DHARANA, CONCENTRATION, IS CONFINING THE MIND TO THE OBJECT BEING MEDITATED UPON.
The object, the subject, and the beyond – these three have to be remembered.
You look at me I am the object; the one who is looking at me is the subject. And if you become a little more perceptive, you can see yourself looking at me. That is the beyond. You can see yourself looking at me. Just try. I am the object, you are looking at me. You are the subject who is looking at me. You can stand by the side within yourself. You can see that you are looking at me. That is the beyond.
First, one has to concentrate on the object. Concentration means narrowing of the mind.
Ordinarily, the mind is in constant traffic – a thousand and one thoughts go on moving, like a crowd, a mob. With so many objects, you are confused, split. With so many objects you are moving in all directions simultaneously. With so many objects you are always, almost, in a state of insanity, as if you are being pulled from every direction and everything is incomplete. You go to the left, and something pulls you to the right; you go to the south, and something pulls you to the north. You are never going anywhere, just a muddled energy, a whirlpool, constant turmoil, anxiety.
This is the state of the ordinary mind – so many objects that the subjectivity is almost covered by them. You cannot have a feel who you are, because you are so much concerned with so many things you don’t have a gap to look into yourself. You don’t have that stillness, that aloneness. You are always in the crowd. You cannot find a space, a corner, where you can slip into yourself. And the objects continuously asking for attention, every thought asking for attention, forcing exactly that the attention should be given to it. This is the ordinary state. This is almost insanity.
In fact, to divide mad people from non mad people is not good. The distinction is only of degrees. It is not of quality: it is only of quantity. Maybe you are ninety-nine percent mad and he has gone beyond – a hundred and one percent. Just watch yourself. Many times you also cross the boundary in anger you become mad – you do things you cannot conceive of yourself doing. You do things for which you repent later on. You do things for which you say later on, “I did it in spite of me.” You say, “… as if somebody forced me to do it, as if I was possessed. Some evil spirit, some devil forced me to do it. I never wanted to do it.” Many times you also cross the boundary, but you come back again and again to your normal state of madness.
Go and watch any madman. People are always afraid of watching a madman because, suddenly, watching a madman you realize your own madness also.
Immediately it happens because you can see at the most the difference is of degrees. He has gone a little ahead of you, but you are also following, you are also standing in the same queue.
William James once went to a madhouse, came back, became very sad, covered himself with a blanket. The wife could not understand. She said. “Why are you looking so sad?” He was a happy man.
He said, “I have been to the madhouse. Suddenly the thought occurred that between these people and me there seems to be not much difference. There is a difference, but not much. And sometimes I have also crossed the boundary. Sometimes in anger, sometimes in lust, sometimes in anxiety, depression. I have also crossed the boundary. The only difference seems to be that they are stuck and they cannot come back and I am still a little flexible and I can come back. But who knows? Someday the flexibility may be lost. Watching those madmen in the madhouse I became aware that they are my future. Hence. I am very much depressed. Because the way I am moving, sooner or later I will overreach them.”
Just watch yourself, and go and watch a madman the madman goes on talking alone. You are also talking. You talk invisibly, not so loud, but if somebody watches you rightly he can see the movement of your lips. Even if the lips are not moving, you are talking inside. A madman talks a little louder; you talk a little less loudly. The difference is of quantity. Who knows? Any day you can talk loudly. Just stand by the side of the road and watch people coming from the office or going to the office. Many of them, you will feel, are talking inside, making gestures.
Even people who are trying to help you – psychoanalysts, therapists – they are also in the same boat. In fact more psychoanalysts become mad than do people of any other profession. No other profession can compete with psychoanalysts in going mad. It may be because living in close quarters with mad people, by and by, they also become unafraid of being mad; by and by the gap is bridged.
I was reading an anecdote: One man was attending his local doctor for an examination. “Tell me. Do you get spots before the eyes?” asked the doctor.
“Frequent headaches?” asked the doctor.
“Yes.” said the patient.
“Pains in the back?” Yes, sir.
“So do I,” declared the doctor. “I wonder what the heck it can be.”
The doctor and the patient, they are all in the same boat. Nobody knows what the heck it can be.
In the East we never created the profession of psychoanalysts, for a certain reason. We created a totally different type of man, the yogi. Not the therapist. The yogi is one who is qualitatively different from you. The psychoanalyst is one who is not qualitatively different from you. He is in the same boat; he is just like you. He is not different in any way. The only difference is that he knows about your madness and his madness more than you know. He is more informed about madness, about insanity, neurosis, psychosis. Intellectually he knows much more about the normal state of human mind and humankind, but he is not different.
And the yogi is totally a different man, qualitatively. He is out of the madness you are in: he has dropped that.
And the way in the West you are looking for causes, for ways and means how to help humanity, seems to have from the very beginning gone wrong. You are still looking for causes outside – and the causes are within. The causes are not outside, not in relationship, not in the world; they are deep in your unconsciousness. They are not in your thinking: they are not in your dreams. The analysis of dreams and the analysis of thoughts is not going to help much. At the most it can make you normally abnormal, not more than that. The basic cause is that you are not aware of the traffic and the traffic noise of the mind, that you are not separate, distant, aloof – that you cannot stand as a witness, as a watcher on the hill. And once you look for a cause in the wrong direction, you can go on piling up case histories upon case histories, as it is happening in the West.
Psychoanalysis goes on piling up case histories upon case histories… and nothing seems to come out of it. You dig up the mountain and not even a mouse is found.
You dig up the whole mountain – nothing comes out of it. But you become experts in digging, and your life becomes an investment in it, so you go on finding rationalizations for it. Always remember, once you miss to look in the right direction, you can go on infinitely – you will never come back home.
It happened: Two Irishmen landed in New York. They had not been around very much, so they decided to take a train trip. As they were riding along, a boy came through selling fruit. They recognized oranges and apples, but there was a strange fruit they had never seen before, so they asked the boy. “What is that?”
He answered, “That is a banana.”
“It is good to eat?”
He said, “Sure.” “How do you eat it?” they asked.
The boy showed them how to peel a banana, so each bought one. One fellow took a bite out of it, and just then the train went into a tunnel.
He said, “Great heavens! Pat, if you haven’t eaten the darn thing, don’t do it! I ate mine, and I have gone blind!” Coincidences are not causes: and the Western psychology is looking into coincidences. Somebody is sad: you start immediately looking into coincidences why he is sad. There must have been something wrong in his childhood. There must have been something wrong in the way he was brought up. There must have been something wrong in the relationship between the child and the mother or the father. There must have been wrongs, something wrong in the environment. You are looking for coincidences.
Causes are within; coincidences without. That is the basic emphasis of yoga, that you are looking wrongly now and you will not ever find real help. You are sad because you are not aware. You are unhappy because you are not aware. You are in misery because you don’t know who you are. All else is just coincidences.
Look deep down. You are in misery because you have been missing yourself, you have not yet met yourself. And the first thing to be done is dharana. Too many objects are there in the mind; the mind is much too overcrowded. Drop those objects by and by; narrow down your mind; bring it to a point where only one object remains.
Have you ever concentrated on anything? Concentration means your whole mind is focused on one thing. On a rose flower. You have looked at a rose so many times, but you have never concentrated on a rose. If you concentrate on a rose, the rose becomes the whole world. Your mind becomes narrowed down, focused like a torchlight, and the rose becomes bigger and bigger and bigger. The rose was one in a million objects, then it was a very small thing. Now it is the all, the whole.
If you can concentrate on a rose, the rose will reveal qualities that you have never seen before. It will reveal colors that you have been missing always. It will reveal to you fragrances that were always there but you were not sensitive enough to recognize. If you concentrate totally then your nose is only filled with the fragrance of the rose – all else is excluded, only the rose is included in your consciousness, and is allowed in. Everything excluded, the whole world drops out, only the rose becomes your world.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 31 Realize Your Own Madness