79. Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up until the body burns to ashes but not you.
80. Meditate on the make-believe world as burning to ashes and become being above humanas,
81. As subjectively, letters flow into words and words into sentences, and as, objectively, circles flow into worlds and worlds into principles, find at last these converging in our being
All the enlightened ones, all the religions, agree on one thing only. Their disagreements are many, but there is one agreement amongst all, and that is that man, because of his ego, is closed to the reality. The ego is the only barrier; the feeling that I Am.
On this point Buddhas and Christs and Krishnas all agree. And because they all agree it seems to me that this is the basic thing in all religious endeavor. All else is accidental; this is essential — that you are debarred because of your own ego.
What is this ego? Of what does it consist? How does it arise? And why does it become so important?
Look at your mind — because you cannot understand the phenomenon of ego theoretically; you can only understand it existentially. Look at your mind, observe it, and you will come to a deep understanding. And if you can understand what the go is, there is no problem; it can be dropped easily. Rather, there is no need to drop it. If you can understand it, the very understanding becomes the dropping, because the ego is created through your non-understanding, it is created through your sleepiness.
If you become alert about it, if you focus your consciousness towards it, it disappears. It disappears — just as when you bring light in a room and the darkness disappears. Even if you bring light to look at darkness, to see what darkness is… if you bring light it disappears. The ego exists because you have never been alert to your existence; it is a shadow of your non-alertness. So really, there is no need to drop it. If you can look at it, it drops by itself.
What is it? Have you ever felt any moment when there is no ego? Whenever you are silent, the ego is not. Whenever your mind is in turmoil, chattering, restless, the ego is there. Whenever you are relaxed, silent and calm, the ego is not. Just now, if you are silent, where is the ego? You will be there, but no feeling of `I’. So try to understand it existentially.
Right now as I am speaking, you can observe the fact that if you are silent, totally alert, you are there, but with no feeling of `I’. And just the contrary happen: if you are troubled, in conflict, in anxiety, you feel a centered ego within you. When you are in anger, in passion, violent, aggressive, you feel a crystallized ego within you. Whenever you are in love, in compassion, it is not there.
That’s why we cannot love, because with the ego, love is impossible. That’s why we go on talking so much about love, but we never are in love. And whatsoever we call love is more or less sex, it is not love; because you cannot lose your ego, and love cannot exist unless the ego has disappeared. Love, meditation, God, they all require one thing — the ego must not be there. That’s why Jesus is right in saying that God is love, because both phenomena happen only when the ego is not.
If you know love, there is no need to know God — you have known him already. Love is just another name for it. If you know love, there is no need to go into meditation — you have gone already. Love is just another name for it. So many techniques of meditation are needed, and so many teachers, and so many schools of meditation are needed, because there is no love. If love exists, there is no need to practice anything, because the thing has happened already. And the thing is the disappearance of the ego.
So the first thing to be understood: whenever you are silent, the ego is not. And don’t believe in me. I am not talking about a theory; this is a fact. You need not take my opinion; you can observe it in yourself. And there is no need to postpone it for the future; right now you can observe the fact that if you are silent, you are — but with no limitation, with no center. You exist without the center, there is no crystallized I. The presence is there, the consciousness is there, but there is no one who can say `I am’.
When you are silent, the ego is not. And when you are not silent, the ego is. So ego is the disease, all diseases combined together, hence the emphasis to surrender the ego. The emphasis is to surrender the disease.
Secondly: if in silence, for even a single moment you have the glimpse of your existence as egoless, then you can analyze it, and then you can enter the phenomenon of ego, of what it is. Thew mind is accumulated past. The mind is never here, it is never now. It is always from the past. It is accumulation. Mind is memory: all the experiences that you have gone through, all the information that you have come across, all the knowledge that you have gathered, heard, listened to, read — that is accumulated. The mind is constantly accumulating.
The mind is the greatest accumulator; it goes on accumulating. Even while you are not conscious it goes on accumulating; even while you are asleep the mind is accumulating. You may not be aware of it. While you are asleep, and there is noise in the road, the mind is accumulating. You can be hypnotized in the morning and you can be asked about it, and you will say everything, you will relate everything — whatsoever the mind has accumulated in the night. Even if you have fallen in a coma, or you are unconscious, or you have fallen in a fit, the mind is accumulating.
The mind doesn’t need your consciousness to accumulate; it goes on accumulating. Even while you were in the womb of your mother the mind was accumulating. And through hypnosis the memories of your days in the womb of your mother can be awakened. You don’t remember anything about taking birth, but the mind was accumulating. Whatsoever was happening, the mind was accumulating. And now it can be awakened again. Through hypnosis the memory can be brought again to your focus. And millions of memories are being accumulated — this accumulation is the mind. Memory is the mind.
How is the I, the ego, created? The consciousness is within you, and around the consciousness all these memories are accumulated on the periphery. They are useful, and you cannot survive without them, they are needed, but then a new thing happens between these two, an epi-phenomenon.
Consciousness is within, you are within, without the I. There is no I within. You are, without a center. On the periphery, every moment knowledge, experience, memories, accumulate. This is the mind. And whenever you look at the world, you look through the mind. Whenever you pass through a new experience, you look through the memories, you interpret it through the memories. You look at everything through the past. The past becomes a mediator.
Constantly looking through the past, you get identified with it — that identification is the ego. Let me put it in this way: the identification of the conscious with the memories is the ego. You say `I am a Hindu’ or `I am a Christian’ or `I am a Jain’. What are you doing? No one is born as a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Jain. You are simply born as a human being. Then you are taught, then you are conditioned to think that you are a Christian, a Hindu, or a Jain. This is a memory. You have been taught that you are a Christian. This is a memory, and now, whenever you look through this memory, you feel, `I am a Christian.’
Your consciousness is not Christian; it cannot be. It is simply consciousness. You have been taught that you are a Christian. This teaching is accumulated on the periphery. Now you look through the glasses and the whole world is colored. Those glasses stick too much and too deeply with you, and you are never away from them, you never put them aside. You have become so accustomed to them that you have forgotten that there are spectacles on your eyes. Then you say, `I am a Christian.’
Whenever you get identified with any memory, any knowledge, any experience, any name and form, that I is born. Then you are young, you are old; you are rich, you are poor; you are beautiful or you are not beautiful; you are educated or you are not educated; you are respected or you are not respected — then you go on getting identified with things which accumulate around you and the ego is born. Ego is identification with the mind.
That’s why when you are silent the ego is not, because when you are silent the mind is not functioning. That’s what silence means. Whenever the mind is functioning you are not silent. You cannot be — the functioning of the mind is the inner noise, the chattering, the constant chattering within you. When the chattering stops, or it is not there, or you have gone beyond it, or you have gone within, moved within, there is silence, and in that silence there is no ego.
But it happens only sometimes, and only for a moment, that you are silent. That’s why you feel that those situations in which this happens are lovely. You start desiring those situations. You go to a hill, and while the sun is rising in the morning you look at it. Suddenly you have an upsurge of joy. You feel blissful, a beatitude descends upon you.
What has happened really? Because of the silent morning, and the silent rising of the sun, and the greenery, and the hill, suddenly your inner chattering has stopped. The phenomenon is so great — all around you such beauty, such peace and tranquility — that you have stopped for a moment. In that stopping you have realized a non-ego state — for a single moment of course.
This can happen through many situations. In sex it happens, in music it can happen; in anything which is so great that you are overwhelmed, overpowered, and your constant chattering is put aside, forced aside for a moment, it will come again. Whenever you are egoless, accidentally or through some practice, you feel a subtle bliss which you have not felt before.
The bliss is not coming from outside. It is not coming from the hills or from the rising sun or from beautiful flowers; it is not coming from the sex act. It is not coming from outside. The outside is only creating an opportunity — it is coming from inside. So if you repeat the outer situation again and again, it will not come, because you will get immune to it, you will get accustomed to it.
The same hill and the same morning… again you go there and you don’t feel. You feel something is missing. Because for the first time it was so new that it stopped your mind completely. The wonder was so great and the miracle was so new, you couldn’t continue with the past chattering. It stopped — just in awe it stopped — but next time you go there you know everything. There is no awe, no mystery — the mind continues. This happens with every experience. In any experience, if you feel a joy, it will be destroyed if you repeat it, because then, in a repeated experience, you cannot put aside the mind.
So the second thing to remember is that mind is accumulation. Your consciousness is just hidden behind this accumulated past, and you are identified with it. Whenever you say `I am this, I am that’, you are creating the ego.
Thirdly: if you can understand this, then the third point is not difficult, and that third point is that mind has to be used. There is no need to get identified; you can use it as an instrument — and it is an instrument. There is no need to get identified with it. Remain always above it.
And really, you are always above it, because you are here, now, always present, and mind is always past. You are always ahead of it. It is just lagging behind you; it is a shadow. This very moment is a new thing; your mind cannot have it. A moment later it will be absorbed in the memory; then the mind can have it. Every single moment you are free.
That’s why Buddha has emphasized the moment so much. He says, `Remain in the moment and there will be no mind.’ But the moment is very atomic, it is very subtle; you can miss it easily. The mind is always the past — whatsoever you have known — and the reality that is passing just now is not part of the mind. It will become part of the mind a moment later.
If you can be aware of the reality here and now, you will remain always transcendental to the mind. And if you can remain transcendental to the mind — always above, never entangled in it, using it, but never getting involved in it, using it as an instrument, never getting identified with it — the ego will disappear. You will be egoless, and when you are egoless, nothing else is to be done. Then all else happens to you. You have become vulnerable, you have become open. Then the whole existence happens to you, then all the ecstasies are yours, then suffering is impossible. Suffering comes through the ego. Bliss comes through the egoless gate.
Now we will enter the techniques — because these techniques are concerned with being egoless. Very simple techniques, but if you understand this background then you can do them, and much becomes possible through them.
Next Meditation Technique No. 79