Conceive of yourself without eyes, and your whole life goes dead — then a very minor part remains.

So first visualize. Use your eyes inwards and see the letters. Letters are more related to ears than eyes because they are sounds, but for us, because we are reading, reading, reading, they have become associated with eyes. Basically, they are associated with ears — they are sounds. Start with the eyes, then forget the eyes by and by. Then move away from the eyes to the ears. First imagine them as letters, then see them, hear them MORE SUBTLY AS SOUNDS, THEN AS MOST SUBTLE FEELINGS. And this is a very beautiful exercise.

When you say “A”, what is the feeling? You may not have been aware of it. What is the feeling inside you? Whenever you use any sound, what type of feeling comes into existence? We are so feeling-less that we have simply forgotten. When you see a sound, what happens inside? You go on using it and the sound is even forgotten. You go on seeing it. If I say “A”, you will see it first. In your mind, “A” will become visible; you will visualize it. When I say “A”, do not visualize it. Just hear the sound “A”, and then go and find out what happens in your feeling center. Does nothing happen?

Shiva says, move from letters to sounds, uncover sounds through the letters. Uncover sounds, and then, through the sounds also, uncover feelings. Be aware of how you feel. They say that man has now become very insensitive; he is the most insensitive animal on earth.

I was reading about one poet, a German poet, and he relates one incident of his childhood. His father was a lover of horses, so he had many horses at the house, a big stable, but he would not allow this child to go to the stable. He was afraid, as the child was very small. But when the father was not there the child would sometimes steal into the stable where he had a friend — a horse. Whenever the child would go in, the horse would make some sounds.

And the poet has written, “Then I also started making sounds with the horse, because there was no possibility of language. Then, in communication with that horse, for the first time I became aware of sounds — their beauty, their feeling.”

You cannot be aware with a man because he is dead. A horse is more alive, and he has no language. He has pure sound. He is filled with his heart, not with his mind. So that poet remembers, “For the first time, I became aware of the beauty of sounds and their meaning. This was not the meaning of words and thoughts, but a meaning filled with feeling.” If someone else was there, the horse would not make those sounds, so the child could understand that the horse meant, “Do not come in. Someone is here and your father will be angry.”

When there was no one, the horse would make the sounds meaning, “Come in. There is no one.” So the poet remembers that “It was a conspiracy, and he helped me very much, that horse helped me very much. And when I would go and love that horse, he would move his head in a particular way when he liked it. When he did not like it, he would not move his head in that way. When he liked it, then it was a certain thing, he would express it. When he was not in the mood, then he would not move in a certain way.”

And this poet says, “This continued for years. I would go and love that horse, and that love was so deep, I never felt any affinity with anyone else so deeply. Then one day when I was stroking his neck and he was moving and enjoying it ecstatically, suddenly for the first time I became aware of my hand, that I was stroking, and the horse stopped. Now he would not move his neck.” And that poet says, “Then for years I tried and tried, but there was no response, the horse would not reply. Only later on did I become aware that because I became aware of my hand and myself, the ego came in and the communication broke. I couldn’t recapture again that communication with the horse.”

What happened? That was a feeling communication. The moment ego comes, words come, language comes, thought comes, then the layer is changed completely. Now you are above sounds; then you were below sounds. Those sounds are feelings, and the horse could understand feelings. Now he couldn’t understand, so the communication broke. The poet tried and tried — but no effort is successful because even your effort is the effort of your ego.

He tried to forget his hand, but he couldn’t forget. How can you forget? It is impossible. And the more you try to forget it, the more you remember. So you cannot forget anything with effort. Effort will simply emphasize the memory more. The poet says, “I became fixed with my hand; I couldn’t move that horse. I would go up to my hand, and then there was no movement. The energy would not move into that horse and he became aware of this.”

How did the horse become aware? If I suddenly start speaking some other language, then the communication is broken, then you will not be able to understand me. And if this language were not known to you, you would suddenly stop because now the language is unknown to you. Thus, the horse stopped.

Every child lives with feeling. First come sounds, then those sounds are filled with feeling. Then come words, then thoughts, then systems, religions, philosophies. Then one goes farther and farther away from the center of feeling.

This sutra says, come back, come down — down to the state of feeling. Feeling is not your mind: that is why you are afraid of feeling. You are not afraid of reasoning. You are always afraid of feeling because feeling can lead you into chaos. You will not be able to control. With reason, the control is with you; with the head, you are the head. Below the head you lose the head, you cannot control, you cannot manipulate. Feelings are just below the mind — a link between you and the mind.

Then Shiva says, THEN, LEAVING THEM ASIDE, BE FREE. Then leave the feelings. And remember, only when you come to the deepest layer of feelings can you leave them. You cannot leave them just now. You are not at the deepest layer of feelings, so how can you leave them? First you have to leave philosophies — Hinduism, Christianity, Mohammedanism — then you have to leave thoughts, then you have to leave words, then you have to leave letters, then you have to leave sounds, then you have to leave feelings — because you can leave only that which is there. You can leave that step upon which you are standing; you cannot leave a step upon which you are not standing.

You are standing at the step of philosophy, the farthest away one. That is why I insist so much that unless you leave religion you cannot be religious.

This sutra, this technique, can be done very easily. The problem is not with feelings, the problem is with words. You can leave a feeling, just as you can undress — as you can get out of your clothes. You can throw off your clothes; you can leave feelings simply in that way. But right now you cannot do it, and if you try to do it, it will be impossible. So go step by step.

Imagine letters — A, B, C, D — then change your emphasis from the written letter to the heart sound. You are moving deep, the surface is left behind. You are sinking deep — then feel what feeling comes through a particular sound.

Because of such techniques, India could discover many things. It could discover which sounds are related to particular feelings. Because of that science, the MANTRA was developed. A particular sound is related to a particular feeling, and it is never otherwise. So if you create that sound within you, that feeling will be created. You can use any sound, and then the related feeling will be created around you. That sound creates the space to be filled by a particular feeling.

So do not use just any mantra, that is not good; it may be dangerous for you. Unless you know, or unless a person who gives you the mantra knows, what particular sound creates what particular feeling, and whether that feeling is needed by you or not, do not use any mantra. There are mantras which are known as death mantras. If you repeat them, you will die within a particular time. Within a particular period you will die, because they create in you a longing for death.

Freud says that man has two basic instincts: libido — eros — the will to live, the will to be, the will to continue, the will to exist. And thanatos — the will to die. There are particular sounds which, if you repeat them, the will to die will come to you. Then you would like just to drop into death. There are sounds which give you eros — which give you more libido, which give you more lust to live, to be. If you create those sounds within you, that particular feeling will overwhelm you. There are sounds which give you a feeling of peace and silence, there are sounds which create anger. So do not use any sound, any mantra, unless it is given to you by a master who knows what is going to happen through it.

Source: Osho