From Personality to Individuality 21

TwentyFirst Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - From Personality to Individuality by Osho.
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All the other masters seem like pygmies. What is your secret?
They are pygmies. It is not a question that they seem like pygmies, they are in fact so – for the simple reason that religion is just now having its birth. The so-called masters of the past are just like primitive scientists who have discovered fire, created the spinning wheel, invented the bullock cart. Yes, they were of great importance, but you cannot compare them with Albert Einstein.
An Albert Einstein comes when science has taken roots and has grown mature. It was not possible two thousand years ago to get into the secrets of atomic energy. Yes, there have been people who have talked about atoms; in India Mahavira talked about atoms, but don’t be deceived by the word. By atom he simply meant the last divisible part of a thing: you cannot divide it anymore. And it was simply a logical idea, he was not sitting in a lab and dividing things. But it is simple: everything consists of smaller parts, and the smallest part he called an atom.
At about the same time, Greek philosophers talked about atoms in the same way, saying that if you go on dividing a thing you will come to a point where you cannot divide it anymore. Not because they had divided anything – they had no instruments to come to the division where the atom exists – but because logically, intellectually, there is no problem in it. It is conceivable.
In Greek thought and in Indian thought, masters have come up with the idea of the atom. But when Albert Einstein talks about the atom it is not just an intellectually conceivable thing, he has seen the division. He has seen the molecule splitting; not only that, he has found that the atom itself is divisible; it too is divisible into electrons. Nobody can say now that electrons are indivisible. That certainty is no longer possible. In the eighteenth century the molecule was indivisible, then it was divided. Then the atom became indivisible, then it was divided. Now with what face can anybody say that electrons are indivisible? Only tomorrow knows.
But what we are talking about today is experimental, not intellectual. Before Albert Einstein, the ancient philosophers talking about atoms are bound to look like pygmies. It is not their fault, it is not Albert Einstein’s glory either, it was just the time factor. In these twenty-five centuries things have moved with a tremendous speed in every direction. Those people were working with primitive words, ideas, instruments. We are in a better situation – a greater opportunity is available to us.
As far as religion is concerned, it is a little more complicated. It is easy to understand scientifically that what Mahavira is saying is just ordinary compared to Albert Einstein. In religion it seems to be a little complex, complicated, because we have accepted the idea that these religions – Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Christianity, Judaism, Jainism – are religions. There is the basic fallacy. They are only pseudo-religions. They are only preparing the way for religion to come. But of course they could not be aware that they were only preparing a way. They have prepared the way; hence it is possible for a man like me to say things which were not possible for them. Of course they are there in my statements: they have worked for centuries to create this moment. This time is not out of nowhere, it stands on the shoulders of the past.
Of course you are standing on your father’s shoulders. He is standing on his father’s shoulders. You can see further away than your father, than your grandfather. The farther back you go, the more limited the vision becomes, narrower and narrower still. You are standing on a height. So remember that when the true religion is born it is very much indebted to the pygmies because it is standing on their shoulders. Without them it is not possible. Don’t forget that you are standing so tall and you can see so far away just because underneath your feet the whole of history is supporting you.
It always happens that whenever somebody finds something, the human tendency is to exaggerate. A little finding, a small truth, becomes exaggerated. And because it is a truth nobody can deny it absolutely. If you have a little imagination – and these masters are mostly very imaginative people… They had found little fragments of truth – but don’t forget the tendency of the mind: it is never satisfied with a fragment, it wants the whole. That’s the natural instinct in the mind, to search for the whole. If it cannot find it, then at least it can imagine it. So the little fragment which has been found is surrounded by imagination, and it is made complete.
All these people – Jesus, Moses, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu – had come to a certain aspect of truth, but they could not resist the temptation to complete it by imagination. That temptation is great. It is just as if you remember three lines of poetry, then it becomes a strain on the mind: the fourth line is missing. You start trying to find it; you know it must be somewhere in your memory. Three lines are there – where is the fourth? You become tense about the fourth, and the more tense you become, the less is the possibility to remember it because a tense mind loses the capacity to remember.
A relaxed mind can easily remember: things from the unconscious can surface more easily because the mind is relaxed. If the mind is tense, it is so narrow that it does not allow anything from the unconscious to pass through it. It becomes the eye of the needle – and things in the unconscious are like camels, not like rich men.
I have been thinking hard: I can imagine a rich man passing through the eye of a needle, but I cannot imagine a camel passing through the eye of a needle. A rich man, howsoever rich, is still a man; a camel, howsoever poor, is still a camel. It is impossible for the poor camel. The rich man at least is a man: he may find a way to pass through the eye of a needle or may find a way to bypass it. There is no need to pass through it, he can bypass it. But the poor camel cannot bypass it, he does not have that intelligence. He will go on struggling to pass through the eye of the needle. It is absolutely impossible for him to pass through, in fact it is impossible for him even to find the eye of the needle, or to find the needle – where is the needle?
Small fragments of the truth have been found, but the mind has a great urge for completion, that things should be completed. To leave anything incomplete makes you tense. Once it is complete you feel relaxed. But if there is no way to find truth in its wholeness, then mind has another faculty – the faculty to dream – which helps you. It is of great importance. It is a survival measure, so when you cannot find something in reality, the dream faculty of your mind provides you with what is missing. It gives you ideas to put around, to figure out the puzzle. And because you have a small fragment of truth, you can logically fight for your system. That’s how all the religious systems have arisen.
Somewhere there is something true in all the religious systems, but the system has grown so big that the truth is completely lost. It was a tiny fragment in the very beginning, then the mind started creating a system around it. As there are more questions, the mind has to create more answers. Slowly the system becomes so big that the truth for which it was created is almost killed.
You know perfectly well that skeletons of animals have been found which must have been at least ten or twelve times bigger than elephants. The whole earth was full of those mammoth animals. What happened to all of them? Where did they suddenly disappear to? You cannot think that somebody killed them. They were too huge, and there were no hunters available – man was not yet on the earth. And those animals were the biggest, most powerful beings around. Your tigers and lions were nothing, your elephants were nothing before them; they were at least twelve times bigger than your elephant. Your crocodiles were nothing: there were crocodiles twelve times bigger than elephants. What happened? There were many species – and suddenly they all disappeared. What happened?
Scientists have been in great trouble to figure it out because their sudden disappearance makes no sense. But slowly they found one thing which is very important to understand: those animals disappeared because they became too big. It became impossible for them to carry their own burden. The body was created to keep the soul alive, but the body became so big that even to carry it was not possible. They died because of their size. They could not move, and when they could not move then how could they find food? Because of the heaviness of their legs, the heaviness of body, they simply started to fall down. They had life, but now life was such a small fragment, and the system that was created to protect that life became so huge.
The same has happened to the religions. Fragments of truth have been found. Then to protect that fragment, very articulate, very sophisticated systems have been created. But then those systems started to grow on their own.
Now, Mahavira has no control to prevent a system growing: one day he dies but the system goes on growing, the system takes on its own life. Now, Jesus was not even aware that there was going to be Christianity – and such a huge system! The biggest organization on earth is one of which Jesus was not even aware. Something, a very small fragment of truth, is bound to be there. Even in the biggest lie there is some truth because the lie cannot move on its own, it has no legs. It has to borrow legs from truth. That’s why every lie tries to prove, “I am true.” Truth needs no evidence. But the lie needs a thousand and one pieces of evidence, and still it is a lie.
There is an ancient story that when truth and lie were sent to earth, the first night when they went to bed, lie was very embarrassed because she had no legs. But a lie after all is a lie – cunning, clever. Truth was sleeping – snoring, relaxed: that’s the way of truth. Lie cut off the legs of truth, and since then she has been running on those stolen legs. Now, truth tries to catch hold of her and get his legs back, but without legs how can truth catch hold of the lie? Truth is truth, but feels helpless. And the lie, although it is a lie, feels tremendously powerful. And I don’t see any way truth will be able to get his legs back. In the first place, how is he going to catch hold of the lie? She is always ahead of him, far ahead.
All the scriptures of the world say that in the end truth is always victorious. Whenever I have read this I have said, “Yes, in the end, but never before that. Before that, the lie is going to be victorious.” “In the end” – and when is it going to be the end? And what is the point in being victorious in the end, when all is finished? All the way along the lie was victorious, and in the end, when there is nowhere to move, the lie may give the legs back with a “Thank you. You can take your legs and do whatsoever you want.” Her purpose is fulfilled. The truth remains without legs for the whole way, embarrassed, knowing that it is truth but still it cannot race and be victorious against the lie.
Every lie at least has some truth: those legs, those two legs. If you look closely at any lie you will always find a fragment of truth without which it cannot stand. And if you look at any truth, you will always find it surrounded by lies, because without those lies it cannot feel complete; something remains missing.
The first book in the whole history of mankind which accepts this truth was written by P. D. Ouspensky, on the philosophy of George Gurdjieff. The name of the book is In Search of the Miraculous, the subtitle is Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. But Ouspensky must have had tremendous courage. If you read the book you will think that there was no need to put that subtitle: it is a complete system.
Why did Ouspensky put that subtitle? If you remove the subtitle you will never think that these are fragments of an unknown teaching, because he is making the teaching known, and reading it you will find it is a complete system, nothing is missing. But why did Ouspensky add a subtitle? He was really a very sincere man. The subtitle says many things. If you don’t understand the subtitle – and I don’t think anybody reads subtitles, there is no need. You read the book, you read the title. And in most cases subtitles are useless, but not in this case – the subtitle has tremendous significance. First, it says these are only fragments. Ouspensky, being a great mathematician, was absolutely unimaginative. You can see the point.
A poet is imaginative, has to be, otherwise he cannot be a poet. Now, all the Vedas of the Hindus, the Upanishads of the Hindus, the Dhammapada of Buddha, the Koran of Mohammed, are all poetic. The Upanishads are pure poetry. Jesus was not speaking in poetry but prose, yet his prose is very poetic. There are poems which are not poetic and there is prose which is poetic – just the form is of prose, otherwise it is full of poetry. Hence, the modern poetry has dropped the old form – now you can write poetry in prose. That is a great revolution. Up to now, the form was thought to be the poetry, not the substance. In the modern age, for the first time we have changed the whole idea: the form has nothing to do with poetry, but the substance has. The form is irrelevant, it may be of prose or poetry: it is the substance which makes it poetic.
Jesus’ statements are very poetic – the “Sermon on the Mount” is pure poetry. But with poetry the danger is that it is imagination. It is beautiful, impressive, appealing, touching to the heart, but it is not rational. It can be absolutely irrational, it can be superstitious, yet it will appeal to you; hence all the old religions have used poetry. The whole of the Shrimad Bhagavadgita is pure poetry. It is not a coincidence that all great scriptures are written in poetic form. There is a fundamental reason. What they wanted to say was a very small, fragmentary truth. To say it as it was, would not have appealed.
It is just as if you bring the leg of a chair and you say, “This is a chair.” The chair is supposed to be sat upon, but people are going to ask, “How can one sit on this leg? You must be kidding. Just show us: sit on it, and we can see what happens.” Just the leg of a chair is not going to prove that it is a chair. So you have to substitute with your imagination, and give them an idea of the whole chair on which you can put your real chair leg. But an imaginative chair is needed.
All these people were poetic. There must have been people who had discovered fragments of truth but they were not poetic; hence they remained silent. It is not that only these few people have attained some realization of truth; many more have attained, but they were not poetic people, not imaginative people. They felt embarrassed to bring out a small piece of something and to brag about it.
One of the great philosophers of this age, perhaps the greatest, Ludwig Wittgenstein, says in one of his aphorisms: “Things that cannot be spoken of should not be spoken of.” He is not denying that there are things of which you cannot speak – there are – but he says, “If you come across things which cannot be spoken of, please remain silent, don’t speak.” In the first place you will be committing a crime against the truth because the moment it is spoken, it is no longer the same. And if you insist on speaking about it then you will have to substitute much with imagination. The imagination will go on growing, because it needs no search for you to go on adding to a system with your imagination.
Truth needs tremendous search and risk; it is going into the unknown. Ouspensky’s subtitle was Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. He is a mathematician – he cannot substitute anything with imagination. That is against his conscience, the conscience of a mathematician. The poet has no such conscience, otherwise he cannot create poetry. The mathematician needs such a conscience, otherwise his mathematics will be of no value. He has to stick to truth, howsoever incomplete it is. He has to drop the temptation of completing it with imagination. That’s why Ouspensky says “fragments.” He cannot say that this is a whole system, although by reading the book you cannot detect why he is calling it fragments.
One of my professors was in tremendous love with Gurdjieff’s and Ouspensky’s teachings. In Search of the Miraculous was his Bible, Koran, Gita – you can call it anything. He always kept it on his table – I don’t know how many times he had read it. And he was continually writing on the margins. The whole book was lined, double underlined, with notes on the fragments; anywhere there was space, there were notes.
I asked him, “Can you give me some substantial evidence why Ouspensky calls his book ‘fragments’?”
He looked at me and said, “I have read the book dozens of times, but strangely, I never bothered about the subtitle.” That was the only place he had not underlined!
I said, “First underline fragments and write down a note underneath it too: ‘Why?’ You have read it dozens of times: can you support the subtitle? Is it only fragments?”
He said, “I have been reading it as a system, and it is a system.”
I said, “It is not a system, but you cannot detect that because you don’t know what is truth and what is not truth. You have no experience; you are just a professor, a scholar. You have destroyed the whole book by writing notes on it; this book is not for writing notes, this book is to be practiced. What have you practiced out of this book?”
He said, “Practiced? I have been studying it for at least twenty years.”
I said, “You can study it for two hundred years, that won’t help. This is the reason he is saying that these are fragments. So beware: if you start practicing it, you will still need a master, because between two fragments there is something missing that you cannot even figure out. How can you figure it out? If you don’t know the truth then how can you find what is missing?”
Ouspensky is very truthful and sincere in saying that these are only fragments, and fragments also of an unknown teaching, because he says, “I cannot declare that they are my knowing, I have only heard them from a man, and I don’t know whether he knows or not. One thing, I can certainly feel that he has some sources from where he got them.”
Gurdjieff was continually talking about how he had been to Sufi schools and had traveled widely in India to be with masters. Not only that, he had been to Tibet – in disguise, because it was very difficult to enter the Dalai Lama’s palace in Lhasa where all the ancient scriptures are collected. The palace is just on the top story, and there are seven basements underneath it. It is a whole mountain carved into basements: seven basements underneath, which are full of ancient scriptures.
How to enter Lhasa? First, to enter Tibet was a problem. Secondly, even if you managed by bribing the British officers in India – because they were the people preventing anybody from entering Tibet… Britain never wanted anybody to enter Tibet. Britain kept Tibet as a buffer land between India and China, and it was perfectly sane politics to keep a country as a buffer land.
China is a big country. It had never invaded India, they had always been friends, and India has never invaded anybody, so the question did not arise. But China had been invading Mongolia, Korea and other countries. It had never invaded India simply because it was Buddha’s land, and it is ugly to invade one’s own master’s land. Because of that idea, India remained uninvaded by China while even small tribes were invading and making empires in India. China could have overrun India any time without any difficulty.
Britain was keeping Tibet as a buffer state so that before China could enter India, it would first have to enter Tibet. And if fighting happened, it should happen in Tibet: Britain should fight in Tibet rather than in India. It’s sane politics to fight in somebody else’s country, because then the other country is destroyed, its people are destroyed. You use it as a battlefield: only your army is involved, your people are not involved.
The Indian politicians, after the freedom struggle, did not have such insight, obviously, because they had no experience. For two thousand years India had been in slavery, so it had no experience: they dropped that buffer state. And strangely enough, as India dropped the buffer state of Tibet and made it completely independent – because it was an independent country… Britain was controlling its foreign policy and its borders, but in everything interior it was free. Tibet had no interest in the outside in any way because it had no contact with the outside world, no railways, no cars, no roads. It was absolutely unconnected with the outside world. The only airstrip, which was in Lhasa, was owned by Britain. That was for Britain to send its officers or army or anything – or to offer to the Dalai Lama, just as a friendly gesture if he needed it sometime.
India removed all the armies that were surrounding Tibet and made Tibet completely independent. It was good, nice, but not politics. China immediately invaded Tibet, and once Tibet was invaded, China was on the borders of India. Then China, for the first time in the whole of history, invaded India.
Gurdjieff had to approach the Dalai Lama in some way, and not only approach: become so intimate with him that he could manage to enter the underground libraries and have some understanding of many things of which he had incomplete fragments. He managed to enter through Russia, because Tibet can also be reached through Russia. He entered Tibet with a slightly changed name, Dorjeb, not Gurdjieff. The record is still maintained with the name Dorjeb. He entered with a certificate from the Russian czar that said, “We are sending Dorjeb to be a tutor for the young Dalai Lama.” The Dalai Lama was very young, he was eleven, and he needed to be taught about the outside world.
For Gurdjieff it was a double role. He told the czar that he would function as an agent, to give him all the information that he needed, and his own purpose was to know about their religious practices. The czar was not interested in religion. He said, “That is your business, you can take care of that, but information has to come to us.” With the czar’s letter he entered Lhasa and became the teacher of the Dalai Lama. As the teacher, of course he was given quarters in the Lhasa palace, and was as respected as a teacher of the Dalai Lama should be. He tried all possible ways, and found methods and people who could help him to read Tibetan and translate it.
Gurdjieff really worked hard in Tibet, India, Egypt, and the Caucasus to find all the people who were alive and had some experience of truth. But what he found were all fragments. He was trying to create a system out of them, and he did create one. But he was neither a poet nor a scientist, he was not a writer, he was not an orator; he had no time for all these things. His whole life he had been searching for people who know, finding how to approach them and how to persuade them that they should tell their truth, what they have found.
Gurdjieff has written three books – only one was published in his lifetime – and his writing is a nightmare. I don’t think anybody who is not as mad as I am is going to read his book, All and Everything. Yes, it is all and everything! But one thousand pages of All and Everything… He himself was suspicious about whether anybody could understand it or not. And how long he took! He took years to write it, and his way of writing was also strange.
He would be sitting in a cafe in Paris, where people were coming and going. That was really a method. If you sit in the Himalayas and you write something, that’s nothing, it doesn’t show that you are writing with full awareness. You may have fallen asleep and gone on writing, you may be dreaming and writing – because there is no disturbance. So all the writing Gurdjieff did was in different cafes in Paris where much was going on: music, dance, customers coming, shouting, talking, everything was going on. And cafes, particularly in Paris, are meeting places of artists and poets, who are all argumentative. He was sitting in the middle of such a crowd, writing All and Everything.
It was a method on Gurdjieff’s part. His disciples said, “You can find a better place – you have a beautiful place outside Paris.” His commune was in a beautiful place. “There you can write in silence. You come from the commune to sit in these crowded cafes where nobody has ever written books before – at least religious books have never been written in such circumstances.” But he insisted on writing there. And his writing was such that he would write one chapter, then his disciples would read it. One disciple would read aloud and Gurdjieff would watch the other disciples: what impact was it having? How much deeper…? No book has been written this way.
If they understood it too easily then he had to change it because, “If these idiots can understand it, then it is not worth printing.” It took him twenty or thirty years of working continually: again he would write a chapter, again it would be read out. Again somebody would be yawning, somebody would be sleeping, and he would have to change it. If it created yawning, if it created sleep, then what was the point of writing it? Again and again, hundreds of times, a single chapter was rewritten, and the disciples were tired of reading the same chapter again and again.
In this way he wrote one thousand pages, but still he was not sure that anybody was going to get its meaning. So he told the publisher, “The first hundred pages should be cut and the remaining nine hundred pages should remain uncut, with a note: ‘You can read a hundred pages. If you still feel ready to go ahead, then you can cut the remaining pages, otherwise you can return the book and take back your money.’” It was just a sample of a hundred pages.
It is a well-known fact that almost all the books that were sold came back. People could not read even a hundred pages. The publisher was at a loss, but there was no question: the money was given by Gurdjieff, so there was no question, it was his publication. He said, “This is nothing to do with you. Whatever your service charge is, you can have it, but this is how my book is going to be. Unless a person reads a hundred pages, he is not qualified to have it. After reading a hundred pages, if he is ready to open the rest… Once you open the remaining nine hundred pages, even a single page, then the book cannot be returned.”
He was also pricing the book with no rhyme, no reason. There was no price printed on it: the price was according to the customer. That was a great idea of Gurdjieff’s. From one person he would ask one thousand dollars; to somebody else he would give it free. It was according to the customer – the price was not to be according to the book. That man always had some good ideas. From a man who is really into the book you should not ask for money. The book has to be given as a gift; he deserves it. And from somebody who has too much money, and is going to waste it anyhow in Monte Carlo or in some other gambling place, why not ask ten thousand dollars? There are people who will purchase it only if it is ten thousand dollars, otherwise it is below them, not worthwhile.
His disciples were continually saying, “Books have prices: you can fix any price. But it seems to be strange that you are sitting in the bookshop and you judge the customer. Are you selling the book or purchasing the customer?” The book is really written in such a way that no other book has ever been written – and I hope no other book is ever written again that way.
Gurdjieff makes strange words, mixing many languages. He knew many languages, nomadic languages which don’t even have alphabets. You cannot find dictionaries of them because those languages don’t have a dictionary, they don’t have an alphabet. They are only dialects, not languages: they are only spoken. One word does not mean one language: one word means two or three languages joined together. And a long word may run a full sentence – one word! He is really taxing your patience, your intelligence as much as he can, but if you can go through the whole book it really pays: slowly you start getting the knack of his almost impossible words.
When you come across them again and again in different places you can start to feel a certain meaning. You may not be able to say what it is but you start having a sense of it. And if you go through the whole book you are absolutely certain what it is about, although you cannot say it because it is only a feeling that it has left within you. His whole effort is somehow to bypass your intellect. Intellectually, you cannot move even one paragraph into it. Your intellect will say, “Stop! This is nonsense.” And it is nonsense as far as intellect is concerned.
But this book was not written when Ouspensky wrote Fragments, it was written when Ouspensky was no longer with Gurdjieff. He had left him because he could not understand so many things in Gurdjieff. He was a mathematician: he wanted to understand things very mathematically, methodologically, and Gurdjieff was just absurd. You could not connect any two of his actions, you could not connect any two of his statements. Today he says something, tomorrow he may simply deny it, saying, “I never said it” – and you risked your whole life because he said it!
Ouspensky got fed up. But he loved the man, so although he left Gurdjieff, he divided him in two: the Gurdjieff with whom he was and the Gurdjieff with whom he wasn’t. The Gurdjieff with whom he was not, he was against; and the Gurdjieff with whom he was, was his master. So Ouspensky remembers him as G: he never writes Gurdjieff’s full name because the full name will give you a misunderstanding – you may think he is talking about the whole Gurdjieff – so he simply talks about G. G means Gurdjieff when Ouspensky was with him.
Certainly Gurdjieff had fragments. He tried hard to make a system out of them, but he was not the poetic, imaginative man to create the system. So although he wrote three books, only one was published in his lifetime. The next, Meetings with Remarkable Men, was published after his death. He had certainly met remarkable people, unknown to history; they will always remain unknown to history. They were remarkable because they had found some fragment of truth, but they were not able to speak about it or explain it. You could be with them and somehow find a way to understand it.
Gurdjieff used to say, “There are people who have found the truth. They cannot say it, they cannot show it to you; you have to be with them to steal it.” Actually he said, “Unless you are capable of stealing, there is no way. Those people know it, and you can see that they know it, but they don’t have the language, they don’t have the concepts, they don’t have the words. And perhaps that’s why their truth is so pure, worth stealing.”
Once a person has language, words, imagination, poetry, he can make a system around it. Then the system goes on growing, takes on its own life – that’s how all theologies have grown up – and you cannot find where the truth has gone. It was such a small fragment anyway in the beginning, and now the mountain of theology is on top of it. You cannot figure out where it is.
The second reason Ouspensky used the subtitle, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, was because it was not from one man. Gurdjieff had collected fragments from almost all over the East; it was not from one source. Gurdjieff was a great collector, and he must have been a thief because he has stolen authentic fragments. But to fit all of them together was an almost impossible job. That was possible only for a man who knew the whole truth; then he could put all those pieces of jigsaw puzzle in their right places. Gurdjieff carried all those pieces of the jigsaw puzzle his whole life.
The third book has been published just a few years ago. That’s how he wanted it: first, one book while he was alive; then the second book when he was dead; then the third book when he was completely forgotten. But even in the three books he has not been able to give you the system; it still remains fragments – pieces of immense beauty, but not a necklace. They have not fallen into the hands of a jeweler who can cut them, give them shape, give them the right proportions, and who can create a rhythm in all those fragments so that they become a single, organic whole. The books remain fragmentary, parts of an unknown teaching. Many people have got lost through them, many people have gone insane through them.
Gurdjieff worked hard his whole life. But this century has two great failures: George Gurdjieff and Jiddu Krishnamurti. Both are men of immense caliber and quality, but both are total failures.
You are asking me what my secret is. There is no secret. Or you can say this is my open secret: that I need not create a system. Truth, to me, has not been a fragment; it has not come to me as a fragment. Truth has revealed itself to me as a total, organic unity. I have not added anything to it, I have not edited out anything from it. And because I am not a theologian, I am not interested in making a theology; hence I can give it to you in simple words, in ordinary language, without any trouble. My open secret is that I am not bringing in big words and theories and dogmas so that you have to be very intellectual and very sharp, no. All that you have to be is just as ordinary as I am.
All those people who have been claiming to be messiahs, avatars, paigambaras, tirthankaras, prove only one thing: they had a small fragment but they knew that they still had an inferiority complex. That small fragment cannot destroy your inferiority complex. Unless you know the truth in its totality, your inferiority complex remains. So they had a fragment and they bragged about the fragment. And they still had an inferiority complex, so they projected superiority: they are the only begotten son of God, they are the messiah, they are the messengers, they are the reincarnations of God – or things like that. All those claims simply indicate an inferiority complex deep down. Anybody who tries to prove that he is superior to others, superior to everybody, is suffering, is sick. They were all sick with an inferiority complex. They could not say, not a single one of them was able to say, “I am just a human being as you are, and this is my secret.”
I am the first who is saying to you that I am just a human being as you are – absolutely ordinary. If you can drop your desire to be superior, if you can accept your humanity just as it is, with no desire to change it – if you are not trying to improve upon yourself – with that desire dropping, your inferiority complex will disappear. Improving upon yourself is just like trying to pull yourself up by holding your legs. You may try to jump; maybe for a second you will be in the air, but next moment you will be flat on the earth, deeper in the Big Muddy Ranch, from where even to get out is very difficult. It is better not to jump.
Because I have no projection of superiority, I have no sickness of inferiority. Truth is everybody’s birthright. It is not something that only a few people are entitled to get: you are born with it. You just don’t have time to look because you go on running after other things.
There is an ancient story:

A man had gone for a morning walk. It was dark, and by the side of the village pond he stumbled on a bag. He was curious to know what was in it, so he sat down, opened the bag and put his hand inside – it was full of stones. He was waiting for the sunrise, because his routine was to take his bath at sunrise, then he would go home. Having nothing else to do, he started throwing those stones in the pond and enjoyed the plop, plop, sound: in the silence of the morning after each plop it became even more silent.
As the sun rose, he was just going to throw the last stone. But in the sunlight he was amazed – it was a diamond! You can understand his misery, his anguish. He had thrown away thousands of diamonds. Such big ones – now he remembered the weight. What an idiot he was! A crowd gathered because he was in tears. They asked, “What is the matter?”
He said, “This is the matter,” and he showed them the diamond. Nobody had seen such a big diamond, so shiny in the morning sun. They said, “So you should be happy that you have found this diamond.”
He said, “You don’t know the whole story. You might be happy if you found this; I cannot be because I found a whole bag full of bigger diamonds than this. I am such a fool – I went on throwing them, just like a child.”
A famous jeweler was also in the crowd. He came up close and started laughing. The man said, “Why are you laughing?”
He said, “This is not a diamond – you are unnecessarily getting into misery. This is just an ordinary stone, a shiny stone but not worth anything.” The tears disappeared and the man was okay; now he threw away that stone also. If it was just a stone what could you do with it?
The jeweler moved on. Another man followed him – because he also knew something of jewelry, though not much – and he took hold of the famous jeweler. He said, “I am just a learner, but I could see it was a diamond. You are a master jeweler, but you said that it was not a diamond.”
The jeweler said, “I know it was a diamond, but that was the only way to get that man out of anguish, otherwise his whole life would be ruined. Just to save one diamond do you want me to ruin his whole life? Yes, it was a rare diamond. I have never seen such a big diamond in my whole life, but that poor man’s life was far more important. If I had said it was a diamond, that man would have lived his whole life in terrible anguish because he had lost so many diamonds. Now he will be happy. It was worth it to have him throw that diamond away. He will go laughing. He will tell the story to people, laughing, enjoying it.”

I am a jeweler in just the opposite story; you all have stones and you are clinging to them. Unless you throw them away, unless your hands are empty and your being is empty – empty of all desiring, of getting this, getting that, reaching there, becoming that…
When you are utterly empty, at that moment you are ordinary. And to me, to be ordinary is the greatest thing that can happen to a man. Everything else is worthless. But I am not telling you to throw away those stones knowing that they are diamonds: they are not diamonds. That man was a really courageous man; he took the word of the jeweler – although the jeweler was lying, but lying for his sake. He was open to the jeweler’s suggestion that he had just a shiny stone of no value: he threw it away.
You are carrying real stones, not even shiny stones, dirty stones full of crap – perhaps just dry crap, not even stones. They are centuries old, but you are clinging to them and you won’t leave them. If I somehow manage to have you drop them from your left hand, you take them up with the right. And you are such a split personality that your left hand knows not what your right hand is doing; your right hand knows not what your left hand is doing. You drop it from one window and immediately bring it inside through another window.
My secret is simple, but you are complex, not simple. I am ordinary, you are not – that is the trouble. You are extraordinary. Whether you say it or not is not the point: deep down you know you are extraordinary. It is very difficult to find a person who does not know deep down that he is extraordinary. He is made in the image of God, and you are telling him that he is ordinary?
These people – these messiahs and messengers – have all been telling you they are extraordinary, and that you can also be extraordinary because you have the potential to grow. You have the potential to be on the right path, to have faith in the right holy book, in the right prophet. Of course, they decide who is right; you cannot decide it. How can you, in your darkness and blindness, decide? So they decide what is right – you simply follow it. And they are showing you the way to become extraordinary.
What is getting to heaven all about? Somebody has asked – not a question, in fact, but a statement. I had said, a few days ago, that Christians don’t have any idea what happened to Christ after the resurrection. I repeat it again: they don’t have any idea. Now I make it even clearer – they don’t have any idea what happened before the resurrection and what happened after the resurrection. They don’t have any idea what Jesus was. He was just a fanatic Jew – nothing more, nothing less.
But somebody has written to me that nine days after the resurrection, angels came and they took him away to heaven. The statement must be from some Christian, he has not written his name. Now, this man may be a sannyasin, but from one door I help him to throw something away, and he brings it back inside again from the other door: “After nine days angels came and took him up.” Why didn’t these foolish angels turn up when Jesus was crucified? That was the time to come, the real moment of the show, when thousands of people were there and they had all gathered to see the miracle. That time God was missing, angels were missing, the Holy Ghost was missing; they all disappeared at the right moment. Only in need do you know whether a friend is indeed a friend or not.
When Jesus was crying and asking, “Father, have you forgotten me, have you forsaken me?” really, he was left in a limbo. If there is any God, and if God had sent him, then this God is not a God you can trust, not a God who keeps his promises. When Jesus was being crucified, and the final moment of proving had come – because this was the proof, that when he was crucified God would immediately save him. Perhaps the cross would change into a throne of gold. If God was behind the game, then where was he at such a moment, what was he doing? The people were laughing and making jokes about poor Jesus…
Never has a man been made such a laughingstock as he was. They had put a crown on his head and written on the cross, “King of the Jews,” because he used to call himself the King of the Jews. He would say that he owned the kingdom of God, and that he would allow anybody who was with him into the kingdom of God. Of course, it was his father’s, and he was the only begotten son, the only inheritor. If Nietzsche is right and God is dead, then by now Jesus must have inherited the kingdom of God – who else?
But nobody turned up. The poor man cried – he was asking for water because he was thirsty, it was hot – but no angel came. At least a little cloud might have showered; anything was possible. There was no need for an angel to appear, just a cloud might have showered. But nothing happened when it was time, when it was needed.
After nine days, before whom was he taken to heaven? Do you have you any eyewitnesses? And why after nine days? At least he should have been taken before eyewitnesses, particularly before the Jews who had crucified him. They should have seen that they had committed a mistake. If God’s idea of sending his son to the world was to redeem humanity, then stealing him away without anybody knowing does not seem to be the right thing to do. But they had to invent some story because what to do with him once he was resurrected? Someday he has to die again. And they don’t have any record of when he died, where he died. I have the record. I have seen his grave, where he died, where he lived.
There was no resurrection. In fact the crucifixion never happened, it was sabotaged. After six hours he was brought down from the cross, because the next day was the Jewish Sabbath. On that day nothing could be done, not even a crucifixion; naturally he had to be brought down. This was the conspiracy between a very rich lover of Jesus and Pontius Pilate.
Pontius Pilate also wanted to save the poor man because Jesus was a little eccentric, fanatic – accepted – but he was harmless. If somebody goes about on his donkey shouting, “I am the only begotten son,” I think it is free entertainment, no need to make much fuss about it. At the most you can put on some entertainment tax. That too you cannot put on the man; you can put an entertainment tax on the people who are enjoying it. Anybody who enjoys this man should have to pay a certain fee to the temple of the Jews. And that would have been perfectly all right.
If I were the high priest this is what I would have done: I would have persuaded Jesus, “Always stay in front of the temple and we can collect an entertainment tax. Go on doing your show. Do at least three shows – a matinee show, a first show and a second show. If you want a little portion of the income it will be given to you – but you are doing such a great job, such a circus!
I don’t think that you have to crucify circus people. He was absolutely harmless. Pontius Pilate was in favor of him. He had given many warnings to the high priest, “Why are you unnecessarily after this man?” But the high priest and all the rabbis and their council were stubborn: they could not tolerate him. He was pretending to be their messiah; he was making a mockery of their messiah. They said, “We cannot tolerate him, he has to be crucified.” Pontius Pilate was afraid for his own post.
This is how politics goes: Pontius Pilate was the governor from the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire had sent him there as a representative of the empire to rule over the Jews. He was afraid that the Jews – particularly the high priest and the council of rabbis – would report against him because they were telling him to crucify a Jew and he wouldn’t. This was a religious question, and the agreement was that their religion would not be interfered with. He was afraid that he would be recalled, and he had remained so long out of Rome that going back now he would be nobody. In fact he was a very powerful man, that’s why he was sent out. This is how politics works.
Pontius Pilate was from the royal family, and he was so powerful that King Herod was afraid that he could become a competitor. Herod was old, his son was very young. Soon he would die and his small, young son would be on the throne: this Pontius Pilate was so powerful a politician, he might grab the throne. So to avoid this, a great post was given to him: he became governor in Judea.
Just this century a similar thing happened with Lord Mountbatten. He was of the royal family and in his youth he was a playboy, so he was creating scandal upon scandal. Being of the royal family, he was defaming the whole family; if he continued to do this… Then too he was really a very royal figure – powerful, tall, beautiful. He would have really looked a king if he was chosen. He might create some trouble – he was already creating too much trouble, it was better to send him away. He was sent far away from England, to Burma as a viceroy, to do whatsoever he wanted to do in Burma. No scandal would reach England because even the mail used to take three months. So there was nothing to be worried about; who would bother about what Mountbatten was doing in Burma?
They arranged his marriage to a woman who was really ugly. She had some kind of disease which causes leathery skin; her skin was just like leather, not like skin. She was really ugly. How did they manage to have that poor playboy married to that woman? Perhaps the playboy himself got caught in it. Playboys get caught in such things because they are continually moving, but once in while they are caught in such a situation where they have to get married. So he had to marry that woman.
They sent her with him to take care that he did not create any scandal, and naturally he couldn’t because he was viceroy there. It was impossible for him to mix with common people or even to talk or misbehave in any way. And when he had finished his post in Burma and came back to England, they immediately sent him to India. They kept him continually out of England. Churchill was very much for his remaining out: he should not be in the country, he would create trouble.
Now Lord Mountbatten is dead, but while he was alive the queen was continually troubled by him, because he became the guide of the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales, who was his nephew, followed him rather than his father or his mother, and his parents were very much concerned that this man was going to soil the future king of England. If he had missed the chance to be king, he would do it through the Prince of Wales. They must have felt great relief when he died in an accident – actually, he was killed.
Pontius Pilate, who was a tremendously powerful politician, was sent to Judea. He was afraid that by now people must have forgotten him – people’s memories are very short. For fifteen years he had been in Judea; now who would remember him? In fifteen years, many other powerful politicians must have made their way up. Now the boy was no longer a boy, he was the king – Herod was dead. Herod’s son was now in power, and Pontius Pilate did not know anymore what was happening in the capital. Here he was happy, all-powerful and almost a king. So he was afraid, he had to listen to the priest – but deep down he wanted Jesus to be released.
He made one last effort. Three people were to be crucified, and every Sabbath there was the opportunity – if the high priest chose – for one person to be forgiven. The two who were murderers certainly deserved the death penalty but Jesus had not committed any crime, so Pontius Pilate was hoping that the Jews would ask for Jesus to be released. But the Jews didn’t ask for Jesus to be released. Murderers are just murderers, there was nothing much to do about it – but this man was dangerous because he was mocking their idea of the messiah, mocking the idea of God, creating this stupid story that he was the only begotten son, that he was not born of a human being, that he was born out of the Holy Ghost. He was playing with their whole theology.
They asked that a murderer, Barabbas, be released. If they wanted it, then Barabbas had to be released. And do you know what Pontius Pilate did? He did something which Sigmund Freud would have been shocked to know. He went in and he washed his hands. It was Sigmund Freud who, two thousand years after Pontius Pilate, discovered that whenever a man feels guilty he washes his hands for no reason, they aren’t dirty. There was no reason at all for Pontius Pilate to wash his hands – he was not going to take his lunch or dinner, nothing like that. There was no reason at all why he should wash his hands.
From outside where they asked for the murderer to be released, Pontius Pilate, sad, came into his room and washed his hands. Perhaps he did it absolutely unconsciously – because I don’t think he would have managed to read Sigmund Freud. That seems to be a little too much. Nine days after the resurrection angels may come, but Pontius Pilate reading Sigmund Freud seems to be a little too much!
It was Sigmund Freud’s work that people, when they are just sitting and washing their hands without water, just trying to wash their hands, are feeling guilty about something. Certainly they are feeling that something is pricking their conscience, and they are trying to wash it away without knowing it. You can see many people sitting just making the gestures of washing: no water, no soap, but still they are washing something. And they are not aware of what they are doing with their hands. You must know that your right hand is connected with the left side of your brain, your left hand is connected with the right side of your brain. So your hands are continually expressing what is going on in your brain.
I have heard…

Two Jews were walking on the road on a cold winter morning. It was very cold, but one was talking continually, and asking the other again and again, “Why are you silent?”
The other man said, “Go on talking.” But how long can one man talk if you don’t even say yes, no, at least ja, ja? You have to say something. But the man remained completely silent.
Finally the other man asked, “What is the matter with you?”
He said, “Nothing is the matter with me, but I can’t take my hands out of my pockets, it is too cold.”

Jews in particular cannot talk without their hands. You can look at me: I cannot talk without my hands. That certainly shows that I am a Jew. If not in this life, then in some past life I must have been a Jew. I cannot keep my hands in my pockets – I don’t have any pockets, so whatsoever happens I can always talk!
Pontius Pilate, then, accepted the conspiracy from a rich disciple, who said, “Crucify him as late as possible because by the evening he will be brought down. Then for three days he will be kept with us, and we will help him escape.” In the Jewish crucifixion it takes a long time for a person to die, at least twenty-four hours; but if the man is strong, forty-eight hours, because very little blood oozes from the hands and the feet. If the man is strong enough and has enough blood, he can survive. Six hours is nothing, nobody has ever died within six hours.
So they tried to postpone it as much as possible. Only in the afternoon did they put Jesus on the cross. And after six hours, when the sun was setting, he was brought down: he was perfectly alive. There is evidence in the Bible that when they were taking him down, a Roman soldier poked his spear into his side and blood came out. Blood does not come out of a dead man. That is clear evidence that Jesus was perfectly alive. And in the night, everything was arranged: he escaped.
And of course he had to escape as far away as possible. From Judea to Kashmir is as far away as possible. And why Kashmir? – because in Kashmir a lost tribe of Jews had already settled. Moses had gone in search of the lost tribe and died in Kashmir. Kashmir is Jewish; although now they have been forcibly converted into Mohammedans, Kashmir is Jewish. You can see by their faces and their noses it is Jewish. So although Jesus was going out of Judea, it seems very reasonable that he would like to live in a place where his people were living. They would understand his language, they would understand him, and they wouldn’t have the same bigoted mind that Judea had because they were the lost ones, and they were really the rebels.
They had not got lost on the way; they had really escaped from the torture that was going on for forty years continually, in the search for Israel. This Israel has tortured so many people, and still it is going on. From Egypt to Israel it took forty years along the way, through the desert. A third of the people survived, two-thirds died on the way. These were the few people, the rebellious type, who saw that it seemed to be just a mad effort. “Where is Israel? Nobody has heard of it. And when are we going to reach? People are continually dying: by the time we reach nobody will be left. It is better to escape. Let the others go to Israel – we will find some other place.”
They moved in the other direction, just the opposite, and they really found a better place than Israel. Kashmir would have been really a great find if Moses had been with them. Moses did reach there and find them, but then he was too old so he could not make the return journey. And they were not ready to leave; they had found such a beautiful place that they were not interested in any Israel or anything. Moses died there.
Jesus had known about this. While he was traveling in Egypt and India perhaps he visited Kashmir, visited the samadhi of Moses. He knew about Kashmir; he escaped from Israel to Kashmir. His grave is just by the side of that of Moses. That grave describes everything – his personality, his name. It was his Hebrew name of course, because he never knew that he was going to be called Jesus: he was Joshua. So nobody can say that the grave is new, because it calls him Joshua. It says that a young man called Joshua arrived and lived there with his disciples until the age of one hundred and twelve years.
The place where Jesus lived, Pahalgam, is named after him, because he used to call himself the shepherd. In Kashmir, pahalgam means village of the shepherd. Pahal means shepherd, gam means the village – it is named after him. Just as it will be difficult after two thousand years to find Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, it is difficult to find Pahalgam in Kashmir after two thousand years because no other trace is left. But the very name… Moses’ grave is also there.
You can see from the face and everything that the people who guard the graves are Jewish. And they are the only two graves in the whole of India which face toward Israel. Hindus burn their dead, so the question of making a grave does not arise. Mohammedans make graves, but their graves face toward Mecca. These are the only two graves which do not face toward Mecca; they face toward Israel.
So Jesus was not taken up by angels after nine days. He was taken up by his disciples that very night and put into the cave, and then they escaped as fast as possible.
But, somehow or other, all religious people want their religion to be painted with esoteric, mysterious, unbelievable things. That is a basic thing: something unbelievable is needed, only then does your belief have some meaning. If everything is believable then your belief has no meaning. Belief has to pass the fire test of believing in something unbelievable. So, all religions create unbelievable things around their prophets, which are the test: if you have faith then you will believe in them. If you can believe in any kind of nonsense then there is no fear of you from the priesthood, from the church, from the whole mammoth theological building that has arisen out of a fragment of truth.
I have nothing about me which is unbelievable, I have nothing about me which is mysterious, I have nothing about me which is secret. This is my open secret. I am just a human being, and I want to declare to humanity that there is nothing above human consciousness.
You need not search for anything else. All that you need is to look into your own consciousness as deeply as possible. Just find yourself and you have found everything. There is no other God, there is no other heaven; there is nothing except your flame of life. And it is in everyone the same.
If I have any appeal to you, it has totally different grounds because I am not asking you to believe in any mystery, in any unbelievable thing. If any trust arises in you, it means that whatever I am saying, or whatever I am, has touched you. And I don’t want to bypass your intelligence. I want to approach you in both ways: I want to approach your heart by my presence and I want to approach your intelligence by my words. In this way I am not leaving any chances for you to escape from yourself. The old religions appeal only to your feeling. Atheists appeal only to your reason. I appeal to your totality.
Seeing that an ordinary man like me can be fulfilled, can be contented, can be in total bliss, is enough for you to become aflame; is enough guarantee for you that if it can happen to me, it can happen to you. You don’t have anything less than me. I don’t have anything more than you.

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