THE TANTRA VISION, VOL. 2
Chapter 6: I am enough alone, Question 4
WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAY THAT MAN IS A MACHINE?
.. That man is a machine.
Three scenes... The first:
'Hello, Bernie old pal' greeted Charlie, somewhat potted. 'Let's go into a bar and celebrate the cigar habit.'
'What are you talking about?' asked Bernie.
'Listen' Charlie went on 'my wife wanted me to stop smoking. And her system is -- when I feel like a cigar to get an O. Henry candy bar, instead.'
'Did you do that?' Bernie inquired.
'Yeh! And that's why I am celebrating. I'm back on cigars. That candy bar idea doesn't work. Believe me, I tried it. Every time I wanted a cigar I bought an O. Henry candy bar. But you want to know something? I couldn't keep it lit!'
When I say that man is a machine, I mean man functions through habits not through awareness. When I say that man is a machine, I mean man functions through his past not through his spontaneity.
The second scene:
A night worker had let his whiskers grow until his favourite baseball team won the pennant, much to the disgust of his young and pretty wife. On the day his team clinched the pennant, he laid off work, got himself a shave, went home early and slipped into bed. He took his wife's hand in the darkness and placed it upon his smoothly shaven face. She turned slightly while running her fingers over the now smooth chin and said 'Make it snappy, kid. Old Whiskers will be home any minute now.'
When I say that.man is a machine, I mean man does not see what is the case, man does not look into the present moment, man is not responsive to the reality. Man goes on living in old ideas, man lives through habits.
The third scene:
One day Mulla Nasruddin read a small poem in a magazine. He loved it. The poem was:
Sir, why not buy a bunch or two
Of springtime flowers fair?
And take them home one cheerless day,
But carry them with care:
Just hand them to your wife and say
'I thought of you in town today'.
Mulla Nasruddin did exactly that. He bought some flowers, but instead of entering the house as usual, he knocked. And when his wife opened the door, he just handed them to her.
To his great surprise she burst out crying. 'Why, whatever is the matter?' he asked.
'Oh' she replied 'I've had an awful day. I broke the teapot, the baby has been crying, the cook has left, and now you come home drunk!'
That's what I mean when I say that man is a machine. And you don't become aware of it, because how can a machine become aware?
You need somebody to hammer on your head continuously, in the hope that some time the hammer will really hit you, shock you out of your habits, and for a moment you will be awake.
That's the whole purpose of a Master: to go on hitting you from this side, from that side, from all the sides: and to go on changing techniques, situations, devices, so that some day you are caught unawares. Even if for a single moment you become aware, you will know that your whole past has been a mechanical past. You will know only then -- but not by my saying it -- that man is a machine. You will know only then, when you have tasted one moment of awareness. Then your whole life will be simply known, seen, recognised as mechanical. Because even to know that it has been mechanical, you need something to compare it with. You don't have anything to compare it with.
And you live amongst machines. Your father is a machine, your mother is a machine, your wife is a machine, your friends, your boss -- you live amongst machines. You are a machine. How to become aware?
Once, Mulla Nasruddin's wife told me that she was never aware that her husband was drinking until he came home sober one might. If a man is continuously drinking, it is very difficult to know that he is drinking. You become accustomed to seeing him in that way.
You are a machine. It hurts -- that's the purpose of calling you a machine. Let it hurt. If it doesn't hurt, then you are incurable. If it hurts, then there is a possibility. If it hurts, it means that somehow, deep down in the unconscious you also feel that, yes, it is so.
Do you live in the present moment? Do you recognise things as they are right now? Or do you just go on seeing them through old eyes, old mind... memory? Don't you have cliches? You immediately put things into certain boxes, ready-made boxes. For example, if you are a Hindu and you meet a man and you were very interested in the man... the man looks beautiful and is very nice, and you like his vibe. Then you ask things about him and he says 'I am a Mohammedan.' Finished. All that nice vibe is no longer there; you have shrunken back. You have a box, a fixed box that Mohammedans are not good. You are a Hindu, Mohammedans are bad. You immediately categorise him, you pigeon-hole him. Now you are no longer interested in the reality of the man. The reality was saying something else, but it was going against your pat categories and theories.
I have heard...
A young woman went to the big town nearby to work there. They were very poor and the mother was old, and as that young woman was the only child, she had gone to work to earn some money.
After a few months she came back with lots of money. The mother was very happy, she asked 'So now, tell me, what did you do there?'
And the daughter was really honest, she said 'I have become a prostitute.'
'What!' the mother screamed, and fainted. When she came to after half an hour, she again asked 'Tell me again what you have become?'
And she said 'I told you, mother, that I have become a prostitute.'
The mother said 'Thank God! I thought you said you had become a Protestant.'
They were Catholics, of course.
Categorisation goes on continuously in the mind. Watch. When you do something, do you respond to the fact here-now, or do you follow certain pat theories? When you do something, do you do it with attention, awareness, or do you just do it like a robot?
I talked the other day about three awarenesses: awareness one, awareness two, awareness three. This is the first awareness: to watch yourself, to watch your actions, to watch your reactions, to watch your responses. How are you behaving -- as a man or as a machine? And out of one hundred, ninety-nine times you will find that you are behaving like a machine. But if you start becoming a little alert, then you are becoming something more than a machine; the plus point is arising in you. That awareness will help you to become man.
Only when you are aware, are you man. Fully aware, you are fully man. Fully unaware, you are a machine.