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Buddhas And Fools

Third Question



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The third question:

Question 3


This is a metaphysical question, a very logical question, but if you become a little existential the question dissolves. If you can be here without the 'I', why can't you be in other lives without the 'I'? If you can exist for seventy years without an 'I', an ego, why can't you exist for many lives, what is the problem? The problem arises in the mind that without the 'I' who will go to enter into another womb when the body dies?

This is just a cluster of thoughts, nothing else. Thoughts are things. Thoughts are not nothings. Your being is a non-being; thoughts are material, they are things. That's why thoughts can be recorded -- they are things; and thoughts can be read -- they are things. Even if you have not asserted a thought it can be read from the outside. It is a thing inside your head, alive, substantial.

A thought is a thing. The cluster of thoughts is the ego. When you die just a cluster of thoughts is released, and that cluster of thoughts and desires and emotions and everything that you have done and thought that you have done, and the dreams and the hopes and the frustrations -- that cluster moves into another womb.

This cluster has a center, this center is the ego. If you want not to be born again you will have to know while alive in this life that the cluster of thoughts is not a 'one-phenomenon', it is just a crowd and it has no center in it. You will have to know atomic thoughts. Thoughts are like atoms: if you watch them with alertness you can see every thought is separate from the other. Between two thoughts there is an interval, a space, they are not joined together. They appear joined together because you are not very alert. It is just like when a man has a torch in his hand and moves his hand fast, round and round and round -- you will see a circle of fire. The circle doesn't exist because the torch is only at one point at one time, then at another point at another time. The circle of fire doesn't exist, but the torch moves so fast that you cannot see the gaps, you see a circle.

Thoughts move fast. Their fastness creates the feeling that they are joined together, that a circle is created, but this is just a feeling. There are only two ways to go beyond it. One is to bring thoughts down to a slow movement so they don't move too fast. Let them slow down a little. That's why I insist: Don't be in a hurry, don't be tense. Move at a slow pace, move non-tense, unhurried, because if you are unhurried, thoughts cannot go against you, they are part of you. If you are deeply patient thoughts cannot move faster than you, they become slower. When thoughts are slower, the torch moves slow, you can see that the circle doesn't exist -- it was an appearance only. When thoughts move slowly you can see that there are gaps, that thoughts are atoms and nothing joins them together.

So one way is to slow down and another way is to become more aware. If you are more aware you have a more penetrating vision, a more penetrating insight. Work both ways. Become more alert, don't move like a sleeping man, don't be a somnambulist. Everybody is. You are moving in life as if you are asleep; you do things but only a part is awake, ninety-nine per cent of you is asleep. You don't know what you are doing, why you are doing it, why it is happening. You go on and on as if hypnotized by something. It is a great hypnosis.

Nobody else has hypnotized you, it is an auto-hypnosis. You have hypnotized yourself. You can do it easily -- just sit before the mirror and look into your own eyes and you will be hypnotized by yourself. You will fall asleep, you will fall into a coma. The same has happened through millions of lives: unalert, impatient, running faster and faster and becoming more and more asleep -- you cannot see.

Just become a little patient. That's why coming to the East helps. In the West it is difficult to slow down, the whole of life is moving at such a speed that you cannot slow down -- otherwise you will be out of life, you will be a misfit. In the East, if you go to the villages, life moves so slowly that if you move fast you will be a misfit, you will find yourself alone, nobody is going with you. Life moves slowly. In the old days when life was moving slowly on the whole of the earth, to understand oneself was very easy because you could see easily. You could close your eyes and you could see vast spaces between two thoughts -- just as there is a vast space between two atoms.

I have heard a story about the future. A man was travelling and he came to a station where he tried to get down. He called many porters. The other passengers were simply wondering why he was calling the porters because they had not seen any luggage with him. He had only a matchbox and a packet of cigarettes, that's all. They had not seen anything else, so why was he calling?

He called a dozen porters and then said: Carry this matchbox. People started laughing -- but in that matchbox was a complete car, compressed.

Scientists say that an elephant can be compressed, because in the elephant atoms are few and vast spaces are more. Just as you can compress cotton, an elephant can be compressed, and it can fit into a matchbox. A whole railway train can be compressed. Space has to be taken out, then it can be put into a matchbox and that will be a very easy transportation of things.

A man can also be compressed. Someday they will do it because if you want to travel to the moon or to Mars it will be difficult to carry so many people because it will be very costly. The only way will be to first compress the passengers, and then, when they have reached the moon, to puff them up again.

Much space exists. Much space exists, not only in Sushila, in everybody -- much space It can be got out. You can be compressed. All the stars and all the planets can be compressed into a small room, if all the space is taken out. The whole world is full of space, atoms are few.

Then there is another problem: if you move into the atom, there are again spaces. Between two atoms there is space, vast space, and if you move into the atom, then there is space between electrons, vast spaces again.

Now scientists have become a little scared about the whole thing. Matter has completely disappeared. Just at the beginning of this century they were declaring that God is dead -- but God is not dead. All that has happened within fifty years is that matter is dead. They chased matter hard, they chased matter from molecules to atoms, from atoms to electrons, and suddenly they are standing in a nothingness -- no matter.

The same has happened in the East: we never bothered about matter, we bothered about the soul, and we chased the soul from the body to the mind, from the mind to the being. Then a moment came when everything disappeared -- there was only nothingness. That is what I mean when I say: You are a non-being, ANATTA. That's what Buddha says: Nothing exists within you, just an infinite nothingness.

Physics has reached the same point that metaphysics had reached before it -- nothingness. And it seems that nothingness is not absolutely nothing; on the contrary, we can now understand that nothingness is a state of 'everythingness', non-being is a state of being -- unmanifest and manifest. When a thing becomes manifest, then it is matter, when it becomes unmanifest it is space. When something becomes manifest, it is the ego, and when something becomes unmanifest it is non-being, ANATTA.

Matter is clusters of atoms and ego is clusters of thoughts. If you go deep into matter, matter disappears, if you go deep into thoughts, ego disappears. Then who moves? Nobody, but the movement is there. From one life to another the movement is there, but nobody is there as the mover, just a cluster of thoughts.

Have you ever watched a man dying? You must have. Next time you hear that somebody is dying or somebody is dead, go there immediately and sit, and just try to feel what is happening. If you watch the man dying you will feel many things happening in you because the dying man releases all his thoughts. Now this house is no longer safe; the thoughts start leaving as if the nest is no longer safe, the birds are on the wing. This house is no longer useful, it is dangerous to be in it, it can collapse, any moment it is going to collapse, so everybody is leaving. All thoughts are on the wing. If a good man is dying, sitting nearby him you will feel a sudden awakening of goodness within you; if a bad man is dying, you will feel suddenly an awakening of badness in you. If a very evil man is dying, you will feel that you are becoming evil; if a saint is dying, suddenly you feel an innocence arising in you that you have never known before. The dead man will create the whole atmosphere around you -- his thoughts are moving; a cluster of thoughts are moving, like a cluster of birds. Soon they will descend into another womb -- somewhere a couple will be making love. All over the world, every single moment, millions of people are making love. They are the opportunities for this cluster of thoughts to enter a womb, to get a new house. If you have understood before your death that thoughts are separate, that they have infinite spaces within them, intervals; if while you were alive the ego has been dissolved, and you have come to know that there is no ego, nothing like 'me' inside; then you will die without the desire to be born again because you know it is futile. All desires disappear when you know that there is no ego. You don't desire, you simply die. Without the gluing force of desire, thoughts are released, but they can't make a cluster.

The gluing force is desire, it glues every thought to another and makes a whole of them. If desire is not there thoughts will disappear, they will move into the infinite sky but not as a cluster, as separate atoms, and you have disappeared completely.

This disappearance is NIRVANA; but one has to know it before death. One has to die before death. The whole art of religion is how to die -- but then how to live is implied because you can die rightly only if you have lived rightly. When I say rightly, I don't mean a good life, When I say rightly, I mean a meditative life. When I say a right life, I don't mean a moral life, I mean a very, very understanding life, aware, alert.

It is difficult, unless you come inside yourself and know that nobody exists there. It will not be possible to understand how you have been passing through many lives without anybody being there; unless you come inside yourself.

Have you ever seen a fire catching a town? Have you seen that from one house the fire jumps to another house? How does it jump from one house to another house? Just because of the wind. If the wind is not there it cannot jump to another house. Just a flame without any fuel jumps from one house to another. Only wind is needed, flowing wind is needed, and on the wings of the wind the flame is carried. A flame is absolutely non-material, within a second it will be there no more. It jumps and catches another house, and the whole house is burnt.

In the same way, whatsoever you call your soul is nothing but a flame of desire. When a man dies, the desire to be born again, the desire not to die is the wind; and the cluster of thoughts on the wings of this wind of desire jumps into another womb, another house.

If you have understood it while alive, then there is no wind to take you anywhere, the desire is no longer there. The thoughts will disappear into existence as individual atoms and you will not be born again. Then, then you are one with existence; then there is no need to be separate again and again and no need to suffer again and again -- separation is the suffering.


Next: Chapter 4, Buddhas And Fools, Fourth Question


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Chapter 4






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