They kept coming, they kept coming, now they’ve got to go.
They’ve got to keep moving, day or night,
and where they came from, there they’ve got to go.
From nothing to nothing to nothing and why?
There is nothing called the ‘world’. What you call as the ‘world’, what you call as the ‘objects’ that constitute the world are actually nothing, because they are all in a flux. If there is something, it must be unchanging, at least for the briefest possible period of time. For something to be, it must be there at least for the tiniest fraction of a second. It must have some stability, only then you can say there is something. But in the world there is nothing because whatever there is, is not stable even for the millionth part of a second. The world is just a flux, a movement, a constant movement in which there is nothing but just the movement.
If you are not careful enough you might say, “There is a wall here.” (Pointing towards a wall) But is there a wall here? What you call as the ‘wall’ right now, is not the same ‘wall’ the next moment. Something has changed. So, where is the wall? What is it that you are calling as the ‘wall’? Just an illusion.
Give me something that doesn’t change and then we may probably agree that there is something called the ‘world’. But there is nothing that doesn’t change. So there actually exist no ‘objects’. There don’t exist any ‘objects’. There only exists a continuous flow. A flow of time. Which is also referred to as the mind.
“They kept coming, they kept coming, now they’ve got to go.” This is what our world is like, ‘coming’ and ‘going’. “And where they came from, there they’ve got to go.” Where do they arise from? (Smilingly) They arise from the same place where they go to. Where do they arise from? What is it that you call as ‘they’; ‘objects’, where do they arise from? They arise from nowhere.
Truth may have a base but can an illusion have a base? The base of the illusion is illusion itself. When the ‘coming’ itself, when the ‘object’ itself is an illusion, the ‘disappearance’ too is bound to be illusory.
Understand it this way. What you call as ‘yourself’, this too is a flux because what you are right now is not the same as what you would be the next moment. When you are not there, the question of “Where have you gone to?” becomes redundant. If there is something, only then can it go somewhere, right? The question that there was ‘me’ and hence “Where have I gone to, after death?” holds weight only when there is something before death, right?
The one who realizes that there never was anything, also gets the answer to “What happens after death?” There never was anything, so what do you mean by what happen after death? Was there life at all? You ask about death because you believe in life. When you see that what you call as ‘life’ is itself a big lie, then you stop wondering about death. When you see that the ‘coming’ itself was an illusion, then the ‘going’ is answered.
Do you see this?
“And where they came from, there they’ve got to go.” And where they came from, there they’ve got to go. Where does the dream go to, once you wake up? It goes to the same place it came from; nowhere. It just appeared, it had no base. It just looked as if it exists. It didn’t really exist.
“From nothing to nothing to nothing and why?” Why?
The one who has seen that what we call as the drama of our so-called life, is nothing, ultimately, in her compassion, is bound to ask, “Why?” Because what we call as ‘life’ is nothing and yet it gives so much suffering. So, so much suffering for the sake of nothing; Lalla is bound to ask, “Why?” She is bound to ask, “Why?”
So much suffering for the sake of nothing. The one who is assumed to be suffering, he himself doesn’t exist. (Laughingly) But the suffering exists, for the ‘sufferer’ and obviously, Lalla is addressing the sufferer, and asking, “Why?”
“From nothing to nothing to nothing and why?”
(Speaking to one of the Listeners) Yesterday you were talking about science and spirituality and you said that science deals with objects whereas spirituality deals with the subject. Now let’s examine that. When the objects themselves are so transitory, that nothing can be called an ‘object’, how can the subject exist?
Object and subject are two ends of duality. Where objects don’t exist, can the subject exist? But you find it far easier to say, “Objects don’t exists but ‘I’ do.” Who am ‘I’? (Sarcastically) The one who looks at all the objects. Nice way to remain deluded.
When objects don’t exist, even the subject doesn’t exist. The ‘subject’ is every bit, as much, a mirage, a phantom as are the objects. So it is not about ‘me’ looking at the subject. Subject and object have to be looked at together and you will see that the whole circuit of duality is a fake world; not only one end of it, both ends of it! Neither does the world mean anything, nor do I.
These are the two end of duality. The ‘world’ is the object, ‘I’ am the subject. The world doesn’t mean anything, and in absence of a meaningful world, how can ‘I’ mean anything? In your definition of ‘yourself’, is there anything unrelated to the world? Remove the world, now where do you stand? Remove the world, where do you stand? You will fall. (Sarcastically) But it is such a sweet thing to say, “The world doesn’t exist, but I do.”
(Sarcastically) Who am I? The witness of the world. You destroy the world and in that process prove your superiority. (Sarcastically) “The world doesn’t exist but I, the lord of the world, I exist”. Who is this I? (Smilingly) Not the same I that was there thirty minutes back. A flow in time, constantly changing. Where would it go to? Nobody knows. Where did it come from? Nobody knows. This disappearance of both subject and the object is called the vast nothingness which is the Nature, which is the Real Nature.
Everything else that you see around yourself is just a transitory projection. Only that vast nothingness is Real. And don’t be frightened by the negative word – nothingness. In the nothingness of illusion; when the illusion reduces to nothing, then Truth shines. When the illusion reduces to nothing, then the Truth shines. So don’t think that by nothingness there is only the process of refusal or negation implied. No. That which you ‘think’ of as real is nothing. All it says is this – That which you think of as real, is nothing, and when that is known then That alone remains, which you can’t think of and is yet Real. What is ‘nothing’? That which you think of as real.
What all has come and gone?
Listeners: Billions and billions of people.
Speaker: “They kept coming, they kept coming, now they’ve got to go. From nothing to nothing to nothing and why?” Is there anything that remains? Nothing remains. This nothing is the highest positive Reality. It is not just an abnegation. You have, so many times, read this phrase “The seeker of Truth.” Right? What is Lalla seeking?
Listeners: The Truth.
Speaker: What do you mean by ‘seeking Truth’, when you say, “I am seeking the Truth?” You mean, “I am seeking that which does not come and does not go.”
The sensitive mind is fed up of coming and going. The crude mind does not even see the coming and going. The crude mind does not even register that so much of coming and going is happening. But the sensitive mind gets fed up of it! It says, “No, now I want that which doesn’t come and doesn’t go.” That is what is meant by ‘seeking the Truth’. The Truth is That, which doesn’t come and doesn’t go. This nothingness is the absolute Truth, in which there is no coming and no going.
“From nothing to nothing to nothing and why?” This is the question is of the sensitive, compassionate mind. “Why?” “What is this routine drama?” “This happens and then that happens, and then that happens, and then that happens.” Fed up of it! Getting it?
What is ‘seeking the Truth’? That which never comes and never goes. Which is just there. And in that being just there, lies the greatest security for the mind. You can never be deceived now. It can never be stolen or taken away from you because it never comes and goes, so it can never be taken away. It is like relaxing in the secure arms of the mother. Nothing can happen. I can’t be taken away. That is what is meant by ‘seeking the Truth’. Not something transitory, not something which always comes with the fear and suspicion of its disappearance.
Is there anything in your life about which you are so sure that it won’t disappear? Anything? Now, that is hell, that is torture and the seeker of Truth is the mind that does not want this torture anymore. It says, “Enough of suspicion, enough of fear, enough of wondering – what would happen, what’s next, what if? I don’t want to go into these questions anymore. I want something that I don’t even have to think of, because thinking tires. Thinking is a distortion of the mind. I don’t want to think. I want to feel so certain, so safe, so secure; I don’t want to think.”
When you are very-very sure of something, do you still want to think about it? No need, relax. That is ‘seeking the Truth’, that which doesn’t come and doesn’t go. That which is there, that is the Truth. That’s the finality that the wise one searches for.
The stupid mind won’t do that. The stupid mind is content with its regular upheavals, with its frequent fires in the house. “It is alright.” (Sarcastically) Fighting in the morning, friendship in the evening, love-making in the night and it says, “Its life. After all, its life; sweet and sour.”
The wise one says, “No. This is not life, this is hell! I am not prepared to continue with this.”
So, what is a difference between a stupid mind, a dull mind and a wise mind?
The stupid mind is very used to its being. The stupid mind is very well-adjusted to life. It sees no paradoxes, it sees no contradictions. It’s a very nicely patterned and grooved mind. Its patterns fit nicely with the patterns of the world. So we said that it’s a very well-adjusted mind.
The wise man is a kind of a misfit. So as you are sitting here, there is a deep wonderment in a few eyes. This wonderment is the sense of misfit. This wonderment is about seeing something new. Whereas, there are others who are alright with things as they are. “Oh, we are alright, I am alright.”
The stupid man does not see any paradoxes, any contradictions. It is not sensitive to even its own torture. It is being tortured, day and night but it has no love towards itself. No sensitivity. So it behaves as if there is nothing wrong. It behaves as if everything is proper and alright. It is so blind that it doesn’t see its own wounds and the blood oozing from them. It says, “No. What is the need to change? What is the need to realize? What is the need to seek the Truth? After all, everything is fine and ok.” And sometimes the crudeness goes to the extent, that if you try to display that, “No, things are not fine, things are not ok,” it wants to run away, it wants to hide.
It requires a deep Faith to admit that things are not alright, that there is suffering. Because if you admit that, you will have do something about it and that generates fear in the mind. “If I do something, all hell may just break loose.” To not to do something about it, you feign, you pretend that there is no disease at all. If I am very-very scared of surgery then I will hide my disease, right? Because if I accept that I have a disease than I will have to go under the knife. I have no Faith in the surgeon, so what do I do? I pretend that there is no disease.” That’s our story. We have no Faith that there is somebody who can rid us of our ailments, so we just keep pretending, “Oh! We are alright, you know our life is well adjusted.” “No, it’s all cool, what’s wrong? Nothing is wrong. I am a regular fellow.”
There is a doctor and he knows more about you than you yourself ever can. Have Faith. You are safe and secure with him. Hiding your diseases and pretending, won’t do.
When the world dominates your mind your heart weeps. When the world fills up your being, then you just want to vomit. That’s our situation. The world has filled us so much that we are all nauseated, we want to vomit. We are diseased. The world is the sickness. The world has entered every bit of our being, it has violated us, there is no virginity left, no cleanliness, nothing untouched here, just coming and going, coming and going, coming and going and the resultant fear and the resultant instability, coming and going. Like the head spinning all the time, all the time, all the time. Have you felt that? The head spinning. So much is happening, the head is spinning. It is off center. That is why people like Lalla ask- “Why?”
And remember, out of this ‘why’ desolation or frustration or loneliness does not arise. That’s what your fear is, right? “That if I admit, if I ask, if I reveal, then I will lose something.” You don’t loose anything. Lalla didn’t loose anything. She got the dance, the dance of Shiva. So when you cry out, aloud, “Why?” that is the beginning of your dance.
A sick man cannot dance, can he? He can stumble around, he can keep falling and he can pretend that he is dancing. That’s how all our dances are, right? Stumbling, falling, hitting, bleeding and we say we are dancing! Only Lalla can dance, because she was so free of the world that even clothes were a misfit upon her.
Only the healthy mind can dance. Really dance. The others can just hit around in their random stupor.
~ Excerpts from a Shabd-Yog session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi on Lal Ded: From nothing to nothing and why?
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 2: What is simplicity?
Article 3: How to have Faith?