After working with the cathartic techniques for a few years I feel that a deep inner harmony, balancing and centering is happening to me. But you said that before entering into the final stage of samadhi, one passes through a great chaos.
How do I know if I am finished with the chaotic stage?
irst: hundreds of lives you have lived in a chaos. It is nothing new. It is very old. Secondly, the dynamic methods of meditation which have catharsis as their foundation allow all chaos within you to be thrown out. Thats the beauty of these techniques. You cannot sit silently, but you can do the dynamic or the chaotic meditations very easily. Once the chaos is thrown out, a silence starts happening to you. Then you can sit silently. If rightly done, continuously done, then the cathartic techniques of meditation will simply dissolve all your chaos into the outside world. You will not need to pass through a mad stage. Thats the beauty of these techniques. The madness is being thrown out already. It is in-built in the technique.
But if you sit silently as Patanjali will suggest... Patanjali has no cathartic methods; it seems they were not needed in his time. People were naturally very silent, peaceful, primitive. The mind was not yet functioning too much. People slept well, lived like animals. They were not very much thinking, logical, rational... more centered in the heart, as even now primitive people are. And life was such that it allowed many catharses automatically.
For example a woodcutter: he need not have any catharsis because just by cutting the wood all his murderous instincts are thrown out. Cutting wood is like murdering a tree. A stone breaker need not do any cathartic meditation. The whole day he is doing it. But for the modern man things have changed. Now you live in such comfort that there is no possibility of any catharsis in your life, except you can drive in a mad way.
Thats why in the West more people die every year through car accidents than by anything else. That is the greatest disease. Neither by cancer nor by tuberculosis... no other disease takes such a toll of lives as car driving. In the Second World War, in one year millions of people died. More people die every year around the earth just by mad car drivers.
You may have observed if you are a driver that whenever you are angry you go fast. You go on pushing the accelerator, you simply forget about the brake. When you are very hateful, irritated, the car becomes a medium of expression. Otherwise you live in such a comfort, doing less and less anything with the body, living more and more in the mind.
Those who know about the deeper centers of the brain say that people who work with their hands have less anxiety, less tension, they sleep well. Because your hands are connected with the deepest mind, the deepest center of the brain... your right hand with the left brain, your left hand with the right brain. When you work with the hands, the energy is flowing from the head into the hands and being released. People who are working with the hands dont need catharsis. But people who work with their heads need much catharsis because they accumulate much energy and there is no way in their body, no opening for it to go out. It goes on and on inside the mind; the mind goes mad.
But in our culture and society in the office, in the factory, in the market people who work with heads are known as heads: head clerk, or head superintendent, and people who work with hands are known as hands, condemnatory. The very word hands has become condemnatory.
When Patanjali was working on these sutras the world was totally different.
People were hands. There was no need for catharsis specifically. Life was itself a catharsis. They could sit silently very easily. But you cannot sit. Hence I have been inventing cathartic methods. Only after them can you sit silently, not before.
After working with the cathartic techniques for a few years, I feel that a deep harmony, balance and centering is happening to me. Now dont create a trouble; let it happen. Now the mind is poking its nose. The mind says, How can it happen? First I must pass through chaos. This idea can create chaos. This has been my observation: that people hanker for silence, and when that starts happening, they cant believe it. It is too good to be true. And particularly people who have condemned themselves always cannot believe that it is happening to them: Impossible! It may have happened to a Buddha, or a Jesus, but to me? No, it is not possible. They come to me; they are so much disturbed by silence, that it is happening: Is it true, or am I imagining it? Why bother? Even if it is an imagination, it is better than imagining anger, it is better than imagining sex, lust.
And I tell you, nobody can imagine silence. Imagination needs some form; silence has no form. Imagination means thinking in images, and silence has no image. You cannot imagine it. There is no possibility. You cannot imagine enlightenment, you cannot imagine satori, samadhi, silence, no. Imagination needs some base, some form, and silence is formless, indefinable. Nobody has ever painted a picture of it; nobody can paint. Nobody has carved an image of it; nobody can do it.
You cannot imagine silence. The mind is playing tricks. The mind will say, It must be imagination. How can it be possible for you, such a stupid man that you are, and silence happening to you? must be you are imagining. Or, This guy Osho has hypnotized you. You must be somewhere deceived. Dont create such problems. Life has enough problems. When silence is happening, enjoy it, celebrate it. It means the chaotic forces have been thrown out. The mind is playing its last game. It plays to the very end; to the very very end it goes on playing. At the last moment of enlightenment, when it is just going to happen, then too the mind plays the last, because it is the last battle.
Dont worry about it, whether it is real or unreal, or whether chaos will come after it or not. Because by thinking in this way you have already brought the chaos, and it is your idea which can create chaos. And when it is created, the mind will say, Now listen, I had told you before.
Mind is very self-fulfilling. First it gives you a seed and when it sprouts the mind says, Look, I was telling you beforehand that you are deceived. The chaos has come, and it has been brought by the idea. So why bother about the future, whether the chaos is still to come or not, or whether it has passed or not? Right this moment, you are silent why not celebrate it? And I tell you, if you celebrate, it grows.
In this world of consciousness, nothing is so helpful as celebration. Celebration is like watering a plant. Worry is just the opposite of celebration; it is like cutting the roots. Feel happy! Dance with your silence. The moment is there enough. Why ask for more? Tomorrow will take care of itself. This moment is too much; why not live it, celebrate it, share it, enjoy it? Let it become a song, a dance, a poetry; let it be creative. Let your silence be creative; do something with it.
Millions of things are possible, because nothing is more creative than silence. No need to become a very great painter, world-famous, a Picasso. No need to become a Henry Moore; no need to become a great poet. Those ambitions of becoming great are of the mind, not of the silence. In your own way, howsoever small, paint. In your own way, howsoever small, make a haiku. In your own way, howsoever small, sing a song, dance a little, celebrate, and you will find that the next moment brings more silence. And once you know that the more you celebrate, the more is given to you, the more you share the more you become capable of receiving it. Each moment it goes on growing, growing.
excerpted from Yoga, the Alpha and the Omega, Vol IV