68. As a hen mothers her chicks, mother particular knowings, particular doings, in reality.
69. Since, in truth, bondage and freedom are relative, these words are only for those terrified with the universe. this universe is a reflection of minds. as you see many suns in water from one sun, so see bondage and liberation.
H ui-neng had asked a person, “What is the problem? What are the roots so that man can be solved and man can make some efforts to know who he is?”
Why shouldn’t he know without any effort? Why should there be any problem at all? You are, you know you are — so why can’t you know who you are? Where do you miss? You are conscious. You are conscious that you are conscious. A life is there; you are alive. Why are you not aware who you are? What becomes the barrier? What prevents you from this basic self-knowledge? If you can understand the barrier, the barrier can be dissolved very easily.
So the real question is not how to know oneself. The real question is to know how you are not knowing yourself, how you are missing such an obvious reality, such a basic truth which is so near to you, how you go on not seeing. You must have created a device; otherwise it is difficult to escape from oneself. You must have created walls; you must, in some sense, be deceiving yourself.
So what is that trick of escaping from oneself, of not knowing oneself? If you don’t understand that trick, whatsoever you do will not be of any help — because the trick remains, and you go on asking how to know oneself, how to know the truth, how to know the reality, and consequently you go on helping the barrier. You go on creating it also, so whatsoever you do will be of no use.
Really, nothing positive is needed to know oneself, only something negative. In a way, you have only to destroy the barrier that you yourself have constructed, and the moment that barrier is not there you will know. Knowing happens when the barrier is not; you cannot make any positive effort for it. You have just to be aware of how you are missing it.
So a few things have to be understood as to how you are missing it. One: you live in your dreams, and then dreams become barriers. Reality is not a dream. It is there, you are surrounded by it everywhere. Inside and outside, it is there — you cannot miss it — but you are dreaming. Then you move in a different dimension which is not a reality. Then you go on moving in a dreamworld. Then dreams become like clouds around you, and they create the barrier. Unless mind ceases dreaming, the truth cannot be known. And when you see through dreams the reality is distorted, and your eyes are filled with dreams, and your ears are filled with dreams, and your hands are filled with dreams.
So whatsoever you touch is touched through the dreams, and whatsoever you see is seen through dreams, and whatsoever you hear is heard through the dreams, and you distort everything. Whatsoever reaches you, reaches through dreams, and they change everything, they color everything. Because of the dreaming mind you are missing the reality outside and the reality inside. You can go on finding ways and means how to come to reality, but you will be trying that too through your dreaming mind. So you can dream religious dreams — you can dream dreams about reality, about truth, about God, about Christ and Buddha — but that too will be dreaming. Dreaming must cease, and dreaming cannot be used to know reality.
What do I mean when I say “dreaming”? You are hearing right now, but a dream is there, and that dream is constantly interpreting what is being said. You are not hearing me; you are hearing yourself, because simultaneously you are interpreting — are you not? You are thinking about what is being said. What is the need to think? Just hear, don’t think, because if you think you cannot hear, and if you go on thinking and hearing, then whatsoever you hear is your own noise. Then it is not what is being said. Stop thinking; let the passage of hearing be clear of thoughts. Then that which is said will be heard.
When looking at the flower, stop dreaming. Don’t allow your eyes to be filled with thoughts and dreams about the past and future, with what you know about flowers. Don’t even say that “This flower is beautiful,” because then you are missing the reality. These words will become a barrier. You say, “This flower is beautiful,” and words have come in: the reality is interpreted through the words. Don’t allow words to gather around you. Look directly, hear directly and touch directly.
When you touch someone, just touch; don’t say that the skin is beautiful, smooth. Then you are missing, you have moved in dream. Whatsoever the skin is, it is here now. Touch it and allow the skin itself to be revealed to you. You look at a beautiful face. Look at it, and allow the face to enter itself. Don’t interpret it, don’t say anything. Don’t bring your past mind in.
The first thing: dreams are created by your past mind. It is the past mind continuously moving around you. Don’t allow the past to come in and then don’t allow the future. The moment you see a beautiful face, a beautiful body, immediately desire arises. You want to possess. You see a beautiful flower and you want to pluck it. Then you have moved. The flower is there, but you have moved into desire, into the future. Now you are not here. So either you are in the past which is not, or you are in the future which has not come yet, and you are missing that which is there right now.
So the first thing to remember: words should not be allowed to exist between you and reality. With less words there are less barriers; with no words there are no barriers. And then you face reality directly; immediately you are face to face. Words destroy everything because they change the very meaning.
I was reading someone’s biography. She was describing one day after just coming out of her bed. The woman writes that “One day, in the morning, I opened my eyes.” Then immediately, she says, “But it is not right to say that I opened my eyes. `I’ didn’t do anything. The eyes opened by themselves.” She changes the sentence and she writes, “No, it is not good to say that I opened my eyes. I did not do anything. There was no effort on my part; it was not an action at all.” Then she writes, “The eyes opened by themselves.” But then she feels this is too absurd because the eyes belong to her, so how can they open themselves? So what to do?
Language never says what is. If you say, “I opened my eyes,” it is a lie. If you say, “The eyes opened by themselves,” it is a lie again, because eyes are just fragments. They cannot open themselves. The whole organism is involved. And whatsoever we say is like that. If you go to aboriginal societies in India — and there are many aboriginal tribes — they have a different language structure. Their language structure is more basic and more real, but they cannot create much poetry. Their language structure cannot be helpful for dreaming.
If it is raining, we say, “It is raining.” They ask, “What do you mean by `it’? What do you mean by `it’?” They have simply the word rain. What do you mean by “it”? What is raining? They just say “rain.” Rain is the reality, but we go on adding things — and the more words are added, the more we are lost, far away, thrown far away from reality.
Buddha used to say, “When you say, `A man is walking,’ what do you mean? Where is the man? Only the walking is. What do you mean by `the man’?” When we say, “A man is walking,” it appears that there is something like a man and something like walking — two things added together. Buddha says there is walking.
When you say, “The river is flowing,” what do you mean? There is just flowing, and that flowing is the river. The walking is the man, the seeing is the man, standing and sitting is the man. If you eliminate all these — walking, sitting, standing, thinking, dreaming — will there be a man left behind? There will be no man behind. But language creates a different world, and by constantly moving into words we go on moving away.
So the first thing to remember is how not to allow words unnecessarily. When there is a need, you can use them, but when there is no need remain empty, remain non-verbal, MOUNA, remain silent. There is no need to be constantly verbalizing things.
Secondly, don’t project. Don’t verbalize, don’t project. Look at what is there. Don’t add things and then look. You see a face. When you say, “It is beautiful,” you are putting something into it, or if you say, “It is ugly,” you are again putting something into it. A face is a face. Beauty and ugliness are your interpretations. They are not there, because the same face may be beautiful to someone and ugly to someone else, and to a third it may be neither. He may be indifferent; he may not even look at it — at the same face. The face is simply a face. Don’t put things into it; don’t project. Your projections are your dreams, and if you project then you miss. And this is happening every day.
You see that a face is beautiful; then desire is created. The desire is not for that face or that body; it is for your own interpretation, your own projection. The person that is there, the real person, has been used as a screen, and you have projected yourself. And then disillusion is bound to be there because the real face cannot be forced into unreality by your projection. Sooner or later the projection will have to be dropped, and the real face will come out, and then you will feel that you have been cheated. You will say, “What has happened to this face? This face was so beautiful and this person was so beautiful, and now everything has gone ugly.” Again you are interpreting. The person remains whatsoever he is, but your interpretations and projections go on, and you are never allowing energy to assert itself. You go on suppressing it. You are suppressing inwardly and outwardly also. You never allow the reality to assert itself.
I am reminded that one day a neighbor asked Mulla Nasruddin whether he could have his horse for a few hours. The Mulla said, “I would gladly give my horse to you, but my wife has gone with the horse and they will be out for the whole day.” Just at this moment the neigh of the horse was heard from the stable, so the man looked at Mulla Nasruddin. Nasruddin said, “Okay, whom do you believe — me or the horse? And the horse is a notorious liar to boot. Whom do you believe?”
We create an untrue world around us because of our projections, but if the reality asserts and the horse neighs from the stable, we ask, “Whom do you believe?” We always believe ourselves, not the reality that goes on asserting. It is asserting every moment, but we go on forcing our illusions. That is why every man feels disillusioned in the end. It is not because of reality. Every man and woman feels disillusioned in the end, as if the whole life has been a waste. But now you cannot do anything, you cannot undo it. Time is no more with you. Time has flown and death is near and you are disillusioned, and now the opportunity is lost.
Why does everyone feel disillusioned? Not only those who are unsuccessful in life, but those who are successful in life, they also feel the same. It is okay if unsuccessfuls feel disillusioned, but even those who succeed feel this way. Napoleons and Hitlers and Alexanders, they also feel disillusioned. The whole life has been a waste. Why? Is the cause really in reality, or is the cause in the dreams which you were projecting? And then you could not project them and the reality asserted itself, and ultimately reality wins and you are defeated. You can win only if you are not projecting.
So remember the second thing: look directly at things as they are. Don’t project, don’t interpret, don’t force your mind upon things. Allow the reality to assert itself, whatsoever it is. This is always good, and howsoever beautiful your dreams they are bad, because you are bound on a journey of disillusion. And the sooner you are disillusioned, the better, but once one illusion is gone, immediately you start creating another to replace it.
Allow a gap. Between two illusions, allow a gap. Allow an interval so the reality can be seen. This is very arduous — to look at the reality as it is. It may not be according to your desires. There is no need for it to be according to your desires. But then you have to live with reality, to live in it — and you ARE in it! It is better to come to terms with reality than to go on deceiving yourself, and you are not aware how you go on projecting. Someone says something, and you understand something else. And you base things on your understanding, and then you make a house of cards out of it, you create a palace of cards. It was never said! Something else was meant!
Always see what is there. Don’t be in a haste. It is better not to understand something than to misunderstand. It is better to remain ignorant consciously than to think that you know. Look into your relationships — at the husband, the wife, the friend, the teacher, the master, the servant — look! Everyone is thinking in his own ways, interpreting the other, and there is no meeting, no communication. Then they are fighting, in constant conflict. The conflict is not between two persons, the conflict is between false images. Be alert so that you don’t have any false image of anyone else. Remain with the real, howsoever hard, howsoever arduous and difficult, even if sometimes it seems impossible. But once you know the beauty of remaining with the real, you will never be a victim of dreaming.
And thirdly, why do you dream? It is a substitute. Dreaming is a substitute. If you cannot get whatsoever you desire in reality, then you start dreaming. For example, if you have fasted the whole day, in the night. You will dream: you will dream about food, of being invited by a great emperor, or some such thing. You will be eating and eating and eating in your dreaming. The whole day you were fasting, and now in the night you are eating. If you are sexually suppressive, then your dreams will become sexual. Through your dreams it can be known what you are suppressing in the day. Your daytime fast will be shown by your dream. Dreams are substitutes, and psychologists say that it will be difficult for man as he is to live without dreams. And they are right in a way. As man is it will be difficult to live without dreams, but if you want a transformation, then you have to live without dreams. Why are dreams created? Because of desires. Unfulfilled desires become dreams.
Study your desiring; be aware and observe it. The more you observe it, the more it will disappear. And then you will not create webs in the mind, and you will not move in a private world of your own. Dreams cannot be shared; even two intimate friends cannot share their dreams. You cannot invite anyone into your dreams. Why? You and your lover cannot both be in the same dream. Your dream is yours; another’s dream is another’s. They are private. Reality is not so private, only madness is private. Reality is universal, you can share it; you cannot share dreams. They are your private madness — fictions. So what is to be done?
One can, in the day, live so totally that nothing is left suspended. If you are eating, eat totally. Enjoy it so totally that you don’t need any dream in the night. If you are loving someone, love so totally that no love enters into your dreams. Whatsoever you do in the day, do it so totally that nothing is suspended on the mind, nothing is incomplete which has to be completed in dreams. Try this, and within a few months you will have a different quality of sleep. Dreams will go on becoming less and less, and deep sleep will deepen. And when in the night dreams are less, in the day projections will be less because, really, your sleep continues and your dream continues. With closed eyes in the night and with opened eyes in the day, they continue. Inside a current goes on.
Any moment, close your eyes and wait, and you will see that the film has come back; the dream is running. It is always there, just waiting for you. It is just like the stars in the day. They have not disappeared, but only because of the sunlight you cannot see them. They are there waiting, and when the sun will set they will start appearing.
Your dreams are just that way — moving within you even while you are awake. They are just waiting. Close your eyes, and they start functioning. When dreams are less in the night, in the day you will have a different quality of waking. If your night changes, your day changes; if your sleep changes, your waking changes. You will be more alert. With less dreams running within, you will be less asleep. You will look more directly.
So don’t leave anything suspended, that is one thing. And whatsoever you are doing, remain with the act. Don’t move anywhere else. If you are taking a shower, be there. Forget the whole world. Now this shower is the whole universe. Everything has ceased; the world has disappeared. There is only you and the shower. Remain there. Move with each act so totally that you are neither lagging behind nor jumping ahead; you are with the act. Then dreams will disappear, and with less dreaming you will be more able to penetrate the reality.