What Is a Glimpse?

Devotee: I had a glimpse a few weeks ago when I was talking to a friend. There was emptiness. There was a place in my head that seemed to flicker as if there were momentary gaps in my experience.

Papaji: When you had this glimpse of emptiness, at that time you had not understood correctly. What are glimpses due to? How do glimpses happen? What is a glimpse?

A glimpse means that someone is looking at something else. If you say, ‘I had a glimpse of this,’ what you are saying is that there was a subject who had an experience of an object.

You say in your letter that there were momentary gaps in your experience. But the gap itself was not momentary. Do you understand this?

Let me explain. During breathing, between the inhalation and exhalation, there is a gap, a moment when you are neither breathing in nor out. Between thoughts there is a similar sort of gap. You speak something, you stop, and then you begin again. This gap is important, very important, for without it the world cannot move at all,

If you walk forwards and then backwards, there is a moment when you have to stand still. If a train travels northwards and then southwards, there has to be a time between the journeys, when it stays absolutely still. If I move this glass in front of me across the table and back, there has to be a moment when there is no movement at all. This gap is very important. You are saying that it is a space between movements of the mind because you identified with the movements. Because you experience successive states of mind, you automatically assume that the gap between them is also an experience, also an object. But I say that this gap is there all the time and that all movements take place in it. I am telling you that you are that gap and not the movements that take place in it. I am telling you that you are the tap and not the movements that take place in it, You see, this is a completely different perspective. Knowing this makes a big difference to how you see yourself and the world.

You are that gap. Let anything move in it; let any thought arise. Before and after thought there is a gap, a peace and a quiet that is not disturbed by thoughts. When the thoughts come, you identify with the thoughts and say, ‘My mind is disturbed.’ It is only disturbed when you follow your thoughts and leave that place that you are think of as a gap between them. Before the thoughts arose there was quietness. What is that place where thoughts arise? So that gap is important. It is always there and it has nothing to do with the movement of the objects that appear in it. When you have the true experience of this place where all thoughts arise and return to, you will not call it a temporary glimpse; you will know that it is permanent and you will know that you can never be anywhere else.