From Misery to Enlightenment 16

Sixteenth Discourse from the series of 29 discourses - From Misery to Enlightenment by Osho.
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I heard you say that Jesus' finger pointing to the moon is not a very good one. Is there a better one?
I have never said that. I could not have said it because Jesus’ finger is not pointing to the moon at all.
This is something to be deeply understood: What does it mean when it is said, “Fingers pointing to the moon”?
The moon is only symbolic. It is not somewhere faraway there in the sky. We are not referring to that moon, because any idiot’s finger can point to that moon. It does not need any intelligence to show the objective moon in the sky by your finger. You may be an idiot, your finger may be crooked, it does not matter, because basically the moon outside is not meant at all.
“Fingers pointing to the moon” refers not to the moon, but to you, to the light within you. And why has the symbol of a finger been used? – because words are very inadequate, language insufficient.
No song can sing it.
No music can indicate it.
But something has to be found; otherwise there will be no possibility of communication, of communion, there will be no bridge between the one who knows and the one who does not know.
Some bridge has to be found.
By “fingers,” that invisible bridge is meant.
It does not mean the physical fingers, it means a way of touching your heart with the heart itself. The fingers simply symbolize touching. You can touch with fingers, you can indicate with fingers. The heart can do it directly.
All that is needed is that the one who knows and the one who does not know are in a state of deep silence, openness, vulnerability. Not searching for anything, not looking for anything; just waiting for the unknown, for the unexpected, for the unimagined, for the unexpressed. You cannot visualize it, you cannot fantasize about it. You have no way. You can just be silently waiting. You cannot even say for what you are waiting.
A really religious person is simply waiting.
His waiting is very absurd:
He cannot even say for what, for whom.
But his heart is throbbing with great expectation.
He is silent because any moment the knock may be heard on the door. He is utterly aware, because one never knows when the master comes. It is just like a breeze. If you are unaware, it may come and go; you had it, yet you missed it.
Fingers are symbolizing only a state of silent awaiting with someone who has it. Just because he has it, it creates a certain aroma around him, a fragrance. If you were ready to receive, the fingers would have touched you: the fingers would have pointed to the moon.
The one who has asked the question has no idea that I could have never said it. It has nothing to do with my memory, it is just impossible for me to say that, because Jesus’ finger is not pointing to the moon at all. It is not a question of finding a better finger. Jesus’ whole ideology is focused on God, far away. There is a distance in space, in time; in space he is far away in heaven. Nobody is certain where this heaven is, except stupid people. Nobody has claimed anything like that.
Just yesterday I heard there is a commune in Europe, a small commune of fifty people, around a woman called Maria. They are simple people, villagers. That woman is also simple – but there is not much difference between the simple and the simpleton. It is almost meeting and merging at a certain point; the simple can become a simpleton at any moment.
This woman, Maria, is a fanatic Christian. She believes that she goes to heaven every Sunday. She meets Jesus once a week, has direct contact with God. One thing certainly that that group has got from us…what they are doing in the name of meditation is Dynamic Meditation. They do the Dynamic Meditation, they do it totally, and with her hands upward the woman goes into a state which she calls “going to heaven.” And she is gathering disciples.
For centuries Christians have been doing that….
God is somewhere far away in space – how far none of them have said. Although this Maria goes four times a month, I don’t think she can say the exact distance from the earth to heaven. She meets Jesus once a week, has a direct contact with God. Certainly these entities are outside you; the God is outside. You can have a direct contact, you are not it. You can meet Jesus once a month; certainly you are not Jesus. Jesus is separate from you, then only is meeting possible.
And the woman goes to heaven – of course there is a distance that has to be traveled. So there is a distance in space, and there is a distance in time, because Jesus continuously talks about the kingdom of God – but that is going to happen after this life.
Everything of Jesus’ religion is after death. So one thing can be said absolutely, that he is life-negative, he is against this life. This life is not the right life, the right life begins after death – and that too can begin only if you believe in Jesus and his teaching, if you follow him; otherwise even after death you may go wrong:
In death there is no certainty that you will enter into the kingdom of God: you can enter into the kingdom of God only if you are following Jesus.
Now, this is not the way of the people who know. First: existence is always here and now, for all those who know. There is no distance in space and time. Those who have known, have known it here and now; there is no postponement. And whenever you will know it will be always here and now.
Just think, can you know something tomorrow? – it is impossible. You cannot know anything tomorrow. If you did, tomorrow would have turned into today. But knowing will always happen today, here and now. Can you know anything yesterday, which has passed? There is no way of going back, and there is no way of jumping ahead.
You are always here and now. You cannot move backward, you cannot move forward. So if you are determined to remain ignorant, you will be here and now; or if you decide to be a knower, then too you will be here and now. At least one thing between the knower and the ignorant is similar: both are here and now. That’s why communication is possible.
That’s why fingers can point to the moon. If I were tomorrow and you were today, then there would be no way of pointing to the moon.
Jesus is continuously talking of the future. He is future-oriented, like all utopians. The word utopia is very beautiful. It means that which never comes, that which is always coming, coming, coming, but never actually comes; that which is always a hope and never becomes reality. Jesus is a fanatic utopian. He believes there is a God, but he knows nothing about God. Those who have really searched have found one thing absolutely certain, that there is no God. It is the greatest lie that man has invented.
There is no heaven, no hell. Yes, you can live in heaven or in hell, but that is something psychological. It has nothing to do with the physical world, that beyond the stars, far away, is heaven waiting for you with all the pleasures that you can imagine; and down there is hell waiting for you with all the tortures that man’s mind is capable of thinking of.
Those who have looked, those who have searched, have not found anything like heaven or hell.
I say it on my own authority: there is no hell, no heaven, no God.
Hell is the state of your mind when you are miserable, when you are torturing yourself.
Heaven is the state of your mind when you are enjoying, when you are feeling a well-being, a deep sense of inner health.
And above both of these there is also a third state in you where there is no pain, no pleasure, but a totally new kind of experience.
I call it blissfulness.
I can call it godliness – but not God.
It is a quality.
So I don’t know about Jesus’ fingers. And how can I say anything about Jesus or Buddha or Zarathustra and their fingers? I can say only about my finger. Only about that am I absolutely certain, and I want to talk only about absolute certainties.
My finger is pointing to the moon.
And why should I bother about Jesus’ finger? In the first place nobody knows whether this man ever existed or not, or even if he existed, whether he had a finger or not. And I suspect very much – he may have existed, he may have had fingers, but I doubt very much that he had ever heard the expression “fingers pointing to the moon.” No, there is not a single possibility of it, because that is a Zen expression that comes from Japan. Jesus was born before it.
The expression is only fourteen hundred years old – Jesus was born six hundred years before the expression. And that expression can come only through that kind of mind which Zen possesses.
Jesus never says that words are inadequate. In fact the Christian Bible says, “In the beginning was the word.” Now, Zen people will simply laugh. This first statement cancels the whole book. It is all nonsense, because if the first statement is wrong, the very base is wrong; then, as a corollary, everything else which is going to follow is going to be wrong.
The first statement, “In the beginning….” Try to figure out each single word: “In the beginning….” For those who know, there has never been any beginning, cannot be; it is impossible. Can you imagine any beginning of existence? It is so simple to see that even to begin you will need something before it. How can you begin something with nothing preceding it? If God created the world, at least he would have needed raw Materials, or did he create out of nothing?
There has never been any beginning, because to begin you always need something. So whenever you begin you will need something; it cannot be just out of nothing. Even if you insist that there was nothing, then nothing becomes the something that preceded the beginning: At least nothing was there – and that’s enough to cancel the idea that this is the beginning. You have to go again a little farther back, before nothing began.
So those who have a little intelligence can understand: there is no beginning, no end. They are not in the very nature of things, they are impossibilities. Existence has always been there – or better, has always been here.
The statement is, “In the beginning there was the word…” That is even more absurd, because you can simply make a distinction between a word and a sound. A word is a sound which has meaning. Now, how can there be a word in the beginning when there is no one to give it meaning? Perhaps there was sound, but not word.
A waterfall in the hills makes much sound, the ocean makes much sound, the waves crashing on the seashore make much sound – perhaps there was sound, but not word. The wind passing through the pine trees does not speak, does not even whisper; sound it creates, but not word.
So the first thing: there is no possibility of a word because a word needs somebody to give sound a meaning. A mind is needed to give meaning to the word. Yes, the word has to be canceled completely.
Sound is a little better, but not enough, because you will be surprised to know that in the mountains, where the waterfall is creating much sound, if there is nobody to hear it there is no sound. You will be thinking that even if you are not there, the sound must be there: no. For sound to exist, ears are absolutely needed; without ears there is no sound. This is the latest finding of science, that sound or color need – it is absolutely necessary – somebody to hear, somebody to see.
For example, if we all close our eyes, you will think that your clothes still have colors; you are wrong. The moment you all close your eyes, the colors disappear, because the color exists in the combination of your eye and the light reflected from your clothes. The light falling on your eyes creates color.
Color is not there in your clothes, it is not in your eyes either, it is not in the light either: it is in a combination. Your eyes, the clothes, and light reflecting – these three things create color. If one is missing, color will not be there. So when there is nobody in the forest, trees are no longer green, flowers are no longer white or red; all colors disappear, all sounds disappear.
So even to say that in the beginning there was sound is not scientifically right. There was no sound either. In the beginning there can be only silence.
But The Bible starts with a very idiotic statement, and that gives you the taste of what is going to follow. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God.” Can you see the contradiction? In the beginning was the word, and yet the word was with God, so already you have made two: the word was not alone, it was with God. And no Christian sees the contradiction in it.
The third sentence makes it even more absurd. “In the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God.” So why all this hullabaloo? Just say, “In the beginning was God” and be finished with it. Why these unnecessary things?
No one who knows existence can say anything about the beginning because he knows we are part of eternity, and each moment is eternal. There is no beginning, no end. Silence is the deepest center of existence, and in that silence there is nobody else – not even God, because that will be enough disturbance. Silence is absolutely empty.
Jesus’ idea, his religion, is a very poor religion. His ideology is not even worth calling an ideology, and that is one of the reasons why this planet earth has become almost a madhouse. If anybody is responsible for this madness in the world, Jesus comes first. Yes, in that he is the champion.
You just look around the world. Christianity is the greatest religion as far as numbers are concerned; and those who are not Christians, they are too much influenced by it – so much so that you can almost call them Christians, just they don’t go to the church and don’t worship the cross. For example, a man like Mahatma Gandhi: he is at least ninety percent Christian. And if Mahatma Gandhi is ninety percent Christian, what to say of other people in India? And he goes on imposing his Christian ideas on Hindu scriptures.
The same is true about all other religions in the world. They are all influenced by Christianity so much, for the simple reason that Christianity has the biggest numbers. Christian countries have ruled over almost all the world for three centuries. They have corrupted every mind, every child. Every school, every education system is somehow based on Christian ideas. And slowly, slowly you have completely forgotten what you are saying. You may be a Hindu, you may be a Jaina, you may be a Buddhist, but ninety percent of your beliefs are Christian. They have sabotaged you.
To me Jesus has proved to be one of the greatest criminals in history.
Just the other day I heard that in Europe six Christian countries are preparing to destroy a tremendous amount of foodstuff to keep the value of things in the market the way they want. There are countries in which people are dying: in Ethiopia, not far away from Europe, every day hundreds of people are dying of starvation. In India, hundreds of people are dying of starvation. And Christian countries are thinking how to destroy foodstuff so that values in the market don’t fall.
Just to destroy that amount of foodstuff, one hundred thousand dollars will be spent – in destroying! It has nothing to do with the price of the foodstuff – just carrying it to the ocean and throwing it in the ocean will take one hundred thousand dollars. Three hundred thousand tons of oranges have to be thrown into the ocean, eight hundred thousand tons of tomatoes have to be thrown into the ocean – and people are dying, with no food. And these are great Christian countries: France, Germany, England.
Where goes all that religion: “Love your enemy,” “Love your neighbor,” and “Blessed are the poor…”? And these people will continue to go to the church, these people will continue to read The Bible, these people will go on and on worshipping Jesus, but they don’t see any contradiction. Business is business, religion is religion – they make a distinction.
To them a religion has to be something separate from life: It is a Sunday affair, and that too for only one hour. In the morning you get finished with it, then for the remaining time you can be irreligious, anti-religious, or whatever you want. But one hour every Sunday – and what is required of you to be religious? Just to be in the church, having a good sleep while the priest goes on preaching to you the same nonsense that he has been doing every Sunday. He knows nobody is listening, nobody cares; he himself does not care, he is concerned with his salary. People are concerned just to show their faces in the church so that on the last judgment day Jesus recognizes them: “Yes, you have been coming to the church.” But their lives…!
Now, how can a human being think of this? And this is not the first time. Almost every year it is being done; food is being destroyed by rich countries – which are all Christian. Strange. Why are Christian countries rich? – because according to Jesus they all should be poor! The camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but the rich man cannot pass through the gates of heaven. What about all these Christian countries? Because they are the richest.
I don’t think, if Jesus is right, that these people are going to enter the kingdom of God. But these are his followers, and the rest of the world, which is not Christian, is poor. If he is right – “Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God” – then Christians are lost; the blessed ones live in Ethiopia, in India, in Thailand, in Vietnam. Those will be the ones who enter the kingdom of God – Christians don’t have any chance.
And their behavior shows perfectly well that they don’t have any chance. Every year food is being destroyed in millions of tons, and this is not only in the capitalist world: Christianity has corrupted so deeply that even in communist Russia the same is the situation. For years they have been burning wheat instead of coal in their railway trains because they have a surplus growth of wheat, and it is cheaper than coal. The whole world is dying of starvation, and they are burning wheat in their railway trains.
It seems that certainly we are living on a mad planet. How can people think of it? When I heard yesterday that these six countries are meeting and planning how much to spend – because to destroy so much has to be…. With that same money, the whole amount can be sent to Ethiopia. Strange minds – but that’s how economics works. You have to keep in the market fewer things than the demand, then only can you have enough of a price rise. If there are more things than the demand then the prices start falling, so once in a while they have to destroy.
It is the Christian countries that have created two world wars.
This is Jesus’ finger pointing to the moon for two thousand years – but it is always the wrong moon. For two thousand years there have been crusades; millions of people have been killed in the name of religion and God. And I don’t see any reason at all.
It is your problem whether you believe in God or not. It is your concern, it has nothing to do with me. Why should I force you at the point of a sword to be a Christian or a Mohammedan? No – but the strange logic is, ““I am doing it for your own good. If you don’t turn and become a Christian you will fall into hell, and I cannot allow that, my compassion cannot allow that. I would rather kill you and send you to heaven instead of leaving you alive and falling into hell.”
This compassion…Mohammedans have also the same compassion. It is good that Hindus don’t have that compassion, Buddhists don’t have that compassion, Jainas don’t have that compassion. But communists have that compassion. They are not concerned about heaven or hell, they are concerned about this earth. They want to change you into a communist so that this earth can be made a classless, equal society. They want paradise to be brought onto the earth. That too is in the future; it is not going to happen.
Sixty years in Russia – first they were thinking that within ten years it was going to happen. That’s what Lenin died thinking, that within ten years it was going to happen. He died with this idea, that within ten years Russia would be rich, with equal opportunity for all. equal education, and everybody served according to his needs. It is good that that poor man died, otherwise he would see that after sixty years it is in a worse condition than before. It has now become a big concentration camp. It is no more a country; it is a big jail.
But if communism is introduced forcibly, that is a Christian idea. It is from Christianity that it came to Islam, to communism, that by forcibly changing…. If people are not willing, if they are not intelligent enough to change, then change them forcibly.
Russia was getting settled after the second world war. It had had so many shocks, so much disturbance in the second world war that it was not interested in a world revolution right then. But Mao, in China, was very excited about transforming the whole of Asia into communism. That became a rift between Mao and Stalin, because Stalin wanted to settle down first; the second world war had disturbed Russia so much that if Stalin started thinking of world revolution, Russia itself might get lost in it. So he was more concerned about Russia.
But Mao was ideologically right. He said, “Then you are becoming a nationalist, and communism is an international philosophy; we are not to be worried about nations, we have to think about the whole world. I am going ahead.” That’s why he attacked India; it was an effort to transform India also into communism.
But all this nonsense, nuisance, comes from Jesus’ finger pointing to the moon. He gave this idea to people: convert! He said to his disciples, “Go on the tops of houses and shout my message, my word. Spread it all over the world, because I have come to redeem the whole world.”
Now this is something strange. Who is responsible for redeeming me? Except myself nobody is responsible for redeeming me. This is arrogance, violence – the very idea that somebody else is proclaiming that he has come to redeem me. Who is he? If I want to go to hell at least I have that much freedom. I am not asking for heaven, I want to go to hell, but even that much freedom is not allowed.
Jesus gave a very primitive idea to people: “Convert them to Christianity because this is the only true religion, the superior religion, the only religion which can save. And I am the only savior.”
This is not the right finger. Although I have never said it, I say it now: it is not the right finger, it is not the right moon, and it will be a great day of blessing if we can get rid of Christianity completely. It will help humanity to grow more intelligent, more free, more understanding, more loving, more accepting of others and their differences, more respectful of other people’s uniqueness.
There is no harm if there are many religions in the world; every religion may have something beautiful about it. And if people are enjoying it without harming anybody, who are you to interfere? If they are happy with their religion – it may be wrong according to you, that is your idea, but if they are happy with their wrong religion, let them be happy, because the real thing is happiness, not wrong or right. And who is going to decide who is right and who is wrong? There is no criterion.
Even Jesus could not prove to his own people, the Jews, that he was right – what to say of others? How is he going to prove it to Hindus, to Buddhists, to Jainas? He could not prove it to the Jews and he was repeating only Jewish scriptures, nothing new. Still Jews were not convinced that he was the messiah. He simply looked like a buffoon, because the way he was proclaiming that he was the messiah, that he was the only son of God….
Just try it, tomorrow just try. Tomorrow standing in the mall declare that you are the only messenger of God. And our people are going to enjoy – nobody is going to crucify you, don’t be worried. They may even raise you up on their shoulders and have a procession: “A messiah has come! We have been waiting and after all this time he has come.” They may garland you and give you a good dinner and make you dance in the disco, but they are not going to crucify you at all. That is stupid.
Jesus was stupid by claiming that he was a messenger, and the people who crucified him were even more stupid, because to crucify such an insane man does not prove you wise. It simply proves that you can’t even understand that the person is a crackpot, that he should be treated nicely; you can enjoy him. And I don’t see what danger he was creating for anybody.
But the reason is that Jews lived with the same kind of idea that he was proclaiming. It is an ancient Jewish disease. He was the pinnacle, the highest peak of the disease, the last stage of the disease. The cancer is old; it started with Moses, because once Moses said that he had encountered God directly, he rolled the ball. Then the football match continued; then prophets after prophets went on coming.
Now, nobody can deny them, because if you deny them you have to deny Moses. Once Moses is accepted then other prophets have to be accepted. Jesus is simply the last in the line who really did, in fact overdid…. If he had been a little quieter, more political, diplomatic, he might have managed to become one of the Jewish prophets. But he was too young. Moses was old, Ezekiel was old, Elijah was old; those prophets were old. He was very young, only thirty, and that is the worst time to get a swollen head because that is the time when just any fanatic idea can get hold of you, when revolution catches hold of anybody. Everybody is a revolutionary at the age of thirty.
That all these revolutionaries disappear by the age of forty is a miracle. Do you see hippies of forty, fifty, sixty, seventy? – very rarely. Just like Sheela’s father – he is an old hippie, but it is very rare. As they pass thirty somehow they disappear. They melt into the society, get established, get married, get a job and forget all about that nonsense. They never remember all that, they become good citizens.
So there is a time – and Jesus was not given enough time. He was thirty when he declared that he was the messiah, and by thirty-three he was crucified. Three years was not enough time for his revolution to subside; he remained caught up in the whirlwind. And people went on forcing him, saying, “You are not the messiah.” The more they insisted that he was not, the more stubborn he became that he was. And Jews became worried because he was trying to prove himself even greater than Moses.
Moses was only a person who has seen God; Jesus was saying he was the only begotten son, just next to God. When God dies he is going to become God; he is going to inherit…. And all these Moseses, these etceteras, should be out of the way, thrown out completely. Jews could not tolerate it, it was too much for them
But I think it is a Jewish disease. Prophets have never happened in India, never happened in China never happened anywhere else other than in Judaism It was a by-product of Christianity and Islam, which both were born out of Jews and Jewish ideas: they claim the same kind of nonsense.
I am reminded: one of the famous caliphs of Mohammedanism was Omar. A man was brought into his court, chained, and he was told that this man was proclaiming that he was a prophet of God, that God himself had sent him with the message, “I had sent Mohammed, but now too much time has passed, many things have changed, a new dispensation is needed, a new message. So I have sent the latest message which will replace the Koran, the holy Mohammedan book.”
Now, this was outrageous. Omar was very angry he said, “Are you mad or something? – because Mohammed is the last prophet of God.” These prophets have this idea always: they proclaim themselves to be the last prophet of God. They close the door
The same was the idea with Jesus so nobody else can claim that he is a later prophet of God., that he had brought the final word; now there is no need of any improvement. Mohammed says almost the same: “The Koran is the last message; now no improvement is possible.” Man’s whole future is now to be dominated by the holy Koran.
Omar said, “You know Mohammed is the last prophet.”
The man said, “I know everything; I am coming directly from God. But he said, ‘You have to take the message’!”
Omar was not a bad man, not a very cruel person. He said, “Put him in jail and give him a good beating for seven days – and no food. After seven days I will come to the jail.”
After seven days Omar came to the jail. The man was tied naked to a pillar, and he had been beaten so hard that all over his body was just blood. Omar said, “I think you must have changed your mind.”
The man laughed, he said, “Changed my mind? In fact this confirms the prophecy of God. He told me when I was taking my leave, ‘Remember, prophets are bound to be treated very badly by people. You will be beaten, you will be starved; you may even be killed.’ What you have done has proved absolutely that I am the prophet of God. Now you have to listen to me.”
At that moment, another man, naked, bound to another pillar, beaten even more for one month continuously, said, “Stop all this nonsense! Omar, listen to me: after Mohammed I have never sent anybody.” That man, one month before, had proclaimed that he was God himself. He said, “This man is simply lying. I have never seen this man before. After Mohammed I have not sent anybody else.”
Now, this disease of prophets is something Jewish. But Judaism is not a big force. Christianity spread all around the earth, and Mohammedanism is the second biggest religion. Both these religions are branches of Judaism.
All these three together are the worst finger pointing to the wrongest moon possible.

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