People would ask Poonja-ji, “Are you enlightened?” Sometimes he would say, “Yes, I am enlightened.” Sometimes he would say, “No, I’m not enlightened.” I used to get very confused. “Well, are you or are you not?”
Now I have come to know that when he was dealing with things pertaining to his human body, to daily events, he was enlightened because he was very wise. But when it came to the absolute magnificence of what we are with our Beloved, there are no words of enlightenment. There are no words!
Words, even so-called words of enlightenment, are concepts carried by a person. When we are in That place with our Beloved we are not persons anymore and there are no concepts, no words.
Many teachings misunderstand this and say for us to do the best we can to kill our personhood while we are here so that we do not to have a self. They tell us not to have a self. “Do not have a personality. Do not have any ideas. Do not have any thoughts.”
And all these things
are the biggest nonsense
that can be given to people.
People become prisoners to those ideas. But the truth is, as long as we are in our bodies and our brains are working, we are going to have thoughts. As long as we have thoughts, we are going to have a personality and we are going to have definitions about who we are. Period. We have to be at ease with that.
With wisdom we realize that, even though we do have a form, even though we do have thoughts and ideas and personalities, we are not totally attached to those things. They do not make up the totality of what we are. Then when we leave our forms, we can do without them. We are not so afraid to be without them.
The truth is we cannot existwe cannot LIVEin this form without having ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Otherwise what are we going to do here?
Furthermore when so-called teachers tell us they have no thoughts, they are telling us they have no thought while they are speaking from the thought that they have no thoughts! It’s ridiculous.
But when they say to us that they have no thoughts, we look at them and say, “Wowthey say they have no thoughts! They must be so much better than I am. I’ll never be like them but I want to be like them so I will follow them forever.” Who is free under those conditions?
We need to consider these thingsnot because we’ve become arrogant in a bad or obnoxious way, but because we’ve come to understand in a broader way. We reflect on all the different teachers we’ve had, all the different situations we’ve experienced, all the variety of things we’ve read. When we look at everything that has come to us, and we see from a broader perspective, then it becomes natural to feel gratitude for all these things that have touched us and that we have been through.
We know that if they hadn’t happened, we wouldn’t be what we are. So we thank all these things. We’re not upset. We’re not angry. We’re not trying to prove anything. But at the same time we become arrogant in a beautiful way because something inside of us says:
“I may not know very much.
I may be confused,
but I have a very strong feeling inside my heart
that this confusion is the case everywhere.
This is the case everywhere! And there has never been, nor will there ever be anybody who is in a physical form, who knows more or is wiser about That that we can not speak about than my own heart.”
Is that a statement made by a free person or by a person in bondage? Is that an arrogant statement of saying I know better than every body else? Or is that something beautiful, wise, and courageous that comes from the truth of our hearts after we realize how complicated these things are? So this is my teaching, if there is a teaching.
The only thing we can teach about absolute reality is that there is no teaching. That’s the teaching! Once we feel comfortable with this, we can stop running around looking for something that is not to be found.
We can stop running around from this place to that, from this book to that, from this person to that personall of whom say, “If you do what I tell you, you’re going to be enlightened or you’re going to be saved. If you don’t do what I tell you, then you will never be enlightened. If you do what I tell you, then you’re going to go to heaven. If you don’t do what I tell you, you’re going to go to infinite varieties of hell.” And on and on and on. It’s all just bondage!
We think that we’re being free,
but we’re burying ourselves
in more and more bondage
than we can imagine.
What happens in spiritual life is that we bury ourselves in finer and finer and finer details. This is referred to as the golden chain which I have talked about many times. First we start out with a very obvious chain around our necks. So we say, “I’m a slave.” In the beginning the chain is big and made out of iron, but after we become so-called good we get one made out of gold. It is still quite thick because we can see it clearly. This chain around our necks is all our ideas about how everything should be.
And time passes. We become wiser. This chain becomes finer because all these ideas and concepts become fewer and fewer and the chain is not as thick. But the chain is still there. We work and we work. The chain gets finer and finer and finer. But the chain is always there.
So how do we go to the next step? We have to break this chain. Then we have nothing around our necks.
When we have nothing around our necks, we find that there is no idea, no opinion, no single notion that defines us or holds such importance for us. It means we realize that so much of what we thought was true is really a matter of opinion, belief, conjecture and whatever personal perspective we have at the moment and the truth is we are always in a state of flux. We say we know nothingnot because we are suddenly unintelligent, but because we are willing, at last, to regard everything with a sense of wonder and open curiosity and fluidity. When we ‘know nothing’ in this way, something inside of us makes us very satisfied. In the beginning we thought we knew everythingand now we can smile at such ridiculous rigidities.
The greatest wisdom
is in knowing
that we know nothing.
Then we are open and we see everything around us. We see all these things and we don’t have any great desire to prove anything to anybody about anything. We don’t have any desire to prove anythingbecause we know how things are.