Even those who talk so much of skepticism, of doubt, of reason, even they never doubt their own minds. And your mind has brought you to the state you are in. If you are in a hell, your mind has brought you to this hell and you never doubt this guide. You can doubt any teacher, any master, but you never doubt your mind. With unflinching faith, you move with your mind as the guru. And your mind has brought you to the mess, to the misery that you are. If you are going to doubt anything, doubt first your own mind. And whenever your mind says something, think twice.
The Book of Secrets, p 51
Down the ages, your so-called saints have been telling you that the body is your enemy. It is not; the body is always your friend. If there is some enemy it is the head, never the body. The body is always sane.
You watch. I am not talking philosophy, I am simply stating a fact. See for yourself – if you are ill the body says, “Don’t eat.” But the head says, “If you don’t eat you will become weak. So many vitamins are absolutely needed. You will become pale, you will not be strong.” This is the head. The body is saying, “You are ill, and to eat will be unnecessarily burdening the system. The system needs rest; it is better not to eat.”
Unio Mystica, Vol 1, p113
The man who is searching for God has to learn how to drop tunnel vision, how to remain alert and available to all possibilities. If one door closes, ten doors are immediately opened for you. This is not a philosophical statement; this is simply a fact. But you only look through your past. You are so much obsessed by the past that you cannot see that other doors are opening. You cannot even believe that there are other doors. You know only one door, you have become familiar with it. You can go out and in from that one door mechanically, with no awareness – there is no need, you have become habituated to it…
…Life is with the new. Each moment has to be a death and a resurrection. Die to the past each moment. And that is where the disciple is tested; that is the fire test. When a door is closed, the disciple believes ten others must have been opened. He forgets about the closed door and he starts looking around for the doors that must have been opened. This is trust.
Unio Mystica, Vol I, p154-155
Sufism is an experiment in existential experience. It is not a philosophy; rather, think of it as a ladder. You don’t agree with or believe in a ladder; you don’t believe in it, you don’t disbelieve in it, either. You climb it, and if it breaks you get a new one. Thus to treat Sufism as a system to be believed in or committed to or attached to, is to miss the whole point. It is a ladder, not a belief system. Use it, climb it, go beyond it. It is a boat.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, p10
The self is not a self. The self is exactly a no-self; there is not idea of “I” in it, it is universal. All ideas arise in it, but it cannot be identified with any idea that arises in it. All ideas arise in it, all ideas dissolve in it. It is the sky, the context of all contexts, it is the space in which everything happens. But the space itself never happens – it abides, it is always there, and because it is always there, it is easy to miss it. Because it is so much there and always there, you never become aware of its presence.
It is like the air; you don’t become aware of its presence. It is like the ocean that surrounds the fish; the fish never becomes aware of it…
…Awareness needs some gaps. When there are no gaps you fall asleep; you cannot remain aware.
If one has always been healthy, one will not be aware of health. Awareness needs gaps – sometimes you should not be healthy. You should fall ill, then you will have the sense of health…
…That’s how we go on missing the original self – call it God or nirvana, it doesn’t matter….
…That’s what meditation is all about – just sitting silently doing nothing. Thoughts arise: you watch. Desires arise: you watch. But you remain the watcher. You don’t become a victim of the desires and the thoughts that are arising; you remain a watcher. You remain the context of all contexts, you remain the space before which everything appears. But the space never appears before itself – it cannot, it is impossible.
The mirror cannot mirror itself, the eyes cannot see themselves. I cannot catch hold of my hand with the same hand; it is impossible.
This is the most fundamental thing to remember. You are the watcher and never the watched, you are the observer and never the observed, you are the witness and never the witnessed. You are pure subjectivity. You never appear as an object – how can you appear as an object in front of yourself? Whatsoever appears in front of you is not you.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, pp37-38
When the child looks at the sun rising, look into his eyes. That is worship – he is so mystified, in such awe. When the child looks at the starry night, look into his eyes. Those stars reflected in his eyes – that is worship.
The child knows what worship is. We have forgotten, because we have forgotten the language of wonder. We have become too knowledgeable. When the sun rises, we know what it is. Nobody really knows, but we have been to school, to college, to university, so we have become knowledgeable. When a flower blooms, we know what the name of the flower is, what species it belongs to and from what country it comes. But all these things are meaningless, irrelevant.
Something wonderful is happening, the flower has opened, the fragrance is released. The flower is utterly beautiful, alive, and you simply label it. You say, “This is a rose” – and you think you have known it just by giving it a name?
You have missed. You have de-mystified the flower, and hence you have missed the wonder of it. Otherwise, each flower will give a thrill to your heart, each star will give you a new beat and each bird will start singing within you.
Life is so psychedelic, it is such a splendour. To feel the wonder of it, to feel the awe, is worship.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, p85
Parents sacrifice their lives for their children. The children again in their turn will sacrifice their lives for their children, and so on and so forth. And nobody will ever live.
I am against the very idea of sacrifice. Never sacrifice. Live this moment; live it totally, intensely, passionately. And then a miracle happens: if parents have lived their life beautifully, if they are fulfilled, their very fulfillment creates the space for their children to live, to live in the right way. And by the right way I don’t mean the moral way, by the right way I mean the total way. To live partially is to live wrongly, to live totally is to live rightly.
If children are brought up by parents who have been living their lives afire, aflame, who have been celebrating their moments, these children will learn how to celebrate, how to live joyously, how to live affirmatively, how to live saying yes to existence. A deep yes will arise in their hearts. It will be triggered by their parents. And the parents were not sacrificing, not at all, and the children will not learn the suicidal idea of sacrifice.
If parents are sacrificing for their children, then sooner of later, when the parents are old, they will demand sacrifice from the children. They will say, “We sacrificed so much for you, now you sacrifice for us.”
The country demands sacrifice from the people who live in it, the church demands sacrifice, everybody demands sacrifice. Just look around you: they all are standing around you, asking for sacrifice. And they teach you that to sacrifice is moral.
To sacrifice is immoral! Whether you sacrifice for the country or for the religion or for the children, it is immoral. It is immoral because it does not allow you to live your life. You become sad, you become frustrated, and then in return you start coercing others to sacrifice for you. Then the whole life of the world becomes simply crippled and paralysed.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, pp116-117
…People want to live in security, even if security means death. People want to live in comfort, even if comfort simply means nothing but dragging your life. Security, comfort, convenience, have become ultimate values.
In a society which thinks of security as a value, comfort as a value, convenience as a value, everybody remains afraid, nobody wants anything to change. Everybody is for the status quo: let things remain as they are, don’t touch them.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, p122
Only stupid people are consistent people. The more intelligent you are, the more inconsistent you will be – because who knows about tomorrow? Tomorrow will bring its own experiences. How can you be consistent with your yesterdays? If you are dead you will be consistent. If you are alive you have to be inconsistent: you have grown, the world has changed, the river is flowing into new territory.
Yesterday the river was passing through a desert, today it is passing through a forest; it is totally different. Yesterday’s experience should not become your definition forever; otherwise you died yesterday. One should be able to go on moving with time. One should remain a process, one should never become a thing. That is intelligence.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, p189
A politician is bound to be cunning and shrewd and unintelligent, because only unintelligent people are cunning and shrewd. That is their substitute for intelligence.
If you are intelligent, that’s enough. There is no need to be cunning, there is no need to be shrewd, there is no need to use back-door methods.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, p233
It happens to almost everybody. The more knowledgeable you become, the less wonder is felt. And parents, schools, universities, society, they all go on forcing you to become knowledgeable. Their whole effort is to give you knowledge. Your inner space becomes so full of knowledge that wonder disappears, wonder has no space left to abide in you.
A child has the eyes of wonder. He feels awe, he is mystified by each and every thing, small things surprise him. Hence his bubbling joy, because his life is a constant discovery.
You become knowledgeable, the society wants you to become knowledgeable. Knowledge is very, very needed; knowledge has much utility. And wonder is dangerous, because a person who wonders is bound to become either a philosopher or a poet or a mystic, and all these three kinds are useless for the society…
…A small child can wonder why the trees are green. But how can you wonder? You know it is because of chlorophyll – although you don’t know much, because another question can be raised as to why chlorophyll makes trees green, and you will have to shrug your shoulders. You have simply pushed the question back a little.
The more you know, the less you wonder. But the moment wonder dies in you, religion dies in you, because religion consists of wonder and awe. Knowledge demystifies life and existence, and religion exists only when life is a mystery. Hence you will have to learn wonder again.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, pp 249-250
…The real revolution has to happen in the individual, not in the society. All social revolutions have failed, utterly failed. They were bound to fail, they were destined to fail. Only the individual can be transformed, because only the individual has the soul, consciousness, awareness.
The community, the society, has no soul. It does not really exist anywhere – have you ever come across society? Whenever you come across it, you come across individuals. You will meet A, you will meet B, you may meet C, but you never come across society.
Unio Mystica, Vol II, p294
Whatsoever I am saying to you is true this moment. Tomorrow it will become a dead burden. Don’t carry it. Live it if you can live it right now. Enjoy, if you can enjoy it with me right now. Celebrate it! This very moment let your consciousness meet… let it go deep in you. It can transform you. Be pregnant with it – but this very moment! Don’t postpone it for tomorrow, because tomorrow it will not be valid any more. Nothing can be valid beyond its moment.
The mind says that if something is valid today, it will be valid tomorrow. That’s how traditions are born. That’s how very meaningful things become meaningless, absurd. That’s how beauty is reduced to ugliness.”
Until you die, pp67-68
Out of the Upanishads, the New Testament, the Koran – such beauty! If you can sing – beautiful! If you think – you have lost the track. If you can sing the Koran, nothing is so beautiful. Have you seen somebody reciting the Koran! It is something to be recited, to be sung, enjoyed. You can dance, that’s okay, but don’t think about it. The moment you think, a Mohammedan is born, a fanatical Mohammedan. If you love, enjoy, dance, sing, a Sufi is born. And a Sufi is farthest from a Mohammedan, the farthest possible. If you sing the Upanishads, a Sufi is born. If you believe in the Upanishads, a Hindu is born, a dead Hindu, rotten to the roots.
Until you die, pp94-95
Remember: this is the difference between kindness and compassion. Kindness is something understood on the surface. Even an ignorant man can be kind, even a foolish man can be kind, even a criminal can be kind, a sinner can be kind – kindness is just a value on the surface of the mind – but an ignorant man cannot be compassionate. That’s not possible. It is a quality that happens when the center has been achieved. When you are centered, then compassion happens. And compassion may not always look like kindness, remember; compassion may sometimes look very unkind.
Until you die, p95
Two calamities have fallen on the western mind: one is Aristotle, because he gave you a logical attitude towards life which is false. He gave you either yes or no, and he said, “Both cannot be true together.” And they are always true together; they are always true together. One cannot be true without the other, because life is both: day and night, summer and winter God and Devil. Life is together, undivided. When a man comes to realize this undividedness of life, it becomes very, very difficult – what to say and what not to say. Whatsoever he says will be false, because language only allows either yes or no.
The second calamity that has fallen on the Western mind is the crucifixion of Jesus. Because of that crucifixion, the whole Western mind became disturbed. First Aristotle divided life in two and then the crucifixion of Jesus divided the heart in two. Aristotle divided the mind, the intellect, in two; and the crucifixion of Jesus divided the heart into two. If you are a Christian you go to Heaven; if you are not, you go to Hell. If you are a Christian, only then are you human; if you are not a Christian, then nobody bothers about you. You can be killed very easily. There is no need to have a second thought about it….
Until you die, p161 (and following ten pages…)
God is not a theory, it is not an argument. It is an experience of significance in life. And the significance can only be felt when you are not asleep. How can you feel the significance of life in sleep? Life is significant, immensely significant. Each moment of it is precious. But you are asleep. Only awakened eyes can see this significance, live this significance.
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol I, pp287-8
I am not saying there are no problems, I am not telling you fairy tales, I am not telling you that there are no problems and that life is simply beautiful and there are no thorns and only rose flowers – there are not. For every one rose, there exist one thousand thorns. I am not creating a dream for you, a utopia. I am utterly realistic and pragmatic.
But the way to get beyond the thorns is to celebrate life, is to celebrate that one flower. In fact, that one flower is more precious because there are one thousand thorns. If there were all flowers and flowers and no thorns, flowers would be meaningless. It is because of darkness that the morning is so beautiful, it is because of death that life has such joy, it is because of illness that health is significant.
I am not saying there is nothing to be worried about. There are many things, but there is no need to worry about them. They can be encountered. They can be encountered without any worry, they can be encountered through celebration. There are only two ways to encounter them: one is the way of worry and the other is the way of celebration. The way of worry is the way of the world; the way of celebration is the way of religion. The way of worry creates sleep – there are so many worries, how to get rid of them? You don’t know. Not even a single worry can be solved.
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol I, pp291-2
Sleep is avoidance. It is a trick of the mind to avoid real problems in life. It is a drug invented by man. But it doesn’t help; the reality remains as it is, the danger remains as it is, the insecurity remains as it is. In fact, it becomes worse because you are unaware. You could have done something, but now you cannot because you cannot see and you have created a fog. The problems are multiplied by your fog and your sleep, they are not solved. Nothing is solved by your sleep. But you can have a kind of consolation that there is not problem….
….This ostrich logic is very human. Don’t laugh at the ostrich, this is what you have done, this is what millions of people have done, this is what 99 per cent of humanity is doing. Don’t see the enemy; just go on believing everything is okay. At least this moment nothing is wrong, everything is okay, so why bother? Go on living in this drugged state.
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol I, p294
So sometimes, sitting just by the side of a rosebush – look. Sometimes sitting at night with the stars, look, don’t think. Don’t start thinking what the name of this star is. Stars have no names. The rose does not know that it is called “rose,” and the sun is not at all alert, aware, that it is beautiful. Forget all these things; just be there. That being there, that presence, is what mediation is.
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol I, p310