be done to darkness directly. If you want to do something with darkness, you will have to do something with light, not with darkness. Put the light off and the darkness is there; put the light on and the darkness is not there -- but you cannot put on and put off darkness; you cannot bring it from somewhere, you cannot push it out. If you want to do something with darkness, you have to go via light, you have to go in an indirect way.
Never fight things which are not. The mind is tempted to fight, but that temptation is dangerous: you will waste your energy and life and dissipate yourself. Don't be tempted by the mind; simply see whether a thing has a real existence or is just an absence. If it is an absence then don't fight with it, then seek the thing of which it is the absence -- then you will be on the right track.
The third thing about darkness is that it is involved deeply with your existence in many millions of ways.
Whenever you are angry, your light within has disappeared. In fact, you are angry because the light has disappeared, the darkness has entered. You can be angry only when you are unconscious, you cannot be angry consciously. Try it: either you will lose consciousness and anger will be there, or you will remain conscious and anger will not arise -- you cannot be angry consciously. What does it mean? It means the nature of consciousness is just like light, and the nature of anger is just like darkness -- you cannot have both. If the light is there, you cannot have darkness; if you are conscious, you cannot be angry.
People come to me continuously and ask how not to be angry. They are asking a wrong question -- and when you ask a wrong question it is very difficult to get the right answer. First ask the right question. Don't ask how to dispel darkness, don't ask how to dispel worries, anguish, anxiety; just analyze your mind and see why they are there in the first place. They are there because you are not conscious enough. So ask the right question: How to be more and more conscious? If you ask how not to be angry, you will become the victim of some moralist. And if you ask the question how to be more conscious, so anger cannot exist, so lust cannot exist, so greed cannot exist, then you are on the right track, then you will become a religious seeker.
Morality is a false coin; it deceives people. It is not religion at all. Religion has nothing to do with morality, because religion has nothing to do with darkness. It is a positive effort to awaken you. It does not bother about your character; what you do is meaningless and you cannot change it. You may decorate it, you cannot change it. You may color it in beautiful ways, you may paint it, but you cannot change it.
There is only one transformation, only one revolution, and that revolution comes not by being concerned with your character, by your acts, by your doings, but being concerned with your BEING. Being is a positive phenomenon; once the being is alert, awake, conscious, suddenly darkness disappears -- your being is of the nature of light.
And the fourth thing... then we can enter the SUTRA. Sleep is just like darkness. It is not accidental that you find it difficult to sleep when there is light; it is simply natural. Darkness has an affinity with sleep; that's why it is easy to sleep in the night. Darkness all around creates the milieu in which you can fall into sleep very easily.
What happens in sleep? You lose consciousness by and by. There comes an interval period in which you dream. Dreaming means half-conscious, half-unconscious; just on the midway, moving towards total unconsciousness; from your waking state you are moving to total unconsciousness. On the path dreams exist. Dreams mean only that you are half-awake and half-asleep. That's why, if you dream continuously the whole night, you feel tired in the morning. And if you are not allowed to dream, then too you will feel tired -- because dreams exist for a certain reason.
In your waking hours you accumulate many things: thoughts, feelings, incomplete matters hang in the mind. You looked at a beautiful woman on the road and suddenly a desire arose in you. But you are a man of character, manners, civilized; you simply push it down, you will not look at it, you will go on with your work -- an incomplete desire hangs around you. It has to be completed, otherwise you will not be able to fall into deep sleep. It will pull you back again and again. It will say, "Come up! That woman was really beautiful, her body had a charm. And you are a fool, what are you doing here? Seek her -- you have missed an opportunity!"
The desire hanging there will not allow you to fall into sleep. The mind creates a dream: again you are on the road, the beautiful woman passes, but this time you are alone without any civilization around you. No manners are needed, no etiquette is needed. You are like an animal, you are natural, no morality. This is your own private world; no police constable can enter into it, no judge can judge it. You are simply alone, there will not be even a witness. Now you can play with your lust: you will have a sexual dream. That dream completes the hanging desire, then you fall into sleep. But if you continuously dream, then too you will feel tired.
If your dreams are not allowed.... In the United States they have many sleep labs, and they have come to discover this phenomenon: if a person is not allowed to dream, within three weeks he will go mad. If he is awakened again and again whenever he starts dreaming.... There are visible signs. When a person starts dreaming you can awake him. Particularly his eyelids start fluttering fast; that means he is seeing a dream. When he is not seeing a dream his eyelids rest, because when he starts seeing a dream his eyes are functioning. Awake him and do this the whole night -- whenever he starts dreaming, awake him. Within three weeks he will go mad.
Sleep doesn't seem to be so necessary. If you awake a person... whenever he is not dreaming awake him: he will feel tired, but he will not go mad. What does it mean? It means dreams are a necessity for you. You are such... you are so illusory, your whole existence is such an illusion -- what Hindus have called MAYA -- that dreams are needed. Without dreams you cannot exist: dreams are your food, dreams are your strength, without dreams you will go mad. Dreams are a release of madness, and once the release happens you fall into sleep.
From waking you fall into dreaming and from dreaming you fall into sleep. Every night a normal person has eight cycles of dreaming, and just a few moments between two dreaming cycles he has of deep sleep. In that deep sleep all consciousness disappears, it is absolutely dark. But still you are near the boundary, any emergency will awake you. The house is on fire, you will have to run back to your waking consciousness; or you are a mother and the child starts crying, you will run, rush, towards waking -- so you remain on the boundary. You fall into deep darkness, but remain on the boundary.
In death you fall exactly to the center. Death and sleep are similar, the quality is the same. In sleep, every day, you fall into darkness, complete darkness; that means you completely become unconscious, the very opposite pole of buddhahood. A buddha is totally awakened, and every night you fall to total unawakened state, absolute darkness.
In the GITA, Krishna says to Arjuna that when everybody is fast asleep, the yogi is still awake. That doesn't mean that he never sleeps: he sleeps, but only his body sleeps, his body rests. He has no dreams because he has no desires, so he cannot have incomplete desires. And he has no sleep like you -- even in deepest rest his consciousness is clear, his consciousness burns like a flame.
Every night you fall into sleep, you fall into deep unconsciousness, a coma. In death you fall in a deeper coma. These are all like darkness. That's why you are afraid of darkness, because it is deathlike. And there are people who are afraid of sleep also, because sleep is also deathlike.
I have come across many people who cannot sleep, and they want to sleep. And when I tried to understand their mind, I came to realize that they are basically afraid. They say they would like to sleep because they feel tired, but deep down they are afraid of sleep -- and that is creating the whole trouble. Ninety percent insomnia is fear of sleep; you are afraid. You are afraid of darkness; you will be afraid of sleep also, and the fear comes from the fear of death.
Once you understand that these are all darknesses and your inner nature is that of light, things start changing. Then there is no sleep for you, only rest; then there is no death for you, only a change of clothes, of bodies, only a change of garments. But that can happen if you realize the inner flame, your nature, your innermost being.
Now we should enter the sutra:
THE DARKNESS OF AGES -- CANNOT SHROUD THE GLOWING SUN; -- THE LONG KALPAS OF SAMSARA -- NE'ER CAN HIDE THE MIND'S BRILLIANT LIGHT.
Those who have awakened, they have come to realize that... THE DARKNESS OF AGES CANNOT SHROUD THE GLOWING SUN.
You may have been wandering in darkness for millions of lives, but it cannot destroy your inner light because darkness cannot be aggressive. It is not. Something which is not, how can it be aggressive? Darkness cannot destroy light -- how can darkness destroy light? Even a small flame, darkness cannot destroy it, darkness cannot jump on it, cannot be in conflict with it -- how can darkness destroy a flame? How can darkness shroud a flame? It is impossible, it has never happened because it cannot happen.
But people go on thinking in terms of conflict: they think darkness is against light. This is absurd! Darkness cannot be against light. How can the absence be against that of which it is the absence? Darkness cannot be against light: there is no fight in it; it is simply the absence, sheer absence, sheer impotency -- how can it attack?
You go on saying, "What could I do? -- I had an attack of anger" -- it is impossible; "I had an attack of greed" -- it is impossible. Greed cannot attack, anger cannot attack: they are of the nature of darkness -- and your being is light; the very possibility doesn't exist. But anger comes; that shows only that your inner flame has been completely forgotten, you have become completely oblivious of it, you don't know it is there. This forgetfulness can shroud it, but not darkness.
So the real darkness is your forgetfulness, and your forgetfulness can invite anger, greed, lust, hate, jealousy -- they don't attack you. Remember, you send the invitations first and they accept it. Your invitation is there -- they cannot attack, they come as invited guests. You may have forgotten that you ever invited them, you can forget because you have forgotten yourself, you can forget anything.
Forgetfulness is the real darkness. And in forgetfulness everything happens. You are just like a drunkard: completely forgotten yourself, who you are, where you are going, for what you are going. All direction is lost, the very sense of direction is not there. You are like a drunkard. That's why all basic religious teachings insist on self-remembering. Forgetfulness is the disease, then self-remembering is going to be the antidote.
Try to remember yourself -- and you will say, "I know myself and I remember myself! What are you talking about?" Then try it: just keep your wristwatch before you, and look at the hand that shows seconds and remember only one thing: "I am looking at this hand which is showing seconds." You will not be able to remember for even three seconds together. You will forget many times -- just a simple thing: "I am looking and I will remember this, that I am looking."
You will forget. Many things will come in your mind: you have made an appointment; just looking at the watch the association will come in the mind: "I have to go at five o'clock to meet a friend." Suddenly the thought comes and you have forgotten that you are looking at it. Just by looking at the watch you may start thinking of Switzerland because it is Swissmade. Just by looking at the watch you may start thinking, "How foolish I am. What am I doing here wasting time?" But you will not be able to remember, even for three consecutive seconds, that you are looking at the hand showing seconds moving.
If you can attain to one minute's self-remembering, I promise you to make you a buddha. Even for one minute, sixty seconds, that will do. You will think, "So cheap, so easy?" -- it is not. You don't know how deep is your forgetfulness. You will not be able to do it for one minute continuously, not a single thought coming in and disturbing your self-remembering. This is the real darkness. If you remember, you will become light. If you forget, you become dark. And in darkness, of course, all sorts of thieves come, all sorts of robbers attack you, all sorts of mishaps happen.
Self-remembrance is the key. Try to remember more and more, because whenever you try to remember more and more, you become centered, you are in yourself; your journeying mind falls back to one's own self. Otherwise you are going somewhere: the mind continuously creating new desires, and you are following and chasing the mind simultaneously in many directions. That's why you are split, you are not one, and your flame, inside flame, goes on wavering -- a leaf in a strong wind.
When the inner flame becomes unwavering, suddenly you are going through a mutation, a transformation, a new being is born. That being will be of the nature of light. Right now you are of the nature of darkness, you are simply an absence of something which is possible. In fact, you are not yet, you are not yet born. You have taken many births and many deaths, but you have not yet been born. Your real birth is still going to take place, and this will be the work: that you transform your inner nature from forgetfulness to self-remembering.
Do whatsoever you do. I don't give you any discipline, and I don't say to you, "Do this and don't do that." My discipline is very easy. My discipline is: Do whatsoever you like -- but do it with self-remembering; remember yourself that you are doing it. Walking, remember that you are walking. You need not verbalize this because verbalization will not help; that itself will become a distraction. You need not walk and say inside, "I am walking," because if you say, "I am walking, I am walking," this "I am walking" will be the forgetfulness; then you will not be able to remember. Simply remember; there is no need to verbalize it.
I have to verbalize because I am talking to you, but when you are walking you simply remember the phenomenon, the walking; each step should be taken with full awareness. Eating, eat. I don't say what to eat, and what not to eat. Whatsoever you like, eat, but with the self-remembrance that you are eating. And soon you will see many things have become impossible to do.
With self-remembering you cannot eat meat, impossible. It is impossible to be so violent if you remember. It is impossible to harm somebody when you remember, because when you remember yourself, suddenly you see that the same light, the same flame is burning everywhere, within each body, each unit. The more you know your inner nature, the more you penetrate the other. How can you kill for eating? It becomes simply impossible. Not that you practice it -- if you practice it, it is false. If you practice not to be a thief it is false; you will be a thief, you will find subtle ways. If you practice nonviolence, your nonviolence... there will be violence hidden behind it.
No, religion cannot be practiced. Morality can be practiced; that's why morality creates hypocrisy, morality creates false faces. Religion creates the authentic being, it cannot be practiced. How can you practice the being? You simply become more aware and things start changing. You simply become more of the nature of light, and darkness disappears.
THE DARKNESS OF AGES CANNOT SHROUD THE GLOWING SUN....
For millions of lives, for ages together, you have been in darkness -- but don't feel depressed and don't feel hopeless, because even if you have lived in darkness for millions of lives, this very moment you can attain to the light.
Just look: a house has remained closed for one hundred years, dark, and you go into it and you light a light. Will the darkness say, "I am one hundred years old and this light is just a baby"? Will the darkness say, "I am not going to disappear. You will have to burn light at least for one hundred years, only then..."? No, even a baby flame is enough for very very ancient darkness. Why? In one hundred years the darkness must have become engrained. But no, darkness cannot become engrained because it is NOT. It was simply waiting for the light -- the moment the light comes in, the darkness disappears; it cannot resist because it has no positive existence.
People come to me and they say, "You teach that sudden enlightenment is possible. Then what will happen of our past lives and our past karmas?" Nothing -- they are of the nature of darkness. You may have murdered, you may have been a thief, a robber, you may have been a Hitler, a Genghis Khan, or somebody, the worst possible, but that doesn't make any difference. Once you remember yourself, the light is there; the whole past disappears immediately; not for a single moment can it stay there. You murdered, but you cannot become a murderer; you murdered because you were not. aware of yourself, you were not aware what you are doing.
Jesus is reported to have said on the cross, "Father, forgive these people because they know not what they are doing." He was saying simply, "These people are not of the nature of light, they don't remember themselves. They are doing in complete forgetfulness, in darkness they are moving and stumbling. Forgive them, they are not responsible for whatsoever they are doing." How can a person be responsible who does not remember himself?
If a drunkard kills somebody, even the court forgives him if it can be proved that he acted when he was completely unconscious. Why? Because how can you make a person responsible? You can make him responsible for drinking, but you cannot make him responsible for murder. If a madman kills somebody, he has to be forgiven because he is not himself.
Responsibility means remembering.
Whatsoever you have done, I tell you, don't be worried by it. It has happened to you because you were not aware. Alight your inner flame -- find it, seek it, it is there -- and suddenly the whole past disappears, as if it all happened in a dream. In fact, it has happened in a dream, because you were not conscious. All karmas have happened in a dream, they are made of the same stuff as dreams are made.
You need not wait for your karmas to be fulfilled -- then you will have to wait for eternity. And even then you will not be out of the wheel because you cannot simply wait for eternity: you will be doing many things meanwhile; then the vicious circle cannot be completed ever. You will move on and on and on, and you will go on doing things, and new things will make you entangled in more future things -- then where will the end be? No, there is no need. You simply become aware and suddenly all karmas drop. In a single moment of intense awareness, the whole past disappears, becomes rubbish.
This is one of the most fundamental things the East has discovered. Christians cannot understand it; they go on thinking of judgment, and the Last Day of Judgment, that everybody has to be judged by his acts. Then Christ is wrong when he says, "Forgive these people because they know not what they are doing." Jews cannot understand it, Mohammedans cannot understand it.
Hindus are really one of the most daring races, they have penetrated to the very core of the problem: the problem is not action, the problem is being. Once you realize your inner being and the light, you are no more of this world; whatsoever happened in the past happened in a dream. That's why Hindus say this whole world is a dream -- only you are not a dream, only the dreamer is not the dream; otherwise, everything is a dream.
Look at the beauty of this truth: only the dreamer is not a dream, because the dreamer cannot be a dream; otherwise the dream cannot exist. At least somebody, the dreamer, has to be a real phenomenon.
In the day you are awake; you do many things: you go to the shop, you go to the market, you work in a farm, or in a factory, and you do millions of things. By the night when you are asleep, you forget everything about it; it disappears -- a new world starts, the world of the dream. And now scientists say that the same time has to be given to dream as you give to awakening. The same waking hours have to be given to dreaming. In sixty years' time, if twenty years have been devoted to work in the waking state, twenty years have been devoted to dreaming; the SAME time, exactly the same time, has to be devoted to dreaming. So dreaming is not less real, it has the same quality.
In the night you dream, you forget about your waking world. In the deep sleep you forget about your waking world, your dreaming world. In the morning again the waking world comes into existence, you forget about your dreaming and you sleep. But one thing continuously remains -- you. Who remembers the dreams? In the morning who says, "I dreamt last night"? In the morning who says, "Last night I had a very very deep sleep without any dreams"? Who?
There must be a witness to it who stands aside, who always stands aside and goes on looking. Waking comes, dreaming comes, sleep comes -- and somebody stands by the side and goes on looking. Only this is the real, because it exists in every state. Other states disappear, but it has to remain in every state, it is the only permanent thing in you.
Attain to this witness more and more. Become more and more alert, and become more and more a witness. Rather than being an actor in the world, you be a witness, a spectator. Everything else is a dream, only the dreamer is the truth. He has to be true, otherwise where will dreams happen? He's the base; illusions can happen only because... if he is there.
And once you remember, you start laughing. What type of life existed without remembering? You were a drunkard, moving from one state to another, not knowing why, drifting with no direction.
THE DARKNESS OF AGES -- CANNOT SHROUD THE GLOWING SUN; -- THE LONG KALPAS OF SAMSARA...
many many ages, aeons of this world, kalpas,
... NE'ER CAN HIDE THE MIND'S BRILLIANT LIGHT.
It is always there, it is your very being.
THOUGH WORDS ARE SPOKEN TO EXPLAIN THE VOID, -- THE VOID AS SUCH CAN NEVER BE EXPRESSED. -- THOUGH WE SAY "THE MIND IS BRIGHT AS LIGHT," -- IT IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS.
One thing will be helpful to understand. There are three approaches towards reality. One is the empirical approach, the approach of the scientific mind -- experiment, experiment with the objective world, and unless something is proved by experiment, don't accept it. Then there is another approach, of the logical mind. He does not experiment; he simply thinks, argues, finds pros and cons, and just by mind-effort, reason, he concludes. And then there is a third approach, the metaphorical, the approach of poetry -- and of religion. These three approaches are there; three dimensions, one reaches towards reality.
Science cannot go beyond the object, because the very approach makes a limitation. Science cannot go beyond the outer, because only with the outer experiments are possible. Philosophy, logic, cannot go beyond the subjective, because it is a mind-effort, you work it out in your mind. You cannot dissolve the mind, you cannot go beyond it. Science is objective; logic, philosophy, is subjective. Religion goes beyond, poetry goes beyond: it is a golden bridge, it bridges the object with the subject. But then everything becomes a chaos -- of course, very creative; in fact, there is no creativity if there is no chaos. But everything becomes indiscriminate, divisions disappear.
I would like to say it in this way. Science is a day approach: in the full noon, everything is clear, distinct, boundaries, and you can see the other well. Logic is a night approach; groping in the dark only with the mind, without any experimental support, just thinking. Poetry and religion are twilight approaches; just in the middle. The day is no more there, the brightness of the noon has gone, things are not so distinct, clear. The night has not yet come; the darkness has not enveloped all. Darkness and day meet, there is a soft greyness, neither white nor black -- boundaries meeting and merging, everything indiscriminate, everything is everything else.
This is the metaphorical approach.
That's why poetry talks in metaphors -- and religion is the ultimate poetry; religion talks in metaphors. Remember, those metaphors are not to be taken literally, otherwise you will miss the point. When I say "the inner light," don't think it in terms of literal understanding, no. When I say "the inner is like light," it is a metaphor. Something is indicated, but not demarked, not defined; something of the nature of light, not exactly light -- it is a metaphor.
And this becomes a problem because religion talks in metaphors; it cannot talk otherwise, there is no other way. If I have been to another world and I have seen flowers which don't exist on this earth, and I come to you and talk about those flowers, what will I do? I will have to be metaphorical. I will say "like roses" -- but they are not roses; otherwise why say "like roses," simply say "roses." But they are not roses, they have a different quality to them.
"Like" means I am trying to bridge my understanding of the other world with your understanding of this world -- hence the metaphor. You know the roses; you don't know those flowers of the other world. I know those flowers of the other world and I am trying to communicate to you something of that world; I say they are like roses. Don't be angry at me when you reach to the other world and you don't find roses; don't drag me to a court -- because I never meant it literally. Just the quality of a rose is indicated; it is just a gesture, a finger pointing to the moon. But don't catch hold of the finger, the finger is irrelevant -- look at the moon and forget the finger. That is the meaning of a metaphor; don't cling to the metaphor.
Many people are in deep murky waters because of this: they cling to the metaphor. I talk about the inner light -- immediately, after a few days, people start coming to me, they say, "I have seen the inner light"! They have found the roses in the other world... they don't exist there. Because of this metaphorical language, many people simply become imaginative.
P.D. Ouspensky had coined a word; he used to call it "imaginazione." Whenever somebody came and he started talking about inner experiences: "The KUNDALINI has arisen; I have seen a light in the head; CHAKRAS are opening," he would stop him immediately and say, "Imaginazione." So people would ask, "What is this 'imaginazione'?" He would say, "The disease of imagination," and he would simply drop the matter. Immediately he would say, "Stop! You have fallen a victim."
Religion talks in metaphors -- because there is no other way to talk, because religion talks of the other world, of the beyond. It tries to find similes in this world. It uses words which are irrelevant, but somehow those irrelevant words are the only available words; you have to use them.
Poetry you can understand easily; religion is difficult, because with poetry you already know it is imagination so there is no trouble. Science you can understand easily because you know it is no imagination, it is an empirical fact. Poetry you can understand easily, you know it is poetry, a mere poetry, finished -- it is imagination. Good! Beautiful! You can enjoy it -- it is not a truth.
What will you do with religion? -- and religion is the ultimate poetry. And it is not imagination. And I tell you, it is empirical, as empirical as science -- but it cannot use scientific terms, they are too objective. It cannot use philosophical terms, they are too subjective. It has to use something which is neither, it has to use something which bridges both -- it uses poetry.
All religion is ultimate poetry, essential poetry. You cannot find a greater poet than Buddha. Of course, he never tried writing a single poem. I am here with you. I am a poet. I have not composed a single poem, not even a HAIKU, but continuously I am talking in metaphors. Continuously I am trying to bridge the gap that is created by science and philosophy. I am trying to give you the feeling of the whole, undivided.
Science is half, philosophy is half -- what to do? How to give you the feeling of the whole? If you move deep into philosophy, you will come to what Shankara came to. He said, "The world is illusory, it doesn't exist -- only consciousness exists." This is too one-sided. If you move with scientists you will come to what Marx came to. Marx and Shankara are the polar opposites. Marx says, "There is no consciousness -- only the world exists." And I know both are true and both are wrong. Both are true because they are saying the half truth; and both are wrong because they are denying the other half. And if I have to talk about the whole, how to do it? Poetry is the only way, metaphor is the only way out. Remember this:
THOUGH WORDS ARE SPOKEN TO EXPLAIN THE VOID, -- THE VOID AS SUCH CAN NEVER BE EXPRESSED.
That's why sages go on insisting, "Whatsoever we are saying, we cannot say. It is inexpressible, and still we are trying to express it." They always emphasize the fact, because the possibility exists that you may take them literally.
The void is a void in the sense that nothing of you will be left there; but the void is not a void in another sense, because the whole will descend in it -- the void is going to be the MOST perfect, fulfilled phenomenon. So what to do? If you say "void," suddenly the mind thinks there is nothing; then why bother? And if you say it is not a void, it is the most perfect being, the mind goes on an "ambition trip": how to become the most perfect being. Then the ego enters in it.
To drop the ego the word "void" is emphasized. But to make you alert, the void is not really a void, it is filled with the whole. When you are not, the whole existence comes into you. When the drop disappears, it becomes the ocean.
THOUGH WE SAY "THE MIND IS BRIGHT AS LIGHT," says Tilopa, -- IT IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS.
Don't be deceived by the metaphor, don't start imagining a light inside. It is very easy -- "imaginazione." You can close the eyes and imagine a light; you are such a dreamer, you can dream so many things, why not light?
Mind has a faculty to create anything that you want, just a little persistence is needed. You can create beautiful women in the mind, why not light? What is wrong in light? You can create so many beautiful women in your mind, that any woman in real life will be unsatisfactory because she will never come up to the standard. You can create a whole world of experiences inside. Every sense has its own imaginative center behind it.
In hypnosis it happens: the imagination starts working with absolute functioning, and reason drops completely because reason goes into sleep in hypnosis. Hypnosis is nothing but a sleep of reason, the doubter; then the imagination functions perfectly. Then there is no brake on it, only an accelerator -- you go on and on, no brake is there.
In hypnosis anything can be imagined: you give an onion to a person who is lying hypnotized and say, "It is a beautiful apple, very delicious," and he will eat the onion and will say, "It is really beautiful. I have never tasted such a delicious apple before." You give him an apple and say, "This is an onion," and his eyes will start dropping tears and he will say, "Very very strong" -- and he is eating apple. What is happening? The doubter is not there; it is a hypnosis, the doubter has gone to sleep. Now imagination functions, there is no check on it -- that is the problem with religion also.
Religion needs trust. Trust means: the doubting faculty of the mind goes to sleep. It is like hypnosis. So when people say to you, "This man, Osho, has hypnotized you," they are right in a way. If you trust me it is like hypnosis: fully awake, you have dropped your reason -- now imagination functions with a total capacity, now you are in a dangerous situation.
If you allow imagination, you can imagine all sorts of things: kundalini is arising, chakras opening; any sorts of things you can imagine, and they will all happen to you. And they are beautiful -- but not true. So when you trust a person, in the very trusting you have to be aware of imagination. Trust, but don't become a victim of imagination. Whatsoever is being said here is metaphorical. And remember always, that all experiences are imagination; all experiences, I say, unconditionally. Only the experiencer is the truth.
So whatsoever you experience, don't pay much attention to it, and don't start bragging about it. Just remember that all that is experienced is illusory -- only the one who experiences is true. Pay attention to the witness; focus on the witness and not on the experiences. Howsoever beautiful, all experiences are dreamlike and one has to go beyond all of them.
So, religion is poetic, one has to talk metaphorically. The disciple is in deep trust, he can fall a victim easily of imagination -- one has to be very very alert. Trust, listen to the metaphors, but remember they are metaphors. Trust -- many things will start happening, but remember: all is imagination except you. And you have to come to a point where there is no experience; only the experiencer sits in his abode silently, no experience anywhere, no object, no light, no flowers flowering, no -- nothing.
Somebody asked Lin Chi -- he was sitting in his monastery, a small monastery on a hilltop. He was sitting under a tree, near a rock, and somebody asked, "What happens when one has attained?" And Lin Chi said, "I sit alone here -- clouds pass, and I watch; and seasons come and I watch; and visitors come sometimes and I watch. And I sit alone here."
Just finally the witness, the consciousness, remains watching everything. All experiences disappear, only the very background of all experiencing remains. You remain, everything is lost. Remember this, because with me you trust and I talk metaphors -- and then imagination is possible. "Imaginazione": be aware of that disease.
THOUGH WE SAY "THE MIND IS BRIGHT AS LIGHT," -- IT IS BEYOND ALL WORDS AND SYMBOLS. ALTHOUGH THE MIND IS VOID IN ESSENCE, -- ALL THINGS IT EMBRACES AND CONTAINS.
These assertions look contradictory: you say the mind is void, and the next moment you say it contains all and everything. Why these contradictions? It is just the nature of the whole religious experience. Metaphors have to be used -- and immediately you have to be alerted not to become a victim of the metaphors.
It is void in essence, but it contains all things. When you become totally empty, only then will you be fulfilled. When you are no more, only then for the first time will you be.
Says Jesus, "If you lose yourself, you will attain. If you cling to yourself, you will lose. If you die, you will be reborn. If you can efface yourself completely, you will become eternal, you will become the very eternity."
These are all metaphors -- but if you trust, if you love, if you allow your heart to be open towards me, then you will be able to understand. That understanding passeth all understanding. It is not intellectual, it is heart-to-heart. It is an energy jump from one heart to another.
I am here and I am trying to talk to you, but that is secondary. The basic thing is if you are open I can pour myself into you. If my talking to you can help only this much, that you become more and more open, it has done its work. I'm not trying to say something to you, I am just trying to make you more open -- that is enough. Then I can pour myself into you... and unless you taste me, you will not be able to understand what I am saying.