There are two kinds of witnesses. One kind is the people that surround you. You are constantly aware that you are being watched, witnessed. With so many eyes watching you, you are reduced to an object... And you are afraid because they may not appreciate you. They may not feed your ego, they may not like you, they may reject you. Now you are in their hands.
The second kind of witnessing is totally different. It is not that you hanker for others' attention: on the contrary, you start paying attention to yourself. You become a witness to your own being. You start watching your thoughts, desires, dreams, motives, greeds and jealousies. You create a new kind of awareness within you. You become a center, a silent center which goes on watching whatsoever is happening. You are angry, and you watch it. You are not just angry, a new element is introduced into it: you are watching it. And the miracle is that if you can watch anger, the anger disappears without being repressed.
Witness the witness itself - and... the ultimate ecstasy is created. Start watching your thoughts but don't stop there... One more thing has to be done, one more step: now watch the watcher... Nothing else is left, only you are. By watching the mind, the mind disappears. By watching the witness, the witness expands and becomes universal.
I've wondered why it took us so long to catch on. We saw it and yet we didn't see it. Or rather we were trained not to see it. Conned, perhaps, into thinking that the real action was metropolitan and all this was just boring hinterland. It was a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth,'' and so it goes away. Puzzling.
All of us have been called to serve God. We do this in our families, our parishes and our secular jobs. We serve God when we serve one another. Our acts of kindness and generosity, our prayers for our loved ones and our enemies, are all offerings to God which He receives from us and uses for the benefit of all mankind.
Just as we care for our bodies with good food and rest, so we must also care for our spiritual selves, that part of us that is connected to God. If we are spiritually ill, our bodies and minds also become sick. This is why regular prayer and times of silent contemplation are necessary parts of our daily lives. Periodically, we must also take extra measures of self-examination and learning, that we might be ever-perfected in the grace of the infinite and perfect God.
Search your hearts and minds for the spiritual wounds of unforgiveness and fear, which are atheistic and unchristian, and repent of them so that you might be healed by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Die – you will have to die. But die gracefully. I am not saying die like a stoic, I am not saying die like a very controlled man. No, I'm saying die gracefully, beautifully, as if a friend is coming, knocks at your door, and you are happy. And you embrace the friend and invite him in, and you have been waiting for him so long....
If you can love death you become deathless; if you can understand non-being then your being becomes the very ground of being-hood, the very ground of God. If you can love non-being then nothing can destroy you, you have transcended time and space. Then you have become one with the total, and this is what holiness is – to become whole is to be holy.
"At the beginning of the call to the spiritual life,the Lord visits a person with His grace and various consolations,but afterwards He withdraws them and casts him into the fire of diverse temptations and sorrows,so that our self-loving and glory-loving disposition would be commpletely reduced to ashes by the fire of temptation,and would not trust in itself and its works but in the mercy and love of God.Humility is a great blessing."
Nothing has to be changed, because all is beautiful -- that is enlightenment. All is as it should be, everything is perfect. This is the most perfect world, this moment lacks nothing -- the experience of this is what enlightenment is.
Enlightenment is finding that there is nothing to find. Enlightenment is to come to know that there is nowhere to go. Enlightenment is the understanding that this is all, that this is perfect, that this is it. Enlightenment is not an achievement, it is an understanding that there is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go. You are already there -- you have never been away. You cannot be away from there. God has never been missed. Maybe you have forgotten, that's all. Maybe you have fallen asleep, that's all.