Even in your privacy the society is there, as much as anywhere else, because the society is in your mind, in the program that it has given to your mind. From there it goes on functioning. It is a very cunning device.

Once in a while everybody feels just to do something which is not allowed, just to say yes to something for which always one has been forced to say no – just to go against oneself. Because that “oneself” is nothing but the program that society has given to you.

The more strict a society, the more the possibility of rebels. The more free a society, the less possibility for rebels. I will call a society revolutionary where rebels disappear because they are no longer needed. I will call a society free when nothing is rejected, so there is no morbid attraction in it. If society is against drugs, drugs will attract you, because they give you an opportunity to put the mind aside. You are burdened with it too much.

Remember, this can be done without being suicidal. The thrill that comes to you when you are doing something which the society does not allow is coming from a state of no mind, but at a very great cost. Just look at small children hiding some. where behind a wall smoking. Watch their faces – so glad. They will be coughing and tears will be coming to them because taking smoke in and throwing it out is just foolish. I don’t say it is a sin. Once you say it is a sin it becomes attractive. I simply say it is stupid, it is unintelligent. But watch a small child puffing a cigarette – his face. Maybe he is in deep trouble, his whole breathing system is feeling troubled, nauseous, tears are coming, and he is feeling tense – but still glad he can do something which is not allowed. He can do something which is not part of his mind, which is not expected. He feels free.

This can be attained very easily through meditation. There is no need to move on such suicidal paths. If you can learn how to put the mind aside….

When you were born you had no mind; you were born without any mind. That’s why you cannot remember a few years of your life, just the beginning years, three, four, five years. You don’t remember them. Why? You were there, why don’t you remember? The mind was not yet crystallized.

You go backwards, you can remember something that happened near the age of four, and then suddenly there is a blank, then you cannot go more deeply. What happened? You were there, very alive. In fact, more alive than you will ever be again, because scientists say that at the age of four a child has learned, known, seen, seventy-five percent of all his knowledge that is going to be there in his whole life. Seventy-five percent at the age of four! You have lived seventy five percent of your life already, but no memory? Because the mind was not yet crystallized. The language was to be learned, things were to be categorized, labeled. Unless you can label a thing you cannot remember it. How to remember it? You cannot file it in your mind somewhere. You don’t have a name for it. So first the name has to be learned; then you can remember.

A child comes without a mind. Why am I insisting on this? To tell you that your being can exist without the mind; there is no necessity for the mind to be there. It is just a structure that is useful in society, but don’t get too fixated with the structure. Remain loose so you can slip out of it. It is difficult, but if you start doing it; by and by you will be able to.

When you come home from the office, on the way, try to drop; the office completely. Remember again and again that you are going home, no need to carry the office there. Try not to remember the office.

If you catch yourself red handed remembering something, of the office again, drop it immediately. Get out of it, slip out of it. Make it a point that at home you will be at home. And in the office forget all about the home, the wife, the children, and everything. By and by you learn to use the mind and not to be used by it.

You go to sleep and the mind continues. You again and again say, “Stop!” but it doesn’t listen because you have never trained it to listen to you. Otherwise the moment you say, “Stop!” it has to stop. It is a mechanism. The mechanism cannot say, “No!” You put the fan on, it has to function; you put it off, it has to stop. When you stop a fan, the fan cannot say, “No! I would like to continue a little longer.”

It is a biocomputer, your mind. It is a very subtle mechanism, very useful; a very good slave but a very bad master.

So just be more alert, try to see things more. Live a few moments every day, or a few hours if you can manage, without the mind. Sometimes swimming in the river, when you put your clothes on the bank, then and there put the mind also. In fact make a gesture of also putting the mind there and go into the river alert, radiant with alertness, remembering continuously. But I am not saying verbalizing, I am not saying that you go on saying to yourself, “No, I am not the mind,” because then this is the mind. Just nonverbal, tacit understanding.

Sitting in your garden, Lying down on the lawn, forget it. There is no need. Playing with your children, forget it. There is no need. Loving your wife, forget it. There is no need. Eating your food, what is the point of carrying the mind? Or taking a shower, what is the point of taking the mind in the bathroom?

Just by and by, slowly… and don’t try to overdo, because then you will be a failure. If you try to overdo it, it will be difficult and you will say, “It is impossible.” No, try it in bits.

Let me tell you one anecdote: Cohen had three daughters and was desperately looking around for sons-in-law. One such young man came on the horizon and Cohen grabbed him. The three daughters were paraded in front of him after a lavish meal. There was Rachel, the eldest, who was decidedly plain – in fact she was downright ugly. The second daughter, Esther, was not really bad looking but was decidedly plump – in fact she was disgustingly fat. The third Sonia, was a gorgeous, lovely beauty by any standards.

Cohen pulled the young man aside and said, “Well, what do you think of them? I have got dowries for them – do not worry. Five hundred pounds for Rachel, two hundred fifty pounds for Esther, and three thousand pounds for Sonia.”

The young man was dumbfounded: “But why, why have you got so much more dowry for the most beautiful one?”

Cohen explained, “Well, it is like this. She is just a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy little bit pregnant.”

So start getting a little bit pregnant every day – with awareness. Don’t just become pregnant in a wholesale way. A little bit, by and by. Don’t try to overdo, because that too is again a trick of the mind. Whenever you see a point, the mind tries to overdo it. Of course you fail. When you fail the mind says, “See, I was all the time saying to you this is impossible.” Make very small targets. Move one foot at a time, inch by inch even. There is no hurry. Life is eternal.

But this is a trick of the mind. The mind says, “Now you have seen the point. Do it immediately – become non-identified with the mind.” And of course the mind laughs at your foolishness. For lives together – you have been training the mind, training yourself, getting identified; then in the sudden flash of a moment you want to get out of it. It is not so easy. Bit by bit, inch by inch, slowly, feeling your way, move. And don’t ask too much; otherwise you will lose all confidence in yourself. And once that is lost, the mind becomes a permanent master.

People try to do this many times. For thirty years a person has been smoking, and then suddenly one day, in a crazy moment, he decides not to smoke at all. For one hour, two hours he carries on, but a great desire arises, a tremendous desire arises. His whole being seems to be upset, in a chaos. Then by and by he feels this is too much. All his work stops; he cannot work in the factory, he cannot work in the home. He is almost always clouded by the urge to smoke. It seems too disturbing, at such a great cost. Then again in another crazy moment he takes the cigarette out of the pocket, starts smoking, and feels relaxed; but he has done a very dangerous experiment.

In those three hours when he didn’t smoke, he has learned one thing about himself: that he is impotent, that he cannot do anything, that he cannot follow a decision, that he has no will, that he is powerless. Once this settles, and this settles in everyone by and by…. You try once with smoking, another time with dieting, and another time with something else, and again and again you fail. Failure becomes a permanent thing in you. By and by you start becoming a driftwood; you say, “I cannot do anything.” And if you feel you cannot do it, then who can?

But the whole foolishness arises because the mind tricked you. It always told you to immediately do something for which a great training and discipline is needed; and then it made you feel impotent. If you are impotent the mind becomes very potent. This is always in proportion: if you are potent, the mind becomes impotent. If you are potent, then the mind cannot be potent; if you are impotent, the mind becomes potent. It lives on your energy, it lives on your failure, it lives on your defeated self, defeated will.

So never overdo it.

I have heard about one Chinese mystic, Mencius, a great disciple of Confucius. A man came to him who was an opium taker, and the man said, “It is very, very impossible. I have tried every way, every method. Everything fails finally. I am a complete failure. Can you help me?” Mencius tried to understand his whole story, listened to it, came to understand what had happened: he had been overdoing. He gave him a piece of chalk and told him, “Weigh your opium against this chalk, and whenever you weigh, write ‘one,’ next time write ‘two,’ again write ‘three,’ and go on writing on the wall how many times you have taken opium. And I will come again after one month.”

The man tried. Each time he took opium he had to weigh it against the chalk, and the chalk was disappearing by and by, very slowly, because each time he had to write ‘one,’ then with the same chalk ‘two,’ ‘three’…. It started disappearing. It was almost invisible in the beginning; each time the quantity was reduced, but in a very subtle way. After one month when Mencius went to see the man, the man laughed; he said, “You tricked me! And… It is working. It is so invisible – that I cannot feel the change, but the change is happening. Half the chalk has disappeared – and with half the chalk, half the opium has disappeared.”

Mencius said to him, “If you want to reach the goal, never run. Go slowly.” One of the most famous sentences of Mencius is: “If you want to reach, never run.” If you really want to reach, there is no need even to walk. If you really want to reach, you are already there. Go so slow! If the world had listened to Mencius, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Chuang Tzu there would be a totally different world. If you ask them how to manage our Olympics, they will say, “Give the prize to the one who gets defeated fast. Give the first prize to one who is the slowest walker, not for the fastest runner. Let there be a competition, but the prize goes to one who is the slowest.” If you move slowly in life, you will attain much, and with grace and grandeur and dignity. Don’t be violent; life cannot be changed by any violence. Be artful. Buddha has a special word for it; he calls it UPAYA, “Be skillful.” It is a complex phenomenon. Watch every step and move very cautiously. You are moving in a very, very dangerous place, as if moving between two peaks on a tightrope, like a tightrope walker. Balance each moment, and don’t try to run; otherwise failure is certain.

“Not to be identified with mind and body – still I don’t know how to do it. I tell myself: you are not the mind, don’t listen to your fear, love yourself, be content….” Stop all this nonsense. Don’t say anything to the mind, because the sayer is the mind. You rather be silent and listen. In silence there is no mind. In small gaps when there is no word there is no mind. Mind is absolutely linguistic, it is language. So start slipping into the gaps. Sometimes just see, as if you are an idiot, not thinking just seeing. Sometimes, go and watch people who are known as idiots. They are simply sitting there – looking but not looking at anything. Relaxed, perfectly relaxed, their face has a beauty. No tension, nothing to do, completely at ease, at home. Just watch them.

If you can sit for one hour like an idiot every day, you will attain.

Lao Tzu has said, “Everybody seems to be so clever except me. I look like an idiot.” One of the most famous novelists, Fyodor Dostoevski, has written in his diary that when he was young he had an epileptic fit, and after the fit, for the first time he could understand what reality is. Immediately after the fit everything became absolutely silent. Thoughts stopped. Others were trying to find medicine and the doctor, and he was so tremendously glad. The epileptic fit had given him a glimpse into no-mind.

You may be surprised to know that many epileptics have become mystics and many mystics used to have epileptic fits – Ramakrishna even. Ramakrishna will go into a fit. In India we don’t call it a fit.

We call it samadhi. Indians are clever people. When one is going to name a thing, why not name it beautifully? If we call it “no-mind” it looks perfectly good. If I say, “Be an idiot,” you feel disturbed, uneasy. If I say, “Become a no mind,” everything is okay. But it is exactly the same state.

The idiot is below mind, the meditator is above mind, but both are without any minds. I am not saying that the idiot is exactly the same, but something similar. The idiot is not aware that he has a no-mind, and the no-mind man is aware that he has a no-mind. A great difference, but a similarity also. There is a certain similarity between mad people and the realized ones. In Sufism they are called “the mad ones”; the realized ones are known as the mad people. They are mad in a way: they have dropped out of mind.

By and by, learn it slowly. Even if you can have a few seconds of this superb idiocy, when you are not thinking anything, when you don’t know who you are, when you don’t know why you are, when you don’t know anything at all and you are deep in a nonknowledge state, in deep ignorance, in the deep silence of the ignorance; in that silence the vision will start coming to you, that you are not the body, you are not the mind. Not that you will verbalize it! It will be a fact, just as the sun is shining there. You need not say that there is the sun and the shine. As the birds are singing – there is no need to say that they are singing. You can just listen and be aware and know that they are singing, without saying it.

Exactly the same way, prepare yourself slowly, and one day you will realize you are neither the body nor the mind – nor even the self, the soul! You are a tremendous emptiness, a nothingness – a no-thingness. You are, but without any boundary, with no limitation, with no demarcation, with no definition. In that utter silence one comes to perfection, to the very peak of life, of existence.

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