Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 1 Chapter 25
"From words to pure sounds to being"
22 January 1973 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
37. DEVI, IMAGINE THE SANSKRIT LETTERS IN THESE HONEY-FILLED FOCI OF AWARENESS, FIRST AS LETTERS, THEN MORE SUBTLY AS SOUNDS, THEN AS MOST SUBTLE FEELING. THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE.
38. BATHE IN THE CENTER OF SOUND, AS IN THE CONTINUOUS SOUND OF A WATERFALL. OR, BY PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS.
Jean Paul Sartre wrote an autobiography. He has called it WORDS. The name is very meaningful. It is the autobiography of every man -- words and words and words. You are filled with words, and this process of words continues the whole day, even in the mind. When you are sleeping, you are still filled with words, thoughts.
The mind is just an accumulation of words, and everyone is too much obsessed with the mind. That is why self-knowledge becomes more and more impossible. The self is beyond the words, or behind the words, or below the words, or above the words, but never in the words. You exist not in the mind, but just below the mind, behind the mind, above the mind -- never in the mind. You are focused in the mind, but you are not there. Standing out, you are focused in the mind. Because of this constant focusing, you have become identified with the mind. You think you are the mind, this is the only problem, the basic problem, and unless you are aware that you are not the mind, nothing meaningful can happen to you. You will live in misery.
This identification is the misery. It is as if one is identified with a shadow. Then the whole life becomes false. Your whole life is false, and the basic error is that you are identified with the mind. You think you are the mind: this is the ignorance. You can develop your mind, but in that way ignorance will not be dissolved. You can become very intelligent, you can become very talented, you may even become a genius. But if the identification with the mind is there, you remain basically mediocre because you remain identified with a false shadow. How does it happen? Unless you understand the mechanism of how it happens you cannot go beyond it, and all the techniques of meditation are nothing but processes to go beyond, to go beyond the mind.
Meditation techniques are not against the world, they are against the mind -- and not really against the mind, but against identification. How are you identified with the mind? What is the mechanism that is working? Mind is a need -- a great need, particularly for humanity. And that is the basic difference between man and the animals. Man thinks, and he has used thinking as a weapon for his struggle to survive. He could survive because he could think; otherwise he is more helpless than any animal, more weak than any animal. Physically, it was impossible for him to survive. He could survive because he could think. Because of thinking, he has become the master of the earth.
If thinking has been so deeply helpful, then it becomes easy to understand why man has become identified with the mind. You are not so much identified with the body. Of course, religions go on saying, "Do not be identified with the body," but no one is really identified with the body -- no one! You are identified with the mind, not with the body, and this identification with the body is not so fatal as the identification with the mind -- because the body is more real. The body exists, it is related to existence very deeply. Mind is just a shadow.
Identification with the mind is more subtle than identification with the body, but we are identified with the mind because mind has been such a great help to survive -- not only against animals, against nature, but against other human beings also. If you have a keen, intelligent mind, you will win against other human beings as well. You will succeed, you will become more rich, because you will be more calculating and more cunning. Against other human beings also, mind is the weapon. That is why we are so much identified -- remember this.
Against death, against disease, against nature, against animals, against other human beings, mind has been your protection, your security. And mind has done much, so obviously we think of ourselves as mind. If someone says that your body is ill you do not feel offended, but if someone says that your mind seems ill you do feel offended. If your body is ill, you do not feel offended. Why? You are not identified with the body. But if your mind is ill and someone says you are psychologically ill, mentally ill, insane, you feel offended. Now this is something about you, not about your body.
You behave with the body as if it is a vehicle, something you possess, but not so with the mind. With the mind, you are the mind; with the body, you are the master. The body is a slave -- you possess it.
This mind has created a division in your being also, and that is the second basic cause of why we are identified with it. You think not only about external things, you think about internal things also. For example, the body has many instincts. You think about your instincts also. Not only do you think, you fight against your instincts, so there is a constant internal fight. There is sex: the mind fights it, or tries to mold it in its own way. It suppresses it, perverts it, tries to control it.
The mind is fighting inside also. That fight creates a division between you and your body. And really, you start thinking that the body is something inimical, not a friend, because the body goes on doing things which the mind is against. The body is not going to listen to the mind, so the mind feels offended, defeated. It attacks the body, and then a division is created. And you are always identified with the mind, never with the body.
The mind is your ego. That is your "I". If the body feels sexuality, you can divide. You can say, "This is the body, not me. I am against it. I have taken a vow of celibacy, I am against it. This is the body; this is not me." Then who are you? The mind which has taken a vow? This mind is your ego, and you go against the body because the body is very much ego-destroying. Whatsoever you decide, it never listens.
All the ascetic nonsense was born because of this: the body will not listen. The body is nature, the body is a part of the cosmic whole, the body has its own laws. Those laws are unconscious; it functions according to them. The mind tries to create its own laws over and above the body. Then a conflict is created. Then the mind starts fighting the body. Then the mind will starve the body; it will try in every way to kill it.
That is what has happened in the past: so-called religious people have been really mad against their bodies. And whatsoever they were doing was less for God and more against the body. Really, to be in search of God became synonymous with being against the body. Religious persons took the attitude, "Kill the body, destroy the body. The body is the enemy." And really, this is not a religious attitude, but one of the most irreligious attitudes, because it is the most egoistical. This is the ego, the ego feels offended.
You decide not to be angry again, and then anger comes: your ego feels defeated. Your decision is thrown overboard, and the anger comes. And when the anger comes you feel this is coming from the body. You decide against sex and sex comes: you feel offended, so you try to punish the body. Asceticism is nothing but punishment -- punishing your own body in order to force it to behave according to the ego.
This mind, this process of thinking, this ego, is just a fragment of your whole total being, and this fragment is trying to be the sovereign. This is not possible, the fragment cannot be the sovereign. It is going to fail; that is why there is so much frustration in life. You can never succeed -- you are trying the impossible. The fragment cannot be the sovereign. The whole is bigger and the whole is more powerful.
It is just as if a branch of a tree tries to control the whole tree, even the roots. How can a branch control the whole tree, and how can it force the roots to follow it? That is impossible. Whatsoever it thinks, it is mad; the branch has gone mad. It may go on thinking and dreaming, conceiving of some future where the tree will be following it, but it is not possible; it will have to follow the tree. It is alive only because of the tree and the roots. And the roots were there before it was. The roots are the source of it also.
Your mind is just a fragment of your body; it cannot control it. The very effort to control the body will create frustration and failure. And the whole humanity has been a failure because of this. Everyone is suffering, in conflict, in anguish, in anxiety, trembling, because the impossible is being tried. But the ego always likes to try the impossible. The possible has no challenge for it; the impossible is a challenge. And if the impossible can be done, then the ego will feel very good -- because this cannot be done. You can try to do it, but you will waste your life trying that which cannot be done.
Because of this inner effort to become the master, you are identified with the mind. Who would like to be identified with a slave? Who would like to be identified with the unconscious? It is useless. The unconscious is negated because it cannot be grasped. And with the unconscious there is no ego; you cannot feel "I".
Try to understand it in this way: when sex overpowers you, really you cannot say "I". It is as if something greater than you has taken possession -- as if you are in a strong current. You are no more; something else is driving you. That is why these words are meaningful... that is why those who are against sex will say, "Sex possessed me."
Anger possesses you, hunger possesses you. They are something greater than you, and you are just taken by the current. It is fearful. It is very fearful because then you are no more. It is a sort of death. That is why you are so much against sex -- it is a sort of death. Those who are against sex will always be afraid of death, and those who are not against sex and can flow in it easily, spontaneously, will never be afraid of death. See the association: those who are against sex will always be afraid of death, and those who are afraid of death will be always against sex.
Those who are afraid of death will always create theories of immortality; they will always think about life beyond death. Those who think about immortality will always be against sex -- these are alternatives. Sex gives you a fear. What is the fear? You are no more in it, something greater than you possesses you. You are thrown overboard; you are no more in it.
So even those who are not against sex, they too never move really deep into sex. They never move; they are always holding back, trying to remain there, not allowing themselves, not ready for a let-go. That is why orgasm, such a natural thing, has become so impossible for man and woman. A deep orgasm means you have been in something which was greater than you. You have been in something where you were not, the ego was not.
The ego is struggling to control everything, and mind helps you. In the effort you become identified with the mind, and this identification is the misery, it is a false shadow. Mind is a very utilitarian instrument. You have to use it, but do not become identified with it. It is a good instrument -- necessary. Use it! But do not feel that YOU are the mind, because once you start feeling you are the mind, you cannot use it. The mind starts using you. Then you are simply drifting with the mind.
All the meditation techniques are an effort to give you a glimpse of that which is not mind. So how to go beyond it? How to leave it and look at it even for a single moment?
The first technique:
DEVI, IMAGINE THE SANSKRIT LETTERS IN THESE HONEY-FILLED FOCI OF AWARENESS, FIRST AS LETTERS, THEN MORE SUBTLY AS SOUNDS, THEN AS MOST SUBTLE FEELING. THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE.
Words are sounds. Thoughts are words in sequence, in logical sequence, in a particular pattern. Sound is basic. With sound words are created, and then with words thoughts are created, and then with thoughts religion and philosophy, everything. Deep down is the sound.
This technique uses a reverse process. Shiva says: DEVI, IMAGINE THE SANSKRIT LETTERS IN THESE HONEY-FILLED FOCI OF AWARENESS, FIRST AS LETTERS, THEN MORE SUBTLY AS SOUNDS, THEN AS MOST SUBTLE FEELING. THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE.
We live in philosophy. One is a Hindu, one is a Mohammedan, one is a Christian, or something else. We live in philosophies, systems of thought, and they have become so important that we can die for them. Man can die for words, for mere words. Someone calls his conception of the absolute a lie, or someone calls Ram or someone calls Christ or something else a lie -- then man can fight, for a mere word he can kill the other. The word has become so important. This is nonsense, but this is history and this is how we are still behaving.
A single word can create such a disturbance in you that you are ready to kill or to die for it. We live in philosophies, systems of thought. What are philosophies? Thoughts arranged logically, systematically, in a pattern. And what are thoughts? Words arranged in a system, meaningfully. And what are words? Sounds, upon which it is agreed that they mean either this or that. So sounds are basic; they are the basic structure of the mind. Philosophies are the peak, but the bricks by which the whole structure is raised are sounds.
What is wrong? A sound is just a sound, and the meaning is given by us, agreed upon by us; otherwise it has no meaning. The meaning is invested by us, projected by us; otherwise "Ram" is just a sound -- it is meaningless. We give it a meaning, and then we create a system of thought around it. Then this word becomes very significant, then we make a philosophy around it. Then you can do something, anything, for it. You can die or you can live for it. If someone insults this sound "Ram," you can become infuriated. And what is this? Just an agreement, a legal agreement that "This word means this." No word means anything in itself, it is simply a sound.
This sutra says to go in the reverse order -- go backwards. Come to the sounds, then, more basic than sounds, a feeling is somewhere hidden. This has to be understood. Man uses words. Words mean sounds with meanings that are agreed upon. But animals, birds use sounds without any linguistic meaning. They do not have any language, but they use sounds with feeling. A bird is singing: it has a "feeling" meaning in it, it is indicating something. It may be a call for the partner, for the beloved, or it may be a call for the mother, or the child may be feeling hungry and just showing his distress. It is indicating a feeling.
Above sounds there are words, thoughts, philosophies; below sounds are feelings. And unless you can get below feelings, you cannot get below mind. The whole world is filled with sounds, only the human world is filled with words. And even a child who cannot use language uses sounds. Really, the whole language developed because of particular sounds that every child is using all over the world.
For example, in any language the word `mother' is somehow related with `ma'. It may be `mater', it may be `Mutter', it may be `mata', it may be `ma', -- anything -- but somewhere it is related with the sound "ma" in all the languages, more or less. The child can utter "ma" most easily. The first sound which the child can utter is "ma." Then the whole structure is based on this "ma." A child utters "ma" because it is the first sound which is easy for the child to utter. This is the case anywhere, in any part of the world, in any time. Just because of the structure of the throat and the body, "ma" is the easiest sound to utter.
And the mother is the nearest and the first person who is meaningful. So the first sound becomes associated with the first person who is meaningful, and from this mother, mater, mata, ma, all the other words are derived. But when the child for the first time utters "ma," he has no linguistic meaning for it, but a feeling is there. And because of that feeling the word becomes associated with the mother. That feeling is more basic than the sound.
So this sutra says first to imagine the Sanskrit letters. Any language will do. Because Shiva was talking to Parvati, that is why he said Sanskrit. You can use English or Latin or Arabic, any language will do. Sanskrit has no significance except in that Shiva was talking to Parvati in Sanskrit. It is not that Sanskrit is something superior to any other language, any language will do. First feel inside, in your consciousness, THE HONEY-FILLED FOCI OF AWARENESS filled with letters: A, B, C, D... any letters of any language. This can be done, and it is a very beautiful exercise. If you want to do it, close your eyes and just see your consciousness inside being filled with words.
Think of consciousness as a blackboard, then: A, B, C... Visualize all the words, all the letters. Visualize these first as letters. "A": look at it as "A" as you write it. Write it with consciousness and look at it. Then by and by, forget the letter "A" and just remember the sound of "A" -- just the sound. Start with visualization -- because eyes are predominant for us. Ears are not so predominant. We are eye-oriented, eye-centered. Again, the reason is the same. Because eyes help us to survive more than anything else, our consciousness is ninety percent in the eyes. Conceive of yourself without eyes, and your whole life goes dead -- then a very minor part remains.
So first visualize. Use your eyes inwards and see the letters. Letters are more related to ears than eyes because they are sounds, but for us, because we are reading, reading, reading, they have become associated with eyes. Basically, they are associated with ears -- they are sounds. Start with the eyes, then forget the eyes by and by. Then move away from the eyes to the ears. First imagine them as letters, then see them, hear them MORE SUBTLY AS SOUNDS, THEN AS MOST SUBTLE FEELINGS. And this is a very beautiful exercise.
When you say "A", what is the feeling? You may not have been aware of it. What is the feeling inside you? Whenever you use any sound, what type of feeling comes into existence? We are so feeling-less that we have simply forgotten. When you see a sound, what happens inside? You go on using it and the sound is even forgotten. You go on seeing it. If I say "A", you will see it first. In your mind, "A" will become visible; you will visualize it. When I say "A", do not visualize it. Just hear the sound "A", and then go and find out what happens in your feeling center. Does nothing happen?
Shiva says, move from letters to sounds, uncover sounds through the letters. Uncover sounds, and then, through the sounds also, uncover feelings. Be aware of how you feel. They say that man has now become very insensitive; he is the most insensitive animal on earth.
I was reading about one poet, a German poet, and he relates one incident of his childhood. His father was a lover of horses, so he had many horses at the house, a big stable, but he would not allow this child to go to the stable. He was afraid, as the child was very small. But when the father was not there the child would sometimes steal into the stable where he had a friend -- a horse. Whenever the child would go in, the horse would make some sounds.
And the poet has written, "Then I also started making sounds with the horse, because there was no possibility of language. Then, in communication with that horse, for the first time I became aware of sounds -- their beauty, their feeling."
You cannot be aware with a man because he is dead. A horse is more alive, and he has no language. He has pure sound. He is filled with his heart, not with his mind. So that poet remembers, "For the first time, I became aware of the beauty of sounds and their meaning. This was not the meaning of words and thoughts, but a meaning filled with feeling." If someone else was there, the horse would not make those sounds, so the child could understand that the horse meant, "Do not come in. Someone is here and your father will be angry."
When there was no one, the horse would make the sounds meaning, "Come in. There is no one." So the poet remembers that "It was a conspiracy, and he helped me very much, that horse helped me very much. And when I would go and love that horse, he would move his head in a particular way when he liked it. When he did not like it, he would not move his head in that way. When he liked it, then it was a certain thing, he would express it. When he was not in the mood, then he would not move in a certain way."
And this poet says, "This continued for years. I would go and love that horse, and that love was so deep, I never felt any affinity with anyone else so deeply. Then one day when I was stroking his neck and he was moving and enjoying it ecstatically, suddenly for the first time I became aware of my hand, that I was stroking, and the horse stopped. Now he would not move his neck." And that poet says, "Then for years I tried and tried, but there was no response, the horse would not reply. Only later on did I become aware that because I became aware of my hand and myself, the ego came in and the communication broke. I couldn't recapture again that communication with the horse."
What happened? That was a feeling communication. The moment ego comes, words come, language comes, thought comes, then the layer is changed completely. Now you are above sounds; then you were below sounds. Those sounds are feelings, and the horse could understand feelings. Now he couldn't understand, so the communication broke. The poet tried and tried -- but no effort is successful because even your effort is the effort of your ego.
He tried to forget his hand, but he couldn't forget. How can you forget? It is impossible. And the more you try to forget it, the more you remember. So you cannot forget anything with effort. Effort will simply emphasize the memory more. The poet says, "I became fixed with my hand; I couldn't move that horse. I would go up to my hand, and then there was no movement. The energy would not move into that horse and he became aware of this."
How did the horse become aware? If I suddenly start speaking some other language, then the communication is broken, then you will not be able to understand me. And if this language were not known to you, you would suddenly stop because now the language is unknown to you. Thus, the horse stopped.
Every child lives with feeling. First come sounds, then those sounds are filled with feeling. Then come words, then thoughts, then systems, religions, philosophies. Then one goes farther and farther away from the center of feeling.
This sutra says, come back, come down -- down to the state of feeling. Feeling is not your mind: that is why you are afraid of feeling. You are not afraid of reasoning. You are always afraid of feeling because feeling can lead you into chaos. You will not be able to control. With reason, the control is with you; with the head, you are the head. Below the head you lose the head, you cannot control, you cannot manipulate. Feelings are just below the mind -- a link between you and the mind.
Then Shiva says, THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE. Then leave the feelings. And remember, only when you come to the deepest layer of feelings can you leave them. You cannot leave them just now. You are not at the deepest layer of feelings, so how can you leave them? First you have to leave philosophies -- Hinduism, Christianity, Mohammedanism -- then you have to leave thoughts, then you have to leave words, then you have to leave letters, then you have to leave sounds, then you have to leave feelings -- because you can leave only that which is there. You can leave that step upon which you are standing; you cannot leave a step upon which you are not standing.
You are standing at the step of philosophy, the farthest away one. That is why I insist so much that unless you leave religion you cannot be religious.
This sutra, this technique, can be done very easily. The problem is not with feelings, the problem is with words. You can leave a feeling, just as you can undress -- as you can get out of your clothes. You can throw off your clothes; you can leave feelings simply in that way. But right now you cannot do it, and if you try to do it, it will be impossible. So go step by step.
Imagine letters -- A, B, C, D -- then change your emphasis from the written letter to the heart sound. You are moving deep, the surface is left behind. You are sinking deep -- then feel what feeling comes through a particular sound.
Because of such techniques, India could discover many things. It could discover which sounds are related to particular feelings. Because of that science, the MANTRA was developed. A particular sound is related to a particular feeling, and it is never otherwise. So if you create that sound within you, that feeling will be created. You can use any sound, and then the related feeling will be created around you. That sound creates the space to be filled by a particular feeling.
So do not use just any mantra, that is not good; it may be dangerous for you. Unless you know, or unless a person who gives you the mantra knows, what particular sound creates what particular feeling, and whether that feeling is needed by you or not, do not use any mantra. There are mantras which are known as death mantras. If you repeat them, you will die within a particular time. Within a particular period you will die, because they create in you a longing for death.
Freud says that man has two basic instincts: libido -- eros -- the will to live, the will to be, the will to continue, the will to exist. And thanatos -- the will to die. There are particular sounds which, if you repeat them, the will to die will come to you. Then you would like just to drop into death. There are sounds which give you eros -- which give you more libido, which give you more lust to live, to be. If you create those sounds within you, that particular feeling will overwhelm you. There are sounds which give you a feeling of peace and silence, there are sounds which create anger. So do not use any sound, any mantra, unless it is given to you by a master who knows what is going to happen through it.
When you come down from sounds, you will be aware. Each sound has its counterpart in feeling. Each sound has a corresponding feeling that goes with it, just hidden behind it. Then move to the feeling; forget the sound and move to the feeling. It is difficult to explain, but you can do it. And there were techniques for this. Particularly in Zen, there were techniques. A particular mantra would be given to a seeker. If he was doing it rightly inside, the master could know from the face. The master could know from the face whether he was doing it rightly or not because a particular feeling would come. If the sound is created, then the feeling is bound to come, and it will be on the face. You cannot deceive a master. He knows by your face what is happening inside.
Dozo was a great master, but he himself was very much disturbed, when he was a disciple, about how his master came to know what he was experiencing. And the Zen master moved with his staff and he would hit you immediately. If something goes wrong with your sound inside, he will hit you immediately. So Dozo asked, "But how do you know? And you hit me exactly in the right moment. How do you know?"
The face expresses the feeling, not the sound. The sound cannot be expressed by the face, but the face is bound to express the feeling. And the deeper you move, the more your face becomes flexible to express, more liquid. It immediately shows what is happening inside. This face which you have right now will drop because this is a mask -- this is not a face. When you move in, masks fall down because they are not needed. Masks are needed for others.
Because of this, the old masters insisted on moving away from the world. This was so that you could move away from the mask easily; otherwise others will be there, and because of them you have to carry masks. You do not love your wife or your husband, but you have to carry a mask -- a loving face, a false loving face. The moment you enter the house, you arrange the face: you come in and you start laughing. This is not your face.
Zen masters insisted that first one should attain the original face, because with the original face everything becomes easy. Then the master can simply know what is happening. So enlightenment was never reported. If some seeker attained enlightenment, he was not to report to the master that he had attained because the master would simply know. He would tell the disciple. No disciple was allowed to tell the master, "I have attained." There was no need. The face will show, the eyes will show, the very movement, the walking, will show. Whatsoever he does, every gesture will show that he has attained.
When you move from sounds to feelings, you move into a very, very ecstatic world, an existential world. You move away from the mind. Feelings are existential; that is what the word means -- you feel them. You cannot see them, you cannot hear them, you simply feel them. When you come to this point, you can take the jump. This is the last step. Now you are standing near an abyss; you can jump.
And if you jump from the feelings, you jump into yourself. That abyss is you -- not as your mind, but as your being; not as the accumulated past, but as the present, here and now.
You move from the mind to the being, and the bridge, the link, is the feelings. But to come to the feelings you will have to leave many things -- words, sounds, the whole deception of the mind. THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE.
You ARE free. This saying, BE FREE, doesn't mean that you have to do something to be free. THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE means you are free! Being is freedom; mind is bondage. That is why it is said that mind is the SANSAR, the world.
Do not leave the world... you cannot leave it. If the mind is there, you will create another world; the seed is there. You can move to a mountain, to a retreat, but you will move with the mind; you cannot leave it here. The world moves with you, you will create another world. Even in your retreat you will start creating it again, because the seed is there. You will create relationships again. It may be with the trees, it may be with birds, but you will create relationships again, you will create expectations again, and you will go on spreading the net because the seed is there. You will again be in a world.
Mind is the world, and you cannot leave mind anywhere. You can leave it only if you move within. So the only Himalaya is this; no other Himalaya will do. If you move within from words to feelings, and from feelings to being, you are moving away from the world. And once you know this inner abyss of being, then you can be anywhere, even in hell. Then it makes no difference. It makes no difference then! If you are without mind, hell cannot enter you, and with mind ONLY hell enters. The mind is the door to hell.
LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE. But do not try directly with feelings, you will not succeed. Try first with words. But with words also you will not succeed if you do not leave philosophies, if you do not leave thoughts. Words are just units -- and if you give significance to words you cannot leave them.
Know well that language is a human creation. It is utilitarian, necessary, and the meanings we have given to sounds are our own creation. If you can understand this well, then you can move easily. If someone is saying something against the Koran, or against the Vedas, how do you feel? Can you laugh about it or does something clench within you? Can you laugh about it? Someone is insulting the Gita or someone is saying some derogatory thing against Krishna or Ram or Christ -- can you laugh? Can you see through the words, that these are mere words? No, you will be hurt. Then it is difficult to lose words.
See that words are just words -- noises with agreed-upon meanings and nothing else. Be convinced of it. And it is so! First become detached from words. If there is detachment from words, then you can understand that these are just noises.
It is just like in the military where they use numbers. One soldier is number 101: he can become identified with `101'. And if someone says something derogatory against the number 101, he will feel insulted, he will start fighting. And `101' is just a number, but he has become identified with it. Your name is just a number, just an index number. Things will be difficult otherwise, so we have labelled you. That is just a label; any other label can do the same work. But it is not just a label for you, it has gone deep; your name has become the center of your ego.
So they say, the so-called wise ones, they say, "Live for your name. See that your name remains pure. Respectability of your name must be there, and even if you die your name will live." It was never there, it is just a code number. You will die and the name will live... When you yourself cannot live, how is the label going to live?
Look at words -- at their futility, their meaninglessness, and do not become attached to any word. Only then can you do this technique.
The second technique:
BATHE IN THE CENTER OF SOUND, AS IN THE CONTINUOUS SOUND OF A WATERFALL, OR BY PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS.
This technique can be done in many ways. One way is to begin by just sitting anywhere. Sounds are always present. It may be in a market or it may be at a Himalayan retreat: sounds are there. Sit silently, and with sound there is something very special. Whenever there are sounds, you are the center. All the sounds come to you from everywhere, from all directions.
With sight, with eyes, this is not so. Sight is linear. I see you -- then there is a line toward you. Sound is circular, it is not linear. So all sounds come in circles and you are the center. Wherever you are, you are always the center of sound. For sounds, you are always God, the center of the whole universe. Every sound is coming to you, moving toward you, in circles.
This technique says, BATHE IN THE CENTER OF SOUND. Wherever you are, if you are doing this technique, just close your eyes and feel the whole universe filled with sound. Feel as if every sound is moving toward you and you are the center. Even this feeling that you are the center will give you a very deep peace. The whole universe becomes the circumference and you are the center, and everything is moving toward you, falling toward you.
... AS IN THE CONTINUOUS SOUND OF A WATERFALL. If you are sitting by the side of a waterfall, close your eyes and feel the sound all around you, falling on you from every side, creating a center in you from every side. Why this emphasis on feeling that you are in the center? Because in the center there is no sound. The center is without sound, that is why you can hear sounds; otherwise you could not hear them. A sound cannot hear another sound. Because you are soundless at your center, you can hear sounds. The center is absolute silence. That is why you can hear sounds entering you, coming to you, penetrating you, encircling you.
If you can find out where is the center, where is the field in you to where every sound is coming, suddenly sounds will disappear and you will enter into soundlessness. If you can feel a center where every sound is being heard, there is a sudden transference of consciousness. One moment you will be hearing the whole world filled with sounds, and another moment your awareness will suddenly turn in and you will hear the soundlessness, the center of life.
Once you have heard that, then no sound can disturb you. It comes to you, but it never reaches you. It is always coming to you, but it never reaches you. There is a point where no sound enters. That point is YOU. Do it in a market, there is no other place like a market. It is so much filled with sounds, mad sounds. But do not start thinking about sounds -- that this is good and that is bad, and this is disturbing and that is very beautiful and harmonious. You are not supposed to think about sounds, you are simply supposed to think of the center. You are not supposed to think about every sound moving toward you -- whether it is good, bad, beautiful. You are just to remember that you are the center and all the sounds are moving toward you -- every sound, whatsoever the sort.
In the beginning you will get dizzy because you have not been hearing whatsoever is happening all around. Your hearing is selective, your seeing is selective. And now scientific research says that ninety-eight percent is not heard, only two percent of whatsoever is happening all around you is heard. Otherwise, if you heard one hundred percent of what is happening all around you, you will simply go mad. Previously, it was thought that the senses are the doors, the openings, the windows for the outside to enter inside. Now they say they are not doors, and they are not so open as it was thought. Rather, they are like a watchman, a censor, who is every moment watching what is to be allowed in or not.
Only two percent of happenings are allowed in -- and you are already mad with two percent. With one hundred percent, with a total opening, with everything opened, every sense opened, functioning, and everything being allowed in, you will go mad. So when you try this method, in the first step you will feel a dizziness coming to you. Do not be afraid, go on feeling the center -- and allow everything, whatsoever is happening. Allow everything to move in.
Relax yourself, relax your watch towers, your senses; relax everything, let everything enter you. You have become more liquid, open; everything is coming to you, all sounds are moving toward you. Then move with the sounds, and come to the center where you hear them.
Sounds are not heard in the ears, the ears cannot hear them. The ears only do a transmission work, and in the transmission they cut out much which is useless for you. They choose, they select, and then those Sanskrit sounds enter you. Now find out within where is your center. The ears are not the center, you are hearing from somewhere deep down. The ears are simply sending you selected sounds. Where are you? Where is your center?
If you are working with sounds, then sooner or later you will be surprised -- because the center is not in the head. It appears to be in the head because you have never heard sounds, you have heard only words. With words the head is the center, with sounds it is not the center. That is why in Japan they say that man thinks not through the head, but through the belly -- because they have been working with sounds for a long time.
You have seen in every temple a gong. That is placed there to create sounds around a seeker. Someone is meditating, and the gong is sounded or a bell is rung. A disturbance seems to have been created by the very sound of the bell; someone is meditating, and this bell or gong seems disturbing. In a temple, every visitor who comes will hit the gong or ring the bell. With someone meditating there, this would seem to be a constant disturbance. It is not, because the person is waiting for this sound.
So every visitor is helping. Again and again the bell is hit, and the sound is created and the meditator again enters himself. He looks at the center, where this sound goes deep. There is one hit on the bell -- the visitor has done that. Now the second hit will be inside the meditator, somewhere inside. Where is it? The sound always hits at the belly, at the navel, never in the head. If it hits in the head, you can understand well that it is not sound, it is words. Then you have started thinking about the sound. Then the purity is lost.
Now there is much research about children who are in the womb. They are also hit by sounds and they react to sounds. They cannot react to language. They have no head yet, they have no reasoning, and they do not yet know language and the agreed-upon customs of the society. They do not know about language, but they hear the sounds. And every sound affects the child more than it affects the mother, because the mother cannot hear the sounds -- she hears the words. And we are creating mad sounds, chaotic, and those sounds are hitting the unborn children. They will be born mad; you have already disturbed them too much.
Even plants are affected by sound. They grow more if some musical sounds are created around them; they grow less if some chaotic sounds are created around them. You can help them to grow. You can help them in many ways through sounds.
Now they say that because of traffic noises -- which are not harmonious and cannot be -- man is going mentally insane, and it seems that the limit has come. If it grows more, then there is no hope for man. These sounds are hitting you continuously, but if you think about them they will hit your head, and that is not the center: the navel is the center. So do not think about them.
All the mantras are meaningless sounds. And if some master says that "This is the meaning of this mantra," then it is not a mantra at all. A mantra needs to be, of necessity, without meaning. It has some work, but no meaning. It has to do something within you, but it has no meaning because it has just to be a pure sound within you. That is why we evolved the mantra AUM. It is meaningless, it is just a pure sound. If this pure sound is created within you, if you can create it within, then too the same technique can be used.
BATHE IN THE CENTER OF SOUND, AS IN THE CONTINUOUS SOUND OF A WATERFALL. OR, BY PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS. You can create the sound just by using your finger, or with anything which closes your ears forcibly. Then a certain sound is heard. What is that sound, and why do you hear it when the ears are closed, when the ears are plugged?
It happened in America, that a train passed through a certain neighborhood in the middle of the night, somewhere about 2:00 a.m. A new line was inaugurated and the train stopped moving on the old route. But a very strange phenomenon happened. The people who were living in that neighborhood where the train had stopped moving complained to the police that at about 2:00 a.m. something mysterious was heard. There were so many reports, it had to be investigated what was the matter. Strange sounds were heard at about two. They were never heard when the train was passing; the people had become accustomed to the train. Now suddenly the train stopped. They were waiting to hear it in their sleep; they had become accustomed to it, conditioned. They were waiting, and the sound was not there. Absence was heard, and this absence was something new. They felt uneasy about it, they couldn't sleep.
So for the first time it was understood that if you are constantly hearing something and it stops, you will hear the absence of it. So do not think that you will simply not hear it. You will hear the absence, the negative part of it will be heard. If I look at you, and then if I close my eyes, I see your negative. If you look at the window and then close your eyes you will see the negative of the window, and the negative can be so forceful that if you suddenly look at the wall the negative will be projected on the wall. You will be seeing the negative.
Just as there are negatives of photographs, there are negative sounds. Not only can the eyes see the negative, the ears can even hear the negative. So when you close your ears, you hear the negative world of sounds. All the sounds have stopped. Suddenly a new sound is heard. This sound is the absence of sound. A gap has come in. You are missing something, and then you hear this absence.
OR, BY PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS. That negative sound is known as the sound of sounds -- because it is not really a sound, but its absence. Or, it is a natural sound, because it is not created by anything.
All sounds are created. The sound you hear when you close your ears is not a created sound. If the whole world becomes absolutely silent, then you will hear the silence also. Pascal is reported to have said, "The moment I think about the infinite cosmos, the silence of the infinite cosmos makes me very much afraid." The silence makes him afraid because sounds are only on the earth. Sounds need atmosphere. The moment you go beyond the earth's atmosphere there are no sounds -- only absolute silence. That silence you can create even on the earth, if you close both of your ears completely. Then you are on the earth, but you have moved; you have dropped below sounds.
Astronauts are being trained for many things, and one thing is to be in the silence. They have to be trained in silent chambers so that they become accustomed to soundlessness; otherwise they will go mad. Many problems face them, and this is one of the deepest problems: how to be away from the human world of sounds. Then you become isolated.
If you are lost in the forest and you hear a certain word, you may not know the source but you are less afraid. Someone is there! You are not alone! In soundlessness, you are alone. In a crowd, if you close both of your ears totally and move in, you are alone. The crowd has disappeared, because it was through sounds that you could know others were there.
PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS. This absence of sound is a very subtle experience. What will it give to you? The moment there are no sounds, you fall back upon yourself. With sounds we move away, with sounds we move to the other. Try to understand this: with sounds we are related to the other, we communicate with the other.
So even a blind man is not in so much difficulty as a man who cannot speak, who is dumb. Observe a person who is dumb: he looks inhuman. A blind man never looks inhuman, but a dumb person looks inhuman; the face gives a feeling of something which is not human. And a dumb person is in more difficulty than a blind man. With the blind man the problem is that he cannot see, but he can communicate. He can become a part of a greater humanity, he can become a part of a society, of a family; he can love, he can speak. A dumb man is suddenly out of society. He cannot speak, he cannot communicate, he cannot express.
Try to imagine yourself in an air-conditioned glass room, a soundproof room. No sound can enter to you, and you cannot scream, you cannot do anything to express yourself, the sound will not go out. In a glass room you can see the whole world moving around you, but neither can you speak to them nor can they speak to you. You will feel hopelessly frustrated, and the whole thing will become a nightmare.
A dumb man is in a nightmare continuously. Without communicating he is not part of humanity. Without expression he cannot flower. He cannot reach anyone and no one can reach him. He is with you and far away, and the gap is unbridgeable.
If sound is the vehicle to move to the other, then soundlessness becomes the vehicle to move to oneself. With sound you communicate with the other; with soundlessness you fall down into your own abyss, into yourself. That is why so many techniques use soundlessness to move within.
Become absolutely dumb and deaf -- even if only for a few moments -- and you cannot go anywhere else than to yourself. Suddenly you will find that you are standing within; no movement will be possible. That is why silence was practiced so much. In it, all the bridges for moving to the other are broken.
Gurdjieff used to give long silent periods to his disciples, and then he would insist that not only was language not to be used, but there was to be no communication, no gesture -- neither with the eyes nor the hands. No communication was to be used. Silence means NO communication. So he would force the group to live in a house -- twenty, thirty or forty people in one bungalow, in one house -- and than he would say, "Remain here in this house as if you are alone. You cannot go out." Forty persons would be there, and he would say, "Move in the house, live in the house as if you are alone. No communication! Do not recognize that the other is, not even by the eyes. Move completely as if you are the only person residing in the house." With three months of living in this way, absolutely dumb and deaf, with no possibility of communicating, there would be no possibility to move out.
I do not know whether you have observed or not, but in society those who can talk much become prominent; those who can communicate their thoughts easily become leaders -- religious, political, literary, any type. Those who can communicate their thoughts, those who can talk efficiently, they become leaders. Why? They can reach more people, they can reach to greater masses.
Have you ever heard of any dumb person becoming a leader? You can find a blind man becoming a leader; there is no problem. And sometimes he may become a great leader, because all that his eyes are not doing, all those energies will be transferred to his ears. But a dumb man cannot become a leader in any walk of life. He cannot communicate, he cannot become social.
Society is a language. Language is basic to social existence -- to relationship. If you leave language, you are alone. The world may be filled with millions, but if you lose language you are alone.
Meher Baba stayed continuously for forty years in silence. What was he doing in silence? Really, you cannot do anything in silence because every act is somehow related with others. Even in imagination, if you do something you will have to imagine others; you cannot do it alone. If you are absolutely alone, action becomes impossible. Even the imagination to act becomes impossible. Acting is related to others. If you drop language inside, all doing drops. You are, but you are not doing anything.
Meher Baba would tell his disciples, by writing a note, "On this particular date I am going to break my silence," and then he would not break it. This continued for forty years, and then he died in silence. What was the problem? Why should he say, "Now, this year, on this day, on this date, I am going to speak?" And why should he postpone it again? What was happening inside? Why would he not keep his promise?
Once you know silence for such a long time, you cannot fall back to sounds again; it becomes impossible. There is a rule, and he didn't follow the rule so he could not come back. There is a rule that one should not remain silent for more than three years. Once you cross the limit, you cannot come back to the world of sounds. You may try, but it is impossible. It is easy to move from sounds to silence, but it is very difficult to move from silence to sounds. Beyond three years many things simply become impossible. The mechanism cannot function the same way again. It has to be used continuously; at the most, one can remain silent for three years. Beyond that, if you remain silent the mechanism which can produce sounds and words cannot be used again, it becomes dead.
Secondly, the person becomes so much silent remaining with himself alone that it will now be a misery to communicate. Then to say something to someone will be like talking to a wall, because the person who has remained silent for such a long time knows that you cannot understand whatsoever he is saying. Regardless of what he is saying, he knows he is not saying that which he wants to say. The whole thing has gone. After such a deep silence, he cannot move again to the world of sounds.
So Meher Baba tried and tried, but he couldn't bring himself to speak again. He wanted to say something, and he had something worth saying, but the mechanism and the movements necessary to come back to a lower realm were impossible. Thus, he died without saying what he wanted to say.
It will be helpful to understand this: whatsoever you are doing, always go on doing the opposite with it. Go on changing to the opposite always. Remain silent for a few hours, then talk. Do not become fixed in anything -- you will be more alive and more moving. Do meditation for a few days, and then stop suddenly and do everything that can create tension in you. Then move again to meditation.
Go on moving between the opposites, you will be more alive and dynamic. Do not get fixed. Once you get fixed, you will not be able to move to the other extreme, and the ability to move to the other extreme means life. If you are not able to move, you are already dead. This movement is very good.
Gurdjieff advised his disciples to have sudden changes. He would insist on fasting and then he would say, "Now eat as much as you can." Then suddenly he would say, "Go on a fast." Then again he would say, "Start eating." He would say, "Be awake for a few days and nights continuously, then fall asleep for a few nights." This movement between the polar opposites gives you a dynamism, an aliveness.
OR, BY PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS. In one technique, two opposites have been shown. BATHE IN THE CENTER OF SOUND, AS IN THE CONTINUOUS SOUND OF A WATERFALL -- this is one extreme. OR, BY PUTTING THE FINGERS IN THE EARS, HEAR THE SOUND OF SOUNDS -- this is another extreme.
One part is to hear the sounds coming to your center; another part is to stop all sounds and feel the soundless center. These both have been given in one technique for a special purpose -- so that you can move from one to the other.
The OR is not a choice to do this or that. Do both! That is why both have been given in one technique. First do one for a few months, then do the other for a few months. You will be more alive, and you will know two extremes. And if you can move to the two extremes easily, you can remain young forever. Those who get fixed at any extreme become old and die.
to see this page in its own window, click on Aum