From the False to the Truth 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 34 discourses - From the False to the Truth by Osho.
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I have heard Anam say about the discourses that they are boring, he does not get anything from them; that discourses are a waste of time, and he prefers workers' darshan.
Could you please comment?
Anam is a confirmed creep. But what he is saying has much truth in it – not because the discourses are boring, but because he is not here. Physically he is here, but his mind is roaming all over the place. Perhaps he may be hearing, but he is not listening to me.
These discourses are my heart. I am opening myself to you, revealing to you finally and exactly what I am. But there are people like Anam who are not interested in this revelation. Then the thing appears boring. But I am puzzled – if it is boring you, who is forcing you to be here? Are you sitting here to torture yourself? I am not at all interested whether you are here or not. If the discourses are boring, then you must be enjoying your boredom. And boredom is not in the discourses, because you are the only one who is bored.
Look at these people! Raise your hands, those who are not bored – both hands!
Anam, have you seen these hands? You are a bored person, utterly bored. You don’t have the patience even to understand what I am saying. Are you British by chance?
I have heard that whenever a joke is told, the French understand it immediately. Their laughter is an immediate response. The British laugh twice: first, when they hear the joke – not that they have understood the joke, but just to be polite, not to offend you in any way. And the second time, in the middle of the night they laugh again: they have got it.
The Germans never laugh. And the Jews…if you tell a joke to a Jew, he will not laugh, he will say to you, “This joke is very old, and moreover you are telling it all wrong!” It is the same joke, but different people are reacting differently.
What I am saying is the same for all of you, but everybody is interpreting it in his own way. Most of you are rejoiced, your hearts are open to me. Your ears are not only hearing; behind your ears you are silently listening to me. How can you be bored? But Anam is bored. The whole credit goes to himself, I am not responsible for it. And why does he go on dragging himself here everyday – to be bored? Perhaps he is some kind of masochist, he wants to be bored.
The question is significant, because I am the first person in the whole history of human consciousness whose people are allowed to have a hearty laugh in the temple. Otherwise in temples, churches, mandirs, you go with a long face, looking very serious. This mandir does not belong to those traditional temples and churches and synagogues. This is a place of rejoicing, and if you are unable to rejoice, don’t come. Do something else, don’t waste your time.
You are saying your time is wasted, Anam. Your whole life is wasted. What have you done? Your whole life – just have a look backward – has been a wastage. What flowers have blossomed in you? It is really your whole life, dry, dull, boring, which has made you incapable of enjoying. And if you are not coming here, how are you going to use your time so that it is not wasted? What are you going to do?
Here there is a chance that perhaps you may awake one day and start growing. Then the time will not be wasted. Of course, in your sleep you may have thought it was wasted, but when you wake up you will be grateful.
But don’t come here. And remember always, I am a very unreliable man, as unreliable as nature, particularly here in Rajneeshpuram – the weather changes so quickly. If you feel bored, it is not unimaginable for me to just leave this podium forever. But remember, all these people will suffer because of you.
I said just the other day that I am not going to be silent, but that was the other day. If anybody is bored, I am not interested in boring anybody, I can just now stop speaking forever. But it looks very undemocratic to me, that just because of one idiot, my whole people around the world will miss my word.
So you have to decide, Anam. If you come here, get in tune with me, with what I am saying; otherwise, there is no need to come here. Our commune is a family of totally free individuals. You have decided on your own to be part of it. You can leave not only the Mandir you can leave the commune, and we will rejoice.
And you are saying you enjoyed in the past years the silent satsang with the sannyasins. I am amazed at people’s stupidity. You cannot remain silent for two minutes! We had satsang on the sixth, and I got so fed up with your insensitivity that I have dropped it forever. In the future there will be no silent satsang in the morning…because we were playing music and then there would be a gap – just a little gap of two minutes. We would do the humming and then there would be a gap of two minutes.
Devaraj was quoting some words from my past expressions to remind you of what I am saying. I have been sowing the seeds for a long time. You cannot see in the seed the flower. He was quoting the seeds to make it clear to you that those same seeds have come to a flowering, and they are going to flower more and more. After his quotation there was again two minutes’ silence.
And what were you doing, Anam, in those silent periods? I saw people coughing all over the place. That coughing is absolutely psychological. Why are you not coughing now? I will speak for two hours and you will not cough a single time. And in those two minutes of silence, not one person, but everybody was coughing. Coughing has something to do with your psychology. One man coughs, and it is infectious, suddenly you realize that your throat is also ready.
While the music was there, you were engaged with the music. While you were humming, you were engaged in humming. The most difficult parts were those few moments of silence. Either you were coughing all over the place – suddenly the Mandir became Koran Grove – or you were laughing, which was disrespectful to the Mandir, to the commune. After music, after humming, an intelligent person will fall into a deeper silence; that is the purpose of that music. But no, you start laughing. The reason is, you cannot stand to be in silence for two minutes.
And now, Anam, you are asking for silent satsang. And I know you more than you know yourself. You may think yourself a wise guy, but you are simply crazy. You think you are a therapist – you need therapy.
And there may be a few other creeps who have crept into the commune. It is good if they get lost forever. A single rotten fish will spread its rottenness to other fish in the pond. And people in this commune are so close to each other, so intimate with each other, that anything contagious affects not only one person, it affects the whole commune. That’s why I don’t call it an organization. It is not, it is an organism, just as your body is an organism, not an organization.
If your body were an organization, scientists would have been immensely happy, because then if you had a fracture in your leg, the whole leg could be unscrewed – you would just have to go to the workshop and they could screw on a new leg. If your head was going cuckoo, you could go the workshop and they could change it. But man is not a mechanism put together, man is an organism. Everything in man is connected with everything else; the whole body is functioning in tremendous harmony.
This commune is an organism.
I don’t want any bored person here. You will be immensely benefited – become a Catholic priest, then your boredom will pay you. Here, you will just look out of place.
And I am not saying this only to Anam…. I had given you the name Anam – anam means anonymous, nameless – because when I gave you sannyas I could see in your eyes that you were not an organism functioning in beautiful silent harmony: you are a cuckoo. But I give sannyas to anybody – even to cuckoos, hoping against hope that perhaps just through your being near me a miracle may happen.
And when I am talking to you, do you understand the process of talking in deep love and intimacy? Perhaps you are not aware. You love a person – you want to touch the person, hug the person, kiss the person. Why do you do all these things? To get as close to the person as possible. I cannot hug millions of people. Before they have stopped hugging me, I will be dead. Kissing to me is unhygienic.
I can touch you only with my words. It is a touching experience, far superior to the ways you know of touching each other. A word is a bridge. If you allow yourself to become part of the communion, you cannot be bored; you will be in immense rejoicing, you will be blissful.
But nobody can force you to be blissful. Why get miserable sitting here? Do something that makes you happy. And I don’t know what makes you happy. If my words cannot make you happy, then take it for granted that at least in this life you are not going to be happy.
It is a great art to be blissful.
One has to learn it.
Become more and more organic.
And when I am speaking, I am speaking; you are silent. The moment I stop speaking, you start yakketty-yak, yakketty-yak; your mind starts going round and round. You are not listening to me, Anam, that’s why you feel bored. You are bored with yourself. In not listening to me, you are simply listening to your own mind, and you know your mind perfectly well. If you are listening to me, then your mind stops. Then who can be bored? And how?
I have heard about a man who was sitting in a chair in a waiting room on the railway station. Many other people were also waiting in the waiting room. They all became interested in this man, because what he was doing appeared very strange. Sometimes he would smile for no reason at all. Sometimes he would burst into laughter. Sometimes he would throw away something which was not there, but his hands, his face, expressed the idea that he wanted to get rid of something. He was saying, “No, no” – not in words, in gestures.
The whole waiting room fell into silence. What was this man doing? And he looked rich, well-dressed, educated. Finally one man got up to ask him, “What are you doing? – because we are getting more and more curious. Now it is too much; and the train is late – we will have to watch you for at least two hours more. It is becoming mysterious.”
The man said, “There is nothing mysterious. I was just telling jokes to myself. And whenever I came across an old joke, I threw it away – I have heard it so many times. When something really juicy comes into my mind, there is a smile. Sometimes just a smile is not enough, the joke is so wonderful that I burst out into laughter. But all this I am doing to myself. How are you concerned? You do your work.”
Anam, if you are bored, you are doing it to yourself. Please stop doing it.
What I am saying to you is of the utmost importance, because it is a way of touching, but more subtle and sophisticated. A word comes out of my heart, travels to you, and if you are available, reaches exactly into your heart. Neither holding hands can do it, nor even kissing can do it – even French kissing! Not even making love can do it. Making love is a also a way of getting close, so close that you are in each other. But what a communion can do, even lovemaking cannot do.
Genitals meeting is not a great meeting. It is the lowest form of meeting – even buffalos are doing it. Only man is capable, at the highest sophisticated level, of touching your very heart.
And if you cannot understand my words, forget forever the idea that you will be able to understand my silence. Even while I am speaking, it is there. I am not an orator, I am not a speaker. That’s why, speaking a word, just in the middle of the sentence I will stop, will give a gap; in that gap I am trying to reach you through silence.
Don’t just listen to my words, listen also to the gaps. And any orator will think that I am strange; this is not the way to speak. But I am not interested in speaking, I am trying to contact you in thousands of ways.
My talk is full of silence. If you sort it out, in two hours you will certainly find for half an hour I have been silent. And it is a far deeper silence, because the word makes you listen to me, and then comes the silent period. In that silent period you are waiting for me to complete the sentence.
And this cannot be done – I never do a thing – it is a happening. I cannot speak in another way, because my purpose will be fulfilled only by words followed by wordlessness.
Anam, I love you as I love everybody. Just think of it – I go on throwing flowers on you, and you go on throwing mud on me? My own people saying to me that my talk is boring?
My talk is so full of silence. Listen to both, and it is easier. After a big storm there is a deep silence following it. This is the law of nature: day follows night, life is followed by death, word follows wordlessness. On both sides…. Then it is not a discourse, not oratory; it is a way of reaching you, touching you at the very innermost center of your being.
But if you are still bored, then just get up and get out, and get lost.

You say a skeptic cannot be a disciple, and on the other hand, that you never want us to stop doubting. Please explain the difference between skepticism and doubt.
There is a great difference between doubt and skepticism. Not only is there a difference, they are diametrically opposite to each other.
Skepticism is already a religion, a belief, a conclusion; it is a negative type of conclusion. The skeptic has no philosophy of his own to contribute; all he does is argue against anybody else’s ideology. But don’t ask about his ideology, he has none. He has become a big no, he has become negativity. He does not believe in anything – but this is also a belief.
For example, he does not believe in God. We call him an unbeliever, but it is not right to say that he does not believe in God; he believes that there is no God. It is a belief. Because it is negative you are confused. The theist believes in God; the skeptic does not believe in God, but he is not a seeker, he is not creative, he is not positive. He is not searching for the truth.
In ancient Greece there was a school, before Socrates, called the Sophists. They were skeptical people. They had nothing to offer, and they had everything, every argument, every weapon to destroy.
It is very easy to say no.
To say yes is very difficult.
You can say no to anything. If somebody says, “Look at the beautiful sunset,” you can say, “I can see the sun is setting, but I don’t see that there is anything beautiful. Prove to me what beauty is. How can you dare to call this sunset beautiful? Unless you define beauty, you cannot call anything beautiful.”
And beauty has escaped definition. For thousands of years people have tried to define beauty, to define truth, to define love, but no effort has succeeded, for the simple reason that these things are experiences; you cannot explain them. But if you want to explain them away there is no difficulty.
The skeptic has already settled in his “no” attitude toward everything. The man is not different from any other believer; they have all settled. None of them is on the way to seek.
Now you can understand the difference and the diametrical opposition between doubt and skepticism. Doubt is not a conclusion, doubt is the beginning of a journey, a pilgrimage. The skeptic has arrived and found as an answer, no – to everything, everything that cannot be placed in front of him, on the table, so he can dissect it.
Karl Marx has said, “Unless I can see God in a test-tube, in a scientific lab, being dissected, I am not going to believe in him.”
God is not to be discovered in a test-tube, God has to be searched for. Of course when you begin to search you will have to doubt thousands of things until you arrive at a point where your doubt disappears. Suddenly you are face to face with reality. You will be amazed: you will not find a God, and at the same time you cannot deny that you have found something, something which is even higher than God. I call it godliness.
Doubt is the methodology of the seeker. Doubt sharpens your intelligence. It is a challenge. You are neither saying yes, nor are you saying no. You are saying only one thing, “I am ignorant, and I am not going to trust unless I have experienced, whatsoever the case, unless I arrive at something which is indubitable – howsoever I make the effort to doubt it, my doubt goes on failing.”
The reality is so vast, overwhelming, so tangible, so real, that even this so-called real world, compared to that reality, looks like a dream.
Doubt is something of tremendous significance. Only those who have doubted to the very end have found what truth is, what love is, what silence is, what beauty is. Skepticism finds nothing. It is utterly empty, but it makes much noise. Empty drums make much noise. And you cannot argue with a skeptic because he will go on saying no to anything, to any value which you cannot place as an object before him.
But doubt – of course, it is a long way and a hard way – goes on eliminating all that is not true. Ultimately only that which is true remains. And nobody can deny truth when one is facing it, experiencing it. Out of that experience comes yes: “Yes, Osho, yes.”
It is not a belief. You have searched, gone into great anxiety, anguish, despair. There were many moments when you wanted to stop, because it looked as if the journey was endless. It is not. There is an end; you just have to keep yourself going.
Doubt is surgical – it goes on cutting all that is absurd. But finally the real remains, unclouded. Doubt removes the clouds.
The skeptic says no to the sun because it is clouded; he cannot see the sun. He comes immediately to the conclusion that there is no sun, no light. The doubter removes all the clouds, cuts his way through the clouds. Not that he believes that there is something behind them – there may be nothing – but he has to know whatever is behind the clouds. And everybody who has gone far has ended with truth. It needs guts.
The skeptic is a poor man, just like the theists, just like all the so-called religious people in the world. Skepticism is a negative side, it is a negative religion. There is no difference between a skeptic and a believer; they both agree that there is no need for search. One believes there is a sun behind the clouds, another believes there is nothing behind the clouds. But nobody is ready to take the long journey, to pass through all kinds of nightmares, and to reach behind the clouds. Few have reached.
I teach you doubt, I don’t teach you skepticism. And remember, doubt is not skepticism; it is search, it is seeking.
Before Socrates, this school of skeptical people was called Sophism. They were traveling teachers, wandering teachers. They used to take a big fee, much money, to make you a sophist. A sophist is one who can take any side, he does not care for truth. If you pay him good money, he will be on your side. Or, if the opposite side pays him big money, he will be on the opposite side. As far as he is concerned he knows nothing, but he knows the art of argumentation.
I have heard…. In a small church in a small town, the priest was very much disturbed by an old man. But the old man was the richest man in his congregation. He had donated much – in fact he had built the church. He was paying the salary of the priest, of course. He used to sit just in the front row in front of the priest, but he was old and always went to sleep. The sleep was not disturbing to the priest, but he snored – and really loud. The priest was disturbed because the old man was disturbing the whole congregation, and the congregation was disturbed because he was disturbing everybody’s sleep!
Finally the congregation said to the priest, “Something has to be done. This old man disturbs you – just in front somebody snoring, and loudly. And this old man disturbs our sleep also.”
People in Christian countries remain awake late on Saturday night because tomorrow is Sunday, they can rest. And early in the morning they have to go to church. Perhaps they have not slept the whole night – and church is the best place to sleep.
So they said, “We come early in the morning just to have a good nap, and this idiot wakes everybody. Rather than listening to your sermon, we listen to his snoring – so please do something!”
The priest thought. The old man used to come with one of his grandsons, a small boy; he used to sit by his side. The priest thought, “Perhaps the boy can be bribed.”
He talked to the boy and he said, “I will give you one dollar every Sunday if you go on waking the old man. Just with your hand go on hitting him so he remains awake. The moment he snores you start hitting. I will give you one dollar.”
The boy said, “Good. There is no problem, I will not let him sleep anymore.”
And the next Sunday was beautiful. Everybody slept. The priest repeated the same sermon that he had been…he had three or four sermons ready. And the boy went on hitting the old man with his hand.
The old man said, “What nonsense! What are you doing continually?”
The boy laughed, but he did not allow the old man to sleep or snore.
Outside, the old man asked, “What is the matter? You disturbed my whole morning. You have to tell me.”
The boy said, “It is a question of business. The priest has given me one dollar to keep you awake, because you snore.”
The old man said, “Don’t be worried; if it is business, I will give you two dollars. Just don’t disturb me the coming Sunday.”
The next Sunday came, and the priest was puzzled. He looked at the boy many times, blinked at the boy that the old man had started snoring, but the boy sat silently smiling. Nobody could sleep. Somehow the priest finished the sermon, took the boy aside and asked, “What happened? Don’t you want the dollar?”
He said, “What can I do? It is a question of business.”
The priest asked, “What business?”
He said, “The old man has promised to give me two dollars. Now it is up to you.”
Of course the poor priest knew that he could not win in competition with that old man. If he gave three dollars – which was too much for a poor priest – the old man would give four. He was bound to lose completely by this strategy. The boy was not interested – he was not interested in the priest, he was not interested in the congregation, he was not interested in the old man. It was a sheer question of business.
That was the attitude of the sophists. Even kings used to send their sons, who were going to become kings of their country someday, to the sophists to learn the art, so that whatever the case is, you can always manage to win it. There is no question of right and wrong for a sophist; the question is whose argument is stronger.
But it happened…a young man came to a very famous sophist teacher. The young man was very rich, and the sophist teacher asked for an enormous amount of money. The young man said, “Don’t be worried, whatever you ask I will give, but on one condition. Half of the money I will pay now and half of the money I will pay to you when I have been victorious in some argument with somebody. That will be the test of whether you have been really teaching me or just exploiting.”
It was understandable, and the old sophist teacher knew that there was no problem. “You are going to win against anybody. I am the greatest sophist in the whole of Greece, don’t be worried.”
Half the money was paid. After two years the young man was perfectly trained in the art of argumentation; from any side he was able to win. If he chose to support theism he was able to win, if he wanted to support atheism he was able to win. He now had the knack of how to present a case and how to argue about it.
The teacher said, “Now your education is finished. Bring the other half of my money that you had promised.”
The man said, “But I have not yet been a winner. You will have to wait, that was the condition.” And the young man proved far smarter than the great sophist. He never argued with anybody. Whatever you said, he would say yes. But he would never enter into any argument, so the question of winning never arose. One year passed, two years passed – but the old sophist was not going to be cheated in this way. This young man was trying to be really too much.
The old man filed a case in the court against the young man, that he had promised to give him half of the money when his education was over and he had not given it. The idea of the great teacher was really marvelous. He thought, “If the court decides, “You will receive half the money only when he wins a case,” I am defeated, the young man has won his first victory.” So he planned that outside the court he would say, “Now you have won your first victory, give me half the money.” But he never got that money, he got defeated in the court.
He had thought of the other possibility: if he won the case – although there was no possibility, but he was a great arguer – if he won the case, then too, he would tell the young man, “You are going against the court’s decision, you have to pay the money.” But he had not thought about it – that the young man was his own student, and knew all his tactics.
The young man argued perfectly, and in fact the case was clearly stronger on his side: “Until I win my first argument, I will not pay the other half.” The teacher was not interested in winning the case. He said, “It is certainly true that this was the condition.” He accepted it before the court, hoping that out of the court he would say, “Now….”
He lost the case, the young man won the case, and after the court on the steps he took hold of the young man and said, “Boy, now you have won your argument, give me my money.”
The young man said, “I am your student – you cannot deceive me. I cannot go against the court’s decision; that would be contempt of court. And if you insist, come back inside the court and ask before the magistrate.”
This sophistry has continued down the ages; it has taken many names – now it is called skepticism. The skeptic has no ideology, so you cannot defeat him. He never proposes anything. If he never proposes anything, how can you defeat him? He has no belief system. He is in a far stronger position. You have a belief system; he can find loopholes in it and defeat you.
The skeptic is bound to win against anybody who has a system of beliefs. The skeptic gains nothing but only these futile argumentations and victories. And the more he becomes articulate in arguments, the more he is unaware that life is not to argue, life is not to say no, because no means death. And just wasting your life destroying other people’s arguments, what are you going to gain? You wasted your whole life.
I am not teaching you skepticism, I am teaching you the art of doubt. Doubt does not say that it is not so. The doubt simply says, “I am ignorant. I have not experienced it yet; hence, I will continue to doubt till I achieve the authentic, the real. Then I will be all yes – but not before that.”
The man of doubt, only the man of doubt, some day becomes the man of truth.

If yes and no are complementary, and the smallest blade of grass is needed as much as the most distant star, what can you say about the negative resistance of the Oregonians to your vision? How are we to understand it?
I welcome it. The antagonism of the Oregonians is our strength. Their antagonism is a blessing to us. They may be thinking otherwise, but they don’t know how the law of life functions. The more they try to destroy us, the more indestructible this commune will be, because when you had to face opposition, for the first time you bring your intelligence to its highest peak. When you see that so much negativity is around you – you are just a small island and all around is the ocean of Oregonians – it gives you an opportunity to rise to the moment, to face it.
It is a well-known fact that even the greatest scientists use only fifteen percent of their intelligence. The average person uses only seven percent of his potential. What is the difference between the ordinary, average person and the scientists? Why does the scientist rise to fifteen percent? Because he has taken upon himself a challenge to find the truth about something.
He will be opposed by those dogmatic people who have already come to a conclusion. They will say, “There is no need for you to work on it. We know the answer, it is in the Bible; just read the bible. One book is enough. It is the holy book; God has given everything that is needed to be known.”
But people like Copernicus, Galileo, Columbus, go against the bible. The Bible says the earth is flat. It looks flat. Science has to rise above the average man’s idea that whatever you see is right. In all the languages there are proverbs which say, “Don’t believe in hearing, believe in seeing.”
If you look around you, the earth is flat, because our vision through the eyes in not vast enough, and we are standing on the earth. There is no horizon; it is your limited capacity of vision. When you start losing your eyesight, the horizon comes closer to you; when you become blind, there is no horizon. When you are young, you see the beauty of the horizon. The horizon depends on your eyes, it has nothing to do with the earth. The earth is vast, and man is so tiny and his eyes cannot see so far.
But the scientist tries to find whether there is some place where the earth and the sky meet. He doubts your knowledge of the past, he doubts your scriptures. He wants to know it for himself; only then can he be sure. He goes on and on and on, and finds that the horizon is an illusion. There is no place where earth and heaven meet.
These scientists first started logically, rationally, to find out what kind of earth is possible, and they decided that it is a globe, not a flat piece of land. It was hypothetical. Columbus experimented on this hypothesis. He was thought to be a madman. But never be afraid – even a madman will find somebody more mad to help.
In thirty years, this has been my experience. I am a madman, but I have never been without friends. They are certainly madder than me.
The queen of Spain supported Columbus. She said, “What is the harm? I have enough money, he has enough argument. Let him have a chance, let him go for a journey around the earth. If the earth is a globe, then finally he will come back to the same place from where he started.” It is simple logic: if you move in a circle, you will come back to the same place. “And if the earth is flat, we are not responsible; he is insisting. If the earth is flat, then his ship will finally fall down at the edge of the earth. That is his responsibility, if he goes to hell. For me, it will be just a little loss of money – that does not matter.”
Then it was a question of finding at least ninety people – three ships were to go, because nobody was clear how long it would take to come back. So much food, clothes for every season, enough people to take these three big ships.
The queen said, “Don’t be worried, money can purchase anything,” and she purchased ninety people. They were all Christians; they thought that the earth was flat, but she was giving so much money that they thought, even if the ship fell into utter darkness, they would be leaving enough money for their family, at least for three generations – which they could not manage to earn being here. They could not even manage enough food, enough clothes, shelter. So ninety people were ready and they sailed off.
The horizon was there, but again and again it changed its place. Two months and twenty-seven days had passed, and there was the horizon still at the same distance. This proved perfectly that the horizon is an illusion. It is the limitation of our eyesight and our position standing on the earth. You can see the sun is round, you can see the moon is round because you are so far away that you can see the whole thing. But standing on the earth itself you cannot see the whole earth.
Columbus was immensely happy. But they had taken enough food for only three months. Those ninety people – they were not scientists, they had not come to prove anything; they were just there for money. With their Bibles they still believed that the earth was flat and that Columbus was mad. But they had got so much money, who cared whether he was mad or not?
But after two months and twenty-seven days, they became nervous. They were almost having nervous breakdowns: “What is going to happen now? Even if Columbus is right and the Bible is wrong and we are not going to fall off a flat earth, after three days the food will be finished. We will be dying, starving; and that looks far uglier than sudden death. We will die gradually.”
So they all gathered – when Columbus was going to sleep – on one ship in the night, and they thought that the only sane course now was, “We have tried to persuade Columbus to let us go back. He is not a man who goes back, he goes only forward. Now we have come to the dangerous point – in three days the food will be finished. So the only way is, to throw Columbus into the ocean, get rid of him. Let him swim and find out the truth – why should we lose our lives? – and we will go back.”
Columbus, seeing that all ninety people had gathered on one ship – he was just going to sleep, but he was not asleep – he also went there. Hiding, he listened to their decision that he was going to be thrown into the ocean tomorrow. These fools would do it, and he was almost helpless – a single man against ninety people. He came out of hiding, went into the meeting – they were very shocked.
He said, “There is no need to be shocked. Your decision is perfectly practical. I just want to make a suggestion. It took us two months and twenty-seven days to reach this place. Do you think in three days you will be back home?” Even those fools could understand; the logic was simple. “You cannot go back in three days. But there is a possibility that in three days we may reach India if we go on and on” – because that was the idea. One route was open to India; going around Africa and reaching India – that route was open. They had been moving in the opposite direction.
But they thought, “If we cannot reach Spain, at least we will reach India.” That was the last known place; between Spain and India was the whole known world. Columbus’ argument was so solid that they decided to go on.
That’s how you are going on with me. You cannot go back! We have already broken the bridge. The day you took sannyas, the bridge collapsed. Now you can only go forward.
And I say to you, just as Columbus reached America in three days…. He could not reach India. American was not in his mind; it was unknown, a new land, but he thought he had reached India. That’s why the aboriginal Americans are called Red Indians. It was Columbus who called them Indians.
In three days’ time they saw green leaves floating in the ocean, birds flying in the sky. And he said to his men, “Now don’t be afraid. You can see the birds; trees are not very far, you can see the leaves floating in the ocean. The land is not so far, we will reach it in three days. Or even if we have to fast for a few days, we are going to reach.” And strange, within three days they landed.
The scientist is not skeptical; he has doubts about the outside world. The truly religious person doubts about the inside world. Both arrive. The point is that you should go on and on till you arrive, because you may stop just one step before.
Columbus gave them a challenge: “In three days you cannot return. I will allow you, you can go; I will swim, you need not throw me. I will jump into the ocean myself, I will try to reach without you – but remember, all you ninety are going to die, and a cowardly death. Be a little brave, face the situation; come along with me. The earth is round. We have seen in these past days that there is no horizon – we are bound to reach land.”
This was a great challenge to their manliness, to their guts, and they agreed with Columbus; otherwise there would have been no America. It was Columbus who doubted the Bible. It was Galileo who doubted the Bible.
We are surrounded by fanatical Christians. In America, Oregon is perhaps one of the most backward, fanatical, unprogressive states. I have chosen it knowingly, because here is the challenge. And you need a challenge so that you can become sharp – and you can see it happening.
We have in our commune the most intelligent group possible. Just in the law department of the commune there are four hundred sannyasins. There is no firm anywhere in the world which has four hundred legal experts. And there is nothing to lose, we have everything to gain; just remain courageous. And in four years’ time they have not been able to make a dent. A small commune has already taken two cities of Oregon. Wait, more cities will be following! Feel strong – you are, just you have to remember it. And their opposition goes on hitting you, helping you to remember.
And because we are fighting for truth, there may be some small battles in which we are defeated, but the ultimate victory is ours – and it is the ultimate victory that counts. Even the greatest warriors have lost a few small battles. That does not matter. The decision, the judgment of the Supreme Court yesterday, is a victory; it is not a small thing.
The whole of Oregon, except for a few intelligent people, is against this commune – for no reason at all. We have not harmed them, we don’t intend to harm anybody. We are so absorbed in ourselves, we don’t care whether Oregon is there or has disappeared!
The Supreme Court must have been under great pressure, but they proved that truth cannot be defeated by any pressure – political lies, religious fanaticism, just the animal heritage of being afraid of the new, of the unknown. But the judges could see through all this.
There is a group in Oregon, “One Thousand Friends of Oregon” – they were fighting against us. Now, if they have any dignity they should start calling themselves “One Thousand Enemies of Oregon.”
The Supreme Court and its judges have to be appreciated. They put aside their Christianity, they put aside the fact that they are Oregonians, they put aside all kinds of rumors and gossip against us, and they tried to see the truth. And it was not a single judge – it was the whole Supreme Court panel. And the decision was not from one man, it was a unanimous decision of the whole Court.
Truth may take a little time for its recognition, but finally it has to be recognized, for the simple reason that it is true.
Now, can you believe…. A city exists here, thousands of people are living here – and for many years it had been a wasteland. And it is not a small piece of property, it is one hundred and twenty-six square miles. It is three times bigger than New York, two times bigger than San Francisco. And this is the only city that has supporters all over the world; otherwise, cities don’t have supporters. It has millions of supporters, sympathizers, lovers.
In Oregon itself there are thousands of Oregonians who have every sympathy for you and your commune. But they are afraid of their neighbors, their community. We receive hundred of letters of support, but they don’t want their names to be made public. So it is not that the whole of Oregon is against you, it is only the mob – which has no intelligence.
Let them be against us. Their being in opposition is going to help us in every possible way. It is not only going to help us, it is going to help democratic values. Our presence here is going to transform the state of Oregon – because truth is a wildfire. Once recognized, it is going to burn all opposition. And it is not only Oregon that I am interested in – it is too small for my interest – we have to awaken the whole of America, so that democracy is not just a word but becomes a reality.
The last words of George Gurdjieff were very strange, inconceivable, but they were addressed to you. Dying, he opened his eyes and said, “Bravo, America!” Nobody was expecting it. They were thinking he would give some spiritual guidance departing from the world. And look at him – he says, “Bravo, America”! But he was not addressing them, he was addressing you, he was addressing me. He was able to have a vision; he was one of the enlightened masters of this century.
America is certainly the very hope for the whole world, but not the way it is now. Its hypocrisy has to be exposed, and it has to be made aware: you are not fighting against Soviet Russia, you are fighting against fascism, nazism, all the anti-democratic values. You are fighting for individual freedom. Your fight is not just a war against the Soviet Union, your fight is far more valuable.
We are fighting for the New Man to be born, and the New Man can be born only in the new world.
America is the latest discovery of humanity; that’s why it is called the New World.
Old countries have traditions, conventions; their past is heavy. it is very difficult for them to get rid of it. America has no past – three hundred years is not much of a past. India has been there, according to Hindu scholars, for ninety thousand years. India can say she has a past – ninety thousand years! It is very difficult in India to make a man free from the programming that has been going on for ninety thousand years. It is easier in America to deprogram people because they don’t have much – only three hundred years.
We have to deprogram America from dirty politics, from fanatic religions, from all kinds of hypocrisy.
It is not a coincidence that suddenly we have landed here. In nature, in existence, nothing happens accidentally. We have to do something really great for humanity’s sake.
Gurdjieff was right: Bravo, America!

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