Freedom from the known
There are two kinds of minds. One is an open mind; another is a closed mind. A closed mind is that which says, ''This is how it is'', ''I know it. That is it''. It gets hardened. An open mind is, ''Oh, may be! Perhaps! I do not know!'' Limited knowledge and conformity to it makes a mind very hard. Whenever you seem to understand a situation and label it - ''This is how it is'', that is the beginning of your problem.
All problems always arise from knowing, not 'not knowing'! If you do not know, your mind is open, and you say, ''Oh! May be! Perhaps something I don't know.'' You do not label something you do not know. Whenever you think injustice has been done to you, whenever you think you are a victim, whenever you think something bad has happened to you, all this falls in the category of 'I know it, this is how things are'.
Suffering is a product of limited knowledge. A question is a sign of limited knowledge. But when there is amazement, patience, joy, waiting, you are in a state of 'I don't know, may be, something, Oh, what is it? I don't know.' Something you cannot pinpoint. The whole life is a shift from the limited 'I know', to all possibilities. You think you know the world and this is it. That is the biggest problem. This is not just one world, there are many layers in this world.
When you are upset, you are not just upset for no reason. There is some string that is being pulled. When your mind is open to all possibilities, an event happens and there could be many possibilities for that event to be that way, not just in the gross but some other reason in the subtle as well. Suppose you enter your room and find that someone at home has made a big mess in your room. You are irritated. Now you attach that cause for your anger to just that person who is there. But there is something more happening in the subtle. At that moment something else is in the air but you could only see that person creating a mess around and you attribute all the anger to that person.
This is what limited knowledge does. Even after experiencing that you don't see something beyond. This is the most amazing thing. There is a proverb in India that says: you fell in the well in the daytime, which you could see in the night. You fell in the pit in the daytime, which you could see in the night. You saw the pit in the night, you were careful, you avoided and walked, but in the daytime you fell in the same pit. This means what? That your eyes are not open, you are not sensitive enough to see and recognise what is going on.
As we attach the events and emotions to individuals, the cycle continues. You will never be free from that. So first detach an event and emotion from that person, space and time. This is called Astrology. It is the knowledge of oneness of the universe. If a pin is pricked into your hand, your entire body knows it, feels it. So every cell is connected with the whole of you. In the same way every body is connected to the entire creation, to everybody, as there is only one life at a very subtle level, though it appears to be many in the gross.
If you go deeper and deeper, it is one existence, one divine. So the wise person never labels individuals; infact, in a wise person, all individual existence ceases. That is why one should not see any intention behind the other's mistakes or attribute mistakes to somebody and grudge over them because one thoroughly knows and understands that it is nobody's business, nobody's mistakes.
The mind drops cravings and aversions and becomes free. This is one way of saying. Another way of saying is that the mind ceases to exist. So when the mind goes away, only the self remains. You are never given a problem that you cannot handle. Every problem that comes in front of you is to make you realise what more abilities you have. How much more skill, talent, and joy you can bring forth. It's all to make your mind, your intelligence function.
Use your brain
When do you really need intelligence? When there is a problem. Isn't it? If there is no problem, we will be like cows. Cows have no problems. They eat grass, drink water and sleep. Like that if your life is so smooth without any problem, you will just eat and sleep and become duller and duller and duller.
The divine has given such a brain for you to use it, to be alert and every problem is there for you to use this brain. Isn't it? But we do the reverse. We don't use our brain and get into more complications or we use our brain to create more complications rather than solve them. If we have a problem, instead of looking into the solution, we keep looking at how big the problem can grow or what worse can happen. Isn't it? So do not return this brain to God unused!
I'll tell you a story. Someone was looking at brains in heaven. They had kept different brains of geniuses on one side and next to them were the brains of fools. You can choose to have whatever brain you want. So there was a price tag. The brains of all geniuses were very cheap - $3, $5, $10, $20. Somebody said, ''Ah! Einstein's brain is only 5 dollars''. They went further. There were many brains of fools. But the cost was one million dollars. And they said, ''Why is this? Something is wrong. The price tag must have got exchanged''. But they said, ''No, no. This is right because the brains of geniuses got used so much. This is the unused brain returned. So used brains have less price and unused brains have more price, more value.'' Don't put yourself in the category of unused brains. Use it here as much as you can.
See, in life, there should be all flavours. There should be all colours and charms. That is how every life is a novel. Every life is interesting to the divine's eyes. It is so beautiful. It's perfect the way things are. See it from a broader vision. You will thoroughly enjoy this place called earth. You would like to come back here again and again. It's a play, it's a game. Otherwise, you would say, enough is enough, I don't want to come back. When things bog you down, you are caught up, then people say, ''I want to get out from here.'' Look at children, they play, they fight, they shout, they yell, they do everything. They want a game to be played. They just want to be there. Similarly, see life as a game.
You can be at ease with the uncertainty of the world when you realise the certainty of the consciousness. Often people do just the opposite. They are certain about the things in the world and uncertain about God. They rely on something that is not reliable and get upset. Uncertainty causes craving for stability and the most stable thing in the universe is our self.
The world is of change, the self is of non-change. You have to rely on the non-change and accept the change. If you are certain that everything is uncertain, then you are liberated. When you are uncertain in ignorance then you become worried and tense. Uncertainty with awareness brings higher states of consciousness and a smile.
Often people think that certainty is freedom. If you feel that freedom when you are not certain then that is 'real' freedom. Often your certainty or uncertainty is based on the relative world. To be certain about the uncertainty of the relative makes you certain about the existence of the absolute and brings a 'certain' faith in the absolute. In knowledge you can be enthusiastic in uncertainty. Often people who are uncertain don't act, they simply sit and wait. Acting in uncertainty makes life a game, a challenge. Being in uncertainty is letting go. Certainty about the relative world creates dullness. Uncertainty about the self creates fear. Uncertainty about matter brings certainty about consciousness.