From Death to Deathlessness 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 40 discourses - From Death to Deathlessness by Osho.
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For years you have talked to us of simplicity: simplicity in love, the simplicity of enlightenment, and now the simple solution to the power game between the United States and Russia. Why has man developed such complexity, and why does he show such mistrust and disbelief in the simple?
The simple is not a challenge to man’s ego; the difficult is a challenge; the impossible is really a great challenge. How big an ego you want can be known by the challenge that you have accepted, by your ambition; it is measurable. But the simple is unattractive to the ego. The simple is the death of the ego.
And man has chosen complexities even in places where there was no need of complexity at all, for the simple reason that with complexity he can go on growing and strengthening his ego. He goes on becoming more and more important in politics, in religion, in society – everywhere.
The whole of psychology is geared to make the ego stronger. Even those fools, the psychologists, stress the point that a man needs a strong ego. So education is a program to give you ambition by punishment and reward, to drive you in a certain direction. Your parents from the very beginning are hoping for too much from you. They think perhaps Alexander the Great has been born to them, or their daughter is nobody but the reincarnation of Cleopatra. Parents condition you from the very beginning that unless you prove yourself, you are good for nothing. The simple man is thought to be a simpleton.
The simple man has not been the goal of human society until now. And the simple man cannot be the goal, because you are born simple! Every child is simple, just a clean slate. Then the parents start writing on his slate – what he has to become. Then the teachers, the priests, the leaders – they all go on emphasizing that you have to become somebody; otherwise, you have wasted your life. Just the opposite is the case.
You are a being. You need not become anybody else. That is the meaning of simplicity: remaining at ease with one’s being, and not going on any track of becoming – which is unending.
There is no place where you will feel, “Now my journey is over. I have come to the highest peak that I had desired.” Nobody in the whole history of humanity has been able to do that, for the simple reason that man is moving in a circle. So somebody is always ahead of you in something or other.
You may become the president of America, but before Muhammad Ali the Great you feel inferior. You don’t have that animal strength. Muhammad Ali can give a good punch on the nose of Ronald Reagan, and Ronald Reagan will be flat on the ground. And you can go on counting one, two, three – Ronald Reagan is not going to get up again to get another punch. He is simply waiting for number ten, so that he can get up and go to the hospital.
You may become prime minister of a country, but encountering Albert Einstein you will look like a pygmy – not a prime minister, but a pygmy.
Life is multi-dimensional. It is impossible for you to reach in all directions, and to be the first in all directions. It is a sheer impossibility; existence does not work that way.
The ego is man’s disease.
The vested interests want you to remain diseased. They don’t want you to be healthy and whole, because your being healthy and whole is a danger to their vested interests. That’s why nobody wants to be simple, nobody wants to be nobody. And my whole approach is that you should be at ease with yourself, that you should accept your being.
Becoming is sickness, being is health. But simple, whole, healthy, blissful: you have not tasted that. Your society has not allowed a single moment for you, so you know only one way: the way of the ego. You have been told to become Jesus Christ. There are societies that are aiming for everybody to become a god. This insane world! You have to come out of all this programming. If you want to enjoy, relax, feel peace and the beauty of existence, that phony ego will have to drop.
I don’t want to take anything else from you. I want only to take your ego from you, which is anyway just a fantasy. It is not a reality, so I am not really taking anything from you. And I want to give you your being. Of course I need not give it to you: you have it already! You just have to be shaken and awakened to the tremendous beauty of innocence.
That is the moment when the camel has reached the state of the child.
Nothing is at risk. And you are running after shadows which you will never be able to catch, forgetting all the treasures that you have brought into the world with you. Before your ego is fulfilled, death will finish you. Life is too short, it is not to be destroyed in such foolish games as the ego.
And it is only a question of understanding. You are not supposed to stand on your head in a yoga posture. You are not supposed to contort your body in many ways for many years doing yoga exercises. You are not supposed to fast for months together to purify yourself. In fact, all these ways are also the way of the ego.
The man who can stand on his head for twelve hours makes a record. He is destroying his whole intelligence by standing for twelve hours on his head, because all the blood of his body will be rushing toward his head. It will be a flood, because gravitation will be pulling all the blood toward his head. In that flood, your fragile nerves, which are so small, so delicate – you have seven million in your skull – will be simply killed.
That’s why no yogi has contributed anything to the world. They have been parasites, and you have been foolish enough to reward them with great respect, for the simple reason that the man is standing on his head. He is an idiot.
If God wanted you to stand on your head, I can’t think why he allowed you to stand on two legs. In the very beginning he would have told Adam and Eve, “Just stand on your head.” And that would have been a far better strategy – by standing on their heads, I don’t think they would have reached the tree of knowledge or the tree of eternal life. But you have legs to walk with.
The scientific fact is, animals cannot create intelligence. They have brains – some animals have bigger brains than man. The dolphin has a bigger brain than you; the elephant, almost the same size brain as you. But why have elephants not been as intelligent as man? For the simple reason that the elephant cannot walk on two legs. In the circus, once in a while he sits on a stool. That is not going to help. It is certain he cannot walk on two legs for his whole life, that would be torture.
It is a very simple phenomenon: if your body is horizontal – as all animals are – then the gravitation is equally forceful all over your body. Man standing on two legs is not an ordinary thing. It is the greatest revolution that has happened in the whole of evolution.
When you stand on two feet, your heart has to pump blood against gravitation toward the head because the head needs continuously to be fed with oxygen. Only six seconds are needed – if your head does not get oxygen for six seconds, you are dead. You can be revived because your body is perfectly okay, but you will be just a vegetable; the head will be finished.
The brain has developed its delicacies – its very subtle system of nerves and cells which functions as the biocomputer, which collects all the information and stores it – because blood never comes as a flood. Only enough blood comes to keep the brain living.
The yogis have not produced anything, have not created anything, have made no contribution to the world. What have your ascetics given to the world? What have your so-called saints been doing all along, except being parasites sucking your blood? And these are the people you have been worshipping. And why have you been worshipping them? For the simple reason that you cannot stand for twelve hours on your head. Try it – even for twelve minutes it is difficult. In fact, when you first try you will fall many times; you may have a broken rib. The yogi is doing something difficult.
A man is standing naked in the snow in the Himalayas, and people come from thousands of miles to touch his feet. All that he is doing is getting frozen and dead. What is his contribution? Nobody goes to touch the feet of Albert Einstein, or Bertrand Russell, or Martin Heidegger, or Ludwig Wittgenstein – the people who have contributed to man’s knowledge immensely, who have expanded man’s vision almost to infinity. But you cannot see it, it is not something visible.
Bertrand Russell and Whitehead together wrote a book, Principia Mathematica. It takes them one hundred and sixty-five pages to prove that two plus two is really four. Who bothers to read such a book? One hundred and sixty-five pages, and the ultimate outcome is, two plus two is really four. Nobody reads that book.
Visiting all the universities of India – and perhaps India has the largest number of universities; one hundred universities – I was always going to their libraries to look at Principia Mathematica, whether anybody has read it. No – even the pages are not cut, they are joined. I inquired of the librarians, “Has anybody read this book?”
They said, “Nobody ever asks. People come once in a while, they look at one or two pages and that’s all.” And that was one of the greatest contributions to humanity. Bertrand Russell and Whitehead managed to make mathematics a solid foundation for any science to grow from.
You get easily interested…. Somebody is bicycling for twenty-four hours, and hundreds of people go to watch him. He will not eat, or he will eat while bicycling. Of course, he has a certain control over his bladder. He will not drink anything. Perhaps he has not drunk for twelve hours before he started the bicycling. It interests you; he is doing something difficult.
And he feels great. His ego is getting higher and higher. From twenty-four hours he will go to forty-eight hours, and so on and so forth. And the more he can manage, the more people will be coming to him. The people are mediocre, and these are their leaders – who are even more mediocre.
Simplicity will not attract anybody toward you. In fact, to become as simple as the child – instead of attracting people toward you and making you something great – may keep people away from you, saying, “He is only a child.” Perhaps they may become hostile to you, because your innocence can raise questions which they cannot answer. There is no answer to those questions. Your innocence will create curiosities which will be cutting the roots of their beliefs and their faith.
I used to go with my father to all kinds of discourses – religious, political, educational – and he used to take a promise from me that I was not going to ask anything, and I was not going to create a nuisance there. I always promised him, and I always did whatsoever I wanted to do. Coming back home, he would say, “You are not a man of your word.”
I said, “I am. But I wanted to go. I wanted to see that spiritual monk, to see whether he knows anything or not. Unless I promise, you will not take me. It was your fault to ask for the promise. You made me lie! After this, never ask for a promise. Why should you make me a slave? Leave me free.”
My whole town’s elders were afraid of me – and I was only a child. The man who was most respected in the town was a physician, and he was also thought to be a very learned, religious scholar. I used to visit him almost daily, and the moment he saw me I could see his face going pale, because he could not answer a single question.
I would put the Bhagavadgita in front of him, and tell him, “Put your hand on the Gita and say whether you have seen God or not.”
This was too much. If the Gita was not there, perhaps he might have lied, but to put your hand on the Gita and lie means a direct ticket to hell.
And he would say to me, “Are you some magistrate or what? Is my own house a court? I don’t want to put my hand on the Gita.”
“Then,” I said, “whatever you say will be a lie.”
His continual statement to me was, “Wait, you are too young. When you are a little older, you will understand all these problems. Right now you cannot understand.”
I went on becoming older, and each year I would come from the university to the town. Before going to my home, first I would go to the physician, knock at his door, and say, “One more year has passed; the question is still there.”
He would say, “Can’t you wait?”
I said, “You just give me the date! How long do I have to wait?”
Even when I became a lecturer in the university I used to come to my town once in a while on holiday. His house was just between the station and my house, so first I would stop at his house, knock on his door, and say, “Now I have even become a teacher of philosophy in the university. And what about your statement? How long do I have to wait now?”
And then one day when I was in the town, somebody came to my house – because my father was a friend of the man – and informed us, “He is just dying.”
I rushed – my father said, “Where are you going? The message is not for you!”
I said, “Don’t worry, you take your time. I am going because I have to ask him something before he dies.”
I was there with the Bhagavadgita in front of him. And I told him, “Now I have grown up, you cannot deceive me anymore. Put your hand on the Bhagavadgita – and at the moment of dying don’t lie; otherwise you will fall directly into hell.”
He said, “Can’t you forgive me?”
I said, “You have been deceiving me for almost twenty years. What was the need? You could have simply said, ‘I don’t know.’ The thing would have finished long ago. You have no obligation to know everything, but you pretended. You wanted to be known as the wisest man around, and you have been deceiving not only me, you have been deceiving everybody who has come to you. Now at the last moment, recognize the fact and say, ‘I do not know.’”
By that time my father had reached the house, other people had reached. They said, “This is not good. A man is dying and you are making a court here.”
I said, “If he dies without doing what I am saying, then I will be responsible for throwing him into hell. This is the moment I can still save him.” And at the moment of death one thing happens: now you know death is there, you cannot go on your ego trips anymore.
He put his hand on the Gita and he said, “I am sorry. Please forgive me, and tell everybody else also to forgive me. I know nothing. I was exploiting those people by pretending that I know and they don’t know.” That is a strategy of the ego.
The ego can find very subtle ways. It is always afraid of simplicity, innocence; hence, all the societies destroy your simplicity, distract you from your innocence. But it is a very simple thing to come back home, because you have never left it in reality. You have left it only in fantasy. You cannot really go anywhere away from your being.
All becoming is false, imagination. Being is the truth. And that truth can be known only when you simply accept your ignorance.
I must remind you of Socrates’ last statement on the earth. He said, “When I was young I thought I knew everything. I bragged, because I could argue better than anybody else. When I became a little more mature, I realized that there were many things I didn’t know, I was simply bragging. And because others could argue against me they thought I must be knowing, because my argument was weightier. And as I went on, slowly, slowly it became clear to me that I know nothing. Let this be my last statement on the earth: that I do not know.”
Socrates had become a child again, but he had risked all his wisdom, philosophy, his great intelligence, all his arguments, his whole life’s effort of winning against opponents in debates, discussions. He had become the topmost intelligent man in Greece. But he had the tremendous courage to say, “I know nothing.”
Nobody knows anything.
Existence is a mystery, it cannot be demystified.
And because existence is a mystery, it reveals itself only to the heart of the child. It reveals itself not to knowledge, because knowledge is an aggression. It reveals itself to innocence, because innocence is simply receptivity, not aggression; not violence but keeping your doors open, waiting. If the truth comes in, you are ready to welcome it.
Truth cannot be conquered. You have to be available to truth, so that truth can conquer you. This is the reason why simplicity is the most significant religious qualification. I want you to become just simple, innocent, not knowing anything – waiting.
Jesus says, “Seek and ye shall find.”
I say, “Wait! Never seek,” because seeking is interfering, poking your nose into the mysteries of existence. It is not graceful, it is just ugly. I say, “Wait! and you shall find.”
Jesus says, “Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you.” Wait. The doors always open for those who have patience, who can wait for infinity, but who will not trespass. Even knocking on somebody’s door is a trespass.
Jesus says, “Ask, and it shall be given to you.”
I say to you, “Ask, and forget about getting it, ever.” In your very asking you have destroyed the possibility of getting it. Do not ask. Don’t become a question.
Let me repeat: don’t become a question! And you are in for a great surprise, because you are the answer. If you had become the question, then you would have fallen into such a trap, there would have been no way out. You would have gone on questioning – and the more you question, the farther away you will be from the answer, because you are the answer!
In innocence, in simplicity, you simply find it; it is your very being.

When you talked about trust, tears wouldn't stop coming. You said you trust us, and I feel so untrustworthy. Please comment.
Trust is never conditional. I trust you, not because you are trustworthy; I trust you because I cannot distrust.
Once in India I was traveling from Indore to Kanva. Kanva was a big junction, and I had to wait there for one hour. I was alone in my air-conditioned compartment. A beggar knocked on the window, and I indicated to him to come in.
He came in. He said, “My mother has died, and I don’t have even enough money to bury her.” I gave him one rupee. In those days that was even enough to get wood and burn your mother. The man looked surprised.
He was a professional beggar. I knew it, because I passed through Kanva many times, and it was always his mother who was dying. I could have asked, “What a great mother you have got. Is your mother a Jesus Christ?” But I never said anything to him.
That day, thinking me mad or something, he came again. He said, “My father has died.”
I said, “Great! Take one rupee more.”
The man could not believe that so soon…just five minutes before his mother had died, now his father has died. And that gave him courage enough to come again after five minutes.
I said, “Has your wife died?”
He said, “How do you know? Yes.”
I said, “Here is one rupee more. How many relatives do you have? Because it is unnecessarily disturbing me – these people will go on dying and you will have to come again and again. You just tell me the whole number, as if the whole family has died. How many relatives do you have?”
The poor man could not imagine more than ten. I said, “Okay, you take ten rupees. And now, get lost.”
He said, “Before I accept your ten rupees – three I have already taken – I want to know, do you believe me? So quickly my mother dies, my father dies, my wife dies, and now you are giving me an advance for my whole family.” He felt guilty that he was cheating. He said, “No, although I am a beggar, I cannot cheat you. You still trust me?”
I said, “You have done nothing wrong. I have money, you are poor; any excuse will do. And don’t you think that I am also immensely interested in your family? – because your mother has died many times before. I have been passing through this railway station so many times, and it was always your mother. How many mothers did you have?”
He said, “I want one thing to be clear; otherwise I will carry this wound in my heart forever. How could you trust me?”
I said, “I thought perhaps you went on forgetting that it is the same man you are asking for money: ‘My mother has died, my father has died, my wife has died.’ Perhaps you were thinking you were asking different people” – because he came with different clothes. One time he came with a cap, another time with a basket, the third time with a coat on – just so that he was not recognized as the same man.
I said, “I was wondering if perhaps you could not recognize me as the same man. And as far as trust is concerned, I trust you still. It has nothing to do with your trustworthiness; I trust you because I cannot distrust. It is my incapacity, it has nothing to do with your worthiness or unworthiness.”
He returned the thirteen rupees. I tried hard to refuse but he said, “No. I will not take these rupees knowing perfectly well that you are aware that I am cheating and still you trust me. You have given me the dignity of being a human being for the first time in my whole life. And I am not going to beg again – without saying a word, you have changed me.”

You say you could not stop the tears because I said I trust you, and you feel unworthy. That’s a great step, to feel that you are unworthy. It is a quantum leap. Those tears will take it away, wash you completely clean of your unworthiness. But as far as I am concerned, whether you are worthy or unworthy makes no difference to me: I trust you.
Somebody was asking me in a letter…because just a few days ago Shiva has written a letter: “Please forgive me. I have done everything wrong. I have said lies against you, and the burden of it all is so much it is killing me.”
The other person was asking, “If Shiva comes back” – because this letter may be just the beginning of the camel coming back from Santa Fe – “would you give him the same position that he used to have, your bodyguard?”
I said, “Certainly. I trust him.”
Trust is a miracle. If you trust even the person who is going to murder you, his sword will fall from his hands. If you trust the man who is going to shoot you, there is every possibility he may shoot himself. Trust is a tremendous power. Distrust makes you weak.
And how many people are you going to distrust? The whole world? That’s what you have been told and taught: never trust anybody; otherwise you will be cheated. But it is better to be cheated than to lose your immense power of trust. And what can you be cheated of? In fact, the people who have told and taught you, “Never trust people because they will take advantage of it,” are your enemies. They have destroyed your greatest power.
Trusting unconditionally, you will be relieved of the burden…. Such a big burden you are carrying on your heart, a Himalaya, because there are so many millions of people you have to distrust.
Machiavelli, the only significant political philosopher of the West, writes in his masterpiece The Prince: “Don’t trust even your friend, because tomorrow he can become your enemy, the possibility is there.” He also says, “Don’t say things against your enemy, because tomorrow he can become your friend.” These are the teachings he was giving to the princes from all over Europe. Princes were being sent to Machiavelli to learn politics, diplomacy, how to rule over people, how to conquer new lands, how not to be invaded.
But a strange thing…. One sannyasin told me she is a direct descendant of Machiavelli.
I said, “I wanted to see Machiavelli, but he died a long time ago. It is good you have come to be a sannyasin. Some part of Machiavelli is within you, and I would like to talk to that part, because I always wanted to ask Machiavelli about all these princes whom he had been teaching….” No prince, when he became king, accepted Machiavelli as his prime minister. He applied again and again. Those were his own students; now they had become kings, and he wanted to become their prime minister.
It seems so logical that the prince would like his own wise teacher to become his wise adviser. But none of his disciples accepted him, they all refused. They said, “You are too cunning, too clever; we cannot trust you. And this is according to your teaching. We are simply following the dictums that you have given to us. We don’t want to lose our kingdom” – because if Machiavelli is prime minister today, tomorrow he will be the king. Machiavelli died a pauper, poor – and he was the teacher of almost all the kings of Europe!
You teach people to distrust that means you are teaching them to distrust you too.
I trust you, with no conditions attached to it.
Your tears were beautiful. Your tears were real prayer. Your tears washed away all unworthiness. Don’t try to stop them, let them come and clean you. And don’t be worried that if I come to know of your unworthiness I will not trust you. That is impossible.
That is my difficulty, that is my problem; I have never distrusted anybody. I cannot, because I know the beauty of trust, the enormous blissfulness of trust. I cannot lose that blessedness by mistrusting, distrusting anybody. I cannot lose my Kingdom of God just because you are unworthy of trust. That is your trouble. Why do you want to create trouble for me?
Yes, if I could distrust you, tears would not come to your eyes. You know already that you deserve it. No, I want those tears in your eyes. I want you to recognize that there is a man who is going to trust you; even if you thrust a dagger in the man’s back from behind, it will not make any difference.
I will still trust the person if he tries to assassinate me. That is his problem. That is his act, and each act is followed by its consequences. My act is to trust, and it is followed by its own consequences. Just try to trust a little bit, so you can have a little taste. It is groovy!

These days you are spreading the fragrance of nirvana while in the body. Isn't it true?
It must be. If you can smell the fragrance of nirvana, it must be. But I do not know. The tree itself never knows its fragrance. It is the people passing by who know. And you are not even passing by, you are just with me.
I cannot smell my own being, because even to smell you have to divide: the one who smells, and the one who is the object of smell. I am undivided. To observe anything I have to be separate; only then can I be the observer. To see something, I have to be separate; only then can I be a seer.
The same is true about fragrance. I don’t know, but if you are smelling it, if it is reaching your nostrils, it must be true – because there is no way for you to be aware of the fragrance of nirvana, you are absolutely unacquainted with it. Unless you really become awakened to it, you will not know. It is news to me.
I am here, available, with all the treasures that are possible in the innermost core of my being. If you are also receptive – not seeking; if you are also waiting – not knocking…. Please don’t knock! I am a fragile man, and if so many people start knocking, before you get the fragrance the flower will be gone. Wait. Don’t ask – because I don’t want anybody to be a beggar. You are all emperors.
Just the other night, one journalist was a little nervous to use the world “empire” in connection with me. He wanted to say, “your empire,” but then he became a little shaky, and he said, “Am I using the right word?” I said, “Exactly the right word.”
But one thing I have not told him, for the simple reason that he would have never understood it. My empire consists only of emperors. It is a very new kind of empire.

Sometimes I think you are mad. Then, that you are the sanest man alive. The next moment I think you are a crazy prankster; the next moment that you are the most insightful, brilliant being I can imagine. And so it goes on. Obviously, I am a predictable man, but my being yearns for the freedom, the great wildness that I see in you each day. Please comment.
I am all that you can conceive: the madman, the awakened one, the crazy or the most sane. I am vast enough to contain all these contradictions in me. And these contradictions in me are no longer contradictions as far as I am concerned; they become complementaries.
You say, “So on it goes.” So, I am going too; let it go on! Soon you will realize that if the same man appears in all these contradictions, then these contradictions must not be contradictions, and you are carrying a wrong attitude about contradictions.
Life consists of contradictions, and the man who has arrived simply reflects life: the day and the night, the life and the death.
Do you conceive of life and death as contradictions? Yes, logically they look like contradictions, but they are not. They are almost like two wheels of a bullock cart going on together. You have been dying since the day you have been born – both the wheels going on together. It is not that death comes at a certain point when you are eighty or ninety, no. Death comes the same moment as life comes to you. They are two sides of the same coin.
As you are growing, you are dying too. Every moment both things are happening together: something is dying, something is becoming alive. Hence I say to you, if you can die each moment totally to the past, you will be born each moment totally new for the future. And that is the only life that can give you the freedom, the freedom of wildness you are asking for.
I am really wild. I just don’t kill you, because I have much more subtle things to kill. I leave your body alone, but I am continuously killing your ego, your jealousy, your competition-thousands of things you have inside you. I am wild. And certainly to be wild has a freedom unlimited.
You would like the same freedom? It is easy, the easiest thing in the world. Just please don’t seek it, don’t want it, don’t chase it, don’t go after it.
Sit silently, doing nothing, and let the grass grow by itself.

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