From Darkness to Light 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Darkness to Light by Osho.
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How do we, the commune, ensure that our children maintain their original face?
The original face of every child is the face of God. Of course my God is not a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew. My God is not even a person but only a presence.
It is less like a flower and more like fragrance. You can feel it but you cannot catch hold of it. You can be overwhelmed by it but you cannot possess it.
My God is not something objective, there.
My God is your very subjectivity, here.
My God can never be indicated by the word that.
He can only be indicated by the word this.
The God of my vision and experience is not to be searched for in the synagogues, temples, mosques, churches, in the Himalayas, in the monasteries. He is not there because He is always here. And you go on looking for Him there.
When I say every child’s original face is the face of God, I am saying that God is synonymous with life, existence. Whatsoever is, is divine, sacred. And there is nothing else than God.
God is not to be understood as quantity, but as quality. You cannot measure it. You cannot make a statue of it, you cannot draw a picture of it. In that sense it is absolutely impersonal. And if you look at the faces of children when they arrive, fresh from the very source of life, you will see a certain presence which cannot be named – unnamable, indefinable.
The child is alive. You cannot define its aliveness, but it is there, you can feel it. It is so much there that howsoever blind you are you cannot miss it. It is fresh. You can smell the freshness around a child. That fragrance slowly, slowly disappears. And if unfortunately the child becomes successful, a celebrity – a president, a prime minister, a pope – then the same child stinks.
He had come with a tremendous fragrance, immeasurable, indefinable, unnamable. You look into the eyes of a child – you cannot find anything deeper. The eyes of a child are abysmal, there is no bottom to them. Unfortunately, the way society will destroy him, soon his eyes will be only superficial; because of layers and layers of conditioning, that depth, that immense depth will have disappeared long before. And that was his original face.
The child has no thoughts. About what can he think? Thinking needs a past, thinking needs problems. He has no past, he has only future. He has no problems yet, he is without problems. There is no possibility of thinking for him. What can he think?
The child is conscious but without thoughts.
This is the original face of the child.
Once this was your face too, and although you have forgotten it, it is still there within you, waiting someday to be rediscovered. I am saying rediscovered because you have discovered it many times in your previous lives, and again and again you go on forgetting it.
Perhaps even in this life there have been moments when you have come very close to knowing it, to feeling it, to being it. But the world is too much with us. Its pull is great – and there are a thousand and one directions the world is pulling you. It is pulling you in so many directions that you are falling apart. It is a miracle how people go on managing to keep themselves together. Otherwise their one hand will be going to the north, another hand to the south, their head must be going toward heaven; all their parts will be flying all over the place.
It is certainly a miracle how you go on keeping yourself together. Perhaps the pressure from all sides is too much so that your hands and legs and heads cannot fly. You are pressed from everywhere.
Whenever I see…and I don’t know why people go on sending me beautiful paperweights – I don’t have any papers. What am I going to do with paperweights? Perhaps they think there are hundreds of books in my name so there must be so much paperwork around me, all over my room papers and papers. There is not a single paper.
Yes, paperweights go on coming, and whenever a paperweight comes I am immediately reminded of you. You would have been flying like papers in the strong wind, but there are so many paperweights to keep you pressed and give you an idea that you are one individual. You are not – you are many, and in the crowd of this many-ness of your existence, your original face is lost.
Even if by chance you happen to meet your original face, you will not be able to recognize it, it will be such a stranger. Perhaps you come across it once in a while, just by accident, but you don’t even say Hi! It is a stranger and perhaps deep down, a certain fear – that is always there with every stranger.
That’s why people try to become acquainted, introduced to strangers, the sooner the better. They don’t want to be left in that state of fear, that somebody is absolutely unknown to them. They don’t know what he can do, what he intends to do, what kind of person he is. Maybe he is a murderer, a thief.
I played around this theme so many times because I was continuously traveling in India, and I was always traveling in an air-conditioned coupe. So at the most two persons – that too very rarely because in India very few people can afford to travel in the air-conditioned coupe, except people like me who have nothing to lose. Just poor people like me can travel like that because we cannot be more poor than we are.
But once in a while a minister, a governor, a rich industrialist, a scientist, a vice-chancellor – people like that were my fellow travelers. And I always tried to see what happened to them if I continued to remain a stranger. And I enjoyed – it does things to people.
I was not doing anything, I was just trying be a stranger, which really I am. They would ask me, “Where are you going?” – just anything to begin with.
I would say, “Anywhere will do.”
They would say, “Anywhere will do?” – and I could see the fear arising: “Is the man mad? But no, he does not look mad.” They would then say, “Are you joking?”
Once I said, “Why should I joke with you?”
In India, it is a convention that you joke only with certain relatives. Joking is very confined, to a certain relationship. You joke only with your wife’s brother, otherwise you don’t joke; only that’s acceptable to the society. I said, “But you are not my wife’s brother, why should I joke? Or are you my wife’s brother? Perhaps you are. But I don’t remember ever seeing you before.”
The man became really more shaky and I could see the trembling arising – and he had to travel with me for at least ten hours, twelve hours, or even twenty-four hours. But still he tried: “What is your name?”
I said, “The moment you asked me, it was just on the tip of my tongue. Now I am trying hard to remember. I have a name, I certainly remember…I know it is there but you will have to give me a little time. If it comes, it comes; if it does not come what can I do? What can you do? But it doesn’t matter anyway, you can call me any name. Anyway every child is born without a name and we give him one. All names are arbitrary, so it does not matter whether you call me Ram, Rahim, Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus, Christ; anything will do.”
And I said, “You please sit down, there is no need to continue to stand. Sit down, be at ease, and I will go and close the door.”
He said, “Why are you closing the door?”
I said, “The door has to be closed. Passengers are passing by, what will they think? You are trembling, perspiring, in an air-conditioned room? No, I don’t want you to look so silly and embarrassed.” I virtually forced the person to sit down. I was forcing him to sit down, and he wanted to stand up.
He said, “Can’t I stand?”
I said, “You just first relax. Do you want to go to the bathroom or have you already done it? Anyway there is no need to worry – you just sit down.”
That man looked at me and looked all around. It was just a small cabin for two persons and he was thinking, “this type of man, he can do anything.” But he tried somehow to figure me out; anyway he wanted to be acquainted. And he said “By your face you look religious.”
I said, “Yes, when I look in the mirror I also feel that this man looks religious. But I am not religious. Never go by the appearance, appearances are not always real.”
“No,” he said, “you are still trying to befool me. You are a religious man.” Now he was trying somehow to categorize me.
I said, “If you say, and if it consoles you, helps you in some way, okay, I am a religious man.”
The man was a brahmin – I had seen his name on the door. In the air-conditioned compartment they have the passengers’ names on the door, so I had seen that he was a Bengali, a high-caste brahmin, a chattopadhyaya. So he said, “What religion?”
I said, “Religion is just religion – there is no adjective to it.”
He said, “That I cannot believe. You must be a religious Hindu sage.”
I said, “If it helps you, I am.”
And he fell at my feet, and he said, “I knew from the very beginning that you are not mad, that you are a sage. And sages and mad people look alike, behave alike. Everything that you said now makes sense.”
But I said, “One thing I have just said to console you – really I am not a Hindu, I am a Mohammedan.” And now you cannot believe what a terrible mess he fell into. He had touched the feet of a Mohammedan! A Hindu brahmin, a high-caste brahmin, is afraid even of touching the shadow of a Mohammedan. If he touches even the shadow of a Mohammedan he will have to take a bath to cleanse himself. And he had touched actual feet!
Now the situation had become much worse. The chattopadhyaya said, “But why did you lie to me?”
I said, “I was just trying to console you. I never thought that you would fall at my feet. Before I could prevent you, you had already done it. But don’t be worried, I am really a brahmin. I was just checking what happens: if some Mohammedan looks like a brahmin sage and you touch his feet, what will happen to you? I was just trying to see.”
He said, “That’s right.” And a great smile…and he relaxed in his seat and he said, “I knew from the very beginning – such a nice person could not be a Mohammedan. Those Mohammedans are all butchers.”
I said, “You are right, because I was born a Mohammedan so I know perfectly well they are all butchers.”
This way I have seen many well-educated people trying to figure out…and I told them, “Why are you bothering to figure out about me? If you take that much trouble to figure out about yourself you will become enlightened! You need not worry about me. You do your work, whatever you want to do; you simply accept me as absent, I am not here. Behave as if I am not here and do whatsoever you want to do.
“If you want me to close my eyes, I can close my eyes. If you want me to go to sleep, I will go to sleep. But please be at ease; just forget about me. But don’t try to become familiar with me – that I don’t allow. We are going to remain strangers for ten hours.”
In fact we are all strangers.
Even if we live our whole life together it makes no difference, we remain strangers; we just settle for consolations, and we start taking the other for granted. It is a make-believe that you know the other – your wife, your mother, your father, your brother, your friend – it is just a make-believe that you know them. You know nothing about the other because that is impossible – for the simple reason that you don’t know anything about yourself yet. Without knowing oneself it is impossible to know anybody else.
The trouble is you can be introduced to somebody else, but how can you be introduced to yourself? Who is going to do that?
You can be introduced to somebody else because that introduction is just arbitrary. The name, the caste, the country, the religion, the profession – these are all arbitrary and accidental.
It happened…really a great coincidence, almost inconceivable, but it happened so whether it is conceivable or not makes no difference. When I was standing at the window after my matriculation, to obtain entry into a college, there were many people who were filling in forms and I was waiting to get my form. When I was filling in my form a boy just of my age came to me, and he said, “What subjects are you taking?”
So I showed him my form and said, “These are my subjects.”
He said, “Oh, okay, I will fill in these subjects also.”
I said, “But this is strange. You have come to the college – don’t you have any idea what you want to study?”
He said, “It is all the same to me. My father wants me to study so I have come to the college. I don’t have any interest in anything, I have just come to enjoy. My father is rich. He wants me to be in college so okay, I will be in college and have fun and enjoy. Any subjects will do.”
But I said, “These subjects perhaps may be difficult for you: philosophy, logic….”
He said, “I don’t care even what they mean. I don’t know, I have never heard this word logic before.”
“Then,” I said, “It is perfectly okay.”
And he asked me, “Will you please give me your fountain pen?”
I said, “This is too much – you don’t have your own fountain pen?”
He said, “I am not a man who is interested in these things.”
He showed me a packet of cigarettes. He said, “I am interested in cigarettes, not in fountain pens; and I am not going to attend any class or anything. My father is going to send me the money and I am going to enjoy, and I am going to ask him for more and more. He has enough, and I am the only son so I am not wasting anybody else’s money. It is my own, I am going to inherit it anyway.”
I gave him my fountain pen and he filled in the form. He even had to look at my form for the spelling of the words that he was filling in. But this way we became friends. I liked the boy, he was sincere, and not a hypocrite in any way. We became friends. He needed me and I needed him, because I needed so much money for books and he had so much money that I said, “This is good.” And he was not interested in books at all.
But I was his first friend in the college. And he had everything: a car, a driver, a bungalow – I needed all these things so I said, “That’s perfectly good – you came at the right time. And whatever your need is, I will manage, you don’t be worried.” So I had to do examinations for both of us. In three hours time, half was mine and half was his. In one and a half hours I finished my paper and then I would start his paper.
But he said, “This is a great bargain.” He said, “If I can pass, my father is going to be mad with happiness. He cannot believe that I can pass, because in matric he had to give such a large bribe to push me through. And now he knows that in college it is going to be difficult.”
I said, “You don’t be worried, you will pass first class.” And he passed first class with a BA After the BA I left Jabalpur because one of the professors in Sagar University, S.S. Roy, was persistently asking me, writing me, phoning me to say, “After your BA you join this university for your post-graduation.”
From Jabalpur University to Sagar University there is not much distance – one hundred miles. But Sagar University was in many ways unique. It was a small university compared to Benares University or Aligarh University, which had ten thousand students, twelve thousand students. They are just like Oxford or Cambridge – big universities, big names. Sagar University had only one thousand students and almost three hundred professors, so for every three students, one professor. It was a rare place; perhaps nowhere in the world can you find another university where there is one professor for three students.
And the man who had founded the university was acquainted with all the best professors around the world. Sagar was his birthplace; Doctor Harisingh Gaud was his name. He was a world-famous authority on law, and earned so much money – and never gave a single pai to any beggar, to any institution, to any charity. He was known as the most miserly person in the whole of India.
And then he founded the university and gave his whole life’s earning. That was millions of dollars. He said to me, “That’s why I was a miser; otherwise there was no way – I was a poor man, I was born a poor man. If I were doing charity and giving to this hospital and to this beggar and to that orphan, this university would not have existed.” For this university…he had carried his whole life only one idea, that his birthplace should have one of the best universities in the world. And certainly he created one of the best universities in the world.
While he was alive he managed to bring professors from all over the world. He gave them double salaries, triple salaries, whatsoever they wanted – and no work, because there were only one thousand students, which even a small college has in India; one thousand students is not a large number. And he opened all the departments which only a university like Oxford can afford. Oxford has nearabout three hundred and fifty departments.

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