Chapter 2: Become a flame, Question 5



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Question 5


It is from Amida. First, an anecdote...

A person was frighteningly ugly. Once he was asked how he could go on living with such a terrible face.

"Why should I be unhappy?" answered the man. "I never see my own face. Let others worry."

So Amida, you simply throw your mirrors -- that's all. And this is others' problem, not yours. They will come to me -- "What to do with Amida's faces?" But, one thing: all faces are funny, because deep down you have no face at all. That's why all faces are funny. Nobody is ever satisfied with their face; even the most beautiful people are not satisfied. You may think otherwise, but you don't know. Even Cleopatra was worried that her nose was a little longer than it should be. Marilyn Monroe committed suicide -- a beautiful woman, but not satisfied, not contented. There is something in it. All faces are funny because all faces are false. Deep down, your being is faceless. That's what Zen people call the original face. When a disciple comes to a Zen master, the master says, "Go and meditate upon your original face." And what is the original face? The face that you had before you were born and the face that you will have again when you are dead: find out that original face. It is not a face at all.

Have you ever thought about it? The shape of your face is given by the body. It can be changed by plastic surgery. And you will not be changed by the change of the face: your nose can be longer, shorter, your eyes can be different, eyebrows can be different -- much can be done now. And you will remain the same. So the face is not your being, it is just the shape of your body. It is not YOUR face. Have you got any face? Sometimes with closed eyes go deep into it... and you will be surprised to see you don't have any face. God has no face at all -- and you are gods and goddesses.

That's why one is never contented. One can never be contented with this face, howsoever beautiful. This face is not going to satisfy you unless you come to the original face, the facelessness of your being: purity with no shape, the formless, the attributeless. The form is of matter. The form is not of consciousness; consciousness is formless. Your body is a meeting-place of the form and the formless, of matter and consciousness. Your body is a container. The contained is you, and that contained has no face. So always, any face is funny. The very idea of having a face is funny because all faces are false. Face as such is false.

This hunger to be more than we are reminds me of a four-year-old who met an old friend of the family who had not seen the little lad for several years. "Oh, John," said the friend, "I'm surprised at how bit you are!" To which the boy replied, "Oh, but I'm bigger than this!"

"Bigger than this" --  you always have that feeling that you are bigger than this, that you are more beautiful than this, that you are more truthful than this, that you are more eternal than this. And because of this a great problem arises. Everybody looks at your face, and nobody can look deep into your being. And you are aware, a little aware of your being; you don't think you end with your face. You may think you start from there, but that is not the end. But for others that is the end, the terminal point.

You love a woman, and whatsoever you do she will never be satisfied, because she always feels she is bigger than this, more beautiful than you feel her. And the same is true about you -- the woman may love you very much but you know she has not yet known you; just on the periphery. 'I am bigger than this, I am more than this." So no relationship becomes satisfying -- cannot be. It cannot be, in the very nature of things, because you know something which is very great, tremendously great, huge, enormous... and the other knows only the face, the body form. You are reduced to a small thing -- and whatsoever his praise, it never comes to satisfy you. It cannot.

And, every child makes funny faces. Have you watched? Leave him in the bathroom and watch from the keyhole, and he will make funny faces. In fact he is enjoying having a face, trying to manipulate it in many ways, playing with it. And he can play because he is separate. When he is making a funny face, he knows "I am not this funny man. This face is only the face; I am behind it. This is just a mask." And even grown-up people do it in the bathroom. If nobody is watching, everybody is tempted to do a little.... In the mirror, one wants to make funny faces. Nothing wrong in it -- it simply shows that you cannot adjust yourself with the body, that the body is not all, that you are far beyond it, that you can play with the body like a mask. It is a mask.

In fact there are many old meditations which make use of making funny faces. You can make it a meditation -- in Tibet, it is one of the oldest traditions. Keep a big mirror: stand naked, make faces, do funny things -- and watch. Just doing it and watching for fifteen, twenty minutes, you will be surprised. You wills tart feeling you are separate from this. If you are not separate, then how can you do all these things? Then the body is just something in your hand -- you can play with it, this way and that. That's why I always say mimicry, mime, is a spiritual art. And soon we are going to open a small school of mime. If you can learn how to make faces, if you can act with your body in many ways, you will be suddenly freed from the body; your identity will be broken.

This is my experience. Many people come to me and ask, "Why do so many actors come to you?" My experience is this, that acting is one of the most spiritual professions in e world. Because an actor moves into so many actings -- sometimes he is this, sometimes that -- so many identities that he becomes loose. Then one day he suddenly starts thinking, "Who am I? One day I am Abraham Lincoln, another day I am George Washington, another day I become this and that," and every day he goes on changing. In one film he is one, in another film he is another. Sometimes he is a saint, and sometimes he is a sinner. Only then can he be a perfect actor.

You can ask Veeten, Veeten is here. You can ask Vijay Anand, Vinod -- they are my sannyasins. By and by he comes to know, a good actor comes to know, that all are acts. "Then who am I?" In ordinary life you are identified with one thing: you are a doctor, so you are a doctor -- morning, evening, night, you are a doctor; for thirty, forty years, you are a doctor -- you become fixed with the identity, with the role. It is a role too -- but you never change, so you become fixed. You forget; the role becomes your being. When a person has to change many roles, he becomes loose. by and by the question arises: Who am I? All these are roles -- then who am I? who is this man who some day becomes a sinner and some day becomes a saint? And some day plays the role of a murderer, and some day becomes a great lover? Who is this man? Who is this being behind all these actings?

To me, acting is one of the most spiritual professions. And if you take life as an acting, you will start moving towards spirituality. Take life as an acting, you will start moving towards spirituality. Take life as acting, a great drama. The world is a vast stage. You are a mother -- that is only one role. You are a father -- that is only one role. You are a businessman -- another role. You are a brother to somebody -- another role. You are a son, husband -- another role... a thousand and one roles if you watch. And you go on changing your faces. When your servant comes to see you, you have a different face. When your boos comes to see you, you have a different face. Watch it, become a little more alert, and you will see you have a thousand and one faces, continuously changing. It is automatic. You need not do anything -- they change automatically. You have become very skillful. Once you understand this, you start moving inwards where there is no face at all.

Amida, good. You make it a meditation. You start doing this meditation every day for twenty minutes. Find out new ways to make funny faces, funny postures -- do whatsoever you can do. And it will give you a great release; and you wills tart looking at yourself not as the body, not as the face, but as the consciousness. It will be helpful.


Next: Chapter 2: Become a flame, Question 6


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