Questioner: When I’m dreaming at night, it seems real to me. I couldn’t differentiate if the people that exist in my dream, they seems very real. And I can talk to them, I can touch them, and events seem to happen too. So when I wake, I know that it’s illusions. So is that the same thing for my life right now? How real is this life? Would it be possible, one day when I’m awake, all these are just illusions to me? All people are going to be gone.
Sadhguru: The problem is you’re reading bits and pieces of zen. Okay? Bits and pieces of zen are dangerous. Bits and pieces of anything is dangerous.
Thought and emotion is just a projection of life, not life, isn’t it?
Now what you’re saying is true, in a way. Because 99% of your life, is just thought and emotion. Thought and emotion is just a projection of life, not life, isn’t it? When 99% of the time you’re only thinking about life – emotion is also a kind of thought, a juicier thought, isn’t it? Thought is dry, emotion is juicy, but still a thought, isn’t it? The way you think is the way you feel, isn’t it so? Yes? Isn’t it so? Now if you think, oh this is a wonderful person, you’ll have sweet emotions towards that person. Oh this is a horrible person, you’ll have nasty emotions towards that person. You can’t think this is a wonderful person and have nasty emotions. You can’t think this is a horrible person and have sweet emotions, isn’t it so? Because the way you think is the way you feel.
Thought and emotion are not different. They are the same thing, they are just thought. One is dry, another is juicy. Because it’s juicy, it has a drag time. So, you think they are different. See, you can be thinking like this – today you can be thinking this is a very wonderful person. Tomorrow morning he does something that you don’t like. Suddenly you can think – he is a horrible guy. Your thought immediately takes a right angle turn. But emotion can not turn so quick. It takes a long turn. It takes a few days, or a months. But after some time, it will come and join the thought, isn’t it so? Yes? It has a drag time. Emotion has a drag time. So, you think they are different. They are not different. They are same, it is just thought. One is dry, another is juicy.
Thought and emotion are not different
So your whole life is just thought and emotion. So it is very much like a dream. It is. So now that you were on to Zen, you must know about Chang Su, who went about doing this. Chang Su was a great Zen master. In his monastery he had many monks, and he is a recognised master. One day, morning, suddenly he is in great state of misery. So when they saw the master in misery, everybody got terrified. If the master is in misery, something really bad must have happened, because always he’s joyful and nice. So senior most monks slowly approached him and asked, master what is happening? He said – don’t you disturb me, I’m in a deep distress, get away. They said, if you are in distress, that should be death for us. Please tell us what is causing distress to you. Then Chang Su said, oh yesterday night in my dream, I was a butterfly. Then the monks said, what is wrong in being a butterfly? We’ve been many things. Sometimes we’ve been pigs, we’ve been birds, we’ve been many things. That is no problem, butterfly is quite good. What’s wrong with the butterfly? He said, you idiots, you don’t understand. When I was a butterfly, I actually flew. I went and sat on the flower. I could feel the flower, I could smell the flower, I could taste the flower. It was all real. Now I don’t know whether I am Chang Su dreaming to be a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming to be a Chang Su? Which is true? Because both look equally vivid and real.
When you live just on the thought process, this is how it is. He is using it as a method to shock his monks out of their stupor of spirituality. Because people are reading Sutras, and this and that – they think what they read and what they think is spirituality. So he’s trying to knock their psychological structure out, so that they become existential. If you’re experiencing life – life not thought, not emotion – life. If you’re experiencing life as such, such a question will not come. But when most of your life is just thought and emotion, it is very true. It is very much a dream – it’s just another projection!