Come Follow Yourself Vol 01 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Come Follow Yourself Vol 01 by Osho.
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The first question:
A single session of your Dynamic Meditation has left within me a greater bliss and sense of being than twenty years of having had to listen to the stories of The New Testament and to pray to an almighty and distant God who stayed an unexperienceable Godot to me. Is it possible that the teachings of Jesus just might not be helpful to all seekers – yes, might even be poisonous to them, or to some?
Christianity and Christ should never be confused. Christ is totally different from Christianity so whenever you want to understand Christ, go directly and immediately – not via Rome. There you will never understand Christ. Christ or Krishna or Buddha cannot be organized: they are so vast that no organization can do justice to them. Only small things can be organized. Politics can be organized – not religion. Nazism can be organized, communism can be organized – not Christ, not Krishna. The sheer vastness is such that the moment you try to force them into a pattern, they are already dead. It is as if you are trying to grasp the sky in your small hands, with closed fists. With an open hand the sky may touch, may be a little bit on your hand, but with a closed fist it has already escaped out of it.
Whatever you have been hearing about Jesus is not about Jesus the real man; it is about the Jesus that Christians have invented, decorated to be sold in the market. The Christian Jesus is a commodity to be sold; Christ himself is a revolution. You will have to be transformed through him; he is the baptism of fire. You can be a Christian conveniently. You can never be a real Christian conveniently.
If you are really following Jesus, there is bound to be trouble. He himself ended on the cross; you cannot end on the throne. But if you follow Christianity there is no trouble, it is a very convenient way to adjust Christ to yourself rather than adjusting yourself to Christ. If you adjust yourself to Christ, there will be a transformation; if you adjust Christ to yourself there can be none. Then Christ himself becomes part of the decoration of your imprisonment, part of your furniture, your car, your house – a convenience at the most. But you are not related to him. That’s why twenty years look like they have been wasted.
The same will happen with me. You are fortunate that you are doing meditation with me. Once I am gone, the meditation is going to be organized. It is impossible to prevent it, it is the way things move. Then you will do it for twenty years – or two hundred years – and nothing will happen. It does not happen through the technique; technique is just dead. It happens through the love that you feel for me, that I have for you. The technique is just an excuse, it is not the most important thing. The most important thing is your love, your trust. In that trust the technique works and functions, becomes alive, gets roots into your heart.
Sooner or later everything becomes organized: prayer, meditation, everything. Then the glory is lost. Then you can go on doing it. You may become absolutely perfect, skilled – it may also give some sort of consolation – but the mutation will be missing. You will remain the same, a continuity. It will not be a baptism: you will not die in it and you will not be reborn. That’s why my insistence is on searching for an alive master.
Scriptures are there. At one time those rivers were flowing, but now they are frozen, they are lost in the desert land of churches, temples and organizations. The poetry no longer throbs in them, they are dead dogmas, arguments; the love has disappeared. Remember this always: if you can find a living master, forget all about scriptures. The living master is the only scripture that is alive. Read his heart and allow your heart to be read by him. Be in a communion; that is the only way.
Jesus worked the same way as you feel with me, but twenty centuries have passed. The first disciples who came around him staked their lives, they left all that they had, they moved with this man, they risked everything. It was worth it. This man was a treasure of the world, unknown. Nothing was too much. Whatever was asked they did. They had the opportunity to walk with a god on this earth, to be in close affinity with divinity. Others were saying, “This man is wrong,” but those who were close to him knew that only this man was right. And if this man was not right, then nothing could be right – then “right” cannot exist. They crucified this man, but those who were close knew that you cannot crucify him. This man had already entered immortality, this man had already become part of their immortal souls. You can kill the body, but not the spirit.
They had lived, walked, breathed in the being of this man; they were transformed. It is not a question of technique. They prayed with this man, but the real thing was not prayer, the real thing was just to be in the presence of this man. This man had a presence.
Have you observed? Very few people have what you call presence. Rarely do you come across a person who has a presence: something indefinable around him, something that you suddenly feel but cannot indicate, something that fills you but is ineffable, something very mysterious and unknown. You cannot deny it, you cannot prove it. It is not the body because everybody has a body; it is not the mind because everybody has a mind. Sometimes a very beautiful body may be there, tremendously beautiful, but the presence is not there. Sometimes a genius mind is there, but the presence is not there; and sometimes you pass a beggar and you are filled, touched, stirred – a presence.
Those who were in the presence of Jesus, those who were in his satsang – those who lived close, those who lived in his milieu – breathed him. If you allow me to say it, those who drank him and ate him, who allowed him to enter their innermost shrine – that transformed, not the prayer; prayer was just an excuse to be with him. Even without prayer it would have happened, but without prayer they might not have found an excuse to be with him.
You are here with me. I go on inventing meditations for you. They are just excuses so that you can be here a little longer, a little while more, so that you can linger around me because nobody knows when my presence will touch you. Nothing can be said about it; it cannot be manipulated. It happens when it happens; nothing can be done directly for it. Just be here. Even without meditations the thing will happen, but without meditations you won’t have any excuse to be here.
I go on talking to you. Even without talk it can happen, it will happen, but if I don’t talk, by and by you will disappear because you won’t have an excuse. What are you doing here? I have to give you something to do so that you can be. I have to engage you and occupy you so that you don’t feel restless. The thing is going to happen from some other dimension, but when you are occupied that dimension remains open. If you are not occupied, you become too restless. All meditations and all prayers and all methods are toys invented for children to play with, but that is useful, very significant. Once you are occupied your innermost shrine is open to me: you are not restless, you are doing meditation. And then I can do my work – it is not good to say that I do my work – then it starts happening.
You are right, twenty years of Christian teaching, listening to The New Testament stories, may have been futile. Not because those stories are futile – they are superb as far as stories go. The poetry of The New Testament, the poetry of the whole Bible, is something not of this world. There are great poets – Shakespeare and Milton and Dante – but nobody can surpass the Bible. The poetry is tremendously simple, but it has some quality which ordinary poetry cannot have. It has awe; that is the religious quality.
Have you watched sometimes? You see a beautiful flower. You may appreciate it, it has an aesthetic quality. You appreciate it and you move ahead. You may see a beautiful face, even the face of a Cleopatra – the lines, the proportion, the marble-like body – but that too is aesthetic. And sometimes you come across a few things or a few beings that inspire not only aesthetic appreciation, but awe. What is awe?
Facing some thing or some being, thinking stops. Your mind cannot cope with it. You can cope with a Cleopatra, you can even cope with an Einstein: however abstruse, abstract, difficult, you can cope with it; just a little more training of the mind may be needed. But when you come across a Jesus or a Buddha the mind falls flat, it bogs down. Something is too much for it. You cannot think about anything, you are as if in a deep shock, and yet the shock is blissful. That is awe.
The Bible has awe in it, the quality of putting your mind completely at a stop. But that you will have to reach directly. The missionary, the priest, the bishop destroy it because they start interpreting. They put their minds in it and their minds are mediocre. It is as if you are looking at a tremendously beautiful thing from the mind of a very stupid man. Or you are looking at a mirror that is broken, completely broken – it has gathered rust, nothing can be mirrored perfectly – and you look in the mirror and see the moon, distorted. That’s how it has been happening.
The Bible is one of the greatest events in the world: very pure, purer than the Bhagavadgita because the Bhagavadgita is very refined. The people who created it were very cultured and educated, and of course whenever a thing becomes very refined it becomes ethereal, unearthly. The Bible is rooted in the earth. All the prophets of the Bible are people of the earth. Even Jesus moves on the earth: he is the son of a carpenter, uneducated, not knowing anything about aesthetics, poetics – nothing. If he speaks poetry, it is because he is, not knowing it at all, a poet. His poetry is raw and wild. Jesus has something of the peasant in him: wisdom but not knowledge. He is not a man of knowledge; no university would be willing to confer an honorary degree on him, no. He wouldn’t fit at Oxford or Cambridge; he would look very foolish in the gowns and clown-like caps. He would look very foolish, he wouldn’t fit. He belongs to the earth, to the village, to ordinary plain people.
Just the other night I was reading a small story, an Arabian story…

A man died. He had seventeen camels and three sons and he left a will in which, when it was opened and read, it was said that one-half of the camels should go to the first son, one-third to the second and one-ninth to the third.
The sons were nonplussed. What to do? Seventeen camels: one-half is to go to the first son. Is one to cut one camel in two? And that too won’t solve much because then one-third has to go to the second. That too won’t solve much: one-ninth has to go to the third. Almost all the camels would be killed.
Of course they went to the man of the town who was most knowledgeable: the Mulla: the pundit, the scholar, the mathematician. He thought hard, he tried hard, but he couldn’t find any solution because mathematics is mathematics. He said, “I have never divided camels in my life, this whole thing seems to be foolish. But you will have to cut them. If the will is to be followed exactly then the camels have to be cut, they have to be divided.” The sons were not ready to cut the camels. So what to do? Then somebody suggested, “It is better that you go to someone who knows something about camels, not about mathematics.”
So they went to the sheikh of the town who was an old man, uneducated, but wise through experience. They told him their problem. The old man laughed. He said, “Don’t be worried. It is simple.” He loaned one of his own camels to them – now there were eighteen camels – and then he divided. Nine camels were given to the first and he was satisfied, perfectly satisfied. Six camels were given to the second: one-third; he was also perfectly satisfied. And two camels were given to the third: one-ninth; he was also satisfied. One camel was left. That was loaned. He took his camel back and said, “You can go.”

Wisdom is practical, knowledge impractical. Knowledge is abstract, wisdom is earthly; knowledge is just words, wisdom is experience.
The Bible is very simple. Don’t be deceived by its simplicity. In its simplicity it has the wisdom of the ages. It is very poetic; I have never come across anything more poetic than the Bible. One can simply go on relishing it, one can go on repeating the words of Jesus. They come from the heart and they go to the heart. But don’t go through a mediator. Those mediators are mediocres, they destroy the whole thing. I have looked through many commentaries on the Bible, but I have never come across a single intelligent commentary. They all destroy. I have never seen any single commentary from any theologian who has added anything to the Bible, who has in any way made its glory more manifest. They dim it. And that is bound to be so. Only a man of the quality of Jesus can reveal the truth of it, only a man of the quality of Jesus can enhance its beauty. People who live in the dark valleys and people who live on the sunny peaks of the Himalayas don’t understand each other’s language. When the man from the peak speaks and the man from the valley interprets, everything goes wrong.
Yes, it is right; your twenty years may have been wasted. But it will be a total misunderstanding if you think that Jesus is not for you. Jesus is for all, that is not the question. Go direct: become more meditative, become more prayerful, and go direct. And forget all that has been told to you about the Bible; the Bible is enough.
In a sense if you want to understand the Upanishads, it may be difficult to understand them directly because they are very refined. The people who were talking in the Upanishads were great philosophers; they need commentaries. But Jesus is plain, his truth is plain. He is a very ordinary villager; no commentary is needed. He is his own light. And if you cannot understand Jesus, who will you be able to understand? Throw all the foolish commentaries away. Go direct. Jesus is so simple you can have a direct contact.
I am not commenting on Jesus, I am simply responding. I am not a commentator. To be a commentator is to do a very ugly job. Why should I comment on Jesus? He is plain, he is absolutely simple. Just like two plus two make four; he is that simple. Just like in the morning the sun rises and everybody knows it is morning. He is so simple. I am not commenting on him, I am responding. I read his words: something echoes in me. That is not a commentary. My heart throbs with him, something parallel echoes in me, and I tell you what it is.
So don’t take my words as commentaries. I am not trying to explain Jesus to you, there is no need. I am simply mirroring; I am telling you my heart. I am telling you what happens to me when I am listening to Jesus.

The second question:
Often during the lecture I find a part of me waiting for your glance. When you finally look at me, something in me runs away. The feeling is like being in a desert, waiting for ages for some water to come, and when it finally rains, the mouth snaps shut. Why is this?
No need to think there is some great secret in it: just the woman, just the woman within you. That is the way of the woman. She waits for something, she attracts something, she asks, invites something, and when it comes she becomes afraid and escapes. It is the way of all women. And unless you understand it and drop it, your whole life will become miserable.
First you attract, and when the thing that you have invited comes to you, you become afraid and you escape. This hide-and-seek goes on. This has been my observation: the feminine mind asks for something, but when it rains, it is never there to receive it. So the feminine mind becomes a long endless waiting. Every moment the fulfillment was possible, but whenever it comes close, the woman becomes afraid. The woman asks for love and is afraid of love because when love comes, it brings death with it. Love has to bring death because only then can you be reborn. There is no other way.
I will read the question again: “Often during the lecture I find a part of me waiting for your glance. When you finally look at me, something in me runs away.” You wait for my glance. A deep love arises in you, a waiting. But when my glance comes to you, it brings death. Then you become afraid, you escape because you were waiting for love and the glance brings death also. It brings love also, but love and death are two aspects of the same glance. If I really love you, I have to be a death to you. There is no other way, the love cannot happen in any other way. And when the glance penetrates you, something shrinks, escapes; something runs away, becomes afraid. Then my glance moves. Then you are again at ease waiting for me.
There is no other secret in it: just the woman. And when I say “the woman” you should not misunderstand me. Many men behave just like a woman. In love everybody behaves like a woman. You would like to take a jump into the unknown and you don’t want to renounce the known. You want to move on two boats together and they are moving in different dimensions, diametrically opposite. You want to be yourself, and you would like to have a new life also.
You ask the impossible. You want to cling to whatever you have and you would like to grow also – and that very clinging is preventing you from growth. No, both are not possible together.
When you wait for my glance you wait as you are, but when I come and knock at your door I have come to destroy you as you are, because I know that only then will the hidden within you be released. Then you become afraid.
People like freedom, but they are fearful also. When the freedom is not there they think about it, they dream about it, they fantasize, but when freedom comes they become afraid because freedom brings with it many more things than they ever thought about. Freedom brings insecurity. Freedom brings adventure, but insecurity also. Freedom brings a bigger sky, it gives you wings, but then the bigger sky can be dangerous also. Freedom is very dangerous. To live in freedom is to live dangerously. You come to me, you seek freedom, but deep down I see you are also saying, “Don’t make us free, please don’t push us into freedom. Let us cling to you, let us depend on you.” And you go on asking and praying, “Give us freedom.” With one hand you ask, with another hand you deny; one part of you says yes, another part of you goes on saying no.
Have you watched your mind? You say yes–no together. Maybe one is a little louder and the other is not so loud, maybe you are very cunning and you don’t listen to the other when you say the one, but just be a little watchful. Whenever you say yes, just by the side lingers the no. Then you are in a constant conflict. You would like for me to come to your door. But then you will close the door because I will come as I am, not as you expect me. I will come as I am, not according to your dreams.
Always remember to find the small causes for the things that happen in you and around you. Sometimes you start asking for very deep and great reasons which are not there – and particularly in the West, about everything, because of the two hundred years of psychology, and the training in psychology and psychiatry. The knowledge of psychology has become common knowledge, everybody knows about it. People go on digging deep into small things which have nothing much in them, simple facts, and they go on bringing things up which are not at all connected.
Just this morning I was reading an anecdote…

A psychoanalyst and a friend were standing looking at the sky through the window and discussing something. The psychoanalyst said, “Remarkable! Look!” Some work was going on. A building was to be demolished and a few laborers were working with barrows. He said, “Look, twelve people are working with barrows: eleven are pushing them in front of them and one is pulling it. Eleven pushing, one pulling: there must be an explanation for it. There must be some deep-rooted inhibition in that man. Or something happened in childhood with his parents, something to do with a primal. There must be some deep-rooted problem involved. We must go and ask.” So they went down.
They stopped the laborer who was pulling the barrow behind him and the psychoanalyst said, “Please, just help us to discover something very deep-rooted in you. Eleven people are pushing their barrows in front of themselves; only you are pulling your barrow. There must be some explanation for it. Something tremendously traumatic must have happened in your childhood, a deep repression, obsession, compulsion – some complex. Please tell us something about it. What do you feel?”
The laborer looked at them and said, “Blimey, guv’nor, I just hates the sight of the thing, that’s all. That’s why I’m carrying it behind.” Just hates the sight of the thing!

There is nothing to it, you are just a woman. Go beyond it. Man has to go beyond his manhood and woman has to go beyond her womanhood. And when you are neither man nor woman you will be able to allow my glance to reach the deepest core of your being. Then you will be able to open your doors. Then my knock will not go unanswered.

The third question:
Surely that which happens in the instant of death by drowning is the true explanation of Jesus' baptism at the hands of John. Was not the skill and strength of the baptist that of taking a man to that point, and the preparation you talk of beforehand employed so that a man be transformed by the experience rather than terrified by it?
Yes, exactly so. Baptism is possible only when you are ready to die. That is the symbolic meaning: John the Baptist used to take his disciples to the river when they were ready to die, when they were ready to let go, when they were ready to flow with the river. When the resistance was broken, when they were no longer fighting, when the whole struggle to survive had disappeared, only then would he take them to the river. They were ready to be drowned by him, to be murdered by him.
There is a story I would like to tell you about a Sufi mystic, Sheik Farid…

Farid was going to the river one day to take his morning bath. A seeker followed him and asked, “Please, just wait for one minute. You look so filled with the divine, but I don’t even feel a desire for it. You look so mad and just watching you I have come to feel that there must be something in it. You are so happy and blissful and I am so miserable, but even the desire to seek the divine is not there. So what to do? How to create the desire?”
Farid looked at the man and said, “Come with me. I am going to take my morning bath. You also take a bath with me in the river, and maybe right while you are taking a bath the answer can be given. Otherwise we will see after the bath. Come with me.”
The man became a little puzzled. This Sheik Farid looked a little mad. How was he going to answer while taking a bath? But nobody knows the ways of the mystics, so the man followed. They both went in the river and when the man was taking a dip, Farid jumped on him and pressed him down in the river. The man started feeling restless. What type of answer was this? At first he thought Farid was joking, but then it became dangerous, he was not going to leave him! He struggled hard.
Farid was a very heavy, strong man and the seeker was very thin, as seekers are. But when your life is at stake, even that thin-looking man threw Farid off, jumped on him and said, “Are you a murderer? What are you doing? I am a poor man. I have just come to ask you how the desire can arise in one’s heart to seek the divine, and you were going to kill me!”
Farid said, “Wait. A few questions first. When I was pressing you down in the river and you were suffocating, how many thoughts were in your mind?”
The man said, “How many? Only one thought: how to get back to the air to take a breath.”
Farid asked, “How long did that one thought stay?”
The man said, “That too did not stay long because my life was at stake. You can afford thinking when nothing is at stake. My life was in danger – even that thought disappeared. Then to come out of the river was not a thought, it was my whole being.”
Farid said, “You have understood. This is the answer. If you are feeling suffocated in this world, pressed from all sides, and if you feel nothing is going to happen in this world except death, then the desire to seek truth or God or whatever you name it will arise. And that too will not last long. By and by that desire is no longer a desire, it becomes your being. The very thirst becomes your being. I have shown you the path,” said Farid. “Now you can go.”

Just try to understand the whole situation in the world: if it is already destroying you, jump out of it. The real question is not how to seek God; the real question is how to understand that where you are thinking life is, there is no life but only death.
John the Baptist, or anybody who has ever baptized anybody else, who has ever initiated anybody else, who has ever brought anybody out of the world of dreams to the world of truth, has to prepare you for death. Yes, that is the meaning. By baptism he was saying, “Your old self has gone down the river, you are no longer the same. A new identity has arisen; now you have a new nucleus. Function through it and don’t function through the past.”
The same has been done through initiation by fire. In India initiation by fire, not by water, has traditionally been used. There have been a few side currents that have been using water baptism also, but the main current in India has been using fire. So in every master’s house – what they used to call a gurukul, the family of the master – there was a fire constantly burning in the middle of the house, a constantly burning fire, twenty-four hours a day. All the teachings were delivered near the fire. By and by, the fire symbol became deep-rooted in the disciples.
There is a beautiful story in the old Upanishads about when a disciple, a very famous disciple, Svetketu, was with his master…

The master waited for twelve years and wouldn’t initiate him into the mysteries. The disciple served and served, tending the fire in the house – the fire had to be kept lit for twenty-four hours. It is said that the fire itself became very worried about this Svetketu. For twelve years he had been serving the fire, tending it, bringing wood from the forest. The story is beautiful. It says that the fire became worried. Even the fire started feeling that the master was a little too hard, a little unjust. The fire started feeling compassion for Svetketu.
The fire talked to the master’s wife when the master was out and said, “This is going too far. This Svetketu has been serving so silently for twelve years. He has earned it already; the secret has to be revealed to him. Persuade your husband.”
“But,” the wife said, “he won’t listen. If I say anything, he may even become harder. He is not a man who can be persuaded. One has to wait. He knows how to work and how not to work, what to do and what not to do, and I cannot say anything.”
It is said that the fire became so concerned that the fire itself revealed the secret to Svetketu. And when the secret was revealed, the master danced. He said, “Svetketu, I was waiting because when the fire reveals itself, that’s something. I was forcing the fire itself to reveal the secret because compassion will arise, existence is compassionate. I could have given you the secret any day, but that would not have been so vital; it would have been from me. But now the doors of existence have been opened for you by existence itself. Now you are in communion with fire itself, you have been initiated by fire.”

What secret can the fire give to you? – the secret of death. In India we have been burning dead bodies to make it deeply associated with death, so that fire becomes associated with death. Even those who are not seekers also know that fire is the symbol of death: one dies in it. But those who know and seek on the path also know that one is resurrected through it: dies and is reborn. But in both cases, whether through water or fire, death is the point. One has to die to attain life abundant, one has to carry one’s cross. Nobody else can initiate you, only death. Death is the master. Or, the master is death.
If you are ready to die, nobody can prevent you from being reborn. But this death should not be suicidal. Many people commit suicide. They are not resurrected. A suicidal death is not a death through understanding; a suicidal death is a death through misunderstanding. You die confused, in agony. You die obsessed with the world, you die attached to the world. You die as a complaint.
Watch people who think of committing suicide. They are not against life. In fact on the contrary, they are so attached to life that life cannot fulfill them. They take revenge, they complain. They kill themselves just to lodge a complaint against the whole existence – that it was not a fulfillment. They are grumbling; they are saying, “Life is not worth it.” But why is life not worth living? They expected too much; that’s why it is not worth it. They asked too much; they never earned it. They asked too much and it was not delivered. They are frustrated.
One who is ready to die without frustration – seeing the truth of life, seeing the truth that life is just a dream, it cannot fulfill anything – knows it cannot frustrate also. Both fulfillment and frustration are part of the illusion that life is real. One who sees that life is unreal, just like a dream, becomes detached. A renunciation comes.
In the Upanishads there is one very vital saying: “Ten tykten bhunjithah: those who have indulged in life have always renounced.” It is very revolutionary; the implication is tremendous. It says: those who have indulged in life are bound to renounce because they have seen the truth – that life is false. They have looked into it and found nothing. Not that they are frustrated, because if you are frustrated that only shows that you were still expecting something. Frustration shows deep expectation. One who has become aware that life can only promise but can never deliver – it is a dream – is neither frustrated nor fulfilled in life. Then comes renunciation. Renunciation is not leaving life; renunciation is seeing life as it is. Then one is ready to die because there is nothing in life.
That readiness for death is the point John the Baptist was driving people toward. When they were ready, he would bring them to the River Jordan and do the ritual, the final touch. With the water flowing over the head and down the river, the ego, the old personality, is gone. Pure essence – bathed in a new sense of being, with a new mystery of being alive, with a new sense of existence – is born.
Of course, death can either be a very terrifying experience or tremendously beautiful. It depends on the attitude. If you feel terrified in death then you will die, but you will not be resurrected. If death becomes a beautiful experience, then you are dying and at the same time resurrecting. Ordinarily death is terror; that’s why you are so afraid to die. In life nothing beautiful happens until you die, but you are terrified. A master has to persuade you, by and by, about the beauty of death. He has to sing the glories of death. He has, by and by, to convince you and create a trust in death so that you can let go. Once you let go nothing dies, only the ego. You remain for ever and ever.
You are eternity, you cannot die, the fear is absolutely futile and unbased. But the ego has to die. The ego is a created phenomenon: it was not there when you were born. Society created it, society has given you the ego, and that ego can be taken by the society, and that ego is absolutely going to be taken by death. You will go as you had come: empty-handed you come, empty-handed you go. The ego is just an illusion in between. That ego is afraid of death. Once you understand that you are not going to die – only the ego, only the disease – you are ready. You are ready for baptism.

The fourth question:
You say that seriousness is a disease. Whenever I remember myself, I feel serious. So what should I do?
Don’t get serious about it. Let it be so, and laugh. If you can laugh at yourself, everything is okay. People laugh at others, but never laugh at themselves. It has to be learned. If you can laugh at yourself, seriousness is already gone. It cannot make its abode within you if you are capable of laughing at yourself.
In Zen monasteries every monk has to laugh. The first thing to do in the morning is to laugh, the very first thing. The moment the monk becomes aware that he is no longer asleep, he has to jump out of bed, stand in a posture like a buffoon, like a circus clown, and start laughing – laughing at himself. There cannot be any better beginning of the day. Laughing at oneself kills the ego, and you are more transparent, lighter when you move in the world. And if you have laughed at yourself, others’ laughter toward you won’t disturb you. In fact they are simply cooperating, they are doing the same thing that you were doing. You will feel happy.
To laugh at others is egoistic; to laugh at oneself is very humble. Learn to laugh at yourself – about your seriousness and things like that. But you can get serious about seriousness; then instead of one, you have created two diseases. Then you can get serious about that also, and you can go on and on. There is no end to it; it can go on ad nauseam. So take hold of it from the very beginning. The moment you feel you are serious, laugh about it and look for where the seriousness is. Laugh, give a good laugh, close the eyes and look for where it is. You will not find it. It exists only in a being who cannot laugh.
A more unfortunate situation cannot be conceived, a poorer being cannot be conceived of than the man who cannot laugh at himself. So start the morning by laughing at yourself, and whenever you can find a moment in the day when you have nothing to do, have a good laugh for no particular reason – just because the whole world is so absurd, just because the way you are is so absurd. There is no need to find any particular reason. The whole thing is such that one has to laugh.
Let the laughter be a belly laughter, not a heady thing. One can laugh from the head – then it is dead. From the head everything is dead; the head is absolutely mechanical. You can laugh from the head, then your head will create the laughter, but it will not go deep in the belly to the hara. It will not go to your toes, it will not go to your whole body. Real laughter has to be just like a small child laughs. Watch his belly shaking, his whole body throbbing with it. He wants to roll on the floor because it is a question of totality. He laughs so much that he starts crying; he laughs so deeply that the laughter becomes tears, tears come out of him. Laughter should be deep and total. This is the medicine that I prescribe for seriousness.
You would like me to give you some serious medicine. That won’t help. You have to be a little foolish. In fact the highest pinnacle of wisdom always carries foolishness in it, the greatest wise men of the world were also the greatest fools. It will be hard to understand. You cannot think of how they can be fools because your mind always divides: a wise man can never be a fool, and a fool can never be a wise man. Both attitudes are wrong. There have been great fools who were very wise.
In the old days, in every king’s court there was a great fool – the court fool. He was a balancing force because too much wisdom can be foolish, too much of anything can be foolish. Somebody was needed who could bring things back to earth. A fool was needed in the kings’ courts who would help them laugh, otherwise wise people tend to become serious, and seriousness is an illness. Out of seriousness you lose proportion, you lose perspective. So every king’s court had a fool, a great fool, who would say things and do things and bring things back to the earth.
I have heard…

An emperor had a fool. One day the emperor was looking in the mirror. The fool came, jumped, and hit him with his feet in the back. The emperor fell against the mirror. He was, of course, very angry and he said, “Unless you can give some reason for your foolish act which is more foolish than the act itself, you will be sentenced to death.”
The fool said, “My Lord, I never thought that you were here. I thought the queen was standing here.”
He had to be pardoned because he had given a reason that was even more foolish. But to find such a reason, the fool must have been very wise.

Every great wise man – Lao Tzu, Jesus – has a certain quality of sublime foolishness. This has to be so because otherwise a wise man will be a man without salt, he will taste awful. He has to be a little foolish also. Then things are balanced. Look at Jesus riding on a donkey and saying to people, “I am the son of God.” Look at it; he must have been both. People must have laughed, “What are you saying? Saying such things and behaving in such a way.”
I know that’s how perfect wisdom appears. Lao Tzu says, “Everybody is wise, except me. I seem to be foolish. Everybody’s mind is clear; only my mind seems to be murky and muddled. Everybody knows what to do and what not to do; only I am confused.” What does he mean? He is saying: “In me, wisdom and foolishness meet together.” And when wisdom and foolishness meet together there is a transcendence.
So don’t be serious about seriousness. Laugh about it, be a little foolish. Don’t condemn foolishness; it has its own beauties. If you can be both, you will have a quality of transcendence within you.
The world has become more and more serious. Hence so much cancer, so much heart disease, so much high blood pressure, so much madness. The world has been moved, forced, too much toward one extreme. Be a little foolish also. Laugh a little, be like a child. Enjoy a little, don’t carry a serious face everywhere, and suddenly you will find a deeper health arising in you. Deeper sources of your health become available.
Have you ever heard about any fool who went mad? It has never happened. I have always been searching for a report of any foolish man who went mad. I have not come across one. Of course a fool cannot go mad – because to be mad you need to be very serious.
I have also been searching to see if fools are in any way prone to be healthier than the so-called wise. And it is so: fools are healthier than the so-called wise. They live in the moment and they know that they are fools, so they are not worried about what others think about them. That worry becomes a cancerous phenomenon in the mind and body. They live long and they have the last laugh.
Remember that life should be a deep balancing, a very deep balancing. Then, just in the middle, you escape. The energy surges high, you start moving upward. And this should be so about all opposites. Don’t be a man and don’t be a woman: be both so that you can be neither. Don’t be wise, don’t be a fool: be both so you can go beyond.

The fifth question:
Please explain why we don't feel the divine which is here–now, within–without, which is you–me, and all.
This is from Swami Yoga Chinmaya. It is because you are too much, and too heavy on yourself. Because you cannot laugh, the divine is hidden, and because you are too tense, you are closed. And these things that you think – that the divine is here–now, within–without, you–me – are only head things, they are not your feelings. They are thoughts, not realizations. If you go on thinking on these lines they will never become experiences. You can convince yourself by a thousand and one arguments that this is so, but they will never become your experience. You will go on missing. It is not a question of argument, philosophy, thinking, contemplation – no. It is a question of drowning yourself deep in the feeling of the phenomenon. One has to feel it, not to think about it. And to feel it, one has to disappear.
You are trying an absolutely impossible thing: by thinking, you are trying to realize God. It will remain a philosophy, it will never become your experience, and unless it is an experience it is not liberating. It will become a bondage; you will die in that bondage of words.
You are too much – Yoga Chinmaya’s head has to be cut off, beheaded, completely – too much in the head, and too much of yourself. God is not more important, you are more important. You want to know God: God is not the emphasis, you are the emphasis. You want to achieve God: not that God is important, you are important – and how can you live without achieving God? God has to be possessed, but the emphasis is on you. That’s why you go on missing.
Drop the “you.” Then there is no need to worry about God; he comes by himself. Once you are not, he comes. Once you are absent, his presence is felt. Once you are empty, he is rushing toward you. Drop all the philosophies and all that you have learned, and all that you have borrowed, and all that has become heavy on the head.
Drop it, be clean of it; it is all rot. Once you are clean, in that cleanliness you start feeling something arising. In that innocence is virginity. God is always available.

The last question:
How is it possible that the mind can go on producing thoughts constantly, and how can we stop that which we have not started?
You cannot stop that which you have not started. Don’t try it, otherwise you will simply be wasting time, energy, life. You cannot stop the mind because you have not started it. You can simply watch, and in watching it stops. Not that you stop it; in watching it stops. The stopping is a function of watching, it is a consequence of watching – not that you stop it. There is no way to stop the mind. If you try to stop it, it will go faster; if you try to stop it, it will fight with you and create a thousand and one troubles for you. Never try to stop it. This is exactly the truth: you have not started it, so who are you to stop it? It has come through your unawareness; it will go through your awareness. You have nothing to do to stop it. Become more and more alert.
Even the idea that one has to stop it will be the barrier because you can say, “Okay, now I will try to be aware so that I can stop it.” Then you miss the point. Then even your awareness won’t be of much help because again the same idea is there: how to stop it. Then after a few days of futile effort – futile because it will not happen because the idea is there – you will come to me and you will say, “I have been trying to be aware, but the mind doesn’t stop.”
It cannot be stopped; no method exists to stop it. But it stops – not that you stop it, it stops by itself. Simply watch; in watching, you withdraw the energy that helps it to run. In watching, the energy becomes the watcher and the thinking automatically becomes feebler and feebler and feebler. Thoughts are there, but they become impotent because the energy is not available. They will move around you, half dead, but by and by more energy will be coming to the awareness. One day suddenly the energy is no longer moving into thoughts. They have disappeared. They cannot exist without your energy. So please forget about stopping them. That is none of your business.
And the second thing, you ask: “How is it possible that the mind can go on producing thoughts constantly?” It is just a natural process. Just like your heart goes on beating constantly, your mind goes on thinking constantly; just like your body goes on breathing constantly, your mind goes on thinking constantly; just like your blood goes on circulating constantly and your stomach goes on digesting continuously, the mind goes on thinking constantly. There is no problem in it, it is simple. But you are not identified with the blood circulation, you don’t think that you are circulating. In fact you are not even conscious that the blood circulates; it goes on circulating, you have nothing to do with it. The heart goes on beating; you don’t think that you are beating. With the mind, the problem has arisen because you think that you are thinking; the mind has become a focus of identity. The identity just has to be broken. It is not that when the mind has stopped, it will not think forever, no. It will think only when it is needed; it will not think when it is not needed. Thinking will be there, but now it will be natural: a response, a spontaneous activity, not an obsession.
For example, you eat when you are hungry. But you can get obsessed and can go on eating the whole day. Then you will go mad; then you will commit suicide. You walk when you want to walk. When you want to go somewhere, you move your legs. If you go on moving your legs when you are sitting on the chair, people will think you are mad and that something has to be done to stop you. If you ask how to stop these legs which are moving and if somebody says, “Stop them by holding them with your hands, force them,” you will be in even more trouble because the legs are moving and now the hands are also engaged, and your whole effort is how to stop them. Now your energy is fighting with yourself. You have become identified with the mind, that’s all. That too is natural because the mind is so close to you and you have to use the mind so much.
One is constantly sitting there. It is as if a driver has been driving a car for years and has never been out of the car. He has forgotten that he can go out, that he is a driver. He has forgotten completely; he thinks that he himself is the car. He cannot go out because who is there to go out? He has forgotten how to open the door, or the door is completely stuck by not having been used for years, it has gathered rust, it cannot open easily. The driver has been in the car so much that he has become the car, that’s all. A misunderstanding has arisen. Now he cannot stop the car, because how is he to stop it? Who is going to stop it?
In the mind you are just the driver. It is a mechanism around you, your consciousness goes on using it. But you have never been out of your head. That’s why I insist: drop a little out of the head, go to the heart. From the heart you will have a better perspective that the car is separate from you. Or try to go out of the body. That too is possible. Out of the body you will be absolutely out of the car. You will be able to see that neither the body nor the heart nor the mind is you; you are separate.
Right now, continue to remember only one thing, that you are separate. From everything that surrounds you, you are separate. The knower is not the known. Go on feeling it more and more so that it becomes a substantial crystallization in you that the knower is not the known. You know the thought, you see the thought – how can you be the thought? You know the mind – how can you be the mind? Just drop away; a little distance is needed. One day when you are really distant, thinking stops. When the driver is out, the car stops because there is nobody to drive it now. Then you will have a good laugh, seeing that it has just been a misunderstanding. Now, whenever you need it, think.
You ask a question to me: I respond. The mind functions. I have to talk to you through the mind; there is no other way to talk. But when I am alone, the mind doesn’t function. The mind has not lost the capacity to function. In fact it has gained more capacity to function and to function rightly; because it is not constantly functioning, it gathers energy, it becomes clearer. So “when the mind stops” does not mean that you will not be able to think again. In fact, only after that will you be able to think for the first time. Just to be engaged in relevant, irrelevant, thoughts is not thinking. It is a mad sort of thing. To be clear, clean, innocent, is to be on the right path for thinking. Then when a problem arises you are not confused; you don’t look at the problem through prejudices. You look directly at it, and in that direct look the problem starts melting. If the problem is a problem, it will melt and disappear. If the problem is not a problem but a mystery, it will melt and deepen. And then you will be able to see what a problem is. A problem is that which can be solved by the mind.
A mystery is that which cannot be solved by the mind. A mystery has to be lived; a problem has to be solved. When you are in the thoughts too much, you cannot know what is a mystery and what is a problem. Sometimes you take a mystery as a problem. Then your whole life you struggle and it is never solved. And sometimes you think of a problem as a mystery and you foolishly wait. It could have been solved.
A clarity, a perspective, is needed. When thinking – this constant inner chattering and inner talk – stops, and you have become alert and aware, you are capable of seeing things as they are, you are capable of finding solutions and you are also capable of knowing what a mystery is. And when you come to feel a mystery, you feel reverence, you feel awe. That is the religious quality of being. To feel reverence is to be religious; to feel awe is to be religious. To be so deeply in wonder that you have again become a child is to enter the kingdom of God.
Enough for today.

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