Whatsoever ordinary people are doing – by ordinary I mean people who have not attained to their innermost core of being; people who are living with their minds are ordinary, who are living with their ideas and thoughts and ideologies and scriptures, whatsoever they are doing – either their actions are pure, or their actions are impure, or their actions are mixed; but their actions are not spontaneous, not original. They react, they don’t act. Their response is a reaction. It is not an overflowing of energy. They are not available to this moment, right now.

Somebody asked Lin Chi, a Zen Master, “If somebody comes and attacks you, what will you do?” He shrugged his shoulders. He said, “Let him come, and I will see. I cannot be prepared beforehand. I don’t know. I may laugh, or I may weep, or I may jump and kill that man. Or, I may not bother about it at all. But I don’t know. Let the man come. The moment will decide, not I. The whole will decide, not I. How can I say what I will do?”

An enlightened man does not live through the mind. He has no frame around him. He is vast emptiness. Nobody knows how God will act through him at that moment. He will not interfere – that’s all – because there is nobody to interfere. Mind interferes; he is no more a mind. He will not try to do something which he thinks is good, and he will not try to avoid something which he thinks is bad. He will not try anything. He will be simply in the hands of the divine and let the thing happen.

He will not interpret later on that whatsoever has happened is good or bad. No, an enlightened man never looks back, never evaluates, never looks ahead, never plans. Whatsoever the moment… and he allows the moment to decide. In that moment, everything converges. The whole existence takes part, so nobody knows.

Lin Chi said, “If somebody attacks me, nobody knows. It will depend. The somebody may be Gautam Buddha, and if he attacks me I will laugh. I may touch his feet at how compassionate it is of him to attack me, poor Lin Chi. But it will depend on the moment, on so many things that it is unpredictable.”

Just at the beginning of this century, in the year 1900, a great scientist, Max Planck, came to make one of the greatest discoveries ever. He came to feel and he came to discover that existence seems to be discontinuous, that it is not a continuity. It is not as if you pour oil from one pot into another.

Then the oil has a continuity; it falls in a continuous stream. Max Planck said, “Existence is such: as if you are pouring peas from one carton into another – discontinuous – each pea falling separately.”

He said, “The whole life is discontinuous. These discontinuous elements he calls ‘quanta’. That is his Theory of Quantum. ‘Quanta’ means: each thing is separate from each-other thing, and discontinuous, and between two things there is a space. Now, that space is holding everything because two things are not connected, two atoms are not connected between themselves. The space, the emptiness is holding both. They are not connected directly, they are connected through space. Still, nobody has tried some parallel theory about the mind, but exactly the same is the case.

Two thoughts are not connected with each other, and thoughts are discontinuous. One thought, another thought, another thought, and between these thoughts, there are gaps, very small gaps – that is your inner space. That’s what the original mind is. One cloud passes, another cloud passes; between the two is the sky. One thought passes, another passes; between the two is the original mind. If you think your thoughts are continuous, then you think of yourself as a mind.

In fact, there is nothing like a mind – only thoughts, discontinuous thoughts wandering within you, moving so fast that you cannot see the gaps. These thoughts are held by your inner space. Atoms are supported by the outer space, thoughts are supported by the inner space. If you count matter, you become a materialist; if you count your thoughts, you become a mentalist. But mind and matter, both are false. They are processes, discontinuous. And I would like to say to you that this is yoga’s ultimate synthesis: that the inner space and the outer space are not two. Your original mind and God’s original mind are not two. Your artificial mind is different from God, but your original mind is nothing different. It is the same.


If you do a pure karma, a good act, a saintly act, then desires will arise, of course, to do more good. If you do an impure act, desires will arise to do more impure acts, because whatsoever you do creates a certain habit in you to repeat it. People go on repeating. Whatsoever you have done, you become skillful in doing it. If you do a mixed act, of course a mixed desire arises in which good and bad both are mixing. But all are artificial minds. Even the mind of the saint is still a mind.

I have heard:

Abe Cohen, a great businessman, a Jew, was convicted of murder before the ending of capital punishment. The prison governor visited him on the morning of his execution. “Mr. Cohen,” he said, “it will cost this country 100 pounds to hang you.” “Bad business,” said Abe. “Give me 95 pounds, and I will shoot myself.”

A businessman is a businessman. He goes on thinking in terms of business, in terms of money. He has become skillful about it. Just watch whatsoever you have been doing – you have a tendency to repeat it, unawares, unconsciously. You go on repeating the same things again and again and again, and of course, the more you repeat, the more you are caught in the habit. A time comes when even if you want to leave the habit, the habit has become so deep-rooted that you want to leave it, but it does not want to leave you.

I have heard, it happened: A certain teacher, out of indigence, wore only thin cotton cloth in the winter. A storm carried a bear down from the mountains by way of the river. Its head was hidden in the water. The children, seeing its back, cried, “Teacher, look! A fur-coat has fallen into the water, and you are cold. Go and fetch it!” The teacher, in the extremity of his need, leapt into the river to catch the fur coat. The bear quickly attacked him and caught him. “Teacher,” the boys shouted from the bank, “either grasp the coat, or let it go and come out!” “I am letting the fur coat go,” shouted the teacher, “but the fur coat is not letting me go!”

That’s the problem with habits: first you cultivate them, then, by and by, they have become almost a second nature to you. Then you want to drop them, but it is not so easy to drop them. What to do?

You will have to become more aware.

Habits cannot be dropped. There are only two ways to drop them: one is to change the habit for a substitute habit – but that is just changing one problem for another, it is not going to help much; the other is to become more aware. Whenever you repeat a habit, become aware. Even if you have to repeat it, repeat it, but repeat with a witnessing, an alertness, an awareness. That awareness will make you separate from the habit, and the energy that you go on giving to the habit unknowingly, will not be given anymore. By and by, the habit will shrink; the water will not be flowing through it, the channel will be blocked. By and by, it will disappear.

Never try to change one habit into another, because all habits are bad. Even good habits are bad, because they are habits. Don’t try to change impure habits into pure habits. It is good for society that you change your bad habits into good habits. Rather than going to the pub every day, if you go to the church or to the temple every day, it is good for society. But as far as you are concerned it is not going to help much. You have to go beyond habits. Then it is helpful.

Society wants you to become moral, because by being immoral you create troubles – society is finished. Once you become moral, the society is finished. Now it is none of society’s business to be bothered with you. If you are immoral, society is not finished with you; something has to be done about you. Once you are moral, the society is finished. The society garlands you and cheers you and says, “You are a very good man” – finished. The society is no longer in trouble with you, but you yourself have yet long to go; the journey is not complete yet. The bad habit is against society, and habit, as such, is against your original nature.

A flea rushed into the pub just before closing time, ordered five double scotches, drank them straight down, rushed into the street, leapt high in the air and fell flat on his face. He picked himself up, looked unsteadily around and muttered, “Darn it! Someone has moved my dog.”

For many lives you have been drinking and drinking out of unconsciousness. Everybody is an alcoholic, and of course you go on falling again and again.

The deep problem is: how to become aware, how not to be unconscious. From where to start? Don’t try to fight with some very deep-rooted habit. You will be defeated. The fur coat will not leave you so easily. Start with very neutral habits.

For example: you go for a walk; just be aware that you are walking. It is a neutral thing. Nothing is invested in it. You are looking at the trees; just look at the trees and be aware. Don’t look with clouded eyes. Drop all thinking. Just for a few moments even, just look at the trees, and just look.

Look at the stars. Swimming, just be alert to the inner feeling that happens inside your body while you are swimming, the inner. Feel it. You are taking a sunbath; feel how you start feeling inside: warm, settled, rested. While falling asleep, just watch how you are feeling inside. Inside, outside – try to be aware of the coolness of the sheets, the darkness in the room, the silence outside, or the noise outside. Suddenly, a dog barks – neutral things; bring your consciousness to them first. And then, by and by, proceed.

Then, try to be aware of your good habits, because good habits are not so deep-rooted as bad habits.

Good habits need much sacrifice on your part, so very few people try to cultivate good habits. And even those who try to cultivate good habits try very few good habits; just underneath, many bad habits are there.

First try neutral, then good, then move, by and by to bad habits. And finally, remember that each habit has to be made aware. Once you have become aware of your whole habitual pattern, that habitual pattern is your mind. Any day the shift will happen. Suddenly, you will be in the no-mind.

When all the habits of your life have become aware, you don’t do them unconsciously and you don’t cooperate with them unconsciously, any day, when the situation comes to a point – at one hundred degrees – suddenly, a shift will happen. You will find yourself in emptiness. That is the original mind which is neither pure nor impure.


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