Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. so, leaving aside concern for self, become each being.
FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF EACH PERSON AS YOUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS. In reality it is so, but it is not felt so. You feel your consciousness as yours, and others’ consciousnesses you never feel. At the most you infer that others are also conscious. You infer because you think that because you are conscious, other beings like you must be conscious.
This is a logical inference; you don’t feel them as conscious. It is just like when you have a headache you feel your headache, you have a consciousness of it. But if someone else has a headache, you infer — you cannot feel the other’s headache. You simply infer that whatsoever he is saying must be true and he must have something like you. But you cannot feel it.
The feeling can come only if you become conscious about others’ consciousnesses — otherwise it is a logical inference. You believe, you trust, that others are saying something honestly, and whatsoever they are saying is worth believing because you also have similar types of experiences.
There is a logical school which says that nothing can be known about the other, it is impossible. At the most there can be an inference but nothing certain can be known about others. How can you know that others have pain like you, that others have anxieties like you? Others are there but we cannot penetrate them, we can only just touch their surface. Their inner being remains unknown. We remain closed in ourselves.
The world around us is not a felt world, it is just inferred — logically, rationally. The mind says it is there but the heart is not touched by it. That is why we behave with others as if they are things not persons. Our relationship with persons is also as it is with things. A husband behaves towards his wife as if she is a thing: he possesses her. The wife possesses the husband just like a thing. If we behaved with the other as if they were persons then we would not try to possess them, because only things can be possessed.
A person means freedom. A person cannot be possessed. If you try to possess them, you will kill them, they will become things. Our relationship with others is really not an `I-thou’ relationship, deep down it is just an `I-it’ relationship. The other is just a thing to be manipulated, to be used, exploited. That is why love becomes more and more impossible, because love means taking the other as a person, as a conscious being, as a freedom, as something as valuable as you are.
If you behave as if everything is a thing, then you are the center and things are just to be used. The relationship becomes utilitarian. Things have no value in themselves — the value is that you can use them, they exist for you. You can be related to your house — the house exists for you. It is a utility. The car exists for you, but the wife doesn’t exist for you and the husband doesn’t exist for you. The husband exists for himself and the wife exists for herself. A person exists for himself; that is what being a person means. And if you allow the person to be a person and don’t reduce him to being a thing, you will by and by start feeling him. Otherwise you cannot feel. Your relationship will remain conceptual, intellectual, mind to mind, head to head — but not heart to heart.
This technique says, FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF EACH PERSON AS YOUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS. This will be difficult because first you have to feel the person as a person, as a conscious being. Even that is difficult.
Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This is the same thing — but the other must first become a person for you. He must exist in his own right, not to be exploited, manipulated, utilized, not as a means but an end in himself. First, the other must become a person; the other must become a `thou’, as valuable as you are. Only then can this technique be applied. FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF EACH PERSON AS YOUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS. First feel that the other is conscious, and then this can happen — you can feel that the other has the same consciousness that you have. Really, the `other’ disappears, only a consciousness flows between you and him. You become two poles of one consciousness flowing, of one current.
In deep love it happens that the two persons are not two. Something between the two has come into being and they have just become two poles. Something is flowing between the two. When this flow is there you will feel blissful. If love gives bliss, it gives bliss only because of this: that two persons, just for a single moment, lose their egos — the `other’ is lost and oneness comes into being just for as ingle moment. If it happens, it is ecstatic, it is blissful, you have entered paradise. Just a single moment, and it can be transforming.
This technique says that you can do this with every person. In love you can do it with one person, but in meditation you have to do it with every person. Whosoever comes near you, simply dissolve into him and feel that you are not two lives, but one life, flowing. This is just changing the gestalt. Once you know how, once you have done it, it is very easy. In the beginning it seems impossible because we are so stuck in our own egos. It is difficult to lose it, difficult to become a flow. So it will be good if in the beginning you try with something that you are not very scared or afraid of.
You will be less afraid of a tree so it will be easier. Sitting near a tree, just feel the tree and feel that you have become one with it, that there is a flow within you, a communication, a dialogue, a melting. Sitting near a flowing river just feel the flow, feel that you and the river have become one. Lying under the sky, just feel that you and the sky have become one. In the beginning it will be just imagination but by and by you will feel that you are touching reality through imagination.
And then try it with persons. This is difficult in the beginning because there is a fear. Because you have been reducing persons to things, you are afraid that if you allow someone to be so intimate he will also reduce you to a thing. That is the fear. So no one allows much intimacy: a gap is always to be kept and guarded. Too much closeness is dangerous because the other can convert you into a thing, he can try to possess you. That is the fear. You are trying to convert others into things, and others are trying to convert you — and no one wants to be a thing, no one wants to become a means, no one wants to be used. It is the most degrading phenomenon to be reduced to just a means to something, not valuable in yourself. But everyone is trying. Because of this there is a deep fear and it will be difficult to start this technique with persons.
So start with a river, with a hill, with the stars, with the sky, with trees.Once you come to know the feeling of what happens when you become one with the tree; once you come to know how blissful you become when you become one with the river, how without losing anything you gain the whole existence — then you can try it with persons. And if it is so blissful with a tree, with a river, you cannot imagine how much more blissful it will be with a person, because a person is a higher phenomenon, a more highly evolved being. Through a person you can reach higher peaks of experience. If you can become ecstatic with even a rock, with a person you can feel a Divine ecstasy happening to you.
But start with something that you are not much afraid of, or, if there is a person you love, a friend, a beloved, a lover, of whom you are not afraid, with whom you can be really intimate and close without any fear, with whom you can lose yourself without getting scared deep down that he may turn you into a thing — if you have someone like that, then try this technique. Lose yourself consciously into him. When you lose yourself consciously into someone, that someone will lose himself into you; when you are open and you flow into the other, the other starts flowing into you and there is a deep meeting, a communion. Two energies melt into each other. In that state there is no ego, no individual — simply consciousness. And if this is possible with one individual, it is possible with the whole universe. What saints have called ecstasy, samadhi, is just a deep love phenomenon between a person and the whole universe.
FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF EACH PERSON AS YOUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS. SO,LEAVING ASIDE CONCERN FOR SELF, BECOME EACH BEING. We are always concerned with our own self. Even while we are in love, we are concerned with our own self, that is why love becomes a misery. It can become heaven but it becomes a hell, because even lovers are concerned with their own selves. The other is loved because he gives you happiness, the other is loved because you feel good with him, but the other is still not loved as if he is something valuable in himself or herself. The value comes through your enjoyment. You are gratified, you are satisfied in some way, that is why the other has become significant. This is also using the other.
Concern for the self means exploitation of the other. And religious consciousness can come into existence only when the concern for the self is lost, because then you become non-exploitive. With existence your relationship becomes one, not of exploitation, but of sheer sharing, sheer bliss.You are not using, you are not being used — it becomes a sheer celebration of being.
But concern for the self has to be thrown away… and it is very deep-rooted. It is so deep-rooted that you are not even aware of it. In one of the Upanishads it is said that the husband loves his wife, not for the wife, but for himself; and the mother loves the child, not for the child, but for herself. The concern for the self is so deep-rooted that whatsoever you do, you do for yourself. This means that you are always gratifying the ego, feeding the ego, feeding a false center which has become a barrier between you and the universe.
Lose the concern for the self. If even sometimes, even for a few moments, you can lose concern for the self and can become concerned with the other, with the other’s self, you will be entering a different reality, a different dimension. Hence so much emphasis on service, love, compassion. Because compassion, love, service, mean concern for the other’s self, not your own.
But look… human mind is so cunning that it has converted service, compassion and love into concerns for the self. A Christian missionary serves, and his service is sincere. Really, no one else can serve so deeply and intensely as a Christian missionary. No Hindu can do that, no Mohammedan can do that, because Jesus has emphasized service so much. A Christian missionary is serving poor people, ill people, diseased people, but deep down he is concerned with himself not with them. This service is just a method to reach heaven. He is not concerned with them, he is not really concerned with them at all, he is concerned with his own self. Through service he can achieve a greater self, so he is doing service. But he has missed the basic point, because service means the concern for the other — the other is the center and you have become the periphery.
Try it some time. Make someone the center — then his happiness becomes your happiness, his misery becomes your misery. Whatsoever happens, happens to him and flows to you. But he is the center. If once, even once, you can feel that the other is the center and you have become just a periphery to him, you have entered a different type of existence, a different dimension of experience. Because in that moment you will feel a deep bliss, unknown before, unexperienced before. Just by making the other the concern, you will lose all misery. In that moment there will be no hell for you; you have entered paradise.
Why does it happen? It happens because the ego is the root of all misery. If you can forget it, if you can dissolve it, all misery dissolves with it.
FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF EACH PERSON AS YOUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS. SO, LEAVING ASIDE CONCERN FOR SELF, BECOME EACH BEING. Become the tree, become the river, become the wife, become the husband, become the child, become the mother, become the friend — it can be practiced every moment of life. But in the beginning it will be difficult. so do it for a least one hour every day. In that hour, whatsoever passes around you, become that. You will wonder how it can happen. There is no other way to know how it can happen — you have to practice it.
Sit with the tree and feel that you have become the tree. And when the wind comes and the whole tree starts shaking and trembling, feel that shaking and trembling in you; when the sun rises and the whole tree becomes alive, feel that aliveness in you; when a shower of rain comes and the whole tree is satisfied and content, a long thirst, a long awaiting has disappeared and the tree is completely satisfied and content, feel satisfied and content with the tree. and then you will become aware of the subtle moods, of the nuances of a tree.
You have seen that tree for many years, but you don’t know its moods. Sometimes it is happy; sometimes it is unhappy. Sometimes it is sad, dead, worried, frustrated; sometimes it is very blissful, ecstatic. There are moods. The tree is alive and it feels. And if you become one with it, then you will feel it. Then you will feel whether the tree is young or old; whether the tree is dissatisfied with its life or satisfied; whether the tree is in love with existence or not — is anti, against, furious, angry; whether the tree is violent or there is a deep compassion in it. As you are changing every moment, the tree is also changing — if you can feel a deep affinity with it, what they call empathy.
Empathy means you have become so sympathetic that really you become one. The moods of the tree become your moods. And then, if this goes deeper and deeper and deeper, you can talk, you can have a communication with the tree. Once you know its moods you start understanding its language, and the tree will share its mind with you. It will share its agonies and ecstasies.
And this can happen with the whole universe.
For at least one hour every day try to be in empathy with something. In the beginning you will look foolish to yourself. You will think,”What kind of stupidity am I doing?” You will look around and you will feel that if someone looks or someone sees or someone comes to know, they will think you have gone crazy. But only in the beginning. Once you enter this world of empathy the whole world will look crazy to you. They are missing so much unnecessarily. Life gives in such abundance and they are missing it. They are missing because they are closed: they don’t allow life to enter into them. And life can enter you only if you enter life through many, many ways, through many paths, through multi-dimensions. Be in empathy for at least one hour every day.
This was the meaning of prayer in the beginning of every religion. The meaning of prayer was to be in an affinity with the universe, to be in a deep communication with the universe. In prayer you are talking to God — God means the totality. Sometimes you may be angry with God, sometimes thankful, but one thing is certain — you are in communication. God is not a mental concept, it has become a deep, intimate relationship. That is what prayer means.
But our prayers have gone rotten because we don’t know how to communicate with beings. And if you cannot communicate with beings, you cannot communicate with the Being — Being with a capital `B’ — it is impossible. If you cannot communicate with a tree, how can you communicate with the total existence? And if you feel foolish talking to a tree, you will feel more foolish talking to God.
Leave one hour aside every day for a prayerful state of mind, and don’t make your prayer a verbal affair. Make it a feeling thing. Rather than talking with the head, feel it. Go and touch the tree, hug the tree, kiss the tree; close your eyes and be with the tree as if you are with your beloved. Feel it. And soon you will come to a deep understanding of what it means to put the self aside, of what it means to become the other.
FEEL THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF EACH PERSON AS YOUR OWN CONSCIOUSNESS. SO, LEAVING ASIDE CONCERN FOR SELF, BECOME EACH BEING.