From Personality to Individuality 15

Fifteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Personality to Individuality by Osho.
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What are you preparing us, your sannyasins, for?
I am preparing my sannyasins for everything and nothing. The second is more important. The first is only a preparation for the second. “Everything” includes everything that is necessary for a person to get to his being, to be fulfilled, to be contented, to be in that ultimate state where there is no desire, no need; where one is sufficient unto oneself. That blessed state is the state of nothingness.
Everything that is needed to reach nothingness implies a few fundamentals. The first fundamental is to be a rebel. All the religions destroy the potential of rebellion in man. Obviously – because to teach rebellion means to teach those people to rebel against tradition, against convention, against society, against religion; and these are their vested interests. Rebellion has to be absolutely slaughtered. But the moment the spirit of rebellion dies in a man, man lives only a posthumous existence – because the spirit of rebellion is your real spirit.
All the religions have done just the opposite. They teach you to believe; I teach you to doubt. They teach you to have faith; I teach you to inquire. They give you everything ready-made; I am telling you that unless you attain it by your own effort it is absolutely useless. A God that is handed over to you is worth nothing. To simply imbibe like a parrot a holy scripture that comes through tradition is suicidal. You are poisoning yourself because the more knowledgeable you become, the less is the possibility for you to seek, search and find.
Once you get this stupid idea that you know already, the question of inquiry does not arise. The question of inquiry arises only when you feel that you know nothing. But no religion lets you know that you know nothing. They go on forcing knowledge, catechisms, doctrines, dogmas on you. They are stuffing your mind with all kinds of empty words. A word is always empty unless it contains your experience.
My word cannot be real nourishment to you. It will be empty – it is only the container. And the content? There is no way to convey the content. I can pass you the container, the word, but how can I pass you my experience which is always left behind? The word goes to you and I see an empty, dead word in your hand. The thing that I wanted to express, to convey, to transfer, is left behind; it never leaves my being. Hence, truth is inexpressible.
Only idiots go on talking about truth. And they believe that what they are saying is true. They are only saying yakkety-yakkety-yak, and nothing else. They are chatterboxes, but they can believe that they are transferring something to you because they themselves don’t have anything other than the word. So they feel that they have transferred something.
A man who knows can never feel that it is possible to transfer truth. Yes, he can inspire you to inquire, but he cannot transfer to you the truth itself.
So the first thing is the spirit of rebellion – which implies doubt, skepticism, inquiry. It needs tremendous courage because you will be going against all, all those who are in power; the politicians, the priests, the super-rich, the pedagogues in the universities are all in powerful positions.
Your effort to inquire is a declaration against all of them, because they are saying, “Truth has been found by Jesus Christ; you need not worry about it. Simply believe in Jesus Christ.” Now this is as stupid as somebody saying, “The theory of relativity has been discovered by Albert Einstein. You need not worry about the theory of relativity – simply have faith in Albert Einstein and everything is okay.” Do you think by having faith in Albert Einstein you will understand anything about the theory of relativity? What does your faith in Einstein have to do with the theory of relativity? They are not related at all to each other.
The same is the case with Jesus, Krishna, Zarathustra, Buddha, Mohammed. It is not possible for you to know what Jesus knows, just by having faith in Jesus. In the first place, how do you know that he knows? In the second place, how can you destroy the skepticism which is born in you from your very birth? Faith is being taught; doubt is your natural capacity. Existence gives you the quality of doubt and the vested interests destroy that quality and cover it with beliefs. Beliefs are in their favor, not in your favor.
I am a little bit crazy because I am speaking against my own profession, but I can’t help it. I could have become a world teacher with millions of followers if I had not been crazy enough to start telling you the truth. The truth is that all the vested interests are against you: your individuality, your nature, your potentiality. They have their ideas, their expectations, and they want you to fulfill their ideas. They want you to become just puppets in their hands. And the more you behave like a puppet, the more respectable you will be.
One of my professors, S. S. Roy, who is still alive, loved me so much that he used to tell me, “I am always worried about you. I know whatsoever you do, you do with sincerity, but in this world sincerity does not pay. Authenticity is not respected. Rebellion is crushed. And the people who are in power are powerful enough to crush any individual, because the whole society – the courts, the law, the government, everything – is in their hands. You are powerless.”
I told him, “I know that they have a certain power but please don’t say that I am powerless. I also have a certain power, not of the same category but of a higher category. They can kill me but they cannot kill my truth. And my truth is more important to me than my life, because my life is going to end anyway. If it ends in the service of truth then it will have a certain eternity about it, because truth cannot be killed. You can crucify a Jesus, but how can you crucify this man’s truth? If he had any truth, that truth is going to live. You can poison Socrates…”
I told Professor S. S. Roy, “I love you just like my father, and I know how much you love me and how much you respect me. It is very unexpected that a professor, well respected all over the country, should respect a student – but I cannot accept your advice. You are giving it with all good wishes and I am grateful for that but let me be crucified, let me be poisoned, let every power be against me. I say to you that my experience makes me much more powerful than all those people. Their power is just temporary: the power that truth gives you is eternal.”
He said to me, “I understand, still I cannot help being concerned about you. I have nightmares about you – that somebody will shoot you, somebody will crucify you, somebody will poison you.” And all those efforts have been made; he was perfectly right. Whenever an attempt on my life was made, I had always informed him, “One of your nightmares has come true. But I have survived it, so don’t be worried. I will survive your other nightmares too.”
To have the spirit of rebellion, all that you need is guts; and you have them. You have simply forgotten about them. Every individual is born with tremendous courage. Nature is not partial in that it gives courage to Alexander the Great and does not give you courage; it is not so. As far as nature is concerned it is absolutely communist. Communists are not communists, but existence is absolutely communist. It has no categories: it does not make courageous people and cowardly people. No, it simply creates courageous people. Cowardliness is created by those who want to remain in power forever. They create the cowards, because only the cowards will not rebel.
It is very easy: in thousands of years they have found all the tactics. They have become immensely crafty. They have found every possible way to weaken you, to destroy the very idea of being a rebel. To make you a coward they have created a hell – which exists nowhere. But from the very childhood you are programmed that if you do certain things you will suffer in hell. And sometimes it is so illogical.
Bertrand Russell is right when he says, “If all the crimes that I have committed, and all the crimes that I have dreamed about in my whole life are both to be punished, then the cruelest court cannot send me behind bars for more than four years. And Christianity says that you will suffer eternal hell.” Now, any idiot can understand that the punishment is too much.
It seems as if God enjoys punishing people, torturing people; otherwise, what crimes are you committing? Can you commit a crime which deserves eternal hell? Can you think of a crime that deserves eternal hell? However big the crime may be – you may be Adolf Hitler, you may be Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong – then too there should be a limit. Even if Adolf Hitler committed millions of crimes, so what! Eternal hell would not be fair.
And what about ordinary people? You may have lied sometimes; you may have done something that your religion prohibits. You may have dreamed something which your society will not approve of. You may have escaped, in your dream, with somebody’s wife – only in your dream. But Jainism says your dreams will be punished too because it makes no difference whether you escape with somebody’s wife or you dreamed it – in the East life itself is nothing but a dream. Both are dreams – the difference is only of duration.
When you escaped in the night with somebody’s wife the duration was short, perhaps a few minutes, but the intensity was great. The duration was short but the intensity was great. Those few seconds you enjoyed, you really enjoyed. And because it was your dream the woman could not be bitchy to you – unless you love bitchy women; that’s another matter. It is your dream, it will reflect you. If you dream about bitchy women that simply means that’s what you want, and then naturally that’s what you deserve.
Jainism says the outer life, of open eyes, is also a dream. It lasts longer, the duration, but its intensity is not so deep. It may last years but it is not deep. So if you put your dream with closed eyes on one side of a scale, and your other dream with open eyes on the other side of the scale, it is possible they may weigh exactly the same – because one’s length is long but the surface is thin, the other’s duration is short but the intensity is tremendous. In any case both are dreams, and you will have to suffer punishment for both.
From your very childhood every religion is creating fear in you. And the other side of the fear is greed. They are both created simultaneously, they are not two things. On one hand fear is created: if you do a certain thing you will be punished, and the punishment is made as exaggerated as possible. If you look at the ideas of all the religions about hell, you will be surprised. These scriptures were written by great saints, and I have always wondered whether these people were saints or some kind of sadists, because even to imagine all those tortures you need the mind of a sadist. You must be somehow enjoying the imagination.
De Sade, from whose name the sickness sadism comes, was a marquis so it was very difficult to catch him. He had his own territory, a small kingdom of his own, and it was difficult to find witnesses against him. Every day he needed a new woman to torture – and he would get hold of any woman. His people would go and get hold of whoever caught his eye.
He had a special chamber – it would be ironical to call it a love chamber, but it was his love chamber. Strange instruments that he had created were hanging all around the walls of his chamber; he had a very inventive mind. All those instruments were of torture. He always used to keep a bag with him, like a doctor’s bag, in case he was somewhere else and an opportunity arose. So he had a few special miniature instruments in his bag – a portable hell. The real hell was in his palace.
Finally, when he was caught and forced to confess, no one could believe that this man could have thought of so many ways of torturing people. The first thing he would do – the woman had to be naked and he would beat her. She would scream and cry and run and he would follow her and lash her till blood started oozing out of her body; only then would he make love.
This man had written in his diary every detail about how his instruments had to be used, how a certain instrument would force needles under your nails… And you could not escape; your hands would be caught in the mechanism, and the needles would go underneath your nails. The more you screamed and the more you cried, the more he would enjoy it. He would put the woman on a bed of ice, naked, and make her lie down on it: she would be tied to the bed of ice. Naturally she would try in every possible way to get out of it – and this was his joy.
De Sade died in prison; he was put in prison because he was a dangerous man and it was not possible to change him. During his imprisonment he started writing novels. As novels they are third-rate, but as far as revealing the criminal mind is concerned there is no competition with his novels. Nobody has ever been able to compete, because what he now could not actually do, he was doing in the novels.
When I read all the religious scriptures and the way they describe hell, it seemed the people who were writing were closer to de Sade. Rather than being called saints, they should be called sadists. They were not doing anything but they were writing about it. That’s what de Sade did in the last part of his life: he enjoyed writing because doing was no longer possible.
The saints could not do those things because if they did then they would not be saints anymore. They were also imprisoned – in respectability. The whole society was worshipping them, and they could not lose that. So they found a way to write all those things which if there had been a possibility, an opportunity, they would have done themselves. In fact a sane mind, a healthy mind, will not even think of these things. They are all sick people – and religions have all been dominated by sick people. Here they create hell; and by the side, for themselves and other saints and those who will listen to their commandments, they have created heaven.
In heaven there are all kinds of joys. Very strangely, the same things that they condemn here, that they condemn in your life, are abundantly available in heaven. There seems to be no logical relationship in it. If something is bad on earth, how is it that it suddenly becomes good in heaven? Mohammedans condemn alcohol and all alcoholic beverages: anybody who uses them will fall into hell. But in heaven – if you listen to them, follow them and believe in them – you will be provided, not with alcohol in bottles, but alcohol in rivers! In heaven don’t ask for water; in the Mohammedan heaven, whenever you ask for something to drink it means alcohol. Water is not available: drink really means drink. There are rivers of alcohol – not only drink, have a bath, swim, drown in it!
It is made available for saints because on earth they were ascetics; they never touched alcohol. A great reward! For not touching alcohol they drown in alcohol – a great reward! Here they never looked at a woman, not even in dreams, because God is such a peeping Tom that he goes on looking into each skull of what you are dreaming, what you are thinking. What kind of God have these people created? Has he not got anything better to do? And so many millions of people…
Now scientists say at least fifty thousand planets must have life, that is the minimum. More is possible, but that much is almost certain: fifty thousand planets like this earth, having life. And do you think only man dreams? Just look at your dog sleeping; look at your cat sleeping, and you can be certain they are dreaming. The dog will suddenly open his mouth and catch a fly – but there is no fly – and enjoy it and go back to sleep. He has been dreaming, and he enjoyed it; but the poor dog will never come to know whether it was a dream or a reality because dogs are not yet in that state of alertness where they can make a distinction between dream and reality.
Small children cannot either. Very small children will get up in the morning crying, and if you ask why they will say that they were playing with somebody and that that somebody has suddenly disappeared. They were having a dream; now they are awake so the dream is no longer there, but to them there is no difference between dream and reality. It takes a little maturity to make the distinction.
So God must be looking into the heads of the beetles and the buffaloes and the donkeys and the watchdogs of Oregon, and recording how much punishment and how much reward to give everybody. This whole idea is just to make you afraid and greedy. But without God it is very difficult to manage hell and heaven; a manager is needed, it is such a vast universe. To manage everybody’s actions and to give everybody the right amount of torture, the right amount of joy, each according to his acts – the law of karma – a great manager, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, a God, is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, who is going to preside over hell and heaven, and who is going to keep the peace? Those people who are in hell will take over heaven at any moment.
Do you think Adolf Hitler, and Stalin, and Mao Zedong, and Napoleon, and Alexander, Nadirshah, Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan will remain silent in hell for eternity? They would have taken over your heaven long ago, because who are your saints? Those poor fellows? – they would have been driven out and thrown into hell: “Go! Get out of here!” If Alexander the Great comes to heaven, do you think Saint Francis will be able to encounter him? Or when a man like Nadirshah comes in…
Whenever Nadirshah invaded a country – he invaded India many times – a big army used to march before him to declare that he was coming. A special method that Nadirshah used was to go on burning the villages and towns on the way. That was his declaration: “Nadirshah is coming.” There was no need to say anything to anybody: he would just go on putting fire to every village that he went through and immediately everybody in the whole country knew that Nadirshah was coming. So many villages would be on fire, and people escaping and dying… The army would go on starting fires and no other declaration was needed.
Once Nadirshah was returning from India and on the way somebody said, “Just very close by, a few miles away, there is a very beautiful woman, a great dancer.”
So he said, “No problem – just bring her. Tonight will be a celebration.”
The woman was caught. She danced till the middle of the night and was rewarded well, because there was no problem: Nadirshah was looting from all over the country. She could not believe what he gave her – so many precious ornaments as she had never seen in her life. But she said, “Please give me a man also. I don’t even know the value of so many precious ornaments; I have never seen such things – and I am not a poor woman. Even kings come to see me, but you are a king of kings. Nobody has given me such reward just for one dance. Send with me at least one soldier, so I feel protected and can reach home.”
He said, “That is not the way of Nadirshah. Let my army go and burn all the villages on the way, so people know that a dancer from Nadirshah’s camp is coming back home. Don’t be worried about the darkness because all the villages will be on fire; you will travel as if you are traveling in daylight.” That’s what he arranged: for seven miles along the road all the villages and forests were put on fire. The woman could not believe her eyes – that that man created the light of the day in the middle of the night.
Do you think you can manage this type of people? And they are not alone there; they are all together. Now, poor fellows like Saint Francis and Jesus and Buddha and Mahavira will simply escape seeing these people. They themselves will ask them, “Please send us to hell. We don’t want to live here anymore. You are welcome.” Because of heaven and hell a grand manager is needed, a boss who is so powerful that all these people are nothing before his power.
Small children are being put into a program. This is feeding them a program; this is changing an alive mind into a dead computer. The hell which keeps you afraid is there within you, and the heaven which keeps you greedy is there also. And God is there, continuously watching what you are doing, what you are thinking, what you are dreaming. Is this life or some kind of nightmare? How can you be rebellious in such a situation? It is too risky.
One of Krishnamurti’s friends and followers in India is Dada Dharmadhikari. He was also a great follower and friend of Mahatma Gandhi. He is very old, and strangely he is also a friend of mine, but with me the friendship is difficult. His son is the attorney general of the state of Madhya Pradesh and lived in Jabalpur where I was a professor; they lived just half a mile away from me.
Whenever Dada Dharmadhikari wants to rest or whenever he is sick, he goes to stay with the son; otherwise he is always on the move. He is one of the great orators of India. He does not believe in hell and heaven and God; he is a follower of Krishnamurti, and not new – not like a Californian follower who changes like fashion changes. The longest time for anything is three years, that is the average for the Californiac – three years for marriage, then a divorce is needed; three years for a job, then quit it; three years in the university, then drop out; three years in one place, then one is fed up: then move. Three years for the Hare Krishna movement, then three years for the Moonies – three years for everything.
Dada Dharmadhikari is not that type. He has been with Krishnamurti for fifty years, since the very beginning when Krishnamurti started, so he is completely programmed by him. Krishnamurti-ites cannot understand that. They can understand that Christians are programmed; they can understand that Hindus are programmed; they can understand everybody else is programmed but Krishnamurti-ites are not programmed. That’s where they have not understood Krishnamurti and his message. They are also programmed. The Hindu is repeating what he has been told; they are repeating what Krishnamurti has told them. Neither the Hindu has experienced nor have they experienced.
I was telling Dada Dharmadhikari again and again, “Dada” – dada means big brother, it is very respectful, and he was old enough to be my grandfather. I would tell him, “Dada, you should understand one thing, that whatsoever you are saying is again a program. You have been programmed by Krishnamurti for fifty years. No Hindu is programmed as much because a child listens for a few years to the parents and then he is on his own. Those few years are enough to spoil him. What to say about you? Fifty years! You are spoiled for many lives, from your very roots.
He would say, “But this is not programming, this is understanding. I know that there is no God, no hell, no heaven – nothing. This is all nonsense and rubbish.”
I said, “Okay; sometime perhaps, God willing, I may be able to expose you.”
One day his son came running to me and said, “Dada is asking for you. He is very sick” – he had had a mild heart attack – so I went. I entered the room and he was saying “Rama, Rama, Rama,” with closed eyes. If they are dying, if they have a heart attack in their old age, Hindus remember the name of God. Hindus believe that if you die with the name Rama on your lips, then all your sins are forgiven. These people are very clever: they give you so much fear, and they also give you tricks to avoid it, because all is in their hands. So if you say “Rama” even once at the last moment, and die, that’s enough.
They have a story:

A man was dying who was a murderer, a thief; you name anything, any crime, and he was an expert in it. He was dying. He had a son whose name was Narayana: Narayana is another name of God. Hindus have one thousand names of God, so it is very difficult to find a name which is not a name of God.
I insisted to my parents, “I won’t have any name which is the name of God, so you have to find something else.” For many years they could not name me. They simply called me “Rajah.” Rajah means king, it has nothing to do with God. But that was just for the time being; meanwhile they searched and found a name. It must be the first time in the whole history of man that my name, Rajneesh, is used because you will not find it anywhere else. Yes, now there are three or four children in India whose name is Rajneesh, after me, because their parents are sannyasins; otherwise, I am the first man to have this name.
It is a created name. You will not find any precedent. I have looked, tried hard, but I have not found any because it was created, it was artificial. Rajni means night, and Rajneesh means the lord of the night, the moon. It was my poet-uncle’s creation. I liked it. I said, “This will do. At least there is no mention of God in it. It is absolutely purified of religion: no religion in it.
So, that man who was a criminal and murderer was dying. He had done every kind of thing and he was never caught. For sure, he was on the way to hell. But at the last moment he called “Narayana!” to his son and died. His son was outside, he came in; by the time his son had reached him, the man had died. Now the Hindus have the story that the man, because he used God’s name, reached heaven and was accepted as a respected saint.

How these people have been befooling you is that they give you fear, but they also give you a provocation: all lusts are fulfilled in heaven. And they also give you very simple methods: just the name of God on your lips at the last moment, just once. Sometimes it happens that a man dies unexpectedly. Death never comes with a date, informing you that “At six o’clock in the evening be ready, I am coming.” It simply comes, and once it is there you are gone. Hindus have found a method for that too, because millions of people die without the name of God on their lips. So when they are dead, the brahmin comes, and in the dead man’s ear he repeats the name of God. Into the dead man’s mouth they pour water from the Ganges, because the water of the Ganges is as pure as God’s name – but into a dead man’s body who is no longer there!
Dada Dharmadhikari – a man who was a confirmed atheist, anti-religious, anti-all: hell, heaven, God – repeating the name of Rama! I told his son, “Be quiet. Let me go close to him.” The room was kept in darkness so he was not disturbed, so I moved slowly and went close to him. He was repeating, not knowing that I was there, “Rama, Rama, Rama.”
I said, “I am here, listening.”
He said, “Who are you?”
I said, “The man who wanted to expose you. This is the opportunity! What are you doing? Just a little heart attack and Krishnamurti is finished! Fifty years just washed away, wiped out.”
He said, “This is no time for argument. I am dying – please, not at this time.”
But I said, “When you are dying is the time that I have to keep you straight on the path, because if you die repeating ‘Rama, Rama,’ you will die an idiot’s death. I cannot leave you.”
He said, “Whether you leave me or not…” and he closed his eyes and started, “Rama, Rama, Rama.”
I said, “What are you doing? The heart attack is over, you are alive. And it was a very mild heart attack – you will be ashamed of yourself later on.” The next morning, when he was a little better, I went to see him. I said, “What about, ‘Rama, Rama’?”
He said, “I am really ashamed. But what happened was that when I heard the doctor whispering to my son and I heard the words heart attack, I said, ‘Now is not the time to think whether God exists or not, or whether there is a hell or a heaven. For my whole life I have been denying him. How am I going to face him, if, by chance, he really is? So there is no harm in it; in the darkness nobody is there, I can repeat his name. If he is not there I am not losing anything; if he is there I will say: Forgive me. At the last moment I remembered you.’”
I said, “What about your fifty years? What about all your arguments? And I have been telling you again and again that you are like a parrot. It is difficult to change old parrots, but it will be good if you recognize that you are also programmed. It does not matter who programs you.”
My work with my sannyasins is of deprogramming.
There are, in America, psychologists who call themselves deprogrammers. They are not – they are reprogrammers. If some parents find their children moving into some religion other than their own, even parents are known to kidnap their children. Something unknown in the whole history of man is happening today – parents are kidnapping their own children from the Moonies, from the Hare Krishna people, and taking them to psychologists who are pretending to be deprogrammers. What they actually do is not deprogramming, it is reprogramming. They erase the effect and the program of the Moonies; up to that point it’s true they are deprogramming. But then they reprogram the person to Christianity if he belongs to Christian parents, or to Judaism if he belongs to Jewish parents. This is reprogramming.
Those psychologists are in the service of vested interests. They are criminals. The child was trying to escape somehow from a prison; of course he was getting into another, but at least that one was new, something to explore. At least it was not as rotten as the old. The old was just a dilapidated building ready to fall any time. At least he was moving into a new house. It was going to be a prison also but more modern, with all the latest developments: television, radio, electricity, telephone. He was not losing anything: he was neither losing the prison nor was he losing anything else. He was really gaining some new improvements in the prison system. You reprogram him, you force him back into the old house which is going to fall any moment, and you call yourself deprogrammers. Then you charge the parents. You are criminals charging for your crime.
My work is exactly deprogramming. I simply deprogram you. Whether you are Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian or Jesus freaks or Witnesses of Jehovah or Hare Krishna people or Moonies – whatever your kind and whatever your trademark, it doesn’t matter – I simply deprogram you. And I am not giving you any program in its place. I am leaving you alone, to yourself. I don’t give you any doctrine that replaces hell, that replaces heaven, that replaces God – no. I take away everything that you are programmed with and leave you to yourself to seek and search. Who am I to reprogram you?
So the first thing is: regain the rebellious spirit you were born with – which is not a program, which is your very being.
The second thing: become an individual. The society tries to make you a person, never an individual. A person is one who has a personality, and a personality is a mask. Society teaches you how to sit, how to stand, how to behave, how to act in certain situations. In every possible way the society is preparing you so that you can fit with the status quo.
My father, whenever he was angry with me, used to tell me. “You will always remain a misfit.”
I said, “To me that is a word of tremendous respect. Yes, I want to always remain a misfit. In every society, in every place, in every nation, in every country, I want to remain a misfit because the moment I fit, then I am only a cog in a wheel. Then I am no more.”
Personality is the mask that has been given to you to keep your original face hidden. It is the whole garb that by and by you become identified with. If something remains fixed on your face for years you will become identified with it, because in the mirror you will see your face, and you will see the mask. In people’s eyes you will see the mask. People will be telling you how beautiful you look, how beautiful your eyes are, and you will get identified. There is no way to find out that this is just a mask, that behind it you are somebody else. This is not what you were meant to be.
Personality is that which society manages to make you and individuality is that which society is afraid of. Personality is created by the society according to its own requirements, but individuality is wild, natural. It is not to fit into a mechanism; it cannot be made a cog in the wheel.
I want you to be individuals, not persons. Drop your personality. Drop all the ideas that people have given to you. Yes, sometimes those ideas are very gratifying. Somebody says, “How beautiful you are!” Do you have the courage to ask, “Please give some proof”?
That’s what happened to one of my principals. He wanted me to somehow fit into his college. I was a misfit and an everyday problem. Almost every day I was brought to him, and he would say, “This is strange. I have never seen a single student who has been brought every day, regularly. Are you never absent?”
I said, “I cannot afford to be absent, I enjoy it so much.”
He had tried everything on me. He thought perhaps buttressing me would be helpful. Punishing me did not help, expelling me did not help. I had been expelled from other colleges; it didn’t help. So he said, “You are such a beautiful person, so intelligent.”
I said, “Wait. You will have to give me proof. On what grounds do you think I am beautiful? Give me proofs. On what grounds do you think I am intelligent? Do you think by saying these things you will be able to destroy my individuality?” Because people want to be known as beautiful and intelligent, when somebody says this they accept it; nobody is going to deny it.
I said, “You cannot play that game with me. As far as I am concerned you are just ugly; and if you want proofs I can bring proofs. As far as I am concerned you are stupid. If you were intelligent you would have seen, ‘With this person this strategy is not going to work.’ You are not intelligent. How could you believe that you can purchase me so cheaply?”
He was shocked but he said, “You are right. Perhaps I am not intelligent enough, because I never thought that you could say to somebody, ‘You are intelligent,’ and he would refuse to accept it and ask for proofs.”
Say even to an idiot, “You are great, so intelligent, just full of wisdom,” and even the idiot will not deny it. Such chances don’t happen every day; rarely does somebody say to you that you are full of wisdom. Rarely does somebody bother to tell you that you are beautiful. A principal saying it to a student was almost a character reference.
I told him, “I will not take your character reference for me, because as far as I am concerned you don’t have any character. So from a person who has no character what value is a character certificate? You know perfectly well that you don’t have any character.”
He knew that I meant what I was saying because every night I saw his car standing before a prostitute’s house. I said, “Just think of where your car stands every night and why it stands there. You are unintelligent: you could at least park it somewhere else. That much intelligence is certainly needed in a principal; you could park somewhere else. Why do you park it just in front of a prostitute’s house? You may not be going to the prostitute but your car would be proof enough.
“I have pictures of your car standing in front of the prostitute’s house and you entering the house,” I said. “I am just learning photography.” So I said, “This is something really beautiful; some day it may be of some use. Perhaps one day you want to expel me; I can simply post the picture on all the boards in the college, and see who is expelled.’
He said, “You have a picture? Give me that picture! I am not going to expel you and I am not going to say anything to you again. Let them complain.”
I said, “You see what you were trying to do, buttressing my ego? That’s how personality is created.”
Others buttress your ego, say things – that you are so nice – so that you start behaving nicely because you have to keep up the standard people are expecting of you. They say you are beautiful and you start looking longer in the mirror and arranging your hair and make-up and everything. You have to keep up the standard: people think you are beautiful. You never think for a single moment that you are being manipulated. Those people are simply pulling your strings, and you are becoming a puppet.
Anybody can be easily manipulated; you just have to know what kind of personality has been given to him. Just a little acquaintance, and then you know the strings from where he can be pulled so that he will dance to your tune. And the whole of society is doing that. People are dancing to the tune of the politicians.
Personality is your enemy. It is in the hands of those who are exploiting you, who are destroying you. You have to throw off the personality. You have to throw away all the ideas that have been implanted by others in you: that you are this, you are that – no. You have to discover who you are on your own. It is a little arduous, but tremendously fulfilling. Certainly it is a difficult operation because your personality has become almost your skin, so tight does it cling to you. You are so identified with it that you never think that you are not it.
The first thing is to remember that you are not your personality. Who you are, you are not aware of because, before you could have become aware of your reality, of your original face, society had already forced a pattern, a model on you. It had already started cutting and chopping away anything that was not suitable to it. It started adding arbitrary, artificial things to you, to make you suitable to the society.
Every society creates its own kind of personality, because every society has a different structure. For example in India, if a very orthodox woman came to see me she would touch my feet and would then move backward. She would not show her back to me. No, that is disrespectful; in India that is not expected of a lady. She will move back, the same way she does in the temple. She goes in facing the statue, touches the feet, offers whatsoever she has brought, and then she moves back. She cannot show God her back.
But in one tribe in South Africa, when the chief is passing, every woman has to stand by the side of the road showing her naked bottoms to the chief! That is respect. Perhaps he will get interested in somebody’s bottoms… No, I am using a wrong word, bottoms – just bottom is enough. With numbers I am in trouble! Just thinking of two cheeks I start thinking of bottoms. And the chief inspects them because if he does not inspect them that is disrespectful to the women. Now, in that society that is the personality. Every society can be laughed at by another society, but in your own society you fit, so you don’t see any absurdity.
In the Victorian times in Europe women were using a certain – what do you call it? – a certain frock, and underneath was a wire frame so you could not figure out the figure of the woman. She looked just like a doll, all round, like an opened-up umbrella. It was an umbrella-type thing, touching the floor. You could not see her feet.
Bertrand Russell remembers that in his childhood – and he belonged to a lord’s family; he himself was Lord Bertrand Russell, but he dropped using that ugly word. He says, “It was impossible to see the feet of a woman. And if sometimes by chance a man saw the feet of the woman, that was enough to make him sexually aroused.”
You cannot believe it, at least not in Rajneeshpuram. A woman can walk by your side naked, and you won’t look at her again, or you won’t stop even to give her a little respect. That’s the meaning of the word respect: spect again. Respect does not mean anything else, it simply means spect again. Here, you may not even be aware whether the person who passed was a man or woman – nobody cares.
Russell says, “In my childhood, to see the naked feet of a woman was enough.” In England it was thought, up to the beginning of this age, that the queen did not have two separate legs, they were joined! A queen has to be something special. It was natural to think that, because nobody had ever seen the queen’s feet. It was a common belief all over England that the queen was not an ordinary woman: her legs were joined together. It is only now, with the skirt becoming shorter and shorter, that once in a while the wind plays a joke with royalty, and the bottom is not only seen but photographed by journalists! Then you know, “My God – it is just the same.”
In every society, once a certain idea is imposed, it continues for centuries. You have to understand all that has been imposed on you in order to drop it.
Just understanding is enough to drop it: you start feeling a separation slowly growing between you and your personality. Start watching how your personality changes its face. Meeting a poor man, watch your response; meeting a rich man, watch your response – and you will see there is a difference. From where does the difference come? Both are persons of equal value; poverty or richness doesn’t make the man. But you have been taught that there is a difference, and your personality, without your knowing, immediately changes.
When you are standing before your boss, just be aware of your tail, which will be wagging. Just try to search for your tail and you will see it is wagging. When you are facing your boss, you are always smiling. Why? That is your tail wagging.
You have seen dogs. Sometimes when they are suspicious, they do both things: they bark and they wag their tail. They are in a dilemma, they cannot decide what is the right thing to do: whether this man has to be thrown out of the compound, or has to be allowed in. In such a difficulty, a logical difficulty, they do both; so whatsoever happens, it doesn’t matter – one thing can be dropped. If the master comes out and says hello to the man, the dog immediately stops barking and continues wagging his tail. Even the dog has got a personality. He knows what has to be done, what is expected of him.
Watch yourself in different situations. Somebody insults you; what happens to you, what is your response? You have to pay more attention to your response than to his insult – that is his problem. Your response is your problem. Do you get enraged? Or are you capable of listening silently to whatsoever he is saying without any reaction – because that would be the right thing.
First listen to what he is saying. Perhaps he is right. If he calls you a thief, why get angry? If you are not a thief, you have to correct his misunderstanding. And if you are a thief, either correct yourself or simply feel grateful to him that he has pointed out something in you. But I don’t see the point of anger. Either you are a thief or you are not a thief. Just watch your response. If you are a thief then he is simply calling a spade a spade. He is not your enemy. Simply thank him, and say, “You are right, and I am really grateful that you pointed it out and made me aware of it. Yes, I am a thief.”
Just watch what reaction happens in that man – because he will be puzzled. He will be in the same position as the dog. He will be puzzled because he was expecting anger from you and you have shown great understanding. He will be simply shocked. He will not be able to believe that by his calling you a thief you are not feeling insulted. If you are not a thief you can simply say, “You will have to do a little more homework on it, a little more research. I am not a thief. It is up to you – you can go on believing it – but you are living in a misunderstanding.”
But I don’t see the point of anger. Just watch all your actions and reactions and see that your problem is your actions, your reactions, your responses. You have nothing to do with the other person’s actions; that is his problem. Return his problem to him – and this is the way to return it. Then you are completely clean, you come out of it clean.
This way, slowly your personality slips away, and your original face, which has a tremendous beauty and grace, starts to show. It has a beauty not of the body, but a beauty which is something deeper than the body, and a grace which is not attained by years of prayer in churches, in temples. Suddenly you feel a new color, a new fragrance around you. The moment your original face is discovered you are on the way toward freedom, authenticity, totality, fearlessness.
This is what I mean by everything. Everything is the circumference and nothing is the center. Everything is the cyclone and nothingness the center. But unless all those things happen – a rebellious spirit, individuality, your original face, freedom, fearlessness, authenticity, totality – you cannot enter inward. Society does not want you to go in. Society wants you to go out – the farther out from your center, the better, because the farther out you are the more useful you are to the society: you can be used as a means. Society cannot use a person who is standing at his center. He is beyond society’s grasp.
The person who is standing at his center – which is nothingness, pure nothingness, just space, pure space… When you look from that purity your eyes are capable of finding the truth everywhere. Your eyes are capable of finding beauty everywhere. Your eyes are capable of seeing that you were blind before.
And it is not only your eyes, all your senses become tremendously capable. Now you hear, but you don’t listen. Then, hearing and listening are together. Of course you can hear right now because you have ears; but listening needs something more. Behind your ears must be a silent awareness. Right now there is a crowd of thoughts behind your ears; there is no silence, so you only hear. I say one thing, you hear something else because that crowd is continuously meddling with everything that you hear. It is changing, editing, adding: it is doing all kinds of things when you are hearing but not listening.
Listening is possible only when your ears are attended by a silent space – you are just a watcher. Then you can hear the greatest music in the smallest things. Just in the wind passing through the pine trees you can hear the music that no musician can create. You can see beauty in such simple things – a bird on the wing – that you had never bothered about.
You start smelling in a totally new way. It is not only the eyes that are capable of seeing a person. You will be surprised to know that when your inner space is available to all your senses, you also start smelling a person. If a person is unreal, you smell it immediately; if a person is lying, you smell it immediately. The body smell of each individual is different.
Biologically the body smell has something to do with sexuality. You must have seen animals smelling each other’s sexual organs. Do you think they are mad? Except man, nobody goes mad. It will look strange that through smell the dog is trying to find a girlfriend. He is not looking at her face, not looking at her nose, not looking at her eyes and their color, not looking at her blond hair to see if she is pure Aryan, Nordic, German; he smells her. He knows better than you. Unless the smell appeals to him, this girl is not for him, because the smell gives the hint of the biological potentiality of the girl. Her hormonal system is indicated by the smell.
Do you see what man is doing? He is trying in every possible way to hide his true bodily smell with deodorants, with soaps, with perfumes. What are you doing? You may not be aware, you are just doing it because everybody else is doing it. You are trying to hide your sexual smell because you don’t live in a free society like the dog does. You live in a society which is absolutely a society of slaves. Your husband’s biological smell may not fit you at all; your smell may not fit your husband at all. Now both of you have to hide your smell. If your smell suddenly appeals to somebody on the road, and they approach you and tell you, “I have fallen in love with your smell” – you will be shocked. “That man is mad: ‘Fallen in love with my smell’?”
No, you have to hide your bodily smell with perfumes, deodorants, all kinds of ways, so nobody on the road, in the market, in a club, comes close to you and suddenly feels that his and your bodily smells fit. You may not be husband and wife; you may not be even acquainted with each other. The bodily smell has nothing to do with acquaintance, introduction, religion, caste, husband, wife, marriage. It knows nothing.
Man has been trying to prevent it because it is dangerous. But even if you don’t prevent it, it is not very dangerous because your nose is clogged. There is no inner space behind it which can detect not only your sexuality, your sexual appeal, but your authenticity, your truthfulness, your honesty.
When all the senses are around the nothingness I am talking about, you feel existence for the first time, from all the doors, all the windows that open up into existence. But you are absent right now, so who is going to look through the window? The window may be open but you are not there.
You are asking me what I am trying to do with you, with my sannyasins – nothing less than a resurrection, a rebirth, so that I can put you on that spot from where society has distracted you. Once again you can start from that point and go in the direction which is natural to you. And don’t be afraid. Nature provides you with every guarantee that if you move naturally you will attain the goal, your destiny. It is not far away, it is just by your side: you have only to stretch out your hand. But your hand has to be authentic. It has to be your hand: not your father’s hand, not your mother’s hand.

It happened that a man was caught murdering another man. He was caught red-handed and brought before the court. There was no problem because he accepted that he had committed the murder. The judge asked him, “Would you like an advocate to plead for you?”
He said, “No, because there is no question that I have committed murder; these people who have caught me and brought me here are my witnesses. There is no case at all – I have committed murder. Give me the punishment.”
In his whole life the judge had never seen such an authentic man. He said, “I feel sorry for you, I feel bad and guilty that I will be punishing you, but you have to understand that I have to follow the law. The most I can do is give you the minimum punishment.”
The man said, “Do whatever you feel right – minimum, maximum, it doesn’t matter – because when I killed the man I killed with full awareness of the consequences. These people are just foolish; they were unnecessarily troubling themselves – I was coming to the court myself to declare that I had committed murder. Now what is the punishment?”
The judge said, “I will give you only ten years in jail, although the maximum punishment is death. This is the minimum; less than that I cannot support.”
The man said, “It is perfectly right – don’t be unhappy about it. But one thing I want to say: the murder was done by my hands, not by me. You can imprison my hands but you cannot imprison me. You have no charge against me. My hands, you can see, are still covered with blood.”
The magistrate thought, “This man is really something!” But he said, “Okay, I will sentence your hands to ten years, but how can you remain outside the jail when your hands are inside?”
The man said, “That is not your problem, that’s my problem.” He took out both of his hands, which were artificial, put them on the table before the judge and went out of the court.

The truth is very close by, but your hands have to be true – not artificial, not the hands of your personality, but of your individuality.
My effort is for nothing less than that: total transformation from the false to the original.

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