Chapter 06 – Taming the Bull
Truth liberates, and nothing else. Everything else creates bondage, a burden. And truth cannot be found by intellectual effort because truth is not a theory, it is an experience.
To know it you have to live it, and that is where millions of people go wrong.
They think that if they can cling to a belief, clinging will help them to find the truth.
as if a blind man has started believing that light exists, or a hungry man reads a book on cooking, believing this way, that way, but all the time remaining hungry. That is not the way to satisfy hunger.
Truth is a food. One has to digest it, assimilate it; one has to allow it to circulate in one’s blood, beat in one’s heart. Truth has to be assimilated into your organic unity. Belief is never assimilated, it remains an unrelated phenomenon.
Underneath your beliefs, whatsoever the belief, doubt continues. Doubt is at the center, and belief is on the periphery. So your life is basically determined by your doubt, not by your belief. You may be a Communist, and still somewhere deep down doubt continues. You may be a Catholic, a Christian, a theist, but deep down the doubt continues.
I have looked into so many people belonging to different beliefs, sects, but deep down – the same doubt.
Doubt is pure – simply doubt. For this pure doubt you will need pure trust.
A real seeker is not searching for any belief to console him. Rather, he is trying to find a deeper center in himself which goes beyond doubt.
This has to be understood. You have to go deep in your own being to such a point of aliveness where doubt is left behind on the periphery.
Go deeper into your being.
Don’t try to hide yourself in a belief. Don’t be an ostrich. Face the doubt – and go beyond it. Go deeper than the doubt.
Then comes a moment in your being because at the deepest core, at the very center is only life. Once you have touched that deep core within yourself, doubt is just a faraway peripheral thing. It can be dropped very easily.
There is no need to cling to any belief in order to drop it. You simply see the stupidity of it. You simply see the ridiculousness of it.
A real man of trust has no belief – he simply trusts because he has come to know how beautiful life is. And he has come to know how eternal, timeless, life is. He has just come to know that within himself is the kingdom of God.
The real kingdom is within. And the most amazing fact is that you go on carrying it within yourself completely unaware, not knowing what treasures you have, and what treasures are yours to just claim.
Religion is not a search for any belief. Religion is an effort to know the very ground of your being, to touch the very rock bottom of your existence. That experience of the rock bottom of your existence is what we mean when we use the word truth. It is existential. It is an experience.
So don’t be too fooled by beliefs. Be alert – they are deceptions. Because of these beliefs people don’t search. Once you think you know, you believe you know, what is the point of searching? Beliefs are devices to avoid the search because the search is arduous.
That pain is a necessity: it cleanses, it gives you solidity, integrity; it matures you. Those pains are like birth pains because through them you are going to be reborn.
Belief is cheap; it costs nothing. Just a nodding of the head and you become a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. It is too cheap. Truth cannot be that cheap.
Of course, climbing a mountain is difficult – there is no other mountain which is greater than you. You are carrying the greatest peak, the Everest, within you.
Of course, the climbing is going to be difficult. But the difficulty pays; it pays tremendously. Once you reach the peak – just the effort, the difficulties, the challenge, the arduousness of climbing – something goes on crystallizing within you. The moment you reach the peak, it is not only a peak that you have reached – you have become the peak. You have attained to a height you had never known before. You were living in a dark valley; now you live in sunshine.
So the first thing for the seeker is to be aware that beliefs are barriers.
What you believe makes no difference to me. All beliefs – unconditionally, all beliefs – are barriers.
the Communist is a Communist; the anti-Communist is also a Communist because it makes no difference whether you believe in Marx, or Moses, or Manu, or Mahavira. It makes no difference. You believe; whether in Srimad Bhagavadgita, or Das Kapital, or the holy Koran, it makes no difference. The believer’s mind is the wrong mind.
Drop your belief so that you can come to encounter your doubt. Facing doubt, encountering doubt, trust arises.
If you allow the doubt to be there, and you don’t hide somewhere else, if you face it in its nakedness, in the very encounter something new immediately arises in you − and that is trust.
Trust arises facing doubt, not escaping from it; belief is an escape. And belief is a false coin, a false substitute for trust; it looks like trust, it is not trust.
trust has never encountered doubt. It is just as light has never encountered darkness − the moment light comes, the darkness disperses, disappears.
But if you only believe in light, that is not going to help. You live in darkness and you go on believing in light – but you live in darkness!
Your belief in light is not a help; it is a hindrance because if you had no belief in light, you would have searched for light.
so belief is a trick of the darkness to protect itself. Belief is a trick of the untrue to protect itself. Be on guard.
To believe is to take the symptoms to be the real disease.
Symptoms are only indicative that something is wrong somewhere deep inside. Doubt is an indication, just as when your fever goes high. but the fever itself is not the disease.
if you think that the fever itself is the disease, then you cool down the body. The body is getting hotter and hotter, cool it down; give him an ice-cold shower. You are fighting the symptoms – you may kill the patient. This is not the way. The illness is somewhere deep down; the fever is simply indicative that something has gone wrong within.
Treat that something which has gone wrong within and the temperature will come down to normal of its own accord.
Doubt is a symptom, it is not the disease. When you cling to a belief, you are misunderstanding that doubt is the disease. So you think: If I believe, doubt will disappear. No, it won’t disappear – it will just go underground. It will become unconscious. The conscious you will believe in God; the unconscious you will go on denying him.
Don’t be afraid of doubt. Doubt is not the enemy; doubt is a friend. The doubt is simply saying to you that you have not yet searched within; hence, doubt is there. You have not looked into your own reality; hence, doubt is there. Look into your own reality, and doubt disappears like darkness. Bring light.
don’t try to change your mind from doubting to believing; that is not going to help. It is not a question of the mind – the trouble lies deeper, deeper than your mind, and you have to go deep within yourself.
This is the whole meaning of searching for the bull. The bull is life energy, dynamism, vitality.
The whip is a symbol for awareness, and the rope is a symbol for inner discipline. Awareness and discipline are the most fundamental things for a seeker. If you discipline yourself without awareness, you will become a hypocrite. If you discipline yourself without awareness, you will become a zombie, a robot.
You will become too serious; playfulness will be gone forever. And seriousness is a disease.
Discipline is right, if it is based on awareness. Discipline goes completely wrong, becomes poisoned, when it is done not with awareness but by a blind, believing mind.
So the first thing is the whip – the awareness. And the second thing is the rope – the discipline. Why the need for discipline? If you are aware, it seems awareness is enough. Eventually it is enough, but not in the beginning because the mind has deep patterns, and energy tends to come from the old habits and old patterns. New channels have to be created.
You may have become aware, but that awareness will not be enough in the beginning because the mind, finding any opportunity to go with any old pattern, immediately slips, in a split second. It takes no time to become angry. By the time you become aware, anger has already flashed. Later on, when your awareness has become total, when your awareness has become an absolute with you – before anything happens, awareness is already there, a priori. If anger comes, before anger, awareness is already there; if sexuality possesses you, before it, awareness is there. When awareness has become a natural, spontaneous thing, like breathing, it is there even in your sleep, then discipline can be discarded. But in the beginning – no. In the beginning, when awareness is settling, discipline will be helpful.
Food creates energy. If you don’t have much energy, then you cannot become angry. But weakness is not a transformation.
Many religions preach fasting so that you can overcome sex. Of course, if you fast too much and your body is starved, you will not have enough energy for sexuality. For sexuality you need overflowing energy because sex is a luxury. When you have a lot of energy, then it happens. When you don’t have enough, it disappears of its own accord − but that is not true brahmacharya.
You are deceiving yourself. Energy should be overflowing, but it should be channelled in a different dimension – the dimension of love. And you will have to create a discipline for that, so that when the energy arises it goes into love, not into sex – it goes into compassion not in passion, it goes into sharing not into greed.
Discipline is needed to create new pathways. So awareness and discipline should go together.
Krishnamurti goes on saying that only awareness is enough, no discipline is needed. And he is logically right!
People have been listening to Krishnamurti for forty years, and nothing has happened because they think only awareness will do.
But to get to that awareness, tremendous effort is needed – and they cannot afford that. In fact, Krishnamurti has become an escape for these people, so they can avoid discipline and they can go on thinking that only awareness will do. They go on living in their darkness, and the peak never happens.
Then there are others who go on saying that discipline is enough, no need for awareness. They are talking of the other extreme. Discipline alone cannot be enough. The man who goes on forcing discipline on himself becomes, by and by, a mechanical robot.
The mechanism has no spirit, no soul in it. It simply goes on repeating. The repetition is dead. Repetition won’t help. You can do your prayers every day; but only the mind’s mechanism will be repeating them. You will not be in it. You can go on serving people, helping people – the poor and the ill – but if you are just acting like a robot, if the discipline is all and there is no awareness in it, then you are like a computer.
Many religions have been just teaching discipline, morality, good actions and good deeds; that has not helped the world. People have not become alert or alive through it. Both opposites are half and half.
Zen says that both awareness and discipline have to be followed together. A rhythm has to be created between these two opposites. One should start with the whip, and one should end with the rope.
The bull is well acquainted with many dusty roads, and if the whip and the rope are not applied, there is every possibility that again the bull that you have caught will be lost.
Then there is no need for discipline. Then you have become a master.
Training is needed, but training is not the goal. Training is just a means. Finally, one has to come out of training; one has to forget all discipline. If you have to continue in your discipline, that simply shows the discipline is not yet natural.
By and by, there is no need – by and by, even to remain alert is not needed. One is simply alert; not that one tries to be alert. Only then is the flowering – when alertness is natural, when meditation is not something to be done but it simply goes on happening. It has become your very climate; you live in it. You are it.
If you are the master, you start coming back toward the original source.
If you are not the master, then energy moves away from you – toward things, persons, power, prestige, fame. Energy goes on moving away from you, toward the periphery. Once you are the master, energy starts moving homeward.
Kabir, one of the great Indian mystics, has said, “The day I became enlightened, I saw the Ganges flowing upcurrent, flowing back to the source.” He is right: the Ganges then no longer goes toward the ocean; it goes back toward Gangotri, its origin in the Himalayas.
If you are the master, the mind follows you like a shadow. If you are not a master, you have to follow the mind like a shadow. The mind means outgoing energy; meditation means incoming energy – the same energy. Only the direction is different.