The Quiet Room (2017)
The Quiet Room is a book that doesn't need any extra material to go with it. It is completely self-contained. However, to make your decision to buy it or not to buy it easier, below is the preface for the book and a couple of meditations.
This book of meditations is investigating a man who is in trouble. Maybe somebody lost his girlfriend or boyfriend, his house or his job. His mind is in a state of shock. He starts searching for help and guidance from others. He goes to different kinds of communities, he talks with religious people, psychotherapists and all sorts of helpers and perhaps he starts travelling and seeing different cultures. And during this process of seeking help, he may realize something extraordinary. Is there anybody in the world who is not confused? If a confused man helps another confused man, the result must be more and more confusion. So where can one begin at all, if there is only confusion everywhere? This book follows a man in crisis, his questions, his examinations and his observations during his process of trying to find help. It might be only the innocent that can help him — the innocent who knows what love is. And that’s why the innocent doesn’t have to know anything more.
64. Are there any levels of existence?
Many gurus want to tell you that there are many different “levels” of existence. If a human mind wants it really bad, it can create all kinds of experiences. But these experiences are born out of the desire to have an experience, they are merely projections of the mind. Mind’s ability to create a state, an experience, something extraordinary, is enormous – a human mind can even create an experience that is stronger than the reality itself. But still it is only a projection. What is there left if all self-made feelings, thoughts, images, experiences, states – different kinds of projections – are taken away? Or has man ever been in this kind of state where there is absolutely no projections at all? And how would he be aware of this state – because the moment he becomes aware of it, there is a division between the experiencer and the experience? In simple awareness the mind cannot be aware that it is aware. So actually, there is only two states of the mind. A state where the mind is projecting a thought, a feeling, an experience or an image – and a state where there is a lack of all projections. The mind can only know the known, the projection – but it can never know the unknown. When the unknown is acting, there is no awareness of it. Therefore, the truth cannot be experienced.
99. Why did we lose the truth?
When we were young, we were listening music, reading books, following the greatest new stars, we were studying and reading for exams but only because we had to, we were playing football with our friends and planning trips together, we were dreaming about love, we were excited about life and we wanted to find the truth about everything, always talking endlessly even about the trivial things, because deep in ourselves we knew that every discussion could lead to insights, to new ideas, to different kind of action, and we wanted to change everything, not just always accept it, we wanted to become succesful and we were willing to work for it and sometimes, we succeeded in it, and we watched together the full moon and the bright blue sky and the swishing leaves and it always looked like new, like it was the first day of our life, and we looked each other in the eyes and in that look, we saw the truth, we saw the human being behind the face and the body, and in that everything, there was a great ecstacy of life because life was still more important than money, security, a position in the society, and there was love which was free, dangerous, explosive, love that was free from the conformity of the society, love that was not secure but vulnerable and sensitive. When and why did all that become a middle class movement? Is it because we lost the interest in finding the truth in our lives? Because that really can be the only reason – that something else was more important than the truth.
90. Is there anything that could unite people all over the world?
After the war, in some countries there has been a period of reconstruction during which the people had the feeling of being united, working together as a whole. But usually these kind of periods last only 10 or 20 years after which the feeling of being united is lost. In some communities, there is a feeling of being united but this kind of communion is actually a form of isolation – there is always a separation between “we” and “the others”. The entertainment industry creates icons that unite especially young people – there are TV series and movie stars and rock bands that everybody are talking about. But this kind of connection is extremely superficial – although it is better than no connection at all. Religions are not connecting people as a whole. Each religion is against each other, either consciously or unconsciously. So religions are separating people from each other. Surprisingly, the science is able to give us something universal. Scientific information can unite people as we are able to understand more about our biological, physiological and psychological nature. The science is the new religion and the scientists are the new preachers. But still, the science lacks something. Surely, there must be a deeper connection between us. We have to be able to find together something that goes beyond our everyday consciousness. If there is no common ground for this kind of investigation, then as human beings we are lost. We may find unity from the family, from the nation, from the religion, from the hobbies, from some form of expertise, from some community or from some forms of identification – being “a man” or “a woman”, being “rich” or being “intelligent” or being “young”. But all these efforts to find unity are only forms of isolation. We are united in isolated groups but not as human beings. It is only true philosophy that can unite people all over the world – and true philosophy means the ability to ask right questions. How to become enlightened, is not a philosophical question. But to ask what I really am as a human being and to see in reality that I am self-centered and that all my activities arises from that, is a true philosophical approach. Because then I am seeing the fact and you are seeing the same fact also and the very seeing of that fact unites us. The science gives us facts to start our investigations but to go deeper we have to be able to penetrate into our own psyche – in reality – and not to see our psychological nature only as a theory – even if that theory would be true. Because only the actual seeing of our minds will change it; and a theory will come and go but it doesn’t have any effect. So if you are a serious man and if I am a serious man and if we together ask the right questions, only then is there a unity that goes beyond all layers of our consciousness. There is a possibility to have a connection that goes beyond thoughts and feelings and images and conclusions and associations that the mind is creating all the time. This unity is love and without it, we are lost as individuals but also as a whole.
59. The dangers of positive and negative thinking
Positive thinking will always create disorder because a positive thinker is unable to see the facts. If there is always positive thinking, the actual fact may look negative and thus a positive thinker will reject the fact. And this very rejection of the fact will create action that contains a seed of disorder. But negative thinking creates disorder, as well. The actual fact may be positive but a negative thinker rejects that fact and thus creates disorder. If the mind always tries to see only what is happening – the fact – then that watching creates action that is order. Still, the fact may look positive or negative but as the mind is not attached to positive or negative thinking it can act according to the fact. An ability to look neutrally is a key to order – and a positive and negative thinker will create order sometimes and disorder at other times because action is based on reaction.
Nicosia, Cyprus, December 2014