We will have a few questions from Yoga Sutra 20.
Once we start watching ourselves many of us will have this question – THE MORE I WATCH MYSELF, THE MORE I EXPERIENCE THE FALSENESS OF MY EGO. I HAVE STARTED TO FEEL LIKE A STRANGER TO MYSELF, NO LONGER KNOWING WHAT IS FALSE. THIS LEAVES ME WITH AN UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING OF HAVING NO GUIDELINES, AS I SENSED I HAD BEFORE.
THIS happens; this is bound to happen. And remember that one should be happy that it has happened. It is a good indication. When one starts on the inner journey everything seems to be clear, rooted; because the ego is in control and the ego has all the guidelines, the ego has all the maps, the ego is the master.
When you move a little further into the journey, the ego starts evaporating, seems to be more and more false, seems to be more and more a deception, a hallucination. One starts awakening out of the dream, then guidelines are lost.
Now the old master is no more the master, and the new master has not yet arisen. There is a confusion, a chaos. This is a good indication. Half the journey is over, but there will be an uncomfortable feeling, an uneasiness, because you feel lost, a stranger to yourself, not knowing who you are. Before, you knew who you were: your name, your form, your address, your bank balance – everything was certain, this was you. You had an identification with the ego. Now the ego is evaporating, the old house is falling and you don’t know who you are, where you are. Everything is murky, cloudy, and the old certainty is lost.
This is good because the old certainty was a false certainty. It was not a certainty, in fact. Deep behind it there was uncertainty. That’s why, when the ego evaporates, you feel uncertain. Now the deeper layers of your being are revealed to you – you feel a stranger. You were always a stranger. Only the ego deceived you into feeling that you knew who you were. The dream was too much, it looked too real. In the morning when you are coming out of a dream, suddenly, you don’t know who or where you are. Have you felt this feeling sometimes in the morning? – When suddenly, out of a dream you are awakened, and for moments you don’t know where you are, who you are and what is happening?
The same happens when one comes out of the dream of the ego. Discomfort, uneasiness, uprootedness will be felt, but one should be happy about it. If you become miserable about it, you will fall back to the old state of affairs where things were certain, where everything was mapped, charted, where you knew, where guidelines were clear.
Drop uneasiness. Even if it is there, don’t be too impressed by it. Let it be there, watch, and that too will go. Soon uneasiness will disappear. It is just there because of the old habit of certainty. You don’t know how to live in an uncertain universe. You don’t know how to live in insecurity. The uneasiness is there because of the old security. It is just because of the old habit, a hangover. It will go. One just has to wait, watch, relax, and feel happy that something has happened. And I tell you, it is a good indication. Many have returned back from that point just to feel comfortable again, at ease, at home. They have missed.
They were just coming nearer the goal, and they turned back. Don’t do that; go ahead. Uncertainty is good, nothing is wrong with it. You have only to be tuned, that’s all.
You are tuned with the certain universe of the ego, the secure universe of the ego. Howsoever false on the surface, everything seems to be perfectly as it should be. You need a little tuning with the uncertain existence.
Existence is uncertain, insecure, dangerous. It is flux – things moving, changing.
It is a strange world; get acquainted with it. Have a little courage and don’t look backwards, look forward; and soon the uncertainty itself will become beautiful, the insecurity itself will become beautiful.
In fact, only insecurity is beautiful, because insecurity is life. Security is ugly, It is a part of death – that’s why it is secure. To live without guidelines is the only way to live. When you live with guidelines, you live a false life. Ideal guidelines, disciplines – you force something on your life, you mold your life. You don’t allow it to be, you try to make something out of it. Guidelines are violent and all ideals are ug]y. Through them you will miss yourself. You will never attain your being.
Becoming is not being. All becoming, and all effort to become something, will force something on you. It is a violent effort. You may become a saint, but in your saintliness there will be ugliness. I tell you, and I emphasize it: to live life without any guidelines is the only saintliness possible. Even then, you may become a sinner; but in your sinner, in your being a sinner, there will be a holiness, a saintliness.
Life is holy; you need not force anything upon it, you need not mold it, you need not give it a pattern, a discipline and an order. Life has its own order, it has its own discipline. You simply move with it, you float with it, you don’t try to push the river. The river is flowing – you become one with it and the river takes you to the ocean. This is the life of a sannyasin: a life of happening, not of doing.
Then your being reaches, by and by, above the clouds, beyond the clouds and conflicts. Suddenly, you are free. In the disorder of life you find a new order. But the quality of the order is totally different now. It is nothing imposed by you, it is intimate to life itself.
Trees also have an order, rivers, mountains, but those are not orders imposed by moralists, puritans, priests. They don’t go to somebody to find the guidelines.
Order is intrinsic; it is in life itself. Once the ego is not there to manipulate, to push and pull here and there – ‘Do this and that’ – when you are completely freed from the ego, a discipline comes to you, an inner discipline. It is unmotivated. It is not seeking something, it simply happens: as you breathe, as when you feel hungry and you eat, as when you feel sleepy and you go to bed. It is an inner order, an intrinsic order. That will come when you become tuned with insecurity? When you become tuned with your strangeness, when you become tuned with your unknown being.
In Zen they have a saying, one of the most beautiful: when a person lives in the world, mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers. When a person moves into meditation, now mountains are no more mountains, rivers are no more rivers.
Everything is a confusion and a chaos. But when a man has attained to satori, to samadhi, again rivers are rivers and mountains are mountains. There are three stages: in the first, you are certain with the ego, in the third you are absolutely certain with the non ego, and just in between the two, the chaos, when the certainty of the ego disappears and the certainty of life has not come yet. This is a very, very potential moment, very pregnant. If you become afraid and turn back, you will miss the possibility.
Ahead is the real certainty. That real certainty is not against uncertainty. Ahead is the real security, but that security is not against insecurity. That security is so vast that it contains insecurity within itself. It is so vast that it is not afraid of insecurity. It absorbs insecurity into itself, it contains all contradictions. So somebody can call it insecurity and somebody can call it security. In fact it is neither, or both. If you feel that you have become a stranger to yourself, celebrate it, feel grateful. Rare is this moment; enjoy it. The more you enjoy, the more you will find that the certainty is coming nearer to you, coming faster and faster towards you. If you can celebrate your strangeness, your uprootedness, your homelessness, suddenly you are at home – the third stage has come.Tags: Patanjali Stranger To Myself