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PART I: UNDERSTANDING THE ROOTS OF STRESS
Lighting Up the Inner
Wisdom is not the accumulation of facts, figures and information - it is a transformation. We are living outside ourselves, hence our inner world remains dark. If we turn in, if our attention starts focusing inwards, then light is created.
We have everything that is needed to create light; it is simply that a rearrangement is needed. It is as if somebody has messed up your room the furniture is upside-down, the chandelier is on the floor. Everything is there but not in its place. It is difficult to live in such a room. You will have to put things back exactly where they belong.
This is how the human being is: we have everything that is needed, existence has provided everything. We come absolutely ready to live our lives to the optimum, but we live at the minimum for the simple reason that we never arrange things. For example, our attention is directed outwards, hence we can see everybody except ourselves and that is the most important thing to see. It is perfectly good to see others, but first you have to see yourself, first you have to be yourself. From that vantage point, from that centered state, you can look at others and that will give you a totally different quality.
So the attention has to be turned inwards. That’s what self-discovery is all about a 180-degree turn of our attentiveness, of our awareness. And wherever we focus our awareness, that space becomes lit up. I am not against the outside world but the inside world is the first to be taken care of, and the outside world takes second place. The person who can take care of his or her inner world is easily capable of taking care of the outside world.
Wisdom means knowing oneself, and to know oneself is the beginning of all other knowing. Then the circle of your light can go on spreading; it can become more and more comprehensive. A moment comes when your wisdom comprehends everything, it becomes all-inclusive. When one feels nothing is missing, nothing is lacking, one has come home. There is great relaxation, rest, fulfillment, deep contentment; there is a silence, yet it is full of songs.
The Pathology of Ambition
All cultures and all religions condition you to feel negative about yourself. Nobody is loved or appreciated for just being him or herself. You are asked to prove whether you are of any worth: bring gold medals from the sports field, achieve success, money, power, prestige, respectability. Prove yourself! Your worth is not intrinsic; that’s what you have been taught. Your worth has to be proved.
Hence a deep antagonism towards oneself arises, a deep feeling that ‘I am worthless as I am unless proved otherwise’. Very few people can succeed in this competitive world. Millions and millions of people are competing how many can succeed? How many people can become presidents and prime ministers? In a country of millions, only one person will become the president, but deep down everybody hankers for the job. Millions will feel that they are unworthy. How many people can become great painters? Yet everybody has something to create. How many people can become great poets like Shakespeare, Milton or Shelley? Yet everybody has something of the poetic in their innermost being; everybody has some poetry to give to the world. But when it becomes an ambition, ambition in itself is anti-poetic.
The idea of success is torturing you. It is the greatest calamity that has happened to humanity: the idea of success, that you have to ‘succeed’. And success means you have to compete, you have to fight by fair means or foul, it doesn’t matter. Once you succeed, everything is okay. The key point is success; even if by foul means you succeed, once you are successful, whatever you have done is acceptable.
Success changes the quality of all your acts. Success changes evil means into good ones. So the only question is, how to succeed, how to reach the top? And naturally, very few people can reach the top. If everybody is trying to reach Everest, how many people can stand there? There is not much space at the peak; only one person can be there with ease. The millions who were also striving will feel like failures and a great despair will settle in their souls. They will start feeling negative.
This is a wrong kind of education. It is utterly poisonous, this so-called education that has been given to you. Your schools and colleges, your universities are poisoning you. They are creating misery for you; they are the places where hells are manufactured but in such a beautiful way that you never become aware of what is going on. The whole world has become a hell because of wrong education. Any education that is based on the idea of ambition is going to create hell on earth and it has succeeded.
Everybody is suffering and feeling inferior. This is really a strange situation. Nobody is inferior and nobody is superior, because each individual is unique no comparison is possible. You are you, and you are simply you, and you cannot be anybody else. And there is no need, either. You need not become famous, you need not be a success in the eyes of the world. These are all foolish ideas.
All that you need is to be creative, loving, aware, meditative...if you feel poetry arising in you, write it for yourself, for your husband, for your children, for your friends and forget all about it! Sing your song, and if nobody listens, sing it alone and enjoy it! Go to the trees and they will applaud and appreciate it. Or talk to the birds and the animals, and they will understand far more than human beings that have been poisoned for centuries and centuries with wrong concepts of life.
PART IV: MEDITATIONS FOR EVERYDAY LIFE
Collapsing Into Silence
Whenever you have time, just collapse into silence, and that’s exactly what I mean collapse, as if you were a baby in your mother’s womb.
Sit on your knees on the floor, and then by and by you will start feeling that you want to put your head on the floor; then put the head on the floor. Adopt the womb posture, as the child remains curled up in the mother’s womb. And immediately you will feel that the silence is coming, the same silence that was there in the mother’s womb.
Sitting in your bed, go under a blanket and curl up. And remain there...utterly still, doing nothing. A few thoughts will sometimes come let them pass, be indifferent, not concerned at all. If they come, good, if they don’t come, good. Don’t fight, don’t push them away. If you fight you will become disturbed. If you push them away they will become persistent; if you don’t want them, they will be very stubborn about going.
Simply remain unconcerned; let them be there on the periphery, as if the traffic noise is there.
And it really is a traffic noise the brain traffic of millions of cells communicating with each other and energy moving and electricity jumping from one cell to another cell. It is just the humming of a great machine, so let it be there. Become completely indifferent to it; it does not concern you, it is not your problem somebody else's problem maybe, but not yours. What have you got to do with it?
And you will be surprised: moments will come when the noise will disappear, completely disappear, and you will be left all alone. In that all-aloneness you will find silence. A womb posture just as if you are in a mother’s womb and there is not much space so you curl up, and it is cold, so cover yourself with a blanket. It will become a perfect womb, warm and dark, and you feel yourself very, very small. It will give you a great insight into your being.