Come Follow Yourself Vol 03 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Come Follow Yourself Vol 03 by Osho.
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Matthew 22

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law”

37 Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

38 “This is the first and great commandment.”

39 “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

40 “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
These two words, law and love, are tremendously significant. They represent two types of mind: the polar opposites. The mind that is legal can never be loving, and the mind that loves can never be legal. The legal attitude is irreligious; it is political, social. And the attitude of love is nonpolitical, nonsocial, individual, personal, religious. Moses, Manu, Marx, Mao, these are the legal minds; they have given the law to the world. Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Lao Tzu, these are the people of love; they have not given a legal commandment to the world. They have given a totally different vision.

I have heard a story about Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. He was a very legal mind. A woman came to him and complained about her husband. She said, “Your Majesty, my husband treats me very mean.”
Frederick the Great said, “That is not my business.”
But the woman persisted. She said, “Not only that, Your Majesty, he speaks ill of you also.”
Frederick the Great said, “That is none of your business.”

This is the legal mind. The legal mind is always thinking of law, never of love. The legal mind thinks of justice, but never of compassion, and a justice that is without compassion can never be just. A justice that has no compassion in it is bound to be unjust, and a compassion that may appear unjust cannot be unjust. The very nature of compassion is to be just; justice follows compassion as a shadow. But compassion doesn’t follow justice as a shadow because compassion is the real thing, love is the real thing. Your shadow follows you; you don’t follow your shadow. The shadow cannot be followed, the shadow has to follow. And this is one of the greatest controversies of human history: whether God is love, or law; whether he is just, or compassionate.
The legal mind says, “God is law. He is just.” But the legal mind cannot know what God is because God is another name for love. The legal mind cannot reach that dimension. The legal mind always goes on throwing responsibility on somebody else – the society, the economic structure, history. The other is always responsible, for the legal mind. Love takes the responsibility on itself; it is always “I” who is responsible, not you.
I have heard a Chinese parable…

In Chuang Tzu’s garden there was a rosebush that used to flower often. Then suddenly it stopped flowering. Chuang Tzu became, of course, worried – he had always loved that rosebush. He started showering his love on it, watching it more, taking more and more care. But nothing happened; the rosebush remained barren, unblossoming. Weeks passed, and then months passed.
Then one day Chuang Tzu thought that something had gone basically wrong. It seemed the rosebush could not be helped, and he was just going to decide not to interfere when the rosebush spoke up. And the rosebush said, “Sir, nothing is wrong with me – it is because of the wrong surroundings that I cannot produce flowers. Look at the soil; look at those rocks near me. They are destroying my roots. Look at the hot sun – it is so hot, burning hot. How can I flower? How can you expect me to? And, I am alone here; I need other rosebushes as companions, as competitors. Only then can I flower.”
Chuang Tzu put a shield on the rosebush to protect it from the sun. The beautiful rocks that he had arranged at the side were removed; the soil was changed. But nothing happened. Weeks passed; then one day Chuang Tzu said, “Don’t be hurt. Now let me tell you the truth. Nothing is wrong with the surroundings – something has gone wrong in your mind. You remind me of one of my disciples who is a lawyer, who always goes on throwing responsibility onto somebody else. And because of that, he cannot change.”
The rosebush laughed, and said, “Sir, in fact that lawyer disciple of yours – he has corrupted me also. I have been following him.” And from the next day the rosebush became different, became greener, and soon flowers were coming. The rocks were replaced, the shield was removed, and the surroundings were as of old. But bigger and bigger flowers were coming.

Once you understand that you are responsible, you start blossoming. Law is an excuse; it is cunningness of the mind so that you can always protect yourself, defend yourself. It is a defense. Love is vulnerable, law is a defense arrangement. When you love somebody, you don’t talk law. When you love, law disappears because love is the ultimate law. It needs no other law, it is enough unto itself; and when love protects you, you don’t need any protection. Don’t be legal, otherwise you will miss all that is beautiful in life. Don’t be a lawyer, be a lover – otherwise you will go on protecting yourself, and in the end you will find that there is nothing to protect. You have been protecting just an empty ego. And you can always find ways and means to protect the empty ego.

I have heard about one very famous artist, Oscar Wilde. His first play was dramatized. It failed completely, it was a flop, and when he came out of the theater, friends asked, “How did it go?”
He said, “It was a great success. The audience was a great failure.”

This is the legal mind, always trying to protect one’s ego, the empty ego – nothing but a soap bubble, hollow within, full of emptiness, and nothing in it. But the law goes on protecting. Remember, the moment you become legal, the moment you start looking at life through the law – maybe the law is that of the government, or the law is that of the churches, it makes no difference – the moment you start looking at life through the law, through the morality, the code, the scripture, the commandment, you start missing it. One needs to be vulnerable to know what life is, one needs to be totally open, insecure. One needs to be able to die in knowing it; only then one comes to know life. If you are afraid of death, you will never know life because fear can never know. If you are unafraid of death, if you are ready to die to know, you will know life, eternal life that never dies. Law is hidden fear, love is expressed fearlessness.
When you love, fear disappears – have you observed? When you love, there is no fear. If you love a person, fear disappears. The more you love, the more fear disappears. If you love totally, fear is absolutely absent. Fear arises only when you don’t love. When love does not exist, then the fear arises. Fear is the absence of love; law is the absence of love, because law is basically nothing but a defense of your inner trembling heart, of your inner trembling – you are afraid; you want to protect.
If a society is based on law, the society will remain continuously in fear. If a society is based on love, the fear disappears and the law is not needed. Courts will not be needed, hell and heaven will not be needed. Hell is a legal attitude; all punishment is legal. The law says if you do wrong you will be punished, if you do right you will be rewarded. And then there are so-called religions; they say if you commit sin you will be thrown into hell. Just think about their hell. These people who have created the idea of hell must have been very deeply sadistic. The way they have arranged hell, they have made every arrangement possible to make you suffer.

I have heard about a priest who was teaching, and he came to talk about hell. He warmed up to the theme, and said, “There will be much fire, and you will be thrown into it. And there will be much trembling and gnashing of teeth.”
And an old woman stood up and she said, “Sir, I have lost my teeth.”
The priest said, “Don’t be worried. False teeth will be provided.”

They have made every arrangement to make you suffer. It comes out of a sadist’s imagination; these people who have invented hell are dangerous. And they have invented heaven also – heaven for themselves and for those who follow them, hell for those who don’t follow them and don’t believe in them. But these are legal attitudes, the same attitude as punishment.
And punishment has failed. Crime cannot be stopped, it has not been stopped by punishment. It goes on growing because in fact the legal mind and the criminal mind are two aspects of the same coin, they are not different. All legal minds are basically criminal, and all criminal minds can become good legal minds – they have the potentiality. They are not two separate worlds; they are part of one world. Crime goes on increasing, and the law goes on becoming more and more complicated and complex.
Man has not been changed by punishment; in fact man has been more corrupted. The courts have not changed him, they have corrupted him more. And neither have the concepts of reward, heaven, respectability, been of any help because hell depends on fear, and heaven depends on greed. Fear and greed, those are the problems. How can you change man through them? They are the diseases, and the legal mind goes on saying they are the medicines.
A totally different attitude is needed: the attitude of love. Christ brings love to the world. He destroys law, the very basis of it; that was his crime, that’s why he was crucified – because he was destroying the whole basis of this criminal society. He was destroying the whole foundation rock of this criminal world – the world of wars and violence and aggression. He gave a totally new foundation stone.
These few lines have to be understood as deeply as possible:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying…
Tempting him… He wanted to pull him down into a legal argument. There are many instances in Jesus’ life where he had been tempted to come down from the heights of love to the dark valleys of the law. And the people who tempted were very tricky. Their questions were such that if Jesus was not really a realized one, he would have fallen a victim. They gave him what is called in logic “dilemmas” – whatever you answer, you will be caught. If you say this, you will be caught; if you say the opposite, then you will also be caught.
You must have heard the famous story…

Jesus is sitting by the side of the river; the crowd have come, and they have brought a woman. And they say to him that this woman has committed sin, “What do you say?” They tempted him because it is said in the old scripture that if a woman commits sin, she should be stoned to death.
Now, they are giving two alternatives to Jesus. If he says follow the scripture, then they will ask, “Where has your concept of love, of compassion, gone? Can’t you forgive her? So that talk of love is just talk.” Then he will be caught. Or if he says, “Forgive her,” then they will say, “Then you are against the scripture; and you have been saying to people, ‘I have come to fulfill the scripture, not to destroy it.’” This is a dilemma; now, these are the only two alternatives.
But the legal mind never knows that a man of love also has a third alternative that the legal mind cannot know about – because the legal mind can only think in opposites. Only two alternatives exist: yes or no. The legal mind does not know about the third alternative, that de Bono has called po: yes, no. The third alternative is po: it is neither yes nor no, it is totally different.
Jesus is the first man in the world to say po. He didn’t use the term, the term was invented by de Bono, but he said po. He actually did it; he said to these people, to the crowd, that the scripture is right – one who has committed sin should be stoned to death. “But only those people amongst you who have never sinned, and never thought of committing sins, should come forward. You should take stones in your hands and kill this woman.”
Now there was not a single one who had not committed sin, or who had not thought of committing it. There may be people who have not committed sin, but they may be thinking continuously about it. In fact they are bound to think about it. People who commit think less about it; those who don’t commit continuously think and fantasize. And for the innermost core of your being, it makes no difference whether you think or you do.
By and by the crowd started disappearing. People who were standing in front disappeared to the back – the legal leaders of the society, the prominent citizens of the town, started disappearing. This man had used a third alternative: he didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no, he said, “Yes, kill the woman” – but only those who have never committed sin or thought about it, they should kill her. The crowd disappeared. Only Jesus was left with the woman. The woman fell at his feet and said, “I have really committed sin. I am a bad woman. You can punish me.”
Jesus said, “Who am I to judge? This is between you and your Lord God. This is something between you and God. Who am I to interfere? If you realize that you have done something wrong, don’t do it again. God bless you.”

Such situations were continuously repeated. The whole effort was to bring him into an argument where the legal mind could succeed. You cannot argue with the legal mind. If you argue you will be defeated because in argument the legal mind is very efficient. Whatever position you take up, it matters not: you will be defeated. Jesus could not be defeated because he never argued. This is one of the signs, one of the indications that he had attained love. He remained on his peak. He never descended.
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
That respect is false. He says, “Master,” but that respect is not true. The legal respect is never true. Whenever you pay respect as an etiquette, as a social manner, if your respect is just because you have been taught to show respect – you respect your father because you have been told again and again, conditioned – then that respect is false. If you pay respect to your mother because you have been told that one should pay respect to the mother, then that respect is false. Unless it comes out of love, it is a false coin.
And love is an unconditioned feeling – you have never been taught anything about love. You have brought love into the world with yourself; it has just come with you, it is your nature. Only when respect comes out of love is it true; otherwise it is a deception.
The lawyer said, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Now, it is a very difficult question: which is the great commandment, which is the foremost commandment, which is the fundamental commandment in law? It is very difficult because every law depends on other laws – they are interlinked. You cannot find the basic law because no law is basic. They depend on each other; they are interdependent.
For example, if you ask somebody what matter is, he will say, “Not the mind.” Then ask him what the mind is, and he will say, “Not matter.” Both are undefined, both are undefinables, but you create a fallacy of definition. Asked what matter is, you say, “Not the mind.” The mind itself is undefined; you bring one indefinable to define something else, which is stupid. But on the surface it looks very wise, it seems you have answered. Then you are asked what the mind is, and you say, “Not matter.” Neither the mind is known, nor matter. Two unknowns are there, but you go on fooling yourself and fooling others. The fundamental law is not known, cannot be known. It is not only unknown, it is unknowable; and all other laws are dependent on each other.
For example, whether truth is the fundamental law, or nonviolence. In India it has been one of the controversies: which is basic: nonviolence or truth? If you are in a situation where you have to choose between truth and nonviolence, if you say the truth, then there will be violence. If you don’t say the truth, the violence can be avoided. What will you do? Will you say the truth, and help the violence to be committed?
For example, you are standing at a crossroad, and a group of policemen come and ask you, “Have you seen a man pass along this road? He has to be caught and killed. He has escaped from prison. He is sentenced to death.”
You have seen the man. You can say, “Yes” and be true, but then you will be responsible for the death of that man. You can say you have not seen him, or you can even give a wrong direction, then that man is saved. You remained nonviolent, but you became untrue. What will you do? It seems impossible to choose, almost impossible. Which law is the most fundamental?
Jesus said unto him, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
This is po: he is not answering the question at all; he is answering something else. He is not getting down to the legal world. He remains perched on his peak of love.
He says:
“This is the first and great commandment.”
Love thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind, and all thy soul. The question was about law, and the answer is about love. In fact he has not answered the question. Or you can say he has answered the question because this is the only answer, there can be no other answer.
This has to be understood. Only from a higher plane can the question of a lower plane be answered. Remaining on the same plane, the answer is impossible. For example, from where you are the question arises, many questions arise. If you ask a person who remains on the same plane as you, he cannot answer you. His answers may look relevant, but cannot be relevant because he is in the same situation as you.
It is like a madman helping another madman, the blind leading the blind, a confused man helping another confused man to attain clarity. More muddledness, more confusion will happen out of it. That’s what has happened in the world – everybody is advising everybody else. Nothing is cheaper than advice; in fact it costs nothing – just for the asking, and everybody is ready to give you advice. Neither you, nor those who are giving you advice, think about it – that you exist on the same plane, that their advice is simply useless, or can even be harmful. Only somebody who is on a higher plane than you can be of any help – one who has a clearer perception, a deeper clarity, a more crystallized being. Only he can answer your questions.
I have heard it happened once…

In a certain city in Tibet, wisdom was sold. A man who wanted to become wise went to the marketplace. There were many shops, and in every shop wisdom was sold. And it was plentiful; in fact so much so that it was very cheap. So the man purchased thousands of wisdom bits.
He came home loaded with many bullock carts. He had become wise. Then he used to visit his friends to show the wisdom because when you have it, you have to show it. Otherwise what is its use? A wisdom that is borrowed or purchased can have only one function – that of exhibition. It cannot be of any use to you; you can just use it as a decoration. But those friends had also purchased from the same market, and everybody was wise. In that town, it was difficult to find a foolish man because all fools had purchased. They discussed, they argued; every day they would meet and hurt each other with their arguments, and everybody would try to prove that his view was right. And nobody was ready to listen to anybody. They created much confusion, much anger, much hostility. And they enjoyed it – that fiery exchange of hostility. They became addicted to it.
But this man, by and by, became fed up with the whole nonsense. He started thinking, “I was better before I purchased these wisdom bits. Now my mind is more burdened, I am more tense, I cannot sleep with continuous arguments and discussions leading nowhere, moving in vicious circles.” So he went to a wise man and asked what he should do.
The wise man said, “It is natural. When people exist on the same plane, they cannot help each other. They can only fight, and they can only try to help each other; but they will basically cause harm. Throw away all this nonsense that you call wisdom. Wisdom cannot be purchased; one has to grow into it.” And he said one very profound thing: he said, “If you purchase wisdom, if you learn from somebody else, if you borrow it, if it is not your own, then you will always be in trouble because everything that you can borrow has its opposite. But if you grow in it, then it has no opposite to it.”

Let me explain it to you. Every law has its opposite because law is borrowed wisdom. Love doesn’t have its opposite; if it has, then it is not love at all. Every law has its opposite, every law can be argued against, every proof can be disproved, and there is no argument that is absolute or final.

I used to know a very great lawyer. He founded a university in India; he was one of the topmost men in his profession. Once it happened… He was a little absentminded, and he was fighting a case in the Privy Council. Two Indian states were fighting. He forgot – he had drunk too much the night before and he had a hangover – and when he went to the Privy Council, he forgot for whom he was fighting. So he started arguing for the opposite party. And he was a great lawyer, so he argued well. His assistant became very worried – what should he do? He pulled his coat many times, but he wouldn’t listen; he was so much in the debate. When there was a break for tea, the assistant said, “You have destroyed the whole thing. You are arguing against yourself” But the lawyer didn’t say anything.
When the court started again, he said, “Up to now, I was giving you the arguments for the opposite party. Now I will give the arguments for my party.” And he won the case.

Every law has its opposite, every argument has its opposite. Every proof, if it is only logical, has its opposite. Only love has no opposite to it. The lawyer asked Jesus something, Jesus answered something else, as if the lawyer was only asking for stones and Jesus gave him diamonds. In a way it is irrelevant; in another way, in a deeper way, this is the only way it should be. Diamonds were not asked for. The lawyer had no idea about those diamonds; he was only asking about some colored stones, at the most, semiprecious. Jesus gave him diamonds – tremendously valuable; he was asking about law, and Jesus talked about love.
Always remember: whenever you come to an enlightened man, whatever you say is not the point. He talks out of his heart. In fact he does not answer your questions; he answers you, your deepest need about which you yourself are not aware.
It happens so many times when I am answering your questions: many times you feel as if your question has not been answered. I know it, I am aware of it. It need not be answered, but through your question I can feel a deep urge, a deep inquiry, about which you yourself are not aware. You cannot be aware in the state you are in. In your unconsciousness, you can ask only wrong questions. In my awareness, I can answer only right answers. I repeat: in your sleep, you can ask only wrong questions; in my awareness, I can answer only right answers. On the surface it will look absurd.
There are three possibilities of dialogue: one, two ignorant people talking. Much talking goes on, but nothing happens out of it; it is just bogus. They talk, but they don’t mean what they are saying, they are not even aware of what they are saying. It is just an occupation. It feels good to be occupied. They are talking like mechanical things, two computers talking. Then there is the possibility of two enlightened people talking. They don’t talk, there is no need to talk. The communion is silent; they understand each other without words. Two ignorant people talking – too many words, and no understanding. Two enlightened people meeting – no words, only understanding.
The first situation happens every day, millions of times all over the earth; the second situation happens rarely after thousands and thousands of years – rarely does it happen that two enlightened people meet.
There is a third possibility – one enlightened person talking to an unenlightened person. Then there are two planes: one is on the earth, the other is in the sky; one is moving in a bullock cart, the other is flying in an airplane. The person on the earth asks one thing and the person in the sky answers something else. But this is the only way, this is the only way the person on the earth can be helped. The lawyer had asked about the law. He had asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
He is not asking about love. Jesus is trying to seduce him toward love – he has changed the whole pattern. Once it is in Jesus’ hands, he will take you into a dimension you know not, into the unknown, into the unknowable. Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
“…with all thy heart…” means with all thy feelings. That is what prayer is. When all your feelings are together, integrated into one unity, it is prayer. Prayer is your total heart throbbing with the desire of the unknown, throbbing with a deep urge, a deep inquiry for the unknown, each beat of your heart devoted.
“…with all thy mind.” That is the meaning of meditation, when all your thoughts have become one. When all your thoughts become one, thinking disappears; when all your feelings become one, feeling disappears. When your feelings are many, you are sentimental. When your feelings are one, all sentimentality disappears; you are full of heart, but without any sentimentality. Prayer is not sentimentalism. Prayer is such a harmony of feelings, such a total unity of feelings, that the quality of the feelings immediately changes. Just as you put water on to heat: it goes on becoming warmer, warmer, hot, hotter. Up to 99 degrees it is still water, then the 100 degrees comes and suddenly there is a transformation. The water is no longer water; it starts evaporating and the quality immediately changes. The water has a quality to flow downward; when it evaporates, the vapor has a quality to float upward. The dimension has changed.
When you live in feelings, so many feelings, you are just a confusion, a madhouse. When all the feelings are integrated, there comes a moment of transformation. When they all become one, you are at the 100-degree point, the evaporating point. Immediately the nature of the feelings disappears. The old downflowing is no longer there; you start evaporating like vapor toward the sky. That is what prayer is.
And the same thing happens when all your thoughts are one – thinking stops. When thoughts are many, thinking is possible; when thoughts are one, then there comes a moment that this oneness of thought becomes almost synonymous with no-thought. To have one thought is to have no thought because the one cannot exist alone. The one can exist only with the many, the one can exist only in a crowd. When the crowd has disappeared, the one also disappears and there comes a state of no-thought.
So Jesus, in his small sentence, has condensed the whole of religion: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…” – this is what prayer is all about. “…with all thy mind” – that is what meditation is all about. “…and with all thy soul…” – the soul is the transcendence of thinking and feeling, the soul is beyond prayer and beyond meditation. The soul is your nature; it is the transcendental consciousness in you.
Look at yourself as a triangle – on the lower base, feeling, thinking. But feeling and thinking are the only two that you have been feeling up to now; you don’t know the third. The third can be known only when the feeling becomes prayer, and starts moving upward, and thinking becomes meditation, and starts moving upward. Then prayer and meditation meet at a point. That point is the soul. Somewhere your heart and your mind meet; that is you, that is a beyondness. That’s what Jesus calls the soul.
“This is the first and great commandment.” Now he is using the language of the lawyer. He has said whatever he wanted to say; now he comes to the language of the lawyer. The first sentence belongs to Jesus’ plane, the second sentence belongs to the lawyer’s plane. And he has tried to create a bridge between the two.
“This is the first and the great commandment.” Love is the first and the great commandment. In fact love is not a commandment at all because you cannot be commanded to love, you cannot be ordered to love, you cannot be forced to love, you cannot manage and control love. Love is bigger than you, higher than you. How can you control it? And if you are commanded to love, if somebody comes just as they do in the army, “Right turn! Left turn!” and somebody comes and says, “Love!” – what can you do? “Right turn” is okay, “Left turn” is okay, but “Love turn”? You don’t know where to turn, where to go. You don’t know that way; it cannot be commanded.
Yes, you can pretend, you can act. That’s what has happened on this earth. The greatest curse that has happened on this earth is that love has been forced. From the very childhood, everybody is taught to love as if love can be taught: “Love your mother,” “Love your father,” “Love your brothers,” “Love your sisters,” love this, love that, and the child starts trying. How can the child know that love cannot be an act? It is a happening.
Just the other night I was saying…

Once it happened: a musician was playing his organ – just sitting idly, with nothing to do – in a playful mood, not serious at all, in fun. Suddenly something happened for which he had been waiting his whole life: he struck a chord. He had been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for that chord. He had tried his utmost and he had never been able to manage it, and suddenly it was there – and he had just been fingering the keys. He was thrilled, ecstatic, he danced. And then he tried again. But he could not get it again. He tried hard, and the harder he tried, the more frustrated he was.
For months, he went almost mad. He tried and tried, day and night, and the more he tried, the further away it looked. In fact after a few weeks he started to wonder if it had ever happened, or if he had imagined it. The memory of it had also gone so far away that he started thinking, “Maybe I simply dreamed about it and it has not happened.” Then he dropped the whole subject. Then he forgot about it.
But one day after a few months, he was just sitting at the organ, fingering the keys. Again it was there; again it happened. He was thrilled, he was ecstatic. But now he understood – it happened only when he was not there. Then he never tried; then he never tried to bring it back. It started to happen almost every day. It started to happen by and by, whenever he touched the keys. It became a natural flow.

Love is just like that. You cannot force it. You have been missing because you have been trying too hard. The more I look and observe you, the more I feel your desertlike state. Everybody is in search of love. You may call it God, you may call it something else, but deep down I know you are in search of love. But you have become incapable – not because you have not tried, but because you have tried too hard.
Love is a happening, it cannot be commanded. Because you have been commanded to love, your love has been falsified from the very beginning, poisoned from the very source. Never say to a child, never commit this sin, never say to a child, “Love your mother.” Love the child, and let love happen. Don’t say, “Love. Love me because I am your mother,” or, “I am your father. Love me.” Don’t make it a commandment, otherwise your child will miss for ever and ever. Just love him. In a loving milieu, one day suddenly the chord just happens, the harmony is found in the innermost organ of your being. Something starts, some melody, some harmony arises, and then you know that it is your nature. But then you never try to do it, then you simply relax and allow it to be.
“This is the first and great commandment.” Jesus is using the language of the lawyer because he is answering him; otherwise love is not a commandment, and cannot be a commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
The first is love thy God. God means the total, the Tao, the brahman. God is not a very good word; Tao is far better: the total, the whole, existence. Love existence. That is the first, the most fundamental.
“And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” – because it is difficult to find God, and it is difficult to love God if you have not found him already. How can you love God, who is unknown? How can you love the unknown? You need some bridge, you need some familiarity. How can you love God? It looks absurd; it is absurd. Hence the second commandment: “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
I was reading a story; I liked it…

A learned man asked Rabbi Abraham, “They say that you give people mysterious drugs, and that your drugs are effective. Give me one, that I may attain the fear of God.”
“I don’t know any drug for the fear of God,” said the Rabbi. “But, if you like, I can give you one for the love of God.”
“That is even better!” cried the scholar. “Just give it to me.
“It is the love of one’s fellow men,” answered the Rabbi.

If you really want to love God, you have to start by loving your fellow men because that is the nearest God is to you. And by and by, ripples of your love can go on expanding. Love is like a pebble thrown into a silent lake: ripples arise, and then they start spreading to the faraway shores. But first the touch of the pebble on the lake – close to the pebble they arise, and then far and far away they spread.
First, you will have to love those who are like you because you know them, because at least you can feel a certain familiarity, a certain at-homeness with them. Then the love can go on expanding. Then you can love animals, then you can love trees, then you can love rocks, and only then can you love existence as such – not before then.
So if you can love human beings, you have taken the first step. But just the opposite has been happening on this unfortunate earth: people love God, and kill human beings. In fact they say because they love God so much, they have to kill. Christians kill Mohammedans, Mohammedans kill Christians, Hindus kill Mohammedans, Mohammedans kill Hindus, because they all love God. In the name of God, they kill human beings.
Their Gods are false because if your God is true, if you have really known what God means, if you have realized even a bit, if you have even attained just a glimpse of what God is – you will love human beings, you will love animals, you will love trees, you will love rocks. You will love, love will become your natural state of being. And if you cannot love human beings, don’t be deceived; then no temple is going to help you.
Just two or three days before, a beautiful woman, a rare person, came to see me. Her whole life she has been a humanist: not believing in God, a no-sayer. She told me, “I am surprised that I am here.” Her surprise is natural. She had never been to any temple, to any church, to the so-called religious people – and then she has come here. And not only that, she wanted to be initiated into sannyas. She could not believe herself. What was happening? But I could look into her. She has been able to come to me because she has loved human beings. She has taken the first step toward the temple. She may not have gone to any temple; that is not needed. She may not have ever thought about God; that is not needed. But she has taken an authentic step. She has loved human beings. She has been a no-sayer, but that is the basis for saying yes. She has earned her sannyas.
There are two types of people who come to me and want to be initiated: a few who have not earned it. She has earned it. Some will start earning it only after they have taken sannyas – for them it is a beginning. But for that old woman it is not a beginning, it is a culmination. She has arrived. Her whole life has been a preparation for it. She said no. To say yes to human beings she denied God. Perfectly good, as it should be. Say no to God, but never say no to human beings because if you say no to human beings, the path is cut. Then you will never be able to reach God. Say no to the church, to the temple; there is no problem about it. But never say no to love because that is the real temple. All other temples are just false coins, pseudo-images, not authentic. There is only one authentic temple, and that temple is love. Never say no to love. You will find God; God cannot hide for long.
The second commandment, Jesus says: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” – because, in fact all humanity is you, in many faces and in many forms. Can’t you see it? Your neighbor is nobody else than you, your own being in a different shape and form.
Many rivers in the world are named after colors. In China we have the Yellow River, somewhere in South Africa they have the Red River. In the US, I have heard, they have the White River, the Green River, the Purple River. In Spain they have a river, the Rio Tinto. It has three names: somewhere it is known as the Green River, somewhere as the Red River, somewhere as the White River. The river itself has no color, water is colorless, but the river takes the color of the terrain it passes through, the color of the shrubbery on the banks. If it passes a desert, of course it has a different color; if it passes through a forest, the forest is reflected – the shrubbery, the greenery – it has a different color. If it passes through a terrain where the mud is yellow, it becomes yellow. But no river has any color. And every river, whether it is called white, or green, or yellow, reaches naturally to its end, to its destiny, falls into the ocean, and becomes oceanic.
Your differences are because of your terrain, your colors are different because of your terrain. But your innermost quality of being is colorless, it is the same. Somebody is black, a Negro; somebody is white, an Englishman; somebody is just in the middle, an Indian; somebody is yellow, a Chinese – so many colors. But remember, these are the colors of the terrain of the body you pass through. They are not your colors; you are colorless.
In India, we have a name for the sannyasin – we call him viragi. That means colorless. Rag means color, virag means colorlessness. And viragi is one who has come to know his colorless being.
You are not the body, neither are you the mind, nor are you the heart. Your mind differs because it has been conditioned differently; your body is different because it has come through a different terrain, through a different heredity, but you are not different.
Jesus says: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” As you love yourself, love your neighbor. And one thing very basic that Christians have completely forgotten. Jesus says: “Love thyself,” and, “…love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Unless you love yourself, you cannot love your neighbor. All of so-called Christianity has been teaching you hatred toward yourself, condemnation toward yourself. Love yourself because you are the nearest to God. It is there that the first ripple has to arise. Love yourself. Self-love is the most fundamental thing if you ever want to be religious, self-love is the basis. And all the so-called religions go on teaching you self-hatred, “Condemn yourself, you are a sinner, guilty” – this and that – “you are worthless.”
You are not a sinner. They have made you so. You are not guilty, they have given you wrong interpretations of life. Accept yourself and love yourself – only then can you love your neighbor. Otherwise there is no possibility. If you don’t love yourself, how can you love another being? I teach you self-love. At least do that. If you cannot do anything else, love yourself. And out of your self-love, by and by you will see love is starting to flow; it is expanding, it is reaching the neighbors.
The whole problem today is that you hate yourself and you want to love somebody else, which is impossible. And the other also hates himself, and he wants to love you. That lesson has to be learned first within yourself.
If you ask Freud and the psychoanalysts, they have come to discover a very basic thing. They say, first the child is autocratic, masturbatory: the child loves himself. Then the child becomes homosexual: the boys love boys and want to play with boys, girls want to play with girls. They don’t want to mix with each other. And then arises heterosexuality: the boy wants to mix and love a girl, a girl wants to meet a boy and love. First, autoerotic, then homoerotic, then heteroerotic. This is about sex. The same is true about love.
First, you love yourself; then you love your neighbor, other human beings; and then you move beyond, you love existence. But the basis is you, so don’t condemn yourself, don’t reject yourself. Accept: God has taken abode in you. He has loved you so much, that’s why he has taken abode in you. He has made a temple of you, he lives in you. If you reject yourself, you reject the nearest to God that you can find. If you reject the nearest, it is impossible that you will love the faraway.
When Jesus says: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” he is saying two things: first, love thyself, so that you can be capable of loving thy neighbor.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
In fact it is one commandment: love. Love is the one and only order of things. If you have understood love, you have understood all. If you have not understood love, you may know many things, but all that knowledge is simply rot. Throw it on a rubbish heap and forget all about it. Start from the very beginning; be a child again, and start loving yourself again.
Your lake, as I see it, has no ripples. The first pebble of love has not fallen in it.
I have heard a Danish story. Remember it – let it become part of your mindfulness…

The story tells about a spider who lived high up in the rafters of an old barn. One day he let himself down by a long thread to a lower beam where he found the flies were more plentiful and more easily caught. He therefore decided to live permanently at this lower level, and spun himself a comfortable web there.
But one day he happened to notice the line down which he had come, stretching away into the darkness above. “I don’t need this anymore,” he said. “It only gets in the way.” He snapped it, and with it destroyed his whole web that needed it for support.

This is the story of man also. A thread joins you with the ultimate, the highest. Call it God. You may have completely forgotten that you have descended from there. You come from God and you have to go back to him. Everything goes back to the original source. It has to be so – then the circle is complete and one is fulfilled. And you may even feel like this spider, that the thread joining you to the highest comes in the way. Many times because of it you cannot do many things, again and again it comes in the way. You cannot be violent as you would like to be, you cannot be aggressive as you would like to be, you cannot hate as much as you would like to hate. The line comes again and again in the way. And sometimes you may feel like this spider – to cut it, to snap it, so that your path is clear.
That’s what Nietzsche says: “God is dead.” He snapped it, but immediately Nietzsche went mad. The moment he said, “God is dead,” he went mad because then you are cut away from the original source of all life, then you are starved of something very vital, essential. Then you miss something, for you have become completely oblivious that it was the very base. The spider snapped the thread, and with it destroyed his whole web that needed it for support.
Wherever you are, in your darkest night, a ray of light is still joined with you from God, from existence. That is your life, that’s how you are alive. Find that thread because that is going to be the way back home.

On 5th June, 1910, O’Henry was dying. It was getting dark. Friends were surrounding him. Suddenly he opened his eyes and said, “Turn the light up. I don’t want to go home in darkness.”
The light was turned up; he closed his eyes, smiled, and disappeared.

The thread that is joining you, the single ray of life that is making you alive, is the way back home. However far you have gone, you are still joined with God – otherwise it would not be possible. You may have forgotten him, but he has not forgotten you, and that is the real thing that matters.
Try to find out something in you that joins you to existence. Search for it, and you will come to the commandment Jesus is talking about. If you search, you will come to know it is love, not knowledge, that joins you to existence; not riches, not power, not fame – it is love that joins you to existence. And whenever you feel love, you are tremendously happy because more and more life becomes available to you.
Jesus or a Buddha, both are like a honeybee. The honeybee goes and finds beautiful flowers in a valley. She comes back, she dances a dance of ecstasy near her friends to tell them that she has found a beautiful valley full of flowers. “Come, follow me” – a Jesus is just a honeybee who has found the original source of life: a valley of beautiful flowers, flowers of eternity. He comes and dances near you to give you the message: “Come, follow me.”
If you try to understand and seek within you, you will find it is love that is the most significant, most essential thing in your being. Don’t starve it. Help it to grow so that it can become a big tree, so that the birds of heaven can take shelter in you – so that in your love, tired travelers on the path can rest, so that you can share your love, so that you can also become a honeybee. In your ecstasy, you can also tell people to come and follow you. Each and everyone has to become a Jesus one day.
And don’t be contented for less. Unless you become a Jesus, you cannot be a Christian. If you are satisfied by being a Christian, you are fooling yourself. Be a Jesus – less than that is not worthwhile. And you can be, because in fact you are. Only a recognition, just a recognition.
Enough for today.

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