Vigyan Bhairav Tantra : Intro to Techniques No. 28 & 29

28.Suppose you are gradually being deprived of strength or of knowledge. at the instant of deprivation, transcend.

29. Devotion frees.

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or tantra, man himself is the disease. It is not that your mind is disturbed — rather, your mind is the disturbance. It is not that you are tense within, but rather, you are the tension. Understand the distinction clearly. If the mind is ill then the illness can be treated, but if the mind itself is the illness, then this illness cannot be treated. It can be transcended, but it cannot be treated. That makes the basic difference between Western psychology, and Eastern tantric and yogic psychology; that is the difference between Eastern tantra and yoga, and Western psychology.

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Western psychology thinks that the mind can be healthy, the mind as it is can be treated and helped — because for Western thinking there is no transcendence, as there is nothing beyond mind. Transcendence is possible only if there is something beyond, so that you can live in your present state and move further. But if there is no beyond and the mind is the end, then transcendence is impossible.

If you think you are just a body, then you cannot transcend your body – because who will transcend and to where will you transcend? If you are simply the body, then you cannot go beyond the body. If you can go beyond the body, that means you are not simply the body, but something plus. That “plus” becomes the dimension to move into.

Similarly, if you are just the mind and nothing else, then no transcendence is possible. Then we can treat individual diseases… Someone is mentally ill — we can treat the illness. We will not touch the mind, but we will treat the illness and make the mind normal. And no one will think about whether the normal mind itself is healthy or not.

The normal mind is just a sceptical mind. Freud says that as everyone is, we can only bring a diseased mind to normality. But whether everyone is healthy or not, that question cannot be raised. We take it for granted that the collective mind, the average mind, is okay. So whenever someone goes beyond that average mind, moves somewhere else, he has to be brought back and readjusted. Thus, the whole of Western psychology has been an effort toward readjustment – readjustment to the ordinary mind, the average mind.

In this sense, there are thinkers, particularly one very intelligent thinker, Geoffrey, who says that genius is a disease because genius is abnormal. If normality is health, then genius is disease. A genius is not normal; he is in a certain way mad. His madness may be useful, so we allow him to live.

An Einstein or a Van Gogh or an Ezra Pound – poets, painters, scientists, mystics – they are mad, but their madness is allowed for two reasons: either their madness is harmless or their madness is utilitarian. Through their madness they contribute something which normal minds cannot contribute. Because they are mad they have moved to one extreme, and they can see certain things that the normal mind cannot see. So we can allow these madmen – and we even make them Nobel laureates. But they are ill.

If normality is the criterion and the standard of health, then everyone who is not normal is ill. Geoffrey says that a day will come when we will treat scientists and poets in the same way we treat madmen: we will make them readjust to the average mind. This attitude is because of a particular hypothesis that mind is the end and there is no beyond.

Just opposite to this attitude is the Eastern approach. We say here that mind itself is the disease. So whether normal or abnormal, we will make only the distinction of “normally ill” and “abnormally ill.” A normal men is normally ill. He is not so much ill that you can detect it, he is just average. Because everyone else is like him, his illness cannot be detected. Even the person, the psychoanalyst who treats him, is himself a normally ill person. Mind itself is the disease for us.

Why? Why call mind itself the disease? We will have to approach it from a different dimension, then it will be easy. For us, the body is death; for the Eastern approach, the body is death. So you cannot create a perfectly healthy body; otherwise it will not die. You can create a certain balance, but the body as such, because it is going to die, is prone to be ill. So health can only be a relative thing. The body cannot be perfectly healthy — it cannot be.

That is why medical science has no standard and no definition of what health is. They can define diseases, they can define a particular disease, but they cannot define what health is. Or at the most they can only define negatively that when a person is not ill, not particularly ill, he is healthy. But to define health in a negative way looks absurd, because then disease becomes the primary thing by which you define health. But health cannot be defined, because really, the body can never be really healthy. Every moment the body is only in a relative balance, because death is progressing with life; you are dying also. You are not simply alive, you are dying simultaneously.

Death and life are not two ends far away from each other. They are like two legs simultaneously walking – and they both belong to you. This very moment you are alive and dying both. Something is dying within you every moment. Within a span of seventy years, death will reach the goal. Every moment you will go on dying and dying and dying, and then you will die.

The day you were born you started dying. The birthday is also the death-day. If you are dying continuously – and death is not something which will come from without, but something which will grow within – then the body can never be really healthy. How can it be? When it is dying every moment, how can it be really healthy? It can only be relatively healthy. So if you are normally healthy, it is enough.

It is the same with the mind. The mind cannot be really healthy, whole, because the very existence of the mind is such that it is bound to remain diseased, ill at ease, tense, anxious in anxiety. The very nature of the mind is such, so we will have to understand what is this nature.

Three things… One, mind is a link between the body and the no-body which is within you. It is a link between the material and the non-material within you. It is one of the most mysterious bridges. It bridges two quite contradictory things – matter and spirit.

If you can, conceive the paradox. Usually you make a bridge over a river where both the banks are material. In this case, mind is the bridge between one bank which is material and the other which is non-material… between the visible and the invisible, between the dying and the non-dying, between life and death, between body and spirit – or whatsoever you name these two banks. Because mind bridges such contradictory things, it is bound to remain tense; it cannot be at ease.

It is always moving from the visible to the invisible, from the invisible to the visible. Every moment the mind is in deep tension. It has to bridge two things which cannot be bridged. That is the tension, that is the anxiety. You are every moment in anxiety.

I am not talking about your financial anxiety or other such anxieties — they are boundary anxieties, frame anxieties. The real anxiety is not that, the real anxiety is that of the buddha. You are also in that anxiety, but you are so much burdened by your day-to-day anxieties, you cannot discover your basic anxiety. Once you find your basic anxiety, you will become religious.

Religion is a concern for the basic anxiety. Buddha became anxious in a different way. He was not worried about finance, he was not worried about a beautiful wife, he was not worried about anything. There was no worry; ordinary worries were not there. He was secure, safe, the son of a great king, the husband of a very beautiful wife, and everything was available. The moment he desired anything he would get it. All that was possible was possible for him.

But suddenly he became anxiety-ridden – and that anxiety was a basic anxiety, a primary anxiety. He saw a dead man being carried away, and he asked his chariot driver what had happened to this man. The driver said, “This man is dead now. He has died.” This was Buddha’s first encounter with death, so he asked immediately, “Is everyone prone to death? Am I also going to die?”

Look at the question. You may not have asked it. You may have asked who has died, why he has died, or you might have said that he looks too young and this is not the age to die. Those anxieties are not basic; they are not concerned with you. You may have felt sympathetic, you may have felt sad, but still that is just on the circumference – and you will have forgotten within a few moments.

Buddha turned the whole question toward himself and he asked, “Am I going to die?” The chariot driver said, “I cannot lie to you. Everyone is prone to death, everyone is going to die.” Buddha said, “Then turn back the chariot. If I am going to die, then what is the use of life? You have created a deep anxiety in me. Unless this anxiety is resolved, I cannot be at ease.”

What is this anxiety? It is a basic anxiety. So if you become aware of the very basic situation of life – of body, of mind — a subtle anxiety will creep in, and then that anxiety will continue to tremble within you. Whatsoever you are doing or not doing, the anxiety will be there – a deep anguish. The mind is bridging an abyss, an impossible abyss. The body is going to die, and you have something – X – within you which is deathless.

These are two contradictions. It is as if you are standing in two boats which are moving in opposite directions. Then you will be in a deep conflict. That conflict is the conflict of the mind. The mind is between two opposites: — that is one thing.

Secondly, mind is a process, not a thing. Mind is not a thing:,it is a process. The word mind is a false notion. When we say “mind,” it appears as if there is something like a mind within you. There is nothing! Mind is not a thing, mind is a process. So it is better to call it “minding,” not mind. We have a word in Sanskrit, CHITTA, which means minding. Not mind, but minding – a process.

A process can never be silent. A process will always be tense; a process means a turmoil. And mind is always moving from the past to the future. The past goes on being a burden on it, so it has to move into the future. This constant movement creates another tension within you. If you become too much conscious about it, you may go mad.

So that is why we are always engaged in something or other; we do not want to be unoccupied. If you are unoccupied, then you will become conscious of the inner process, of the minding, and that will give you very strange and peculiar tensions. So everyone wants to be occupied in some way or other. If there is nothing else to do, one goes on reading the same newspaper again and again. Why? Can you not sit silently? It is difficult, because if you sit silently you become aware of the totally tense process within.

So everyone is in search of escapes. Alcohol can give that — you become unconscious. Sex can give that — for a moment you forget yourself completely. Television can give that, music can give that… anything where you can forget yourself and become occupied so much that for the time being you are as if you are not. This constant escaping from oneself is really because of this process of minding. If you are unoccupied — and unoccupied-ness means meditation — if you are totally unoccupied, you will become aware of your inner processes. And mind is the basic process within.

That is why so many people come to me and say they have come to meditate, but when they start meditating they become more tense. They say, “We were not so tense before and we were not so worried before. Ordinarily the whole day we are not so much worried, but when we sit down quietly and start meditating, thoughts rush upon us; they crowd in.” That is something new so they think it is because of meditation that thoughts are crowding them.

It is not because of meditation. Thoughts are crowding you every moment of your existence, but you are so occupied outwardly, you cannot be conscious of it. Whenever you sit down you become conscious, you become conscious of something you have been escaping constantly. Mind, minding, is a process, and a process is an effort. Energy is wasted in it, dissipated in it. It is necessary; it is needed for life, it is part of the struggle for survival. It is a weapon – and one of the most violent weapons.

That is why man could survive over other animals. The animals are more strong physically, but they lack a subtle weapon – minding. They have dangerous teeth, dangerous nails; they are more powerful than man; they can instantly kill a man completely. But they lack one weapon – minding. Because of that weapon, man could kill, survive.

So the mind is a survival measure. It is needed; it is necessary, and it is violent. The mind is violent, it is part of the long violence man has had to pass through. It has been built through violence. So whenever you sit down, you will feel inner violence — thoughts rushing, violent thoughts, a turmoil, as if you are going to explode. That is why no one wants to sit silently.

Everyone comes and says, “Give me some support, some inner support. I cannot just sit silently. Give me a name that I can repeat like `Ram,Ram,Ram…’ Give me a name that I can repeat; then I can be silent.” Really, what are you doing? You are creating a new occupation. Then you can be silent because the mind is still occupied. Now you are focused on “Ram,Ram,Ram…” on chanting; the mind is still not unoccupied. The mind as a process is bound to be always ill; it cannot be so balanced as silence needs.

Thirdly, mind is created from without. When you are born you have just the capacity for mind, but no mind – just a possibility, a potentiality. So if a child is brought up without society, without a society, the child will grow, he will have a body, but not a mind. He will not be able to speak any language; he will not be able to think in concepts. He will be like any animal.

Society trains your capacity into an actuality, it gives you a mind. That is why a Hindu has a certain mind and a Mohammedan has a different mind. Both are men, but their minds are different. A Christian has a different mind… These minds are different because different societies have cultivated them with different purposes, different goals.

A child, a boy, is born, or a girl is born — they do not have minds, they have only the possibility that the mind can sprout. It can be there, but it is not there; it is just a seed. Then you train them. Then a boy becomes one mind and a girl becomes a different mind, because you teach them differently. Then a Hindu becomes different and a Mohammedan becomes different. Then a theist is different and an atheist is different. These minds are brought up in you. They are conditioned, forced upon you.

Because of this, mind as such is always old and orthodox. There can be no progressive mind. This statement may look strange: There can be no progressive mind. Mind is orthodox because it is a conditioning. So these so-called progressives are as much orthodox about their progressiveness as any orthodox person. Look at a communist. He thinks he is very progressive, but Marx’s Das Capital is just as authoritative upon him as the Koran on any Mohammedan, or the Gita on any Hindu. And if you start criticizing Marx, the communist feels as much hurt as any Jain will feel if you start criticizing Mahavir. Mind is orthodox because it is conditioned by the past, by the society, by others, for certain purposes.

Why am I making you aware of this fact? Because life changes every moment and mind belongs to the past. Mind is always old and life is always new. There is bound to be tension and conflict.

A new situation arises… You fall in love with a woman, and you have a Hindu mind and the woman is Mohammedan. Now there will be conflict. Now there is going to be much anguish unnecessarily. The woman is Mohammedan, and life has brought you to a situation where you fell in love with her. Now life gives you a new phenomenon, and mind does not know how to deal with it. There is no know-how, so there will be conflict.

That is why, in a very changing world, people become uprooted; their lives become anxious. This was not so in past ages. Man was more silent – not so really, but he appeared more silent because the state of affairs around him was so static and the mind was not in much conflict. Now everything is changing so fast, and the mind cannot change so fast. Mind clings to the past, and everything changes every moment.

That is why there is so much anxiety in the West. In the East there is less anxiety. This is strange because the East has to face more basic problems. Food is not there, clothes are not there, houses are not there; everyone is just starved. But they are in less anxiety, and the West is in more anxiety. The West is affluent, scientifically and technologically developed, with a higher state of living so why so much anxiety? Because technology gives life such a rapid change that the mind cannot cope with it. Before you are adjusted to a new thing, the new has become old and has changed.

Again the gap! Life is bringing about new situations, and the mind always tries to react with the old conditioning. That gap goes on growing. The more the gap will be there, the more will be the anxiety. Mind is orthodox and life is not orthodox.

These are reasons why mind itself is the disease. So what to do? If you are going to treat the mind, there are easy ways. Psychoanalysis is easy. It may take a long time, it may not succeed, but still it is not difficult. But this transcendence of the mind is difficult, arduous, because you have to leave the mind completely. You have to take wing and go beyond, and leave the mind as it is — do not touch it.

For example, I am here and the room is hot. I can do two things. I can air-condition the room, but I continue to live in the room. I can go on making arrangements so that the room is not hot, but then every arrangement has to be looked after and then every arrangement creates its own anxieties and problems. There is another possibility: I can leave the room and go out.

This is the difference. The West goes on living in the same room of the mind, trying to adjust, to make arrangements, so that living in the mind becomes at least normal. It may not be very blissful, but it becomes less and less unhappy. It may not reach a point, a peak of happiness, but one is saved from much suffering; there is less and less suffering.

Freud has said that there is no possibility for man to be happy. At the most, if you can arrange your mind in such a way that you are normal, you will be less unhappy than others, that is all. This is very hopeless. But Freud is a very genuine, authentic thinker, and his insight is right in a way because he cannot see beyond the mind.

That is why the East has not really developed any psychology comparable to Freud, Jung or Adler. And that is strange because the East has been talking about the mind for at least five thousand years.

With five thousand years of talking about mind, meditation, going beyond, why couldn’t the East create psychology? Psychology is a very recent development in the West. Why couldn’t the East create a psychology? Buddha was here who talked about the deepest layers of the mind. He talked about the conscious, he talked about the subconscious, he talked about the unconscious. He must have known. But why couldn’t he develop psychologies about the conscious, subconscious and unconscious?

The reason is this: the East has not been interested in the room. It talks about the room a little in order to go beyond, to go out. We have been interested in the room just to find the door; that is all. We are not interested in details about the room; we are not going to live in it. So the only interest has been in knowing where the door is and how to go out. We have talked about the room only so that the door can be located – so that we can know how to open it and go out.

This has been our whole interest. That is why psychology could not be developed in India. If you are not interested in this room, you will not make maps of the room; you will not measure every wall and every inch of space. You are not bothered about these things. You are only interested in where the door is, where the window is, so that you can jump out. And the moment you are out you will forget the room completely, because then you are under the great infinite sky. You will not even remember that there was a room and you lived in a cave, while all the time the infinite sky was beyond — and you could have moved out at any moment. You will forget the room completely. If you can go beyond the mind, what happens? The mind remains the same, you do not make any change in the mind, but you go beyond it and everything changes.

Then you can come back to the room again if you need to, but you will be a different person. This going out and coming in will have made you qualitatively different. A man who has been living in a room, and who has not known what it is like on the outside, is not really a man: he lives like a beetle, he lives like an insect. When he moves out to the sky – the open sky – and to the sun and the clouds and the infinite expanse, he becomes different immediately. This impact of the infinite makes him for the first time a man, a consciousness.

Now he can move into the room again, but he will be a different man. Now the room can only be something which is used. It is not now a prison; he can move out any moment. Then the room becomes just something to be used, something utilitarian. Previously he was imprisoned in it; now he is not imprisoned. He is now a master, and he knows the sky is outside and the infinite is awaiting him. And even this room is part of that infinite now, even this small, limited sky and space within the room is the space, the same space which is outside. The man comes in again and lives in the room, uses the room, but now he is not imprisoned in it. This is a qualitative change.

The East is concerned with how to go beyond the mind and then use it. Do not be identified with the mind — that is the message. And all the techniques of meditation are concerned only about how to find the door, how to use the key, how to unlock the door and go out.

We will discuss two methods today. The first is concerned with stopping in the middle of an activity. We discussed three stop methods before; now this one remains.


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