Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 1 Chapter 21
"Three looking techniques"
14 December 1972 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
30. EYES CLOSED, SEE YOUR INNER BEING IN DETAIL. THUS SEE YOUR TRUE NATURE.
31. LOOK UPON A BOWL WITHOUT SEEING THE SIDES OR THE MATERIAL. IN A FEW MOMENTS BECOME AWARE.
32. SEE AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME A BEAUTEOUS PERSON OR AN ORDINARY OBJECT.
Tonight's techniques are concerned with the practice of looking. Before we enter these techniques, something has to be understood about the eyes, because all these seven techniques depend on that. The first thing: eyes are the most non-bodily part in the human body, the least bodily. If matter can become non-matter, then such is the case with eyes. Eyes are material, but simultaneously they are also non-material. Eyes are a meeting point of you and your body. Nowhere else in the body is the meeting so deep.
The human body and you are much separated, a great distance is there. But at the point of the eyes you are nearest to your body and the body is nearest to you. That is why eyes can be used for the inner journey. A single jump from the eyes can lead you to the source. That is not possible from the hand, not possible from the heart, not possible from anywhere else in the body. From elsewhere you will have to travel long; the distance is great. But from the eyes a single step is enough to enter into yourself. That is why eyes have been used continuously in religious yogic and tantric practices.
The first reason is because you are NEAREST from there. That is why, if you know how to look into someone's eyes, you can look into his depths. He is there. He is not so present anywhere else in the body, but if you can look into his eyes you will find him there. It is a difficult art to look into someone else's eyes, and it comes to you only when you have taken a jump from your own eyes within; otherwise you cannot look. If you have not looked within beyond your own eyes, you cannot have a look into someone else's eyes. But if you know how to look into the eyes, you can touch the depth of the person.
That is why only in love can you look straight and stare into another's eyes. Otherwise, if you stare into someone's eyes he will feel offended. You are trespassing; this is a trespass. You can look at the body -- there is no trespass. But the moment you stare into somebody's eyes, you are trespassing his individuality, you are trespassing his individual freedom, you are entering him without any invitation. That is why there is a limit, and now the limit can be measured. At the most you can be allowed to look for three seconds. You can be allowed just a casual look and then you have to move your eyes; otherwise the other will feel offended. This is violent, because you can have a glimpse of his inner secrets, and that cannot be allowed.
Only in deep love can you look into another's eyes, because love means that now you do not want to maintain any secrets. You are now open to the other and the other is always welcome and invited to enter you. And when lovers look into each other's eyes, there is a meeting which is non-bodily, there is a meeting which is not of the body. So the second thing to be remembered: your mind, your consciousness, your soul, whatsoever is within you, can be glimpsed through the eyes.
That is why a blind man has a dead face. It is not only that the eyes are lacking, but that the face is dead -- not alive. Eyes are the light of the face: they enlighten your face; they give it an inner aliveness. When the eyes are not there, your face lacks aliveness. And a blind man is really closed. You cannot enter him so easily. That is why blind men are very secretive and you can rely upon a blind man. If you give him a secret, you can rely upon him. He will maintain it, and it will be difficult to judge whether he has a secret. But with a man who has alive eyes, it can be judged immediately that he has a secret.
For example, you are traveling without a ticket on a railway train. Your eyes will go on betraying you that you are without a ticket. It is a secret; no one knows, only you know. But your eyes will have a different look, and you will look at anyone who enters the train with a different quality. If the other could understand the quality, he would know immediately that you are without a ticket. The look will be different when you have a ticket. The look will be different!
So if you are hiding a secret, your eyes will reveal it. And to control the eyes is very difficult. The most difficult thing in the body to control is the eyes. So everyone cannot become a great detective because the basic training of the detective is the training of the eyes. His eyes should not reveal anything -- or on the contrary they should reveal the opposite. When he is traveling without a ticket, his eyes should reveal that he has a ticket. It is very difficult because eyes are not voluntary: they are non-voluntary.
Now many experiments are being done on the eyes. Someone is a BRAHMACHARI, a celibate, and he says he has no attraction toward women. But his eyes will reveal everything; he may be hiding his attraction. A beautiful woman enters the room. He may not look at her, but even his not looking at her will be revealing. There will be an effort, a subtle suppression, and the eyes will show it. Not only that, the surface of the eyes will expand. When a beautiful woman enters, the pupils of the eyes will expand immediately to allow the beautiful woman more space to go in. And you cannot do anything about it because those pupils and their expansion is non-voluntary. You cannot do anything! It is absolutely impossible to control them. So the second thing to remember is that your eyes are the doors to your secrets. If anyone wants to enter into your secret world, your privacy, your eyes are the doors.
If you know how to unlock them, you will become vulnerable, open. And if you want to enter into your own secret life, your inner life, then again you will have to use the same lock and unlocking system. You will have to work on your eyes, only then can you enter.
Thirdly, eyes are very liquid, moving, in constant movement, and that movement has its own rhythm, its own system, its own mechanism. Your eyes are not moving at random, anarchically. They have a rhythm of their own and that rhythm shows many things. If you have a sexual thought in the mind, your eyes move differently -- with a different rhythm. Just by looking at your eyes and the movement, one can say what type of thought is moving inside. When you feel hungry and a thought of food is inside, eyes have a different movement.
So now even your dreams can be penetrated. Your eye movements can be recorded while you are asleep. And remember, even in dreams your eyes behave similarly. If you are seeing a naked woman in your dream, this can be judged from your eye movements. Now they are mechanical devices to record what are the movements of the eyes.
These eye movements are called R.E.M. -- Rapid Eye Movements. They can be recorded on a graph, just like an electro-cardiogram. If you have been sleeping for the whole night, your eye movements can be continuously recorded. And then the graph can show when you were dreaming and when you were not, because when you are not dreaming the eyes stop and become static. When you are dreaming they move, and the movement is like when you are seeing something on the screen. If you are seeing a film, the eyes have to move. In the same way, in your dream your eyes move: they are seeing something. They follow the movements of the film. For your eyes there is no difference between an actual film being shown on the screen or just a dream film.
So these R.E.M. recorders tell how much you dreamt in the night and for how many moments you were not dreaming, because the eyes stop their movement when you are not dreaming. There are many persons who say they never dream. They just have a very absent-minded memory -- nothing else. They cannot remember, that is the only thing. They are actually dreaming, for the whole night they are dreaming, but they cannot remember. Their memory is not good, that is all. So in the morning when they say there was no dream, do not believe them.
Why do the eyes move when there is a dream, and why do the eyes stop when there is no dream? Each eye movement is joined to the thought process. If thinking is there, the eyes will move. If there is no thinking, the eyes will not move -- there is no need.
So remember this third point also, that eye movements and thinking are joined together. That is why if you stop your eyes and their movements, your thought process will stop immediately. Or if your thought process stops your eyes will stop automatically.
And one point more, the fourth. The eyes move continuously from one object to another. From A to B, from B to C, they go on moving. Movement is their nature. It is just like a river flowing: movement is their nature! And because of that movement, they are so alive! Movement is also life.
You can try to stop your eyes at a particular point, at a particular object, and not allow them to move, but movement is their nature. You cannot stop movement, but you can stop your eyes: understand the distinction. You can stop your eyes at a particular fixed point -- on a dot on the wall. You can stare at the dot; you can stop your eyes. But movement is their nature. So they may not move from object A to object B because you have forced them to remain at A, but then a very strange phenomenon happens. Movement is bound to be there; that is their nature. If you do not allow them movement from A to B, they will move from outwards to inwards. Either they can move from A to B, or if you do not allow this outward movement they will move inwards. Movement is their nature; they need movement. If you suddenly stop and do not allow them to move outwards, they will start moving inwards.
So there are two possibilities of movement. One is from object A to object But -- this is an outward movement. This is how it is happening naturally. But there is another possibility which is of tantra and yoga -- not allowing movement from one outside object to another and stopping this movement. Then the eyes jump from an outside object to the inner consciousness, they begin to move inwards. Remember these four points; then it will be easy to understand the techniques.
The first technique:
EYES CLOSED, SEE YOUR INNER BEING IN DETAIL. THUS SEE YOUR TRUE NATURE.
Close your eyes. But this closing is not enough. Total closing means to close your eyes and stop their movements; otherwise the eyes will continue to see something which is of the outside. Even with closed eyes you will see things -- images of things. Actual things are not there, but images, ideas, collected memories -- they will start flowing. They are also from outside, so your eyes are still not totally closed. Totally closed eyes means nothing to see.
Understand the difference. You can close your eyes; that is easy, everyone closes them every moment. In the night you close your eyes, but that will not reveal the inner nature to you. Close your eyes so that nothing remains to be seen -- no outside object, no inside image of any outside object, just a blank darkness as if you have suddenly gone blind. Not blind only to reality, but to the dream reality also.
One has to practise it. A long period will be needed; it cannot be done suddenly. You will need a long training. Close your eyes. Anytime you feel that it is easy and you have time, close your eyes and then inwardly stop all movements of the eyes. Do not allow any movement. Feel! Do not allow any movement. Stop all movements of the eyes. Feel as if they have become stones, and then remain in that "stoney" state of the eyes. Do not do anything; just remain there. Suddenly, someday, you will become aware that you are looking inside yourself.
You can go just outside this building, move around the building and have a look, but that is looking at the building from the outside. Then you can enter into the room and you can stand in this room and have a look. That is looking at the building from the inside. When you are taking a round outside, you see the walls, but only one side; (The walls are the same, but) then you are seeing the outside of the walls. When you come in, the walls are the same, but now you will see the inside of the walls.
You have seen your body only from the outside. You have seen your body in a mirror or you have seen your hands from the outside. You do not know what the inside of your body is. You have never entered into your own self; you have never been at the center of your body and being, to look around at what is there from the inside.
This technique is very helpful for having a look from the inside, and that transforms your total consciousness, your total existence -- because if you can have a look from the inside, you immediately become different from the world. This false identity that "I am the body" is only because we have been looking at our bodies from the outside. If you can have a look from the inside, the looker becomes different. And then you can move your consciousness in your body, from your toe to your head; you can now have a round inside the body. And once you become capable of having a look from the inside and moving there, then it is not difficult to go outside at all.
Once you know how to move, once you know that you are separate from the body, you are freed from a great bondage. Now you have no gravitational pull; now you have no limitation. Now you are absolute freedom. You can go out of the body; you can go and come. And then your body becomes just an abode.
Close your eyes, see your inner being in detail and move from limb to limb inside. Just go to your toe. Forget the whole body: move to the toe. Stay there and have a look. Then move through the legs, come on upwards, go to every limb. Then many things happen. MANY things happen!
Then your body becomes such a sensitive vehicle, you cannot even imagine it. Then if you touch someone, you can move into your hand totally and that touch will become transforming. That is what is meant by a master's touch: he can move to any limb totally, and then he is concentrated there. If you can move to any part of your body totally, that part becomes alive -- so much alive that you cannot imagine what happens to that part. Then you can move to the eyes totally. If you can move to your eyes totally and then look into someone's eyes, you will penetrate him; you will go to his very depths.
Now psychoanalysts are trying to go to the depths through psychoanalysis. Then they take one year, two years, three years... This is a sheer wastage of time. And life is so short that if three years are taken to analyze a person's mind, it is nonsense. And then too you cannot rely on whether the analysis is complete or not. You are groping in the dark. The Eastern approach has been through the eyes. No need of analyzing the person for such a long time. The work can be done by just entering through his eyes totally, touching his depths, knowing many things about him of which even he is not aware.
The master has many things to do. One of the basic things is this: to analyze you, to go deep into you, to move into your darker realms which are unknown to you. And if he says to you that something is hidden in you, you will not believe it. How can you believe it? You are not aware of it. You know only one part of the mind -- a very small fragment which is just the upper part, just the first layer. Behind it there are hidden nine layers which are not known to you, but through your eyes a penetration is possible.
Close your eyes; SEE YOUR INNER BEING IN DETAIL. The first, outer part of the technique is to look at your body inwardly -- from your inner center. Stand there and have a look. You will be separated from the body because the looker is never the looked at. The observer is different from the object.
If you can see your body totally from the inside, then you can never fall into the illusion that you are the body. Then you will remain different -- totally different: inside it but not it, in the body but not the body. This is the first part. Then you can move; then you are free to move. Once freed from the body, freed from the identity, you are free to move. Now you can move into your mind -- deep down. Those nine layers which are within and unconscious can now be entered into.
This is the inner cave of the mind. If you enter this cave of the mind, you will become separate from the mind also. Then you will see that the mind is also an object which you can look at, and that which is entering the mind is, again, separate and different. This entering into the mind is what is meant by: SEE YOUR INNER BEING IN DETAIL. Body and mind both should be entered and looked at from within. Then you are simply a witness, and this witness cannot be penetrated.
That is why it is your innermost core: that is you. That which can be penetrated, that which can be seen, is not you. When you have come to that which cannot be penetrated, that in which you cannot move, which cannot be observed, then only have you come to the real self. You cannot witness the witnessing source, remember -- that is absurd.
If someone says that "I have witnessed my witness," that is absurd. Why is it absurd? Because if you have witnessed your witnessing self, then the witnessing self is not the witnessing self. That who has witnessed it is the witness. That who you can see, you are not; that which you can observe, you are not; that which you can become aware of, you are not.
But a point comes beyond the mind where simply you are. Now you cannot divide your single existence into two: object and subject. Simple subjectivity is there, just witnessing. This is very, very difficult to comprehend through intellect because all the categories of the intellect are broken there.
Because of this logical difficulty, Charwak -- the expounder of one of the most logical philosophical systems in the world -- says that you cannot know the self; there is no self-knowledge. And because there is no self-knowledge, how can you say that there is a elf? Whatsoever you know is not the self. The knower is the self, not the known, so you cannot say logically that "I have known my self." That is absurd, illogical. How can you know your self? Then who will be the knower and who will be the known? Knowledge means a dichotomy, a division between object and subject, the knower and the known.
So Charwak says that all those who say they have known the self are talking nonsense. Self-knowledge is impossible because the self is irreducibly the knower. It cannot be converted into the known.
Then Charwak says that if you cannot know the self, how can you say that there is self? Those like Charwak, who do not believe in the presence of a self, are called ANATMAVADIN. They say no self is; they say there is no self -- that which cannot be known is not. And they are right logically. If logic is all, they are right. But this is the mystery of life, that logic is only the beginning -- not the end. A moment comes when logic ends, but you do not end. A moment comes when logic is finished, but you are still there. Life is illogical. That is why it is difficult to comprehend, to conceive of what is meant when it is said that only the witness remains.
For example, if there is a lamp in this room, you see many objects around you. When the lamp is turned off, there is darkness and nothing can be seen. When the lamp is put on, there is light and you can see everything in the room. But have you ever observed what is happening? If there are no objects, will you be able to see the lamp and its light? You will not be able to see its light, because to be seen the light must reflect something. It must strike an object. The rays must go to an object and then be reflected, then they will reach to your eyes. So first you see objects, then you infer that light is there. When you burn a lamp or a candle, you never see the light first. First you see the objects, and because of the objects you come to know about the light.
Scientists say that if there are no objects then light cannot be seen. Look at the sky: it looks blue but it is not blue, it is filled with cosmic rays. It looks blue because there are no objects. Those rays cannot reflect and come to your eyes. If you go into space and there are no objects, then there will be darkness. Of course, rays will be passing just by your side, but there will be darkness. To know the light some objects have to be there.
Charwak says that if you enter within and come to the point where only the witness has remained and there is nothing to be witnessed, how can you know about it? Some object must be there to be witnessed; only then can you know the witnessing. Logically, scientifically, it is right. But existentially it is not right.
Those who really move inside come to a point where there is no object left but just the consciousness of being. You are, but nothing is there to be seen -- only the seer. ONLY the seer! There is simple subjectivity without any object around it. The moment you come to this point, you have entered your ultimate goal of being. You can call it the alpha -- the beginning, or you can call it the omega - the end. It is both, alpha and omega. This is called "self-knowledge."
Linguistically the word is wrong because linguistically nothing can be said about it. Language becomes meaningless when you enter the world of the one. Language is meaningful only when you are in the world of two. In the world of duality language is meaningful because language is created in, is part of the dualistic world. It becomes meaningless when you enter the one, the non-dual. That is why those who know have remained silent -- or even if they say something they hurriedly add that whatsoever they are saying is just symbolic, and whatsoever they are saying is not exactly true: it is false.
Lao Tsu said that that which can be said cannot be true, and that which is true cannot be said. He remained silent; for most of his life he would not write anything. He said, "If I say something it will be untrue, because nothing can be said about the realm where only the One remains."
EYES CLOSED, SEE YOUR INNER BEING IN DETAIL -- body and mind both. THUS SEE YOUR TRUE NATURE. See your body and mind, your structure. And remember, body and mind are not two things. Rather, you are both: body-mind -- psychosomatic. Mind is the finer part of the body and body is the grosser part of the mind.
So if you can become aware of the structure of body-mind, if you can become conscious of the structure, you are freed from the structure, you are freed from the vehicle, you have become different. And this knowing that you are separate from the structure is your true nature. That is what you really are. This body will die, but that true nature never dies. This mind will die and change, and die again and again, but that true nature never dies. That true nature is eternal. That is why that true nature is neither your name nor your form. It is beyond both.
So how to do this technique? Total closing of the eyes is needed. If you try it, close your eyes and then stop the movements. Let your eyes become just like stones. No movements allowed. Suddenly, any day while practising this, suddenly it will happen that you will be able to look within. The eyes which were always looking outside will turn in and you will have a glimpse inside.
Then there is no difficulty. Once you have the glimpse inside, you know what to do and how to move. Only the first glimpse is difficult; after that you have the knack. Then it becomes just like a trick. Any moment you can close your eyes, make your eyes static, and you can enter the realm.
Buddha was dying. It was the last day of his life, and he asked his disciples if they wanted to ask any questions. They were weeping, crying, and they said, "You have told us so much. Now nothing is left to ask." Buddha had a habit of asking thrice. He would never stop after asking once. He would ask again, and then he would ask still again whether you had any question to ask . Many times Buddha was asked, "Why do you ask a single thing three times?" He said, "Because man is so unaware, so unconscious, he may not have heard the first time and he may have missed the second time."
Thrice he asked, and thrice his BHIKKHUS, monks, his disciples said, "Now we do not want to ask anything. You have said so much." Then he closed his eyes and said, "If you do not have anything to ask, before death occurs to the body I will move from it. Before death enters the body I will move from it."
He closed his eyes. His eyes became static and he started moving. It is said that there were four parts to his movement inwards. First he closed his eyes; secondly, his eyes became static, there were no movements. If you had then the instrument for recording R.E.M., the graph would not have come. The eyes became static -- that was the second thing. Thirdly, he looked at his body; then fourthly, he looked at his mind.
This was the whole journey. Before death occurred he was back at his center, in his original source. That is why this death is not called death: we call it NIRVANA, and this is the difference. We call it nirvana -- cessation -- not death. Ordinarily, we die because death occurs to us. It never occurred to Buddha. Before death came, he had already returned to the source.
Death occurred only to the dead body -- he was not there to be found. So in Buddhist tradition it is said that he never died. Death could not catch him. It followed as it follows him everyone, but he could not be trapped; he tricked Death out of it. He must have been laughing -- standing beyond, and Death was there only with a dead body.
This technique is the same. Make four parts of it and move. And when you know one glimpse, the whole thing will become very easy and simple. Then any moment you can move in and come out, and go in and come out, just like coming out of your house and going in... coming out and going in.
The second technique:
LOOK UPON A BOWL WITHOUT SEEING THE SIDES OR THE MATERIAL. IN A FEW MOMENTS BECOME AWARE.
Look at anything. A bowl or any object will do, but look with a different quality. LOOK UPON A BOWL WITHOUT SEEING THE SIDES OR THE MATERIAL. Look upon any object, but with these two conditions... Do not look at the sides, look at the object as a whole. Ordinarily, we look at parts. It may not be done so consciously, but we look at parts. If I look at you, first I see your face, then your torso, and then your whole body. Look at an object as a whole; do not divide it in parts. Why? Because when you divide something in parts, the eyes have an opportunity to move from one part to another. Look at a thing as a whole. You can do it.
I can look at all of you in two ways. I can look from this side and then move. I can look at A, then at B, then I look at C and go on moving. When I look at A, B and C, I am not present -- or just present on the fringe, but not focused. When I look at B, I am leaving A. When I look at C, A has been completely lost; he has gone out of my focus. I can look at this group in this manner, but I can look at the whole group without dividing it into individuals, into units, taking it as a whole.
Try it. First look at a thing moving from one fragment to another. Then suddenly look at this thing as a whole; do not divide it. When you look at a thing as a whole, the eyes have no need to move. In order not to give any opportunity for movement, this has been made a condition: look at an object totally, taken as a whole. And secondly, without seeing the material. If the bowl is of wood, do not see the wood: just see the bowl, the form. Do not see the substance.
It may be of gold, it may be of silver -- observe it. Do not look at the material of which it is made, just look at the form. The first thing is to look at it as a whole. Secondly, look at it as a form, not as a substance. Why? Because substance is the material part, form is the spiritual part, and you are to move from the material to the non-material. It will be helpful.
Try it. You can try it with anyone. Some man or some woman is standing: look, and take the man or woman wholly into your look, totally into it. It will be a weird feeling in the beginning because you are not habituated this way, but it is very beautiful in the end. And then, do not think about whether the body is beautiful or not, white or black, man or woman. Do not think; just look at the form. Forget the substance and just look at the form.
In a few moments become aware. Go on looking at the form as a whole. Do not allow the eyes any movement. Do not start thinking about the material. What will happen? You will suddenly become aware of your self. Looking at something, you will become aware of your self. Why? Because for the eyes there is no possibility to move outwards. The form has been taken as a whole, so you cannot move to the parts. The material has been dropped; pure form has been taken. Now you cannot think about gold, wood, silver, etc.
A form is pure form. No thinking about it is possible. A form is just a form; you cannot think about it. If it is of gold, you can think many things. You would like, you may like to steal it, or to do something with it, or to sell it, or you can think about the price -- many things are possible. But of pure form, no thinking is possible. Pure form stops thinking. And there is no possibility of changing from one part to another; you have taken it as a whole.
Remain with the whole and the form. Suddenly you will become aware of yourself, because now the eyes cannot move. And they need movement; that is their nature. So your look will move toward you. It will come back, it will return home, and suddenly you will become aware of your self. This becoming aware of one's self is one of the most ecstatic moments possible. When for the first time you become aware of your self, it has such beauty and such bliss that you cannot compare it with anything else you have known.
Really, for the first time you become your self; for the first time you know you are. Your being is revealed in a flash.
But why does it happen? You might have seen, in children's books particularly, a picture, or in some psychological treatises, but I hope everyone must have seen somewhere or other -- a picture of an old woman, and in the same lines a beautiful young woman is also hidden. There is one picture, the same lines, but two figures are in it: one old woman, one young woman.
Look at the picture: you cannot become aware of both simultaneously. You will become aware either of one or the other. If you have become aware of the old woman, you cannot see where the young woman is hiding. But if you try to find her, it will be difficult, and the very effort will become a barrier. Because you have become aware of the old woman, she will have become a fixed thing in your eyes. With this fixed thing, you are trying to find the young woman. It is impossible, you will not be able to find her. You have to do a technique.
Just stare at the old woman; forget the young woman completely. Stare at the old woman, at the old woman figure. Stare! Go on staring. Suddenly the old woman will disappear, and you will become aware of the young woman hiding there. Why? If you try to find her you will miss. This type of picture is given to children like a puzzle, and it is said to them, "Find the other." Then they start trying to find her, and because of that they miss.
The trick is not to try to find her: just stare at the figure and you will become aware. Forget the other, no need to think about it. Your eyes cannot remain at one point, so if you stare at the old woman figure the eyes will become tired. Then suddenly they will move from the figure, and in that movement you will become aware of the other figure which is hidden just by the old woman's side, in the same lines. But the miracle is that when you become aware of the young woman, you cannot see the old woman. But you know that both are there now.
In the beginning you may not have believed that the young woman is hiding, but now you know because you have seen the old woman first. Now you know that the old woman is there, but while looking at the young one you cannot simultaneously become aware of the old one. And if you become aware of the old one, you will miss the young are again. Both cannot be seen simultaneously; you can see only one at a time.
The same happens with the outside and the inside look. You cannot have both looks simultaneously. When you are looking at a bowl or at any object, you are looking out: the consciousness is moving out, the river is flowing out. You are focused on the bowl. Go on staring at it. That very staring will create the opportunity to move in. Your eyes will become tired; they would like to move. Finding nothing to move out toward, suddenly the river will turn back -- that remains the only possibility. You will have forced your consciousness to fall back. And when you will become aware of you, you will miss the bowl; it will not be there.
That is why a Shankara or a Nagarjuna says the whole world is illusory; they have known it so. When we come to know ourselves, the world is not. Really, the world is not illusory; it is there. But you cannot see both worlds simultaneously -- that is the problem. So when a Shankara enters into himself, when he comes to know his self, when he becomes a witness, the world is not there. So he is right. He says it is maya -- illusion. It simply appears to be; it is not there.
Be aware of the fact. When you know the world, you are not. You are there, but hidden, and you cannot believe that you are hidden there; the world is too much present for you. And if you start to look for yourself directly, it will be difficult, the very effort may become a barrier. So tantra says, fix your stare somewhere in the world, on any object, and do not move from there, remain there. This very effort to remain there will create the possibility for the consciousness to begin to flow upwards -- backwards. Then you will become aware of your self.
But when you become aware of your self, the bowl will not be there. It is there, but FOR YOU it will not be there. So Shankara says the world is illusory because when you come to know your self the world is not there. It disappears like a dream.
But Charwak and Epicurus and Marx, they are also right. They say the world is true, and your self is just false; it is nowhere to be found. They say science is real. Science says only matter is, only objects are; there is no subject. They are right, because the eyes are focused on the object.
A scientist is constantly focusing on objects. He forgets the self completely. Both Shankara and Marx are right in one sense and wrong in another. If you are fixed upon the world, if your look is fixed on the world, the self will look illusory -- like it is just a dream. If you are looking inwards, the world will become a dream. Both are real, but you cannot be aware of both simultaneously -- that is the problem. And nothing can be done. You will meet the old woman or you will meet the young woman, and one will become maya, illusory. But this technique can be used easily. It will take a little time, but it is not difficult.
Once you know the turning of consciousness, you can do it anywhere. Just riding in a bus or sitting in a train you can do it -- anywhere. No need of a bowl or any particular object: you can do it with anything. With anything, stare, stare, stare... and suddenly turn inwards, and the train disappears. Of course, when you come back from your inner journey you will have traveled, but the train will have disappeared. From one station you will reach to another, and in between there will have been no train -- just a gap. Of course, the train was there; otherwise how can you come to the other station? But it was not there for you; for you it was not.
Those who can practice this technique, they can live in the world very easily. Any moment they can make anything disappear -- remember this. You are bothered with your wife or with your husband -- you can have her or him disappear. The wife is there sitting just by your side and she is not there. She is maya, she has disappeared. Just by staring and then turning your consciousness inwards, she has ceased to be there. And it has happened many times.
I remember Socrates. His wife Xanthippe was very much worried about him, and any wife would have been in the same dilemma. To have a Socrates as a husband is one of the most difficult things to tolerate. Socrates is good as a teacher, but not as a husband.
One day it happened... and because of it his wife has been condemned for two thousand years continuously, but that is not just, I do not think she has done anything wrong. Socrates was sitting there, and he must have been doing something like this technique -- it is not recorded, I am just assuming. His wife came with a tray, a teapot to give him tea. She must have found that he was not there, so it is reported that she poured the tea upon Socrates, over his face. Then suddenly he came back.
His face remained burned for his whole life. And because of this his wife has been condemned very much, but no one knows what Socrates was doing there -- because no wife would do this suddenly, there is no need. He must have done something; something must have been happening there. That is why Xanthippe had to throw tea over him. He must have been in an inner trance, and the burning sensation of the tea must have brought him back, the consciousness must have returned.
I assume that this was the case because there are many other cases reported about Socrates which are similar. For forty-eight hours he was not found. He was sought all over, the whole Athens went in search of Socrates, but he was not to be found anywhere. Then he was found outside the city, miles away, standing under a tree. Half of his body was just under snow. Snow was falling, and he was just frozen, standing there with open eyes. But he was not looking at anyone.
When the crowd gathered around, they looked into his eyes and they thought that he was dead. His eyes were just like stones -- looking, but not looking at anyone; just static, unmoving. They felt his heart: It was beating slowly; he was alive. They had to give him shocks, only then did he come back to look at them. Immediately he asked, "What is the time now?" He had missed forty-eight hours completely, they never existed for him. He was not in this world of time and space.
So they asked, "What were you doing? We thought you were dead already... forty-eight hours!" He said, "I was staring at the stars, and just suddenly it happened that the stars disappeared. And then, I don't know... then the whole world disappeared. But I remained in such a cool, calm, blissful state that if it is death it is worth thousands of lives. If it is death, then I would like to enter it again and again."
It may have happened without his knowledge, because Socrates was not a yogi, not a tantric. He was not in any way concerned consciously with any spiritual practice. But he was a great thinker, and it may have happened as an accident that he was staring at the stars in the night, and suddenly his look returned back, inwards. You can do it. And stars are really good objects.
Lie down on the ground, look at the black sky, and then fix yourself on one star. Concentrate on it, stare at it. Narrow down your consciousness to one star; forget other stars. By and by, concentrate, narrow down your gaze. Other stars will be there just on the fringe, on the boundary. But by and by they will disappear, and only one star will remain. Then go on staring, go on staring. A moment will come when that star will disappear. And when that star disappears, you will appear to yourself.
The third technique:
SEE AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME A BEAUTEOUS PERSON OR AN ORDINARY OBJECT.
Some basic things first; then you can do this technique. We look at things always with old eyes. You come to your home; you look at it without looking at it. You know it -- there is no need to look at it. You have entered it again and again for years together. You go to the door, you enter the door; you may unlock the door. But there is no need to look.
This whole process goes on robot-like, mechanically, unconsciously. If something goes wrong, only if your key is not fitting into the lock, then you look at the lock. If the key fits, you never look at the lock. Because of mechanical habits, repeatedly doing the same thing again and again, you lose the capacity to look; you lose the freshness to look. Really, you lose the function of your eyes -- remember this. You become basically blind, because eyes are not needed.
Remember the last time you looked at your wife. The last time you looked at your wife or at your husband may have been years ago. For how many years have you not looked? You just pass, giving a casual glimpse, but not a look. Go again and look at your wife or at your husband as if you were looking for the first time. Why? Because if you are looking for the first time, your eyes will be filled with a freshness. They will become alive.
You are passing through a street, and a beautiful woman passes. Your eyes become alive -- lighted. A sudden flame comes to them. This woman may be a wife to someone. He will not look at her; he may become as blind as you have become seeing your wife. Why? For the first time eyes are needed, the second time not so much, and the third time they are not needed. After a few repetitions you become blind. We live blindly.
Be aware. When you meet your children, are you looking at them? You are not looking at them. This habit kills the eyes; the eyes become bored -- repeatedly there is the old again and again. And nothing is old really, it is just that your habit makes you feel that it is so. Your wife is not the same as she was yesterday, she cannot be; otherwise she is a miracle. Nothing can be the same the next moment. Life is flux, everything is flowing, nothing is the same.
The same sunrise will not happen again. In a sense also, the sun is not the same. Every day it is new; basic changes have occurred. And the sky will not be the same again; this morning is not going to come again. Every morning has its own individuality, and the sky and the colors, they will not gather in the same pattern again. But you go on moving as if everything is just the same.
They say nothing is new under the sky. Really, nothing is old under the sky. Only the eyes become old, accustomed to things; then nothing is new. For children everything is new: that is why everything gives them excitement. Even a colored stone on a beach, and they become so excited. You will not be excited even seeing God himself coming to your house. You will not be so excited! You will say, "I know him, I have read about him." Children are so excited because their eyes are new and fresh, And everything is a new world, a new dimension.
Look at children's eyes -- at the freshness, the radiant aliveness, the vitality. They look mirror-like, silent, but penetrating. Only such eyes can reach within.
So this technique says, SEE AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME A BEAUTEOUS PERSON OR AN ORDINARY OBJECT. Anything will do. Look at your shoes. You have been using them for years, but look as if for the first time and see the difference: the quality of your consciousness suddenly changes.
I wonder whether you have seen Van Gogh's painting of his shoe. It is one of the rarest things. There is just an old shoe -- tired, sad, as if just on the verge of death. It is just an old shoe, but look at it, feel it, and you will feel what a long, boring life this shoe must have passed through. It is so sad, just praying to be taken away from life, tired completely, every nerve broken, just an old man, an old shoe. It is one of the most original paintings. But how could Van Gogh see it?
You have even more old shoes with you -- more tired, more dead, more sad, depressed, but you have never looked at them, at what you have done to them, how you have behaved with them. They tell a life story about you because they are your shoes. They can say everything about you. If they could write, they would write a most authentic biography of the person they had to live with -- every mood, every face. When their owner was in love he behaved differently with the shoes, when he was angry he behaved differently. And the shoes were not concerned at all, and everything has left a mark.
Look at Van Gogh's painting, and then you will see what he could see in the shoes. Everything is there -- a whole biography of the person who was using them. But how could he see? To be a painter, one has to regain the child's look, the freshness. He can look at everything -- at most ordinary things even. He can look!
Cezanne has painted a chair, just an ordinary chair, and you may even wonder... why paint a chair? There is no need. But he worked on that painting for months together. You may have stopped for a single moment to look at it, and he worked for months on it because he could look at a chair. A chair has its own spirit, its own story, its own miseries and happinesses. It has lived! It has passed through life! It has its own experiences, memories. They are all revealed in Cezanne's painting. But do you look at your chair? No one looks at it, no one feels it.
Any object will do. This technique is just to make your eyes fresh -- so fresh, alive, radiantly vital, that they can move within and you can have a look at your inner self. SEE AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME. Make it a point to see everything as if for the first time, and sometime, suddenly, you will be surprised at what a beautiful world you have been missing. Suddenly become aware and look at your wife as if for the first time. And it will be no wonder if you feel again the same love you felt the first time, the same surge of energy, the same attraction in its fullest. But look as if for the first time at a BEAUTEOUS PERSON OR AN ORDINARY OBJECT. What will happen? You will regain your eyesight. You are blind. Just now, as you are, you are blind. And this blindness is more fatal than physical blindness, because you have eyes and still you cannot look.
Jesus says many times, "Those who have eyes, let them see. Those who have ears, let them hear." It seems that he was talking to blind men or to deaf men. But he goes on repeating it What was he - a superintendent in some institute for the blind ? He goes on repeating, "If you have eyes, look." He must be talking with ordinary men who have eyes. But why this insistence on, "If you have eyes, look"? He is talking about the eyes which this technique can give you.
Look at everything you pass as if for the first time. Make it a continuous attitude. Touch everything as if for the first time. What will happen? If you can do this, you will be freed from your past. The burden, the depth, the dirtiness, the accumulated experiences - you will be freed from them.
Every moment, move from the past. Do not allow it to enter within you; do not allow it to be carried -- leave it. Look at everything as if for the first time. This is a great technique to help you to be freed from the past. Then you are constantly in the present, and by and by you will have an affinity with the present. Then everything will be new. Then you will be able to understand Heraclitus' saying that you cannot step twice in the same river.
You cannot see a person twice - the same person -- because nothing is static. Everything is river-like, flowing and flowing and flowing. If you are freed from the past and you have a look which can see the present, you will enter the existence. And this entry will be double: you will enter into everything, into its spirit, and you will enter into yourself also because the present is the door. All meditations in one way or the other try to get you to live in the present. So this technique is one of the most beautiful techniques -- and easy. You can try it, and without any danger.
If you are looking afresh even when passing through the same street again, it is a new street. Meeting the same friend as if he is a stranger, looking at your wife as you looked for the first time when she was a stranger, can you really say that he or she is not still a stranger? You may have lived for twenty years or thirty years or forty years with your wife, but can you say that you are acquainted with her? She is still a stranger: you are two strangers living together. You know the outer habits of each other, the outer reactions, but the inner core of the being is unknown, untouched.
Look freshly again, as if for the first time, and you will see the same stranger. Nothing, nothing, has become old; everything is new. This will give a freshness to your look. Your eyes will become innocent. Those innocent eyes can see. Those innocent eyes can enter into the inner world.
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