Q: I would like to be able to meditate and have real peace of mind.
U.G.: Have you questioned this goal of yours, which makes sadhana necessary? Why take it for granted that there is such a thing as "peace of mind." Maybe it is a false thing. I am just asking the question to understand what particular goal you have. May I ask that question?
Q: As I said, I would like to have peace of mind.
U.G.: When do you expect to have it? It is always tomorrow, next year. Why? Why does tranquility, or quietness of the mind, or whatever you choose to call it, only happen tomorrow; why not now? Perhaps this disturbance--this absence of tranquility--is caused by the very sadhana itself.
Q: It MUST be possible ...
U.G.: But why are you putting it off until tomorrow? You have to face the situation NOW. What ultimately do you want?
Q: Whatever I do seems meaningless. There is no sense of satisfaction. I feel that there must be something higher than this.
U.G.: Suppose I say that this meaninglessness is all there is for you, all there can ever be for you. What will you do? The false and absurd goal you have before you is responsible for that dissatisfaction and meaninglessness in you. Do you think life has any meaning? Obviously you don't. You have been told that there is meaning, that there must be a meaning to life. Your notion of the "meaningful" keeps you from facing this issue, and makes you feel that life has no meaning. If the idea of the meaningful is dropped, then you will see meaning in whatever you are doing in daily life.
Q: But we all have to have an idea of a better, more spiritual life.
U.G.: Whatever you want, even the so-called spiritual goals, is materialistic in value. What, if I may ask, is so spiritual about it? If you want to achieve a spiritual goal, the instrument you use will be the same which you use to achieve materialistic goals, namely thought. You don't actually do anything about it; you just think. So you are just thinking that there must be some purpose to life. And because thought is matter, its object--the spiritual or meaningful life-is also matter. Spirituality is materialism. In any event you do not act, you just think, which is to postpone. There is simply nothing else thought can do.
That instrument called thought, which you are employing to achieve your so-called spiritual goals, is the result of the past. Thought is born in time, it functions in time, and any results it seeks are bound to be in and of time also. And time is postponement, the tomorrow. Take, for example, the fact of selfishness. It is condemned, while selflessness, a pure creation of thinking, is to be sought after. Its realization, however, lies always just ahead, tomorrow. You will be selfless tomorrow, or the next day, or, if there is one, in the next life. Why is it not possible for you to be totally free from selfishness now, today? And do you really want to be free from selfishness? You do not, and that is why you have invented what you call selflessness, in the meantime remaining selfish. So, you are not going to be selfless at all, ever, because the instrument which you use to achieve that state of selflessness or peace of mind is materialistic in value. Whatever you do to be free from selfishness will only strengthen and fortify it. I am not saying that you should therefore be selfish, only that thinking about its abstract opposite, which you have called "selflessness," is useless.
You have also been told that through meditation you can bring selfishness to an end. Actually, you are not meditating at all, just thinking about selflessness, and doing nothing to be selfless. I have taken that as an example, but all other examples are variations of the same thing. All activity along these lines is exactly the same. You must accept the simple fact that you do not want to be free from selfishness.
Q: I am making an effort to understand ...
U.G.: You are using effort to be in an effortless state. How the hell can you use effort to be in an effortless state? You think that you can live an effortless life through volition, struggle, and effort. Unfortunately, that is all you can do. Effort is all you know. The "you", and everything it has achieved, has been a result of effort. Effortlessness through effort is like peace through war. How can you have peace through war?
The "peace of mind" you want is an extension of this war of effort and struggle. So is meditation warfare. You sit for meditation while there is a battle raging within you. The result is violent, evil thoughts welling up inside you. Next, you try to control or direct these brutal thoughts, making more effort and violence for yourself in the process.
Q: But there does seem to be something like peace of mind when one finishes one's prayers or meditations. How do you explain that?
U.G.: It is the result of sheer exhaustion, that's all. Your attempts to control or suppress your thoughts only tire you out, making you sort of battle-weary. That is the effortlessness and peace of mind you are experiencing. It is not peace. If you want techniques for thought control, you have come to the wrong man.
Q: No sir, I feel that I am benefited by talking with you. Are you saying that no religious commitment, no spiritual path, no sadhana is necessary?
U.G.: I say no. Somebody else says yes. Where does that leave you? Understanding your goal is the main thing. To achieve that goal implies struggle, battle, effort, will, that is all. There is no guarantee that you will reach your goal. You assume the goal is there. You have invented the goal to give yourself hope. But hope means tomorrow. Hope is necessary for tomorrow, not for today.
You know. You want more knowledge so you can develop better techniques for reaching your goal. You know that there is no guarantee that more experience, more knowledge, more systems and more methods will help you reach your goal. Yet you persist; it is all you know how to do. Seeing today demands action. Seeing tomorrow involves only hope.
Q: What is it that we are trying to see with the help of techniques?
U.G.: You want to see meaning in your life. As long as you persist in searching for a purpose or meaning to life, so long whatever you are doing will seem purposeless and meaningless. The hope you have of finding meaning is what is causing the present state of meaninglessness. There may not be any meaning other than this.
Q: It is understandable that people should look for meaning in their lives, isn't it?
U.G.: The energy you are devoting to the search, to techniques, to your sadhana, or whatever you wish to call it, is taking away the energy you need to live. You are obsessed with finding meaning in life, and that is consuming a lot of energy. If that energy is released from the search for meaning, it can be used to see the futility of all search. Then your life becomes meaningful and the energy may be used for some useful purpose. Life, the so-called material life, has a meaning of its own. But you have been told that it is devoid of meaning and have superimposed a fictitious layer of "spiritual" meaning over it.
Why should life have any meaning? Why should there be any purpose to living? Living itself is all that is there. Your search for spiritual meaning has made a problem out of living. You have been fed all this rubbish about the ideal, perfect, peaceful, purposeful way of life, and you devote your energies to thinking about that rather than living fully. In any case you are living, no matter what you are thinking about. Life has to go on.
Q: But isn't that the goal of culture and education, to teach us how to live?
U.G.: You are living. As soon as you introduce the question "how to live?", you have made of life a problem. "How" to live has made life meaningless. The moment you ask "how", you turn to someone for answers, becoming dependent.
Q: You are saying that all search is doomed because there is nothing to achieve or understand.
U.G.: There is nothing to be achieved, nothing to accomplish. Because you have created the goal--say, selflessness--you remain stuck in selfishness. If the goal of selflessness is not there, are you selfish? You have invented selflessness as an object to pursue, meanwhile continuing to be selfish. How can you ever end your selfishness as long as you pursue selflessness? A certain amount of practical selfishness is necessary for survival, of course, but with you it has become a tremendous, unsolvable problem.
Here there is no need to sit in special postures and control your breath. Even while my eyes are open, in fact no matter what I am doing, I am in a state of samadhi. The knowledge you have about samadhi is what is keeping you away from it. Samadhi comes after the ending of all you have ever known, at death. The body has to become like a corpse before that knowledge, which is locked into every cell in the body, ceases.
Q: You infer that a complete radical break with one's past is essential if one is to get beyond the prevalent mediocrity, if one is to live creatively. But there have been a great many intelligent, inventive people who have not undergone any death process or physiological "calamity", as you call it.
U.G.: Your highly praised inventiveness springs from your thinking, which is essentially a protective mechanism. The mind has invented both religion and dynamite to protect what it regards as its best interests. There is no good or bad in this sense. Don't you see? All these bad, brutal, terrible people, who should have been eliminated long ago, are thriving and successful. Don't think that you can get off this merry-go-round, or that by pretending to be spiritually superior you are avoiding any complicity. You are the world; you are that. This is all I am pointing out.
Q: Are you also brushing aside the concern for what might happen to one in a future life? If, in a later life, I shall reap what I have sown, should I not be concerned with how to be moral?
U.G.: Past lives, future lives, karma -- these things are emphasized in this so-called "spiritual" country. It is a total failure! They say that they will have to suffer for their bad actions in the future, tomorrow. But what about now? Why is he getting away with it now? Why is he so successful right now?
Q: Despite the obvious chaos and brutality in the world, most of us find that hope springs eternal and that love must ultimately rule the world ...
U.G.: There is no love in the world. Everybody wants the same thing. Whosoever is the most ruthless gets it -- as long as he can get away with it. Getting what you want in this world is a relatively easy thing, if you are ruthless enough. I had everything a man could want, every kind of desirable experience, and it all failed me. Therefore, I can never recommend my "path" to anyone, having eventually faced the falseness of that path myself and rejected it. I would never even hint that there was any validity in all those experiences and practices.
Q: Contrary to what you have said, the great saviors and leaders of mankind have agreed that ...
U.G.: The saints, saviors, priests, gurus, bhagavans, seers, prophets and philosophers were all wrong, as far as I am concerned. As long as you harbor any hope or faith in these authorities, living or dead, so long this certainty cannot be transmitted to you. This certainty somehow dawns on you when you see for yourself that all of them are wrong.
When you see all this for yourself for the first time, you explode. That explosion hits life at a point that has never been touched before. It is absolutely unique. So whatever I may be saying cannot be true for you. The moment you see it for yourself you make what I am saying obsolete and false. All that came before is negated in that fire. You can't come into your own uniqueness unless the whole of human experience is thrown out of your system. It cannot be done through any volition or the help of anything. Then you are on your own.
Q: It seems to me that a special sort of valor is necessary for what you are describing. Am I right?
U.G.: Yes. But it is not courage in the usual sense. It is not the courage you associate with struggle or overcoming. The valor I am talking about is the courage that is naturally there when all this authority and fear is thrown out of the system. Courage is not an instrument or quality you can use to get somewhere. The stopping of doing is courage. The ending of tradition in you is courage.
Q: Even with courage there is no guarantee that one isn't wrong about life, or that one is not mistaken about the important things.
U.G.: When once you are freed from the pairs of opposites -- right and wrong, good and bad -- you will never be wrong. But until then the problem will be there.
Q: Reaching the end of opposites has rather frightening implications ...
U.G.: It is like accidentally touching a live wire. You are much too frightened to touch it through your own volition. By sheer accident this thing touches you, burning everything ...
Q: Including the search for God and freedom?
U.G.: It burns out this search, the hunger. The hunger stops, not because it is satisfied. The hunger can never be satiated, especially by the traditional food that is offered. With the burning away of that hunger, the duality ceases. That is all.
There is a certain uneasiness when listening to you ...
U.G.: You are incapable of listening to anyone. You are the medium of my expression. I respond to your questions; I have nothing of my own. The expression of what is here occurs because of you, not me. That medium -- you -- is corrupt. The medium is only interested in maintaining its own continuity. So anything that happens there is already dead.
Q: You seem bent upon demolishing everything other teachers have taught ...
U.G.: My interest is not to knock off what others have said (that is too easy), but to knock off what I am saying. More precisely, I am trying to stop what you are making out of what I am saying. This is why my talking sounds contradictory to others. I am forced by the nature of your listening to always negate the first statement with another statement. Then the second statement is negated by a third, and so on. My aim is not some comfy dialectical thesis, but the total negation of everything that can be expressed. Anything you try to make out of my statements is not it.
You sense a freshness, a living quality to what is being said here. That is so, but this cannot be used for anything. It cannot be repeated. It is worthless. All you can do with it is to try to organize it; create organizations, open schools, publish holy books, celebrate birthdays, sanctify holy temples, and the like, thus destroying any life it may have had in it. No individual can be helped by such things. They only help those who would live by the gullibility of others.
Q: How exactly did the system free itself from tradition in your case?
U.G.: My explanation is that there was an outburst of energy, which is utterly different from the energy that is born out of thinking. All spiritual, mystical experiences are born out of thought. They are thought-induced states, nothing more. The energy here that is burning all thought as it arises tends to accumulate. Eventually it has to escape. The physical limitations of the body act as obstacles to the escape of this unique energy. When it escapes it goes up, never down, and never returns. When this extraordinary energy -- which is atomic -- escapes, it causes tremendous pain. It is not the pain you are familiar with. It has nothing to do with it. If it did, the body would be shattered. It is not matter converting into energy; it is atomic. The process goes on and on, while the pain comes and goes. It is like the tremendous relief when a tooth is extracted. That is the kind of relief that is there, not the spiritual. The translation of this as bliss or beatitude is very misleading. Through thought anyone can create those experiences; but it is not actually bliss. The real thing is not something that can be experienced. Anything you can experience is old. That means everything you experience or understand is tradition.
In other words, I am trying to free you not from the past, the conditioning, but, rather, from what I am saying. I am not suggesting any way out because there is no way. I have stumbled into this and freed myself from the paths of others. I can't make the same mistake they did. I will never suggest that anyone use me as a model or follow in my footsteps. My path can never be your path. If you attempt to make this your path, you will get caught in a rut. No matter how refreshing, revolutionary or fantastic, it is still a rut, a copy, a secondhand thing. I myself do not know how I stumbled into this, so how do you expect me to give it to another?
My mission, if there is any, should be, from now on, to debunk every statement I have made. If you take seriously and try to use or apply what I have said, you will be in danger.
Q: Great teachers and seers in the Eastern tradition have at least attempted to convey some idea of higher states, while you insist they are incommunicable. Why?
U.G.: You take for granted that they are what they say they are. I say it cannot be transmitted to another because there is nothing there to transmit. Neither is there anything to renounce. What is it that these teachers suggest you should renounce? Even your scriptures -- the Kathopanishad -- say that you must renounce the very search itself. The renunciation of renunciation happens not through practice, discussion, money, or intellect. These are the least of things. A rough translation of the original Sanskrit is, "Whomsoever it chooses, to him it is revealed." If this is so, then where is the room for practices, sadhana, and volition? It comes randomly, not because you deserve it.
If you are lucky enough to have this dawn on you, you will die. It is the continuity of thought that dies. The body has no death, it only changes form. The ending of thought is the beginning of physical death. What you experience is the emptiness of the void. But there is no death for the body at all. I am sure this is of little consolation to you, though. Just wanting to be free of egoism is insufficient; you must go through a clinical death to be free from thought and egoism. The body will actually get stiff, the heartbeat slows, and you will become corpse-like.
Q: The theory of reincarnation also denies death, but in a different way. They speak of an eternal atma or soul which outlives the physical death ...
U.G.: Whatever answers are given regarding death, you are not satisfied with them, and so you must invent theories about reincarnation. What is it that will reincarnate? Even while you are alive, what is there? Is there anything beyond the totality of the knowledge which existed inside you now? So, is there death at all, and if there is, can it be experienced?
Q: So you will only confirm the existence of a natural state, is that it?
U.G.: The ideas you have about that natural state are totally unrelated to what it actually is. You are trying to capture and give expression to what you hope is that state. It is an absurd exercise. What is there is only the movement to capture, nothing else. All the rest is speculation.