Many things have to be understood. One: all your faces are false; you do not have any real face. That is why the question arises over which is false and which is real. If you have the real, you know. Then the question never arises. All the faces are unreal, false, so you do not have any comparisons to make. You do not know the real – that is the difficulty.

The child is born, and he has started to be a politician. The moment he is related to the world, to the parents, to the family, he is in politics. Now he has to take care about his faces. He will smile as a bribery. He will try to find out in what ways he should behave so that he is accepted more,  loved more, appreciated more. And sooner or later the child will find out what is condemmed by the parents, by the family, and he will start repressing it. Then the false has entered.

So all the faces you have are false. Do not try to find out the real one among your present faces.  They are all false, similarly false. They are useful – that is why they have been adopted – utilitarian, but not true. And the deepest deception is that whenever you become aware that your faces are  false, you will create another face which you will think is the real.

When you have nothing to drop, and only that which cannot be dropped is there, you will come to realize what is real.

For example, a person who lives an ordinary life, in an ordinary world, with a business, a family,  comes to realize the whole of his falseness, the whole inauthenticity of his life, so he renounces it. He becomes a sannyasin and leaves the world, and he may be thinking that now the face is real. It is again a false face. It has been adopted as a reaction to other faces, and with a reaction you can never get to the real. By reacting to a false face you will create another false face. So what is to be  done?

The real is not something which has to be achieved. The false is your achievement. The real is not something to be achieved, it is not something to be cultivated. It is something to be discovered! It  is already there. You need not try to attain it, because any effort will only lead to some other false face. For a false face effort is needed; it has to be cultivated. For the real face you have not to do anything, it is already there. If you simply leave your clinging to the false faces, the false will drop and that which is real will remain. When you have nothing to drop, and only that which cannot be  dropped is there, you will come to realize what is real.

Meditation is the way to drop the false faces. That is why there is so much insistence on being thoughtless – because without thought you cannot create a false face. In a thoughtless state of awareness, you will be real – because it is basically thought which creates false faces and masks. When there is no thought there can be no face. You will be faceless, or with the real face – and both mean the same.

So be aware of your thought process. Do not fight with it, do not repress it. Simply have awareness: the thoughts are there just like clouds in the sky, and you are looking at them without any prejudice, either for or against. If you are against, you will be fighting – and that very fight will create a new thought process. If you are for them, you will forget yourself and you will float in the current of the thought process. You will not be there as a conscious witness. If you are for, you will be in the process. If you are against, you will create another process in reaction.

So do not be for and do not be against. Allow the thoughts to move, let them go wherever they are going, be in a deep let-go, and simply witness. Whatsoever is passing, witness. Do not judge; do not say, ”This is good, this is bad.” If the thought of a divine being comes, do not say, ”Beautiful!” The moment you say this you are identified with it, and you are cooperating with the thought process. You are helping it, you are giving energy to it, you are feeding it. And if you are feeding it, it can never drop.

Or if there is a thought, a sexual thought, do not say, ”This is bad; this is sin.” Because when you say,  ”This is sin,” you have created another series of thoughts. Sex is a thought, sin is a thought, God is a thought. Be neither for nor against. Simply look with unprejudiced eyes, just watching indifferently.   This will take time. Because your mind is so occupied with notions, it is very difficult. The moment  we see something we have judged it. We do not wait; there is not even a single moment’s gap. You  see a flower, and you have already said, ”It is beautiful.” In the very seeing the interpretation comes

You will have to be constantly aware to drop this mechanical habit of judging. You see a face and you have already judged – ugly, good, bad, or anything else. This judgement has become so deep-rooted that we cannot see anything simply. The mind enters immediately. It becomes an interpretation; it is not a simple vision. Do not interpret. Simply SEE.

Sit down in a relaxed posture or lie down. Close your eyes and allow your thoughts to move. If  you say, ”Bad!” if you condemn, then you start repressing them. Then you are not allowing them to move independently. That is why there is so much need for dreams, because whatsoever you are repressing during the day you will have to release in the night. That which is repressed goes on forcing its expression, it needs expression. So whatsoever you repress you dream. Dreams are cathartic.

In meditation you are not to repress any thought. But it is difficult because your whole mind consists of judgments, theories, ‘isms,’ doctrines, beliefs. So one who is very deeply obsessed with any idea, a philosophy or a religion, cannot really enter into meditation. It is difficult because his obsession will become the barrier. So if you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim or a Jain, it will be difficult for you to enter meditation because your philosophy gives you judgements. – This is good and that is not good, this has to be repressed, this is not to be allowed.

All philosophies are repressive and all religions, all ideologies, are repressive, because they give you interpretations. They do not allow you to see life as it is. They force interpretations on it.

One who wants to go deep into meditation has to be aware of this nonsense of ideology. Just be a  simple man without any philosophy, with no attitude toward life. Just be a seeker – one who is in an inquiry, in a deep inquiry to know what life is. Do not force any ideology over and above it. Then it will be very easy to move into meditation.

Buddha was so much anti-philosophy not because HE was anti-philosophy, but because antiphilosophy  can become the basic ground for a meditator to jump into the unknown. Philosophy means knowing something about the unknown without knowing it. It is just preconceptions, hypotheses, man-constructed ideologies.

This is to be remembered as a very foundational fact: do not judge, let the mind flow easily. As the river flows, let the mind flow easily; just sit on the bank watching. And this watching should be pure – without any interpretations. Sooner or later, when the water has flown, when the repressed ideas have moved, you will find gaps coming. A thought will go, and another thought will not be coming, and there will be a gap – an interval. In that interval, nothingness happens. In that interval you will have the first glimpse of your real face, of the original face.  When you come to feel this inner nature even once, even with a single glimpse, you will be a different person.  The question comes only because you do not know what is real, and whatsoever you know is all unreal.

Only through meditation will you be able to learn what is a false image and what is a real, authentic face. Of course, the mind is automatic, and whatsoever you have done has become mechanical. It is hard to break this mechanicalness.

The first thing to be understood: mechanicalness is a necessity of life – and your body has an inner  mechanism. Colin Wilson has called it the inner robot, you have a robot within you. Once trained, once you are trained in anything, that training is passed to the robot. You can call it memory, you can call it mind, – anything – but the word robot is good because it is absolutely mechanical, automatic. It functions in its own way.

You are learning to drive. While you are learning, you will have to be aware, alert. A danger is there.  You do not know how to drive and anything can happen, so you will have to be alert. That is why learning is so painful, one has to be alert constantly. When you have learned driving, the driving has been given to the robot part of your mind. Now you can go on smoking, singing, listening to the radio or talking to a friend, or even loving your girlfriend. You can go on doing anything and the robot part of your being will drive.

You will not be needed; you are relieved of the burden. The robot will do everything. You will not even have to remember where to turn; you need not. The robot will know where to turn, where to stop, where not to stop, what to do and what not to do. You are not needed; you are relieved of the job. The robot does everything.

If something very sudden happens, some accident or something that the robot cannot tackle because it is not trained in it, only then will you be needed. Suddenly there will be a jerk in your body. The robot will be replaced and you will come in its place. You can feel that jerk. When suddenly you feel that an accident is going to happen, there is a jerk inside. The robot moves away; it gives place to you. Now YOU are driving. But when the accident is avoided, again the robot will take over. You will relax and the robot will drive.

I am not against the robot. Go and give unto the robot whatsoever you learn, but remain the master. Do not allow the robot to become the master. This is the problem: the robot will try to be the master, because the robot is more efficient than you. Sooner or later the robot will say to you, ”Be completely retired. You are not needed. I can do things more efficiently.”

Remain the master. What can be done in order for you to remain the master of the robot?  Only one thing is possible, and that is: sometimes, without any danger, take the reins into your hands. 

You are driving: suddenly, without any necessity, tell the robot to relax. You come into the seat and drive the car. You are walking: suddenly remember and tell the body that ”Now I will walk consciously. The robot is not allowed. I am the master and I will move the body consciously.”

When I say take the reins in your hands, I mean be aware of the two points: the speaker and the listener. And if you are aware of the two points, the speaker and the listener, you have become the third – the witness.

This witnessing will help you to remain the master. And if you are the master, your robot cannot disturb your life.  Your total life has become a mess because of this robot. It  helps, it is efficient, but it goes on taking everything from you – even those things which should not be given to it.

When the Zen monk Bosho was asked, ”What is your meditation? What is your SADHANA, spiritual practice?” he said, ”When I feel hungry I eat and when I feel sleepy I go to sleep. This is all.”

The man who was asking said, ”But this we all do. What is special about it?” Bosho repeated it again. He said, ”When I am hungry ’I’ eat and when I feel sleepy ’I’ sleep.” And that is the difference. When you feel hungry your robot eats, when you feel sleepy your robot sleeps. Bosho said ”I”, and that is the difference.

If you become more aware in your day-to-day work, in your ordinary life, the awareness will grow. And with that awareness you will not be just a mechanical thing.

If you are a person – alive, alert, aware – you can have an authentic existence. If you are just a mechanical device, you cannot have any authentic existence. Each moment will change you; each situation will change you. You will be just a floating thing with no inner core, with no inner being. Awareness gives you the inner presence. Without it you feel that you are, but you are not.

Someone asked Buddha, ”I want to serve humanity. Tell me how I can serve.” Buddha looked at the man very deeply, penetratingly, with deep compassion, and then he said, ”But where are YOU? WHO will serve humanity? You are not yet. First be, and when you are, you need not ask me. When you are, you will do something which just happens to you which is worth doing.”

First YOU have to be; then you can do something. YOU are not.

What is meant by this ”You are not?” It means that you are a robot, a mechanical thing, working according to mechanical laws. Start being alert. Join awareness with anything you are doing – and start with simple things.