A long time ago in China there were two friends, one who played the harp skilfully and one who listened skillfully. When one played or sang about a mountain, the other would say: “I can see the mountain before us.” When the one played about water, the listener would exclaim: “Here is the running stream!”

But the listener fell sick and died. The first friend cut the strings of his harp and never played again. Since that time the cutting of harp strings has always been a sign of intimate friendship.

Emotional Awareness

When two persons are not two but one, Ego Drops, you act from your feelings.

Love and Ego Cannot Go Together

Love and ego cannot go together. Knowledge and ego go together perfectly well, but love and ego cannot go together, not at all. They cannot keep company. They are like darkness and light: if light is there darkness cannot be. Darkness can only be if light is not there. If love is not there the ego can be; if love is there the ego cannot be. And vice versa, if ego is dropped, love arrives from all the directions. It simply starts – pouring in you from everywhere.

Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. These relationships involve feelings of liking or loving one or more people, romance, physical or sexual attraction, sexual relationships, or emotional and personal support. Intimate relationships allow a social network for people to form strong emotional attachments.

Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other. Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity.

In human relationships, the meaning and level of intimacy varies within and between relationships. In anthropological research, intimacy is considered the product of a successful seduction, a process of rapport building that enables parties to confidently disclose previously hidden thoughts and feelings. Intimate conversations become the basis for “confidences” (secret knowledge) that bind people together.

To sustain intimacy for any length of time requires well-developed emotional and interpersonal awareness. Intimacy requires an ability to be both separate and together participants in an intimate relationship.

Try to Understand the Ego

Try to understand the ego. Analyze it, dissect it, watch it, observe it, from as many angles as possible. And don’t be in a hurry to sacrifice it, otherwise the greatest egoist is born: the person who thinks he is humble, the person who thinks that he has no ego.

That is again the same story played on a more subtle level. That’s what religious people have been doing down the ages – pious egoists they have been. They have made their ego even more decorated; it has taken the color of religion and holiness. Your ego is better than the ego of a saint; your ego is better, far better – because your ego is very gross, and the gross ego can be understood and dropped more easily than the subtle. The subtle ego goes on playing such games that it is very difficult. One will need absolute awareness to watch it.

Learning from the story Intimate Friendship: Emotional Awareness

Experience Learning

This will create questions in us – Character or Consciousness? How to develop a strong enough character that I don’t get disturbed by anything and don’t lose my cool?

Go to the sea, and watch the sea. Millions of waves are there, but deep in its depth the sea remains calm and quiet, deep in meditation. The turmoil is just on the surface, just on the surface where the sea meets the outside world, the winds. Otherwise, in itself, it always remains the same, not even a ripple; nothing changes.

It is the same with you. Just on the surface where you meet others there is turmoil, anxiety, anger, attachment, greed, lust…just on the surface where winds come and touch you. And if you remain on the surface you cannot change this changing phenomenon; it will remain there.

Many people try to change it there, on the circumference. They fight with it, they try not to let a wave arise. And through their fight even more waves arise, because when the sea fights with the wind there will be more turmoil: now not only will the wind help it, the sea will also help – there will be tremendous chaos on the surface.

All the moralists try to change man on the periphery. Your character is the periphery: you don’t bring any character into the world, you come absolutely characterless, a blank sheet, and all that you call your character is written by others. Your parents, society, teachers, teachings – all are conditionings. You come as a blank sheet, and whatsoever is written on you comes from others; so unless you become a blank sheet again you will not know what nature is, you will not know what Brahma is, you will not know what Tao is.

So the problem is not how to have a strong character, the problem is not how to attain no-anger, how not to be disturbed – no, that is not the problem. The problem is how to change your consciousness from the periphery to the center. Then suddenly you see that you have always been calm. Then you can look at the periphery from a distance, and the distance is so vast, infinite, that you can watch as if it is not happening to you. In fact, it never happens to you. Even when you are completely lost in it, it never happens to you: something in you remains undisturbed, something in you remains beyond, something in you remains a witness.

So the whole problem for the seeker is how to shift his attention from the periphery to the center; how to be merged with that which is unchanging, and not to be identified with that which is just a boundary. On the boundary others are very influential, because on the boundary change is natural. The periphery will go on changing – even a buddha’s periphery changes.

The difference between a buddha and you is not a difference of character – remember this; it is not a difference of morality, it is not a difference in virtue or nonvirtue, it is a difference in where you are grounded.

You are grounded on the periphery; a buddha is grounded in the center. He can look at his own periphery from a distance; when you hit him he can see it as if you have hit somebody else, because the center is so distant. It’s as if he is a watcher on the hills and something is happening in the valleys and he can see it. This is the first thing to be understood.

The second thing: it is very easy to control, it is very difficult to transform. It is very easy to control. You can control your anger, but what will you do? – You will suppress it. And what happens when you suppress a certain thing? The direction of its movement changes: it is going out, and if you suppress it, it starts going in – just its direction changes.

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