Thinking is like waves on the surface of consciousness, and the question is to know the depth. You can go on chasing the waves, you will not attain to anything. Your life will be a sheer wastage.
But why does man go on thinking? When it is a question of getting into one's own being, why does he keep clinging to the surface? It is out of fear; depth needs courage. You will have to dive deep. Who knows what there is in the depth? You may disappear, you may not be able to come back again, you may melt. And the depth is dark, very dark. On the surface there is light, and on the surface there are many people just like you; you are not lonely. In the depth you will be alone. The deeper you go the more alone you will be. At the very center of your being there is just aloneness and nothing else. There you cannot take your friends, crowds, people. Unless one is ready to go on this lonely pilgrimage, one continues thinking.
Thinking is a substitute, a substitute for something which is totally different -- deepening. Thinking needs talents, deepening needs only courage. In the world of thinking you can prove your ego very easily. If you are articulate, a little logical, cunning, clever, calculating, you can become a great man.
But in the depth no talent is needed; all that is needed is immense courage to be alone. [ .]
We remain on the periphery, and the center is not far away, and you have not to travel long to reach the center. It can happen this very moment -- because it is your center. You may be keeping your back to it; just a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn and it is there. It has always been there, but you have not yet gathered enough courage to face yourself. So you get involved in so many things: in relationships, in business, in power politics, in ambitions. You go on getting involved in something or other just to avoid one single fact -- and that is you. This creates a double-bind. Because you are avoiding yourself you start creating a false self. One cannot live without a self; at least a nominal self, a nominal center is needed, otherwise you will fall apart, into pieces. Because you avoid the real self you have to create a false self; that is the ego.
The ego is a make-believe illusion, but very utilitarian. It gives you some idea of your being centered, although that idea is very chaotic. The ego cannot really give you the idea of being centered, although that idea is very chaotic, the ego cannot really give you the feeling of being centered. In the first place it is only a combination of many opinions that have been expressed about you by others. Somebody has said you are very great and somebody has condemned you. Now both the ideas are there. Somebody has said you are beautiful and somebody has said that you are ugly; now both the ideas are there.
Your ego is a patchwork: all the opinions that have been expressed about you, good and bad, favorable, unfavorable, are collected there. Out of these ideas you have created a kind of person in your mind, an image: "Who am I?" This image is very hodge-podge; that's why your life remains a chaos, a mess. And because this image has come from the outside, from people who don't know your center -- can't know your center, because even you don't know your center, how can they? it is always something which is opposite to your real center -- you become two persons instead of one. You become a duality. You are something and you believe yourself to be something else. You do one thing; you think you are doing it because of this motivation, but there is some other motivation of which you are completely unaware. You can never become integrated. You will go on becoming more and more schizophrenic.
I have heard...
There is a story about a spinster who had a habit of checking under the bed to see if it was safe to go to sleep. For years she went through this ritual of checking to make sure nobody was hiding there. After many years of doing this, one day she looked and, lo and behold, there was a man hiding under her bed.
She screamed from excitement and said, "So finally you are here! "
On the surface you are one thing, in the depths just the opposite. On the surface you may be a saint, in the depth a sinner. On the surface you may be very moral and deep down you may be carrying all kinds of immoral desires. On the surface you may look always very happy, smiling, and deep down you may be just despair and nothing else.
This distance goes on growing and becomes bigger and bigger as you grow in life and in experience. By the time you die you don't die as one man, you die as a crowd. The child is born as a single individual, but by the time he is eighty and ready to die, certainly he will be two persons. More possibility is that he will be more than two -- three, four, five, six, ten -- nobody knows. He can be a crowd.
You just watch yourself and you will not find a single self in you but many selves. You are multi-psychic, you have many minds, and each mind is fighting with your other minds. There is great competition inside, continuous quarrel. And in that quarrel, in that conflict, you are dissipating energy; and when you dissipate energy in constant civil war you lose zest for life. You lose all possibilities to be ecstatic, you lose joy.
The Secret, # 70
THE ONLY RIGHT QUESTION: WHO AM I?
Truth has to be discovered by everybody in his own being. You are truth! "[ .] But how can you declare this unless you have reached to the very core of your being? Because we ask such questions, we are supplied with answers.
There is one economic law: wherever there is a demand there will be a supply. Ask a stupid question and you will get a thousand and one stupid answers. [ .]
The only right and religious question is one: that is, who am I? Because nobody can answer it, that's why it is the only valid question -- only you can answer it. Nobody can say who you are, only you; and you too only when you go deep into yourself, beyond all the labels that are sticking on your surface: that "I am a doctor", that "I am an engineer", that "I am a businessman", that "I am a professor"; that "I am a Christian", that "I am a Hindu", that "I am a Catholic" or a communist, socialist; that "I am Indian", or German or Japanese.
When you start penetrating all these labels that have been stuck on you -- they are many, layers upon layers; if, you throw away one layer of labels you will find another layer of labels there -- you will have to peel all these labels off. Man has become almost like an onion: you have to peel all the layers off, and then only one day you reach to the center. That center is nothingness. Sufis call it fana: all is gone, all that you had believed in, all that you had trusted in, all those labels gone. You are no more a Hindu and no more a Mohammedan. You are no more a communist, no more a socialist. You are no more this or that -- neti-neti, neither this nor that. You have abandoned all those labels. You are not even a man or a woman, because consciousness cannot be man or woman. You are neither white nor black, because that is only the pigment in the body. You are not the body either. Why? -- because you can be conscious of the body. I can see my hand; that means the seer must be separate from the seen. I can observe my thoughts, so I am not my thoughts. I can watch my feelings, so I am not my feelings either. You go on, "I am not this thing, I am not that thing." You go on and on, then a moment comes: all things have been dropped. You are a no-thing; that means nothing.
Nothing is not a state of emptiness. Remember, nothing is not a state of emptiness, nothing simply means no-thing. You are a consciousness, not a thing. And the consciousness cannot be reduced to anything whatsoever. It is irreducible. The consciousness cannot be made an object, it always remains your subjectivity. The deeper you go, the deeper you will find it is standing beyond and beyond and beyond. It is always the beyond, the transcendental.