The Sadness of the Ordinary State of Mind

Ordinarily, mind is in a constant traffic — a thousand and one thoughts go on moving, like a crowd, a mob. With so many objects, you are confused, split. With so many objects you are moving in all directions simultaneously.

With so many objects you are always, almost, in a state of insanity, as if you are being pulled from every direction and everything is incomplete. You go to the left, and something pulls you to the right; you go to the south, and something pulls you to the north. You are never going anywhere, just a muddled energy, a whirlpool, constant turmoil, anxiety.

This is the state of ordinary mind — so many objects that the subjectivity is almost covered by them. You cannot ever feel who you are because you are so much concerned with so many things you don’t have a gap to look into yourself. You don’t have that stillness, that aloneness. You are always in the crowd. You cannot find a space, a corner, where you can slip into yourself.

And the objects are continuously asking for attention, every thought asking for attention, forcing exactly that the attention should be given to it. This is the ordinary state. This is almost insanity. In fact to divide mad people from non-mad people is not good. The distinction is only of degrees. It is not of quality: it is only of quantity. Maybe you are ninety- nine percent mad and he has gone beyond — a hundred and one percent. Just watch yourself.

Many times you also cross the boundary in anger, you become mad — you do things you cannot conceive of yourself doing. You do things for which you repent later on. You do things for which you say later on, “I did it in spite of me.” You say, “… as if somebody forced me to do it, as if I was possessed. Some evil spirit, some devil forced me to do it. I never wanted to do it.”

Many times you also cross the boundary, but you come back again and again to your normal state of madness. Go and watch any madman. People are always afraid of watching a madman because, suddenly, watching a madman you realize your own madness also. Immediately it happens because you can see at the most the difference is of degrees. He has gone a little ahead of you, but you are also following, you are also standing in the same queue.

William James once went to a madhouse, came back, became very sad, and covered himself with a blanket. The wife could not understand. She said. “Why are you looking so sad?” He was a happy man. He said, “I have been to the madhouse. Suddenly the thought occurred that between these people and me there seems to be not much difference. There is a difference, but not much. And sometimes I have also crossed the boundary. Sometimes in anger, sometimes in lust, sometimes in anxiety, depression.

I have also crossed the boundary. The only difference seems to be that they are stuck and they cannot come back and I am still a little flexible and I can come back. But who knows? Someday the flexibility may be lost. Watching those madmen in the madhouse I became aware that they are my future. Hence I am very much depressed. Because the way I am moving, sooner or later I will overreach them.”

Just watch yourself, and go and watch a madman the madman goes on talking alone. You are also talking. You talk invisibly, not so loud, but if somebody watches you rightly he can see the movement of your lips. Even if the lips are not moving, you are talking inside. A madman talks a little louder; you talk a little less loudly. The difference is of quantity. Who knows? Any day you can talk loudly. Just stand by the side of the road and watch people coming from the office or going to the office. Many of them, you will feel, are talking inside, making gestures. Causes are within; coincidences without.

That is the basic emphasis of yoga, that you are looking wrongly now and you will not ever find a real help. You are sad because you are not aware. You are unhappy because you are not aware. You are in misery because you don’t know who you are. All else is just coincidences. Look deep down. You are in a misery because you have been missing yourself, you have not yet met yourself.

Ordinarily, you live in a very indifferent, mood. You simply go on living as if half asleep — looking, and not looking at all; seeing and not seeing at all; hearing, and not hearing at all.You may have been chasing butterflies, dreams, maybe attaining a little pleasure here and there, but you have missed the ultimate benediction.

A jar of honey having been upset in a housekeeper’s room, a number of flies were attracted by its sweetness. Placing their feet in it they ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with honey that they could not use their wings nor release themselves and were suffocated. Just as they were expiring, one of them exclaimed, “Ah, foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves.”

Remember, this is the possibility for you also. You may get smeared with the earth so much that you cannot use your wings. You may get loaded with your small pleasures so much that you forget all about the ultimate bliss, which was always yours just for the asking.

In collecting pebbles and shells on the seashore you may miss the utterly blissful treasure of your being. Remember this. This is happening. Only rarely somebody becomes aware enough not to be caught in this ordinary imprisonment of life. I am not saying don’t enjoy. The sunshine is beautiful and the flowers also and butterflies also, but don’t get lost in them. Enjoy them, nothing is wrong in them, but always remember, the tremendously beautiful is waiting. Relax sometimes in the sunshine, but don’t make it a life-style. Sometimes relax and play with pebbles on the seashore. Nothing is wrong in it. As a holiday, as a picnic, it can be allowed, but don’t make it your very life then you will miss it.

And remember, wherever you pay your attention, that becomes your reality of life. If you pay your attention to pebbles, they become diamonds — because wherever is your attention, there is your treasure. Remember, wherever you pay your attention, that becomes your reality. And once it becomes a reality, it becomes powerful to attract you and your attention. Then you pay more attention to it: it becomes even more of a reality and, by and by, the unreal that is created by your mind becomes your only reality and the real is completely forgotte

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