Beyond Enlightenment 02

Second Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - Beyond Enlightenment by Osho.
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I have questions, but they are never complete, and I don't know how to ask.
No question is ever complete, because the completion of a question will mean it has its answer in itself. A question by its very nature is incomplete. It is a desire, a longing, an inquiry, because something needs to be completed. It is part of human consciousness that it demands completion. Leave anything incomplete and it becomes an obsession; complete it and you are free of it. Completion brings freedom.
Hence, it is not only your questions that are incomplete. You are more alert so that you have seen the incompleteness of each question.
Secondly, you don’t know what to ask. Nobody knows. All of our questions are out of our ignorance, out of our unconscious, out of our dark soul. Nobody knows exactly what his question is, what is essential to be asked – because the moment you know what your question is, you will immediately find the answer within yourself.
To be absolutely confident about the question means the answer is not very far away. It is very close, because confidence comes from the answer, not from the question.
But still, man has to ask. Although all questions are incomplete and you do not know what to ask, still man has to ask, because man cannot remain silent. It is possible not to ask – that does not mean you don’t have questions, that simply means you are not bringing them out. Perhaps you are afraid to be exposed, because each question will indicate your ignorance.
There are millions of people who never ask, for the simple reason that to be silent at least appears to be wise. To ask the question is to show your wounds, is to show all the dark spots in your being. It needs courage.
Secondly, there are questions which are not out of your ignorance but out of your borrowed knowledge – which are the worst questions possible.
A question that comes out of ignorance is innocent, has purity. It is unpolluted, uncorrupted; it shows your courage, your trust.
But there are questions which come out of your borrowed knowledge. You have heard much, you have read much, you have been informed by the parents, teachers, priests, politicians, all kinds of demagogues, all kinds of pretenders to knowledge – and you have been collecting their whole garbage.
Purna has sent me a beautiful present: a very artistic, beautiful wastepaper basket with a note: “Osho, if you feel my questions are just garbage, throw them in this wastepaper basket. You need not answer them.”
Questions coming out of knowledge are garbage.
You don’t know anything about God, the universe; you don’t know anything about the soul, reincarnation, future lives, past lives. All that you know is simply hearsay. People have been chattering around you and you are collecting all kinds of information that seems to be important to you. Why does it seem important? It seems important because it covers your ignorance. It helps you to feel as if you know. But remember, it is a very big “as if.” You do not know, it is only “as if.”
All holy scriptures, all books on philosophy, theology, should be categorized into one category: as if. They are talking about every possible impossible thing they know nothing of, but they are articulate, imaginative intellectuals who can create systems out of nothing.
That’s why no philosopher agrees with any other philosopher. And every philosopher thinks that he has found the whole system that explains everything in the world. And all other philosophers laugh at him; they find thousands of loopholes in his system. But as far as they themselves are concerned, they commit the same mistake: they claim that their system is complete and now there is no question of further inquiry.
And the strangest thing is that these are the people who are very insightful in seeing the loopholes of others, but they cannot see the loopholes of their own system. Perhaps they don’t want to see. Loopholes are there, everybody else can see them; it is impossible that they themselves do not see them. They ignore them, hoping that nobody sees them.
Every philosophy has failed. Every religion has failed.
And you are carrying the ruins of all the philosophies and all the religions in your mind, and out of those ruins, questions arise. Those questions are meaningless; you should not ask them. They really show your stupidity.
But questions arising out of your ignorance – just like a child asking – those questions are incomplete, not very great questions, but tremendously important.

One day a small child was walking with D.H. Lawrence in a garden, and was continuously asking questions of all kinds. And D.H. Lawrence was one of the most sincere men of this century, condemned by governments, by priests because of his sincerity, because he would say only the truth, because he was not ready to be diplomatic, a hypocrite, because he would not compromise. Even before this small child he showed such authentic sincerity, which even your great saints have not shown.
The child asked, “Why are the trees green?” – a very simple question, but very profound. All the trees are green – why? What is the matter with the trees? When there are so many colors, when the whole rainbow of colors is available: some tree can be yellow, some tree can be red, some tree can be blue. Why have all the trees chosen to be green?
In D.H. Lawrence’s place, any parent, any teacher, any priest, anybody – x, y, z – would have told some lie: that God made them green because green is very soothing to the eyes. But this would have been deceptive, a lie, because D.H. Lawrence does not know anything about God, does not know why the trees are green.
In fact, no scientist who has been working with trees knows, although he can show that it is because of a certain element, chlorophyll, that trees are green. But that is not the answer for the child. He will simply ask, “Why have they chosen chlorophyll – all the trees?” It is not a satisfactory answer.
D.H. Lawrence closed his eyes, waited for a moment in silence…what to say to this child? He did not want to be a deceiving person to an innocent child – although the question is ordinary, any answer would do. But the question has come from innocence; hence it is very profound.
And D.H. Lawrence opened his eyes, looked at the trees and said to the child, “The trees are green because they are green.”
The child said, “Right. I was also thinking that.”
But D.H. Lawrence remembered it in his memoirs: “To me it was a great experience – the love and the trust the child showed toward me because of sheer sincerity. My answer was not an answer; according to logicians, it was a tautology. ‘The trees are green because they are green’ – is this an answer?”
In fact, D.H. Lawrence is accepting that: “My child, I am as much ignorant as you are. Just because there is a difference of age does not mean that I know and you do not know.” The difference of age is not the difference between ignorance and knowledge.

The trees being green is part of the mystery of the whole existence.
Things are what they are. A woman is a woman, a man is a man. A rose is a rose; call it by any name, it still remains the rose.
That morning, in that small incident, something tremendously beautiful is hidden.
Ask questions – not out of knowledge, because all that knowledge is borrowed, unfounded, pure rubbish. But ask out of your ignorance. Remember, the ignorance is yours – be proud of it. The knowledge is not yours. How can you be proud of it?
And the question is not to cover the ignorance. The question is to bring some light, so that the ignorance, the darkness, disappears.
I cannot give you any better answer than D.H. Lawrence, but I can give you something else which Lawrence has no insight about. I can give you a space, a silence in which you can realize the mystery on your own.
You ask the question, whatever the question is. Just remember, don’t ask out of knowledge; ask out of your own authentic ignorance.
And my answers are not answers, in fact. My answers are killers – they simply kill the question, they take away the question, they don’t give you any answer to hold on to.
And that is the difference between a teacher and a master: the teacher gives you answers so that you can hold those answers and remain ignorant – on the surface beautifully decorated, libraries full of answers, but underneath, below the surface, an abysmal ignorance.
The master simply kills your questions. He does not give you an answer, he takes away the question.
If all your questions can be taken away – listen carefully to what I am saying – if all your questions can be taken away, your ignorance is bound to disappear, and what remains is innocence.
And innocence is a light unto itself.
In that innocence you don’t know any question, any answer, because the whole realm of questions and answers is left behind. It has become irrelevant, you have transcended it. You are pure of questions and pure of answers.
This state is enlightenment. And if you are courageous enough, you even can go beyond it. This will give you all the beautiful experiences described by the mystics down the ages: your heart will dance with ecstasy, your whole being will become a beautiful sunrise…thousands of lotuses blossoming in you.
If you want, you can make your home here. In the past, people have stopped here, because where can you find a better place? Gautam Buddha has called this place the “Lotus Paradise.”
But if you are a born seeker… I will suggest: have a little rest, enjoy all the beauties of enlightenment but don’t make it a full-stop. Go beyond, because life, its journey, is unending and much more is going to happen which is absolutely indescribable.
The experience of enlightenment is also beyond description, but it has been described by all who have experienced it. They all say it is beyond description and still they describe it: that it is full of light, that it is full of joy, that it is the ultimate in blissfulness. If this is not description then what is description?
I am saying it for the first time: for thousands of years the people who have become enlightened have been saying that it cannot be described, and at the same time have been describing it, have been their whole lives singing it. But beyond enlightenment you certainly enter into a world which is indescribable.
Because in enlightenment you still are; otherwise who is feeling the blissfulness, who is seeing the light? Kabir says, “…as if thousands of suns have risen.” Who is seeing it? Enlightenment is the ultimate experience – but still it is experience, and the experiencer is there.
Going beyond it, there is no experiencer. You dissolve.
First you were trying to dissolve your problems; now you dissolve – because existentially you are the problem. Your separation from existence is the only question which has to be solved. You lose your boundaries, you are no more. Who is there to experience?
You need tremendous courage to drop the ego to achieve enlightenment. You will need a million times more courage to drop yourself to attain the beyond – and the beyond is the real.

I am familiar with the master-disciple relationship after years of being around you.
Could you please comment on the disciple-disciple relationship?
There is no such thing. Disciples in the past have created organizations. That was their relationship, that “we are Christians,” that “we are Mohammedans,” that “we belong to one religion, to one faith and because we belong to one faith, we are brothers and sisters. We will live for the faith and we will die for the faith.”
All organizations have arisen out of the relationships between disciples. In fact, two disciples are not connected with each other at all. Each disciple is connected with the master in his individual capacity. A master can be connected with millions of disciples, but the connection is personal, not organizational.
Disciples don’t have any relationship. Yes, they have a certain friendliness, a certain lovingness. I am avoiding the word relationship because that is binding. I am not even calling it “friendship” but “friendliness” – because they are all fellow travelers walking on the same path, in love with the same master, but they are related to each other through the master. They are not related to each other directly.
This has been the most unfortunate thing in the past: that disciples became organized, related among themselves, and they were all ignorant. And ignorant people can only create more nuisance in the world than anything else. All the religions have done exactly that.
My people are related to me individually. And because they are on the same path, certainly they become acquainted with each other. A friendliness arises, a loving atmosphere, but I don’t want to call it any kind of relationship.
We have suffered too much because of disciples getting directly related to each other, creating religions, sects, cults, and then fighting. They cannot do anything else. At least with me, remember it, you are not related to each other in any way at all. Just a liquid friendliness, not a solid friendship, is enough – and far more beautiful, and without any possibility of harming humanity in the future.

Since I have been here, I have been torn apart between wanting to ask you a question – wanting to expose myself – and trying everything to avoid that. It feels as if I have been stuck in this position for years.
Osho, what is this fear?
There is only one basic fear. All other small fears are byproducts of the one main fear that every human being carries with himself: the fear is of losing yourself. It may be in death, it may be in love, but the fear is the same: you are afraid of losing yourself.
And the strangest thing is that only those people are afraid of losing themselves who don’t have themselves. Those who have themselves are not afraid. So it is really a question of exposure You don’t have anything to lose; you just believe that you have something to lose.

I was traveling with Mulla Nasruddin and the ticket checker came. I showed him my ticket, and Mulla started searching for his ticket. He opened one of his suitcases, then another suitcase, and went through all his pockets – coat, pants, shirt – but I saw that he was avoiding one pocket.
Watching him, even the ticket checker said, “Don’t be worried. You are a well-known person. You can’t travel without a ticket; it must be somewhere. You have so much luggage.” He said, “I will be coming back in the second round. By that time you may have found it.”
He went away, and Mulla was still perspiring and searching for the ticket.
I said, “Mulla, I can see only one thing – that you are looking into everything but you are not looking into one pocket.”
He said, “Just don’t raise that question, because I am already in such trouble.”
But I said, “What has that pocket to do with trouble?”
He said, “It has everything to do with it. That is the only place I am hoping that the ticket may be, and I don’t want to lose that hope. First let me look in everything else. That is my last resort; I also know that I am avoiding it. The ticket checker was looking at that pocket, you are also looking at that pocket. It is not that I am not aware. With full consciousness I am avoiding it, because if it is not there then the ticket is nowhere.”

The fear of coming close is the fear of exposure.
Who knows? – as you come close to the master, in his presence, in his light you may find that you don’t exist. And that will be almost a death…bigger than death. So people keep at a certain distance.
Watching wild animals in the jungles, in the mountains, scientists have come to discover a certain idea: that they have a territorial imperative, that each animal has his own territory. If you don’t enter his territory, he will not bother you, but if you enter his territory you are in danger, he can attack you. In fact, he feels the danger: you are in his territory, coming too close, and who knows if you are a friend or a foe?
And they have a very strange way of creating the demarcation line of their territory. You see dogs pissing – they are creating their territory. Each dog has his own territory; he creates it not by visible walls and fences but by the smell. Other dogs immediately smell it: this territory belongs to some dog – be careful.
And even lions do the same; they will go pissing around a large territory. And their urine has a very strong smell; no animal is so insensitive that he will not sense it. And once he senses the smell, he will avoid that place – that is a prohibited area.
Scientists studying the whole thing came to a conclusion: why are these animals so interested in keeping a certain space of their own and do not allow anybody else to enter? They found that it is because of fear. The other animal can mean death. It is better to warn him, and before he attacks the best way to defend yourself is to attack. So if anybody enters your territory, you attack him before he attacks you, and whoever attacks first has more chances to be victorious.
In zoos, where man has kept animals in small spaces… Psychologists have been shocked to learn that in the wild, animals never go mad, never commit suicide, never become homosexuals, never attack their own species. But in a zoo they start doing strange things: they become homosexuals, they start attacking their own species. Otherwise, except man, no animal attacks his own species. It is a prerogative of humanity: only a man kills another man. No lion kills another lion.
But in a zoo it happens that they lose all their natural instinctive intelligence; they start going crazy, mad. And strangely enough, they even start committing suicide, and the reason is that their territory has been taken away and they are living in constant fear. So many animals so close – they cannot sleep, they cannot relax, the other animal may attack. They have lost their freedom, they have lost their sleep, they have lost their sanity. And to live in such conditions, a point comes when it is better to commit suicide rather than live in such torture. You don’t see the torture because you don’t know that they are suffering from a special cause: they need space.
And as humanity has grown in population, murders have grown, crimes have grown, homosexuality has grown, lesbianism has grown. People are committing suicide like anything. War seems to be the only thing we are preparing for; it seems war is the only thing we are born for.
Perhaps it is the territorial imperative. Perhaps man has lost his feeling of space.
Just see what territorial imperative is possible in a local train. Look at what territorial imperative is possible on the road. Still, if you watch carefully, even in a local train people are standing in such a way that nobody touches them, still making their last effort to keep a certain distance. It may be just inches, but just a little distance will give them breathing space.
Psychologically, man is afraid to come close to anybody whose presence can become an exposure, whose eyes can be so penetrative like x-rays, who can see you through and through. And you are afraid that perhaps nothing will be found – there is nobody, the house is empty.
The same is true about questions: you are afraid to ask authentic questions coming out of your ignorance because you will be allowing yourself to be exposed as an ignorant person. Everybody is pretending to be knowledgeable.

In my village there was a certain man…a little loose in the head, so I was very much interested in him. I am always interested in people who are a little loose; they are special people.
His name was Sunderlal, but I used to call him Doctor Sunderlal. At first he could not believe it: why am I calling him doctor? He asked me, “You said doctor?”
I said, “You are ‘doctor.’ In this village, nobody is more knowledgeable than you are.”
He said, “That’s true.”
I said, “In this village, you are a DLitt, a doctor.”
He said, “Are you joking?”
I said, “Why should I joke? A fact is a fact. If you want, I can bring a few people as witnesses.”
He said, “No, no, there is no need. I trust in you, if you are saying it then it must be so.”
The next day I saw that he had hung a board on his house: Doctor Sunderlal, DLitt.
The whole town was agog: “Suddenly this crazy man… Which university has given him a DLitt ?”
I reached his home and I said, “You have done the right thing. It is not a question of any university – what rights do they have to give you a DLitt? – it is your declaration.”
He said, “That’s right. Because my father was saying, ‘You idiot, you are writing Doctor Sunderlal, DLitt – the police will come! You will be caught in some trouble; don’t listen to that man.’”
I said, “There is no question; it is your declaration that ‘In this village I am the most knowledgeable person.’ If anybody has any doubts…open challenge!”
He said, “Should it be written underneath the board?”
I said, “It should be written underneath the board.”
So a certain board was made on which he wrote, “This is a declaration that in this village I am the most knowledgeable person. And if somebody has any doubts, that means an open challenge for a discussion.”
Now, who wanted to discuss with that fellow? He was so crazy; nobody turned up. And he was sitting in a chair just by the side of the board waiting for somebody to come.
I inquired two or three times, “Has anybody turned up?”
He said, “Nobody People come, they read and they go again. Even my father said that there seems to be something in it, because nobody is making any objection. Even the police inspector came, read the whole thing and went away: ‘If it is a declaration…’”
Just a few years ago the man died, and he died as “Doctor Sunderlal, DLitt.” In the newspapers it was printed, “Doctor Sunderlal, DLitt has died.” And nobody ever asked or bothered, because nobody was ready to accept the challenge. Everybody was afraid, because to discuss with that crazy fellow…he could say anything. He could raise questions that you could not answer; he could criticize anything.
And they all knew that I was supporting him. I had told him, “Don’t be worried. If somebody accepts the challenge, I will be there by your side to help you.”
He said, “I am not worried. I have defeated my wife, my cousin, my brother. I have completely defeated my family, and I know that in this village they are the average people, so I have defeated the village. Should I try to make the territory a little bigger?”
I said, “No, you should keep the territory just as the village. It is enough that you have the DLitt; you have declared it. Now, there is no need to make the territory bigger, because that may create trouble. In this village you are the only one whose head is loose. In other villages there may be somebody who has the same kind of loose head – unnecessary trouble will arise. Just remain silent.”
And people started calling him “Doctor Sunderlal.” And by and by, people forgot all about…he was accepted as Doctor Sunderlal, DLitt. That almost became his name.

Your knowledge…whether you have declared it or not, deep down you believe that you know so much. And all that you know is not yours. Coming closer to a person in whose light your knowledge will start melting, disappearing, evaporating, leaving you naked in your ignorance, you are afraid even to ask a question.
I have seen people, thousands of people in my life, asking me questions and saying, “This is a question from one of my friends.” And when I used to see people personally, I would tell them, “The best way will be that you send your friend. And he can say the same thing: ‘This is a question from one of my friends.’”
Someone would say, “What do you mean?”
I would tell him, “You have understood… This is your question. But you don’t even have guts to say ‘This is my question.’ Knowledge, which you claim as yours, is all from others. And the question – which you are saying is some friend’s question – is yours.” I said, “Bring your friend. Tomorrow, come with your friend. I would like to see the friend, because the question is very important.”
He said, “The question is important?”
I said, “It is a very important question, and I would like to see the person.”
He said, “Forgive me, really it is my question.”
People are afraid to expose themselves. But to be with a master, one of the basic rules is that you will drop your fears and you will stand naked in your ignorance, because from that ignorance your innocence can be achieved.
From your knowledge, no route goes to innocence. Only from your ignorance is there a pathway to innocence.
Hence I repeat again: a vast knowledge which is borrowed is of no meaning. But a small ignorance that is yours is a treasure, because from that ignorance opens the door to your innocence.
And it is innocence that becomes the light, becomes the incense and the fragrance.

Once you told me that the spring had come, but my anxiety is that I have lost everything, that the garbage has taken over completely, and that I cannot keep myself open to you as a disciple unless I am continually in your presence.
Can you say something about the seed of spiritual growth which you plant in us and whether it can die?
The seed is immortal, it cannot die. But it can remain dormant, it can remain dormant for lives.
If the right soil is not provided, if the right water is not provided, if the right exposure to the sunlight is not provided, it will remain dormant, a potentiality, a waiting – but it cannot die. You may die many times, but the seed, once planted in you, will go on following your consciousness wherever you are.
Unless you give it your attention, nourishment, your care, your love, it cannot become a living sprout. Small, fresh green leaves cannot come out of it. Only your love and your consciousness can create the miracle. And the day will not be far away when there will be flowers.
There are people here who have been carrying seeds from other masters. I do not need to sow new seeds in them; all that I need is to help their dormant seeds to open up. You are not here for the first time. You have been here always – perhaps with Zarathustra, perhaps with Pythagoras, perhaps with Heraclitus, perhaps with Gautam Buddha.
It is very rare that a person comes to me who needs a new seed – because you are all ancient people. It is almost impossible not to have come in contact with one of the magicians of the soul; those people are magnets. So in some life, somewhere, you may have met al-Hillaj Mansoor, Jalaluddin Rumi, Kabir or Nanak.
Very rarely do I find a person who is not already pregnant – but the seed has remained the seed, you have not been a gardener to it. Somebody, with great compassion, must have sown the seed, but you have not been kind enough to yourself.
The seed never dies.
And Pankaja, you understand perfectly well that your mind is full of garbage. This very understanding is enough to get rid of it. But it seems the problem is that this garbage is paying you; in some way it is fulfilling your ego.
Pankaja is a novelist, is well known as a novelist. I have worked with many kinds of celebrities; they are the most third-rate people to work with for the simple reason that their celebrity has become part of their ego. They cannot drop the ego, because if they drop the ego the celebrity disappears. And the celebrity, the famousness, their name, has become so important to them; it has become their identity in the world. Whereas millions of people are without any identity, they have an identity. For them, to drop the ego is very difficult – and understandably; it is arduous.
A person who is not a celebrity has a small ego. In fact, to have it or not to have it does not make much difference; he is already nobody. He can drop it, and by dropping it he can gain the whole beautiful existence and all its benediction. By becoming nobody, he can open the doors to the universe and its blessings.
But all the celebrities that have come to me from different fields, have all proved to be failures. They take the most time, but they have a problem because their ego is involved with their name and fame. Even if they understand that it is garbage, the garbage is paying them so much that they want to cling to it a little more – perhaps tomorrow or the day after tomorrow they will drop it. They have understood the point, but just to drop it right now seems too much.

I am reminded of a very great thinker, Voltaire. He was famous in his country, and it was a convention in the country that if you could get a small piece of cloth from a famous man like Voltaire, you could make a beautiful locket out of it. It was a great security, safety against dangers, disease, sickness, death.
When Voltaire used to go out of his house, he would come home almost naked, because crowds would follow him, tearing his clothes – and not only his clothes, he would get scratched on the body. He had to ask for police protection if he wanted to go to the railway station or to go to some other place. Without police protection it was impossible, because to reach the railway station naked, scratched all over, blood all over, would not look right – although he deeply enjoyed it, because he was the only man in the whole country who was so much respected. This was a respect given by people.
But in the world, everything goes on changing. The name and the fame is just a soap bubble. It may become very big – the bigger it becomes, the more dangerous, because it is going to burst soon.
And the day came when Voltaire was forgotten; somebody else had become the celebrity. Now there was no need for police protection. People even forgot that he was alive. In his notebooks he has written, “I enjoyed those days. But at that time I used to think that it would be better not to be known at all, just to be a nobody, to live silently, because life had become a nightmare. But when I became nobody, then I started feeling great despair that I had lost my respect, my name, my fame.”
And he does not say in his notes that this was what he wanted: to be nobody. He had become nobody now, but it was not a joy, it was a defeat.
He wrote, “I’m dying a defeated man.” And the day he died, only four persons carried his body to the graveyard. Of the four persons, one was his dog and three were his neighbors – and those three had to carry the body because otherwise it would start rotting and the neighborhood would become a hell to live in. Somehow he had to be thrown into a grave. So in fact the only person who lovingly followed was the dog. And this was the man who was followed by thousands of people wherever he went.

Your garbage is paying you. You can choose it; there is no problem. But choose consciously, that you choose garbage because it is paying you. Consciously chosen, it won’t last long. Don’t fight with it; fighting will not help.
Or if you are courageous enough, see a simple point: even if you write hundreds of novels and inside you remain just a wound which is hurting twenty-four hours a day, your whole life is wasted in misery just to fulfill a non-existential ego. Tomorrow you will die, and the day after tomorrow nobody will remember you. How many novelists have there been in this world? And who cares about them today? And they must all have suffered in the same way, because what they were doing was garbage.
You may be a big garbage truck. It does not matter – big or small – if you can have a little courage and throw away all this garbage and clean yourself, perhaps something beautiful may come out of you which may be helpful to humanity, which may be remembered for centuries, not only remembered, but may have a certain transforming effect on people.
But the garbage that you are writing is just journalistic. Nobody bothers tomorrow about today’s newspaper.

I used to live in a place where a retired man, who was a little eccentric… Retired people become eccentric, having nothing to do. And nobody wants to become useless – it hurts. Nobody wants to be just a burden.
And in the family, nobody cares about an old man. In fact, they want to get rid of these people because they are unnecessarily a nuisance. Young people have their own life, their own enjoyment, their own entertainment, and these old fellows are continually interrupting, condemning, making them feel guilty or constantly irritable. And they have nothing to do; twenty-four hours a day they are sitting there. Naturally, they need some work; they become great critics about everything.
He used to come to me. I was in the university – for just one or two hours I was teaching in the university and then I was back. He used to come to me, and I loved to listen to him. He was very happy with me, because he said “You are the only man who has patience to listen; otherwise, nobody bothers. I am saying such significant things and nobody cares.” But how long could I tolerate him?
So I used to give him the newspapers and magazines, so he would read them and would get into them and leave me alone. Sometimes it would happen that I would give him an old newspaper just by mistake. He would start reading it – so deeply engrossed – and then I would look at the date. I would think, “My God, I have given him an old newspaper.” And I would tell him, “This is an old newspaper. I will give you the new, the fresh.”
He said, “It doesn’t matter – almost ninety percent of it is the same news. Just for ten percent, who cares? To me, it is all the same. When you are not in the house, I come and ask the gardener. He does not allow me into your study, but he brings newspapers and I sit in the garden. And sometimes he brings one-year-old newspapers. But I say it does not matter; the same things go on happening, so I read. Even your gardener says to me, ‘My God, this is one year old. You wait, my master will be coming soon; then I will bring the fresh newspapers.’ And I say, ‘Don’t be worried, I just enjoy reading.’ And it is the same: somebody has been killed, somebody has been murdered, somebody has committed suicide, somebody has been assassinated, somewhere some government is changed. It does not matter to me who rules in Brazil – what does it matter?”
My gardener told me, “That old fellow is a philosopher.”
I said, “How have you discovered that he is a philosopher?”
He said, “He has a very philosophical attitude; he reads a year-old newspaper and he reads it with such concentration. And when I ask, he says, ‘What does it matter? Time passes on. Just one year ago this was new, and what is new today will be old one year afterward. And as far as I am concerned, it is only a question of passing time, so what I am reading does not matter.’”

I would like you first to be clean, innocent, silent. And then if out of that silence something is born, that will be a contribution to the universe. Otherwise, out of the garbage you can go on writing novels, and they will sell, because people need something to read and throw away. But they don’t know that somebody has put his life…wasted his life in writing these novels. Somebody has missed his buddhahood.
It is up to you to choose. It cannot be forced upon anybody. I can just give you a hint – that it is time. And you are mature enough: you have written your novels, and you know all that is garbage.
It shows, because people love to read anything. Railway bookstalls need garbage, airport bookstalls need garbage; everywhere garbage is needed because people need garbage. But why should you waste your life?
And you have the possibility to give birth to something really significant – but a breakthrough is needed. You need a discontinuity. Forget what you have been doing, forget the name and the fame and anything that it brings to you.
Just be a nobody, enjoy being nobody. And I tell you that in being nobody there is freedom.
And then one day you will find that the seed within you has started growing. And then if something out of your own experience comes to be written by you, it will be significant for you, it will be significant for others. Anything that can really make life a little more beautiful, a little more musical, a little more poetic, is going to help you too. It is possible only because of your growth.
You can collect all kinds of information – read ten novels, and the eleventh is born – that is one way that is being followed by all writers, poets, painters. But they are third-rate, and they will be forgotten.
Something meaningful only comes from your very innermost being.
But before that, you have to throw all the rubbish off; otherwise, the rubbish is so much and the seed is so small, it is lost in the rubbish. I hope that you will be able to do what I am saying; otherwise, I would not have said it.

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