Come Follow Yourself Vol 03 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Come Follow Yourself Vol 03 by Osho.
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The first question:
How would you describe your particular path to enlightenment in relationship to other traditional paths such as the various kinds of Yoga, Sufism, Buddhism, Zen, Christianity, etcetera?
I have no particular path. I don’t belong to any path whatever, and therefore all paths belong to me. Each path is perfect in itself, but each path can help only a very minor part of humanity. Each path exists for a particular type. It is complete in itself – nothing is to be added to it, nothing is to be deducted from it. As it is, it is perfect. But it can help only a particular type. Humanity is vast; one path cannot carry the whole of humanity – all paths are needed. In fact as the human mind changes, more new paths have to evolve. With the mind changing, many old paths have become useless, by and by, or can be used only by a very few individuals.
I use all paths. Whenever I see a seeker, I start looking into him – what type he is and what type of path will be helpful to him. I may not use the name of the path because those names have become too loaded. If a Hindu comes to me and I say to him, “Sufism is your path,” he will not be able to understand, he will be immediately closed to it. A Hindu cannot conceive himself on the path of Mohammedans – that’s impossible for him.
I will not talk about Sufism, but whatever I give him will be Sufism. To me the path is not important, but the seeker. Paths exist for you, not vice versa. You don’t exist for any path or any doctrine. All doctrines, all paths, all dogmas, exist for you. If they are helpful, good; if they are not helpful, they have to be thrown on the rubbish heap.
Man is important because man carries the potentiality of being God. Paths are just means; use them, but don’t be used by them. Remain masters, and always remember that you are the end. Nothing else is more important than you, than your innermost core. If you remember this, you can use many paths and you can be enriched in many ways.
And this is my understanding: the more you travel, the more you walk on many paths and the more open you become, the more enriched you are. The whole past of humanity belongs to you. If you are a Mohammedan, don’t say that only Mohammed belongs to you, Buddha is also yours, Christ also. The whole past of humanity is your heritage. Why be poor? Why say, “I am a Hindu and only Krishna belongs to me and Christ is a stranger. I won’t allow him in my house; only Krishna is allowed”? If only Krishna is allowed, then you will have only one door to your house, only one room to your house – then you cannot be multidimensional. But if Christ also comes, and Mohammed is also welcomed, then you will have an enrichment; then you have different flowers in your garden, then you will have many types of diamonds in your treasury.
Don’t confine yourself. Remain open, welcome everything that has happened on the earth. And all is yours; claim it and use whatever you can use for your own growth. Don’t stick and don’t cling, otherwise you will be frozen. My whole effort here is to melt you so that you can start flowing in many currents.
You are frozen. Somebody is a frozen Christian, somebody is a frozen Hindu, somebody is a frozen Jain, somebody is a frozen Buddhist – all dead. Melt, become a little warmer. You have become so cold and so closed. Become warm; allow the sun’s rays to work on you. And don’t protect yourself. Become vulnerable; melt in a thousand and one currents – unafraid and fearless, start flowing.
God comes through a thousand and one ways, and if he comes through a thousand and one ways, let him come that way. Let yourself be introduced to God through as many possibilities as possible. Why cling to one form? Why cling to one name? All names are his and all forms are his. And the more you become acquainted that all forms are his, the more possibility there is that you will become aware that he is formless. Otherwise, how can all forms be his? Only the formless can manifest itself in millions of forms. Only the pathless can be traveled through so many paths, and only the gateless can be achieved through so many gates.
Don’t be poor. Become rich and claim the whole heritage of man. That’s why I go on talking of Christ, Mahavira, Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu. This is nothing but to show you that the whole of humanity is yours. You are vast; you are not frozen dead particles. You are alive beings, and life is infinite.
I have no particular path; all paths are mine. I am not concerned with paths. I am concerned with you, I look into you because you are important. You are the goal, and nothing else matters. Then I decide what will be suitable for you. Sometimes one path is suitable for you, sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes many. It depends how you have grown in your past lives. You may once have been a Mohammedan and you worked a little on that path, you progressed a little on that way. Then you became a Christian, and you worked on that path a little. Then you became a Buddhist. You have lived so many lives. You have forgotten them; I cannot forget them. You can be forgiven if you forget. I cannot be forgiven if I forget.
When I look into you, I don’t look only into your present because in your present all your past is involved; it is there in its totality, layer upon layer. You are an infinite territory. When I look into you, I look at how many ways you have been working upon yourself – a little on this path, a little on that. Then both the paths will be helpful to you, then a synthesis has already happened in you.
I’m not for synthesis, for any artificial combination; I’m not in favor of it. I’m not in favor of synthesizing Christianity with Hinduism. But what can I do? I am helpless, it has happened in you. You have once been a Mohammedan, then a Hindu, then a Christian. What can I do? It is in your blood, in your consciousness; the synthesis has already happened. I’m not trying to synthesize, but for you a synthetic path in which all the three are involved will be helpful. It will give you a sudden surge of energy, it will release something within you. You will start flowering in many directions immediately, and many flowers are to come.
When I see that a man has been consistently following one path, then there is no need for synthesis. Then he has to follow that path. If one has been for at least seven lives a Buddhist, then there is no need – then it will be confusing for him to give him something else. He has already worked hard on a particular path; now he has to be helped on the same path.
So when you come to me, if you are a Buddhist and you have been a Buddhist in your past lives, I am here to make you a greater Buddhist. If you come to me and you have been a Christian in your past lives, I am here to make you a greater Christian. I may not tell you that I am helping you to be a Christian, but don’t be deceived by the appearances. I may not be saying that I am helping you to be a Buddhist, but I am doing that. One day, when the light dawns on you, you will suddenly realize that I was not a detractor. I have not taken you on another path that you were not on. I have simply helped you on the same path because all paths are mine. No particular path is mine. In that way I am richer than anybody else who has ever existed in the world. They had particular paths. Christ cannot say to you what I am saying, Mahavira cannot say to you what I am saying. They had particular paths – I have none. I claim the whole of humanity.

The second question:
What is the difference between being a fatalist and just floating, feeling everything is beautiful?
A vast difference, a lot of difference – and the difference is not of quantity, the difference is of quality. The fatalist is one who has not understood life, but who has felt failure. A fatalist is one who feels helpless, frustrated. In fatalism, he seeks consolation. He says, “It was going to be so.” He’s trying to avoid that he has failed. It was going to be so, so what can he do? He is throwing the responsibility on fate, on God, on XYZ. “I’m not responsible, what can I do? It was written in my fate. It was predetermined, predestined.” He is saying, “I’m not responsible.” He has failed. In deep frustration he is trying to find some refuge, some shelter. Fatalism is a consolation.
And the other thing, “just floating, feeling everything is beautiful” is not a consolation – it is an understanding. It is not fatalism, it is not failure; it is not helplessness. It is simply a deep insight into reality, as things are. It is to understand that you are a very small part of the cosmic whole – and you are not separate. You are one with the continent – you are not an island.
The understanding that the ego is false, the understanding that the separation is false, the understanding that you don’t have a separate destiny from the whole – that a drop in the ocean need not worry about its own destiny, the ocean has to worry about it – is not helplessness. In fact it releases tremendous power. Once you are unburdened by yourself, once you are no longer worried about yourself, you become a tremendous energy. Then the energy is no longer struggling. Now it floats; now you are not fighting with the whole, now you are with the whole, marching with the whole. Then you are not trying to prove anything against the whole because that is simply foolish.
It is as if my own hand starts fighting with me and starts trying to have its own destiny separate from me. I am going to the south, and my hand starts going to the north. It is so foolish, it is impossible – foolish, and impossible – and there is bound to be frustration. Sooner or later the hand will see that the hand wanted to go to the north, but it is going to the south. Deep in frustration, the hand will say, “It is fate. I am helpless.”
In fact the helplessness, the feeling of helplessness, arises because of the struggle. When you understand that you are part of the whole, that you are not separate at all, that in fact the whole has been trying to attain some heights through you – you are only a passage, a vehicle – suddenly all frustration disappears. When you don’t have a goal of your own, how can you be frustrated? When you don’t have to prove anything against anything, when you don’t have to struggle, there is no need for fatalism. You need not have any consolation. You simply dance with the whole, you flow with the whole; you know you are the whole.
That is the meaning when the Upanishads say, “Aham brahmasmi – I am God.” That is the meaning when Jesus says, “I and my God are one.” Not fatalism, not settling in helplessness – rather, knowing the fact that we are one with the whole. Then your atomic tinyness disappears. You become cosmic.
“…just floating, feeling everything is beautiful.” Then it happens. Then you just float, there is nothing else to do. The same energy that was trying to fight, surrenders. Then you are not pushing the river: you simply float on the river, and the river takes you. The river is already going to the ocean. You are unnecessarily worried. You can simply leave that responsibility to the river. Whether you leave it or not, it is already going.
Don’t fight, because in fight there is going to be frustration – in fight is the seed of frustration, and in frustration you will seek some way to console yourself. Then fatalism is born.
If you don’t fight, then everything is just beautiful. Why? – because then you don’t have any idea of your own to compare it with. Everything is beautiful, for how could it be otherwise? You don’t have any conflict, hence everything is beautiful. If the river turns to the right, you turn to the right – beautiful. If the river turns to the left – perfectly beautiful, you turn to the left. If you have some idea and some goal, if you say, “I am a leftist,” then there is going to be trouble. When the river starts turning toward the right, you will say, “Now this is going too far, now I cannot surrender. I am a leftist.” Then you will start fighting against the river, and then the river will not be beautiful because your notion, your idea, your ideal, has come in.
Whenever ideology comes in, things become ugly. All idealists live in hell. Ideology creates hell. If you don’t have any ideology you have nothing to compare, you don’t have any criterion. Then whatever is happening, is happening – you have nothing to compare it with. Then wherever the river is going, that is the only way to go. Then one simply allows existence to have its own way, one never comes in the way – a deep let-go.
Then everything is beautiful. And then you realize that it has never been otherwise; everything was beautiful, always. Look at the animals, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the trees. Ask the trees, ask the stones. Everything is beautiful. The trees must be very surprised that you look so sad. The trees must be puzzled that man looks so burdened when everything is so light and so floating. The birds must be laughing that you go on carrying such a load.
The load seems to be nowhere except in your mind. So burdened, you miss life; so burdened, you miss love; so burdened, you miss celebration; so burdened, you miss laughter. You cannot sing, you cannot dance, you cannot laugh. And because of this, you become desperate and you start fighting more. You think you are not fighting as much as you should. That’s why you are not so happy.

Once a man came to me, a very rich man, but very reluctant to accept the fact that he was not happy. People don’t accept that they are not happy. They are unhappy, but they won’t accept it because that is very ego shattering. They, and unhappy? Impossible.
I looked into the rich man. I see thousands of unhappy men, but he was rare – I have not found another so unhappy. And he had everything. He tried to smile and the smile was absolutely false, painted, just on the lips, not coming from anywhere – not coming from the inner being; just mentally created, a facade, a trick of the mind. I looked at the man and immediately felt that he was so unhappy, but also unable to accept being unhappy. So I said to him, “You look so happy. What are the reasons for your happiness?”
He looked surprised. He was never expecting that. He said, “What do you say – I, and happy?”
“Yes, I have never seen such a happy man. And that’s why I would like to know – enlighten me a little – what are the causes of your happiness?”
The man started enumerating, “I have so much money, a beautiful wife, children, palaces, cars, swimming pools” – this and that. But while he was enumerating, deep down there was only hell and darkness. And he knew it, and he could not believe that he had deceived me. But still he was trying.
Then I asked one more question, “You say that because of these things you are happy. Just one more question. You say that you are happy, I would like to know how much happiness has your happiness given you? How much happiness has your happiness really given you?”
Then he caught the point. He started crying and he said, “I am not happy. And you have caught me. I go on deceiving myself that I am happy. I go on deceiving others. I am desperate to prove that I am happy.”

Remember, only an unhappy man tries to prove that he is happy, only a sad man tries to prove that he is not sad, only a dead man tries to prove that he is alive, only a coward tries to prove that he is brave. Only a man who knows his inferiority tries to prove that he is superior. You go on trying to prove the opposite of what you are, and the possibility is ninety-nine out of a hundred that you are just the opposite. When you smile, I can see hidden tears. When you try to dance, I can see the rocklike heart within that cannot move. Dancing is impossible.
Why is man in such a plight? The whole world laughs, the trees laugh at you. You may not hear; you may be escaping, you may have become deaf. The birds laugh, the animals laugh. Something has gone wrong with man. What has gone wrong with him? – only one thing: the whole of nature is flowing and man is fighting. In nature, the ego does not exist. Trees are there, but without any egos. Only man has an ego, and that ego is the whole hell.
That ego needs continuous fight because it feeds on fight. The more you fight, the stronger your ego becomes. It is a fighter – that’s why surrender is so difficult. But unless you surrender, you will remain in misery. Surrender is the door to bliss, to beauty, to truth, to love, to life, to God. Surrender is the door, and when I say “surrender,” I don’t mean that surrender has to be toward someone. That is just an excuse – that you cannot surrender unless you have someone to surrender to. That’s why someone is needed. Otherwise there is no need. You can simply surrender, and the door is open.
That’s what Buddha says. He said, “Simply surrender.” But that looks very difficult for the mind; you need some excuse. Jesus says, “Surrender to God” – if you cannot just surrender, then surrender to God. Krishna says, “If you cannot surrender, then surrender to me. Let me be the excuse.” But when you surrender, then you know that Krishna tricked you. When you surrender, you will not find Krishna there. You will find the whole cosmos and you floating in it, part of it. Then you are no longer separate, not going on your way. Then everything is beautiful, blissful. Without conflict, ugliness disappears; without conflict, sadness disappears; without conflict, sorrow disappears. Then whatever is, is beautiful.
And it is so. But it is not fatalism. It is not an “ism” at all, it has nothing to do with a faith or predetermination or any nonsense. It has simply something to do with the insight, “I belong to the whole and the whole belongs to me – I am in my home, I am not a stranger, and there is no need to fight.”
With whom are you fighting? All fight is foolish, is stupid. Surrender is wisdom; fight is stupid. Float, flow with the flow, move with the whole. Don’t have private dreams and don’t have private goals. Don’t have a private ideology. Then this moment you live, and when the next moment comes, you live in it. If life is there, you live life; if death comes, you live death. Whatever happens, you are grateful.
I have heard…

A Sufi mystic used to pray and every day thank God. His disciples were worried. Many times they were very puzzled because sometimes it was okay to thank God because things were going well, but the man was absolutely unconcerned about things. Sometimes when things were going very badly, then too he would give thanks.
One day it was too much: the disciples had been hungry and starving for three days, and they had not been given refuge in any town and they had been thrown out. The people were very orthodox, and the master was a revolutionary: a very unorthodox, nontraditional man, unconventional, nonconformist. So no village would allow them even to have shelter in the night, and they were without food. On the fourth day, in the morning when the master started praying, the disciples said, “Now it is going too far. He said to God, ‘How wonderful you are! You always give me whatever I need.’”
One disciple said to the master, “Wait one minute. Now it is becoming absurd. What are you saying? Three days we have been hungry. We are dying, no shelter in any town, and you are thanking God that whatever you need he always gives!”
The mystic started laughing, and he said, “Yes, for these three days we needed starvation, for these three days we needed to be rejected. He always gives whatever we need. For these three days we needed to be poor, absolutely poor. Whatever we need he always gives, and I am thankful.” And he started praying and thanking God and being grateful.

If you are not fighting, an understanding arises that everything is beautiful and whatever is needed is happening, whatever is needed for your growth. Sometimes poverty is needed, sometimes starvation is needed, sometimes illness is needed. In fact I have not come across anything that is not sometimes a need to someone. If you understand, you accept. If you accept, you grow. If you reject, your whole energy becomes a wastage in fighting. The same situation could have been a growth; now it is simply a wastage, a leakage.
Don’t be a fatalist because in the first place don’t fight: if you fight and get frustrated, then fatalism enters. In the first place, don’t fight.

One man came to me and he was in much trouble because he had got married and found a woman – as almost all people find, a very quarrelsome woman, continuously fighting and creating hell for him. He came to me and said, “Have compassion on me.” And he said, “I would like to ask one question. What would you have done in my place?”
I told him, “In the first place I would not have been in your place! Why should I be?”

A man who is floating, accepting, understanding, has no need of fatalism. In the first place he is not fighting, so there is no need to seek some consolation.
Fatalism is the end of a wrong life, and the feeling of let-go is the beginning of a right life. They are vastly different, tremendously different, qualitatively different. Remember the difference because it happens that you would also like to say good things about your failures. When you fail, you start saying, “Now I am in a let-go.” Don’t try to deceive yourself – because you are deceiving only yourself; existence is not deceived. If you have failed, try to understand why you have failed.
In the first place you started fighting, that’s why. If you understand that, then even your successes will look like failures. They are. Sooner or later each success becomes a failure. It is only a question of time. What you call success is failure on the way. So if every man is given enough time to fight, then success and failure will all disappear and everybody will become a fatalist.
That’s why in old conditions, ancient conditions, fatalism exists – not in new countries. For example, in America fatalism does not exist. It is a child country, a baby country, just three hundred years of history; it is nothing. In India, fatalism exists: thousands and thousands of years of history, so old and so ancient that it has known all success, all failure; it has known all types of frustration. Now, finding no other way, it seeks consolation in fatalism.
As a country grows old, it becomes fatalist. As a man grows old, he becomes a fatalist. Young people are not fatalists. They believe in themselves. Old people become fatalists because by that time they have come to know at least one thing, that they have failed. Then they find consolation.
The whole basis is wrong. In the first place don’t fight, then there will be no need to fail, there will be no need to succeed. There will be no need to fight and there will be no need to console yourself. Each moment is such a blessing if you don’t fight.

The third question:
As an artist, I tend to claim my perceptions, desiring recognition for sharing my visions with others. My ego is strong. How can the Western artist be free of ego and transcend the dichotomy of the aesthetic and the spiritual?
First, there is no dichotomy between the aesthetic and the spiritual: the aesthetic is spiritual in the seed form. There is no dichotomy. The same sensitivity grows into spirituality. If you cannot see beauty, you will be absolutely incapable of seeing God. If you can see beauty, then you are approaching near God, the temple is coming closer. You may not be fully aware, but you are on the way. You have heard the first note of that music. Maybe you cannot yet recognize it, it is vague, but you have seen the first glimpse of the sun. Maybe it is too clouded.
Beauty is the first glimpse of the divine; wherever you see beauty, remember you are on holy ground. Wherever, I say: in a human face, in a child’s eyes, in a lotus flower or in the wings of a bird in flight, in the rainbow or in a silent rock. Wherever you see beauty, remember: you are on holy ground, God is close. Beauty is the first glimpse of the divine, so there is no dichotomy between beauty and truth. The aesthetic and the spiritual are not two things, two points on the same path, two milestones on the same pilgrimage.
But the so-called religions have created a dichotomy. They have created a dichotomy and they have poisoned the whole mind of humanity. The so-called religions are afraid of beauty because somehow in beauty, they feel sex hidden. That becomes the trouble. Wherever they feel beauty they feel the erotic, and they have been thinking that the erotic is against the divine. It is not. The erotic is the first glimpse of the divine. It is not the last – that has to be remembered – but it is the first arising of the same energy. The energy is the same; it is the first flood, it is the first tremor, but the energy is the same. If the energy goes higher and higher and higher, then it becomes a great wave of bliss, then it reaches the heavens.
Because religions became afraid of sex, because they became afraid of the body, they became afraid of beauty because beauty is form. God is formless, beauty is form, but the form is of the formless. Because religions became afraid of the world, they started thinking of God as against the world – this is some absurdity that has entered all religions. They all say that God created the world, and at the same time they say that you cannot attain God if you don’t renounce the world.
This is patent foolishness because if the world is God’s creation, why should it be a basic requirement to renounce it? Rather, one would think that the basic requirement should be that one should rejoice in it; it is God’s creation. If you love the painter, you also love his paintings. In fact you come to know the painter only through his paintings; there is no other way. If you love the poet, you also love his poetry. How do you know that he is a poet? It is only through his poetry. No poet will say that you can love him only if you renounce his poetry.
If God is the creator, then the world has to be loved, loved totally, loved deeply. You have to get involved in it, rejoice in it, delight in it. Only through your delight will you, by and by, have glimpses of the creator in the creation. If you look at the painting of a great painter, you will have glimpses of the master. It cannot be otherwise because the master has entered those colors: his touch is there, the master touch. If you love a poem and you penetrate it, you will find the heart of the poet beating there. And unless you have penetrated that depth, you have not understood, you cannot understand it. Unless the poetry becomes the heart of the poet, it is not understood.
The world has to be rejoiced. The body is beautiful – delight in it, it is a gift of God. Don’t try to renounce it, because renouncing it means you reject the master.
Gurdjieff used to say that all religions are against God, and he is perfectly right. The so-called religions are all against God. They talk about God, but they are against God. They show it through their actions, they say, “Renounce the world, renounce the body.” Renounce should be a dirty word. Rejoice! Replace renounce by rejoice, and a totally different conception of religion arises. Then aesthetics, then beauty, then the sensitivity to beauty is not against spirituality. Then it becomes the beginning. And one has to deepen it. Be committed to beauty, and through it you will come to know what religions call “God,” you will come to know divinity, divineness.
So this is the first thing: there is no dichotomy between aesthetics and spirituality, between poetry and religion, between body and spirit, between the world and God. There is no dichotomy. The world is God become visible, poetry is the poet expressed, a painting is the painter in form. The formless has descended into the form, but there is no dichotomy, there is no duality, and there is no antagonism.
The second thing, “As an artist I tend to claim my perceptions desiring recognition for sharing my visions with others.” Sharing is beautiful, but seeking recognition is not so beautiful. In fact both cannot exist together – they are antagonistic. If you want recognition, if you are desiring recognition, then you don’t really want to share. You share as a means to be recognized. Then your painting or your poetry or your dance is just a means to fulfill the ego. That will make you separate from the whole. The ego is the separation. Then your whole life will become ugly, and how, out of an ugly life, can beauty be born? Impossible.
If you are beautiful deep within you, only then can beauty flow from you. Only out of a beautiful life is a beautiful painting born. There is no other way. You are flowing into your painting, into your work of art, into your sculpture, into your music, into your poetry. It is coming from you. It brings you, it is your consciousness flowing. If it is only to gain recognition, then you are ugly. The ego is ugly because it is a separation from the whole, because it is false. You are not separate.
Untruth cannot be beautiful, remember. Truth is beauty. The untrue, the lie, cannot be beautiful. It is ugly, they are synonymous. The ego is the most untrue thing in the world, it only seems to exist. It doesn’t exist, it is a false phenomenon, and if you are seeking recognition, then you are seeking the ego and you are trying to fulfill a false thing. Out of this ugliness, beauty cannot flow – out of ugliness, only ugliness is possible.
And if you are trying to fulfill the ego, you are not interested in sharing because sharing is an act of love. Not that there will not be recognition if you share – but that is not the point. In fact if you share, much recognition will happen, but you are not seeking it, you were not after it. If it happens it is okay, if it doesn’t happen it is the same. You want to share. Your happiness is in sharing, not in the aftereffects of it, not in the result – not in the end, but in the act itself.
For example, you love a man or a woman. While you love, you hold hands or you embrace each other. The very act in itself is the end, not that you are trying to prove that you are a man – not that the woman later on says to you that you are a great lover. If you love a woman just to hear from her that you are a great lover, you have not loved her at all. But if you love a woman, who bothers what she says? What she feels in the moment of sharing is the thing, is the real thing; it is enough unto itself.
If a woman loves a man, and she loves only as a means so the man can say later on, “How beautiful you are,” she is seeking recognition for her beauty. That is an ego effort, an ego trip, but there is no love in it. And she cannot be beautiful.
If she loves and shares her being, in that sharing she is beautiful. There is no need even to say, “You are beautiful.” If someone says it, okay; if somebody doesn’t say it, that doesn’t mean that it has not been said, because there are deeper ways to say things. Sometimes to remain silent is the only way to speak.
I have heard…

In a museum in Europe there is a piano on which Wagner used to play. A woman came to see it, and she was just a learner, just knowing only the ABC of it. She immediately started playing on the piano. The guide was shocked, but he was a very polite man, so he remained silent. After a few strokes, the woman said that many great musicians must have come to the museum to see Wagner’s piano, and they all must have played on it.
The guide said, “Madam, you are the first. Great musicians come here. They stand absolutely silent. And I have heard them say, ‘We are not worthy even to touch it.’ They remain in silence; they don’t utter a single word. The moment they see this, the master’s piano, it is as if they become dumb. They don’t touch it. They say, ‘We are not worthy of it.’ In their deep silence, they say something.”

When you love a woman, in deep silence much is said. When somebody comes to see a painting, if he starts chattering about it, that simply shows he is not in deep rapport with it; otherwise the chattering would stop. If he starts saying something about it, that shows that he is trying to show his knowledge about paintings. Otherwise, before a great painting one becomes silent, one has nothing to say. Language is lost; one becomes dumb, the mind stops.
When you love a person, you share, you don’t ask for recognition. If you ask for recognition, you don’t share. You don’t want to share – your sharing is just an empty gesture, just a means to recognition. It is not love; it is prostitution. A great artist does not bother about recognition. He loves his art, his work. He loves to share it, but he’s not asking for anything; it is unconditional sharing. And then it has tremendous beauty. That is the difference between great art and mediocre art, and that is the difference between Eastern art and Western art.
Go to the great Eastern temples, go to Khajuraho or to Ellora, Ajanta – tremendously beautiful works, but you won’t even know who has made them; they have not even signed them. What of recognition? – nobody knows. They are anonymous. Nobody knows who has written the Upanishads – anonymous, but they shared. They are still sharing, and they will go on sharing to the very end of time. Whenever you go to Khajuraho, your mind will stop. Such tremendous beauty has never been revealed anywhere in the world. Stones have never been so expressive as in Khajuraho, sermons in stones. Even real women have never been so beautiful as the Khajuraho sculpture – and to bring it into stone, such subtle, euphoric feelings, like two lovers making love! What happens to their faces, what type of energy surrounds them, what ecstasy travels between them in stone, the hardest medium. But they have depicted even the ecstasy when two lovers make love. What type of energy surrounds them? They have brought even that energy to those stones. It surrounds them still.
Looking at those faces, you can see that they are not only erotic; the erotic is just the beginning, the first rung of the ladder. If you have insight, you will see the ladder going higher and higher, and then it disappears into the clouds. Somewhere in the clouds the ecstasy is there. But nobody knows who made those beautiful images; anonymous, but they shared. And one still feels grateful and will always feel grateful.
Eastern art is anonymous, and hence its beauty: it is as if of the other world. Western art – particularly the modern, not the classical – is too egoistic. Even a Picasso is too egoistic. He may be a great painter, a great master, but neurotic all the same – a great genius, but gone astray, neurotic. He’s mad. His madness may be a method, that’s another thing, but he is mad. And the whole madness is because of the ego. Whatever he has painted, great works, but the neurosis is there.
And if you look and meditate on Picasso’s paintings long enough, you will feel restless, uneasy. Something of the neurosis will start happening in you also, something of the quality of nightmare. Don’t keep Picasso’s paintings in your bedrooms; otherwise you will have nightmares! Have a small Buddha by some anonymous sculptor. That will surround your sleep, that will protect your sleep, that will give you a subtle awareness even while you are asleep.
So sharing is one thing, and asking for recognition is totally another. Share. Don’t ask for recognition. I’m not saying that recognition will not come – it will come profusely. Ask for recognition, and it won’t come so profusely. Even if it comes, it will limp because when you ask for recognition, the other becomes reluctant to give it because when you are seeking your ego, the other also wants to seek his own ego. Then you provoke criticism rather than recognition. And the one who recognizes your art is, deep down, recognizing through his recognition, his own recognition. So you say that you are great lover of art. Then the ego game, then the beauty is lost; two lies are trying to prove themselves to be true.
Share. Recognition will come; it always comes, like a shadow. Don’t be bothered by it. Only small mediocre minds are bothered by it.
And the third thing: you say, “My ego is strong.” If it is really strong, then you can surrender. Only weaklings cannot surrender. To surrender, you need tremendous energy of will. Only a very mature ego can surrender, just as a ripe fruit falls. Not unripe – unripe fruit cannot fall, you have to force it. A ripe fruit falls of its own accord, so easily that the tree does not even become aware that it has fallen. It falls so naturally.
If the ego is strong, then you can surrender. This is the only thing in favor of the Western mind – that people are being taught to be egoistic. The whole Western psychology has been teaching them to have ripe, mature egos. That is a beautiful thing – dangerous, if one remains clinging to the ego, but with tremendous possibilities. If one really becomes strong in the ego, then surrender is possible.
The Western mind is more egoistic. Surrender seems difficult. The Eastern mind is humbler. Surrender seems easy, but these are appearances. The Eastern mind can surrender very easily, but the surrender is impotent because you don’t have anything to surrender. The ego that has to be surrendered is not there. It is just like an impotent man taking a vow of celibacy, or a poor man renouncing the kingdom – it is meaningless.
For the Western mind, surrender is difficult but meaningful. It will take a long time and a long struggle for the Western mind to surrender, but once the Western mind surrenders, then there is nothing like it. The Eastern mind has to be brought up, the ego has to be ripened and matured. Only at a certain point of maturity when the ego feels too heavy is the surrender possible.
The Eastern mind is so humble, it goes on surrendering everywhere and anywhere. It goes on touching everybody’s and anybody’s feet. The whole thing has become useless; it has become just a mannerism, an etiquette. But when a Western mind bows down and touches somebody’s feet, it has significance; otherwise he would not have done it. It is not just a mannerism, it has happened. Something deep has been touched and stirred.
So if you say, “The ego is strong,” then prove it! That is the only way. Surrender; that is the only way to prove it. Otherwise I will say it is still weak.

The fourth question:
I am so confused. I want to perfect myself, but have lost all idea what effort to make in what way. Your presence makes me want to let go, but much else urges me toward a desperate program of self-renewal. What can I do?
Perfectionism is a neurosis, it is an illness, and the more you try to become perfect, the more frustrated you will become. The goal of perfection has led the whole of humanity toward madness; the earth has almost become a madhouse.
I don’t teach perfection. What do I teach? – I teach wholeness, not perfection. Be whole, be total, but don’t think about perfection.
Be whole: whatever you do, do it totally. What is the difference? When you do it totally, you are not worried about the result. You did it totally. You are finished; more you could not do. You are not holding anything; you have put all your energy in it, you were whole in it. Now if you fail, you fail. If you succeed, you succeed. But whether you fail or you succeed, you are fulfilled all the same. A deep contentment arises because you have done whatever you could do.
You can never be perfect. How can the part be perfect? You can never be perfect. Whatever you do, you can always imagine that it could have been better – whatever you do, you can imagine that better could have been done.

I have heard about a great painter. He was seventy years old, and one day he finished his painting and started crying and weeping. His disciples surrounded the master and said, “Master, why are you crying? What has happened?”
The master said, “I cannot see any imperfection in this painting. It seems I am dead, finished. It seems I have lost my imagination; that’s why I’m crying. This is the first time I cannot see any defect in my painting. I must have lost my imagination.”

Whatever you do, you can always imagine better. So a perfectionist is always in misery. He can never be satisfied, never; that is not for him.
I want you to be whole. Whatever you do, you do totally and you are not concerned with the result. You are only concerned that you are not withholding anything. You love, you love totally. You meditate, you meditate totally. You dance, you dance totally, you just become the dance and forget the dancer completely. Whether the dance was perfect or not is not the question at all. And who is to decide? Only one thing you have to decide: whether you were totally in it or not. If you were totally in it, I say it is perfect – if you were not totally in it, I say it is imperfect. That is my meaning of perfection.
It is not comparative. If you dance, you may not dance like Udaya Shanker. Comparatively, your dance may be poorer than Udaya Shanker’s. But there is a possibility you may be more total in it than Udaya Shanker himself in his dance. Then I say you are more perfect because it is not a question of form; it is a question of your inner involvement. If the ego drops, then it is whole, then it is total.

I have heard that there was a man in Socrates’ time – his name was Alcibiades. He was a perfectionist, and of course he was the most miserable man, always worried because everything was going wrong. He was very rich. He could purchase anything, but he wasn’t happy because there was always something else to be purchased, something else to be brought to his treasury. He traveled all over the world, but whenever he would come back to Athens, he was more miserable than before.
He went to see Socrates and he asked him, “Why am I so miserable? I have traveled all over the world; I am the most traveled man in Athens, and one would think that traveling gives experience and maturity. But nothing like that has happened to me. I have become more and more miserable. And I go to the far-off countries and then come back, from India, from China, but I’m not gaining any experience. I am becoming more and more imperfect day by day, rather than becoming perfect. What is the trouble with me?”
Socrates said, “Because you take yourself always with yourself: wherever you go, you take yourself with yourself. That is the trouble. Next time go alone, leave yourself in Athens. Then there is a possibility of maturity.”

If you drop the ego, there is a possibility you may become whole. The moment you become whole, you become holy; then you are healed, then all wounds disappear. Then you are perfect in your total aloneness. It is not comparative – that you are more perfect than others. No. You are simply perfect; you are a unique piece, there is nobody else like you. You are only like yourself.
In your wholeness you are perfect, and a deep contentment comes. It becomes a climate around you.

The last question, and very important:
You are so sweet and rare that I feel like kidnapping you before I leave Pune. What do you say?
I surrender!
Enough for today.

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