The Cause of your Misery

First Question




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


The first question:

Question 1


It looks paradoxical, it is not -- because you can understand only when you have transcended. While you are in a certain state of mind, you cannot understand that state of mind; you are so involved in it, you are so much identified with it. For understanding space is needed, a distance is needed, and there is no distance. When you transcend a state of mind, only then you become able to understand it because then there is distance. You are standing aloof, separate. You can look now, unidentified. There is perspective now.

While you are in love you cannot understand love. You may feel it, but you cannot understand it. You are so much in it. For understanding, aloofness, detached aloofness is needed. For understanding you need to be an observer. While you are in love the observer is lost. You have become a doer; you are a lover. You cannot be a witness to it. Only when you transcend love, when you are enlightened and gone beyond love, you will be able to understand it.

A child cannot understand what childhood is. When childhood is lost, you can look back and understand. Youth cannot understand what youth is. Only when you have become old and are capable of looking back, aloof, distant, then you will be able to understand it. Whatsoever is understood, is understood only by transcendence. Transcendence is the base of all understanding. That's why it happens every day -- you can give advice, good advice, to somebody else who is in trouble; in the same trouble, if you are, you cannot give that good advice to yourself.

Somebody else is in trouble, you have space to look, observe; you can witness. You can give a good advice. When you are in the same trouble, you will not be so capable. You can be if even then you can be detached. You can be if even then you can look at the problem as if you are not in the problem, outside, standing on a hill and looking down.

Any problem can be solved if even for a single moment you are out of it and can look at it as a witness. Witnessing solves everything. But while you are deep in any state it is difficult to be a witness. You are so much identified. While in anger you become anger. No one is left behind who can see, observe, watch, decide. No one is left behind. While in sex you have moved completely. There is no center now, uninvolved.

In Upanishads it is said that a person who is watching himself is like a tree upon which two birds are sitting -- one bird just jumping, enjoying, eating, singing, and another bird just sitting on the top of the tree looking at the other bird.

If you can have a witnessing self on the top which goes on looking at the drama below where you are the actor, where you participate, dance and jump and sing and talk and think and get involved; if somebody deep in you can go on looking at this drama; if you can be in such a state where you are also playing as an actor on the stage and simultaneously sitting in the audience looking at it; if you can be the actor and the audience both -- then witnessing has come in. This witnessing will make you capable of knowing, of understanding, of wisdom.

So it looks paradoxical. If you go to Buddha he can move into deep details of your problems, not because he is in the problem, only because he is not in the problem. He can penetrate you. He can put himself in your situation and still remain a witness.

So those who are in the world cannot understand the world. Those who have gone beyond it, only they understand it. So whatsoever you want to understand, go beyond it. This appears paradoxical. Whatsoever you want to know, go beyond it -- only then knowledge will happen. Moving as an insider in anything you may collect much information, but you will not become a wise man.

You can practice it moment to moment. You can do both: be the actor and be the audience both. When you are angry you can shift the mind. This is a deep art, but if you try, you will be able. You can shift.

For a single moment you can be angry. Then get detached, look at the anger, at your own face in the mirror. Look what you are doing; look what is happening around you; look what you have done to the others, how they are reacting. Look for a moment, then again be angry, move into the anger. Then, again, become an observer. This can be done, but then very deep practice is needed.

You try it. While eating, for one moment become the eater. Enjoy, become the food, become the eating -- forget that there is anyone who can look at it. When you have moved enough, then for a single moment move away. Go on eating, but start looking at it -- the food, the eater, and you standing above looking at it.

Soon you will become efficient, and you can shift the gears of the mind from the actor to the audience, from the participant to the onlooker. And then this will be revealed to you, that through participation nothing is known; only through observation things become revealed and known. That's why those who have left the world, they have become the guides. Those who have gone beyond, they have become the Masters.

Freud used to say to his disciples... It is very difficult because Freud's disciples, the psychoanalysts, they are not men who have transcended. They live in the world. They are just experts. But even Freud has suggested to them that while listening to a patient, to someone who is ill, mentally ill, "You remain detached. Don't get emotionally involved. If you get involved, then your advice is futile. Just remain a spectator."

Even it looks very cruel. Somebody is crying, weeping, and you can also feel because you are a human being. But Freud said, "If you are working as a psychiatrist, as a psychoanalyst, you remain uninvolved. You look at the person as if he is just a problem. Don't look at him as if he is a human being. If you look at him as a human being, you are immediately involved; you have become a participant, then you cannot advise. Then whatsoever you say will be prejudiced. Then you are not outside it."

It is difficult, very difficult, so Freudians have been doing it through many ways. The Freudian psychoanalyst will not face the patient directly, because when you face a person it is difficult to remain uninvolved. If you look in the eyes of a person, you enter him. So the Freudian psychoanalyst sits behind a curtain, and the patient lies on a couch.

That too is very significant, because Freud came to understand that if a person is Lying down and you are sitting or standing, not looking at him, there is less possibility to get involved. Why? A person Lying down becomes a problem, as if on the surgeon's table. You can dissect him. And ordinarily, this never happens. If you go to meet a person, he will not talk to you Lying down and you sitting, unless he is a patient, unless he is in the hospital.

So Freud insists that his patient should lie down on the couch. So the psychoanalyst goes on feeling that the person is a patient, ill. He has to be helped. He is rot really a person but a problem, and you need not get involved with him. And he should not face the person, he should not face the patient -- just hiding behind a curtain, he will listen to him. Freud says don't touch the patient, because if you touch, if you take the patient's hand in your hand, there is possibility you may get involved.

These precautions had to be taken because psychoanalysts are not enlightened persons. But if you go to a Buddha, there is no need for you to lie down, there is no need to hide you behind a curtain. There is no need for Buddha to remain conscious that he is not to get involved; he cannot get involved. Whatsoever the case, he remains uninvolved.

He can feel compassion for you, but he cannot be sympathetic, remember this. And try to understand the distinction between sympathy and compassion. Compassion is from a higher source. Buddha can remain compassionate towards you. He understands you -- that you are in a difficulty -- but he is not sympathetic with you because he knows it is because of your foolishness that you are in difficulty, it is your stupidity that you are in difficulty.

He has compassion; he will try in every way to help you to come out of your stupidity. But your stupidity is not something with which he is going to sympathize. So in a way he will be very warm and in a way he will be very cold. He will be warm as far as his compassion is concerned and he will be absolutely cold as far as sympathy is concerned.

And, ordinarily, if you go to Buddha you will feel he iS cold -- because you don't know what compassion is and you don't know the warmth of compassion. You have known only the warmth of sympathy, and he is not sympathetic. He looks cruel, cold. If you cry and weep, he is not going to cry and weep with you. And if he cries, then there is no possibility that help can come from him to you. He is in the same position. He cannot cry, but you will feel hurt that, "I am crying and weeping, and he remains just like a statue, as if he has got no heart." He cannot sympathize with you. Sympathy is from the same mind towards the same mind. Compassion is from a higher source.

He can look at you. You are transparent to him, totally naked; and he knows why you are suffering. You are the cause, and he will try to explain the cause to you. And if you can listen to him, the very act of listening will have helped you much.

It looks paradoxical; it is not. Buddha has also lived like you. If not in this life, then in some previous lives. He has moved through the same struggles. He has been stupid like you, he has suffered like you, he has struggled like you. For many, many lives he was on the same path. He knows all the agony, all the struggle, the conflict, the misery. He is aware, more aware than you, because now all the past lives are before his eyes -- not only his, but yours also. He has lived all the problems that any human mind can live, so he knows. And he has transcended them, so now he knows what are the causes and he also knows how they can be transcended.

And he will help in every way to make you understand that you are the cause of your miseries. This is very hard. This is the most difficult thing to understand that "I am the cause of my miseries." This hits deep; one feels hurt. Whenever someone says someone else is the cause, you feel okay. And that person looks sympathetic. If he says, "You are a sufferer, a victim, and others are exploiting you, others are doing damage, others are violent," you feel good. But this goodness is not going to last. It is a momentary consolation, and dangerous, at a very great cost, because he is helping your cause of misery.

So those who look sympathetic towards you are your enemies really, because their sympathy helps your cause to be strengthened. The very source of misery is strengthened. You feel that you are okay and the whole world is wrong -- misery comes from somewhere else.

If you go to a Buddha, to an enlightened person, he is bound to be hard, because he will force you to the fact that you are the cause. And once you start feeling that you are the cause of your hell, the transformation has already started. The moment you feel this, half work is already done. You are already on the path; you have already moved. A great change has come over you.

Half the miseries will suddenly disappear once you understand that you are the cause, because then you cannot cooperate with them. Then you will not be so ignorant to help to strengthen the cause which creates miseries. Your cooperation will break. Miseries will still continue for a while just because of old habits.

Once Mulla Nasruddin was forced to come to the court because he has been found again drunk on the street. The magistrate said, "Nasruddin, I remember seeing you so many times for this same offence. Have you got any explanation for your habitual drunkenness?" Nasruddin said, "Of course, your Honor. I have an explanation for my habitual drunkenness. This is my explanation: habitual thirst."

Even if you become alert, the habitual pattern will force you for a while to move in the same direction. But it cannot persist for long; the energy is no more there. It can continue as a dead pattern, but by and by it will wither away. It needs every day to be fed, it needs every day to be strengthened. Your cooperation is needed continuously.

Once you become alert that you are the cause of your miseries, the cooperation has dropped. So whatsoever I say to you is just to make you alert of a single fact -- that wherever you are, whatsoever you are, you are the cause. And don't get pessimistic about it, this is very hopeful. If somebody else is the cause, then nothing can be done.

Because of this, Mahavira denies God. Mahavira says there is no God because if there is God, then nothing can be done. Then he is the cause of everything, then what can I do? Then I become helpless. He has created the world; he has created me. If he is the creator then only he can destroy. And if I am miserable, then he is responsible and I cannot do anything.

So Mahavira says if there is God, then man is helpless. So he says, "I don't believe in God." And the reason is not philosophical; the reason is very psychological. The reason is so that you cannot make anybody responsible for you. Whether God exists or not, that is not the question.

Mahavira says, "I want you to understand that you are the cause of whatsoever you are." And this is very hopeful. If you are the cause, you can change it. If you can create the hell, you can create the heaven. You are the master.

So don't feel hopeless. The more you make others responsible for your life, the more you are a slave. If you say, "My wife is making me angry," then you are a slave. If you say your husband is creating trouble for you, then you are a slave. Even if your husband is creating trouble, you have chosen that husband. And you wanted this trouble, this type of trouble -- it is your choice. If your wife is making hell, you have chosen this wife.

Somebody asked Mulla Nasruddin, "How you came to know your wife? Who introduced you?" He said, "It just happened. I cannot blame anybody."

Nobody can blame anybody. And it is not just happening, it is a choice. A particular type of man chooses a particular type of woman. It is not accident. And he chooses for particular reasons. If this woman dies, he will again choose the same type of woman. If he divorces this woman, again he will marry the same type of woman.

You can go on changing wives, but unless the husband changes there can be no real change -- only names change -- because this man has a choice. He likes a particular face, he likes a particular nose, he likes particular eyes, he likes particular behavior.

And that's a complex thing. If you like a particular nose -- because a nose is not just a nose. It carries anger, it carries ego, it carries silence, it carries peace, it carries many things -- if you like a particular nose, you may be liking a person who can force you to be angry. An egotist person has a different type of nose. It may look beautiful. It looks beautiful only because you are in search of somebody who can create a hell around you. And sooner or later things will follow. You may not be able to connect, you may not be able to link. Life is complex, and you are so much involved in it that you cannot connect. You will be able only to see when you transcend.

It is just like as you flying in an aircraft over and above Bombay. The whole Bombay appears, the whole pattern. If you live in Bombay and move in the streets, you cannot look at the whole pattern. The whole Bombay cannot be seen by those who live in Bombay. It can be seen only by those who fly above. Then the whole pattern appears. Then things fall into a pattern. Transcendence means going beyond human problems. Then you can enter and see.

I have looked through many, many persons. Whatsoever they do, they are not aware what they are doing. They become aware only when results come. They go on dropping the seed in the soil; they are not aware. But only when they will have to crop they will become aware. And they cannot connect that they are the source and they are the reapers.

Once you understand that you are the cause, you have moved on the path. Now many things become possible. Now you can do something about the problem that is your life. You can change it. Just by changing yourself, you can change.

One woman came to me -- belongs to a very rich family, a very good family, cultured, refined, educated. She asked me, "If I start meditating, will it in any way disturb my relationship with my husband?" And she herself said, before I answered her, "I know it is not going to disturb because if I become better more silent and more loving -- how it can disturb my relationship?"

But I told her that, "You are wrong. The relationship is going to be disturbed. Whether you become good or bad, that is irrelevant. You change, one partner changes -- the relationship is to be disturbed. And this is the miracle; that if you become bad, the relationship will not be disturbed so much. If you become good and better, the relationship is just going to be shattered, because when one partner falls down and becomes bad, the other feels better comparatively. It is not a hurt to the ego. Rather, it is ego-satisfying."

So a wife feels good if the husband starts drinking because now she becomes a moral preacher. Now she dominates him more. Now, whenever he enters in the house he enters like a criminal. And just because he drinks, everything that he is doing becomes wrong. That much is enough because the wife can bring that argument again and again from anywhere. So everything is condemned.

But if a husband or a wife becomes meditative, then there will be even deeper problems because the other's ego will be hurt -- one is becoming superior, and the other will try in every way not to allow this to happen. He will create all troubles possible. And even if it happens, he will try not to believe in it, that it has happened. He will prove that this has not happened yet. He will go on saying that, "You are meditating for years and nothing has happened. What is the use of it? Useless. You still get angry, you still do this and that, you remain the same." The other will try to force that nothing is happening. This is a consolation.

And if really something has happened, if the wife or the husband has really changed, then this relationship cannot continue. It is impossible unless the other is also ready to change. And to get ready to change oneself is very difficult because it hurts the ego. It means whatsoever you are, you are wrong. Only then a need for change is there.

So nobody ever feels that he has to change: "The whole world has to change, not I. I am the right, absolute right, and the world is wrong because it doesn't suit to me." All the effort of all the Buddhas is very simple: it is to make you aware that wherever you are, whatsoever you are, you are the cause.


Next: Chapter 10, The Cause of your misery: Second Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali






Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



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