From Personality to Individuality 02

Second Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Personality to Individuality by Osho.
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Why do I feel that life is meaningless and empty? It seems that I am deathly afraid of being alone. How can I go totally into my aloneness with joy instead of fear?
The word meaning is irrelevant to life. Life is neither meaningful nor meaningless. But for centuries, man’s mind has been conditioned to believe that life has great meaning. All that meaning was arbitrary. Hence only in this century, for the first time in the whole history of man, has the question, “What is the meaning of life?” become one of the most important, because all old lies are exposed.
Life was meaningful with a God. Life was meaningful with a life beyond death. Life was meaningful because the churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, were continuously hammering the idea into man’s mind.
A certain maturity has come to man; not to all, but to a very small minority.
I would like you to remember five significant names. The first is Søren Kierkegaard. He was the first man who raised this question and was condemned universally, because even to raise the question created suspicion in people. Nobody had ever dared to ask, “What is the meaning of life?” Even the atheists who had denied God, who had denied the afterlife, who had denied the existence of the soul had never asked what the meaning of life is. They said, “Eat, drink and be merry, that is the meaning of life.” It was clear to them that these joys – eat, drink, be merry – were what life is all about.
But Søren Kierkegaard went very deeply into the question. He unknowingly created a movement: existentialism. Then followed the four other names: Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, Gabriel Marcel, and the last but not the least important – in fact the most important – Jean-Paul Sartre. These five people went on hammering on the whole intelligentsia of the world that life is meaningless.
Now, anybody who has some kind of intelligence is bound to come across this question, and he has to find some way to encounter it. I do not agree with these five great philosophers, but I give them the respect that they deserve. They were courageous, because once you take meaning out of life, religion disappears – because religion up to now has been nothing but an effort to give meaning to your life: to fill it so that you don’t feel empty; to surround you with God and angels so that you don’t feel lonely. You have not been going to the church, the synagogue and the temple without a reason.
For thousands of years man has not been bowing down to the priests without a reason. He was gaining something. Of course they were exploiting him, but even in their exploitation man was finding a certain consolation. He was not alone, he was being looked after. Life was not futile, it had tremendous meaning, spiritual, esoteric, profound – so high and so deep that your intellect could not comprehend it.
Still, the majority of people, ninety-nine percent, are not bothered by the question. How can they be bothered? They easily find consolation from the dead past. To them it is not a dead past.
I have told you about Bishop Jenkins of England who declared that there was no resurrection, that it is a myth; that there was no virgin birth, it is an absolute lie, and that there is no need for anybody to believe in all these mythologies to become a Christian. Of course, there he is not right because he says, “I don’t need all these things – I can still believe in God.” I can’t see what reason he can give for his faith in God.
Christians were not fools to go on believing in absurdities for two thousand years. The reason was, without those absurdities you cannot support God, the ultimate absurdity. Now, it is like taking your legs and your hands and your head and everything away and saying I still believe in you. Nothing is left behind. All the theologians, from Thomas Aquinas to any modern preacher, understand perfectly well that God needs support. Every lie needs support.
Only truth can stand on its own feet.
A lie cannot stand on its own feet. It needs borrowed legs, a borrowed head, a borrowed heart – everything borrowed. If you go on taking things away piece by piece, and then you say in the end that all these things are not needed, that you still have faith in God… So for a Christian, according to Jenkins, these things should not be required as a fundamental part of Christianity. I don’t know whom he is befooling. Certainly he is befooling himself, because these are the supports, and if you take away all the supports, the house will fall down. And he has not given a single reason now for faith in God.
But I have remembered him again today because a few days ago lightning struck one of the most beautiful cathedrals in England, York, and the majority of the masses believe that it is not a coincidence: it is God punishing the church for installing a man like Jenkins as a bishop. He was the fourth in the hierarchy; he had just to pass two people to become the archbishop of England, and it would not have been difficult to pass these two people. Life is so full of accidents – they may die or something – one can always hope. And he was not so far away, just close.
But now, all over England, it is believed that God has punished the church. But this is a strange God, and a strange punishment, because Jenkins was not the bishop of this cathedral. This is strange. Jenkins was two hundred miles away. Your God is such a great shot – he missed him by two hundred miles. A master archer!
And what has the cathedral of York to do with Jenkins’ statement? The lightning should be on Jenkins or on the cathedral or church where he was the bishop, or on the Archbishop of Canterbury because he had appointed him. This cathedral in York is in no way connected. But people have found a relationship – it is not a coincidence. Then life becomes related to profound realities, even your small stupidities. Now, even if God is there, do you think he will bother about Bishop Jenkins? And if he does bother then what kind of anger is this? He should at least learn a little marksmanship; he must have been doing this for millions of years, so much training.
I am reminded…

A king who was a very great lover of archery – and he himself was a master archer – always wanted to meet anybody who was better than him. But his whole life he could never find anybody who was better than him. One day when he was passing through a small village, he saw on every tree a strange thing – perfect marksmanship, a master far better than him. On every tree, on the wooden fences, everywhere, he found a round circle with an arrow just exactly in the middle.
He stopped his chariot and asked, “Where is this great archer? I would like to honor him. I will take him to the palace – he should be my master. I have been in search but I have never found anybody better than me. But this man seems to be a hundred percent accurate. Not even by a minute part of an inch does he miss; he exactly hits the center.”
He went to a few trees and measured and it was the exact center. He asked one of the villagers who had gathered, to see why the king was there with his golden chariot. He asked, “Where is this great archer?”
They all laughed, they said, “He is no archer, he is the idiot of this village.” They said, “You don’t understand.”
“You are all idiots!” the king said. “Such a great archer and you call him an idiot?”
They said, “First, try to understand. He is no archer, he is just a fool. First he shoots the arrow and then he draws the circle. Of course he is perfect, he draws the circle afterward. So wherever the arrow goes, there he makes the circle. Don’t get worried about him, just go on your way. He is a complete idiot.
“We have been telling him that this is not the way of archery. First you make the circle and then you shoot, but he goes on doing it his own way: he shoots first. He says, ‘What does it matter which you do first and which you do second? This way it is always perfect. Your way does not work at all, I have tried it.’”

Now, for millions of years, God has been threatening people with lightning, killing people with lightning. Hinduism believes that lightning is nothing but the arrow of the Lord Shiva. So whenever there is lightning they have to make a sacrifice to Shiva, to pray or do some rituals, because lightning is the perfect symbol that Shiva is angry, and they have to find the person who has made him angry.
But in the twentieth century, in this last part of the twentieth century, in one of the most educated and sophisticated countries like England, most of the people believe that it is a punishment sent by the lord to Bishop Jenkins! If this is God’s archery then I don’t think any man is a lesser archer than him. You won’t miss by two hundred miles! Even that idiot who discovered the right way was far more intelligent than this God.
But why do people go on believing in such things? It is not without reason. The reason is that all these things are giving meaning to their lives. A God above makes you feel safe, secure. If there is no God then the whole sky is empty, and you are left alone. You are so tiny, and the emptiness is so vast. Fear is bound to strike you – just think of the emptiness of the sky, which is infinite, because there cannot be any boundary anywhere. The old religions all believed there is a boundary, but that is absolutely illogical. A boundary means there must be something beyond it, otherwise how can you make a boundary? Yes, you can make a boundary around your house because of the neighbor’s house. You can create a fence around your house because the earth continues beyond your fencing.
But if you are creating a fence where the earth ends, and there is nothing else beyond your fencing, your fencing will fall into the emptiness. How will it be supported from the other side? To create a boundary, two things are needed; one on this side and one on the other side. Obviously existence cannot have any boundary. It is fearful to conceive of infinity, the emptiness continuing forever and ever. You will never come to a point where you can say, “Now we have reached the end.” There is no end and there is no beginning.
Now, think of a story which has no beginning and no end. It was one of my pastimes… I have never been interested much in novels, but once in a while when I had nothing else to read I had my own way of reading a novel – just from the middle, because that gave it some authenticity. With no beginning, you have to work out what must have preceded because you start suddenly in the middle. And I would never go to the end. Again I would stop halfway – halfway through the second half. First I would try to figure out what the beginning could be and what the end could be; then I would start reading from the beginning.
And I was puzzled that I always managed to figure out the beginning and the end. I never missed, not only in details but on all the basic points, because it is a man-created thing, and the mind works in a certain fashion. It has a routine way of working. If this is the middle, created by a human mind, and if I understand the human mind, I can figure out what the beginning will be and what the end will be.
Yes, if the book is written by a madman, then certainly I will not be able to figure it out. But madmen don’t write books. That is very compassionate of them. But in fact if they start writing books, their books will be far more interesting than the books written by scholars, intellectuals, because the intellect has a certain way of working.
I am not in favor of all these five “existentialists”– in quotes – because I am not even ready to call them existentialists. Kierkegaard never really lived, or if you call his life, life, then it was worse than death. He came out of his house only once a month, and the house was not much, just a small room. His father, seeing that his son seemed to be a little crazy – continuously reading and writing – tried to read his books, and threw them away because he could not manage to figure out what he wanted to say. Kierkegaard goes on and on about nothing, much ado about nothing.
Kierkegaard never married. One foolish woman was in love with him – must have been foolish, because he was an ugly man in the first place, and a strange type, eccentric, who lived in the darkness of his room. Once a month he had to go out because, before he died, his father had put money in the post office, and made an arrangement that every month Kierkegaard could draw a certain amount. He knew that Kierkegaard was not going to earn any money; he would simply die in his room, so his father sold everything and deposited the money in the post office. That’s why Kierkegaard had to go out once every month; he would go out the first day of the month.
He lived in Copenhagen, and the whole town waited because Kierkegaard coming out of his room was a rare opportunity. The children used to follow him to the post office; it was almost a procession. He had written a book, Either Or, which had just been published and that had become his nickname in Copenhagen. So the children would be shouting “Either-or” – that was his real name to them – “Either-or is going to the post office!”
It was a great insight on the part of the children to name this man Either-or, because he was exactly that. That’s why he could not marry the woman, because he continued to think: “Either-or.” All the favorable points for marriage and all the unfavorable points for marriage all balanced out. He could not decide. The woman waited for three years, but he said, “Forgive me, I cannot decide. It is still either-or.”
Now, this man, who had never loved, who had not a single friend, who had not in any way contacted nature, who never communed in any way with existence, if he feels life is meaningless, no wonder – it has to be meaningless. But he is projecting his feeling of meaninglessness on everybody.
And then came these four other so-called existentialists. I am calling them “so-called” because they had no communion with existence at all. The only way to have communion with existence is silence; and they didn’t know the language of silence – how could they commune with existence? So what were they doing? They were exposing the lie that the religious people have imposed on humanity. And it was a lie.
The meaning that religious people have given to human life is arbitrary. These people are exposing the arbitrariness of the religious people’s meaning – but that does not mean that life is meaningless. It simply means that the meaning that was given to life up to now was found invalid: God is not the meaning of life. Life beyond death is not the meaning of life. Jesus Christ is not the meaning of life. That does not mean that life has no meaning. But because you have been thinking that this is the meaning of life, when suddenly it falls apart, you pick up the polar opposite idea of meaninglessness.
I want you to remember my standpoint. I am an existentialist. And I say to you that life is neither meaningful nor meaningless. The question is irrelevant. Life is just an opportunity, an opening. It depends what you make of it. It depends on you what meaning, what color, what song, what poetry, what dance you give to it.
Life is a creative challenge and it is good that it hasn’t any fixed meaning, otherwise there would be no challenge. Then it would be just a ready-made thing: you are born and the meaning of life is given to you and you carry it your whole life; this is the meaning of your life. No, existence is far more profound than any meaning.
Existence is just a challenge to creativity. It allows you all the space that you need – and you think it is empty? Just try to use the right words, because words have a certain context. Empty is a sad word; it seems something is missing, something that should have been is not there. But why call it empty? Why in the first place expect that something should be there waiting for you? Who are you? Give it the right name.
It is one of the basic arts of living to call things by their right name, the right word, to make the right gesture, because even a slightly wrong word brings wrong associations. Now, empty – the very sound of the word reminds you of something futile. No, I give it a different word: it is spaciousness, uncluttered with anything. Existence is so spacious that it allows you absolute freedom to be whatsoever you want to be, whatsoever you have the capacity to be. It allows you an unhindered space to grow and to blossom. It does not impose anything on you.
God imposes things on you. He wants you to be a certain kind of man, having a certain kind of personality, morality, ethics, etiquette. He wants to put you into a cage. And you think to be caged is to have found meaning? To be caged is to be dead.
Nietzsche is far truer when he says, “God is dead and I proclaim to humanity that now man is free.” He is saying two things: “God is dead” – that is the least important part of his statement, which has angered all the religions of the world. The most important part is the second part: “Hence man is free.” Just think a little bit about it. God is equivalent to slavery. No God is equivalent to freedom. And freedom is bound to be spacious – don’t call it empty. Yes, it is empty of any hindrance. It is empty of any structure. It is empty of any guidance. It does not force you to move in a certain direction, to be someone.
No, life gives you all the space you need, perhaps more space than you need. Space out, rather than bothering about why life is empty. This spaciousness without boundaries, with no guidelines, with no map is good. You can move like a cloud in the sky: untethered, unforced. Wherever the wind takes you, wherever you reach, that is the goal.
Ordinarily we have been taught that there should be a goal and then you start moving toward it; if you reach then you have succeeded. But really you have missed immense opportunities. In going for this particular goal you have lost immensely the whole richness of life.
Why does one feel life is meaningless? – because in the first place you expect some meaning to be there. Who told you that you have to expect some meaning? This is what I call the wrong that religions have done to man. They have told you there is meaning; you accepted it – and when you don’t find it, you are frustrated, you feel lost.
So many intelligent people go on committing suicide. The greatest number of suicides in any single profession is in the profession of philosophy. More philosophers commit suicide than any other profession. Strange! Professors should be wise people, philosophers particularly so. But what goes wrong? – their expectation of finding meaning. They try hard to find it, and it is not there. It was never there in the first place.
Other people don’t try to find meaning, that’s why they need not commit suicide: they never feel frustrated. They know that they have not tried to find it, so they feel they are sinners, that something is wrong with them, but they never feel that they have to commit suicide because life is meaningless. They have not searched; meaning was always there. They have not cared. They have not listened to the priest, to the wise guys who are all around, who are giving advice freely – although nobody takes it. Advice is the only thing in the world that everybody gives and nobody takes. And everybody knows it.
These people – Jaspers, Marcel, Heidegger, Sartre – have moved to the opposite polarity. Religions say that life is meaningful because God cannot create a meaningless life; it has an intrinsic meaning, a significance. You have to fulfill it, and you will be rewarded for it. Religions gave this hope but these people found that there is no God, that nobody has created a meaningful life, that there is no destiny – man is just driftwood going nowhere. So they moved to the opposite polarity: life is meaningless.
Just see the point: religions say life is meaningful, and these so-called existentialists have impressed on the intelligentsia of the world that life is meaningless. But to me they are both making the same mistake. I say that meaning is irrelevant to life. Let me explain to you. Now, what is the smell of the color red? You will say, “It is irrelevant, smell has nothing to do with color.” And if you start searching for a certain smell in the color red – because scriptures say, priests say, religions say, and thousands of years of traditions say that the color red has a certain fragrance – you will find that there is no fragrance. Color and smell are totally different dimensions; they never meet. Neither smell has any color, nor color have any smell. That does not mean that color is futile, throw it away.
Life and meaning are totally different. Meaning is a logical concept, and life has nothing to do with logic. People who want to live have to put logic aside; otherwise you cannot live. Logic will come in everywhere preventing you from living: “either-or.” You will think much, but you will not live much. And the more you think, the less is the possibility of living.
Living needs a little transcendence from thinking.
Zorba the Greek says to his boss, “Boss, only one thing is wrong with you – you think too much.” And he is right; even his boss realizes finally that he is right. The whole day Zorba works hard, labors – and then he dances and plays some instrument. What is it in Italian…? Santuri? Or in Greek…? Santuri? I think whatever it is, santuri is a good name! Anyway all names are made up. I will just use santuri.
He plays the santuri, he dances, he goes mad, dancing – and the boss simply sits. One day Zorba says, “What are you doing sitting there? There is a full moon, there is the river, the sands are calling, and the winds are so cool – come along with me.” With very hesitant feet the boss goes with him because Zorba is dragging him, and Zorba is a very strong man.
The boss is just a boss as bosses are supposed to be: a rich man, intellectual, but not strong. Zorba just pulls him and starts dancing and playing on his santuri. The boss also tries a little bit, finds it exhilarating – the wind, the moon, the river, the sand, and the mad way Zorba plays his santuri, and the mad way he dances. Slowly, slowly he forgets that he is the boss and starts dancing. It takes a little time to slip out of the mind, but he slips out. It is only for a few moments, but now he too knows that life has a different taste.
Life is not available to thinking. Perhaps it is available to dancing, to singing. One thing is certain, that thinking is the driest dimension of your life. It is a desert with no oasis.
If you feel that life is meaningless, it simply means you don’t know how to live. You don’t know that meaning has nothing to do with life. This has to be a fundamental principle: life has nothing to do with meaning. It is not arithmetic. It is not logic. It is not philosophy.
Living in itself is such an ecstasy – who cares for meaning? Can’t you visualize experiences which are intrinsically so joyous that even to ask the question about meaning will look idiotic? Nobody asks, “What is the meaning of love?” But these people who are asking, “What is the meaning of life?” are bound to ask, “What is the meaning of love?”
There is a Russian story, a small story…

In a village a young man, is called an idiot by everybody. From his very childhood he has heard that he is an idiot. And when so many people are saying it – his father, his mother, his uncles, the neighbors, and everybody – of course he starts believing that he must be an idiot. How can so many people be wrong? And they are all important people. But when he becomes older and this continues, he becomes an absolutely sealed idiot; there is no way to get out of it. He tries hard but whatsoever he does is thought to be idiotic.
That is very human. Once a man goes mad he may become normal again but nobody is going to take him as normal. He may do something normal but you will suspect that there must be something insane about it. And your suspicion will make him hesitant and his hesitancy will make your suspicion stronger; then there is a vicious circle. So that man tried in every possible way to look wise, to do wise things, but whatsoever he did people would always say it was idiotic.
A saint was passing by. The man went to the saint in the night when there was nobody about and asked him, “Just help me to get out of this locked state. I am sealed in. They don’t let me out; they have not left any window or door open so that I can jump out. Whatsoever I do, even if it is exactly the same as they do, still I am an idiot. What should I do?”
The saint said, “Do just one thing. Whenever somebody says, ‘Look how beautiful the sunset is,’ say, ‘You idiot, prove it! What is beautiful there? I don’t see any beauty. Prove it.’ If somebody says, ‘Look at that beautiful roseflower,’ catch hold of him and tell him, ‘Prove it! What grounds have you to call this ordinary flower beautiful? There have been millions of roseflowers. There are millions, there will be millions in the future; what special thing has this roseflower got? What are your fundamental reasons which prove logically that this roseflower is beautiful?’
“If somebody says, ‘This book of Leo Tolstoy is very beautiful,’ just catch hold of him and ask him, ‘Prove where it is beautiful; what is beautiful in it? It is just an ordinary story – just the same story which has been told millions of times, just the same triangle in every story: either two men and one woman or two women and one man, but the same triangle. All love stories are triangles. So what is new in it?’”
The man said, “That’s right.”
The saint said, “Don’t miss any chance, because nobody can prove these things; they are unprovable. And when they cannot prove it, they will look idiotic and they will stop calling you an idiot. When I return the next time, just tell me how things are going.
And the next time when the saint came back, even before he could meet the old idiot, people of the village informed him, “A miracle has happened. We had an idiot in our town; he has become the wisest man. We would like you to meet him.”
And the saint knew who that “wisest man” was. He said, “I would certainly love to see him. In fact I was hoping to meet him.”
The saint was taken to the idiot and the idiot said, “You are a miracle-worker, a miracle man. The trick worked! I simply started calling everyone an idiot, stupid. Somebody would be talking of love, somebody would be talking of beauty, somebody would be talking of art, painting, sculpture, and my standpoint was the same: ‘Prove it!’ And because they could not prove it, they looked idiotic.
“It is a strange thing. I was never hoping to gain this much out of it. All that I wanted was to get out of that confirmed idiocy. It is strange that now I am no longer an idiot, I have become the most wise man. I know I am the same, and you know it too.”
But the saint said, “Never tell this secret to anybody else. Keep the secret to yourself. Do you think I am a saint? Yes, the secret is between us. This is how I became a saint. This is how you have become a wise man.”

This is how things go on in the world.
Once you ask, “What is the meaning of life?” you have asked the wrong question. Obviously somebody will say, “This is the meaning of life” – and it cannot be proved. Then one thing is proved automatically: that life is meaningless. But that is a fallacy. That’s why I say that all these five existentialists – great names because theirs is the only great philosophical school that has arisen in these last few decades – have defeated all other philosophical schools with the same trick, the same one that the idiot used. About any painting they will say, “Meaningless!” Of any poetry they will say, “Meaningless!” And there is no way to prove beauty; either you see it or you don’t see it. There is no way to prove love; if you have to prove it, you are finished. Can you prove your love?
It is good that people take it for granted, at least in the beginning, that they love each other without asking, “Do you really love me? Where is love? Prove it first.” Then love would disappear from the world because nobody can prove it. How can you prove it? At the most you can say, “You can listen to my heartbeat.” The other person can listen to your heartbeat and say, “I can hear your heartbeat, but I don’t hear any love. I don’t hear any song or dance or any bells ringing. It is just a heartbeat.” You can find a stethoscope and listen to it more accurately, more loudly, so then it becomes really loud, but you will not find any love there. Love is not a heartbeat. Then what is love? Has anybody ever been able to define it? No, there is no way to define it.
There are things which are indefinable; hence I call my religion pure mysticism, because I accept things which cannot be explained, which cannot be defined, which can only be lived, which can only be known by experience. If you try to think about them you are going to miss them.
All these five great philosophers have missed life absolutely because they asked the wrong question, they accepted the wrong answer, they fought the wrong answer and they moved to the polar opposite. And remember, if you move from one wrong thing and to oppose it, you go to the polar opposite, you reach another wrong thing – because only wrong can be the polar opposite of another wrong, not right.
Life is simply an experience.
Your birth is only the beginning. You are not born ready-made; you are born with all dimensions open. That’s the beauty and dignity of man.
A dog is born as a dog; he will remain a dog. He comes with a certain structure, lifestyle, morality, religion, philosophy. He brings with him everything ready-made; in fact nature provides him with everything. He never feels meaningless. He never bothers about meaning – it is only man who bothers. Hence he thinks he needs a very great philosophical understanding. The dog comes into the world complete. Man is born incomplete, open; it is left to him what he is going to become, what he is going to make out of his life. This creates problems, but all those problems are challenges to be accepted, faced.
You have to be in constant effort for your own growth. Yes, many times you will move in a wrong direction, but don’t be worried, that’s how we learn – by making mistakes.
My father used to stop me, saying, “Don’t do that, you are doing it wrong.”
I said, “One thing should be settled between us: let me find out that it is wrong, and never stop me when I am going to commit a mistake.”
He said, “What! You are going to commit a mistake and I am not to stop you?”
I said, “Yes, because without mistakes I will never learn. How long are you going to be with me? Are you going to live for me, on my behalf? I have to live myself. So please be kind enough: let me fall, let me make mistakes, let me go wrong, allow me to see what is right and what is wrong. Yes, I am groping, but only through this groping will I find out. And only that which is found by you is yours.”
Jesus may have found truth, Buddha may have found truth, but it is all hogwash, just meaningless to you. You will have to travel the path, many paths, out of which some will take you in the wrong direction and you will have to return to find the right one. But if you go on searching you are bound to find, because when you start finding that the path is wrong, you are already starting to feel what is right. It may not be very clear to you, but the moment you see that something is wrong, side by side somewhere inside you, you have already achieved a glimpse of the right.
To know something as a lie means that you have a vague idea of what is truth. So just moving in wrong directions is not wrong, because it is through that movement that you will slowly, slowly, crystallize the idea of the right. And once you find what is right then you will jump out of your bathtub and run naked in the streets shouting, “Eureka! Eureka! Eureka!”
That’s what happened to Archimedes. He ran into the palace of the king, naked, into the court! – shouting just one word, “Eureka! I have found it!”
But the king said, “Don’t be so excited – at least you should have put some clothes on. Along the whole street people have gathered and you are standing in the court.”
Then he looked and saw that he was naked. He said, “In fact, I was in my bathtub, and that’s where I found it.” A great present had been given to the king which was made of gold. The king had given him the job of finding some way of telling whether it was pure gold or was there some mixture.
The king said, “I don’t want you to destroy it and I don’t want you to cut it into pieces. I don’t want you to poke into it to find out whether it is also pure gold inside. Work out a method where you don’t touch it, and find out whether it is pure gold.” And that’s what he had found while he was in the tub.
The tub was full of water, absolutely full. When he entered the tub he saw water spilling out. As he lay down in the tub, he saw more water spilling out. And a sudden flash in the mind – he jumped out of the tub and saw how much water had spilled out, and how much the water level had gone down. And he saw it was exactly his volume. He had found the way!
Now, find some pure gold and put it in water. The bath should be full, then water will spill out because you have put the gold into the water. Now weigh the water that has overflowed, and then you know how much water spills out when you add a certain weight of pure gold. Then bring the king’s present, and put it into the water. You are not destroying it, not touching it. If exactly the same amount of water spills out as did from the same weight of pure gold, then the present is pure gold. Otherwise it is impure; some other metal is there.
After the discovery he was so ecstatic that he forgot all about the bathroom, and the clothes, and he just ran. And the king could understand. He said, “I can understand when someone finds something on his own, it is so ecstatic.” Just a small thing – he had not found God or nirvana or enlightenment. No, he had just found a way to decide whether the gold was pure or not. But even that, the flash of finding something, makes you aware of your own intelligence. The greater the finding, the greater you feel your intelligence.
When you find what life is by living, then you will not find yourself surrounded by emptiness; you will be surrounded by space, pure space, which allows you to grow in every direction. Existence is freedom.
And yes, I agree with Nietzsche: man is free. Up to now the religions have tried to make man a slave – spiritually, psychologically, but a slave all the same.
Nietzsche is not right that God is dead, because God has never been there. It was just his emphasis – I know that he was a man of tremendous insight and could not commit such a mistake. When he says, “God is dead,” he does not mean that God was there and is now dead. He wants to emphasize the fact that there is no God: forget about God and forget about all the mythologies that you have lived by up to now. From now onward you are free. Live in freedom, and create yourself.
Why be created by God? Anyway God is not capable of creating you. Just look: he created Eve out of a rib from Adam – a great creator! In the first place is he a certified surgeon? I don’t think that he is an FRCS, and he is doing surgery without anesthesia. Adam was just asleep and he took out his rib. But when you are stupid, then you are going to believe in any stupid thing. And from the rib how can you create the woman?
I don’t see any way to create a woman from a rib. This is pure crap! – and so insulting to women. Women at least should stop going to all the churches and all the synagogues because God has done such an insult. He cannot be forgiven! Let him apologize. What do these liberation women go on doing? They should protest before every church, before every synagogue, that no woman will enter unless that statement from the Bible is removed.
Woman is created from the rib of Adam? Why could he not also create woman the way he has created Adam? The word Adam means earth, mud. First he made Adam with earth, and then breathed life into him. Now, when he was making woman, was earth missing? Was all the mud finished with one Adam? It would have been easier to make the woman also from earth. Why take a rib from this poor man?
And after that, you know what used to happen? I have just heard about it, I don’t know whether it is true or not. Every night when Adam came home and went to sleep, the first thing Eve would do was count his ribs, because she was afraid God might create another woman. Every night… It was a natural fear because if another rib was missing then Adam would have been in real trouble. But God never did the same operation again.
The past of humanity is full of myth, and a myth simply means an invented story to give you a bogus feeling of meaning. And man, even very educated people, cultured people…

I had a professor, my colleague in the university, who was a great follower of these people: Søren Kierkegaard to Jean-Paul Sartre. He thought himself an existentialist. I asked him, “Do you really think there is no God?”
He said, “Yes, there is no God, no Holy Ghost, no Jesus Christ.” He had been a Christian.
I said, “If I can manage some meeting with one of these three fellows…”
He said, “What! A meeting! How can you manage a meeting? Nobody has ever seen them. It is all just superstition.”
I said, “Okay, come to my house tonight.”
He started becoming a little afraid: “But what will you do?”
I said, “That you don’t ask. First let the meeting happen.”
He said, “With whom?”
I said, “Don’t be bothered – with whomsoever I can get the appointment. I don’t know yet with whom I can get the appointment. Come with me tonight. Eat with me, sleep in my house and I will try my best.”
He said, “But I am very busy today.”
I said, “There is no problem, then tomorrow. It is going to happen one day so this busyness without business won’t help – you are not busy.”
He said, “That’s right, I am not busy. I was just trying to get out of this.”
I said, “Why? I am going to make an appointment, and you are trying to get out of it. You deny them, and having denied them then you say life is meaningless. I will make your life meaningful tonight.”
He said, “My God! Okay.”
But sitting with me in my car, he would look at me again and again, and he would say, “With whom are you going to make…?”
I said, “Don’t worry, that is my business. And I have done it many times so don’t worry!”
But how could the poor man stop worrying? A minute or two minutes would pass, then again he would say, “You can just tell me. Are you joking, kidding?”
I said, “I am a serious man and this is no joke – making an appointment with one of the fellows in the trinity.”
Eating, he was not there, he was just afraid. I told him, “Now I am going to make the appointment. This is the room for you to sleep in. Rest, or you can read. I will be here nearabout ten tonight.”
He said, “Where are you going?”
I said, “I have a place where I can arrange to have a contact.”
He said, “A place! Are you mad or something?”
I said, “Just wait. It is only a question of one night and it will be decided.”
I had a friend in the medical college. I went to him; he was a professor, and I told him that I wanted a skeleton just for the night. He asked, “What are you up to?”
I said, “Don’t be worried, nobody will be killed and no problem will arise out of it.”
He said, “It is not permissible for me. I have the key; if a skeleton is missing tomorrow I will be caught.”
I said, “It will be back here before morning. It is just that I have to make an appointment with a man.”
He said, “What appointment?”
I said, “Don’t be worried. Just let me finish, don’t waste my time. Just give me a skeleton.”
He said, “If you insist, take one, but it should be back before morning.”
I said, “Don’t be worried; perhaps there will be two skeletons. I don’t know what will happen, because this is just an appointment. A meeting will happen and then after the meeting nobody knows. It is with the Holy Ghost.”
The medical professor said, “I am coming with you. It seems there is some risk.”
I said, “You can come. There is just enjoyment, entertainment – no risk. Come with me” – and he did.
I was living in a big bungalow so I had given the professor of philosophy a side room which had a bathroom attached and a small walk-in closet. We reached home. I left the skeleton in the garage. I knocked on the door; he came, looking afraid. He opened the door and said, “What about the appointment?”
I said, “Everything is fixed, the appointment is going to happen. Just rest in your bed and whenever you hear three knocks you should go into your bathroom.”
He said, “In the bathroom?”
I said, “What can I do? I tried my best to tell him that there is a good sitting room, but the Holy Ghost is the Holy Ghost.”
He said, “I will meet him in the bathroom if you insist.”
I said, “I have no objection, and I don’t think you have any objection.”
He said, “Holy Ghost! – in the bathroom?”
It was possible only in the bathroom, because at the back there was a door so I could bring the Holy Ghost in. Otherwise, from where to bring it into his room? In India, you have to have a door from the outside because the people who clean the bathrooms cannot go through the inside of your house. That is impossible in India. So I had kept that door open from the very beginning.
He went to bed and covered himself with the blanket. I put the light off. He said, “No. Keep the light on.”
I said, “Don’t be worried, because when the Holy Ghost comes, the light comes on, he is so illuminated. Don’t be worried.”
He said, “But still, keep the light on. And where will you be?”
I said, “I will be in the next room. If there is any trouble, or if the Holy Ghost does any unholy thing to you, either you can hide in this closet and lock it from the inside so he cannot do anything to you, or if you still have any voice left, you can call me – I will come immediately. But my experience, because this appointment has happened many times before, is that people lose their voices. They want to say something, they want to scream, but they cannot; they are just choked – just the presence of the Holy Ghost!”
He said, “I was an idiot to talk to you about this meaninglessness of life. Perhaps there is meaning.”
I said, “No need to change your philosophy so soon. First let the meeting happen.”
And the meeting happened. I persuaded him to put the light off because otherwise the Holy Ghost wouldn’t come. So I put the light off. I brought the skeleton in through the back door and put it in the right place in the bathroom. Just nearabout twelve – the other professor was also staying with me in my room – we knocked on his door. I had told him, “The moment the Holy Ghost knocks on your door, open the bathroom door and have the meeting. Whatsoever question you have to ask, you can ask. Everything else is then up to you. With the appointment my work is finished.”
We knocked on his door. He jumped out of his bed and fell on the floor! In the darkness he could not figure out where he was. He really wanted to get out of the room, but instead he went into the bathroom where I had kept the light on. The skeleton was there. He saw it and just fell down and went unconscious. I called the medical professor and said, “Now you can help – this is the second skeleton! I’ll remove the first one to my car, and you take care of this man. That’s why I have brought you with me. You thought it was for some other reason, but a medical doctor is always needed when such encounters happen. Now look after him!”
He said, “You are a real trouble. Now I have to look after him, and perhaps he may die or anything may happen and I will be responsible because I am medically attending him.”
But he did not die. He opened his eyes, looked at the professor, looked at me, closed his eyes again and said, “Has… Has he gone?” The first thing he asked was, “Has he gone?”
I said, “Who?”
He said, “The Holy Ghost. And I do believe in God the father, the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ and I will never say anything about it again.”
I said, “This is good! I have converted you into a Christian.”
He said, “My God! What an experience. My wife will not believe it, nobody will believe it. Even I would not have believed it if I had not seen it. Has he gone?”
I said, “You can look in the bathroom.”
He opened the bathroom, looked and said, “Yes, he is gone.” That man started going to church and became a very, very religious person. The whole university was amazed at what had happened. I told them, “It is the result of a great encounter.”
“What encounter?” they asked, and I spread the whole story.
I told him, “Don’t be a fool! Come with me to the medical doctor; he can tell you that I brought a skeleton. There was no Holy Ghost, no appointment. You are simply a coward.”
He said, “You cannot befool me now – I have seen with my own eyes. Am I to believe my eyes or your words – or any medical professor? I don’t care what anybody says, from now onward I am going to remain a Christian. You cannot destroy my Christianity.”
He is still a Christian, very pious, helping others to be Christians – and all that he had seen was only a skeleton! I told him – I brought the medical professor and he told him – “You can come and we will show you the same skeleton so you can recognize it.”
He said, “I am not going. You showing something to me…” He said, “I don’t trust this man: if he can manage an encounter, a meeting with the Holy Ghost, he can manage anything. Perhaps the Holy Ghost is going to be there again, wherever you are both trying to take me. I am not going again, not before death.” And he crossed himself; each time he would say “Holy Ghost” he would make the sign of the cross. Such a conversion!

People have been living under all kinds of superstitions which may have been founded on some reason in the past; but they have not been able to understand that reason clearly. It is true that Jesus did not die on the cross, but it is untrue that there was a resurrection. He was taken down from the cross and he escaped from Judea. While escaping from Judea, of course he met a few people, and certainly a few of his disciples. And they all thought that he was back, he was resurrected!
But he escaped from Judea because he knew perfectly well… That was the suggestion given to him by Pontius Pilate – because he allowed him to escape. The whole credit goes to that Roman governor-general of Judea. It is a strange coincidence that Rome became the citadel of Christianity: it was Rome who crucified Jesus, it was a Roman governor-general who had helped him to escape. But it was made clear to Jesus that he should not be found inside Judea or nearby, because then Pontius Pilate would be held responsible. So he had to escape as far away as possible. And he escaped really far away: he died in Kashmir in India. I have been to his grave. He lived a long life of one hundred and twelve years. But those six hours on the cross were enough: he never tried again to prove that he was the messiah. In India nobody would have bothered about him; a messiah means nothing there. There are hundreds of living incarnations of God any time, any day, any night.
Once I happened to stay in Allahabad. I was attending a Hindu world conference. Somebody by mistake had invited me thinking that I was a Hindu. They found out, but it was too late. By that time I had disturbed everything that they were planning: how to convert the whole world into Hinduism.
I was staying with hundreds of other guests in tents by the side of the Ganges, the beautiful place they had chosen for the conference. In those tents at least five incarnations of God were present. In India it is so easy. Nobody can object – you can declare yourself an incarnation of God. About that India is very nice. Who cares? Who bothers? It is your business. If you think you are an incarnation of God, good: be an incarnation of God. You are not doing any harm to anybody.
But that one experience of Jesus’ was so bad, so horrible, that he dropped the idea of being a messiah, and he dropped the idea of solving the problems of the whole of humanity. He had found what happens if you try to redeem humanity – you are crucified!
But his escaping helped a religion to be born. Now, Christians have no report of what happened after his resurrection. If he was resurrected, okay. Then what happened? When did he die? Where did he die? Where is his grave? Why have you not preserved his grave? – because that must be the holiest thing for you. Sheela has just informed me that all they have preserved was the foreskin of Jesus Christ! Because he must have been circumcised…
And even that has been stolen from the Vatican yesterday. The poor Christians… Now they have nothing! It was not much anyway. What can you do with the foreskin? And I don’t think it was his foreskin; anybody’s would do because foreskins are just foreskins. “Jesus Christ” is not written on it – but somebody has done a really great job, stealing it. Now the whole of Christianity is shaken because their greatest treasure is lost.

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