Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 2 Chapter 3
66. BE THE UNSAME SAME TO FRIEND AS TO STRANGER, IN HONOR AND DISHONOR.
67. HERE IS THE SPHERE OF CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE. THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE.
Northrope says somewhere that the Western mind has been continuously searching for the theoretical component of existence -- the causal link for how things happen, what is the cause, how the effect can be controlled, how man can manipulate nature. And the Eastern mind, says Northrope, has been on a different adventure. The search has been to find the aesthetic component of reality -- not the theoretical, but the aesthetic.
The Eastern mind has not been much involved with the search to know how to manipulate nature, but it has been interested in how to be one with nature -- not in how to conquer it, but in how to be in a deep friendship, a deep participation with it. The Western mind has been in a conflict, a struggle; the Eastern mind has been in a mystique, a love relationship. I don't know whether Northrope will agree with me or not, but my feeling is that science is a hatred, a relationship of hatred with nature; hence, struggle, fight, conquering, the language of victory.
Religion is a love relationship; hence, no conflict, no struggle. In another way, science is a male attitude and religion a female attitude. Science is aggressive, religion is receptive. The Eastern mind is religious. Or, if you allow me, I will say that wherever a religious mind is, it is Eastern. The scientific mind is Western. It makes no difference whether a man is born in the East or the West. I am using East and West as two attitudes, two approaches, not as two geographical denominations. You can be born in the West, but you may not belong there; you may be Eastern through and through. You may be born in the East, but you may not belong; you may be scientific, the approach may be mathematical, intellectual.
Tantra is absolutely Eastern. It is a way of participating with reality -- a way how to be one with it, how to dissolve boundaries, how to move in an undifferentiated realm. Mind differentiates, creates boundaries, definitions, because mind cannot work without definitions, without boundaries. The more clear-cut the boundaries, the better the possibility for the mind to work. So mind cuts, divides, chops everything.
Religion is a dissolving of boundaries in order to move to the undifferentiated where there is no definition, where there is no limit to anything, where everything moves into everything else, where everything is everything else. You cannot cut, you cannot chop existence. The consequences are bound to be very different in each approach. By the scientific approach, by dividing, chopping, you can come only to dead particles, atoms, because life is something which cannot be cut into divisions. And the moment you cut it, it is no more there. It is as if someone goes to study a symphony by studying each single note. Each single note is part of the symphony, but it is not the symphony. The symphony is created by many notes dissolving into each other. You cannot study a symphony by studying notes.
I cannot study you by studying your parts, You are not just a total of parts, you are more than that. When you divide and cut and analyze, life disappears; only dead parts are left. That is why science will never be capable of knowing what life is, and whatsoever is known through science will be about death -- matter -- it will never be about life. Science may become capable of manipulating life, of knowing the parts, the dead parts. It may be capable of manipulating life, but, still LIFE is not known, not even touched. Life remains unknowable for science. By the very method of its technology, its methodology, by the very approach, life cannot be known through it.
That is why science goes on denying -- denying anything else other than matter. The very approach debars any contact with that which is life. And the vice versa happens also: if you move deeply into religion, you will start denying matter. Shankara says that matter is illusion, it is not there; it simply appears to be. The whole Eastern approach has been to deny the world, matter, anything material. Why? Science goes on denying life, the divine, consciousness. Deeper religious experiences go on denying matter -- all that is material. Why? Because of the very approach. If you look at life without differentiation, matter disappears. Matter is life divided, differentiated. Matter means life defined, analyzed into parts.
So, of course, if you look at life undifferentiatedly and become part of it, in a deep participation, if you become one with existence as two lovers become one, matter disappears. That is why Shankara says that matter is illusion. If you participate in existence, it is. But Marx says that consciousness is just a by-product, it is not substantial; it is just a function of matter. If you divide life, then consciousness disappears, becomes illusory. Then only matter is.
What I am intending to say to you is this: Existence is one. If you approach it through analysis, it appears material, dead. If you approach it through participation, it appears as life, as divine, as consciousness. If you approach it through science there is no possibility of any deep bliss happening to you, because with dead matter bliss is impossible. At the most it can only be illusory. Only with a deep participation is bliss possible.
Tantra is a love technique. The effort is to make you one with existence. So you will have to lose many things before you can enter. You will have to lose your habitual pattern of analyzing things; you will have to lose the deep-rooted attitude of fighting, of thinking in terms of conquering.
When Hillary reached to the highest peak of the Himalayas, Mount Everest, all of the Western world reported it as a conquering -- a conquering of Everest. Only in a Zen monastery in Japan, on a wall newspaper, it was written, "Everest has been befriended" -- not conquered! This is the difference -- "Everest has been befriended"; now humanity has become friendly with it. Everest has allowed Hillary to come to it. It was not a conquering. The very word `conquer' is vulgar, violent. To think in terms of conquering shows aggressiveness. Everest has received Hillary, welcomed him, and now humanity has become friendly; now the chasm is bridged. Now we are not unacquainted. One of us has been received by Everest. Now Everest has become part of human consciousness. This is a bridging.
Then the whole thing becomes totally different. It depends on how you look at it. Remember this before we enter the techniques. Remember this: tantra is a love effort towards existence. That is why so much of sex has been used by tantra: because it is a love technique. It is not only love between man and woman; it is love between you and existence, and for the first time existence becomes meaningful to you through a woman. If you are a woman, then existence becomes for the first time meaningful to you through a man.
That is why sex has been so much discussed and used by tantra. Think of yourself as absolutely asexual -- as if all sex were removed from you the day you were born. Just think: all sex was completely removed from you the day you were born. You will be unable to love; you will be unable to feel any affinity with anyone. It will be difficult to get out of yourself. You will remain enclosed, you will not be able to approach, to go out to meet someone. There in existence, you will be a dead thing, closed from everywhere.
Sex is your effort to reach out. You move from yourself; someone else becomes the center. You leave your ego behind, you go away from it to meet someone. If you really want to meet you will have to surrender, and if the other also wants to meet you he will also have to move out. Look at the miracle in love -- at what happens. You move to the other and the other moves to you. He comes into you and you go into him or into her. You have changed places. Now he becomes your soul and you become her soul or his soul. This is a participation. Now you are meeting. Now you have become a circle. This is the first meeting where you are not enclosed in the ego. This meeting can become just a stepping stone toward a greater meeting with universe, with existence, with reality.
Tantra is based not on intellect, but on heart. It is not an intellectual effort, it is a feeling effort. Remember this, because that will help you to understand the techniques. Now we will enter the techniques.
The first technique:
66. BE THE UNSAME SAME TO FRIEND AS TO STRANGER, IN HONOR AND DISHONOR.
"BE THE UNSAME SAME" -- this is the base. What is happening in you? Two things are happening. Something in you remains continuously the same, it never changes. You may not have observed it, you may not have encountered it yet, but if you observe you will come to know that something in you remains constantly the same. Because of that sameness, you can have an identity. Because of that sameness, you feel yourself centered; otherwise you will be a chaos. You say, "My childhood." Now what has remained of it? WHO says, "My childhood"? Who is this "my, me, I"?
Nothing has remained of your childhood. If your pictures of your childhood are shown to you for the first time, you will not be able to recognize them. Everything has changed. Your body is no more the same; not a single cell has remained the same. Physiologists says that the body is a flux, it is river-like. Every moment many cells are dying and many new ones are born. Within seven years your body will have changed completely. So if you are going to live seventy years, ten times over your body has renewed itself completely.
Every moment your body is changing, and your mind. You cannot recognize a photograph of your childhood, and if it were possible to give you a photograph of your mind, of your childhood mind, it would be impossible to recognize it. Your mind is even more of a flux than your body. Every moment everything changes. Even for a single moment nothing remains the same. In the morning you were different as far as your mind is concerned. In the evening you are totally a different person.
When someone would come to meet Buddha, before the person would depart, take leave of him, Buddha would say, "Remember, the man who has come to meet me is not the man who is going back. You are totally different now. Your mind has changed." Meeting with a buddha is, of course, bound to change your mind for better or worse, but you cannot be the same.
You came here with a different mind; you will go with a different mind. Something has changed. Something new has been added, something has been deleted. And even if you are not meeting anyone, if you are just remaining by yourself, then too you cannot remain the same. Every moment the river is moving.
Heraclitus has said, "You cannot step twice in the same river." The same can be said about man: you cannot meet the same man again -- impossible! And because of this fact, and because of our ignorance of it, life becomes a misery -- because you go on expecting the other to be the same. You marry a girl and you expect her to be the same. She cannot be! Unmarried, she was different; married, she is completely different. A lover is something else, a husband is something totally different. You cannot expect your lover to meet you through your husband. That is impossible. A lover is a lover; a husband is a husband. The moment a lover becomes a husband, everything has changed. But you go on expecting. That creates misery -- unnecessary misery. If we can recognize this fact that mind goes on moving and changing continuously, we will escape many, many miseries without any cost. All you need is simple awareness that mind changes.
Someone loves you and then you go on expecting love. But the next moment he hates you; then you are disturbed -- not because of his hate, but only because of your expectation. He has changed. He is alive, so he is bound to change. But if you can see the reality as it is you will not be disturbed. The one who was in love a moment before can be in hate a moment later, but wait! One moment later he will be in love again. So don't be in a hurry, just be patient. And if the other can also see this changing pattern, then he will not be fighting for changing patterns. They change; that is natural.
So if you look at your body, it changes. If you try to understand your mind, it changes. It is never the same. Even for two consecutive moments, nothing is the same. Your personality goes on like a flux. If this is all and there is nothing which remains the same continuously, eternally, timelessly, then who will remember that this was "my childhood"? Childhood has changed, the body has changed, the mind has changed. Then who remembers? Then who knows about childhood and about youth and about old age? Who knows?
This knower must remain the same; this witness must remain the same. Only then can the witness have a perspective. The witness can say, "This was my childhood, this was my young age, this was my old age. This moment I was in love, and this moment the love changed into hatred." This witnessing consciousness, this knower, is always the same.
So you have two realms or two dimensions existing together in you. You are both -- the changing which is always changing and the non-changing which is always remaining non-changing. If you become aware of these two realms, then this technique will be helpful: "BE THE UNSAME SAME." Remember this: "BE THE UNSAME SAME." You are bound to be "unsame" on the periphery, but at the center remain the same.
Remember that which is the same. Just remembering will be enough; you need not do anything else. It is non-changing. You cannot change it, but you can forget it. You can be so engrossed, obsessed with the changing world around you -- with your body, with your mind -- that you may completely forget the center. The center is so much clouded by the changing flux -- and, of course, there are problems: that which is constantly the same is difficult to remember because change creates problems.
For example, if a constant noise goes on around you, you will not be aware of it. If a clock on the wall goes on, tick-tock, tick-tock the whole day, you are never aware of it. But if suddenly it stops, you will immediately become aware. If something is constantly the same, there is no need to take any notice. When something changes, the mind has to take notice. It creates a gap, and the pattern vibrates. You were hearing it continuously, so there was no need to hear it. It was there, it became part of the background. But if now suddenly the clock stops, you will become aware. Your consciousness will suddenly come to the gap.
It is just as if one of your teeth falls out; then your tongue goes continuously to the place. When the tooth was there the tongue never tried to touch it. Now the tooth is not there -- just a gap is there -- then the whole day, howsoever you try, you cannot help it: the tongue goes to the gap. Why? Because something is missing and the background has changed. Something new has entered.
Whenever something new enters, you become conscious -- for many reasons. It is a safety measure. It is needed for your life -- to survive. When something changes you have to become aware. It may be dangerous. You have to take notice, and you have to adjust again to the new situation that has come into being. But if everything is as it was, there is no need. You need not be aware. And this same element in you, what Hindus have called ATMAN, the soul, has been there always from the very beginning, if there was any beginning. And it is going to the very end, if there is going to be any end. It has been eternally the same, so how can you be aware of it?
Because it is so permanently the same, eternally the same, you are missing it. You take notice of the body, you take notice of the mind because they are changing. And because you take notice of them, you start thinking that you are them. You know only them; you become identified.
The whole spiritual effort is to find the same amidst the unsame -- to find the eternal in the changing, to find that which is always the same. That is your center, and if you can remember that center, only then will this technique be easy -- or if you can do this technique, remembering will become easy. From both the ends you can travel.
Try this technique. The technique is to "BE THE UNSAME SAME TO FRIEND AS TO STRANGER." To the friend and to the enemy, or to the stranger, be the "unsame same." What does it mean? It seems contradictory. In a way you will have to change, because if your friend comes to meet you, you will have to meet him differently, and if a stranger comes you will have to meet him differently. How can you meet a stranger as if you know him already? You cannot. The difference will be there, but still, deep down remain the same. The attitude must remain the same, but the behavior will be "unsame." You cannot meet an unknown person as if you know him already. How can you? You can pretend at the most, but pretensions will not do. The difference will be there.
There is no need to pretend with a friend that he is a friend. With a stranger, even if you try to act as if he is a friend, it will be pretension -- something new. You cannot be the same; unsameness will be necessary. As far as behavior is concerned you will be different, but as far as your consciousness is concerned you can be the same. You can look at the friend as at the stranger.
It is difficult. You may have heard, "Look at the stranger as if he is a friend," but that is not possible if what I am saying is not possible. First look at your friend as the stranger; only then you can look at the stranger as at the friend. They are correlated.
Have you ever looked at your friends as if they are strangers? If you have not, then you have not looked at all. Look at your wife: do you really know her? You may have lived with her for twenty years or even more, and the more you live with her, the more is the possibility that you will go on forgetting that she is a stranger -- and she remains a stranger. Howsoever you love her, it will not make any difference.
Really, if you love her more, the more strange she will look -- because the more you love, the deeper you penetrate and the more you know how river-like she is, moving, changing, alive, every moment different. If you don't look deeply, if you just stick to the level that she is your wife, that this is her name or that, then you have chosen a particular fragment, and you go on thinking of that particular fragment as your wife. And whenever she has to change, she has to hide her changes. She may not be in a loving mood, but she has to pretend because you expect love from your wife.
Then everything becomes false. She is not allowed to change; she is not allowed to be herself. Then something is being forced. Then the whole relationship goes dead. The more you love, the more you will feel the changing pattern. Then each moment you are a stranger. You cannot predict; you cannot say how your husband is going to behave tomorrow morning. You can predict only if you have a dead husband: then you can predict. Predictions are possible only about things, never about persons. If some person is predictable, know well he is dead; he has died. His living is just false, so you can predict. Nothing is predictable about persons because of the change.
Look at your friend as at a stranger; he is one! Don't be afraid. We are afraid of strangers, so we go on forgetting that even a friend is a stranger. If you can look at the stranger in your friend also, you will never get frustrated because you cannot expect anything from a stranger. You take your friends for granted; hence, expectations and then frustrations -- because no one can fulfill your expectations, no one is here to fulfill your expectations. Everyone is here to fulfill his own expectations; no one is here to fulfill you. Everyone is here to fulfill himself or herself, but you expect others to fulfill you and others expect you to fulfill them. Then there is conflict, violence, struggle and misery.
Go on always remembering the stranger. Don't forget, even your closest friend is a stranger -- as far removed from you as possible. If this feeling happens to you, this knowing, then you can look at the stranger and you can find a friend there also. If a friend can be a stranger, then a stranger can be a friend. Look at a stranger: he doesn't know your language, he doesn't belong to your country, he doesn't belong to your religion, he doesn't belong to your color. You are white and he is black or you are black and he is white. You cannot communicate through language; you don't belong to the same church. So there is no common ground in nation, religion, race or color -- no common ground! He is totally a stranger. But look into his eyes, and the same humanity is there, that is the common ground; and the same life, that is the common ground; and the same existence, that is the root of your being friends.
You may not understand his language, but you can understand him. Even silence can be communicative. Just by your looking deep down into his eyes, the friend will be revealed. And if you know how to look, then even an enemy cannot deceive you. You can look at the friend in him. He cannot prove that he is not your friend. Howsoever far removed, he is near you because you belong to the same existential current, to the same river to which he belongs. You belong to the same earth of being.
If this happens, then even a tree is not far away from you, then even a stone is not far away from you. A stone is very strange. There is no meeting ground, no possibility of any communication -- but the same existence is there. The stone also exists, the stone also participates in being. He is there -- I call it "he" -- he also takes up space, he also exists in time. The sun also rises for him -- as it rises for you. One day he was not, as you were not, and one day you will die and he will also die. The stone will disappear. In existence we meet. The meeting is the friendship. In personality we differ, in manifestation we differ; in essence we are one.
In manifestations we are strangers, so howsoever close we come we remain far away. You can sit close, you can embrace each other, but there is no possibility to come more close. As far as your changing personality is concerned, you are never the same. You are never similar; you are always strangers. You cannot meet there because before you can meet you have changed. There is no possibility of meeting. As far as bodies are concerned and minds are concerned there can be no meeting, because before you can meet you are no more the same.
Have you ever observed? You feel love for someone -- a very deep upsurge. You are filled with it, and the moment you go and say, "I love you," it has disappeared. Have you observed? It may not be there now, it may be just a memory. It was there, but it is not there now. The very fact that you asserted it, made it manifest, has made it enter into the realm of change. When you felt it, it may have been deep in the essence, but when you bring it out you are bringing it into the pattern of time and change, it is entering into the river. When you say, "I love you," by then it may have disappeared completely. It is so difficult, but if you observe, it will become a fact. Then you can look. In the friend there is the stranger and in the stranger the friend. Then you can remain "THE UNSAME SAME." You change peripherally; you remain the same in the essence, in the center.
"IN HONOR AND DISHONOR..." Who is honored and who is dishonored? You? Never! Only that which is changing, and that you are not. Someone honors you; if you take it that he is honoring YOU, you will be in difficulty. He honors a particular manifestation in you, not you. How can he know you? You don't even know yourself. He honors a particular manifestation; he honors something which has come into your changing personality. You are kind, loving; he honors it. But this kindness and this love are just on the periphery. The next moment you will not be loving, you may be filled with hate. There may be no flowers -- only thorns. You may not be so happy. You may be just sad, depressed. You may be cruel, angry. Then he will dishonor you. Then again the loving manifestation. Others come in contact not with you, but with your manifestations.
Remember this, they are not honoring and dishonoring YOU. They cannot do either because they don't know you; they cannot know you. If even you are not aware of yourself, how can they be? They have their own formulas, they have their theories, they have their measurements and criteria. They have their touchstones and they say, "If a man is such and such we will honor him, and if a man is such and such we will dishonor him." So they act according to their criteria, and you are never near their touchstones -- only your manifestations.
They can call you a sinner one day and a saint another. They can call you a saint today, and the next day they may go against you, stone you to death. What is happening? They come in contact with your periphery, they never come in contact with you. Remember this, that whatsoever they are saying, it is not about you. You remain beyond; you remain outside. Their condemnations, their appreciations, whatsoever they do is not really concerned with you, just with your manifestations in time.
I will tell you one Zen anecdote. One young monk lived near Kyoto. He was beautiful, young, and the whole town was pleased. They honored him. They believed him to be a great saint. Then one day everything turned upside down. One girl became pregnant, and she told her parents that this monk was responsible. So the whole town turned against him. They came, and they burned his cottage. It was morning, and a very cold morning, a winter morning, and they threw the child onto the monk.
The father of the girl told him, "This is your child, so take the responsibility."
The monk simply said, "Is it so?" And then the child started weeping, so he forgot about the crowd and began caring for the child.
The crowd went and destroyed the whole cottage, burned it down. Then the child was hungry and the monk was without any money, so he had to go to beg in the city for the child. Who will give him anything now? Just a few moments before he was a great saint, and now he is a great sinner. Who will give him anything now? Wherever he tried, they closed their doors in his face. They condemned him completely.
Then he reached to the same house -- to the house of the girl. The girl was very much distressed, and then she heard the child weeping and screaming, and the monk standing there just saying, "Don't give anything to me, I am a sinner. But the child is not a sinner; you can give milk to this child." Then the girl confessed that just to hide the real father of the child, she had taken the name of the monk. He was absolutely innocent.
So the whole town turned around again. They fell at his feet, started asking his forgiveness. And the father of the girl came, took the child back with weeping eyes, tears rolling down, and he said, "But why did you not say so before? Why did you not refuse in the morning? The child does not belong to you."
The monk is reported to have said again, "Is it so?" In the morning he had said, "Is it so? This child belongs to me?" And in the afternoon he said, "Is it so? This child doesn't belong to me?"
This is how this sutra has to be applied in life. In honor and dishonor, you must remain "THE UNSAME SAME." The innermost center must remain the same, whatsoever happens to the periphery. The periphery is bound to change, but you must not change. And because you are two, the periphery and the center, that is why opposite, contradictory terms have been used: "BE THE UNSAME SAME..." And you can apply this technique to all opposites: in love and hate, poverty and richness, comfort and uncomfort, or in anything, remain "THE UNSAME SAME."
Just know that the change is happening only to your periphery; it cannot happen to you, it is impossible. So you can remain detached, and this detachment is not forced. You simply know it is so. This is not a forced detachment; this is not any effort on your part to remain detached. If you TRY to remain detached, you are still on the periphery; you have not known the center. The center is detached; it has always been so. It is transcendental. It is always the beyond. Whatsoever happens below never happens to it.
Try this in polar situations. Go on feeling something in you which is the same. When someone is insulting you, focus yourself to the point where you are just listening to him -- not doing anything, not reacting -- just listening. He is insulting you, and then someone is praising you. Just listen. Insult-praise, honor-dishonor: just listen. Your periphery will get disturbed. Look at it also; don't change it. Look at it; remain deep in your center, looking from there. You will have a detachment which is not forced, which is spontaneous, which is natural.
And once you have the feeling of the natural detachment, nothing can disturb you. You will remain silent. Whatsoever happens in the world, you will remain unmoved. Even if someone is killing you, only the body will be touched -- not you. You will remain beyond. This "beyondness" leads you into existence, into that which is bliss, eternal, into that which is true, which is always, into that which is deathless, into life itself. You may call it God or you can choose your term. You can call it NIRVANA, whatsoever you like, but unless you move from the periphery to the center and unless you become aware of the eternal in you, religion has not happened to you, neither has life happened to you. You are missing, simply missing all. That is possible -- to miss the ecstasy of living.
Shankara says that "I call the man a SANNYASIN who knows what is changing and what is non- changing, who knows what is moving and what is non-moving." This, in Indian philosophy, is known as discrimination -- VIVEK. To discriminate between these two, the realm of the change and the realm of the unchanging -- this is called VIVEK, discrimination, awareness.
This sutra can be used very, very deeply and very easily with whatsoever you are doing. You feel hunger? Remember the two realms. Hunger can only be felt by the periphery because the periphery needs food, needs fuel. You don't need food, you don't need any fuel, but the body needs them. Remember, when hunger happens it is happening to the periphery; you are just the knower of it. If you were not there, it would not be known. If the body were not there, it would not happen. By your absence only knowledge will not be there because the body cannot know. The body can have it, but it cannot know it. You know it; you cannot have it.
So never say that "I am hungry." Always say within, "I know that my body is hungry." Give emphasis to your knowing. Then the discrimination is there. You are becoming old: never say, "I am becoming old." Just say, "My body is becoming old." Then in the moment of death also you will know, "I am not dying; my body is dying. I am changing bodies, just changing the house." If this discrimination deepens, one day, suddenly, there will be enlightenment.
The second sutra:
HERE IS THE SPHERE OF CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE. THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE.
The first thing to understand is that everything you know about is change; except for you, the knower, everything is change. Have you seen anything which is not change? This whole world is a phenomenon of change. Even the Himalayas are changing. They say -- the scientists who work on it -- that they are growing; these Himalayas are the youngest mountains in the world, still a child, really, still growing. They have not yet become mature; they have not reached to the point from where something begins to decline. They are still rising.
If you compare them with Vindhyachal, another mountain, they are just children. Vindhyachal is one of the oldest -- and some say the oldest mountain in the world. It is so old, it is decreasing -- coming down. For centuries, it is coming down -- just dying, in its old age. So even a Himalaya which looks so stable, unchanging, unmoving, is changing. It is just a river of stones. Stones make no difference; they are also river-like, floating. Comparatively everything is changing. Something looks more changing, something looks less changing, but that is only relative.
Nothing is unchanging that you can know. Remember my point: nothing that you can know is unchanging. Nothing is unchanging except the knower. But that is always behind. It always "knows"; it is really never known. It can never become the object; it is always the subject. Whatsoever you do or know, it is always behind. You cannot know it. When I say this, don't get disturbed. When I say that you cannot know it, I mean you cannot know it as an object. I can look at you, but how can I look at myself in the same way? It is impossible because to be in a relationship of knowledge two things are needed -- the knower and the known.
So when I look at you, you are the known and I am the knower, and the knowledge can exist as a bridge. But where to make the bridge when I look at myself, when I am trying to know myself? There only I am, alone -- totally alone. The other bank is missing, so where to create the bridge? How to know myself?
So self-knowledge is a negative process. You cannot know yourself directly; you can simply go on eliminating objects of knowledge. Go on eliminating the objects of knowledge. When there is no object of knowledge, when you cannot know anything, when there is nothing but the vacuum, the emptiness -- and this is what meditation is: just eliminating all objects of knowledge -- then a moment comes when consciousness is, but there is nothing to be conscious of; knowing is, but there is nothing to know. The simple, pure energy of knowing remains and nothing is left to be known. There is no object.
In that state when there is nothing to be known, it is said that you know yourself in a certain sense. But that KNOWLEDGE is totally different from all other knowledge. It is misleading to use the same word for both. There have been mystics who have said that self-knowledge is contradictory, the very term is contradictory. Knowledge is always of the other; self-knowledge is not possible. But when the other is not, something happens. You may call it "self-knowledge," but the word is misleading.
So whatsoever you know is change. Everywhere, even these walls, are constantly changing. Now physics supports this. Even the wall which looks so stationary, non-changing, is changing every moment. A great flux is on. Every atom is moving, every electron is moving. Everything is moving fast, and the movement is so fast that you cannot detect it. That is why the wall looks so permanent. In the morning it was like this, in the afternoon it was like that, in the evening it was like this, yesterday it was like this and tomorrow it will be like this. You look at it as if it is the same, but it is not. Your eyes are not capable of detecting such great movement.
The fan is there. If the fan is moving very fast, you will not be able to see the space, it will look like just one circle. Space cannot be seen because the movement is fast, and if the movement is so fast -- just as fast as electrons are moving -- you will not see that the fan is moving at all. You will not be able to detect the movement. The fan will look stationary; you will even be able to touch it. It will be stationary, and your hand will not even be able to enter into the gaps, because your hand cannot move so fast as to go into the gaps. Before you move, another blade will have come. Before you move, still another blade will have come. You will always touch the blade, and the movement will be so fast that the fan will look like it is non-moving. So things that are non-moving are very fast moving: that is why there is the appearance that they are stationary.
This sutra says that everything is change: "HERE IS THE SPHERE OF CHANGE..." On this sutra Buddha's whole philosophy stands. Buddha says that everything is a flux, changing, non-permanent, and that one should know this. Buddha's emphasis is so much on this point. His whole standpoint is based on it. He says, "change, change, change: remember this continuously." Why? If you can remember change, detachment will happen. How can you be attached when everything is changing?
You look at a face; it is very beautiful. When you look at a face that is very beautiful, there is a feeling that this is going to remain. Understand it deeply. Never expect that this is going to remain. But if you know that this is changing fast, that this is beautiful this moment and it may be ugly the next, how can you feel any attachment? It is impossible. Look at a body: it is alive; the next moment it will be dead. All is futile, if you feel the change.
Buddha left his palace, his family -- his beautiful wife, his child -- and when someone asked him, "Why?" he said, "Where there is nothing permanent, what is the use? The child will die." And the night Buddha left, the child was born. He was just a few hours old. Buddha went into his wife's room to have a last look. The wife's back was towards the door. She was holding the child in her arms in sleep. Buddha wanted to say goodbye, but then he resisted. He said, "What is the use?"
A moment came in his mind when a thought flashed that "The child is just one day old, a few hours old, and I must have a look." But then he said, "What is the use? Everything is changing. This day the child is born, and the next day the child will die. And one day before he was not here. Now he is here, and one day again he will not be here. So what is the use? Everything is changing." He left -- turned back and left.
When someone asked, "Why have you left all that?" he said, "I am in search of that which never changes, because if I stick to that which changes there is going to be frustration. If I cling to that which is changing, I am stupid, because it will change, it will not remain the same. Then I will be frustrated. So I am in search of that which never changes. If there is anything which never changes, only then does life have any worth and meaning. Otherwise everything is futile." He based his whole teaching on change.
This sutra is beautiful. This sutra says, "THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE." Buddha would never say the second part. The second part is basically tantric. Buddha will say that everything is change; feel it, and then you will not cling to it. And when you don't cling to it, by and by, by leaving everything that changes, you will fall into yourself to the center where there is no change. Just go on eliminating change, and you will come to the unmoving, to the center -- the center of the wheel. That is why Buddha has chosen the wheel as the symbol of his religion: because the wheel moves, but the center on which it moves remains unmoving. So the SANSARA -- the world -- moves like a wheel. Your personality moves like a wheel, and your innermost essence remains the center on which the wheel moves. It remains unmoving.
Buddha will say life is change. He will agree with the first part. The next -- the second part -- is typically tantric: "THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE." Tantra says don't leave that which is changing; move into it. Don't cling, but move. Why be afraid? Move into it, live it out. Allow it to happen, and you move into it. Consume it through itself. Don't be afraid, don't escape. Where will you escape? How can you escape? Everywhere there is change. Tantra says everywhere is change. Where will you escape? Where can you go?
Wherever you go the change will be there. All escape is futile, so don't try to escape. Then what to do? Don't cling. Live the change, be the change. Don't create any struggle with it. Move with it. The river is flowing; you flow with it. Don't even swim; allow the river to take you. Don't fight with it, don't waste your energy by fighting with it; just relax. Be in a let-go and move with the river.
What will happen? If you can move with a river without any conflict, without any direction of your own, if the river's direction is your direction, suddenly you will become aware that you are not the river. You will become aware that you are not the river! Feel it. Some day try it in a river. Go there, relax, and allow the river to take you. Don't fight; become the river. Suddenly you will feel that the river is all around, but you are not the river.
In fighting you may forget this. That is why tantra says, "THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE." Don't fight. There is no need because in you the change cannot enter. So don't be afraid. Live in the world. Don't be afraid because in you the world cannot enter. Live it. Don't choose this way or that.
There are two types of people: one that will cling to the world of change and one that will escape. But tantra says it is change, so to cling is futile and to escape also. What is the use? Buddha says, "What is the use of remaining in the world of change?" Tantra says, "What is the use of escaping from it?"
Both are futile. Rather, allow it to happen. You are not concerned with it; it is happening, you are not even needed for it. You were not and the world was changing, and you will not be and the world will go on changing -- so why create any fuss about it?
"CONSUME CHANGE THROUGH CHANGE." This is a very deep message. Consume anger through anger, consume sex through sex, consume greed through greed, consume the SANSARA through the sansara. Don't fight with it, be relaxed, because fight creates tensions and fight creates anxiety, anguish, and you will be unnecessarily disturbed. Allow the world to be as it is.
There are two types of persons. One type is those persons who cannot allow the world to be as it is. They are called revolutionaries. They will change it, they will struggle to change it. They will destroy their whole life in changing it, and it is already changing. They are not needed, they will only consume themselves. They will burn out in changing the world, and it is already changing. No revolution is really needed. The world is a revolution; it is changing.
You may wonder why India has not created great revolutionaries. It is because of this insight that everything is already changing. Why are you disturbed to change it? You can neither change it nor stop the change. It IS changing. Why waste yourself?
One type of personality always tries to change the world. In religion's eyes he is neurotic. Really, he is afraid of coming to himself, so he goes on and becomes obsessed with the world. The state has to be changed, the government has to be changed, the society, the structure, the economics, everything has to be changed, and he will die, and he will never have a moment of ecstasy in which he could know what he was, and the world will continue and the wheel will go on moving. It has seen many revolutionaries, and it goes on moving. Neither can you stop it nor can you accelerate the change.
This is a mystic's attitude: mystics say there is no need to change the world. But mystics are also of two types. One will say there is no need to change the world, but there is a need to change oneself. He also believes in changing -- not in changing the world, but himself.
But tantra says there is no need to change anyone -- neither the world nor yourself. That is the deepest core of mysticism. You need not change the world and you need not change yourself. You are just to know that everything is changing, and to float in the change and relax in the change.
And the moment there is no effort to create any change, you can relax totally -- because if the effort is there you cannot relax. Then tension will be there because in the future something of value is going to happen: the world is going to change. The world is going to become communistic, or the earthly paradise is to come, or some utopia in the future, or you are going to enter into the Kingdom of God, or into MOKSHA. Somewhere in paradise the angels are waiting to welcome you -- but "somewhere" is the future. With this attitude you are going to be tense.
Tantra says forget it. The world is already changing and you are also already changing. Change is existence, so don't become worried about it. It is already happening without you; you are not needed. You just float in it with no anxiety for the future, and suddenly amidst change you will become aware of a center within you which never changes, which has remained always as it is -- the same.
Why does it happen? Because if you are relaxed, then the changing background gives you the contrast, and through it you can feel the non-changing. If you are in any effort to change the world or yourself, you cannot look at the small unmoving center within you. You are so much obsessed with change, you are not able to have a look at what is the case.
The change is all around. The change becomes the background, the contrast, and you are relaxed. So there is no future in your mind -- no future thoughts. You are here now; this moment is all. Everything is changing, and suddenly you become aware of a point within you which has never changed. "THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE." This is what is meant by "THROUGH CHANGE CONSUME CHANGE."
Don't fight. Through death become deathless; through death allow the death to die. Don't fight with it. The tantra attitude is difficult to conceive of, because our minds want to do something and this is a non-doing. It is just relaxing, not doing, but this is one of the most hidden secrets. If you can feel this, you need not bother about anything else. This one technique can give you all.
Then you need not do anything because you have come to know the secret that through change, change can be consumed, and through death, death can be consumed, and through sex, sex can be consumed, and through anger, anger can be consumed. Now you have come to know the secret that through poison, poison can be consumed.
to see this page in its own window, click on Aum