Civilization is a training in how to become unreal. Tantra is the reverse process -- how to prevent yourself from becoming unreal, and if you have already become unreal, how to touch the reality which is hidden within you, how to contact it again, how to be again real. The first thing to be understood is how we go on becoming unreal, and once this process is understood many things change immediately. The very understanding becomes mutation.

Man is born undivided. He is neither a body nor a mind. He is born undivided, as one individual. He is both body and mind. Even to say that he is both is wrong. He is body-mind. Body and mind are two aspects of his being, not two divisions -- two polarities of something which we may call life, energy or anything -- X,Y,Z -- but body and mind are not two things.

The very process of civilization, education, culture, conditioning, starts with the division. Everyone is taught that he is two, not one, and then, of course, one begins to be identified with the mind and not with the body. The very thinking process becomes your center and the thinking process is just a periphery. It is not the center because you can exist without thinking. Once you existed without thinking: thinking is not a necessity to exist. If you go deep in meditation YOU will be, and there will be no thinking. If you become unconscious YOU will be, but there will be no thinking. Moving into deep sleep YOU will be, but there will be no thinking. Thinking is just on the periphery; your being is somewhere else -- deeper than thinking. But you are being taught continuously that you are two, body and mind, and that, really, you are the mind and you possess the body. The mind becomes the master and body becomes the slave, and you go on struggling against the body. This creates a rift, a gap, and that gap is the problem. All neurosis is born out of that gap; all anxiety is born out of that gap.

Your being is rooted in your body, and your body is not just something separate from existence. It is part of it. Your body is the whole universe. It is not something limited, finite. You may not have observed it, but try to observe where your body really ends -- where! Do you think that your body ends where your skin ends?

If the sun which is so far away just goes dead, instantly you will be dead here. If the sun rays stop coming, you will be no more here. Your body cannot exist without the sun being there so far away. The sun and you are somehow deeply related. The sun must be included in your body; otherwise you cannot exist. You are part of its rays.

In the morning you see flowers open: their opening is really the rising of the sun. In the night they will close: their closing is the setting of the sun. They are just rays that are spread out. You exist here because there, so far away, the sun exists. Your skin is not really your skin. Your skin goes on spreading; even the sun is included. You are breathing: you can breathe because the air is there, the atmosphere is there. Each moment you exhale and inhale the atmosphere in and out.

If for a single moment there were no air, you would be dead. Your breath is your life. If your breath is your life, then the whole atmosphere is part of you. You cannot exist without it. So where does your body really end? Where is the limit? There is no limit! If you observe, if you go deep, you will find there is no limit. Or, the limit of the universe is your body limit. The whole universe is involved in you, so your body is not just your body; it is your universe and you are grounded in it. Your mind too cannot exist without the body. It is part of it, a process of it.

Division is destructive, and with the division you are bound to become identified with the mind. You think, and without thinking there is no division. You think, and you become identified with your thinking. Then you feel as if you possess the body. This is a complete reversal of the truth. You do not possess the body; neither is the body possessing you. They are not two things. Your existence is one, a deep harmony of opposite poles. But opposite poles are not divided, they are joined together. Only then can they become opposite poles. And the opposition is good. It gives challenge, it gives stamina, it creates energy. It is dialectical.

If you were really one, without opposite poles within, you would be dull and dead. These two opposite poles, body and mind, give you life. They are opposite and at the same time complementary -- and basically and ultimately one. One current of energy runs in both. But once we get identified with the thinking process, we think that we are centered in the head. If your legs are cut, you will not feel that YOU are cut. You will say, "My legs are cut." But if your head is cut, YOU are cut. You are murdered.

If you close your eyes to feel where you are, immediately you will feel you are in your head. You are not there -- because when for the first moment you entered life in your mother's womb, when the male and female atoms met, there was no head. But life was started. You were there, and there was no head. In that first meeting of two alive cells, you were created. The head came later on, but your being was there. Where is that being? It is not in your head. Really, it is nowhere -- or everywhere in your body. It is nowhere; you cannot pinpoint where it is. And the moment you pinpoint it you miss the whole thing. It is everywhere. Your life is everywhere, it is spread out all over you. And not only all over you; if you follow it, you will have to go to the very ends of the universe. It is everywhere!

With the identification that "I am my mind," everything becomes false. You become unreal because this identity is false. This has to be broken. Tantra techniques are to break down this identity. The effort of tantra is to make you headless, uncentered, everywhere or nowhere. And why does humanity, why do human beings become false and unreal with the mind? Because mind is an epiphenomenon -- a process which is necessary, useful, but secondary; a process which consists of words, not of realities. The word `love' is not love, the word `god' is not God. But mind consists of words, of a verbal process, and then love itself becomes less significant than the word `love'. For the mind, the word is more significant. God becomes less significant than the word `God'. For the mind it is so. Words become more meaningful, significant. They become primary, and we start living in words. And the more you live in words the more shallow you become, and you will go on missing the reality which is not words. Reality is existence.

Living in the mind is as if someone is living in a mirror. In the night, if you go to a lake and the lake is silent and there are no ripples, the lake becomes a mirror. You can look at the moon in the lake, but that moon is false -- just a reflection. The reflection comes from the real, but the reflection is not real. Mind is just a reflecting phenomenon. The reality is reflected in it, but reflections are not real. And if you get caught in reflections, you will miss reality completely. That is why, with the mind, with mind reflections, everything wavers. A slight wave, a slight wind, will disturb your mind. Reality is not disturbed, but the mind is disturbed by anything. Mind is a reflecting phenomenon, and we are living in mind.

Tantra says come down. Descend from your thrones, come down from your heads. Forget the reflections and move towards the reality. All the techniques which we are discussing are concerned with this: how to be away from the mind so that you can move into reality. Now we will discuss the techniques.



This is a rare technique, one not much used, but one of the greatest teachers in India, Shankara, has used it, and Shankara has based his whole philosophy on this technique. You know his philosophy of MAYA -- illusion. Shankara says everything is illusory. Whatsoever you are seeing, hearing, feeling, all is illusion. It is not real because the real cannot be contacted by senses. You are hearing me and I am seeing you hearing me: it may be just a dream, and there is no way how to judge whether it is a dream or not. I may be just dreaming that you are here listening to me. How am I to know that this is real and not a dream? There is no way.

Chuang Tzu is reported to have said that one night he dreamt that he had become a butterfly. In the morning he was very sad -- and he was not a man to have sadness, he was never known to be sad. His disciples gathered and said, "Chuang Tzu, Master, why are you so sad?"

Chuang Tzu said, "Because of a dream."

The disciples laughed and said, "Because of a dream you are sad -- you who have been always teaching us not to be sad even if the whole world causes you sadness? And just a dream has caused you sadness? What are you talking about?"

Chuang Tzu said, "It is such a dream that it causes me very, very deep confusion, sadness, misery. I dreamt in my dream that I had become a butterfly."

The disciples said, "What is so puzzling in it?"

Chuang Tzu said, "Now this is the puzzle: if Chuang Tzu can dream that he can become a butterfly, why not the reverse? The butterfly may dream that it has become a Chuang Tzu. So now I am disturbed. What is right and what is wrong? What is real and what is unreal? Was it Chuang Tzu who was dreaming of becoming a butterfly or has the butterfly now gone to sleep and dreamt that it has become a Chuang Tzu? If one is possible, then the other is possible." And it is said that Chuang Tzu never could get over this puzzle. This remained for his whole life.

How to decide that I am not in a dream talking to you? How to decide that you are not dreaming I am talking? With senses no decision is possible, because while dreaming, dreams look real -- as real as anything. When you dream, you always feel it is real. When dreams can be felt as real, why can reality not be felt as dream?

Shankara says with senses there is no possibility to know whether the thing confronting you is real or unreal. And if there is no possibility to know whether it is real or unreal, Shankara calls it MAYA: it is illusion. Illusion doesn't mean unreal. Illusion means an impossibility to decide whether it is real or unreal -- remember this.

In Western languages MAYA has been translated very wrongly, and it gives the feeling in Western terms that "illusion" means "unreal." It does not! "Illusion" means the inability to decide whether the thing is real or unreal. This confusion is MAYA.

This whole world is MAYA, a confusion. You cannot decide; you cannot be decisive about it. It is always escaping you, always changing, turning into something else. It is fantasy, a dreamlike thing. This technique is concerned with this philosophy. "ILLUSIONS DECEIVE:" or, that which deceives is illusion -- "COLORS CIRCUMSCRIBE, EVEN DIVISIBLES ARE INDIVISIBLE:" In this world of illusion nothing is certain. This whole world is like rainbows. They appear to be, but they are not. If you are far away they are, but if you come nearer they dissolve. The nearer you come, the more they are not. If you reach to a point where you were seeing a rainbow, it is no more there.

The whole world is like rainbow colors, and it is so. When you are far away everything is hopeful; when you come nearer the hope disappears. And when you reach the goal, only ashes are there -- just a dead rainbow. The colors have disappeared, and things as they appeared are not. As you feel them to be, they are not.

"EVEN DIVISIBLES ARE INDIVISIBLE:" Your whole mathematics, your whole calculating system, all your concepts, all your philosophy, just become futile. If you try to understand this illusion, your very effort confuses you more. Nothing is certain there; everything is uncertain -- a flux, a flux of change, with no possibility for you to decide whether this or that is true or false. What will happen? If you take this attitude, what will happen? If you really go deep in this attitude that everything which cannot be decided is illusory, you will automatically, spontaneously turn to yourself. Then the only point where you can have a center is in your own being. That is certain.

Try to understand this: I may dream in the night that I have become a butterfly, and I cannot decide in that dream whether this is real or unreal. In the morning I may be puzzled like Chuang Tzu whether instead the butterfly may have been dreaming. These are two dreams, and there is no way to compare which is real and which is unreal.

But Chuang Tzu is missing one thing -- the dreamer. He is thinking only of dreams, comparing dreams and missing the dreamer -- the one who dreams that Chuang Tzu has become a butterfly, the one who is thinking that it may be quite the reverse: that the butterfly is dreaming that she has become Chuang Tzu. Who is this observer? Who was asleep and is now awake? You may be unreal, you may be a dream to me, but "I" cannot be a dream to myself, because even for a dream to exist a real dreamer is needed. Even for a false dream a real dreamer is needed. Even a dream cannot exist without a real dreamer. So forget dream. This technique says forget dream. The whole world is illusion, you are not. So don't go after the world, there is no possibility to gain certainty there. And now this appears to be proven even by scientific research.

For the last three centuries science was certain, and Shankara looked to be just a philosophical mind, poetic. For three centuries science was certain, but now, during these two last decades, science has become uncertain. Now the greatest scientists say nothing is certain, and with matter we will never be certain. Everything has again become uncertain. Everything looks like a flux, changing. Only appearance looks certain. The deeper you go, the more everything becomes uncertain, indefinite. Shankara says, and tantra has always been saying, that the world is illusory. Even before Shankara was born, tantra was preaching one technique -- that the whole world is illusory, so think of it as a dream. If you can think of it as a dream -- and if you think at all, you will come to realize it as a dream -- then your whole focus of consciousness will turn inwards, because there is a deep urge to find the truth, the real.

If the whole world is unreal, then there is no shelter in it. Then you are moving after, following shadows, and wasting time and life and energy. Then move inward.s One thing is certain: "I am." Even if the whole world is illusory, one thing is certain: there is someone who knows this is illusory. The knowledge may be illusory, the known may be illusory, but the knower cannot be. This is the only certainty, the only rock on which you can stand.

This technique says look at the world: it is a dream, illusory, and nothing is as it appears. It is just a rainbow. Go deep in this feeling. You will be thrown to yourself. With that coming to one's own self, you come to a certain truth, to something which is indubitable, which is absolute.

Science can never be absolute. It is going to be relative. Only religion can be absolute because it searches not the dream, it searches for the dreamer; not for the observed, but for the observer, the seer, the one who is aware.