"Silence is the great revelation, " said Lao-tse. We are accustomed to think of Scripture as the revelation of God. And so it is. I want you now to discover the revelation that silence brings. To take in the revelation that Scripture offers, you must expose yourself to Scripture. To take in the revelation that silence offers you must first attain silence. And this is not easy. Let us attempt to do this in this exercise.
One cannot say anything about the awakened state; one can only talk about the sleeping state. One hints at the awakened state. One cannot say anything about happiness. Happiness cannot be defined. What can be defined is misery. Drop unhappiness and you will know. Love cannot be defined; un-love can. Drop un-love, drop fear, and you will know. We want to find out what the awakened person is like. But you’ll know only when you get there.
Slow down and taste and smell and hear, and let your senses come alive. That is extremely important for the process of change. If you want a royal road to mysticism, sit down quietly and listen to all the sounds around you. You do not focus on any one sound; you try to hear them all. Oh, you’ll see the miracles that happen to you when your senses come back to life.
We filter out life constantly, so much so that often we don’t see the reality of what is there. Where does the filtering come from? It's our conditioning, our culture, our programming. It's the way we were taught to see things and to experience life. Even the words we choose function as filters. There’s another demon doing the filtering, distorting and destroying true perception, haunting us with fear. It's the one called attachment. That filter is the root of all suffering.
The heart in love remains soft and sensitive. But when you’re hell-bent on getting this or that thing or result or person, you become ruthless, hard, and insensitive. How can you love people when you need people? You can only use them. If I need you to make me happy, I’ve got to use you, I’ve got to manipulate you, I’ve got to find ways and means of winning you. I cannot let you be free. I can only love people when I have emptied my life of the need for people.
Suppress your desire and you are likely to be tied to it. Whereas if you look at your desire and see it for what it is really worth, and how you are preparing the grounds for misery and disappointment and depression, your desire will then be transformed into a preference. When you go through life with preferences but don’t let your happiness depend on any one of them, then you’re awake. You’re moving toward wakefulness.
Is psychology more practical than spirituality? Nothing is more practical than spirituality. What can the poor psychologist do? He can only relieve the pressure. I’m a psychologist myself, and I practice psychotherapy, and I have this great conflict within me when I have to choose sometimes between psychology and spirituality. I wonder if that makes sense to anybody here. It didn’t make sense to me for many years until I suddenly discovered that people have to suffer enough in a relationship so that they get disillusioned with all relationships.
I want to give you a taste of the difference between analysis and awareness, or information on the one hand and insight on the other. Information is not insight, analysis is not awareness, knowledge is not awareness.
Can one be fully human without experiencing tragedy? The only tragedy there is in the world is ignorance. The only tragedy there is in the world is un-wakefulness and unawareness. From them comes fear, and from fear comes everything else, but death is not a tragedy at all. Dying is wonderful; it’s only horrible to people who have never understood life. It’s only when you’re afraid of life that you fear death.
The only way to change is by changing your understanding. But what does it mean to understand? How do we go about it? Consider how we’re enslaved by various attachments; we’re striving to rearrange the world so that we can keep these attachments, because the world is a constant threat to them. I fear that a friend may stop loving me; he or she may turn to somebody else. I have to keep making myself attractive because I have to get this other person. Somebody brainwashed me into thinking I need his or her love. But I really don’t. I don’t need anybody’s love; I just need to get in touch with reality.