DELETED TEXT AND CHAPTERS ARE MARKED IN RED AND ADDED TEXT HAS BEEN MARKED IN BLUE
Published by Penguin Books India
Chapter title: I am not a person
9 May 1979 am in Buddha Hall
Archive code: 7905090
Length: 108 mins
You often speak about the importance of being open and receptive to whatever life brings. What is receptivity?
RECEPTIVITY Receptivity is a state of no-mind. When you are utterly empty of all thought, when consciousness has no content, when the mirror reflects nothing, it is receptivity. Receptivity is the door to the divine. Drop the mind and be.
In the mind, you are miles away from being. The more you think, the less you are. The less you think, the more you are. And if you don't think at all, those are the moments when being asserts itself in its totality.
Receptivity simply means dropping the garbage that you go on carrying in your head. And much garbage is there, utterly useless. The mind means the past. Now the past is no more of any use; it has happened, and it is never going to happen again, because in reality nothing ever repeats.
Even when you think, feel, that this is the same situation, it is never the same situation. Each morning is a new morning, and each morning the sun that you encounter is the new sun. I am not talking about the material sun. I am talking about the beauty, the benediction, the blessing that it brings every day – -- it is so utterly new.
If you go on carrying pictures of the past, you will not be able to see the new. Your eyes will be covered with your experiences, expectations, and those eyes will not be able to see that which confronts you.
That's how we go on missing life: the past becomes a barrier, encloses you, traps you, into something that is no more. You become encapsulated in the dead. And the more you become experienced, grown-up, the shell of the dead experience goes on becoming thicker and thicker around you. You become more and more closed. Slowly slowly all windows, all doors, are closed. Then you exist, but you exist alienated, you exist uprooted. Then you don't have a communion with life. You don't have a communion with the trees and the stars and the mountains. YOU CAN'T You can’t have a communion, because a great China Wall of your past surrounds you.
When I say become receptive, I mean become a child again.
Remember Jesus, who goes on saying to his disciples: Unless you are like small children you will not be able to enter into my kingdom of God. What he is saying is exactly the meaning of receptivity. The child is receptive because he knows nothing; not knowing anything, he is receptive. The old man is not receptive because he knows too much; knowing too much, he is closed. He has to be reborn, he has to die to the past and become a child again – -- not in the body, of course, but the consciousness should always be like a child; not childish, remember, but like a child; , grown-up, mature, but innocent.
And that's how one learns, learns the truth that is presented to you every moment of your life, learns to know the Guest who which comes and knocks on your doors every moment, day in, day out, year in, year out. But you are so surrounded by your own inner talk, by your own inner procession of thoughts, that you don't hear the knock.
Do you hear the distant call of the cuckoo? Do you hear the birds chirping? This is receptivity. It is an existential state of silence, utter silence; no movement, nothing stirs, and yet you are not asleep, and yet you are alert, and yet you are absolutely aware. Where silence and awareness meet, mingle and become one, there is receptivity. Receptivity is the most important religious quality.
Become a child. Start, Vandana, functioning from the state of not-knowing, and then silence will come of its own accord, and great awareness. And then life is a benediction.
–From The Guest, Discourse 14