Chapter 8: The Profound and the Trivial

Question 1



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Question 1


THE QUESTION IS FROM DHRUVA, and the question is really significant. The question has arisen out of an insight, almost a mini-satori.

That's how life is, profound and trivial at the same time, simultaneously. There is no contradiction, Dhruva, in the profundity of life and its trivialness. You have been taught that the sacred is far away and it is never the profane. You have been taught a distinction between the profane and the sacred, between the profound and the trivial. In fact, there is no distinction. The trivial is the profound, the ordinary is the extraordinary, and the temporal is the eternal.

So this is a great insight. Don't lose sight of it. More possibility is there that you will lose it, because it will go against the grain. Your whole training has been such that you are always dividing: into good and bad, into the pure and the impure, the perfect and the imperfect, into virtue and sin, the holy and the unholy. You have always been making these distinctions, and because of distinctions you have missed the reality of that which is.

This cuckoo singing there and Christ speaking to you are not different. A leaf falling from the tree and a word falling from the lips of Buddha are not different. The very dust is divine. The distinction is man-made, it is a mind trick.

And because of these distinctions, these categories, we are never together, we cannot be together. How can you be together if you make such an unbridgeable gap between the profound and tHe trivial? Then you will find your whole life is trivial. Eating, drinking, sleeping, walking, going to the office or to the farm -- all is trivia.

Then where will you find the profound? In the church, in the temple, sometimes praying and meditating, sometimes listening to me? Then the profound will not be much in your life, and the profound will be, in a way, false. It will not permeate your whole life. It will not be there always with you. It will not surround you like a climate. Sometimes you will have to make an effort to have that quality of profundity, and again and again you will lose it. And you will become divided, schizophrenic; you will become two, split, and you will start condemning yourself.

Whenever you will see something trivial you will condemn yourself, that "I am just trivial, ordinary." And whenever you will see something profound you will start feeling holier than thou; you will start feeling very egoistic. Both are dangerous.

To feel that you are trivial is a condemnation. It creates an inferiority complex. It pulls you down into sadness. It forces you to remain depressed. And, naturally, you cannot love yourself: you are so trivial. You are so ordinary, how can you love yourself? You fall too short from the ideal of perfection. So a great condemnation arises in your being, and the moment you condemn yourself you are in hell. Then nobody can take you out of it. Even if somebody comes and says you are beautiful, you will not trust him. You will think he is trying to cheat you, bribe you. He is trying to exploit you. How can you be beautiful? You know yourself better than he knows you. You are not beautiful; you are ugly. You are the ugliest person in the world.

Because of this condemnation, love will not happen. How can you love anybody if you are feeling so condemned in yourself? And how can you allow somebody to love you if you are feeling so condemned? Love is impossible. When you live in self-condemnation you live in hell. Hell is not somewhere else: it is in your attitude; it is a condemning attitude.

When you accept yourself and you enjoy yourself, you are in heaven. Heaven is also an attitude.

And you can move from heaven and hell any moment you decide! And you go on moving; you swing between heaven and hell. Just understand that it is your creation.

So if you feel condemned because of your trivia, you will be in hell. And then sometimes you will start feeling very holy because you have done something great. You have saved a life -- somebody was drowning in the ocean and you saved him, and a child was caught in a house on fire and you jumped in and you risked your life, you have done something great -- then you will feel very egoistic. Ego is again hell.

To feel superior is to be in hell, to feel inferior is to be in hell. To drop all superiority, inferiority, and just to be is to be in heaven.

The idea of condemnation is also ego-oriented. People have impossible ideals. Just the other night Vishnu came; he writes again and again that "I am not perfect. What should I do?" that "I am imperfect," that "Whatsoever I do is imperfect." He is torturing himself because he is imperfect. But who is not imperfect? The very idea that "I should be perfect," is very egoistic. The very effort is egoistic. Nobody is perfect.

In fact, perfection cannot exist, by its very nature. To be perfect means to be dead. Then there will be no evolution, when you are perfect. Then how can you survive? For what? If God is perfect then God is dead. If God is imperfect only then is he alive and can be alive.

I preach the imperfect God, and I preach the imperfect existence, and I preach the beauty of imperfection and the life of imperfection. The very idea that "I have to be perfect," that "No flaw should be there in my life" is egoistic. And certainly you will find a thousand and one flaws.

So on one hand you are on an ego trip, which creates trouble, makes you miserable, because you are not perfect; and on the other hand the same trip creates condemnation. You want to be superior and you know that you are inferior: both are two aspects of the same coin. You remain in hell.

Enjoy your imperfection. Enjoy the way you are.

And drop all distinctions between the holy and the unholy, sin and virtue, good and bad, God and devil. Destroy all those distinctions. Those are the traps you are caught in. Those are the traps which don't allow you to live, don't allow you freedom. You cannot dance: one foot is encaged in inferiority, another foot is encaged in superiority. You are chained. How can you dance? Drop all these chains.

That's what Zen people say: "A hair's distinction, and heaven and hell are set apart." That's what Tilopa says. A little distinction, a hair's distinction, and hell and heaven are set apart, and you are caught in the duality. No distinction, and you are free. No distinction, is freedom.

The profundity of the trivial and the trivialness of the profound, that's what I teach.

Eating is trivial if you look from the outside. If you look from the inside it is profound, it is a miracle -- that you can eat bread and the bread is turned into blood, that it becomes your flesh, that it becomes your bones, that it even becomes your marrow. You eat bread, and the bread becomes your thoughts, dreams. It is a miracle. It is the profoundest thing that is happening. When you are eating, it is no ordinary thing. God is at work. It is creative. While chewing bread you are creating life, unknowingly, unconsciously. You are making a thousand and one things possible. Tomorrow you may paint: and that bread that you had eaten has become painting. Tomorrow you may sing, or right now you may do something which would not be possible if the bread was not there.

The Christian prayer is beautiful; it says, "God, give us our daily bread." Looks very trivial! What does Jesus mean when he says, "Pray every day,'Give us our daily bread"'? Couldn't he think of anything more profound? Bread? You just change the word "bread" and say every day in your prayer, "Lord, give us our daily tea," and you will see how foolish it looks. But the bread or tea or coffee -- or Coca-Cola!... yes, Coca-Cola too is divine.

Everything is divine -- because how can it be otherwise?

The prayer says, "Give us our daily bread." It is raising the trivial to the profound. It is a great statement. The Hindus have always been saying, "ANNAM BRAHMA" -- "Food is God." Raising the trivial to the profound. Looking into the trivial so deeply that it changes into the profound.

You are taking a shower. It is trivia, everyday business, but it can become profound. Just look deep into it. Just standing under the shower, and the water goes on flowing, and the body feels fresh and young and alive, and the water is a blessing. Because we are made out of water. A man is almost eighty percent water, and the first glimpse of life happened in the sea. The first thing that existed was the fish, and even now, in the mother's womb, the child floats in seawater, with almost the same ingredients, the same saltiness. That's why when a woman is pregnant she starts eating more salt; she needs more salt because the child needs seawater around him. The child is still a fish in the beginning, primary stage. Water is life, and when you are taking a shower life is showering on you -- eighty percent of life is showering on you, the most necessary element for life. No life is possible without water. These trees will not be there if the water is not, and these birds won't sing, and these animals won't be there and these men will not be there. All life will disappear if water disappears.

There is a profound experience when you are touched by water. You can make it so profound! It depends on you, how you go into it. It can become a meditation, a prayer. You can feel grateful, that God is great, that water is still available.

To breathe is so trivial, who bothers about it? But breath is your life. All languages have words for "life" which really mean "breath". Sanskrit has PRANA for "life"; it means "breath". The word "soul" means "breath"; the word "psyche" means "breath".

And the Bible says God made man and breathed life into him. Life started by breathing into man; otherwise man was just dust. "Adam" means "dust," "earth". God made Adam out of mud. "Adam" is the Hebrew word for "earth". Then he breathed life into him. And that's how life happens always. A child is born and the first thing we wait expectantly for is that he should cry. Why? Because only through crying will he start breathing. For two, three seconds even the doctor cannot breathe, the nurse cannot breathe. Whether the child is going to breathe or not, who knows? He may not breathe. If he is not going to breathe then there will be no life. If he breathes there will be life. Still the same happens as it happens with Adam: God breathes in the child, in each child.

God is the invisible force, the life energy that surrounds you. It enters through breath in you, and the day you die you will die through exhalation. You start life with inhalation, you stop life with exhalation; then you will not breathe anymore. Again Adam is adam, again dust is dust, dust unto dust.

Breath is life, but have you looked into it? Standing under the sun in the morning, breathe. It is God you breathe in. And then it becomes profound. It is your attitude.

The trivial and the profound are not two separate things. They are one, they are together, they are two aspects of one energy. Your life is trivia if you don't look deep. If you start looking deep your life is profound.

So Dhruva, it is a great insight. You say, "My experience of me is the most profound experience of my life. It is also the most trivial. Please clarify." Don't get confused. There is nothing to clarify. It is how life is: the trivial is the profound.

The question has arisen because Dhruva must have been thinking these are contradictions, the trivial and the profound. No, they are not contradictory; they are complementary. The trivial hides the profound. The trivial functions like a cover, like a crust; it protects the profound. It is almost like a seed. The seed is protecting the possibility of the tree. That possibility is very soft; the seed is hard. The hard seed, the hard crust of the seed, is protecting the softest possibility, of flowers, of a big tree. And the seed will protect it till the seed finds the right soil. Then the seed disappears, then the sheath disappears, then the hard crust dissolves into the earth and the soft life arises.

The profound is hidden in the trivial, so look deep. Wherever there is the trivial there is the profound. Don't escape from the trivial; otherwise you will be escaping from the profound. And don't seek the profound AGAINST the trivial; otherwise you will never find it.


Next: Chapter 8: The Profound and the Trivial, Question 2


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Chapter 8






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