Come Follow Yourself Vol 04 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 11 discourses - Come Follow Yourself Vol 04 by Osho.
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The first question:
You said there are only two types of people: those whose path is awareness and those whose path is surrender or bhakti. It seems to me that Lao Tzu has nothing to do with either of them – is there a third type then who follow neither or both?
Lao Tzu has no path, or “no-path” is his path. Lao Tzu says, “There is nowhere to go, you are already there.” So the very word path becomes meaningless. A path is needed if you are going somewhere. If you are already there, the path is not needed at all. In fact, to have a path will be dangerous; you will go astray. Lao Tzu says, “Those who follow a path go astray.” By and by, they go further and further away from themselves.
“Seeker, follow no path because all paths lead there. Truth is here.” Lao Tzu is the last word in spirituality; beyond him there is nothing.
Ordinarily it is very difficult to conceive of no-path because you are suddenly thrown to yourself with nothing to cling to, nowhere to go, nothing to do – no method, no technique, no means. Suddenly you are thrown to yourself, and that has become almost impossible for you. You need something else to be occupied with. You leave the world, you leave your family, you renounce everything, but you never renounce the other. In some form or other – in the form of God, in the form of Yoga, in the form of a technique, you still have something. Lao Tzu takes that too away from you. He leaves you totally empty. That emptiness needs great courage. In fact, all other paths finally come to the same point.
If you follow bhakti, surrender, one day you will come to understand that in the first place there was nothing to surrender; the ego never existed. The ego was false so the surrender was also false because the disease never existed. It helped, surrender helped you to know that the ego never existed. Then suddenly you start laughing at the whole ridiculousness of it – that you were surrendering something to your master that you never had, or you were surrendering something to God that was just a false notion. But this will come in the end. With Lao Tzu it comes in the beginning, with Lao Tzu, the first step is the last. In fact, no step is the last; there is no beginning and no end. The same is true about Zen. These are not ideologies or philosophies. These are not scriptures; these are tremendous visions of instant mutation.
It happened…

When Bodhidharma reached China, a great scholar came to see him. He had brought with him the greatest book he had written. It was very famous; the book was in almost every home. The philosopher was acclaimed by the whole nation. He went to Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen. He wanted the master’s opinion about his book, in which he had talked about all the possible paths, all the possible ideologies, very minutely. Very subtle was his exposition. He was a very, very refined intellect, a mastermind. What did Bodhidharma do? He took the book in his hand, put it to his nose and said, “It has a kind of quarrelsome smell about it,” and threw the book away. He said, “Take it away from here. It will spoil my disciples, it will corrupt. It has a certain quarrelsome smell about it.”

All paths, all ideologies, all philosophies, all theologies are quarrelsome. They are in the marketplace claiming, “Only our path leads to truth.” Not only that, they are fighting, arguing with other paths, other ideologies. The world of ideologies is a marketplace.
If you are ready to take the jump, the truth is already present in you. There is no need to go anywhere; there is no need to look for it anywhere. Close the eyes and it is here. You are the truth.
So now, let us try to understand the question.
Yes, there are two types of people, two types of persons. Humanity is divided into two types: the male and the female, the yin and the yang, the negative and the positive, the aggressive and the passive. These two types of people both live in illusion, in a sort of dream, a kind of sleep, drunk with desire, blind with desire. The person who belongs to the male type needs a path upon which he can exercise his will; that will suit him. Finally a day will come when by this exercising of his will, by and by, he will start understanding that he is engaging in a futile effort. But he will take a long time to understand this. He will have to fall many times, and he will again stand, and he will again make efforts – and he will again be a failure because the will cannot succeed.
The will means the ego, the will means you. It is going to fail. Many times it will fail, and you will go on hoping the next time it will not fail. One day – how can you escape the fact forever and ever? – one day or the other, you will stumble upon the fact that you are doing something stupid. In realization, the will is going to disappear, and suddenly you will see that the path has disappeared, the religion has disappeared, and you are illumined. It was always there, but you were so much occupied with the path, the will, the effort. All effort brings you to effortlessness, and all willing brings you to will-lessness, and all ego finally brings you to egolessness.
The other part of humanity, the female part, the passive part, cannot move on the path of will. It needs another illusory path: the path of surrender, devotion, bhakti. One day or other, devoting yourself and still finding that something is lacking because the devotion can never be total – anything illusory can never be total: surrendering and surrendering, and again and again finding that you are still standing behind, you are not yet surrendered – one day suddenly you become aware of the fact. What are you going to do? Surrendering something you don’t have? How is it possible? Suddenly the ego has disappeared. Now there is no need to surrender because there is no ego left.
The path of surrender and the path of will both bring you to where Lao Tzu starts. Their end is the beginning of Lao Tzu. His path is of pathlessness. He is the ultimate word, beyond which nothing exists. He is the last word. Buddha can be improved upon, Jesus can be improved upon, Meera and Mahavira, Krishna and Chaitanya, can be improved upon, but not Lao Tzu. You cannot improve upon him; there is nothing to improve. He simply does not play the game. From the very beginning, he is a nonparticipant.
The questioner has asked, “Is there a third type of person?” No, there are only two types of people. The third type is not a type because all types belong to the ego. The third type is sheer humanness. It is not a being, it is not a person. It is simply sheer existence, pure existence, purity itself. These two are the types. When these types disappear, you become aware of that which is universal, which has nothing to do with the person because personality gathers around the ego. Whether you will or you surrender makes no difference. The personality needs a base in the ego.
The ego has two types: the male and female. But a person who is egoless is not a type at all. You cannot categorize him, you cannot put him in any category, he simply transcends all categories. He is fluid, he is flowing in all directions, he is spread all over. He is not like a stone; he is like the sky – indefinable, elusive. The third is not a type, Lao Tzu is not a type. He does not belong to the world of types, the world of categories. He is simply beyond.
When Confucius came to see him, Confucius became very frightened because to look into the eyes of Lao Tzu is to look into the eternal abyss – bottomless. It is what Buddha calls shunya: eternal void, emptiness. He started trembling, he tried to escape from him. When his disciples asked, “Say something about Lao Tzu because you have been to see him,” he was still trembling and perspiring. He said, “Don’t ask about that man! He is not a man at all; he is a dragon. And never go near him, he is dangerous! He can suck you in and you disappear.”
Had Confucius known about black holes, he would have said, “He is a black hole; don’t go near him! Once you fall into him you will never be able to return. He is dangerous!” Only once did Confucius go to see him – never again – but his whole life the shadow haunted him because he had known a man who was not bounded. He had known a man who had no limitations. He had known sheer humanity, pure humanity, pure beingness. He had seen the purity of death and life.
No, the third does not belong to any type.

The second question:
I am aware of a dichotomy within me: when I am near you, I am drawn toward you and am conscious of being a thirsty seeker. When I am away from the ashram, I just have a good time and feel deliciously unholy. Is something wrong?
Nothing is wrong. It is as it should be. That’s what I would like it to be – exactly, precisely. This is what I am trying to teach you: don’t be serious about holiness. Be playful, take it as fun. It is the greatest fun there is, but it is fun. Once you become serious, you will become a victim of some church or some priest. Once you become serious, you are already ill.
When you are near me, flow with me, be with me. When you go to the river, swim with the river. But there is no need to swim in the market; you will look ridiculous. In the marketplace move in the market, become part of the market. Retain the capacity of fluidity. Don’t gather a character, a rigid structure around you. Remain capable of moving from one polarity to another; that is what life is. Don’t get frozen.
There is no dichotomy. This is the beauty of life: it comprehends the opposites. While you are with me, be with me, enjoy this search. At home, sipping your tea or smoking, enjoy the tea, enjoy smoking. Nothing is unholy in it. In fact, the definition of holy is to be whole. And to be whole means to comprehend the contradictions.
Don’t be just the day, be the night also. Don’t be just the light, be the darkness also because darkness has its own beauties. You will miss them, and you will only be a half person if you don’t have any night in you where you can go and relax. If you are simply serious, you will remain in the head, hung up. But if you can become nonserious also, you can move into the heart.
The heart is a nonserious playfulness. The head is very serious. You should remain capable of flowing. That capacity to flow is to be religious. When you go to the temple, you become a part of the temple; when you go to the world, you become part of the world. Wherever you are, you are always capable of moving to the opposite. If you cannot do that, you become a dead thing. Only a dead thing cannot move to the opposite. A dead thing is a fixed character.
I have heard…

A great Zen master died, and another Zen master, who had always been the opposite polarity to this master, went to follow the dead body to the cemetery. There were thousands of people in the funeral procession. This man who had always remained the enemy of the master was there. Somebody asked, “Why have you come? You were always antagonistic to him.”
The man laughed. He said, “It was part of being holy. I was the opposite of him, and he was my opposite. Between us two, we were creating life. People were moving from him to me, from me to him, and between us there was a conspiracy. We were creating life. Structured, frozen people – we were melting them. Now I will miss him tremendously.” And later on, when he saw so many people, thousands following, he said, “This is really wonderful. In the wake of one living person, so many dead people are going!”

Life is not a fixity. It is not like rock, it is like river: rivering, flowing. It is a process, it is not a thing. If you understand me, I am here to make your whole life holy. So whatever you do, enjoy it totally and don’t create the dichotomy. The dichotomy is of the mind; you are creating it. There is no problem at all. What is wrong? If you feel deliciously unholy, perfectly good. Don’t become a holy man, otherwise you will miss wholeness and you will never be holy. Remain capable of being unholy also. Then holiness and unholiness become your two banks, and between the two flows the river, which belongs to neither bank, which is always transcending and going far away and far away.
Don’t create a character. If you’re going to remain creative, don’t create a character. Each moment, try to bring yourself out of the character that was being created in the past moment. Character means the past, you always mean the present. Consciousness is always the present, and character is always of the past. Whenever you talk about somebody’s character, you talk about his past – whatever he has done, that is his character. The character is always dead. Try to transcend character. Try to pull yourself up again and again, remind yourself again and again. Remember yourself again and again so you remain in the present – alive, throbbing.
Don’t get caught in character. Don’t become holy, don’t become unholy. A saint is dead, a sinner also, but not a man who can move between the two with no difficulty, who can move easily between the two as easily as you come out of your house and go in. You feel cold, it is a winter morning – you come out to sun yourself. And then it becomes hot, the sun rising high – you move in, you go into your house. There is no difficulty in it. The difficulty will arise only if you are paralyzed. Then you cannot come out of the house; you are paralyzed. If somebody carries you out somehow, outside the house, you still cannot move because now you are paralyzed there.
Don’t be paralyzed; remain alive. Don’t become a dead thing. The only way is: every day, die to the past so you can be alive herenow. Go on dying to the past. Never carry the past around with you, otherwise you are carrying a great imprisonment around you; a great prison surrounds you. I am not concerned about whether that prison is made of gold and decorated with diamonds, or if it is a poor man’s prison, just a dark cell. Whether it is the prison you call “saint” or the prison you call “sinner” does not matter. A prison is a prison, and you should not be a prisoner. Be free. Don’t create any problem out of it.
I would like to tell you a story…

Many centuries ago, a temple of higher knowledge was being built on a hill overlooking the Nile. The man who would become its chief teacher wanted a suitable proverb to be inscribed over the front door. He thought about it many times as the work progressed. The morning finally came when the foreman needed to have the selected proverb, so he asked the teacher for it. “Please come back in an hour,” requested the teacher, “I will have it for you then.”
While thinking about it, the teacher wandered near a skilled workman who was gently correcting the work of a young man. The teacher heard the older man make the encouraging remark “There is another way.”
Over the centuries, as troubled students and visitors entered the temple, their first lesson was inscribed over the door. It read: There is another way.

You ask me how to get rid of this dichotomy? I tell you, there is another way. There is no need to get rid of it – accept it, enjoy it. Don’t try to choose; remain choicelessly aware. Then the whole of life is holy, and the whole earth is God’s temple. Then nothing is wrong.
My definition of wrongness is anything that becomes an imprisonment is wrong. And anything that remains freedom is right. Freedom is right, imprisonment is wrong. So remain alert because each moment you are creating a past, and if you are not alert the dust of the past will go on gathering around you. As you clean your house every morning, every evening go on cleaning your inner consciousness, every moment. Only then can you remain fresh, like a fresh flower, a virgin-ness, a mirror that can reflect, that has not gathered any dust around it.

The third question:
In intensive psychotherapy the patient may either be talking or listening, that is, trying to hear from within. Only the latter is of value. A good therapist, especially if love exists, will hit on many ways of heightening this process of listening for the unexpected. Is this a form of meditation? In fact, might it be said that ideally, both therapist and patient are meditating together?
Therapy is basically meditation and love because without love and meditation, there is no healing possible. When the therapist and the patient are not two, when the therapist is not only a therapist and when the patient is not a patient anymore, but a deep I–thou relationship arises where the therapist is not trying to treat the person, when the patient is not looking at the therapist as separate from himself – in those rare moments, therapy happens. When the therapist has forgotten his knowledge and the patient has forgotten his illness, and there is a dialogue, a dialogue of two beings – in that moment, between the two, healing happens. And if it happens, the therapist will always know that he functioned only as a vehicle for a divine force, for a divine healing. He will be as grateful for the experience as the patient. In fact, he will gain as much out of it as the patient.
When you treat a person as a patient, you treat him as if he is a machine. Just like a mechanic who is trying to change, to adjust, a mechanism – trying to put it right – the therapist is an expert hung up in his knowledge in the head. He is trying to help the other person as if the other person is not another person, but a machine. He may be technically expert, he may have the knowhow, but he is not going to be of much help because this very look is destructive. This very looking at the patient and seeing him as an object creates a resistance in the patient; he feels hurt.
Have you watched? There are only a very few doctors with whom you don’t feel humiliated, with whom you don’t feel as if you have been treated as an object, with whom you feel a deep respect for you – with whom you feel you are taken as a person, not as a mechanism. And it is more so when it is a question of psychotherapy. A psychotherapist needs to forget all that he knows. In the moment, he has to become love, a flowing love. In the moment, he has to accept the humanity of the other, the subjectivity of the other. The other should not be reduced to a thing, otherwise you have closed the doors for a greater healing force to descend, from the very beginning.
To be a therapist is one of the most difficult things in the world because you have to know to help, and on the other hand, you have to forget all that you know to help. You have to know much to help, and you have to forget all of it to help. A therapist has to do a very contradictory thing, and only then does therapy happen. When love flows and the therapist listens to the patient with tremendous attention, and the patient also tries to listen to his own inner being, to his own unconscious talking to him – when this listening happens – by and by, in that deep listening there are not two persons.
Maybe there are two polarities. When you listen to me, healing is happening all the time. When you listen to me so attentively that you are not there – no mind, no thinking, you have become just the ears – you just listen, you absorb, and I am not here at all. So when in some rare moments you are also not there, there is healing. Suddenly you are healed. Without your knowing, you are being healed every day. Without your knowing, the healing surrounds you, the healing force surrounds you. Your wounds heal, your darkness disappears, your limitations are broken; this is a therapy.
In the East we have never had anything like a psychotherapist because the master was more than enough. Whatever psychoanalysis knows today, the East has known for centuries. Nothing is new in it. But in the East, we never gave birth to the category of the psychoanalyst, but the master. Not the patient, but the disciple.
Just look at the difference. When you come to me as a patient you bring a very ugly mind; when you come to me as a disciple you bring a beautiful mind. When I look at you as a therapist, that very look reduces you to a thing; when I look as master, that very look raises you to the heights of your innermost being. In the East we have never called the master a psychotherapist – and he is the greatest therapist that has ever been known in the world. Just sitting by the side of a Buddha, millions were healed. Wherever he moved there was healing, but healing was never talked about. It was simply happening; there was no need to talk about it – the very presence of a buddha, and the loving look from the master, and the readiness to absorb from the disciple.
The word patient is ugly. The word in itself is not ugly; it comes from a very beautiful root. It comes from the same root as patience, but it has become ugly by association. A disciple is totally different; you have come to learn something, not to be treated, and the treatment happens by itself. All therapy is learning. In fact, why have you become mentally ill? – because you have learned something wrong. You have learned something so totally wrong that you are caught in it. You need somebody who can uncondition you, who can help you to unlearn it and channelize your energy in a different path, that’s all.
For example, one woman came to me. I have been watching her for many years; she has been coming to me for many years. The first time she came, she told me she was not interested in sex at all, but her husband was continuously after sex. She felt very bad about it; she was almost vomiting. “How to stop it? What should I do?” she asked.
I talked to the husband and told the husband, “Just for one month, don’t be interested sexually. After one month, things will be better and different.” For one month he followed me. The woman came again. She said, “I am feeling very hurt because my husband is not at all interested in me sexually.” Then I told her, “Now you have to understand what is happening. When the husband is sexually interested, you have a certain power over the husband. You enjoy that power, but at the same time you also feel you are being used. Because the husband looks at you sexually, that means he looks at you as a means toward a certain satisfaction. You feel you are being used.” Almost all women feel they are being used, and that is their problem. But if the husband stops taking interest they forget all about being used, and they become afraid. They start thinking the husband is going far away. Now they have no more power over him, they don’t possess him. So I told the woman, “Just look at the fact: if you want to possess the husband you will have to be possessed by him. If you want to possess the husband, you will have to be used by him.”
A mind that is possessive will be possessed. To possess something is to be possessed by it. The more you possess, the more slavery you create around yourself. Freedom comes when you unlearn possessiveness. When you unlearn possessiveness, you are not in search of any power over anybody. Then jealousy does not arise. And when you are not trying to possess the other, you create such beauty around yourself that the other cannot look at you as a thing. You become a person – glorified, vibrant, illuminated – you become a light unto yourself; nobody can possess you. Whoever comes near you will feel the tremendous beauty, and will not be able to think in terms of your being a thing.
Now, every woman suffers because in the first place she wants to possess. When she wants to possess, she is possessed and when she is possessed she feels, “I am being used.” If she is not being used, she feels that power is disappearing. So a woman always remains in suffering. And it is the same with men.
To look into a problem deeply is to be healed because the very looking shows you that you have learned some wrong trick. Unlearn, there is healing. People are mentally ill because they have been conditioned wrongly. Everybody has been conditioned to be competitive, and everybody has been taught to be silent and peaceful. This is stupid; you cannot do both. Either you are competitive – then you remain tense – or you are silent and peace loving; then you cannot be competitive. You have been taught dichotomies. You have been told to move in two directions together, and you have learned it. You have been taught to be humble, and you have been continuously taught to be egoistic.
If your son is first in the class at university, you feel very happy. You give a party for his friends, and you go on showing your son that he is a great man – he is first in the class, he is being awarded a gold medal. Now this is an ego trip, all medals are. And at the same time, you go on teaching him to be humble. Now you are creating a difficulty; if he becomes humble he will not be competitive, if he becomes competitive he cannot be humble. If he wants to attain the gold medals this life can give, then he cannot be humble. All his humbleness will be hypocrisy. One has to see. Now this man will be in trouble: he will try continuously to be humble, and continuously he will try to succeed in life. If he succeeds, he will never enjoy the success because he will have become arrogant and egoistic, and he had an ideal of being humble and egoless. If he becomes humble and egoless, he will not feel happy because he has that ideal to succeed in the world, to show to the world the mettle he is made of.
The society goes on being contradictory, inconsistent, and the society goes on teaching you things that are absolutely wrong. Then illness happens; then there is psychic turmoil within you, conflict within you. You come to a point where everything is in disorder, topsy-turvy. You can either go to a master, or you can go to a psychotherapist. If you go to a master, you go as a disciple to learn. You have learned something wrong; it has to be unlearned and something new has to be learned. When you go as a disciple, you don’t feel humiliated, you feel happy about it. But if you go as a mental case, if you go as a patient, you feel embarrassed. Going to a psychotherapist, you want to hide the facts: “People should not know because that means my mind is not functioning well.” Going to the psychotherapist, you would like to hide it. A psychotherapist is an expert.
He himself has problems, almost the same as you have. He may be of some help to you, but he has not been of much help to himself. But a master has no problems. He can help you tremendously because he can see you through and through. You become transparent before him. A psychotherapist is a professional: even if he takes care of you, shows a certain love toward you, affection, it is a professional gesture. A master is not professionally related to you. The relationship is totally different; it is heart to heart.
In the West now, there are so many psychotherapies, but nothing is proving to be helpful. Patients go from one psychoanalyst to another, from one therapy to another. Their whole lives they are moving from one door to another. Masters are needed, realized ones are needed who have attained love. But even in ordinary psychotherapy, if for some moments it happens that the patient is no longer a patient and the therapist is no longer a therapist – a certain love, a certain humanity: they have forgotten their profession, their professional relationship, and love flows – healing immediately happens.
Healing is a function of love. Love is the greatest therapy, and the world needs therapists because the world lacks love. If people are loving – if parents are loving, if teachers and professors are loving, if the society has a loving climate around it – there will be no need.
Everybody is born to remain healthy and happy. Everybody is seeking health and happiness, but somewhere something is missing and everybody becomes miserable. Misery should be an exception, it has become the rule. Happiness should be the rule, it has become an exception. I would like a world where buddhas are born, but nobody remembers them because they will be the rule. Now Buddhas are remembered, Christ is remembered, Lao Tzu is remembered, because they are exceptions. Otherwise who will bother about them? If there were a Buddha in every house, and if there were Buddhas all over the marketplace and you could meet Lao Tzu anywhere, who will bother? That will be the simple rule. It should be so.
Lao Tzu says, “When the world was really moral, there was no possibility of becoming a saint.” When the world was really religious, there was no need for religions. People were simply religious; religions were not needed. When there was order – a discipline, a natural order and discipline – the words order and discipline didn’t exist. The idea of order comes in only when there is disorder. People start talking about discipline where there is no discipline, and people talk about healing when illness is there. People talk about love when love is missing. But basically, therapy is a function of love.
This question is from a psychotherapist, Buddhaghosha. I would like him to carry my message in his life. He will be going back soon. Now go not as a therapist, but as a human being. Never look at the patient as a patient. Look at him as if he has come to learn something – a disciple. Help him, but not as an expert; help him like a human being, and there will be much healing. There will be less therapy and much healing. Otherwise therapy continues for years and years on end, and the result is almost nil. Or sometimes the result is even harmful.
I have heard…

A man had a very curious habit. Whenever he was in the pub, he would drink wine and always leave a little part in the glass and throw it all around over people. He was beaten many times. Then somebody suggested, the owner of the pub suggested, “Why don’t you go to a psychoanalyst? You need therapy because you have been beaten and you have been thrown out of the pub. Again you come and again you do the same. Something seems to be wrong. You are obsessed.”
So he went, and after three months he came back. He was looking better. The pub owner asked, “Have you been to some psychoanalyst? Because for three months you have disappeared.”
He said, “Yes, and it helped me tremendously.”
“Are you cured?” the owner asked.
He said, “Perfectly cured.” But he did the same thing again.
The owner said, “What type of treatment is this? You are doing the same thing!”
He said, “But I am completely changed. Before, I used to do it and I used to feel guilty. I don’t feel guilt anymore. The psychoanalyst helped me, cured me of the guilt. I used to feel embarrassed, now I don’t bother.”

This has happened in the West; psychoanalysis has helped many people just to feel that nothing matters. It has not given a deeper responsibility, it has only taken away the feeling of guilt. The feeling of guilt is bad, it has to be taken away, but it should be taken away in such a way that the person unlearns the idea of guilt, but learns the idea of responsibility. Guilt is bad, guilt is very dangerous. It destroys you, it is like a wound. But to feel responsible is very, very essential; it gives you soul, it gives you an integration. And unless you feel responsible, you are not a healthy person. A healthy person is always aware that whatever he is doing, he is responsible. The very idea of responsibility will give you a freedom, a dignity. An authentic being will come out of it. You will become more present, you will be more here and now.
The idea of guilt is a false coin. It looks like responsibility; it is not. Guilt makes you depressed. Responsibility will give you an intensity, a sharpness of awareness. You will have more integration in you, you will feel more together.
Buddhaghosha, go to the West, but now not as a psychotherapist. Now you are a sannyasin. Feel the responsibility of being a sannyasin. Go to help people, and if you help people you will be tremendously helped. If you love people, you will be loved. If you heal people, if you become a vehicle of healing force and energy, you will be healed. And always remember that while healing a person, you are part of the process; you are also being healed. While teaching a person, you are also being taught. The best way in the world to learn anything is to teach it. The best way in the world to learn anything is to teach it. But remember that the master is also a disciple. He continuously goes on learning. Each disciple is a new lesson, and to work with each patient or disciple is to open a new book, a new life.
Great are the rewards of love. Go as a sannyasin and create a climate around you so the patient comes to learn – to unlearn, to be transformed. He is not to be taken as a case, but as a helpless human being, as helpless as you are. And don’t look from a tower holier than thou, higher than you, more knowledgeable than you. Don’t look that way; that gaze is violent, and then love becomes impossible. Look as a human being, as helpless as the other – in the same boat, in the same plight. You will be helpful, and much healing will happen through you.

I have heard an anecdote about Harvard’s famed professor, Charles T. Copeland. He was once asked by a student, “Is there anything I can do to learn the art of conversation?”
“Yes, there is one thing,” said Copeland, “if you listen I will tell you.”
For several minutes there was silence, then the student said, “I am listening, professor.”
“You see,” said Copeland, “you are learning already.”

Listening is learning because when you listen silently, the whole of existence starts speaking to you. When you are absolutely silent, that is the greatest moment to learn.
Life reveals its secrets when you are silent. So whether helping a disciple, a fellow traveler, a friend, or trying to heal a patient, be a great listener. Listen so passionately, so attentively, that the other becomes, by and by, capable of revealing his secret-most depths to you – depths he has not revealed to anybody because nobody was ready to listen, depths he has not revealed to himself because he was also not ready to listen, depths have remained always in the dark. Listen so tremendously that the very milieu of your listening brings out all that is hidden in the patient, in the disciple. He will be surprised that he is saying things to you; he never knew those things existed in him. Through your listening, you will make him aware of his own unconscious, and that is a healing thing. Once the unconscious becomes the conscious, many things disappear. All that is rubbish disappears and all that is significant deepens.
But how can you teach listening? – by being a great listener. While you are listening to a patient or a friend, don’t become bored. If you are bored, please tell him this is not the right moment: “Some other moment; I am not in a mood to listen.” Never listen to anybody when you are feeling bored because your boredom creates a climate in which the other immediately feels he is rejected. Your boredom goes on saying to him: “Whatever you are saying is all rubbish. Stop, shut up.” Whether you say it or not doesn’t matter. Your whole being is saying: “Shut up! Be finished with it.”
Because of this, Freud used to use a certain method. The method was to hide himself from the patient. The patient would lie on a couch, and Freud would sit just at the back. The patient would not be able to see what Freud was thinking about, whether he was listening or not. He would sit at the back, and the patient would say a monologue to himself.
Freudian analysis takes many years – three, four, five, even ten years. There are even patients who have been in analysis for twenty years and nothing has happened. It is inhuman. Face the patient; look eye to eye, don’t hide like a ghost. Be human, be open, and listen.
Freud taught his disciples not to ever touch the patient. That is absolutely wrong because then you become inhuman. There are moments when just holding the hand of the patient will do much, much more than all analysis can do. But Freud was very afraid there was a possibility intimacy might start between the doctor and the patient. The doctor should remain far away and aloof; he should not come down to the human world. Freud was very afraid, it seems, of his own humanity. He was very afraid of his own mind. He could not allow intimacy. A very deep fear, a very deep complex must have existed in him. People who are afraid of relationship are afraid of themselves, because in relationship they are revealed, in relationship they are mirrored. Freud was a puritan.
There is no need to be so far away. Otherwise healing will not happen. Come closer. The patient has to be taken into deep intimacy so he can reveal, so he can bring his whole heart to you.
And respond. Don’t listen like a marble statue. Respond – sometimes laugh with him, sometimes weep and cry; respond because when you respond, the relationship, the moment, becomes alive. If you don’t respond, the whole thing goes on like a stale, dead thing. Respond; make the whole thing alive, and much is possible. Much more is possible than through just analyzing, diagnosing. Freud’s psychoanalysis remained a head trip. The real therapy has to be total.

The fourth question:
This is a Marxist, a Christian theologian's question – so many diseases together!
In traditional China there was a saying, “Confucian in office, Taoist out of office.” this represented a deep division and dilemma in Chinese society, perhaps all societies. Can there be an enlightened society which does not teach the way of the ego? Or is society by nature of its very ordered and patterned reality of the calculating and repressive collective mind or ego – is society, even that of enlightened individuals or would-be enlightened individuals – by its very nature, opposed to enlightenment?
First, the old saying is perfectly beautiful: “A Taoist out of office, and a Confucian in the office.” When you live with people, you have to follow certain rules. Those rules have no ultimacy about them; they are rules of a game. For example, if you walk on the road, you have to walk to the right or to the left, as the society has decided. If you start walking anywhere, you will be in trouble and you will create trouble for others. Keeping to the left is not something ultimate; it is utilitarian, it has use. It is not that God has commanded you to walk to the left, because in America they go on keeping to the right. Whether you keep to the right or to the left does not matter; but you have to keep to either the right or left. A rule has to exist because there are so many people. If you are alone on the road, then there is no problem. If you have a private road where you walk alone, it is up to you. There is no need to keep to the left because that would be an obsession, foolish. Then you can walk in the middle of the road, or whatever you like you can do. In your privacy, there should be no rules. One should live a life of total freedom – that is what Lao Tzu is. But where there are others, your freedom can become a chaos, and chaos is not freedom. Where others are involved, you have to follow certain rules. There is no need to get obsessed about them.
There are people who get obsessed about rules. I used to stay in Kolkata in a friend’s house. He is a justice of the High Court. His wife told me once when he was not at home, “My husband follows you, reads you, loves you tremendously. It will be great compassion for me if you can tell him to do one thing.” I asked, “What is that one thing?” The woman said, “Tell him not to be a justice in bed. Even in bed he remains a High Court Justice; he never comes out of the role.”
It is good to be a justice in the court. It would be as wrong to be a husband in the court, as wrong as to be a justice in bed. In the court, one has to be a justice; this is what Confucianism means.
Confucius thinks about the relationship between people, the society, the world – etiquette, manners, the law. Confucius is like Moses or Manu, the lawgiver. Lao Tzu brings love, freedom, to the world. And it is good to move in these two polarities. Don’t think that they divide you. They don’t divide you. In fact, they give you more freedom, more flow, more possibilities because if you remain Taoist, you will have to move to the Himalayas some day or other. You cannot live in the society because wherever you go, there will be trouble. Either you will have to go to the Himalayas – or people will crucify you. That’s what happened to Jesus.
One Christian bishop was saying to me, “Wherever Jesus went, there was revolution, but wherever I go, people serve tea!” Jesus was dangerous.
The proverb is of a very deep wisdom: there is no need to be continuously creating revolution wherever you go, there is no need to be constantly forcing people to make a cross for you. It will be wiser, sometimes it is good, if tea is served. To be an obsessed revolutionary is a disease. And to bring etiquette and manners back home so you cannot even relax in your bathroom, that too is obsession.
The proverb is perfectly beautiful. I approve of it totally. Be a Confucian in the world, and in your innermost world be a Taoist, a follower of Lao Tzu. There is no division, there is nothing wrong with it. Simply have a fluidity. When the other comes you follow the rules because with the other, rules come; when you are alone there is no need for any rules. Without the other, rules disappear. In your aloneness you are totally free, but whenever you are with somebody else you have a responsibility. The other is there and you have to be careful. That is part of love: to care about the other. So I don’t see any dichotomy, and I don’t see any dilemma. The dilemma is created if you have not understood the point. If you understand the point, there is no dilemma.
And the second thing: “…is society, even that of enlightened individuals or would-be enlightened individuals, by its very nature opposed to enlightenment?” Yes, society by its very nature is opposed to enlightenment because enlightenment is basically individual. It happens in your aloneness. When you are absolutely alone, only then does it happen. The other functions as a barrier. The society is opposed to enlightenment, and will always remain opposed because the society is an organization. The society, even if it calls itself revolutionary, cannot be revolutionary. All societies are traditional, even the society of Mao. It may be a new tradition, that’s all, but it is a tradition. The Russian society is now as traditional as any society.
Society cannot be revolutionary because the society has to settle, it has to have some type of establishment, it has to follow certain rules. Only the individual can be purely, innocently, revolutionary, rebellious. There is no need for any organization and any structure. But once there is the other, organization comes in. Society can never be for enlightenment because people who become enlightened go, in a certain way, beyond the society – they go beyond the rules, they start living their freedom. That will not happen if you follow the Chinese proverb. Then the society will not be against enlightenment. It may not be for it, but it will not be against.
If you move in the world and follow the rules there, and in your aloneness go into the unknown, then there is no problem. The problem arises when you start meditating just in the middle of the road, or you start dancing. Nothing is wrong with dancing; you have just chosen a wrong place. Dancing is perfectly good, but choose a right place for it. There is a right time and a right place for everything. Don’t just stand in the middle of the road and create a nuisance. If one understands the proverb, there will be no trouble.
Society itself can never be for enlightenment because enlightenment is basically individual. It happens to the individual, never to the society. You become enlightened, not the group, not the society. In fact, society is just a name for the collectivity, for the collective of individuals. There is no soul of the society; the soul is individual. The society is just the arrangement, superficial. It is needed, necessary, but it is a necessary evil. It has to be tolerated. But society does not bother about whether you become enlightened or not. For the society, Confucius is enough. For the individual, Confucius is not enough; Lao Tzu is needed. For the society, Moses is enough. For the individual, Moses is not enough – maybe necessary, but not enough; Jesus is needed. And once you understand, you can create an inner synthesis of the two and there is no problem.
In the Talmud is said one of the most beautiful sentences ever uttered: “One man outweighs all creation.” Not only society, not only this earth, but, “One man outweighs all creation.” This is true because one man can become a vehicle for the divine. One man can become the opportunity for God to exist, to be present, for God to express himself. One man can become the flowering of the ultimate. The society is utilitarian. One man outweighs all creation.
There is another sentence in the Talmud: “Wherever you come across a footprint of man, God stands before you. Bow down.” Wherever you come across a footprint, God stands before you – the possibility.
Society is just a structure with no soul. The soul is of the individual. One individual outweighs all societies. And, one individual’s revolution outweighs all revolutions in the whole of history because one man can become the womb for God to be reborn.

The fifth question:
The closer I come, the thirstier I get. When is the quenching going to start?
The very expectation will function as a barrier. Forget about the quenching. Simply be thirsty and enjoy it. When the thirst becomes total, it disappears.
I would like to read a few lines from T. S. Eliot:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time….
When the tongues of flame are enfolded
into the crowned knot of fire
and the fire and the rose are one.
…and the thirst and the quenching are one, and the rose and the fire are one. When the fire is total, suddenly it is transformed and there is only a rose, not the fire. When the thirst is total, its very totality changes its quality – it becomes quenching, infinite contentment. The quenching is not something separate from thirst, remember it.
Thirst. Become so total that you disappear in your thirst; and then, the fire and the rose are one.

The last question:
If I let go, I fear I am gone forever.
You fear rightly; you will be gone forever – but you cannot escape now. The very fear shows you cannot escape now. The very fear shows you are understanding rightly, that you will disappear if you let go. But you are your misery, nothing else; you are your hell, nothing else. So how long can you cling to it? Sooner or later, you will have to let go.
I will tell you a story. The story is very old; the story is about King Midas.

Midas was hunting for a wise man, for someone who could become his master. He heard about a companion of Dionysus. The name of Dionysus’ companion was Silenus. He searched, he searched long, and finally he caught him. When he finally fell into his hands, the King asked, “What is the very best, the most preferable thing for man?”
The demon remained silent, stubborn and motionless, until he was finally compelled by the King, and then broke out into shrill laughter uttering these words: “Miserable, ephemeral species, children of chance and hardship, why do you compel me to tell you what is most profitable for you not to hear? The very best is quite unthinkable for you. It is not to be born. It is impossible because you are already born. The very best is not to be born, not to exist, to be nothing. But the next best thing is to die as soon as possible. Only the next best is possible.”
Midas became very angry. He said, “I have come in search of life, not of death.”
Silenus said, “Nobody has ever come to know life until he dies.”

So I know your fear, I understand it, and the fear is perfectly true. It is not deceiving you, it is telling you the truth: if you let go, you are gone forever. But there arises a need, when one needs to drop completely and die completely because only then is there resurrection. When you die, something bigger than you will be born, and that is the search. Out of death comes life. Allow death.
I understand your difficulty. In spite of your fear you will have to let go.

There was a very famous Zen master, Tosan. A disciple asked him, “Master, what is Tao?”
The master said, “A dragon singing in the dry wood.”
The disciple said, “I wonder whether there is anybody who can hear this.”
The master said, “There is no one in the entire world who does not hear this.”
The disciple said, “I don’t know what kind of composition the dragon’s song is.”
The master said, “I also do not know, but all who hear it lose themselves.”

Whatever I am singing is the song of that dragon in the dry wood. Whoever hears me will disappear. Now it is up to you; either you hear me or you hear your fear, the fear that you have been hearing forever and ever. You have lived through the fear up to now, and nothing has been attained. Your life is just an empty barrenness, a desert with not even a single oasis in it. You have listened too long to your fear. Now don’t be bothered by it. Say to it, “Shut up!” and in spite of it, move. You will disappear, but that is the only way to gain yourself. Says Jesus, “If you try to save your life, you will lose it. If you lose it, you will gain it in abundance, in eternity.”
Only the momentary is lost and the eternal is gained. Only the useless is lost and the ultimate is gained. Now it is for you to decide. Either you decide for your fear, or you decide for my love.
Enough for today.

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