Be Still and Know 03

Third Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Be Still and Know by Osho.
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The first question:
All questions seem to be pointless. Only the answerless question of life remains.
It is so. All questions not only seem to be pointless, they are. In your mind there is still a lurking doubt. Hence you say: “All questions seem to be pointless.”
It is not a question that they seem, that they appear – they are. The moment you understand that they are pointless, even the answerless question of life will not remain. Then there is mystery – no questions, no answers. Then there is tremendous mystery. One is not trying to solve it because it is not a problem. One is not seeking for any answer because it is not a question. One starts living it. And the day you start living life as a mystery you have entered into godliness.
Life understood as a question creates science; life understood as a mystery creates religion.
And you say: “Only the answerless question of life remains.” If it is answerless, how can it be a question? A question is always a question in reference to an answer; an answer is only an answer in reference to a question. They are together, halves of one whole. If one really disappears, the other disappears automatically.
That’s why I say there is a lurking doubt in you: “Maybe there is some question which is not pointless. Maybe I have still to find it. Maybe my questions are pointless, maybe the questions that I know are pointless, but who knows? – there may be a valid question, a real question.” There is none.
When this becomes a trust in you and no lurking doubt remains – because it is doubt that creates the question, it is doubt that becomes a question. When there is no doubt left, when you know that nothing can be known, that knowledge is impossible; when you come to the same understanding as happened to Socrates: “I know only one thing, that I know nothing” – if that innocence happens to you, then nothing is left, not even an answerless question. The very word question becomes irrelevant.
A silence is left, a deep silence and a great joy, a benediction is left. Life flows through you, passes through you, not creating any question. You simply live it.
This is simplicity – not the cultivated simplicity of a sadhu or a monk. This is the simplicity of innocence, uncultivated. One has great wonder about everything, one lives in awe. One can worship a tree, one can worship a rock, because the moment questions are gone and your heart is full of the mysterious and the miraculous, your whole life becomes a prayer, a worship.
It is so tremendously unbelievable that we are alive – for no reason at all – that we are breathing, that we can see, that we can taste, that we can hear, that we can love, that our hearts are beating, that life is passing through us, that life has chosen us as its vehicles. Just to know it is enough to be grateful, just to feel it is enough to be prayerful.
No God is needed to pray to. If you pray to a God your prayer is false. When there is simply prayer, not addressed to anyone in particular, a kind of prayerfulness, a state of praying – not a prayer to any Hindu, Christian, or Mohammedan God, because they are all manufactured by the mind of man, they are not true. All gods are false. They are bound to be false because they are answers to certain questions – and questions are false, questioning is false, and the gods are answers to certain questions.
Somebody asks, “Who created the world?” Now that question becomes a thorn in the flesh; the mind cannot rest at ease unless an answer is found. You have to invent an answer just to console yourself. Either you do it or some cunning priest will do it for you on your behalf: “God created the world.” The question was false – how can a false question lead to a right answer? The very premise was false, hence the conclusion is false.
And people are so stupid that they accept such an answer: “God created the world.” And they don’t ask, “Who created God?” Yes, sometimes small children ask that: “Who created God?” Then we immediately hush them up. We say, “Wait! You are too young for such deep mysteries. When you become grown-up you will know.” As if you have known by becoming grown-up. But you cannot accept your ignorance.
You are untrue even to children. You are untrue, deceiving, dishonest, insincere, even to innocent children. You go on pretending as if you know and you go on telling them that they will also know when they are grown-up, more experienced. And they will repeat the same stupidity to their own children. That’s how stupidities are perpetuated for centuries.
Ask a question and somebody is bound to supply an answer. If nobody supplies, you are going to invent one yourself. This is not true religion; a religion that is based on a false answer is not true religion. And all the gods have been created in the same way, and all the scriptures too – just to console you, just to keep you in a false state of knowledge, because you are so afraid of being innocent, you are so afraid of being ignorant.
Remember: ignorance is not stupidity, knowledge is. Ignorance is innocence. No question, no answer, one simply lives moment-to-moment. And one is grateful because one is. One is grateful because the universe is. One is grateful because the sun rises and the birds sing and the flowers bloom and the clouds float, and in the night the sky becomes full of stars. One is simply grateful because there are mountains and rivers and oceans and deserts. One is simply grateful because there are animals and human beings. Such an incredible existence, so far out. Such a celebration, so psychedelic, so colorful. Such a dance of energy.
When feeling it you simply bow down, you simply bow down on the earth. Not in a temple, not in a mosque, not in a gurdwara, not in a church – they are all man-made. When you simply bow down before the sky, before the sunset, with no motive – what can you ask from a sunset? You cannot ask for money, you cannot ask for power, you cannot ask for prestige. It will look so stupid. What can you ask from a tree? But when you go into a temple, into a church, you start asking for these things. Your prayer is rooted in some motive, and a prayer rooted in any motive is ugly, a prayer addressed to somebody is ugly.
But just a prayerfulness, a thankfulness, a pure gratitude – the sheer joy that we are part of such a mysterious existence!
You are very close to understanding that all questions are pointless, but you have not yet touched the target; you are going round and round.
You say: “All questions seem to be pointless.” Why do you use the word seem? There is still some possibility: “Maybe, perhaps there is a question that is not known to me yet which is not pointless.” Hence your second statement: “Only the answerless question of life remains.”
Although you say it is answerless, you still call it a question. Be very watchful about words. Be very careful what you say, how you say it – because it shows your state of consciousness. You are very close, missing the target only by inches. But whether you miss the target by inches or by miles it makes no difference – you miss it all the same.
Become a little more alert. Let all questions go, and all answers. Remain in that silence that is left behind. Become that silence, be that silence.
C. E. Bignall says:
Where shall wisdom be found.
Be still and know.
Seek the strength of no desire.

The second question:
What is true wisdom?
Wisdom cannot be true or untrue. Wisdom is simply wisdom. It is truth. There is no possibility of there ever being an untrue wisdom. All knowledge is untrue, all wisdom is true. Knowledge is borrowed, hence it is untrue. It is not yours, that’s why it is untrue. It may have been true to the person who imparted it to you.
The Buddha talking to his disciples is talking wisdom, but the moment it reaches the disciples it becomes knowledge. Wisdom falls from its heights to the level of the listeners and becomes knowledge.
Hence buddhas have always been very much aware that they impart something of their presence, something of their silence, something of their joy, rather than imparting their wisdom. Even if they have to talk, they talk only in order to persuade you to be silent. Even if they use words, those words are used to create a wordless state of consciousness in you.
So the first thing: wisdom as such is truth, it cannot be untrue. Just as light is light and cannot be dark, just as life is life and cannot be death, just as love is love and cannot be hate. If it is hate, it is not love.
Wisdom is intrinsically true because it is an existential experience. It is not something known from others, it is not something gathered from the scriptures; it is something that grows in your heart. It is a growth, not an accumulation. It is experience, not information.
Knowledge makes you learned, wisdom makes you innocent. Knowledge is very ego-fulfilling, very ego-strengthening. The ego feeds on knowledge; it is the best tonic for the ego. But wisdom happens only when ego has disappeared; wisdom appears only on the death of the ego. The death of the ego is the birth of wisdom.
Mind is interested in knowledge not in wisdom, because for wisdom you will have to create a space called no-mind. And, naturally, mind is afraid of your ever becoming interested in wisdom, because mind does not want to commit suicide.
Sannyas is a suicide of the mind, so is meditation, so is wisdom. These are different names for the same phenomenon, different aspects of the same diamond.
Knowledge depends on words. You can easily become knowledgeable by sitting in a library, but you cannot become wise that way. To become wise you will have to be in communion with a wise man. For knowledge all that is required of you is that you should be a student, that you should be full of questions, inquiries; you should be able to learn from scriptures, books, teachers, universities, libraries. Your memory becomes more and more rich, your biocomputer becomes full of information, but wisdom is not arrived at that way.
Wisdom is more or less a love affair with a master. One has to be a disciple, not only a student. The student keeps a distance from the master. For him the master is only a teacher; he is interested in the master because of his teaching. Really he is interested in the teaching, not in the being of the master. The disciple is not interested in teaching because he has come to understand one thing: that knowledge can be taught but wisdom can only be caught.
Wisdom is contagious. You have to be available to a master, to his being. He has become a fire, the candle of your heart is still unlit. If you become available to the fire of the master you can also become a lit candle, you can also become a flame.
To be aflame with silence, with joy, is wisdom. It is not through logic but through love. It is not through words but through a wordless state called meditation, or a state of no-mind, satori, samadhi.
Beware of learning, otherwise you may never become wise. To be knowledgeable is very easy; it is not risky, it is safe. To move into the dimension of wisdom is risky; it is going into the unknown, into the uncharted. Great courage is needed, guts are needed.
And when you have tasted something of wisdom, knowledge looks so stupid, so utterly stupid. But if you have not tasted anything of wisdom, knowledge seems to be of tremendous value.

Zalewski got a job as a delivery boy in a pet shop. One day he was told to deliver a pet rabbit to Mrs. Caldwell, Route 2 – Box 4.
“You better write that down in case I forget it,” said the boy.
Slipping the address into his pocket, Zalewski started off on his errand. Every few minutes he glanced at the address and said, “I know where I am going: Mrs. Caldwell, Route 2 – Box 4.”
Everything went smoothly until he hit a huge hole in the road. The truck landed in a ditch and the rabbit began to run for its life across an open field.
Zalewski stood there laughing uproariously. A passerby stopped and asked, “What’s so funny?”
“Did you see that crazy rabbit running across that field?” said the Polack. “He does not know where he is going because I have got the address in my pocket.”

That is the state of the knowledgeable man: he has got the address in his pocket. He knows where God is, he knows where heaven is, he knows where hell is. He knows everything – all is in his pocket. He carries scriptures, and he believes in the letter and he misses the spirit. He goes on believing in words, he believes too much in the words. And words are useful if you can understand the spirit that is hidden behind them, that is not so apparent, not so visible.
In the hands of a meditative person words can become of infinite value, because they can be indicators. But in the hands of non-meditators words are dangerous, very dangerous, because the spirit is completely missed and one starts believing in the hollow, empty word, and one starts following the word.
That is what is happening to the Christians, to the Hindus, to the Mohammedans, to the Jainas, to the Buddhists – all are believers in words. Somebody believes in the Koran and somebody in the Gita and somebody in the Bible, and they all are missing the spirit. Because to know the spirit of the Bible, you will have to come to certain inner spaces where you become acquainted with Moses, with Jesus…. Unless you have a direct, inner contact with Moses and Jesus you will not understand the Bible.
But following the word you may look very important – to people who are just like you, not different in any way. They also believe in words, you also believe in words; both live in the same kind of ignorance. This is not wisdom.
Wisdom is an interior phenomenon. It is the discovery of the spirit of all the buddhas. And there is no need to go into the history of the buddhas. You have only to go within yourself, because you contain the whole past of existence, the infinite past, and you also contain the infinite future.

A mailman was delivering his mail during the Christmas season. At one house the door was opened by a beautiful woman wearing a sheer negligee.
“Would you like to come in?” cooed the woman.
“Sure,” replied the startled mailman.
She led him up to her bedroom and made love to him. When they were finished she got up and handed the man a dollar. “Why the dollar?” asked the puzzled mailman. “Well,” replied the woman, “when I asked my husband what to give the mailman for Christmas he said “Just give him a buck and fuck him!”

The third question:
Gurdjieff talks about three aspects of being: essence, false personality and true personality – false personality being a false, conditioned vehicle for our real essence, and true personality being that which can be developed and conveys and protects our real self.
Primitive peoples live in the essence state like animals. They are beautiful but not enlightened. If enlightenment is natural and our birthright, why are not the primitive peoples enlightened, or are they?
I hear you tell us to accept the animal that we are, return to essence. I have read Gurdjieff saying you must become your true self – the master. He said beware of being swallowed by the animal. Give it some cigarettes or ice cream and it will be calmed.
What is true personality and what is its relationship to essence?
There is no true personality. Personality as such is false. The word personality has to be understood. It comes from persona. Persona means a mask. In ancient Greek drama the actors used to wear masks; those masks were called persona – persona because the sound was coming from behind the mask. Sona means sound. The masks were apparent to the audience and from behind the mask the sound was coming. From that word persona has come the word personality.
All personality is false. Good personality, bad personality, the personality of a sinner and the personality of a saint – all are false. You can wear a beautiful mask or an ugly mask, it doesn’t make any difference.
The real thing is your essence. But the question is relevant. If essence is the real thing, as I say, then: “Primitive peoples live in the essence state just like animals. They are beautiful but not enlightened.”
It is true – they cannot be enlightened. For them to become enlightened, first they will have to create a personality. Enlightenment is dropping of the personality; they don’t have any personality to drop. You will feel a little puzzled: Why can’t one become enlightened when one has no personality?
Personality is also a necessary part of growth. It is like if you catch hold of a fish in the sea and you throw it on the shore; the fish jumps back into the sea. Now for the first time it will know that it has always lived in the sea; for the first time it will know that, “The sea is my life.” Up to now, before it was caught and thrown on the shore, it may not have ever thought of the sea at all; it may have been utterly oblivious of the sea. To know something, first you have to lose it.
To be aware of paradise, first you have to lose it. Unless it is lost and regained you will not understand the beauty of it.
Adam and Eve had to lose the Garden of Eden; that is part of natural growth. Only by leaving the beautiful garden of God can Adam become a christ one day – he can come back. Adam leaving Eden is just like the fish being caught and thrown on the shore and Jesus is the fish jumping back into the sea.
The primitive peoples cannot become enlightened. They are beautiful, spontaneous, natural, but utterly unaware of what they are; they don’t have any awareness. They live joyously but their joy is unconscious. First they have to lose it. They have to become civilized, educated, knowledgeable; they have to become a culture, a civilization, a religion. They have to lose all their spontaneity, they have to forget all about their essence, and then suddenly one day they start missing it. It is bound to happen.
That is happening all over the world, and it is happening in such great measure because this is the first time that humanity has really become civilized.
The more civilized a country is, the more is the feeling of meaninglessness. The backward countries still don’t have that feeling, they can’t have. To have that feeling of inner emptiness, meaninglessness, absurdity, one has to become very civilized.
Hence I am all in favor of science, because it helps the fish to be thrown on the shore. And once on the hot shore, in the hot sand, the fish starts feeling thirsty. It had never felt thirsty before. For the first time it misses the ocean around, the coolness, the life-giving waters. It is dying.
That is the situation of the civilized man, the educated man: he is dying. Great inquiry is being born. One wants to know what should be done, how one can enter into the ocean of life again.
In the backward countries, for example in India, there is no such feeling of meaninglessness. Even though a few Indian intellectuals write about it, their writing has no depth because it does not correspond to the situation of the Indian mind. A few Indian intellectuals write about meaninglessness, absurdity, almost in the same way as Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jaspers, Heidegger…. They have read about these people or they may have visited the West, and they start talking about meaninglessness, nausea, absurdity, but it sounds phony.
I have talked to Indian intellectuals – they sound very phony because it is not their own feeling; it is borrowed. It is Søren Kierkegaard speaking through them, it is Friedrich Nietzsche speaking through them; it is not their own voice. They are not really aware of what Søren Kierkegaard is saying; they have not suffered the same anguish. The feeling is alien, foreign; they have learnt it like parrots. They talk about it, but their whole life says and shows something else. What they say and what their life shows are diametrically opposite.
It is very, very rare that any Indian intellectual ever commits suicide – I have not heard of it – but many Western intellectuals have committed suicide. It is very rare to come across an Indian intellectual who goes mad; it is a very common phenomenon in the West, many intellectuals have gone mad. The real intellectuals have almost inevitably gone mad; it is their life experience.
Civilization all around, and the over-developed personality have become an imprisonment. They are being killed by it. The very weight of civilization is too much and unbearable. They are feeling suffocated, they can’t breathe. Even suicide seems to be a liberation, or if they cannot commit suicide then madness seems to be an escape. At least by becoming mad one forgets all about civilization, one forgets all about the nonsense that goes on in the name of civilization. Madness is an escape from civilization.
Do you know that primitive people don’t go mad? It is only the civilized man’s privilege. Primitive people don’t commit suicide; again it is the civilized man’s privilege.
But to feel that life is utterly meaningless is to be on a crossroads: either you choose suicide or you choose sannyas; either you choose madness or you choose meditation. It is a great turning-point.
All personality is false. There is an essence inside which is not false, which you bring with your birth, which has always been there.
Somebody asks Jesus: “Do you know anything about Abraham?” And Jesus says, “Before Abraham ever was, I am.”
Now what an absurd statement, but also of tremendous significance. Abraham and Jesus – there is a big gap between them; Abraham preceded Jesus by almost three thousand years. And Jesus says, “Before Abraham ever was, I am.” He is talking about the essence. He is not talking about Jesus, he is talking about the Christ. He is talking about the eternal. He is not talking about the personal, he is talking about the universal.
The Zen people say that unless you come to know your original face that you had before your father was ever born, you will not become enlightened. What is this original face? Even before your father was born you had it, and you will have it again when you have died and your body has been burnt and nothing is left except ashes – then you will have it again.
What is this original face? The essence – call it the soul, the spirit, the self. These are words signifying the same thing. You are born as an essence, but if you are left as an essence without the society creating a personality for you, you will remain animal-like. It has happened to some people.
Just six months ago, again one child was found somewhere in North India near the Himalayas, a child of eleven years who had been brought up by wolves, a wolf-child – a human child brought up by wolves. Of course wolves can only give the personality of a wolf; so the child was human, the essence was there, but he had the personality of a wolf.
Many times it has happened. Wolves seem to be capable of bringing up human children; they seem to have a certain love, compassion, for human children. But these children are not enlightened. They don’t have any of the corruption that human society is bound to give; their beings are not polluted, they are pure essence. They are like the fish in the ocean – they don’t know who they are. And it is very difficult once they have been brought up by animals to give them a human personality; it is too hard a job.
Almost all the children have died in that effort. They cannot learn human ways, it is too late now. Their mold is cast; they have already become fixed personalities. They have learnt how to be wolves. They run like wolves on all fours and they are strong like wolves. You cannot fight with a wolf-child; he will kill you, he will eat you raw. They are cannibals; they don’t know any morality, they don’t know any religion. They are not Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan. They don’t bother about God – they have never heard of him. All that they know is the life of a wolf.
If human personality is a barrier, it is a barrier only if you cling to it. It has to be passed through – it is a ladder, it is a bridge. One should not make one’s house on the bridge, true, but one has to pass over the bridge.
Human personality is partial. In a better society we will give children personalities but also the capacity to get rid of them. That is what is missing right now: we give them personalities, too tight personalities, so that they become encapsulated, imprisoned, and we never give them a way to get rid of them. It is like giving a child steel clothes and not giving him any idea of how to unlock, how to throw the clothes, one day when he is becoming bigger.
What we are doing with human beings is exactly what was done in ancient China with the feet of women. From the very childhood girls were given iron shoes so that their feet never grew, they remained very small. Small feet were loved very much, they were appreciated very much. Only aristocratic families could afford them, because it was almost impossible for the woman to do anything. The woman could not even walk rightly; the feet were too small and the body was big. The feet were crippled; she had to walk with a support. Now a poor woman could not afford it, so small feet were the symbol of the aristocracy.
We can laugh at it, but we go on doing the same thing. Now in the West women are walking on such absurd shoes, such high heels. It is okay if you do such a thing in a circus, but such high heels are not for walking. But they are appreciated, because when a woman walks on very high heels she becomes more sexually attractive – her buttocks stand out more prominently. Because walking is difficult, her buttocks move more than they would do ordinarily. But this is accepted, then it is okay. Other societies will laugh at it.
All over the world women are using bras and they think that it is very conventional and traditional. My sannyasins are not using bras, and that is one of the greatest criticisms against them from the Hindus. In fact the bra makes the woman look more sexual; it is just to give her body a shape that she has not got. It is to help her so that the breasts can stand out and can look very young, not sagging. And these Hindu women think they are being very religious and orthodox. They are simply befooling themselves and nobody else – the bra is a sexual symbol.
Just like the bra, there are societies in Africa, a few primitive societies, which use strange things. Lips are made bigger and thicker. From the very childhood weights are hung on the lips so that they become very thick, big. That is a symbol of a very sexual woman – thicker and bigger lips can of course give a better kiss.
In some primitive societies the man even used to wear a certain sheath on his genital organs to make them look bigger, just as women are using bras. Now we laugh at such foolish people, but it is the same story. Even the younger people all over the world are using very tight pants – that is just to show their genitals. But once a thing is accepted, nobody takes any note of it.
Civilization should not become a tight enclosure. It is absolutely necessary that you should have a personality, but you should have a personality which can be put on and off easily, just like loose garments, not made of steel. Just cotton will do, so that you can put them on and off; you need not wear them continuously.
That’s what I call a man of understanding: one who lives in his essence, but as far as the society is concerned he moves with a personality. He uses the personality, he is the master of his own being.
The society needs a certain personality. If you bring your essence into the society you will be creating trouble for yourself and for others. People will not understand your essence; your truth may be too bitter for them, your truth may be too disturbing for them. There is no need. You need not go naked in the society; you can wear clothes.
But I have heard about a nun who used to take her bath with clothes on. When other nuns came to hear about it they asked, “What nonsense! Why can’t you undress in your bathroom? There is nobody looking.”
She said, “No, but the Bible says God is watching everywhere.” So the nun cannot even undress in the bathroom because God is watching – as if God is a peeping Tom. And if God can watch even behind locked doors, can’t he watch inside your clothes? He can watch there too. If walls cannot prevent him, just your garments, how can they prevent him?
One should be able to be naked in one’s own house, playing with one’s children; sipping tea on a summer morning in the garden, on the lawn, one should be able to be naked. There is no need to go to your office naked – there is no need. Clothes are perfectly good; there is no necessity to expose yourself to each and everybody. That will be exhibitionism, that will be another extreme. One extreme is that people cannot even go to bed without clothes on; another extreme is that there are Jaina digambaras, monks moving naked in the marketplace, or naked Hindu sadhus. And it is a strange thing that these Jainas and these Hindus object to my people because they are not wearing proper clothes.
Now, in a hot country like India people coming from the West find it really difficult to wear too many clothes. It looks so absurd to the Western seeker who comes here to see Indians with ties and coats. It looks so absurd. It is okay in the West – it is too cold and the tie is protective – but in India it is an effort to commit suicide. In the West it is okay to have your shoes and socks on, but in India? What imitative people! They are moving the whole day with shoes and socks on in a hot country like India. The Western dress in India is not relevant – tight pants and coat and tie and hat – it simply makes you look ridiculous. India needs loose garments. But there is no need to go to the other extreme, that you start running naked, cycling naked into the marketplace. It will create unnecessary trouble for you and for others.
But the strange thing is that the people who have always worshipped naked sadhus and have never raised any problem, for them I am creating a trouble. For them I look as if I am a dangerous person because my sannyasins are not wearing proper clothes.
One should be natural, and by being natural I mean one should be capable of putting on the personality when needed, in society. It functions like a lubricant, it helps, because there are thousands of people. Lubricants are needed, otherwise people will be constantly in conflict, clashing against each other. Lubricants help; they keep your life smooth.
Personality is good when you are communicating with others, but personality is a barrier when you start communing with yourself. Personality is good when you are relating with human beings; personality is a barrier when you start relating with existence itself, with God.
To me there are only two things: the essence and the personality. The personality is good as a means, the essence is the end. And personalities are not real and unreal.
You ask: “Why are the primitive people not enlightened?” They are not enlightened because they don’t have any personalities yet. Unless you have a personality you cannot drop it. Unless you have a properly developed mind you cannot enter into the state of no-mind. Unless you have an ego, well-formed, mature, you cannot surrender.
These things look like puzzles but they are not. If you just contemplate over these things, they are very simple to understand. What do you have to surrender if you don’t have any ego? Hence, first the ego has to be developed. But the ego should be developed and side by side another thing has to be developed: the capacity to drop the ego. Man has to learn this paradox so when the need arises you can drop the ego. Then you are always the master, and the mastery is always of the essence. But if you don’t have any personality you will not be the master, because you don’t have any slave to be a master of. The essence and personality are both needed, then the essence can be the master.
It is not so ordinarily: the personality becomes the master and essence is either completely reduced to a slave or completely forgotten and thrown into the basement of your unconsciousness. The education is faulty.
My vision of a right education is to teach people how to grow the ego and how to be able to drop it; how to become great minds and yet be ready any moment to put the mind aside. You should be able to just put your personality, your ego, your mind, on and off, because these are good things if you can use them. But you should know the mechanism, how to put them off. Right now you know only how to put them on.
I am reminded:

Sigmund Freud remembers somewhere that a friend came to visit him from a very, very faraway village. They had studied together in primary school; since then they had not met. Electricity had just then come; just a few months before, electricity had come to Vienna where Sigmund Freud lived. He forgot to tell the friend how to put off the light in the night and the friend was almost going mad in the night because he could not sleep – the light was too much. And he tried every possible way that he could conceive to blow it out.
He even stood on a table and studied the lamp, how to blow it out. But you can’t blow it out! He tried every possible way. He could not sleep the whole night and because of his ego he could not wake Sigmund Freud and ask him what to do with this light. All that he knew about was kerosene lamps. But an electric bulb functions in a different way; it is not a kerosene lamp.
In the morning Freud asked, “You look tired, your eyes are red. What happened? Couldn’t you sleep?”
And the man confessed. He said, “No, I could not sleep, and now I have to tell you. I wanted not to tell you because I wanted not to appear so stupid that I don’t know how to put off the light, but I tried my best. The whole night I tried to figure it out, how to put it off, but I could not.”
Freud took him in the room. He said, “It is very simple: this is the button” – the button was behind the door so he could not see it; even if he had seen it he would not have thought that the button had any connection with the light: “You just put it on and off with the button.”

Our situation is like that: our society puts on the ego, the personality, and nobody ever teaches us how to put it off. So day in, day out, we are burdened by it, tortured by it, goaded by it. We become slaves of something false.
I don’t want you to drop your personality forever; I simply want you to be capable of putting it off when it is not needed. This is the whole art of real religion: to teach you how to put the mind off and how to put it on.
Talking to you, I have to put my mind on, otherwise how can I talk? The heart cannot talk, the being cannot talk, the essence knows no language. I have to use the personality. But the moment I have said, “Enough for today,” you may not know but that is how I put it off. I tell you the secret. It is not to you that I am saying enough for today; I am saying to my own mind, “Enough for today. Now go to sleep.”
You also say: “I hear you tell us to accept the animal that we are, return to essence. I have read Gurdjieff saying you must become your true self – the master. He said beware of being swallowed by the animal.” He is right. – beware of being swallowed by the animal. But why not swallow the animal yourself? Otherwise you will have to be constantly alert and aware and on guard, because the animal will be there. And the animal is the animal - if the animal finds you off guard, it will jump upon you.
So I don’t say only beware of the animal and go on persuading the animal, as Gurdjieff says. You say that he says: “Give it some cigarettes or ice cream and it will be calmed.” It is not so easy. It will not be calmed by some ice cream – it will ask for more. It always asks for more. It will not be calmed by some cigarettes, it will go on asking for more. And it is not only a question of cigarettes and ice cream, otherwise the problem would not have been very complex.
It asks for money, it asks for power; it wants to be the president of the country, the prime minister of the country. The animal has strange ideas to be fulfilled. It wants all the women of the world; it can’t be satisfied with one. The animal is mad, the animal is insane. The animal is simply animal; it has no understanding – you cannot expect understanding from it. Don’t believe that it will be calmed just by giving it some cigarettes and ice cream – don’t be so simplistic. It will go on demanding new things and more things, and there is no end to its demanding. If you try to persuade it in this way you will never be able to persuade it.
Why not swallow the animal yourself? Eat it and be finished with it! That’s my idea. Why not make ice cream out of the animal? Why not make cigars out of it and smoke it and be finished with it?
That’s why I say don’t repress – because if you repress, the animal is there. I say go deep into the very spirit of the animal. Enjoy it! That’s what I mean when I say eat it. Be capable of digesting it and you will be more mighty by digesting it. Your sex digested will release so much energy that you can attain to superconsciousness. Hence I say: “From sex to superconsciousness.” Your greed digested will become your love.
You will be surprised to know that the English word love comes from a Sanskrit word lobh; lobh means greed. It may have been just a coincidence that the English word love grew out of lobh; lobh means greed. But my feeling is it cannot be just coincidence; there may be something more mysterious behind it, there may be some alchemical reason behind it. In fact greed digested becomes love. It is greed, lobh, digested well, which becomes love.
Love is sharing; greed is hoarding. Greed only wants and never gives, and love knows only giving and never asks for anything in return; it is unconditional sharing. There may be some alchemical reason that lobh has become love in the English language. Lobh becomes love as far as inner alchemy is concerned.
Swallow the animal. That is the way to transform it. That is the way to transmute lower energies into higher energies.
You are given a great opportunity. You have been thrown out of the sea – this is the opportunity – expelled from the Garden of Eden – this is the opportunity. Adam can become Christ if he uses the opportunity well. Use the opportunity: eat the animal, digest the animal. Don’t try to cut it off, otherwise you will become poorer. Don’t try to destroy it as your so-called saints have been doing down the ages, otherwise you will be dull and dead, insipid. Don’t repress it, otherwise it will take revenge – the animal is animal. One day it will jump upon you with such vengeance that you will be destroyed by it.
And don’t try to persuade it because it cannot be persuaded. Its demands are infinite, its thirst cannot be quenched by anything. Give it anything and it immediately asks for something more. More is its very way of living.
So don’t befool yourself that cigarettes and ice cream and things like that will help the animal to subside and to be calmed. No, you will need great insight into the animal, you will need great acquaintance with the animal. You will need very deep awareness of the working of the animal. And you will have to digest it slowly, slowly gradually, so that one day the animal becomes part of your being.
The animal has great energy, that’s why it is called animal. Anima means aliveness, power, vitality; animal means one who is vital. The saints cut their roots from the animal; they became non-vital. That’s why they have not been able to transform the whole world – they were not even able to transform their own selves. They became impotent. Rather than becoming more potent, rather than becoming omnipotent, they became impotent. Hence I am not for suppression.
I am for understanding, I am for transformation. And if the animal is transformed and absorbed by the essence, you will feel great power, great fire. Your life will become such a passionate affair with existence, you will have such intensity, that each moment will give you the joy of an eternity.

The fourth question:
Before, when I was clever, I was really stupid. Now I am no longer clever, but still feel stupid. In fact, this is a stupid letter…. Does that mean I'm still clever? Or do some people, when they drop their cleverness, find that they are simply stupid?
PS: I always wanted to write an impressive question, but seem to have waited too long. A joke to illustrate my problem: A man telephones his doctor: “Doctor, you know those pills you prescribed for my muscular weakness…. Well, I can't get the top off the bottle.”
Devageet, you are in a beautiful mess. Remain this way.
No need to figure it out, whether you are clever or stupid; whatsoever you are, it is perfectly okay. Trying to figure it out is an unnecessary effort. If one is stupid, one is stupid – so what? How does it matter? If one is clever, one is clever – so what? How does it matter?
But we have always been thinking in terms of comparison. Man is very much conditioned to create hierarchies: who is clever, who is stupid, who is beautiful, who is ugly….We can’t accept people as they are.
And if you start figuring it out you will be in trouble – because nothing can be figured out. Life is mysterious. If you are clever you are stupid; if you know you are stupid you are clever…. Now you will be moving in a circle; there will be no end to it. It will be like a dog chasing its own tail: the more the dog chases the tail, the more the tail will jump – with the dog, of course, because it is the dog’s tail. And the dog can go crazy. Sometimes you can watch dogs going crazy, just chasing their tails. Philosophers are like dogs chasing their tails.
Devageet, don’t be a philosopher. Such problems have arisen in philosophy many times.
They say that before Socrates there was a great school of sophists in Greece; they used to train people in sophistry. Before philosophy, sophistry was the dominant thing in people’s minds; the sophist was thought to be the real intellectual. And the fundamental of sophistry was that nothing is true and nothing is false.
You can try anything, and you can prove anything right and you can prove anything wrong. Something can be proved right and the same thing can be proved wrong, it all depends on what you want to prove.
Logic is a whore! – logic can go with anybody. So whenever someone wins in an argument it does not prove that he has the truth. It only proves that he is cleverer in logical gymnastics, that’s all; he may not have the truth at all. When someone is defeated in logic, argumentation, it does not prove that he does not have the truth; it may be simply that he is not logically skillful. So there is no truth, no untruth; it is only a game.
Sophistry was a game, and the sophists used to teach people, whosoever wanted to learn the game – the aristocracy, the rich people, particularly, loved it very much. It was like a chess game.
It happened to a great sophist:

A young man came and he said, “I have heard much about you – you are the greatest sophist master in the country. If you trust so much in your own intelligence, this is my proposal: that I will pay half of your fees right now and the other half I will pay only when I win in an argument.”
The master was so trustful of his own skill, he said, “Perfectly okay. You can give half my fees now and half I will take when you win your first argument. It is bound to happen – you are going to win. Never have my students been defeated anywhere.”
But the young man was also really clever. He learnt the whole art, but he never argued with anybody. The master was puzzled about what to do: “Unless he argues and wins, half of the fee is gone, and if he never argues…” and he used to avoid. The master told many other disciples, “Create some argument with him.” But he would always say, “Yes, you are right.” Whatsoever you said he would say, “Yes, you are right.” He would never argue. The master was at a loss: “It seems as if the disciple is winning and I am being defeated.”
So the master put a case in the court: “This disciple has not paid half my fee which is due to me, and the court should force this young man to give me my fee which he has promised.” Now the master thought, “If I win in the court, the court will order the young man to give my fee and I will get the fee. If I am defeated in the court, then too nothing is lost – outside the court I will say to the young man, “You have won your first argument, now give me the other half of my fee.
But the disciple belonged to this same master. He said, “Okay. If I win in the court I will say this will be an insult to the court if I pay you now. If I am defeated in the court, how can I pay you? – because my first argument, and I am defeated!”
And this is how it happened. The court decided that the young man is right, because unless he wins how can he pay?
The master said, “Okay. So he has won his first case – I want my fee.”
The young man said, “How can I give it? I have won the case and it will be an insult to the court now. I cannot go against the court, against the law of the country.”

How to decide it? It is impossible, it can’t be decided.
Another story is told:

A young man from Sicily came to Athens and told Socrates, “All men in Sicily lie.”
Socrates looked at the young man and said, “You come from Sicily?”
He said, “Yes.”
“Are you lying?”

Now the problem arises: if he is lying then what he is saying is not true; if he is not lying, then too what he is saying is not true – because one man from Sicily is not lying, is saying a truth. In either case it will be impossible to figure it out, where we stand. You ask, Devageet: “When I was clever, I was really stupid. Now I am no longer clever, but still feel stupid. In fact, this is a stupid letter…. Does that mean I am still clever?” Forget about it! You are in a beautiful mess – remain in it. There is no need to decide because we are not labeling people here, who is clever and who is stupid.
The whole effort here is: who lives in the mind and who lives out of the mind? The stupid and the clever both live in the mind, because both cleverness and stupidity are qualities of the mind. It does not matter whether you are clever or you are stupid. You are in the mind, that is the real thing. Slip out of the mind. Slip out of cleverness and stupidity both. And the best way to slip out is not to be bothered by these things because if you are bothered by these things you will remain entangled.
Slip out of the mind. Be a no-mind, neither clever nor stupid. Then you will know what truth is, then you will know what bliss is.

And the last question:
Are you really the first buddha who jokes?
I am not only the first buddha who jokes, but the last too…because I am going to tell all the jokes! I am not going to leave a single joke untold!
Enough for today.

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