THE UNWAVERING PRACTICE OF DISCRIMINATION….
Then the second step. First step: of separation, disidentification between the seen and the seer. The second step: THE UNWAVERING PRACTICE OF DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN WHAT IS THE REAL AND WHAT IS THE UNREAL BRINGS ABOUT THE DISPERSION OF IGNORANCE.
This is one step; then there is another step. They both work together. It is not good to say the other is the second step – they move simultaneously. But it is better to start first with the discrimination between the seen and the seer; then the other will be possible, because the other is more subtle, the distinction between the real and the unreal.
For example, in ordinary life you have got completely messed up. You don’t know what is real and what is unreal. You are so messed up that any fantasy can become real for you; and when it becomes real, that means when you take it to be real, it starts affecting you; and when it starts affecting you it looks more real, because it is affecting you. It becomes a vicious circle.
In the night you dream that somebody is sitting on your chest with a knife and is just going to kill you – a nightmare. You scream. Because of the screaming, the sleep is broken. You open your eyes; there is nobody sitting on your chest.
Maybe in your sleep you have pulled your own pillow on your chest, or just your own hands, and the pressure gave you the impression; the pressure created the dream. Now you know it was a dream, but still your heart goes on throbbing fast. You know that it was a dream. Now you are fully awake. You have put on the light – there is nobody, nothing – but your body goes on trembling a little. It will take time to settle again.
An unreal dream, how does it create real phenomena in the body? Only two possibilities are there. One, the body is also not very real. That is the Hindu standpoint about life: because a dream can affect it, it must be like the dream; it cannot be real. The second possibility is: because you take the dream as real, that’s why it affects you. It becomes real. It is only your own mind: if you take something as real it becomes real. If you understand, it is unreal. Immediately it stops affecting you in any way.
Just watch: you are feeling hungry. Is it real, your body needs it, or just because you eat every day at this time; so the clock says now is the time? “Feel hungry!” says the clock, and you immediately follow the order: you start feeling hungry. Is it real hunger? If it is real hunger, the more you stay hungry, the more it will grow.
If you eat every day at one o’clock and you are feeling hungry at one o’clock, wait: just after fifteen minutes you are not feeling hungry; after one hour you have completely forgotten. What happened? If the hunger was real, after one hour it would have been more – but it has disappeared. It was a mind creation – not a real body need, just an imaginary need, an unreal need.
Watch what is real and what is unreal and you will become aware of many things. And then you can sort them out and life will become more and more simple. This is what sannyas means: to find out what is unreal. If it is unreal, if you have found it so, it simply has no power over you. The moment you understand “this is unreal,” the power is lost, the thing is dead, it no longer affects you. Life becomes more simple, more natural. And then, by and by, you become aware that ninety-nine percent of things are unreal. Ninety-nine percent, I say, I leave one percent for the final step, because in the final step that too becomes unreal – the only reality that is left is you. Everything, by and by, is felt to be unreal and dropped. Finally, only consciousness is real.
For instance, in the night you sleep, you see a dream. The dream is real in the night. You take it to be real. You live through it – you feel, you are angry, you love – all sorts of emotions, thoughts, all sorts of life pass through you. Then, in the morning it has become unreal. Now you are moving to the office, to the shop, to the world, to the market – now this world is real. By the evening you come back. You go to sleep – the market, the shop, the marketplace – everything has become unreal again. In deep sleep you don’t remember the market, the family, the house, the worries – they all have disappeared.
But only one thing remains always real: the seer. In the night, while the dream is passing, the dream may be a dream, but the seer is not a dream – because even for a dream to exist, a real seer is needed. Both cannot be dreams.
You are a young man, then you become old, but the seer remains the same. You are ill, you become healthy; but the; seen remains the same. The consciousness within you is always the same, the constant factor – the only reality, because Hindus define reality as that which abides forever and forever. Their definition is, “That which is eternal is real, and that which is momentary is not real,” because one moment it is there, next moment it is gone. Why call it real? It was a dream. Anything that was meaningful for a single moment and then becomes meaningless is a dream. The whole life, Hindus say, is a dream because when you die the whole life has become meaningless, as if it never existed.
By and by, discriminating real from the unreal, sorting it out, more and more authentic awareness will arise out of it. Remember, this sorting out, discrimination between the real and unreal, is a method to create more awareness. The real point is not to know what is real and what is unreal. The real point is: trying to know what is real and what is unreal, you will become intensely aware. It is a methodology. So don’t get caught in it; because people can be caught in their methodology. Always remember it is a methodology. It is just a device. The more you become penetrating and aware of what is real and what is unreal – what is happening between these two? Your intensity is becoming more and more intense, alive. Your eyes are becoming more penetrating, far-reaching into the phenomena of life. That is the real point.
For yoga everything is a device. The goal is to make you perfectly aware, so not even a fragment of darkness remains in your heart, not even a corner remains dark – the whole house is lighted. “The unwavering practice of discrimination between what is the real and what is the unreal brings about the dispersion of ignorance.” So the point is: the dispersion of ignorance.
In India there are a few very, very poisonous snakes, cobra and others. When a cobra bites a man, the only problem is: if you can keep the man awake for thirty-six hours, the body itself throws the poison out of it. The blood circulates and purifies itself; the poison is thrown out of the system. But the only point is for thirty-six hours the man should not fall asleep. Once he falls asleep, then it is impossible. So when a cobra bites a man in the forests of India or among primitive tribes where no other medicine exists, the whole village gathers together. Once Osho was in a village and it happened, and he watched the whole phenomenon – for thirty-six hours. It was beautiful, because that is the whole process of becoming aware.
The problem is that the poison makes the man sleepy. He feels a tremendous urge to fall asleep. It is not ordinary sleep – tremendous urge to fall asleep. He cannot be allowed to sit; people have to prevent him, hold him. Sitting or standing he has to be shocked, and continuously a situation is to be created – drums and bands and singing and dancing all around, and howling and screaming and shouting – so he cannot fall asleep. The moment his eyes are closed he is to be shocked out of it, again and again. He is even to be beaten. A moment comes after twelve hours, it becomes almost impossible for him to be awake: you go on shouting, he doesn’t listen; his body becomes limp, you cannot hold him – standing or sitting. Then he has to be beaten hard; only that keeps him awake. If thirty-six hours are complete then the poison is thrown by the body and the man remains alive. If he falls asleep, even for a few minutes, the man is lost.
The whole effort of yoga is like that. Many methods have to be used to remain alert: and because of this many things have gone wrong. For example, fasting: fasting is a method to remain alert – it has nothing to do with the body – because whenever you are fasting you cannot fall asleep easily. To fall asleep, the body needs food. When you have overeaten you fall asleep immediately. If you have overeaten, immediately you feel that now you cannot move. You cannot do anything. The consciousness is losing itself. The whole energy of the body moves into the stomach, it leaves the head where it remains conscious, because the food has to be digested, and that’s the first thing to be done – immediately, the first necessity. The whole body energy concentrates near the stomach and you start feeling sleepy.
In a fast, if you have ever fasted, you will feel that in the night you cannot fall asleep. You turn again and again; something is missing. The body energy is completely free – there is no need to digest anything. The free energy moves all over the body. It is no longer concentrated in the stomach. In fact it is available, so your mind goes on functioning: you remain alert. Sleep is difficult. Fasting is a way to create awareness. If you fast for a long time, you will attain a certain duality of awareness which is difficult to attain while you go on eating. It can be attained, but it will take a longer time. Fasting is a shortcut to achieve it.
But, somewhere, something went wrong. It always happens with sleepy people.
You give them something: they become addicted to it. They forget the goal – the method becomes the end; the means becomes the end. Now there are thousands of Jain monks continuously on fast – and nothing happens. Osho has been wandering all over the country meeting so many types of people. He has asked thousands of Jain monks, “Why do you fast?” They say, “Because it purifies the body.” Absolute foolishness.
It may purify the body, but that is not the point at all. It may be good for health sometimes, not always. If you have too much accumulated fat in the body, it will be helpful to purify it; it reduces fat. If you have eaten too much for so many years that you have accumulated many toxins in the body, it helps to purify. But that is secondary; that has nothing to do with religion. It is naturopathy, not religion.
But why should a Jain monk purify the body? He’s not ill. He’s not poisoned. He has completely forgotten the goal. The goal was awareness. Now he keeps on doing the means, using the means, not knowing the goal. He simply suffers. So the fasting is no longer a fasting; it is just a starvation. And this has happened many times – almost always it happens – because things are given to sleepy people. They cannot understand the goal; the goal is far away. They cling to the means.
You must have seen pictures, or if you have not seen pictures you can go to Benares and see people lying on a bed of thorns. That was the oldest method of creating awareness, very old, ancient most. “To create awareness” – it has nothing to do with a fast. It has nothing to do with creating an impression on others. The man should not be there on the streets of Benares; he should be hidden in a forest, deep, where nobody reaches, because it is not an exhibition. But now it has become an exhibition.
And you will see people lying on the bed of thorns and you will not see even a single spark of awareness in their eyes or face; on the contrary, you will feel them to be very, very dull, insensitive – unintelligent, idiotic. This is a miracle, because the method was to create awareness. What has happened? They completely forgot for what it is: it became an end in itself. They have “learned the trick.” And if you have to learn the trick, you have to become insensitive; only then can you lie down on a bed of nails or thorns. The body should be dull so that it doesn’t feel much. It should be dead so the thorns or nails cannot harm it. You should gather a thick dullness around your body, insensitivity.
Now just the reverse was the goal: to become more sensitive, to feel the body in all its sensitivity. If you lie down on a bed of nails or thorns you will feel every pore of the body. The whole body in pain – and the pain gives you a shock, and the pain awakes you, makes you alert. It is not to be practiced. If you practice it, by and by, the body learns the trick. Then the body becomes dead; the body starts creating dead spots so that wherever the nail hits the body a dead spot arises.
The body has to protect itself. Then you will see the man Lying on the nails absolutely unaware – more unaware than you. If you lie down on the bed you will scream with pain. You are more alert; you are more sensitive. He is Lying down happily; he even sleeps on it. His body is more stony. He has lost something which is needed – awareness. Now just the reverse has happened.
And this is so in all the practices of religion: they become rituals. Osho came across a man who has been standing for ten years. He has not slept; he will not sit; he simply stands – one of the old hatha yoga methods to create consciousness, because the body will need sleep. The body will say, “I want to go to sleep.” How long can you stand? After a few hours, or a few days, you will feel a tremendous urge to sleep. To overpower that urge, to bypass it, and to remain alert – that is the use of the method.
But Osho came across this man. He is very famous, thousands of people come to pay respect to him, but they don’t know what they are doing and to whom they are doing. That man has become completely dull. He has stood so long, his legs have become almost dead parts. Now he cannot bend them. They have become as it happens in a disease called elephantiasis: the legs become like elephants’. His whole body weight has moved to the legs. He is a thin man. The upper part has become very thin and the lower part has become very thick and heavy. He is distorted. His face is in a distortion.
You can see that he may have tortured himself very much – but he has not become alert; rather, through the torture, he has become attuned to it, acclimatized, immune. Now it doesn’t bother him. He has lost consciousness through it rather than gaining.
So remember, these are all methods: to discriminate between the seen and the seer, to discriminate between the real and the unreal are just methods. The goal is awareness. “The unwavering practice of discrimination between what is the real and what is the unreal brings about the dispersion of ignorance.”Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 22 What Is Unreal