If you can only put your mind aside you will become aware of the cosmic play…
Each desire is born out of the past and each desire is projected in the future. The past and the future, they constitute your whole mind. Analyze the mind, dissect it, and you will find only two things: the past and the future. You will not find even an iota of the present, not even a single atom. And the present is the only reality, the only existence, the only dance there is.
The present can be found only when mind has ceased utterly. When the past no more overpowers you and the future no more possesses you, when you are disconnected from the memories and the imaginations, in that moment where are you? who are you? In that moment you are a nobody. And nobody can hurt you when you are a nobody, you cannot be wounded — because the ego is very ready to receive wounds. The ego is almost seeking and searching to be wounded; it exists through wounds. Its whole existence depends on misery, pain.
When you are a nobody, anguish is impossible, anxiety simply unbelievable. When you are a nobody there is great silence, stillness, no noise inside. Past gone, future disappeared, what is there to create noise? And the silence that is heard is celestial, is sacred. For the first time, in those spaces of no-mind, you become aware of the eternal celebration that goes on and on. That’s what the existence is made of.
Except man, the whole existence is blissful. Only man has fallen out of it, has gone astray. Only man can do it because only man has consciousness.
Now, consciousness has two possibilities: either it can become a bright light in you, so bright that even the sun will look pale compared to it…. Buddha says it is as if a thousand suns have risen suddenly — when you look within with no mind it is all light, eternal light. It is all joy, pure, uncontaminated, unpolluted. It is simple bliss, innocent. It is wonder. Its majesty is indescribable, its beauty inexpressible, and its benediction inexhaustible. Aes dhammo sanantano: so is the ultimate law.
If you can only put your mind aside you will become aware of the cosmic play. Then you are only energy, and the energy is always herenow, it never leaves the herenow. That is one possibility: if you become pure consciousness.
The other possibility is: you can become self-consciousness. Then you fall. Then you become a separate entity from the world. Then you become an island, defined, well defined. Then you are confined, because all definitions confine. Then you are in a prison cell, and the prison cell is dark, utterly dark. There is no light, no possibility of light. And the prison cell cripples you, paralyzes you.
Self-consciousness becomes a bondage; the self is the bondage. And just consciousness becomes freedom.
Drop the self and be conscious! That is the whole message — the message of all the buddhas of all the ages, past, present, future. The essential core of the message is very simple: drop the self, the ego, the mind, and be.
Just this moment when this silence pervades…who are you? A nobody, a nonentity. You don’t have a name, you don’t have a form. You are neither man nor woman, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan. You don’t belong to any country, to any nation, to any race. You are not the body and you are not the mind.
Then what are you? In this silence, what is your taste? How does it taste to be? Just a peace, just a silence…and out of that peace and silence a great joy starts surfacing, welling up, for no reason at all. It is your spontaneous nature.
The art of putting the mind aside is the whole secret of religion, because as you put the mind aside your being explodes into a thousand and one colors. You become a rainbow, a lotus, a one-thousand-petaled lotus. Suddenly you open up, and then the whole beauty of existence — which is infinite! — is yours. Then all the stars in the sky are within you. Then even the sky is not your limit; you don’t have any limits anymore.
Silence gives you a chance to melt, merge, disappear, evaporate. And when you are not, you are — for the first time you are. When you are not, God is, nirvana is, enlightenment is. When you are not, all is found — and when you are, all is lost.
Man has become a self-consciousness; that is his going astray, that is the original fall. All the religions talk about the original fall in some way or other, but the best story is contained in Christianity. The original fall is because man eats from the tree of knowledge. When you eat of the tree of knowledge, the fruits of knowledge, it creates self-consciousness.
The more knowledgeable you are, the more egoistic you are — hence the ego of the scholars, pundits, maulvis. The ego becomes decorated with great knowledge, scriptures, systems of thought. But they don’t make you innocent; they don’t bring you the childlike quality of openness, of trust, of love, of playfulness. Trust, love, playfulness, wonder, all disappear when you become very knowledgeable.
And we are being taught to become knowledgeable. We are not taught to be innocent, we are not taught how to feel the wonder of existence. We are told the names of the flowers, but we are not taught how to dance around the flowers. We are told the names of the mountains, but we are not taught how to commune with the mountains, how to commune with the stars, how to commune with the trees, how to be in tune with existence.
Out of tune, how can you be happy? Out of tune you are bound to remain in anguish, in great misery, in pain. You can be happy only when you are dancing with the dance of the whole, when you are just a part of the dance, when you are just a part of this great orchestra, when you are not singing your song separately. Only then, in that melting, is man free.