When on their spiritual path, people often notice more and more, how rushed and driven they have been all their lives. They can perceive the inner disquiet and agitation, but often they do not recognize, what makes them so restless.
There are always two possibilities for this permanent inner turmoil. Either we want to get somewhere or we want to get away from something, or both. That is what we normally call “our life.” It costs quite an effort to get away from something. From what do we want to get away? From what we call “past.” And we want to get where we assume the future to be. It is the sum of our unfulfilled wishes that makes up the future, the suffering, the disappointment, the burden, the guilt and the childhood. All these are just different terms for what makes up the suffering of our past. It is the idea of this mind, that – without really having grasped it – reckons that the heaviness of suffering lies in the past, and that the fulfillment, the lightness of the fantasy of our wishes being fulfilled, is to be found in the future. So we move along this axis. Always trying to get away from what holds us or seems to hold us, but cannot be shaken off totally. It seems to be like a shadow we try to leap over. And no one really seems to succeed.
It doesn’t matter what is buried in what you call the past. Ultimately, seen from an absolute understanding of suffering, the memories stored in your past do not play a role at all. Everything held on to, everything suppressed, everything not allowed to go is a burden. Past is always a burden. And the future you want to reach, somehow chased, as fast as possible, a future, you believe, contains everything you can or must still attain, you must or can still make up for. This future holds the promise of salvation, the promise of lightness. Where in this endless flight on the one hand, and this endless pursuit on the other hand, do you pause for a moment?
Satsang is stopping. To stop means to be ready for what I call the rift in time; to recognize it while stopping for a moment, and then to fall into this rift. A normal human being lives in time and space and doesn’t recognize the rift in time. It is the rift in thinking, and at the same time, the fall into stillness. A fall beyond time and space that no thought can grasp.
And, of course, no one has taught us how to do this. Education, school, everything only and exclusively teaches horizontal thinking, and feeling becomes involved in it. So we have immersed ourselves in the world of the mind, and there we try to find happiness in the past, present and future and don’t succeed. We just don’t find it. No one has taught us, what it means to simply stop and fall. And then it happens – and for most people this is the difficulty – that in the moment of stopping short and leaving the surface, a great deal of stuff comes up. Everything that has been suppressed by horizontal thinking comes up, and then your trust and your presence are required, to be with that and to stay paused. To not take the first chance to play a part in this film again, that has been shot and is still being shot, as long as it has enough actors at its disposal. If there is no one to play a role, there is no necessity for this film.
It is a mental film, consisting of ideas and feelings and images, held together by sleep and unconsciousness, ignorance and an unwillingness to look closely. It is paradoxical, that it is a film in which you play a role indeed, but at the same time, do not want to see what kind of film it is exactly. And so it continues and suffering continues as well as suppression, agitation and flight. Real life, which happens in stillness and yet can be very moving, is not a life out of the thinking mind, of an I that believes: This is my life – consisting of the past, present and future; I was small, have grown bigger, and soon will die.
Such a life is just the thinking mind, but unfortunately, mistaken for life by everybody. That is the false life, the limited life, the suffering, a life in ideas: Me and my world, me and my relationships, in pursuit of happiness and freedom, a life of fighting for liberation. Real life only opens up to those who have the courage to realize the rift in time and then to fall into it. This rift can only be recognized if you are willing to leave everything as it is. Of course we always try to enter memory, because we are not at peace with it. Time and again, we try to change something, as if we could manipulate a film after it has already been shot. But this film has been shot exactly as it has been shot. And it doesn’t matter at all what you think of it. See this rift in this moment and be aware that it is to be found in each moment. It is the exit from this horizontal thinking in space and time. And this is the completely natural entry into meditation. This meditation is not dependent on exercises, nor dependent on any practices. It simply happens in this willingness to simply stop. In whatever trance, in whatever agitation you find yourself, stop, and then pause; and at the same time the fall inside starts to happen.