Guida Spirituale 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - Guida Spirituale by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Be yourself. These two words are enough to transform the whole of humanity; they can give birth to a new man. They are immensely pregnant with meaning. The past of humanity has been a constant effort not to be yourself; hitherto we have been told by the priests and the politicians and the pedagogues to be somebody else. “Be a Christ,” they say, and the people who are trying to be a Christ are the Christians. “Be a Buddha,” they say, and the people who are trying to be a Buddha are the Buddhists. No other Christ has yet happened, neither has a Buddha, and it is not going to happen ever. It is not in the nature of things.
History repeats, existence never repeats. History repeats itself because history is constituted by the unconscious humanity. Existence never repeats itself because existence is nothing but godliness, creativity. Creativity is non-repetitive, consciousness is non-repetitive. Unconsciousness is bound to repeat, it moves in a circle: it goes round and round in the same circle, it becomes more and more efficient in doing the same thing again and again. And the more efficient it becomes, the more difficult it is to go beyond the known.
The creative person is always leaving the known behind and moving into the unknown. To repeat somebody else is nothing but pretending, cheating, deceiving. It is beautiful to know Christ, it is beautiful to love Buddha, it is beautiful to understand Lao Tzu, but it is ugly, humiliating to repeat them, to be imitators.
But for centuries man has been conditioned to be somebody else. There are vested interests against you being yourself. The vested interests want you never to be yourself because they are afraid of anything new; everything new seems to be a danger to them. They are at ease with the old, hence they say, “All that is old is gold.” The older it is, the better.
Hindus say, “Our scriptures are the oldest, hence the best.” They go on trying to prove that their scriptures, their Vedas are far older than the historians recognize. The scientific historian concludes that they are not more than five thousand years old, but the Hindu chauvinist believes they are at least ninety thousand years old. That is at least; it is possible they may be older than that.
Why this effort to prove: “Our religion is so old”? – because the old is more valuable, has been more valuable in the past. The new has been condemned because the new cannot be absorbed by the establishment.
Jesus is dangerous to the Jews because they lived a certain pattern of life: following Moses, repeating Moses, trying to be carbon copies of the prophets of the Old Testament. And here comes this man Jesus who starts saying things which go against the tradition, convention.
The Old Testament says that “tit for tat” is the most fundamental law. If somebody throws a brick at you, reply by throwing a rock at him. If somebody takes out one of your eyes, take out both of the eyes of that man: murder for murder, violence for violence. Jesus says, “If somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other cheek too because God is love.” But the Old Testament God is not love. God himself declares, “I am a very jealous God.” Now jealousy can never be love; it is impossible for jealousy to be loving. In the Old Testament God says, “Remember, I am not nice, I am not your uncle. Beware! I am a very jealous God. If you worship somebody else, some other God, then be ready to be punished – punished for eternity.”
And Jesus says, “Love your enemies just as you love yourself.” Jesus brings a new horizon with him. Every awakened master brings a new light, a new universe, a new perspective – and that is the trouble. Otherwise Jesus was not a troublemaker at all but a simple, innocent man.
Why did the Jews want him to be crucified? He was shaking their foundations, their very foundations. They had lived according to a certain ideology, and this man’s presence was proof enough that they were wrong. He was talking about higher values, higher truths. The whole establishment was shaken up.
The Jews were slaves, they were dominated by the Romans – and the Romans and the Jews conspired to kill Jesus. It was not only the Jews, remember: fifty percent of the crime was committed by the Jews in the case of Jesus’ crucifixion and fifty percent was committed by the Romans – because the Romans were politically powerful and the Jews, of course, had the religious tradition. The priests and the politicians both conspired. They were enemies in a way, because the Roman conquerors were not friendly with the conquered and the conquered were not friendly with the conquerors. But as far as Jesus was concerned, both agreed that he had to be destroyed because he was cutting the very roots of both establishments, the religious and the political.
But now Jesus is imitated, and a strange irony has occurred: he was killed by the Romans, who are now Italians – and now the Vatican has become their headquarters. Strange, but in a way significant, in a way not just accidental. Once Jesus himself was absorbed by the establishment, then there was no problem; he started functioning just like Moses. Before him it was said, “Be like Moses.” Now they started saying, “Be like Jesus.” Now Christianity was itself a part of the vested interests. The same people who had killed Jesus started worshipping him.
And it has been happening almost all over the world. It happened with Mahavira, it happened with Buddha, it happened with Lao Tzu, it happened with Nanak, it happened with Mohammed. The same people… They are not different people – the same unconscious humanity.
One thing can be concluded: the unconscious humanity always worships the established structure because it is familiar with it. And a man like Jesus or Buddha or Krishna is a stranger. He does not belong to the common, he does not belong to the unconscious; he comes as if from another world. He speaks a different language, he brings new messages – and the masses are afraid to go into the unknown, into the unexperienced. They cling to the old, to the past, to the dead. They worship the dead and they destroy the living.
To perpetuate this stupid ideology everybody is told to be somebody else. That helps the establishment tremendously, for two reasons. First: by trying to be somebody else your life will be a mess because you can never be somebody else. That is impossible – you can only be yourself. So trying to be somebody else you are distracted from your authentic being; your energies will be wasted. You will be in a constant conflict with yourself, you will be in a civil war. Your mind will represent the past and your heart will go on saying, “Be yourself.” But the mind makes so much noise, you cannot hear the heart. You will be split, you will be schizophrenic: one part moving in one direction and the other part moving in the opposite direction. You will be always in a kind of tug-of-war. Your life will be of tension, anxiety, anguish.
And a man who lives in anguish can be easily enslaved because his energies are always wasted. He has no more energy to be rebellious. To be rebellious one needs energy, one needs to be a reservoir of energy. In fact, overflowing energy is needed to be a rebel because you will be fighting against millions, you will be fighting against a long, long tradition. You will be fighting many, many vested interests, and they are powerful people. The rich, the religious, the political, those who are dominating the society and exploiting it, are bound to be powerful. You will be powerless, so powerless that you cannot even raise your head. You cannot say no, you cannot assert yourself.
So on the one hand this is a very subtle psychological strategy to destroy your energy. It is just like this: watch a bull – he has energy. You cannot use the bull in a bullock cart; it is dangerous. If you use two bulls in a bullock cart it is very dangerous. First it will be almost impossible to keep them on the road, they will be so powerful. They can run into the fields – if they see some cow, a beautiful cow, they will forget all about you and your cart, and everything will go upside down! First the bulls have to be castrated. Once a bull is castrated he is no longer the same animal; the ox is a faraway echo of the bull. He is weak, his energies have been destroyed. Now he can be enslaved; it is so easy.
And to castrate human beings this strategy has been used: your parents say to you, your teachers say to you, everybody around you goes on saying to you, “Be a Buddha, be a Krishna, be a Jesus, be a Zarathustra,” but never, “Be yourself.” This is a psychological castration: they create guilt in you – if you are yourself you will feel guilty. And you can never be the person you are trying to be, but in the effort energy is wasted and their purpose is fulfilled. Your life will be a life of misery because you can feel joy only if you are yourself.
The rose is beautiful dancing in the wind, in the sun, in the rain, because it has not wasted itself in trying to be a lotus. The lotus is beautiful for the same reason. The marigold is beautiful, all the flowers are beautiful, for the simple reason that they are just themselves. Think of a rose trying to be a lotus. Sooner or later it will end up in a psychoanalyst’s office, it will drive itself crazy, it will go nuts! And in trying to be a lotus its whole energy will be wasted, and it will not be possible even for it to be a rose. Or if it becomes possible at all then it will be a very poor rose with no color, with no perfume, with no dance, with no song.
You can see it everywhere: people are looking so sad, so burdened, as if they are carrying mountains on their shoulders. And they are carrying a psychological weight; they have been burdened, they have been knowingly burdened.
If a child is continuously told that he is not to be himself, that he is worthless… The parents say, “I will love you only if you behave in a certain way” – that is, according to them, according to their idea. The child has to survive; hence he has to listen to the parents. All children are beautiful like roses – small children, before the age of three, are beautiful. You can see their joy overflowing; they are flooded with energy. You cannot compete with a child as far as energy is concerned.
In an American university they did an experiment. They told a great wrestler, a man of immense power, that he has to follow a small child and do whatsoever the child does. “If the child jumps, you jump; if the child runs, you run; if the child starts rolling on the ground, you roll on the ground. Do whatsoever the child does. If the child screams, you scream; if the child giggles, you giggle. Just imitate the child.”
Within three hours he was flat on the ground. He said, “I cannot continue. This child will drive me crazy!” And the child enjoyed the whole thing because, seeing that a grown-up person was imitating him, he did many more things that he had never done before. He stood on his head, he invented so many things just to see whether this man could do them or not. In three hours the child was as full of energy as before and he said, “Are you finished? What happened?”
You cannot follow a child; he has overflowing energy. But we start curbing, cutting, chunk by chunk. We start creating a small prison around the child – a psychological prison, of course. Slowly, slowly the child shrinks, becomes more and more encaged. By the time he comes out of the university he is stupid, mediocre, with no energy, with all kinds of foolish ideologies – full of bullshit. And all that he was is lost. Now he is just an imitator, a carbon copy.
Desiderata has a great message: Be yourself. And this has been the message of all the enlightened ones. Buddha says: “Be a light unto yourself.” That was his last statement. Dying, on the deathbed, he opened his eyes and gave his last message to humanity: “Be a light unto yourself” – don’t imitate anybody.
On the one hand imitation makes you weak, on the other hand it makes you miserable. Weak and miserable, that is how the vested interests want you. And they have found such a beautiful trick that unless you are very intelligent you are bound to be trapped – because who would not like to be like Jesus? The idea fascinates. Who would not like to be a Buddha? It hypnotizes. Buddha is beauty – pure beauty, pure grace. Who would not like to be a Buddha?
Hence the child cannot say to the parents or to the teachers that they are wrong. It appeals even to his reason; it feels reasonable, sensible. And it does one tremendous harm, it makes you hate yourself. You cannot love yourself, and the more you fail in being the other, the more you hate yourself.
I have observed thousands of people, I have been working on thousands of people continuously, and my own observation is that I rarely come across a person who loves himself.
Jesus says: “Love your enemies as you love yourself,” and you would think that it is a very difficult thing to love your enemies. No, it is not. The real difficulty is to love yourself. You can love your enemies, that is not that difficult at all. The real difficulty is to love yourself, to respect yourself, to accept yourself as you are, unconditionally. And that is the beginning of the revolution, the beginning of the transformation.
My whole teaching can be condensed into these two words: Be yourself.
Just the other day I quoted Morarji Desai as saying that he had only one ambition to be fulfilled: to know God and attain the heights of truth. What harm has God done to Morarji Desai? Why should he be after God? Is it not enough to know oneself? Does one have to know God? Why? For what? And what are you going to do even if you know God? You will still be as foolish as you are now – even if you come across God, what are you going to do? You will say, “Hello, how are you? The weather is fine!” What else? What are you really going to do? By knowing God you will not know yourself; and how can an ignorant person who does not know himself know God?
The authentic seeker has nothing to do with God; he wants to know himself. That is the most fundamental thing: to know oneself. Because out of that all knowing, all light arises. If one knows oneself one will know God too. In fact, only by knowing oneself does one become capable of knowing the ultimate, because at the very core of your being the ultimate is present. But religions say: “Know God, try to realize God.” That is again a strategy, the same strategy to distract you from yourself.
And these people like Morarji Desai think they are religious; they are not religious at all. The religious person has only one longing – and remember, it is not an ambition, it is a longing. And there is a difference, a tremendous difference, between ambition and longing. Ambition is of the mind, longing is of the heart. They belong to different centers.
When you fall in love with somebody it is not an ambition. You feel the pain in the heart, not in the head. You don’t have a headache. I have never heard of anybody falling in love who feels a headache, but heartache certainly everybody who has fallen in love has felt. Heartache, and that is a totally different phenomenon. Whenever you talk about love you don’t put your hand on the head, you put your hand on the heart. Your body knows better than you exactly where the center is. The heart longs, thirsts, yearns, but there is no ambition.
Morarji Desai is a poor politician; he knows only the language of ambition. Now he has fulfilled his one ambition of being the prime minister of India; there is no higher post in India than prime minister. Now that he has been prime minister the only ambition the political mind can have is to know God.
It is very strange. In the first place, how do you know that God exists? If you have not known God yet, how can you start being ambitious for God? One thing is absolutely certain, indubitably certain: “I exist.” You cannot deny yourself because even your denial will prove that you are.
There are a few things which cannot be denied. For example, you are in your house and somebody asks, “Are you in?” You cannot say, “I am not.” If you say, “I am not,” that is enough proof that you are in. If you are lying down with closed eyes and somebody asks, “Are you awake?” and you say, “I am not, I am fast asleep,” that is enough proof that you are awake, you are not asleep. There are a few things which cannot be denied because even the denial proves its opposite.
One of the great Western philosophers, Descartes, worked for years to find something which is indubitable, which cannot be doubted. Only something which cannot be doubted can be the foundation of a valid philosophy, and ultimately he decided, “I am the only thing that cannot be denied, that cannot be doubted, because even to doubt it is to prove it.”
And that has been the teaching of Socrates, Buddha, Desiderata. Socrates says: “Know thyself.” It is the same – be thyself or know thyself – because knowing who you are will help you to be yourself, or trying to be yourself will help you to know who you are.
Ramana Maharishi, one of the greatest masters who has lived in this age, used to say to his disciples, “I teach you only one mantra: ‘Who am I?’ Go deep into it: ‘Who am I?’ – not only repeating it but being in the feel of it. Let it become an existential question, not just words. Let your whole being become the question mark. ‘Who am I?’ Let it penetrate you like an arrow.”
Once you have known yourself, all is known and to know all is to know God. God is not a person that you have to come across; God is a quality. But to experience that quality, the first, basic thing needed is self-knowledge.
Morarji Desai also says, “I want to attain the heights of truth.” The same political language, the same political mind: “heights of truth.” The desire is to be higher than everybody else, and something unconscious has also come into it. He says, “I have not acquired the truth in totality yet, nor did Mahatma Gandhi.”
The first thing is: truth cannot be divided into parts. You don’t acquire truth in installments, truth is not acquired in degrees. Either you know or you don’t know. You cannot say, “I know only a little bit of truth.” That is impossible. It is impossible, just as you cannot say that an arc is a little bit of a circle. Circle means the whole; if it is not a perfect circle it is not a circle at all.
Truth is indivisible; you cannot have it in parts, by and by. Hence the realization of truth is sudden, not gradual. It is not that first you acquire one kilo of truth and then another kilo of truth, and so on and so forth. Either you have it or you don’t have it. It is a radical transformation, it is a mutation.
It is just like either you are alive or dead. You cannot say, “I am just a little bit alive.” That is not possible. Even if you are a little bit alive you are fully alive – you are alive.
Morarji Desai says, “I have not attained truth in its totality.” Truth is always total. And suddenly he brings Mahatma Gandhi in; that is something unconscious erupting, “…nor had Mahatma Gandhi.” Because that is his ultimate desire: to be like Mahatma Gandhi. His whole effort his whole life has been trying to be like Mahatma Gandhi. So suddenly he remembers that there is no need to be worried – Mahatma Gandhi has also not acquired truth in its totality. He wants to be another mahatma.
Mahatma Gandhi is wrong in saying that he has not attained truth in its totality; he was on the wrong track himself. He was also trying to be like Krishna. He said, “Srimad Bhagavad Gita is my mother.” He wanted to be like Krishna, but he failed – everybody has to fail in such efforts – and he was frustrated, deeply frustrated for it. His whole life he was trying to become perfect, but the idea is always of somebody else.
Once he had even contemplated becoming a Christian because Christ attracted him very much and he wanted to be a Christ. He was reading Tolstoy and Ruskin and Thoreau, and they were all great Christians – but Christians, remember – and they impressed him very much. And he started contemplating whether to become a Christian or not.
He was born in Gujarat, which is very much influenced by Jaina philosophy. Even the Hindus of Gujarat are almost Jainas. And from his very childhood he had seen Jaina monks and he was very much impressed by the Jaina monks and their idea of nonviolence. He wanted to become a Mahavira – but it is always somebody else.
Then he came in contact with a Jaina scholar, Srimat Rajchandra, and he became very much impressed. He says “These three people are my great teachers: Srimat Rajchandra” – the Jaina scholar. I call him a scholar because he is not a realized person. He knows all about the scriptures, he quotes scriptures, but he has not known himself. “Second,” Mahatma Gandhi says, “my teacher is Tolstoy” – who loved Christ very much and tried to be like Christ and failed, utterly failed, lived in great misery. Very few people have lived in such misery as Tolstoy did. His whole life was an agony, he never knew any moment of ecstasy. Imitators cannot know it. And he says, “My third teacher is Henry Thoreau” – who was also trying to be like Christ. They were themselves imitators, and Mahatma Gandhi was trying to imitate the imitators – a carbon copy of a carbon copy. And Morarji Desai is a carbon copy of the carbon copy of the carbon copy! He is trying to be Mahatma Gandhi.
Just this morning I came across another statement of his. He says, “I have complete faith in God, and that I consider to be my greatest achievement.”
This mind always talks of achievement, ambition, heights. It is always on a power trip. And how foolish it is. On the one hand he says, “I have the ambition to know God.” He has not known God, that much is certain. On the other hand he says, “I have attained to complete faith in God and that is my greatest achievement.” How can you have complete faith in something you have not known? Your faith must be repressing your doubts somewhere. Hence the word complete – he himself is afraid. Just the word faith won’t do; it has to be complete, it has to be absolute, it has to be categorical. The statement shows that there is doubt, otherwise faith is enough; there is no need to say, “complete faith.” Is there any possibility of incomplete faith?
When you say to a woman, “I love you,” that is enough. You don’t go on saying, “I love you absolutely, I love you categorically, I love you completely, entirely!” If you say all these things with all these adjectives she may become a little aware that something is missing – why this emphasis?
There is some unconscious fear.

A ventriloquist traveling in the interior of Brazil was taking a ride in a bullock cart with a Brazilian who was very silent. So to break the silence the ventriloquist decided to play with him a little. “Listen, friend, did you know that your bull speaks?” he told him.
The Brazilian did not believe him, but at that exact moment the bull started talking to him. The Brazilian was astonished. Then a horse passed by and said, “Good morning,” to the man; then came a cow and she spoke too.
Following these animals up the road was a very charming white goat. Moving her body graciously, the goat stopped right by the side of the cart, stared at the Brazilian and started to say something. But the Brazilian cut her off and said to the ventriloquist, “Don’t believe her, she is the worst liar!”

Now, some fear!
These people like Morarji Desai go on in very stupid circles – complete faith in something that he knows not, only ambition for that which he knows not, a claim that he has achieved a little bit of truth – as if truth can be divided. But in a way he represents the ordinary, unconscious humanity. He is representative; that is how millions of people go on thinking and behaving.
The greatest root cause of it all is that you have been told constantly, you have been conditioned and hypnotized constantly for thousands of years: “Don’t be yourself.” It has not been said so directly, it is said in a roundabout way: “Be a Buddha, be a Christ, be a Mohammed.” But have you ever heard your parents saying to you, “Just be yourself”? No parent will ever say that to any child, for the simple reason that he himself is afraid – if the child is allowed to be just himself he may not be obedient. He may start doing things that are against the ideas of the parents. He may start living a life that is not conforming, is not conventional. He may turn out to be a rebel. And it is better to kill that rebellion in the very seed.
Hence so much misery in the world, no laughter at all, and no love – because if you cannot love yourself, how can you love anybody else? The first person to be loved is your own being. Unless love happens inside you for yourself it cannot radiate and reach to others. A man who is a darkness inside cannot be a light to others. Only a man who is a light in himself may be capable of radiating a little light to others too.
The whole of humanity is living in a deep, deep sleep.

Miss Gambioni was a new patient and quite pretty. The doctor took her name and background and then said, “In order to determine what is wrong with you, I will have to give you a thorough examination. Please get completely undressed.
“Okay, doc,” said the Italian beauty, “but to make me feel right, you first!”

Your unconscious goes on erupting into your consciousness. If you watch a little carefully you will become aware of your sleep – you may even hear yourself snoring!

A drunk staggered into a pub in the East End of London and ordered a gin. He promptly threw up all over a small dog sitting beside the bar. His drink arrived, and in that moment of clarity when strong liquor hits the back of the throat, he looked down, saw the dog covered in vomit and muttered to himself, “That’s odd! I don’t remember eating that!”

A young monk went to a prostitute and said, “I know nothing about sex. Will you teach me?”
“Okay,” said the prostitute, “but it will cost you fifty quid.”
He agreed and paid her the money in advance. She disrobed, then undressed him and told him to lie down and said that she would start with the sixty-nine position. When she climbed on top of him, she accidentally farted in his face.
“Sorry!” she said, and climbed back on again farting one more time as she did so.
“Fuck this!” the monk shouted as he jumped up from underneath her.
“What’s the matter?” asked the prostitute.
“Well,” replied the monk, “I don’t think I can stand another sixty-seven of those!”

Man has been forced to remain unconscious, he has been forced to remain in a deep slumber. You are being driven through many subtle ways to remain drunk with power, with money, with prestige, with fame, name. All these are different kinds of opium. Power makes people so drunk, money makes people so drunk. Ambition is the greatest intoxicant invented ever.
Desiderata says:
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
That too is of tremendous importance. When you are trying to be somebody else, naturally you start acting. The Buddhist monk acts like a Buddha, the Hindu sannyasin acts like Shankaracharya, the pope tries to imitate Christ. Just a few days ago the pope climbed up a hill near the Vatican, a small hillock, with a small cross on his shoulders, and thousands of Italians followed him. He was acting the role of Jesus, and Italians very much loved the whole play. It was a drama.
Just the other night I was telling an Italian sannyasin, “Come back soon because all the intelligent Italians are coming here. Where are you going?” She is going back. All the Italians who have eyes are coming here – I call them “Eyetalians”! Only the blind will be left behind; all “Eyetalians” are going to be here.
This pope is blind. In the first place a Polack being a pope, then trying to dramatize Jesus with a small cross – a child can carry it. When Jesus carried the cross up the hill, three times he had to fall and each time he fell because the cross was very heavy – a wooden cross, a big cross. It must have been at least seven or eight feet long; to crucify a man it has to be that long. He fell thrice, and each time he was whipped to get up again and carry the cross.
Now carrying a small cross… And do you know? The cross was made of gold! The pope carried a golden cross. At least they should have crucified him on the hillock! Let it be a golden cross – crucify him, be finished with this whole nonsense! But no, nothing like that happened – the real thing never happened. Just carrying the cross up the hill and down the hill.
And on the hill he did only one thing: he washed the feet of a poor man and kissed the feet of the poor man. And I know perfectly well that that poor man must have been prepared for this. You know Italians! He must have been given a good bath and a rubbing and massage, and his feet must have been clean. This whole drama! But in the name of religion there is drama everywhere.
And particularly when you start imitating, you will imitate everything. You will imitate love, and that is the most dangerous thing. Jesus loved, so you will start loving. But how can you love unless you attain the consciousness that Jesus attained? Love is a fragrance. When the one thousand-petaled-lotus of consciousness opens in you, the fragrance is released. If you start feigning it, that will be just artificial. You can bring perfume from the marketplace and you can start throwing the perfume all over yourself, and of course it will stink because it will not be your own flowering. It will be artificial and ugly.
And once a person starts feigning love, his whole life becomes false because love is the center of life. Love is the very purpose of life, the destiny of life. Desiderata has a great message there: Especially do not feign affection.
If you feign affection you will feign intelligence, you will feign freedom – you will start pretending everything else. A man who is capable of deceiving himself that he loves without loving is so stupid that he will imitate everything and will believe it, but your life will show that that’s not so.

I have heard about a Christian monk who was always sermonizing on the message of Jesus that if somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other too.
A man became interested in the idea and he thought, “Let us try it on him – whether he proves by his response that what he says he lives too, practices too or not.”
So he slapped him really hard on one cheek, and he was surprised: the Christian monk gave him the other cheek. But the man was not going to be defeated so easily – he slapped him on the other cheek too.
The moment he slapped him on the other cheek, the Christian monk jumped on him and started beating him.
He said, “What are you doing? Have you forgotten your sermon? Have you forgotten your Christ? What are you doing?”
He said, “Jesus said only once that if somebody slaps you on one cheek give him the other. And I don’t have another cheek anymore – only two. Now the message is finished! Now I am free! Now I will show you what it means to hit somebody.”

Once Buddha replied to one of his disciples who was asking, “Bhagwan, you always say forgive, but how many times?” In fact, to ask that question is enough proof that the disciple has not understood. It is not a question of how many times: forgiveness simply means you accept the person as he is, you still love him the way he is. Forgiveness means that you don’t judge him, that you are non-judgmental.
But ordinarily we think forgiveness means you know that he has done wrong, still you forgive him. First you judge and then you forgive. Your forgiveness is false.
Real forgiveness has no judgment. It never says, “No, you have done wrong, but still I forgive you.” It simply accepts the person as he is. There is no grudge, no complaint, no grumbling. There is no question really of forgiving because there is no anger in the first place.
But the man asked, “How many times?”
Buddha said to him, “At least seven times.”
The man said, “Okay.”
The way he said okay, Buddha said, “Wait! Seventy-seven times, or better, seven hundred and seventy-seven times.”

But even seven hundred and seventy-seven times will be exhausted – then what about seven hundred and seventy-eight? Then he will take revenge with a vengeance, because all those seven hundred and seventy-seven times have to be taken care of; he has to take revenge for all those too. He was somehow tolerating – somehow. It was not out of understanding.
If you feign, if you pretend, you become pseudo. A man who has a pseudo personality loses all intelligence, and that is the greatest loss in the world.

Lukowski had come to such desperate straits he kidnapped a millionaire’s son, a boy of six.
Lukowski wrote a ransom note, asked for half a million dollars in small bills – and signed his name. But he forgot the address of the millionaire, so he gave the note to the kid and told him to take it to his father. The boy did, and when he returned with the money there was also a note from the victim. “Here is your filthy money and I gotta say it is a rotten thing for one Polack to do to another.”

That is why I say the whole Earth has become Poland!

Kazewski and Candelli agreed to a bet on who could make love to his wife more times in one night. They took adjoining hotel rooms and decided that each time they succeeded they would carve a notch on the wall.
Candelli performed once at ten o’clock and placed a scratch on the wall. Then at two a.m. he drew another gash. By six o’clock he had three scratches.
At eight in the morning the Polack came in and looked at the marks. “My God! One hundred and eleven!” cried the Polack. “He beat me by three!”

Corporal Torlonia had been overseas for eighteen months. He came home and found he had a three-week-old baby. His wife explained that she dreamt she had intercourse with him, and she got pregnant.
Torlonia sued for divorce. In court even the judge was astounded by the wife’s story. He stood up and asked the audience if they had ever had intercourse with a ghost.
In the back, Torlonia’s father raised his hand. His Honor called him to the bench. “Now,” said the judge, “you say you had intercourse with a ghost?”
“Ah, scusa,” said the elderly Italian, “I thought-a you say-a goat!”

Pseudo people are bound to hear something else. They are bound to see that which is not. They are bound to miss that which is, because in their very beings they have deceived themselves. Now their whole lives will be again and again missing the point.
The first thing one has to remember is to be whole, not to be divided, not to become two persons. And the teaching “Be like somebody else” always creates two persons in you. One is just a facade, superficial, and you have to live a double life. In your drawing-room you are one person, in your bathroom you are another. You have to live a double life. At the front door you are totally different and at the back door simply somebody else. This split can become so deep that you completely forget: when you are one you forget the other, when you are the other you forget the first one.
This is what happens to schizophrenic patients. And now schizophrenic patients are growing every day in the world, in increasing numbers, as if humanity has come to a climax. Enough is enough! Thousands of years of stupid teachings have brought this sad state of affairs.
Neither be cynical about love…
Love is something natural. You can doubt God, there is no problem in it. In fact, one should doubt God because unless you doubt, the inquiry cannot begin. One should begin one’s inquiry into God as an atheist; to begin as a theist is to begin in a wrong way. You have already believed, now how can you inquire? I am not saying disbelieve in God because that again is a belief, a negative belief. Begin with doubt – doubt is natural.
Every child is born with doubt; no child is born with belief, remember. No child comes as a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Jaina or a Buddhist or a Christian or a Jew. Every child comes with thousands of questions; hence doubt is a God-given gift.
But Desiderata is right: don’t doubt love because love is also a gift from existence; you bring it with you. Each child is loving, is very responsive toward love. Just smile at a child; the moment he feels your love he is ready to come to you – with great trust. Each child knows something of love.
Both love and doubt are gifts given by existence, but you should not doubt love because to doubt love is dangerous. One natural gift will start destroying another natural gift. You will be in a conflict. And if you start doubting love you will start repressing it. If you start doubting love you will become incapable of loving, you will become closed.
The moment your loving becomes encapsulated you are lost, because you lose the very bridge between you and existence.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
A beautiful statement: a beatitude, a benediction, a blessing. Meditate over it: It is as perennial as the grass in the face of aridity and disenchantment. Your life is arid like a desert. If there is no love then your life will be dry, there will be no juice. There will be no flowering in your life, nothing of greenery. You will be just dry, hard.
And there is disenchantment, disillusionment on every step, because each desire is bound to come to disillusionment. You desire money and you hope that when the money is there you will be happy. The moment money is there, suddenly you realize you are not happy. Money is there, but the happiness has not followed it. Money cannot purchase happiness; it can purchase comfort.
I am not against money and I am not against comfort either, but comfort is comfort; happiness is a totally different phenomenon. Comfort is good, but it is not happiness, it is not blissfulness, it is not fulfillment. You can live comfortably and die comfortably, but that will not make you contented.
Money can purchase many things, but there are a few things it cannot purchase and those are the few things which are really valuable. The really valuable has no price, it is priceless, you have to deserve it.
Life is bound to be arid, desertlike, if you don’t have any love in you. It is going to be a continuous disillusionment, from one disillusionment to another. By the time you reach to the very end you are nothing but a sad, sad story: “…a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
People die utterly disillusioned. People die complaining against life. And you cannot expect gratitude from them toward existence; you cannot expect prayerfulness, you cannot expect any thankfulness, because they have not known anything for which they can be thankful to existence. And the whole thing was missed because they missed love.
Love is …as perennial as the grass. Love is the only experience which transcends death. All that is given to you by existence, which are many things: intelligence is there, compassion is there, sympathy is there, creativity is there, sensitivity is there, and so on and so forth, but love is the only experience in which time disappears. Love is the only experience in which naturally you enter into meditation. Love is the only experience in which you are not afraid of death at all.
Lovers are the only people who can die joyfully because they have known something, tasted something of the nectar. They have tasted something of immortality. In those few moments of love, windows have opened and they have experienced that which is beyond.
Desiderata trusts deeply in love, so never doubt love. Doubt God, nothing is wrong in it; doubt truth, nothing is wrong in it; doubt everything else, but never doubt love because if you doubt love you close all doors. If you don’t doubt love, then sooner or later everything else will come on its own accord.
It is love experienced that one day becomes prayer, and it is prayer that one day becomes the experience of godliness.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
People don’t seem to learn anything. They go on from one stupidity to another. From one disillusionment they immediately start moving toward another. They never seem to learn.
An intelligent person learns. An unintelligent person simply goes on dragging himself from one failure into another failure. He never sees the whole truth of all these experiences. How many times have you been disillusioned? How many times have you loved a woman? And each time something went wrong, and you started hoping again with another woman or another man; again the same thing happens. What do you learn out of it? Do you learn something or not? It is not a question of the woman; by changing the woman again and again you are not going to be fulfilled.

I have heard about a Hollywood actor who married forty times, and when he married the fortieth time he married a woman he had married already once before. But he could not recognize her, so much time had passed. He recognized her only because he recognized the mother-in-law – then he recognized that this was the same woman.

But this is not an exceptional experience. Whomsoever you marry you will be marrying the same woman. Mothers-in-law will be different, but the woman will be the same, the man will be the same, because you are the chooser – and you are as unconscious as before, you have not learned anything.
If your love fails, that simply means you don’t know what love is. It is not the fault of the woman, it is not the fault of the man. If you are a real inquirer you will see: “Something is wrong with my love. Either it is just pseudo – I am feigning it, I am just pretending – or my love has so many conditions that it destroys the other’s freedom, that it destroys and reduces the other person into a thing. Something is wrong with me, my love.”
But people always decide something is wrong with the woman, something is wrong with the man. They hope that if they can have a palace they will be happy, but they will be in the same situation, they will be the same. Hence, whether you live in a hut or in a palace does not matter; it all depends on you. The miserable person living in the hut will be miserable in the palace too. Maybe there he will have more space to be miserable! And vice versa is also true: there are many other fools who think if they renounce the palace and move to a beggar’s hut they will be happy; that is the same logic. If you are not happy even in a palace, you will not be happy in a hut either. Yes, more uncomfortable, but not more happy – unless you are a masochist, unless you enjoy torturing yourself. Then it is a different matter.
Take kindly the counsel of the years… Life teaches you everything that you need. Life is the only university. Take the counsel of the years very kindly, very understandingly: …gracefully surrendering the things of youth. In fact, each day one has to surrender many things of yesterday; each day one has to die to the past. When you were a child you were so interested in toys, all kinds of toys. When you became young you renounced those toys. In fact, you did not deliberately renounce, you simply became a grown-up and they withered away from your mind, they disappeared.
One day it was so difficult to go to bed without your teddy bear. But learning is difficult: the teddy bear has disappeared – now it is very difficult to go to sleep without your wife or without your husband. Now the wife is the teddy bear, or the husband. The child has his own ways. For example, he will cling to the blanket and then only can he go to sleep. Now you have to make love before you can go to sleep – just a replacement, but nothing has been learned. A new habit, a new substitute, but you are the same childish person.
The child used to go to sleep only when the mother gave her breast to him; now you will play with the breasts of your wife. It is the same old foolishness. At least the child has some reason; you don’t have any reason at all. Have you seen the silliness of it? Playing with the breasts of your woman, can’t you see your silliness? What are you doing? The child has some reason – the breast is his nourishment – but you have not gone beyond it yet. You are still clinging to something, of course unconsciously.

Mrs. Glowicki was walking down the street with her right breast exposed. A man stopped her and with some embarrassment pointed it out.
“Oh, my God,” cried the Polish woman, “I left my baby on the bus!”

The child has some reason, it is his nourishment – but a grown-up person looking always at the breasts of women, or avoiding them; it is the same. If you are a monk you will avoid, but what are you avoiding? Whatsoever you are avoiding you want to see. And women know it perfectly well, so they go on pretending to have big breasts: using artificial breasts, many artificial devices to make the breasts look young. The real breasts may be just hanging down touching their belly buttons, but fools are deceived.

Madhuri, one of my sannyasins, was telling me that she was traveling by car with her mother in Mexico; the mother was driving the car. Her mother is also a sannyasin. The mother’s breasts have been operated on, both the breasts have been removed, so she has plastic substitutes for the breasts. And of course, plastic substitutes look far better, hidden behind the clothes.
When she stopped at a crossroad to inquire from a policeman which way led to a certain place, the policeman’s eyes became fixed on her breasts. She said, “Do you like them?”
The policeman was a little embarrassed, but he said, “Yes, they are beautiful!”
So she took them out and gave them to him!

But for centuries man has been obsessed with breasts: in paintings, in poetry, in sculpture. Go to Khajuraho and see the fantastic ideas about breasts. In fact, the breasts are so big one feels sorry for the woman. How will she carry such big breasts? Impossible, it seems. Those women are just stone statues; that is good. If they were alive they would not be able even to walk – they would have to crawl! But who made these sculptures? The people who have not become grown-up yet; childhood is still there.
You become a young man or a young woman only on the surface; deep down the child is still trying to live. One becomes old, but the youth persists psychologically. It is very rare to find an old man and wise. You can find many dirty old men, but old men and wise is very difficult because wisdom’s first necessity is renouncing the past. Every day it has to be renounced, that is the counsel of the years: …gracefully surrendering the things of the past.
When you are young, surrender the things of your childhood. When you are old, surrender the things of your youth. Go on surrendering gracefully – and remember the word gracefully. Don’t escape, don’t run, don’t avoid, don’t close your eyes. That is not grace. That simply shows you are as ignorant as ever, just pretending to be holy. Gracefully means through understanding, through real growing. Growing in age is not growing up, that is only aging. Growing up happens only when you go on renouncing the past every day, every moment really. Each moment die to the past that is no more. Come out of it so you can remain fresh, so you can remain clean, so you can remain clear. Only that clarity can encounter the ultimate truth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
That is the only moment when you can see whether you have real intelligence or not, when there is something sudden. Otherwise you are always prepared. Even a stupid person can be prepared if he knows beforehand what is going to happen. That’s why people want to live always in the familiar and in the known, because there they can have the joy of being intelligent. Sudden situations for which you don’t have any ready-made answer in your memory store show whether you are intelligent, wise, or not.

A sergeant took his troop of new recruits to a nearby pine forest to practice tactics. “I want you to spread out among the trees,” he said, “and when I give the signal, you freeze. Imagine enemy planes overhead looking for you – one movement and they’ll blast you all to bacon! Okay men, get to it!”
During the maneuvers the sergeant spotted, to his annoyance, a few fidgeting figures and noticed, with pleasure, one promising young recruit so still he really seemed frozen. Hardly had the sergeant’s beady eye moved on than the same young soldier was suddenly tearing through the forest as if being chased by a whole army.
After rounding up the troop, the sergeant bellowed at the young recruit and demanded to know why he had suddenly bolted like a frightened rabbit after starting the exercise so well.
“Sorry, sarge,” said the young offender. “You see, a pair of squirrels got up my trouser legs.”
“That’s no excuse, boy!” bellowed the sergeant. “Even while sitting on an ants’ nest, in the sight of the enemy, you have to be still!”
“But, sir,” protested the soldier, “It was fine until I overheard one squirrel say to the other, ‘Wow, look at these nuts! Let’s eat one now and store the other for the winter!’”

In sudden situations, how do you respond? Only that shows whether you have any intelligence or not. Nurture strength of spirit… And what is strength of spirit? Intelligence.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
The mind always enjoys imagining about misfortunes. The mind lives, feeds on misfortune, real or unreal.
Desiderata says:
…do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
So don’t fight with yourself, otherwise you will be fatigued; you will be always tired, in a state of low energy. And then dark clouds will surround you, nightmares will happen to you, and loneliness.
Loneliness is felt only by those who have lost the capacity to love, who have forgotten the language of love. Then they are lonely. Lonely, fighting with themselves, fatigued, tired, they can be enslaved by the establishment.
Desiderata brings you a message of freedom, a simple but tremendously significant message. If you can follow it you will be a free man, you will know the joys of freedom. And they are the ultimate joys; there is nothing higher than that.
Be yourself.
Enough for today.

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