Question: How does an identity bound person gets true freedom?
AP: Who is asking this? The identity bound person herself? Now, the identity will never ask “How to get rid of identities?” Who is asking this? You need to respond.
L1: I was just saying that this is a kind of question which is somehow clear on the surface level but still there is some confusion.
AP: How is it clear? Alright, tell me. How?
L: How the freedom would come if I am a bound person? I am still confused.
AP: Do you want freedom or do you want this knowledge? What do you want?
AP: Then how will this knowledge help? What you want to know that when it will happen? How will it happen? Do you want this information about the future or do you want freedom? What do you want?
AP: And freedom is not this knowledge — when it comes and how does it come?
(From this point onwards, speaker will use mango as a metaphor for Freedom.)
Let’s say you want a mango and you are desperate for the mango, will you say “Bring me the mango fifty years hence?” Did you say that? Will you even say “Bring me the mango five years later?” Will you be prepared to wait even for five minutes? If you really want it what will you say?
L1: Right now.
AP: Right now. Or will you want to collect information that “When one gets a mango how does one wipe it? What is the right process of peeling a mango? And who are the people who had a mango till now? Can I please have their interviews?” How does it taste and all that? Will you indulge in all this?
Mango Shastra! Chapter two.
Do you want to read literature about mango? Will you say that “Right now I am just caught in thousands of non-mangoes activity?” Will you even say that “Mango is absent from my life in a thousand ways”? Will you talk about all this or you will just go and get hold of the mango and bring it to yourself? What will you do? Or write an essay? Or sketch a mango and fill it with different colors? “My dream mango!”
Now, had you so clearly known that you are identity-bound, you wouldn’t have been talking about it. You are just talking, you don’t know anything. Mere words. You are not yet desperate for the mango, you are just saying “I am a person bound in hundred identities.” You do not actually feel the pain of that. Somewhere you’re alright with it, not only you’re alright with it, it’s good fun. Identity is giving me some benefits.
Comfort zone. And those comforts are alright because you don’t know anything beyond those comforts. So you are alright. There is no mango-lust yet within. Become a mango maniac. Eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, talking you should see only mangoes and then you will get the mango. Let the fact of the absence of mango be so clear to you, let it be so explicit every moment. And that requires an internal honesty. “When the mango is not there, you will not claim that it is there. You will have the honesty to simply say “I am deprived. No, it is not there, no it is not yet there.”
And when you say that with all your power — “It is not yet there,” you suddenly find that it is there, but for that you first need to exclaim; shout out, “It is not yet there,” like a baby and then the mother gives it. Have you seen a baby crying aloud? Sometimes these little ones six months, eight months cry out so hoarse that something happen to their throat. Have you ever cried out in this way? You are not even crying out, you are alright. And when you are alright why should the mother come? The mother is saying “when you will need it then you will ask for it. You are not yet asking for it.”
Knock and the door shall be opened. You are not even knocking. Those who have knocked have found that the door is already open, but you are not even knocking.
You are just talking; stop talking start knocking.
You will get it. Being identity bound; being stuck; being caught — these are not words to discuss, these are facts that should penetrate your heart and when they do, then the magic happens. “Right now I am seeing that it is there and I am not avoiding the fact, I am not escaping it. It is happening right now, the chains are dominating me and how dare I run away from this fact?”
When it comes to this, then the explosion happens! Then the mango suddenly drops into your lap. “Here, take it baby.”
Not later on. I made a compromise at 8:00 a.m in the morning and I am discussing it at 10:00 a.m., now two hours is a long time, too long a time. The explosion must happen at 8:00 a.m. itself.
L4: If you come a little deeper and talk about the identity bound thing, when that identity is bothering you or disturbing you, you get very desperate, you cannot do anything. And before the desperation was a comfort zone and now it is not there.
AP: You know there was a movie I watched, I don’t remember the name. There was this man who had fallen down a creek, you understand the creek? And he I don’t know whether he falls down or whether he actually goes there, something happened, Right? And now he finds that one of his arms is struck under a rock. Now the bugger does this and that, for a while he survives on his water bottle, he can’t communicate with anybody it’s a deserted area. Do you know what he does? Ultimately he tears away his arm and gets out and survives. That’s what you do when you are really desperate, you can even cut-off your own arm and you are saying you can’t cut-off these relationships.
L4: That’s what I am saying because it’s at the level where you can see and compromise.
AP: Then you are not experiencing it, you are not sensitive enough to yourself, you don’t love yourself.
L4: It happens; it bothers you so bad you don’t know what actually to do?
AP: Let it bother you, it’s not yet bothering you. Let it bother you as if one of your arm is under the rock and you will be able to get rid-off the arm itself. It was Jesus who said that “If one of your eyes goes bad, get rid-off the eye.” If your arm has gone bad will you let the septic spread to the rest of your body? Will you?
Get it amputated.
You are not yet feeling the pain.
Be sensitive, be alert, open up. Don’t be so harsh upon yourself and don’t tell yourself that “I don’t deserve freedom.”
Do you know what is insensitivity? Insensitivity is a belief. It’s a belief that “I am born to be chained, that I am not worthy of love, that I do not deserve to fly.” That is insensitivity. We have been trained to be cruel to ourselves and why must you be cruel to yourself? You deserve all and everything.
Man is not born to adjust and compromise and somehow tolerate his seventy-eighty years and then at the end of the journey say, “Thank God the seventy years are over. It was a night mare, glad, I am out of it. Death is such a nice thing.”
When you die at eighty, you say, “Mercifully I am out of it.”
Is that what is life?
L5: To the type we are living that what’s will happen actually.
AP: That is what we are heading for. “Thank God we are out of it, such an ordeal”
What to do with life? Bear it? Tolerate it?
Look at the child, look at the animal; they love themselves, at least they don’t hate themselves. We have our two dogs and you may cajole them, temp them but if they don’t want to eat something they will not eat it even if it breaks your heart. You may give them the best of dishes right from your own plate and if he doesn’t want it, he will not take it. He will say “My health comes first. Your love is alright, thank you. I don’t want to take it, too oily for me. I don’t want to become like you.”
The child knows self love — he will never harm himself to please others, never. “Why should I force my bladder? Your bed sheet is not more important than my bladder. I will do what I want to do. You may have bought a rupees three hundred ticket for the movie; I want to enjoy in my own way, not your movie, not the movie of the entire audience present in the whole theater, nobody is more important than my urge to shout out. I want to shout out, I will shout out. I don’t bother, call it selfishness if you want to, I am selfish.”
But then somebody has taught you to not to be selfish and that translate into not having self love. So you will bear anything; bear.
L4: But this can also be called as innocent.
AP: Yes, of course, true selfishness is very innocent. You don’t have that. The child does not want to please anybody and that is innocence. He is not requesting favors from anybody — that is innocence. We want something from somebody that’s why we keep tolerating that’s why you keep tolerating; greed. You want something from somebody, so keep tolerating.
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.