We will have a few questions from Yoga Sutra 40.
Once you start practicing Yoga this question will arise in you – I FEEL LOST – THERE IS NO WAY BACK TO MY OLD LIFE – THE BRIDGES ARE BROKEN. AND I DON’T SEE A WAY IN FRONT OF ME.
There is none. The way is just an illusion of the mind. The mind goes on dreaming about the way to reach its goals, its desires. The way is a shadow of the desiring mind. First you desire something.
Of course desire can only be in the future and the future is not there yet. How to bridge that which is not with that which is? Then you create a way. It is imagination. It is an illusion. But with the way, you become joined with that which is not, and then you start travelling. You are playing a game with yourself.
There is nowhere to go, so the way is not needed. You are already there. It is not something to be achieved; it has already been delivered to you. And deep down, religion is not a path but just a realization, a revelation – the realization that you are already there. Your hankering, your desire does not allow you to see the facticity of your being.
So good, old bridges are broken and there seems to be no path, no way ahead. That’s what I want to do to you. I want to take all the paths away. Pathless, not knowing where to go you will go in. If all your paths – all the possibilities to escape from yourself – are taken away, what will you do? You will be yourself.
Just think. Just meditate upon it a little. It is desire, it is competition with others, that creates the whole thing, the whole illusion. You are always competing. Somebody else is ahead of you. You would like to put him back; you would like to overtake him. You run fast. You do everything that you can do – just/unjust, right/wrong. You forget everything; you simply want to undo him, to prove him a failure. This way you are not going to achieve your innermost reality. This way you will achieve a little more decoration of the ego. You have defeated one, you have defeated thousands, you have defeated millions – and you are moving and moving and moving. More and more ego will be accumulated. You will become more burdened. You will be more lost, you will be lost in a forest.
Competition is one of the most irreligious things in the world, but that’s what everybody is doing.
Somebody has a big house. You immediately start desiring a bigger one. Somebody has a beautiful car. Immediately you desire to have another, a bigger one. Somebody has a beautiful wife, or somebody has a beautiful face or a beautiful voice. Immediately the desire arises.
The desire arises with the idea that you have to compete with others and that you have to prove something against others, that you have to struggle, that you have to achieve something. Not knowing what it is, but you go on moving in a dark valley thinking that somewhere there must be a goal.
You can go on and on, for lives together. That’s what you have been doing up to now. You will never reach anywhere. You will be always running and never reaching because the goal is within you. But to see that, you have to drop all competition, all ambition.
And remember, it is very easy to change your competitiveness into a new competitiveness, to drop the old and to have something new again in the same way, the same ambition. You are ambitious in the world. Then you drop it. Then you become ambitious in the name of religion, spirituality; then again you compete. Then again the same ego enters in. I have heard one anecdote. Listen to it very alertly.
Two brothers died at the same time and arrived at the Pearly Gates together, where they were interviewed by St. Peter.
He said to the first brother, “Have you been good during your life on earth?” And he replied, “Oh yes, Your Saintliness, I have been honest, sober, and industrious, and I have never messed around with women.”
“Good lad,” said St. Peter, and gave him a beautiful gleaming white Rolls-Royce. “There is your reward for being a good boy.”
Then he said to the other brother, “And what about you?”
He sighed, “Well, I have always been very different from my brother. I have been crooked, drunk, idle – and a devil with the women.”
“Ah well,” said St. Peter, “boys will be boys, and at least you have owned up to it. You can have this, then.” And he gave him the keys to a Mini-Minor.
The two brothers were about to get in their cars when the one who had been naughty started roaring with laughter. The other one said, “What is so funny then?”
He said, “I have just seen the vicar riding a bike!”
Your whole enjoyment is always just comparative. Comparison gives you a feeling of where you are – behind the man who has a Rolls-Royce but in front of the man who has a bike. It gives you the exact location where you are.
You can pinpoint yourself on the map, but this is not the right way to know where you are, because you are nowhere on the map. The map is illusory. You are somewhere beyond the map. Nobody is in front of you and nobody is at the back. You are alone – tremendously alone. You are unique, you are alone, you are one. And there is nobody else there to be compared with.
That’s why people become – very much afraid of going within because then they are moving into their – aloneness, where all paths disappear, all possibilities of location where you are, disappear. All maps – imaginary, political, cultural, social – all disappear. Suddenly you are in the wilderness of your being and you don’t know where you are. This is exactly what has happened: “I feel lost – there is no way back to my old life – the bridges are broken. And I don’t see a way in front of me.” This is what I call the beginning of meditation, the beginning of the entry within your being. Don’t get scared; otherwise you will again become a victim of your dreams. Enter into it boldly, courageously, daringly. If you understand me, it is not difficult; just a tacit understanding is needed.
Of course now you will never be able to know where you are. You will be able to know who you are, but you will never be able to know where you are, because “Where” is always in relation with others.
“Who” is your nature; “Where” is relative.
And now onward there will be no bridges with the past; and of course there is no possibility now for any bridges for the future. The past is gone, the future does not exist. The past is just a memory and the future is nothing but hope. The past is just a reference and the future is just a dream. Both are gone. You will be living in the present… and the present is so vast you will be lost as a drop of water becomes lost in the ocean.
Be ready for it. Be ready to dissolve, be ready to be annihilated.
The mind will hanker for the past, the identity, the clarity – where you are, who you are. But all those are games, language games.Tags: Bridges Are Broken Patanjali