Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 1 Chapter 27
"Soundlessness, soundfulness and total awareness"
24 January 1973 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
39. INTONE A SOUND, AS AUM, SLOWLY. AS SOUND ENTERS SOUNDFULNESS, SO DO YOU.
40. IN THE BEGINNING AND GRADUAL REFINEMENT OF THE SOUND OF ANY LETTER, AWAKE.
41. WHILE LISTENING TO STRINGED INSTRUMENTS, HEAR THEIR COMPOSITE CENTRAL SOUND; THUS OMNIPRESENCE.
I wonder whether or not you have heard about the concept of anti-matter. A new concept has entered recently in the world of physics -- the concept of anti-matter. It has been felt always that nothing can exist in the universe without its opposite. It is impossible to conceive of anything which exists alone without its opposite. The diametrically opposite must be there whether known or not.
The shadow cannot exist without light, life cannot exist without death, morning cannot exist without night, man cannot exist without woman -- or the same with anything you can think of.
The diametrically opposite pole is inevitably needed. This was always proposed in philosophy, but now this is a proposition of physics. And very absurd notions have developed because of this concept. Time moves from the past to the future, but now physicists say that if time moves from the past to the future, there must be somewhere the opposite time process, which moves from the future to the past; otherwise this time process cannot be -- but it is. The opposite, the diametrically opposite must be there somewhere -- anti-time. Moving from the future to the past? It looks very absurd. How can something move from the future to the past?
They also say that matter exists, so anti-matter must be existing somewhere. What will be the anti-matter? Matter is density. Suppose a stone is here in my hand. What is that stone? Around it is space and in the space there is a density of matter. That density is matter. What will be the anti-matter? They say anti-matter will be just a hole in space. Density is matter, and there is also a hole in space with nothing in it. A space will be around it, but it will be just a hole of nothingness. They say anti-matter must exist to balance matter. Why am I talking on this? Because these sutras which are to follow are based on this "anti"phenomenon.
Sound exists, but tantra says sound can exist only because of silence; otherwise sound will be impossible. Silence is anti-sound. So wherever there is sound, just behind it there is silence. It cannot exist without silence; it is the other aspect of the same coin. So I utter a word; for example, Aum. The more I utter it, just side by side, just behind it is the anti-phenomenon, soundlessness. So if you can use sounds as a technique to enter soundlessness, you will enter meditation. If you can use a word to go beyond words, you will move into meditation. Look at it in this way: mind is the word; meditation is no-mind. Mind is filled with sound and words and thought. Just by the corner is the other extreme -- no-mind.
Zen masters have called meditation the state of no-mind. What is mind? If you analyze it, it is a process of thought. Or if you analyze it in terms of physics, then it is a process of sounds. This sound process is mind, then just near it the no-mind exists. And you cannot move into the no-mind without using the mind as the jumping board, because you cannot even conceive of what no-mind is without understanding what mind is. Mind has to be used as a jumping board, and from that jumping board you can have a plunge into the no-mind.
There have been two opposing schools. One school is there -- it is known as "Sankya." Sankya says mind has not to be used, because if you use mind you cannot go beyond it. The same is the teaching of J. Krishnamurti; he is a Sankyaite. You cannot use mind. If you use mind you cannot go beyond it, because the very use of the mind will strengthen it, will make it more powerful. When you use it, you will be in its clutches. Using it, you cannot go beyond it. So don't use mind. That is why Krishnamurti is against all techniques of meditation: because any technique is bound to use mind as a base. Mind has to be used if you are going to use a technique. Any technique is bound to be a sort of conditioning -- or a reconditioning, or an unconditioning, or whatsoever name you give to it, but it is going to be with the mind.
Sankya philosophy says that mind cannot be used: just understand this and take a jump. But yoga says this is impossible. Even this understanding is to be done by mind. Even with this understanding -- that you cannot use mind, that no technique will be of help, that every technique will become a hindrance and whatsoever you do will create a new conditioning -- you will still be using mind, you will move within mind. This too has to be understood by mind.
So yoga says there is no way in which mind is not used; mind will have to be used. It should not be used positively, it should be used negatively. It should not be used in such a way that it is strengthened, it should be used in such a way that it is weakened. And techniques are the ways to use the mind in such a way that you use it to jump beyond it. You use it just to go beyond it -- as a jumping board.
If mind can be used as a jumping board -- and yoga and tantra believe that it can -- then something which belongs to mind has to be trained. Sound is one of the basic things, you can use sound to go into soundlessness.
The third technique on sound:
INTONE A SOUND, AS AUM, SLOWLY. AS SOUND ENTERS SOUNDFULNESS, SO DO YOU.
INTONE A SOUND, AS AUM, SLOWLY. For example, take Aum This is one of the basic sounds. A-U-M: these three sounds are combined in it. A-U-M are three basic sounds. All sounds are made of them or derived from them; all sounds are combinations of these three sounds. So these three are basic. They are as basic as in physics the electron, neutron and proton are basic. This has to be deeply understood.
Gurdjieff speaks of "The Law Of The Three". He says existence in the absolute sense is one. In the absolute sense, in the ultimate sense, there is only one. But that is absolute, and whatsoever we see is relative. Whatsoever we see is never absolute; the absolute is always hidden. It cannot be seen, because the moment we see something, it is divided. It is divided in three: the seer, the seen, and the relationship. I am seeing you: I am here, you are there, and between the two there is the relationship of knowledge, of seeing, of vision, of cognition. The process is divided into three. The absolute is divided into three; the moment it is known it becomes three. Unknown, it remains one. Known, it becomes three. The known is relative; the unknown is absolute.
So even our talk about the absolute is not absolute, because the moment we say "the absolute," it has become known. Whatsoever we know, even the word `absolute' is relative. That is why Lao Tsu insists so much that truth cannot be said. The moment you say it, it has become untrue because it has become relative. So whatsoever word we use -- the truth, the absolute, PARA-BRAHMA, Tao -- whatsoever word we use, the moment we use it, it has become relative and it has become untrue. The one has become divided into three.
So Gurdjieff says that "The Law Of The Three" is basic for the universe that we know. And if we go deep we will find, we are bound to find, that everything will be reduced to three. This is "The Law Of The Three". Christians have called it the trinity -- God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Ghost. Indians have called it TRIMURTI: the three faces of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh or Shiva. Now physics says that if we move, if we go on moving through analysis to the very base, then matter will be reduced to three: the electron, neutron and proton.
Poets have said that if we go deep in search for human aesthetic feeling, emotion, then there is SATYAM, SHIVAM, SUNDARAM -- the true, the good and the beautiful. Human feeling is based on these three. Mystics have said that if we analyze ecstasy, SAMADHI, then there is SAT-CHIT-ANANDA -- existence, consciousness and bliss.
The whole human consciousness, in whatsoever dimension it works, comes to "The Law Of The Three". `Aum' is a symbol of The "Law Of The Three". A-U-M: these three are basic sounds. The atomic sounds, you can call them. These three sounds have been combined in Aum, so Aum is just near the absolute, just behind it is the absolute, the unknown. And Aum is the last station as far as sounds are concerned. If you move beyond Aum, you move beyond sound; then there is no sound. A-U-M: these three are the last, they are the boundary of existence. Beyond these three you move into the unknown, into the absolute.
Physicists say that now we have come to the electron, it seems we have come to the limit, to the very limit, because the electron cannot be said to be matter. Electrons are not visible; they have no material property. And they cannot be called non-matter either because all matter consists of them, is constituted of them. If they are neither matter nor non-matter, what to call them? No one has seen electrons, they are just inferred; it is mathematically assumed that they are there. Their effects are known, but they have not been seen. Now we cannot move beyond them. The "Law Of The Three" is the limit, and if you move beyond "The Law Of The Three" you move into the unknown. Nothing can be said then. Even about electrons very little can be said.
Aum is the limit as far as sound is concerned, you cannot move beyond. That is why Aum has been used so much, in India, and all over the world. The Christian-Mohammedan 'Amen' is nothing but Aum in a different form; the same basic notes are there. The English words 'omnipresent', 'omnipotent', 'omniscient' contain it: the prefix 'omni' is a derivation of Aum. So 'omnipresent' refers to that which is present in the whole of the Aum, in the whole of existence. 'Omnipotent' means that which is absolutely potent. 'Omniscient' means that which has seen the Aum, the whole, "The Law Of The Three". The whole universe comes under it.
Christians, Mohammedans, have been using after their prayers 'Amen'. But Hindus have made a complete science out of it -- the science of sound and the science of how to transcend sound. And if mind is sound, then no-mind must be soundlessness, or -- and both mean the same -- soundfulness.
This has to be understood. The absolute can be described in either of two ways -- negative or positive. The relative has to be described in both the ways -- negative and positive: it is a duality. When you try to express the absolute, you can use either positive terms or negative terms, because human languages have two types of terms -- negative and positive. When you are going to describe the absolute, the indescribable, you have to use some terms symbolically. So it depends on the mind.
For example, Buddha liked to use negative terms. He would say soundlessness; he would never say soundfulness. 'Soundfulness' is a positive term. Buddha would say soundlessness, but tantra uses positive terms. The whole thinking of tantra is positive. That is why the term used here is 'soundfulness': ENTER SOUNDFULNESS. Buddha describes his absolute in negative terms: SHUNYA, nothingness. The Upanishads describe the same absolute as the BRAHMAN -- absoluteness. Buddha will use nothingness and the Upanishads will use absoluteness, but both mean the same thing.
When words lose meaning you can use either the negative or the positive, because all words are either negative or positive; you just have to choose one. You can say for a liberated soul that he has become the whole. This is a positive way of saying it. Or you can say he is no more -- he has become nothingness. This is a negative way of saying it.
For example, if a small drop of water meets the ocean, you can say that the drop has become nothingness, the drop has lost its individuality, the drop is no more. This is a Buddhist way of saying things. It is good, it is right as far as it goes, because no word goes very far. So as far as it goes, it is good. The drop is no more" that is what is meant by NIRVANA. The drop has become non-being, it is not. Or you can use Upanishadic terms. The Upanishads will say that the drop has become the ocean. They are also right, because when the boundaries are broken, the drop has become the ocean.
So these are simply attitudes. Buddha likes negative terms, because the moment you say anything positive it becomes limited, it looks limited. When you say that the drop has become the ocean, Buddha will say that the ocean is also finite. The drop remains the drop; it has become a little bigger, that is all. Howsoever bigger makes no difference. Buddha will say that it has become a little bigger, but it remains. The finite has not become infinite. The finite remains finite, so what is the difference? A small drop and a big drop... for Buddha, that is the only difference between 'ocean' and 'drop' -- and it is right, mathematically it is so.
So Buddha says that if the drop has become the ocean, then nothing has happened. If you have become a god, then nothing has happened, you have only become a bigger man. If you have become the BRAHMAN nothing has happened, you are still finite. So Buddha says that you have to become nothing, you have to become SHUNYA -- empty of all boundaries and attributes, empty of everything that you can conceive of, just emptiness. But Upanishadic thinkers will say that even if you are empty YOU ARE. If you have become emptiness YOU are still there, because emptiness exists, emptiness is. Nothingness is also a way of being, a way of existence. So they say, why belabor the point and why unnecessarily use negative terms? It is good to be positive.
It is your choice, but tantra almost always uses positive terms. The very philosophy of tantra is positive. It says, do not allow no, do not allow the negation. Tantrics are the greatest of yea-sayers. They have said yes to everything, so they use positive terms. The sutra says, INTONE A SOUND, AS AUM, SLOWLY. AS SOUND ENTERS SOUNDFULNESS, SO DO YOU...
INTONE A SOUND, AS AUM, SLOWLY. The intoning of a sound is a very subtle science. First you have to intone it loudly, outwardly; then others can hear it. And it is good to start loudly. Why? Because you can also hear it clearly when you intone it loudly; because whatsoever you say it is to others, and this has become a habit. Whenever you are talking you are talking to others, and you hear yourself talk only when you are talking to others. So start from the natural habit.
Intone the sound Aum, then by and by, feel attunement with the sound. When you intone the sound Aum, be filled with it, forget everything else. Become the Aum, become the sound. And it is very easy to become the sound, because sound can vibrate through your body, through your mind, through your whole nervous system. Feel the reverberation of Aum. Intone it, and feel it as if your whole body is being filled with it, every cell is vibrating with it.
Intoning is also "in-tuning." Tune yourself with the sound, become the sound. And then, as you feel a deep harmony between you and the sound, and you develop a deep affection for it -- and the sound is so beautiful and so musical: Aum -- then the more you intone it, the more you will feel yourself filled with a subtle sweetness. There are sounds which are bitter, there are sounds which are very hard. Aum is a very sweet sound, the purest. Intone it and be filled with it.
And when you begin to feel harmonious with it, you can drop intoning loudly. Then close your lips and intone it inwardly, but inwardly also first try it loudly. Intone inwardly, but loudly, so that the sound spreads all over your body, touches every part, every cell of your body. You will feel vitalized by it, you will feel rejuvenated, you will feel a new life entering you -- because your body is a musical instrument. It needs harmony, and when the harmony is disturbed you are disturbed.
That is why when you hear music you feel good. Why do you feel good? What is music, but just some harmonious sounds? Why do you feel such a well-being when there is music around you? And when there is chaos, noise, why do you feel so disturbed? You yourself are deeply musical. You are an instrument, and that instrument re-echoes things.
Intone Aum inside, and you will feel that your whole body dances with it. You will feel that your whole body is undergoing a cleansing bath; every pore is being cleansed. But as you feel it more intensely, and as it penetrates you more, go on becoming more and more slow, because the slower the sound, the deeper it can go. It is just like homeopathy. The smaller the dose, the deeper it penetrates -- because if you want to go deeper, you have to go more subtly, more subtly, more subtly...
Crude, coarse sounds cannot enter your heart. They can enter your ears, but they cannot enter your heart. The passage is very narrow, and the heart is so delicate that only very slow, very rhythmic, very atomic sounds are allowed to enter it. And unless a sound enters your heart, the mantra is not complete. The mantra is complete only when the sound enters your heart -- the deepest, most central core of your being. Then go on being more slow, more slow, more slow.
And there are also other reasons for making these sounds slower and more subtle: the more subtle a sound is, the more intense an awareness you will need to feel it inside. The more coarse the sound, the less need there is of any awareness. A coarse sound will hit you, you will become aware of it; but then it is violent.
If a sound is musical, harmonious, subtle, then you will have to listen to it inside and you will have to be very alert to listen to it. If you are not alert, you will go to sleep and miss the whole point. That is the problem with a mantra, with any chanting, with any use of sound: it can create sleep. It is a subtle tranquilizer. If you continuously repeat any sound without being alert about it, you will fall asleep, because then the repetition becomes mechanical. "Aum, Aum, Aum..." becomes mechanical, and then repetition creates boredom.
Boredom is a basic necessity for sleep. You cannot get to sleep unless you are bored. If you are excited, you cannot get to sleep. That is why the modern man is becoming incapable of going to sleep. What is the reason? There is so much excitement. It was never like this before.
In the old, past world life was a deep boredom, a repetitious boredom. If you go to a village hidden somewhere in the hills, there life is a boredom. It may not look to you like a boredom because you have not lived there, and on a holiday you may feel very much excited. But that excitement is because of Bombay, not because of those hills. Those hills are completely boring. Those who are living there are bored and asleep. There is only the same thing, the same routine with no excitement, with no change, and nothing ever happens. There is no news. Things go on as they have always, they go on repeating in a circular way. As seasons repeat, as nature repeats, as day and night move in a circle, everything moves in a village, in an old village, in a circle. That is why villagers can fall to sleep so easily: everything is just boring.
Modern life has become so exciting -- nothing repeats. Everything goes on becoming new, changing. Life has become unpredictable, and you are so excited you cannot fall asleep. Every day you can see a new film, every day you can hear a new speech, every day you can read a new book, every day something new is possible.
This constant excitement continues. When you go to your bed, the excitement is there. The mind wants to be awake; it seems futile to fall asleep. There are thinkers who are saying that this is pure wastage -- if you live for sixty years, twenty years are wasted in sleep. Sheer wastage! Life is so much excitement, why waste any of it? But in the old world, in the old days, life was not an excitement. It was a circular movement of the same repetition. If anything excites you, it means it is new.
If you repeat a particular sound, it creates a circle within you. It creates boredom; it creates sleep. That is why Mahesh Yogi's transcendental meditation is known in the West as a non-medical tranquilizer. It is because it is a simple repetition of a mantra. But if your mantra becomes just a repetition without an alert YOU inside, an alert YOU constantly listening to you, listening to the sound, it may help sleep, but it cannot help anything else. As far as it goes, it is good. If you are suffering from insomnia, transcendental meditation is good.
Otherwise, it helps -- but not unless you use the mantra with an alert inner ear. Then you have to do two things: go on reducing the pitch of the mantra, reducing the sound, making it more slow and more subtle, and at the same time simultaneously go on becoming more alert, more alert. As the sound becomes subtle, become more alert; otherwise, you will miss the whole point.
So two things have to be done: sound has to be slowed down, and you have to become more alert. The more sound becomes subtle, the more alert you are. To make you more alert the sound has to be made more subtle, and a point comes when sound enters soundlessness, or soundfulness, and you enter total awareness. When the sound enters soundlessness or soundfulness, by that time your alertness must have touched the peak. When the sound reaches the valley, when it goes to the down-most, deepest center in the valley, your alertness has gone to the very peak, to the Everest. And there, sound dissolves into soundfulness or soundlessness, and you dissolve into total awareness.
This is the method: INTONE A SOUND, AS AUM, SLOWLY. AS SOUND ENTERS SOUNDFULNESS, SO DO YOU. And wait for the moment when the sound has become so subtle, so atomic, that now, any moment, it will take a jump from the world of the laws, the world of the three, and it will enter the world of the one, the absolute. Wait! This is one of the most beautiful experiences possible to man -- when sound dissolves. Then suddenly you cannot find where the sound has gone.
You were hearing it subtly, deep down: "Aum, Aum, Aum..." and then it is no more there. You have entered the world of the one. The world of the three is no more. This, tantra says, is soundfulness; Buddha says soundlessness.
This is a way -- one of the most used, one of the most helpful. Mantra became so important because of this. Because sound is already there and your mind is so filled with it, you can use it as a jumping board. But there are difficulties, and the first difficulty is sleep. Whosoever uses a mantra must be aware of this difficulty. That is the hindrance -- sleep. You are bound to fall into sleep because it is so repetitious, it is so harmonious, it is so boring -- you will fall victim. And do not think that your sleep is your meditation. Sleep is not meditation.
Sleep is good in itself, but beware. If you are using the mantra for sleep, then it is okay. But if you are using the mantra for spiritual awakening, then beware of sleep. For those who use a mantra, sleep is the enemy -- and it so easily happens. And it is so beautiful, because it is a different type of a sleep: remember that too. When it comes from a mantra, this is not ordinary sleep. This is a different kind of sleep.
The Greeks have called it HYPNOS, and from hypnos the word hypnotism has been derived. In yoga, they call it YOGA TANDRA -- a particular sleep which happens to the yogi and not to the ordinary man. It is hypnos -- an induced sleep, not an ordinary sleep. And the difference is very basic, so try to understand it -- because if you try a mantra, any sound, this is going to be your problem. The greatest problem to face is sleep.
Hypnosis uses the same technique -- creating boredom. The hypnotist goes on repeating a certain word or certain sentences. He is continuously repeating, and you become bored. Or he gives you a light to concentrate on. Seeing a light continuously, you get bored.
In many temples, churches, people are fast asleep. Listening to scriptures, they fall asleep. They have heard those scriptures so many times, it has become a boredom. There is no excitement, they already know the story.
If you go on seeing the same film again and again, you will be fast asleep: no excitement for the mind, no challenge, and there is nothing to see. You have heard the RAMAYANA so many times, you can be asleep and without any difficulty you can go on hearing in your sleep. And you will never feel that you were asleep because you will never miss anything in the story: you know it already.
Preachers' voices are very deeply sleep- inducing, monotonous. You can talk monotonously, in the same pitch, then sleep happens. Many psychologists advise their patients with insomnia to go and hear a religious talk, that gives sleep easily. Whenever you are bored, you will fall asleep, but that sleep is hypnosis, that sleep is yoga tandra. And what is the difference? That is not natural. It is unnatural, and with particular attributes.
One, when you fall asleep through a mantra or through hypnosis, you can create any illusion easily and the illusion will be as real as possible. In ordinary sleep you can create dreams, but the moment you are awake you will know that they were dreams. In hypnosis, in yoga tandra, you can create visions, and when you will be out of it you will not be able to say that they were dreams. You will say that they were more real than the life around you. That is one of the basic differences.
You can create any illusion. So if a Christian falls into hypnosis, he will see Christ. If a Hindu falls, he will see Krishna playing on his flute. It is beautiful! And the quality of hypnosis is that you will believe that this is real. That is the danger, and no one can convince you that this is unreal. The feeling is such that you KNOW this is real. You can say that the whole life is unreal, MAYA, illusion, but you cannot say that whatsoever you have seen in hypnosis, in yoga tandra, is unreal. It is so alive, so colorful, so attractive and magnetizing.
That is why if someone says something to you while you are hypnotized, you will believe him absolutely. There can be no doubt; you cannot doubt him. You may have seen some hypnotic sessions. Whatsoever the hypnotist says, the hypnotized person believes and starts acting out. If he says to a man, "You are a woman. Now walk on the stage," the man will walk like a woman. He cannot walk like a man because hypnosis is deep trust; it is faith. There is no conscious mind to think, no reasoning mind to argue. You are simply the heart, you simply believe. There is no way not to believe, you cannot question. The questioning mind is asleep -- that is the difference.
In your ordinary sleep, the questioning mind is present, it is not asleep. In hypnosis your questioning mind is asleep, and you are not asleep. That is why you can hear the hypnotist say anything to you and you will follow his instructions. In ordinary sleep you cannot hear, but your reasoning is not asleep. So if something happens which can be fatal to you, your sleep will be broken by your reason.
A mother is sleeping with her child. She may not hear anything else, but if the child gives even a very small sound, a small signal, she will be awake. If a child feels a little uneasy, she will be awake. The reasoning mind is alert. You are asleep, but your reasoning mind is alert. So even sometimes in dreams, you can feel that they are dreams. Of course, the moment you feel this your dream will be broken. You can feel that it is absurd, but the moment you feel it the dream will be broken. Your mind is alert, a part is constantly watching.
But in hypnosis, or in yoga tandra, the watcher is asleep. That is the problem with all those who want to use sound to go into soundlessness or soundfulness, to go beyond. They must be aware that the mantra should not become an auto-hypnotic technique. It must not create auto-hypnosis.
So what can you do? You can do only one thing: while you are using your mantra, while you are intoning your mantra, do not simply intone it. At the same time be alert and listen to it also. Intone it and listen to it both. Otherwise, if you are not listening consciously, it will become your lullaby and you will fall into deep sleep. That sleep will be very good -- you will feel refreshed after it, alive; you will feel a certain well-being -- but this is not the point.
The fourth technique on sound:
IN THE BEGINNING AND GRADUAL REFINEMENT OF THE SOUND OF ANY LETTER, AWAKE.
Sometimes teachers have used this technique very much. They have their ingenious ways. For example, if you enter a Zen master's hut, he may suddenly give a scream. You will become startled, but if you know why he is doing this you know he is doing it just to make you awake. Any sudden thing makes you awake. Any sudden sound can make you awake.
Suddenness breaks your sleep, and ordinarily we are asleep. Unless something goes wrong, we are not out of sleep, we go on doing things sleepily. That is why we never feel the sleep. You go to your office, you drive the car, you come back to your home, you love your children, you talk to your wife, so you think you are not sleepy at all. How can you do all of these things in a sleep? You think that isn't possible, but do you know anything about sleepwalkers -- about those who walk in their sleep? Their eyes are open, and they are asleep, and they can do many things. But they will not remember in the morning that they have done them.
They may go to the police station and report that something is wrong, that someone came into their house at night and was creating mischief, and they themselves have been found to be responsible. But in the night, in their sleep, they walk and do certain things, then they come back into their beds and continue their sleep, and in the morning they cannot remember what has happened. They can open doors, they can use keys, they can do many things. Their eyes are open, and they are asleep.
In a deeper sense, we are all sleepwalkers. You can go to your office, you can come to your home, you can do certain things: you will repeat the same things you have always repeated. You will tell your wife, "I love you," and you will not mean anything by it. The words will be just mechanical. You are not even aware that you are telling your wife, "I love you." You are simply doing things as if you are fast asleep. This whole world is a world of sleepwalkers for a person who has become awakened. A Buddha feels that way, a Gurdjieff feels that way -- that everyone is fast asleep and still doing things.
Gurdjieff used to say that whatsoever is happening in this world is absolutely what can be expected -- wars, fights, riots, murder, suicide. Someone asked Gurdjieff, "Can something be done to stop wars?" He said, "Nothing can be done -- because those who are fighting, they are fast asleep, and those who are pacifists, they are fast asleep. And everyone is going on in a sleep. These happenings are natural, inevitable. Unless man is awake, nothing can be changed, because these are all just by-products of his sleep. He will fight; he cannot be stopped from fighting. Only the causes can be changed."
Once he was fighting for Christianity, for Islam, for this and that. Now he is not fighting for Christianity, now he is fighting for communism, for democracy. Causes will change, excuses will change, and the fight will continue, because man is asleep and you cannot expect anything else.
This sleepiness can be broken. You have to use certain techniques. This technique says, IN THE BEGINNING AND GRADUAL REFINEMENT OF THE SOUND OF ANY LETTER, AWAKE. Try with any sound, with any letter -- Aum, for example. In the beginning, when you have not yet created the sound, AWAKE. Or when the sound moves into soundlessness, then awake.
How can you do it? Go to a temple. A bell is there or a gong. Take the bell in your hand and wait. First become totally alert. The sound is going to be there and you are not to miss the beginning. First become totally alert, as if your life depends on this, as if someone is going to kill you this very moment, and you will be awake. Be alert -- as if this is going to be your death. And if there is thought, wait, because thought is sleepiness. With thought you cannot be alert. When you are alert, there is no thought. So wait. When you feel that now the mind is without thought, that there is no cloud and you are alert, then move with the sound.
Look when the sound is not there, then close your eyes. Then look when the sound is created, struck; then move with the sound. The sound will become slower and slower, subtler and subtler and subtler, and then it will not be there. Then go on with the sound. Be aware, alert. Move with the sound to the very end. See both the poles of the sound, both the beginning and the end.
Try it with some outer sound like a gong or a bell or anything, then close your eyes. Utter any sound inside -- Aum or anything -- and then do the same experiment with it. It is difficult; that is why we do it outwardly first. When you can do it outwardly, then you will be able to do it inwardly. Then do it. Wait for the moment when the mind is vacant, then create the sound inside. Feel it, move with it, go with it, until it disappears completely.
Until you can do this... it will take time. A few months will be needed, at least three months. In these three months, you will become more and more alert. The pre-sound state and the after-sound state have to be watched. Nothing is to be missed. Once you become so alert that you can watch the beginning and the end of a sound, through this process you will have become a totally different person.
Sometimes this looks very absurd. Such simple techniques, how can they change you? Everyone is so disturbed, in anguish, and these methods seem so simple. They seem like tricks. If you go to Krishnamurti and tell him that this is the method, he will say, "This is a mental trick. Do not be tricked by it. Forget it, throw it!"
It looks so. Obviously, it looks like a trick. How can you be transformed through such simple things? But you do not know -- they are not simple. When you do them, then you know that they are very arduous. If you just hear me telling about them, they are simple. If I tell you, "This is poison and if you take one drop of it you will die," if you do not know anything about poison you will say, "What are you talking about? Just a drop of this liquid, and a person like me who is healthy, strong, will die?" If you do not know anything about poison, then only can you say this. If you know something about it, you cannot say this.
This seems to be very simple: intoning a sound and then becoming aware in the beginning and in the end. But awareness is very difficult, and when you try it then you will know that it is not child's play. You are not aware -- and when you try it, for the first time you will know that you have been asleep your whole life. Right now you think you are already aware. Try this. With any small thing, try this.
Tell yourself that "I will be awake, alert, for ten breaths," and then count the breaths. "For ten breaths only," tell yourself, "I will remain alert. And I will count from one to ten, the incoming breath, the outgoing, the incoming, the outgoing. I will remain alert."
You will miss. Two or three, and you will have moved somewhere else. Then suddenly you will become aware that "I have missed. I am not counting the breaths." Or you can count, but when you have counted to ten you will become aware that "I was counting in my sleep. I was not alert."
Alertness is one of the most difficult things. Do not think that the methods are simple. Whatsoever the technique, alertness is the thing to be attained. All else is just a help.
And you can devise your own methods. But remember only one thing: alertness must be there. You can do anything in sleep; then there is no problem. The problem arises only when it is a condition to do it alertly.
The fifth sound technique:
WHILE LISTENING TO STRINGED INSTRUMENTS, HEAR THEIR COMPOSITE CENTRAL SOUND; THUS OMNIPRESENCE.
The same! You are hearing an instrument -- a sitar, or anything. Many notes are there. Be alert and listen to the central core, the backbone of it around which all the notes are flowing, the deepest current which holds all the notes together -- that which is central, just like your backbone. The whole body is held by the backbone. Listening to the music, be alert, penetrate the music, and find the backbone of it -- the central thing which goes on flowing, holding everything together. Notes come and go and disappear, but the central core flows on. Become aware of it.
Basically, originally, music was used for meditation; particularly Indian music developed as a method of meditation, Indian dancing developed as a method of meditation. For the doer it was a deep meditation, and for the audience also it was a deep meditation. A dancer or a musician can be a technician. If there is no meditation in it, he is a technician. He can be a great technician, but then the soul is not there, only the body. The soul comes only when the musician is a deep meditator.
And music is just the outward thing. While playing on his sitar, one is not only playing on his sitar, he is also playing on his alertness inside. The sitar goes on outwardly and his intense awareness moves inside. The music flows outwardly, but he is alert, constantly aware of the innermost core of it. And that gives samadhi. That becomes ecstasy. That becomes the highest peak.
It is said that when the musician has really become the musician, he will break his instrument -- because it is of no use. If he still needs his instrument, he is not a real musician yet. He is just learning. If you can play with music, with meditation, sooner or later the inner music will become more important, and the outer will become not only less important: ultimately it will become a disturbance. If your consciousness moves inside and can find the inner music, then the outer music will be a disturbance. You will throw the sitar, you will throw the instrument away from you, because now you have found the inner instrument. But it cannot be found without the outer; with the outer you can become alert more easily. Once you have become alert, leave the outer and move inwards. And for the listener also, the same!
But what are you doing when you listen to music? You are not meditating. On the contrary, you are using music as something like alcohol. You are using it to be relaxed, you are using it for self-forgetfulness. This is the misfortune, the misery: the techniques which were developed for awareness are being used for sleep. And this is how man goes on doing mischief with himself.
If something is given to you which can make you awake, you will use it to make yourself more sleepy. That is why for millennia teachings were kept secret -- because it was thought to be useless to give techniques to a sleepy man. He will use them for sleep; he cannot do otherwise. So techniques were given only to particular disciples who were ready to shake their sleep, who were ready to be shattered out of their sleepiness.
Ouspensky dedicates one book to George Gurdjieff as "the man who disturbed my sleep." Such people ARE disturbers. Persons like Gurdjieff or Buddha or Jesus, they are disturbers. That is why we take revenge upon them. Whosoever disturbs our sleep, we will crucify him. He doesn't look good to us. We may have been dreaming beautiful dreams and he comes and disturbs our sleep. We want to kill him. The dream was so beautiful.
The dream may be beautiful and I may not be beautiful, but one thing is certain: it is a dream, and futile, useless! And if it is beautiful, then it is more dangerous because it can attract you more, it can become a drug.
We have been using music as a drug, dancing as a drug. And if you want to use music and dancing as drugs, then they will become not only drugs for your sleep, they will become drugs for sexuality also. So remember this point: sexuality and sleep go together. The more sleepy the person, the more sexual; the more awake, the less sexual. Sex is basically rooted in sleep. When you awake you will be more loving, the whole energy of sex will have been transformed to love.
This sutra says: WHILE LISTENING TO STRINGED INSTRUMENTS, HEAR THEIR COMPOSITE CENTRAL SOUND -- their complete central sound -- THUS OMNIPRESENCE. And then you will know what is to be known, or what is worth knowing. You will become omnipresent With the music, finding the composite central core, you will become awake, and with that awakening you will be everywhere.
Right now, you are somewhere -- a point which we call the ego. If you can become awake, this point will disappear. You will not be anywhere then, you will be EVERYWHERE -- as if you have become the all. You will have become the ocean, you will have become the infinite.
The finiteness is with the mind.
The infiniteness enters with meditation.
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