Just Like That 02

Second Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Just Like That by Osho.
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Bahauddin El-Shah was sitting with a number of disciples when a number of followers came into the meeting hall. El-Shah asked each of them, one by one, to say why he was there.
The first said: You are the greatest man on earth.
I gave him a potion when he was ill, so he thinks I am the greatest man on earth, said El-Shah.
The second said: My spiritual life has opened up since I have been allowed to visit you.
He was uncertain and ill at ease and none would listen to him. I sat with him, and the resultant serenity is called by him his spiritual life, said El-Shah.
The third said: You understand me, and all I ask is that you allow me to hear your discourses for the good of my soul.
He needs attention and wished to have notice paid to him even if it is criticism, said El-Shah. This he calls the good of his soul.
The fourth said: I went from one to another practicing what they taught. It was not until you gave me a wazifa exercise that I truly felt the illumination of contact with you.
The exercise I gave this man was a concocted one not related to his spiritual life at all, said El-Shah. I had to demonstrate his illusion of spirituality before I could arrive at the part of this man which is really spiritual, not sentimental.
The search depends on the seeker. Masters can only show the way. The search depends on the seeker – what quality of being, what quality of inquiry the seeker brings to the search. Everything will depend on it, on why he is in search, what the reason is, because the reason of the search will become the cause of his growth. If the reason is wrong, from the very beginning he has taken a wrong step, and the right end cannot follow a wrong beginning. The first step is the last step also, because the first step implies in it, has in it already, the last step as a potentiality.
The seed is the tree because the seed will become the tree. The end will come out of the growth of the seeker, and if from the very beginning a wrong reason exists to seek and search, then everything is going to be in vain.
The masters can only show the way, they can only indicate. Everything else has to be done by you, by the disciple. The discipline is not going to be imposed; no master ever imposes a discipline on anybody. He helps you to find your discipline – that is the difference between a pseudo-master and a real master.
A pseudo-master is one who has already a ready-made formula, a pattern. He imposes that pattern on each and everybody, whosoever comes to him. The man who comes is irrelevant to a pseudo-master. The man who comes is just a number, not a person, just something on which he can project, impose his discipline – which is a ready-made phenomenon. He has already the blueprint in his mind. A pseudo-master kills many people, destroys many people, because everybody has his own blueprint of growth within him. No outer discipline is needed.
A real master, a master like Bahauddin, does not impose anything on you. He simply helps you to find your discipline, he helps you to seek your way. He helps you to grow, not according to him but according to your own being – because you are the seed and the tree is going to come out of you. The master can at the most be a loving gardener, a compassion which goes on showering on you. But it nurses you, it does not impose anything upon you.
With a real master also you will die. But there will be a resurrection. With a pseudo-master you are simply destroyed with no possibility of any creation out of it.
This has to be remembered by you all. You are here with me. I am not giving you any forced discipline. That doesn’t mean that I am against discipline. No, I am all for it. But the discipline should come out of you. Your discipline will be your discipline, nobody else’s. Your flower will be your flower, nobody else’s, and that is going to be unique. That is the beauty – that whenever truth is attained it is always unique because everybody attains in his own way. Everybody flowers into it as an individual. You become more and more authentically individual.
This is the meaning of resurrection – the false within you will die. But you carry the real. You are already pregnant with it, it has to be helped.
A real master is what Socrates used to say about himself – that he is a midwife. A real master is a midwife. He does not give you anything, he simply helps you, your own being, to be brought to light, to be brought to birth. But if you have come with a wrong reason then the master cannot help you because you will frustrate all his efforts.
Just a few days ago a man came to see me from South America. He traveled long just to see me, but then could not see me. He himself frustrated his own effort.
He is a sort of guru in his own right. He has many followers in Latin America. And that created the trouble. He thinks himself somebody special so he wanted a special interview with me, not with anybody else present. He was not ready to come at seven in the evening when I usually see people. With others, it was hurtful to his ego. He wanted a special interview, only for him. I could have given it, but that would have been wrong. There was no trouble in it, he could have been given a separate time, but that would have been very very dangerous to his own growth, because then I am yielding to a wrong reason.
He thinks himself special; hence he needs a special interview. This egoistic standpoint will not be of any use. From the very beginning something is wrong. The very first step is going to be wrong. So I didn’t give him a special interview. I insisted: You come at seven o’clock tomorrow evening. He must have felt frustrated. He wrote a letter, and he wrote, “I will be waiting for you at Hotel Amir tomorrow at four o’clock in the afternoon.” He wrote it in such a way that it can either mean that he wants me physically to go to the Hotel Amir, or it may mean that he simply wants my spiritual presence to be there. That too is tricky, clever and cunning.
At four o’clock I really tried. I really tried to make contact with him because the man has potential. The man has a potentiality, and can be helped tremendously. He can grow and become a beautiful flower. But the ego is also very great.
I made an attempt to be there spiritually at four o’clock but he was not even waiting for me. When I reached his room it was filled with tobacco smoke, and he was smoking, surrounded by smoke, not even waiting for me, because this is no way to wait. He should have been in meditation. He should have closed his room and become silent, as silent as possible, because physical contact is possible without any special preparation by you, but spiritual contact needs preparation. It needs a receptivity. It needs a subtle awareness, because the phenomenon is very very subtle. It is like such a small breeze coming in that if you are not aware you will not be able to feel it. It is not like a storm that, even if you are fast asleep, you will be awakened by.
I reached, I stood by his side. On the outside he was surrounded by the smoke of his cigarette, and inside, even a deeper smoke of the ego. And in his mind were racing many thoughts, and not even a single thought of me.
Of course, at seven o’clock he didn’t turn up to see me. Again a message: “Because you didn’t contact me at four o’clock I am not going to come to see you.”
And then he had to go back. He had come a long way, but something in him frustrates his whole effort: the ego. He must have come for some wrong reason. He must have come to be recognized by me, that he is something special. And I tell you, he is special, but the very effort that he wanted recognition frustrates the whole journey from the very beginning. The first step goes wrong.
I could have yielded if he was an ordinary man. I could have even gone to the Amir Hotel. There was no trouble. Physically I could have gone because then there would be nothing much at stake. This man has potential, a great possibility lies deep in him, but he himself is frustrating it. He needs to be humble, only then can he rightly begin. But he is already a guru. That creates trouble. He has followers. You can always find followers, the world is so stupid and you can always find more stupid people than you. They become your followers. There is nothing difficult in it.
When you come to me, why you have come is going to play a great part in the whole drama that is going to follow. And I have to watch that I do not help a wrong beginning, because once started it will be more and more difficult to change it. It will become stronger and stronger. It has to be stopped from the very beginning. The seed has to be burned if it is wrong. Once I start and the sprouts come out of the earth, the seed is already gaining roots, becoming stronger. And once the tree has become very big, then it will be difficult…very very difficult.
A seed can be burned very easily, but to cut a tree and burn a tree is going to be very difficult. And you are the tree! So when you have many branches, many leaves, many fruits – maybe wrong, bitter, poisonous, but still then you will resist: nothing should be cut. When you resist even when the tree is not there, just the seed is there, you can imagine how much resistance you will create, how much you will fight when the tree is there and you feel you have grown – and you can grow wrongly. Remember this, growth in itself does not mean much. One can grow in a wrong way.
Growth in itself is not the goal. There is a right growth and there is a wrong growth. In the West now there is much work going on around the concept of growth, but I have not come across anybody in the growth movement who is aware that growth in itself is not the goal and cannot be the goal. You can grow wrongly, you can grow rightly.
So growth in itself is not the goal – but right growth. And once you grow wrongly it becomes more and more difficult on each step, on each level of growth…. The further you have gone the more difficult it is to move back, because growth becomes a rigid pattern. Right growth is a totally different thing. From the very beginning one has to be aware; hence the need of a master, because from the very beginning how can you be aware? You will be aware at the end. From the very beginning, how can you be aware? You can only grope in the dark.
So if you move on your own, ninety-nine possibilities are there out of a hundred that you will grow wrongly, because who will say that this is not the way to grow? And every growth in the beginning feels good because you expand, you become bigger. Every growth, even wrong growth, feels good. And wrong growth does not need much effort. It is like weeds in the garden – they don’t need much care, just a little water now and then and they will grow. But if you are trying to grow roses, they need care, they need a gardener. Weeds don’t need a gardener, but roses do need one.
In the West the growth movement is moving in many dimensions, but completely oblivious of the fact that you can help people to grow wrongly – and then there will be difficulty. Then you have created something which will be more and more difficult every day to destroy. A master is needed, who can see the seed from the very beginning, and can help you to destroy it, so that the right seed can be found within you. You carry the right seed also.
You are a confusion of right and wrong. You are a confusion of good and bad. You are a confusion of weeds and roses. Somebody has to be there to sort it out for you, because you cannot do this at this moment of your consciousness. Your whole being is a confusion.
When a disciple comes to a master the first thing that arises in the master is: Why has he come to me? He starts looking into the disciple: Why? for what reason? what has brought him to me?
I must have watched thousands of people coming to me. Rarely it happens that a person has come for a right reason – rarely. Humanity seems to be in such a bad shape; rarely it happens that a man comes with a right reason. He may think he has come for a right reason. That is not the point. His thinking is not of much value because the reason is hidden deeper in the unconscious, not on the surface. He cannot think about it.
The first thing that comes to a master is: Why? – why has this man come to me? And he cannot listen and believe in you. Whatsoever you say is not of much worth because next moment you will change it. Tomorrow you will change it, you are a flux. You don’t have a crystallized center in you which can reply. The master has to go deeper into your unconscious, to the very roots of your being, and see why you have come here. He cannot listen and believe in you, you are not yet believable. You are so deceptive that you don’t know, you may be deceiving yourself. Once your why is known then something can be done. Then it has to be brought to your consciousness. And only on the right reason can your future growth be founded and based.
This small incident in Bahauddin El-Shah’s life is very beautiful and will help you to understand many things.
Bahauddin El-Shah was sitting with a number of disciples when a number of followers came into the meeting hall.
There is a distinction between disciples and followers. A follower is one who is not yet a disciple, attracted but not yet fallen into the trap of the master. He cannot leave him, but also cannot trust him. A follower is somebody who hangs around undecided whether to go away from the master or to come closer. He is afraid to come close because a master is a death; he is also afraid to go away because a master is a resurrection.
A follower is just either on the way to become a disciple or on the way to become an enemy. Either a follower will come closer and will become a disciple, or he will have to find excuses to go away and will become an enemy. Whenever a follower goes away he has to become an enemy; otherwise what rationalization does he have to go away? How will he satisfy himself as to why he has come away from such a great man as Bahauddin, such a pure soul that he is known as the emperor of masters? Hence El-Shah: Bahauddin is his name. El-Shah his disciples call him, the master of masters, the emperor of all masters – and he was…one of the greatest magnetic forces in the history of the Sufis.
When you come nearer to a man like Bahauddin you have to decide either to be a friend or to be an enemy. You cannot remain indifferent. You cannot afford to be indifferent. A decision has to be taken because such a man as Bahauddin creates decisiveness even in you, who are absolutely indecisive, who live in indecision, who are born in indecision.
You live in indecision and die in indecision, never knowing what you are doing, why you are doing it, whether you really wanted to do it or not to do it…just drifting with the crowd.
When you come near a master you have to decide, because it is no ordinary affair. It is a great risk, your whole life is at risk. So if you move around in India you will find either my friends or my enemies, those who are madly in love with me or those who are madly in hate with me. That is bound to happen. The reason is simple. Those who are madly in love with me and those who are madly in hate with me – they both had to decide.
A firm decision is needed. You have to decide that you are the enemy and you have to go on talking about me and against me because that is your only protection; otherwise you will be pulled in, you will be trapped. You can protect yourself only if you are constantly talking against me – not that you are spreading hatred against me, that may be a byproduct, but in fact you are simply protecting yourself by your attitude of hatred, continuously feeding it. You are afraid that if you stop feeding hatred you may come closer. And the fear is there that if you come closer death happens.
A follower is one who is just in the middle, on the fence, not yet decided whether to jump inside the house or jump outside the house and run away. On the fence is the follower. A disciple is one who has decided to jump into the house, who has become a part of the house of the master.
There are many who live on the fence their whole lives. They are the most foolish people in the world because sitting on the fence is not a comfortable position, and sitting on the fence gives nothing. It is wasting your life and time. Either come in or go out. Don’t sit on the fence too long because it may become a habit, and then nothing will be the only outcome of it.
Bahauddin El-Shah was sitting with a number of disciples when a number of followers came into the meeting hall.
Followers, still thinking, trying to decide what to do, what not to do, still afraid of the commitment and yet not decided to leave….
El-Shah asked each of them, one by one, to say why he was there.
He asked the followers, not the disciples. When you have become an initiate it is not only that you have chosen the master. In fact just the reverse is the case: the master has chosen you.
You may be given the impression that you are free to choose. That has to be given because you are so egoistic, you feel good that you are free to choose. But the real thing is that before you choose a master, the master has already chosen you. You choose him because he has chosen you already; otherwise you cannot choose him, he will create situations in which he will not allow you to choose. He may even force you to go away.
Always remember, when a master has chosen you, only then can you choose him. His very acceptance of you creates a desire in you to choose him. If he is not accepting you the desire to choose him will not arise in you, or it may be just a feeble wish and soon it will disappear like a small ripple on the surface of an ocean. It cannot persist.
As you are, nothing persists in you for long. When I ask you, “Would you like to be initiated into sannyas?” I have already initiated you. Now it is just a game. You can play around and fool around a little. You can say, “I will think about it.” You can say, “Wait, as yet the right moment has not come for me, as yet I cannot be wholeheartedly in it, as yet I am just fifty-fifty, divided.”
And I tell you, “Yes, decide, meditate, think about it, and when you decide, come to me.” But I have already come to you. And the decision will sooner or later erupt into your consciousness. You can delay a little, that is all. You postpone it a little, that’s all.
And it has to be so. How can a disciple choose a master? By what criterion? How to judge? A disciple is not in any position to penetrate the master. He can judge from the outside, but a master is not on the outside. The master is the inside of all things. The master is the very inside.
On the outside he may be playing tricks. He has to, because he has to avoid a few people, in fact many – the first part of humanity, the major part, which is not in any inquiry. They also come to a master, not to seek God or truth, just curious, with childish curiosity. A master has to avoid them. He has to create some situation around him so that they are not attracted. He may spread rumors about himself. He may show different faces to different people. He may be very hard, cruel, to certain groups. He may try to prove himself a madman to certain people so that once and for all they decide that this man is not for them, and forget the man and leave him.
On the outside there is no possibility to decide what type of man is inside. And you have not been to the inside of your own existence; how can you penetrate into the inside of a master, which is like a vast abyss? One goes on falling and falling and falling into it. That’s why a master creates fear. You start trembling as if he is the brink of a deep abyss. If you look into him you will feel dizzy. Fear may take you over, you may start trembling and perspiring. No, there is no way for a disciple to decide.
For a disciple, to trust a master is just like falling in love. It happens. But for a master it is not a happening. For a master it is a very very alert, conscious phenomenon. Once he sees that the right man is there he opens his door. Once he sees that the right man is there for the right reason, he accepts him, and that very acceptance creates something in you, a decision, a will, a burning desire, abheepsa, to be closer and closer to this man. Even if it means death, you are not afraid. And it means death, because the resurrection is possible only when death has happened.
The master was sitting with the disciples; there came a few followers into the meeting hall.
El-Shah asked each of them, one by one, to say why he was there.
It was a demonstration for the disciples. He was showing something to the disciples, and Sufi masters always do this – they demonstrate things. They don’t believe in teaching directly, they create a situation and they demonstrate.
The disciples watched. He asked the followers one by one, why they were there, what has led them to be there, what reason, what urge, what search.
The first said: You are the greatest man on earth.
That’s why I am here.
How can you know that this man Bahauddin is the greatest man on earth? What criterion do you have? What touchstone? Who is great? And who is the greatest? And how do you come to the conclusion?

Said El-Shah,
I gave him a potion when he was ill, so he thinks I am the greatest man on earth.
That is the reason, the criterion, the touchstone: he was ill and I gave him some medicine that helped, so I am the greatest man on earth. And if the potion had failed he would not have looked at me again. Then he would have found some other man who was the greatest on earth, whose potion works.
How you judge! By such small things! Illness and a medicine. Even if you are cured it is not much of a point to be near Bahauddin. It would have been better if you had gone to a doctor or a physician.
Many people come to me because of illnesses. They have tried doctors, physicians, this and that “pathy”; they have tried many things and nothing happens. Then they come, then they talk about God. And I can see they are not interested in God at all; they are ill, physically, mentally, and they are in search of a miracle, some miracle medicine. They are talking about meditation, they are talking about God, they are even ready to take sannyas, but their search is wrong. They should not be near me, they should go to a physician, because they are not even aware of the spiritual urge in them. It is something physical, or something mental – which is the same, because your mind and body are not two things. They are two poles of the same phenomenon.
And even if you are cured, nothing is cured in you. Even if you have a healthy body it makes no difference to your inner growth. Maybe, as you are health may not prove a blessing. It may even prove a curse to you.
I remember one anecdote in Jesus’ life. It is not related in Christian books, it is not in The Bible, but Sufis have that story about Jesus.
The story is that once Jesus entered a small town. He saw a man running after a prostitute, completely magnetized, hypnotized. He stopped the man and asked, “What are you doing? Why are you wasting your life in such foolish things?”
The man looked at Jesus and said, “You don’t recognize me, my lord, but I recognize you – how can I forget you? I was blind and you touched my eyes, and now I can see. But what better can I do with my eyes than be charmed by a beautiful body? What more can I do with my eyes than cherish the beauty of form! What else is there to see? And I was blind, my lord, and you are so great, you blessed me. Now I can see and enjoy.”
Jesus felt very sad because he had never thought that eyes could become a curse. But as man is, as you are, you will turn all blessings into curses.
He entered the town, he saw another man completely drunk, lying in the gutter, crying and weeping and shouting and screaming. He went near the man and asked, “What are you doing? Why are you wasting your life like a drunkard? This life is a great opportunity to know and realize the divine. There is only one life – and once missed, missed forever! And time never returns, you cannot reclaim it again. Be awake!”
Listening to this man the drunkard opened his eyes and said, “My lord, have you forgotten me? I was ill and I was bedridden for ten years, then you touched me and you cured me. Now I am healthy. But what else can one do with the body? I am enjoying! Eat, drink and be merry! I am following that rule. And now I am healthy because of you. You are so great!”
Jesus became very sad. He had never imagined that health could be turned into a curse. He turned back. He was so sad that he didn’t want to go into the town.
When he was coming out of the town he saw a man who was trying to hang himself from a tree, to commit suicide. Jesus reached him in time, stopped the man and said, “What are you doing? Life is precious, every single moment of it – and God has given you such a gift, and you are destroying it! What are you doing?”
The man looked at Jesus and said, “If I have not forgotten, you are the same man who created the trouble. I was dead. You touched me and you revived me. Now what can I do? Life is meaningless. And I must tell you – don’t touch me again. Enough is enough. I was dead and you revived me, but don’t do this again to anybody else! I am fed up with life and death was a blessing, and you revived me, and for three years continuously I had to suffer again. Now I am going to commit suicide – you please go away from here! Who knows, you may touch me again.”
No, health, life, strength, youth – everything you turn into a curse, because everything depends on your consciousness. There are people who have turned their illness into a blessing, who have turned their blindness into an inner insight, who have turned their death into a new life. It depends.

Said Bahauddin: I gave him a potion when he was ill, so he thinks I am the greatest man on earth.
And that’s why he is here. Not because of me, not because of any inner search, but because of the potion that I gave him. In fact, I am not great, the potion was great. And he is hanging around me just in case he becomes ill again – I can give him a potion, a medicine. I am not more than a physician to him.
And what a waste! A Bahauddin, and you waste him. And the opportunity that he gives you – you waste that opportunity, and you take him as a physician.
But many people in the world go to the saints and sages thinking that they can do miracles. These are the wrong people. That’s why I say if you want to see the wrong humanity, the third category, the major part of humanity, you should go to Satya Sai Baba. There you will find all sorts of wrong people around him. Whenever there is somebody doing a miracle – it may not be a miracle, it may be just a magical trick, but if somebody is doing a “miracle” wrong people are immediately attracted. The vast mob comes running. And they all think that they are spiritual seekers. They are going for health, for money, for something worldly.
If you are here for something worldly you are near a wrong person, because I am not going to do any miracle, because that is the way to attract wrong people. I am not going to heal you. I am not going to do anything for any wrong reason.
The second said: My spiritual life has opened up since I have been allowed to visit you.
Said El-Shah:
He was uncertain and ill at ease and none would listen to him. I sat with him, and the resultant serenity is called by him his spiritual life.
This is what the whole of psychoanalysis in the West is all about. A psychoanalyst is not doing anything at all, particularly the Freudian psychoanalyst, the orthodox. He simply listens. The patient lies down on a couch, comfortably, and the psychoanalyst sits and listens, and the patient is allowed to say whatsoever he feels like, to move in free association. Whatsoever thoughts come he is allowed to express them. After a one-hour session one feels a certain serenity.
It is just the serenity that comes by talking. And then if you go on and on for three or four or five years of psychoanalysis, it costs a lot of money. That too helps, that too makes you calm down. Whenever a costly medicine is given to you it works better than a cheap medicine. The cheaper may have been better, but that doesn’t matter. Cost matters. When you pay something you have to feel good; otherwise you will look foolish to yourself. Five years of psychoanalysis, thousands of dollars paid – of course one has to feel good! Otherwise you will look stupid. People will laugh: “Then what were you doing there?” So one becomes very elated.
But talking helps. It is a catharsis, the mind goes on saying things. When you go on saying them again and again and again, they are released, they evaporate from the mind. And somebody listens, that is the whole trick, the whole business secret of psychoanalysis: somebody listens. In the world, in life, who listens to whom? Nobody pays any attention to what you are saying. In fact, the other is waiting for you to stop so he can say something.
I have heard, once it happened: There was a meeting in the town hall, and the speaker went on and on – an old politician – and he would not stop. People by and by left the hall. Only Mulla Nasruddin remained, the only one. The speaker was very happy and he thanked Nasruddin: “I never thought that you loved me so much, or you loved my thoughts so much, or you so appreciated my philosophy.”
Nasruddin said, “You don’t understand me. I am the next speaker – I was waiting for you to stop!”
But this happens every day. Whenever you are talking to somebody you are interested in your talking. It is a catharsis. It helps; it helps you to calm down a little from your tensions and anxieties. You have talked about them, you become a little aware about them, they are not so much of a burden. You can accept them.
But the other is not listening because he is in the same boat. He has his own anxieties, enough of his own. How can he listen to yours? Because if he really listens to yours he is gathering your anxieties also. So he listens with a closed mind. From one ear your talk enters, and from the other it goes out. It has to be so; otherwise your anxieties will be accumulating in his mind. And he is waiting for the opportunity, for when you stop, so that he can start.
I have heard that once it happened in a madhouse: A psychoanalyst was watching two madmen through the keyhole. He didn’t want to disturb them and they were in such a great conversation. Both were professors of a university. Professors are more prone to become mad. Their very profession is a mad profession. They deal in thoughts, they deal in thinking, and when thinking and thoughts become too much, madness happens.
Those two professors were talking and the psychoanalyst was looking from the keyhole. He was surprised about only one thing. They were talking nonsense; nothing was relevant, consistent, not even one sentence was related to another. One was talking about something and the other was talking about something completely different, their talking was not related. That was not surprising, that’s how mad people are. The surprising fact was this: when one would talk the other would listen. When he stopped the other would start, but the other would start not in any way related to the first; he would start from somewhere of his own, out of the blue.
This continued. Then the psychoanalyst knocked on the door. They opened the door. He said, “I am very surprised about one thing, and have become very curious to know: why, when one talks does the other stop? And you are talking about such irrelevant things – one talks about the earth, the other talks about the sky, they are not related at all – then why do you stop when the other is talking?”
They both laughed and they said, “Do you think we don’t know the law of conversation?” This is the law of conversation: simply that you talk, then the other stops; when the other starts, you stop. This is a polite mannerism. But you are related to your inner talk, the other is related to his inner talk. You come nearer, but you remain parallel. Dialogue is not possible. Dialogue happens only when you really listen to the other, and while the other is talking, you are completely silent. Then only is dialogue possible. When the other is talking and you are talking within yourself, your inner talk continues, how is a dialogue possible? These are two parallel lines, like a railway track, parallel lines running for thousands of years, meeting nowhere.
People need catharses of their minds to throw things out. But now in a busy world, particularly in the West, nobody is there to listen; hence psychoanalysis. A professional listener – you pay for him just to listen to you. It helps. Psychoanalysis is nothing but a professional listening.
You pay attention because you are paid. Howsoever boring you listen with a smiling face, you show interest, you pay attention. The ego of the patient is consoled. Somebody listens and not an ordinary somebody – a Freud, a Jung, a very exceptional, extraordinary person – famous, great, known all over the world. The greater the psychoanalyst – I mean greater in the sense of more known – the more he helps the patients, because the patient feels so gratified. Somebody pays so much attention – he is so important! Even a Freud listens so attentively.
I have heard that one young psychoanalyst asked his teacher, an old man, “This is really amazing. I get bored and tired after two or three patients because they talk such nonsense, and I have to listen and I cannot do anything, I cannot escape. I have to be attentive, I have to show interest.
I get so bored and tired after the third patient – but you are wonderful. You do it the whole day from morning to evening, and I never see you tired.”
The old man laughed and said, “Who listens? That is just a face. Now I have become expert in showing attention without paying it, smiling without smiling, giving an ear but not listening at all. Who listens?”
But that is not the point, whether the other is listening or not. If he shows interest, that’s enough. The patient feels good. He goes on talking rubbish, rot, but even to his rotten mind somebody is paying such keen attention, as if something very precious is being said. Ego feels gratified.
I see it happening every day. There are people who come to me, not to know anything from me, they come to me just to tell me something, and once they get warmed up through talking they forget what they are saying and why they are talking. They go on and on and on; it is difficult to stop them. And they feel very good….
Once a man came to me, and he was asking for many days, saying he would like to come because he has certain problems and he feels only I can solve those problems – nobody else can solve them so he has to come and I have to give him time.
I gave him time; he came. For one hour he didn’t say anything about his problems. And I had given him one solid hour. He talked and talked about meaningless things, about his wife and children, and this and that, and about his business. After one hour – and I had no way to say anything, he wouldn’t give even a small gap for me to say yes or no, I simply nodded…after one hour he thanked me, he was very grateful. He touched my feet and said, “You are such a wonderful man, you told me so many beautiful things” – and I had not said a single word! – “and you solved all my problems.” He had not talked about any problem and I had not solved any!
But that is not the point. I listened, I nodded, I showed interest, and he felt completely satisfied. That was the problem. He needed somebody, somebody he thinks is very great, who pays attention to him.
Bahauddin said:
He was uncertain and ill at ease and none would listen to him. I sat with him, and the resultant serenity is called by him his spiritual life.
It is nothing. It is just a gratification of the ego. And the man was saying, My spiritual life has opened up since I have been allowed to visit you.
The third said: You understand me, and all I ask is that you allow me to hear your discourses for the good of my soul.

He needs attention and wishes to have notice paid to him even if it is criticism, said El-Shah. This he calls the good of his soul.
Ego is so hungry. Attention is food for the ego. If somebody appreciates you – good, beautiful. If nobody pays attention to you and everybody is indifferent, that is hell. It will be better if they criticize you, but pay attention.
Three attitudes are possible: one, somebody pays attention to you; you feel groovy. One would think that criticism is not liked by people. You are wrong. That is the second alternative.
If you are not appreciated then the second alternative is, people should criticize you. You will act in such a way that people are forced to criticize you, because again, they have to pay attention.
The third is indifference. Nobody likes it. And unless you like indifference your ego will never die. In indifference, ego dies. Live in such a way that you don’t ask anybody to pay attention; the ego will disappear. Indifference is poison for the ego.
So either appreciation – people should pay compliments to you; if not, then you will try at least for criticism. But indifference…indifference – the very word gives you fear. If nobody pays attention to you where will you be? who will you be? Your identity will be broken.
There are two types of people in the world. Those who succeed in getting attention: politicians, artists, musicians, talented people in some dimension; they attract attention. If that is not possible – because success needs talents; if you want to be a musician just a hankering for attention won’t help much, you have to be talented, and you have to work for it; it is a long discipline, a whole life has to be devoted to music. Success is a long-term affair. It is not easy, and everybody cannot be a musician, and only very rare people can rise to the height where attention is paid to them.
Then, if that is not possible – and it is not possible for millions of people – what should they do? They start the other way. They start becoming criminals, sinners, drunkards. No talent is needed for that. You can get drunk without any training; in fact training will not allow you to get drunk so soon. Untrained, even a small dose and you are drunk, and the whole town becomes aware of you. You walk on the streets shouting, screaming, doing things which you cannot do when you are in your saner moments. The whole town has to pay attention. You are lying in a gutter screaming and everybody who passes has to pay attention. You can become a criminal. The whole world has to pay attention.
I was just reading about one man who killed seven men in one day for no reason. He didn’t know those people at all. They were strangers, not in any way related with him. One of them he killed from behind – he had not even seen the face, who the man is he was going to kill. And in the court he said, “I wanted to see my picture in the newspaper.” Of course his picture was there. He made the headlines, front-page coverage. He wanted attention. People become criminals, people become antisocials, people become rebels, but it is attention that is needed.
As I have been observing, ninety percent of hippies are not really in rebellion. Now this is a new way to attract attention: the way you grow your hair, the dirt and dirtiness that you collect on the body, the smell that people can feel from far away – you have an aroma, a bad smell around you. Wherever you go people have to become alert; a hippie has come, tinkling his bells – what is he doing?
An easy way to attract attention. Very easy, simple; no talent, no training, no discipline is needed. You can become a hippie right now, immediately. Throw some dirt on the hair, find some dirty rags, a bell, smoke charas, and you are a hippie; wherever you go people will look at you as if you are the shah of Iran. Even if a hippie and the shah of Iran are standing together on the street, a hippie will be paid more attention.
Ninety percent of the young generation are trying to find easier ways, because in the West success has become more and more difficult an affair. Too much competition there! If you want a PhD it is a competition, a long affair – and then too there are thousands of PhD’s in the West, so it is not much of an attainment.
If in India you become a PhD it is something. Indians will always ask you what degree you have got. In the West degrees have become useless; in India they are still very very important because only a few are educated and millions are uneducated. To become a PhD is still precious. Somebody becomes a PhD – he has attained the very last, the ultimate of life. But in the West thousands of PhD’s are moving all around. Now it doesn’t seem to matter much.
I was reading about the first Indian who became a matriculate, in Allahabad, somewhere in the beginning of this century. A great procession was arranged for him. He sat on an elephant like a king and eleven elephants followed him, and a great procession…the whole of Allahabad participated. It was a tremendous phenomenon, something miraculous had happened – a man had become a matriculate.
But now it is absolutely useless. You don’t attain any attention through it. Nobody will bring an elephant, not even a donkey will be brought to you! If you try to sit on a donkey they will ask: Are you a PhD? Or just a matriculate trying to sit on a donkey? Get off it! Only a doctor, a man who holds a doctorate, will be allowed on the donkey.
No attention is paid. In the West education now is universal; hence the dropping out of education, because there seems to be no fulfillment of the ego in it at all. And people have become so rich – Rockefellers, Rothschilds and Fords you cannot imagine how to compete, and you cannot dream how to surpass them. It is almost impossible.
Then what to do? Purchase a bell, grow the hair, move in a way which is unorthodox, unconventional, and you simply get attention. But the whole search is for attention, whether through PhD’s or through a hippie style of life, whether by being a politician or by being a criminal, whether by being the president of a country, a Nixon, or a murderer, it makes no difference. The ego’s ways are the same.
And I tell you, unless the ego is dropped, whatsoever you are you are a criminal. Your politics will be a politics of crime; your talent will be a talent for crime. Ego is the root cause of all crime, and if ego is there your success is also going to be criminal because you will succeed on the failures of many. You will succeed by destroying many. The competition will be cut-throat, it will be a murderous competition.
Wherever you move, if ego is there, whatsoever you do is going to be a crime. To me, ego is the criminal.
Don’t ask for attention. Live in such a way that nobody becomes aware of you. Live in such a way that it is as if you never existed. Move in such a way that nobody comes to hear your movement, nobody even knows that you were here. Then only will you attain to the explosion which is spirituality. Otherwise the ego will be there, always like a hard rock on the possibility of the explosion. It will be destroying you within.
Why do you ask for attention? – because you are not certain about yourself, who you are. But by attention how are you going to know who you are? You cannot know yourself by looking in the mirror, and you cannot know yourself by looking in the eyes of others – whether they appreciate or criticize, those eyes are not more than mirrors: friends, enemies – all are mirrors.
You have to know yourself directly, immediately.
You have to go withinward.
Ego lives on attention. It is a false phenomenon. Understand it, and come out of it. Once you are out of it a different quality of serenity, a silence which surpasses understanding, a stillness – natural, spontaneous – and a bliss start bubbling within you, an inner dance. And that is the only dance there is, the only ecstasy there is. Unless you attain to that you are living a false, pseudo life, you are deceiving nobody but yourself.
The third said: You understand me and all I ask is that you allow me to hear your discourses for the good of my soul.

He needs attention and wished to have notice paid to him even if it is criticism, said El-Shah. This he calls the good of his soul.
Please, don’t call this the good of your soul.
The fourth said: I went from one to another practicing what they taught. It was not until you gave me a wazifa exercise that I truly felt the illumination of contact with you.

The exercise I gave this man was a concocted one not related to his spiritual life at all, said El-Shah. I had to demonstrate his illusion of spirituality before I could arrive at the part of this man which is really spiritual, not sentimental.
The fourth said, “You gave me a Sufi exercise, a wazifa exercise, and since then much has happened to me. I am growing.”
And El-Shah said to his disciples, “I have given him a false exercise through which nobody can grow. It is not a technique at all. But he says he is growing. He is not even true to me. He is not only deceiving himself, he is trying to deceive me that he is growing – and that exercise cannot help. At the most that exercise can make him more sentimental, not spiritual.”
But many people think that sentimentality is spirituality. Emotions are as much mental as thoughts. And what you call your heart is as much in your head as your head. You can become emotional very easily. You can cry and weep with tears falling down, big pearl-like tears – but nothing spiritual. Tears are as physical as anything else.
The eyes are part of the body, and emotions are a disturbance in the physical energy. You cry and weep – of course you will feel relieved, you will feel relaxed after you have had a good cry. You will feel relieved. All over the world women know it. They know it well, that it helps. They cry and they weep and then they are relieved. It is a catharsis, but there is nothing spiritual in it. But people go on mistaking things – things which are not spiritual they go on thinking they are spiritual.
People come to me; they say that since they have come their kundalini is arising. They have jerks in the body and they think they have become very very spiritual. There is nothing spiritual in kundalini; it is a physical force. Don’t be befooled by it.
Then people come – they are seeing light. When they close their eyes they are seeing light…nothing but imagination. Good, you will have a good sleep if you can see light, because your mind is getting more concentrated. But it is mind still. Good as far as it goes, but nothing spiritual.
Then people come – they are seeing visions: Krishna playing on his flute, Jesus crucified, Buddha sitting under the bodhi tree. And they come to me so that I can certify, I can say, “Yes, you have attained, you have realized, this is what spirituality is.” What more can you expect? Krishna playing flute, what more? Such an extraordinary experience.
But it is nothing spiritual. Good dreams, beautiful dreams. Enjoy! But don’t be befooled. Really a good dream – and after so many nightmares that you have lived through, Krishna playing flute – nothing bad to enjoy for a while. You can also play the flute with him and dance around him, but don’t be befooled. It is nothing spiritual.
Then what is spiritual? Spirituality is not an experience. You cannot experience it. If you experience it, it is something of the mind, something of the body – because how can you experience yourself? Your being cannot be reduced to an object. You remain the subject. You are subjectivity. Everything else that you can see will not be you. You are the seer.
Spirituality is not an experience. It is not an object; you cannot watch and see it. You are it, the watcher, the seer. So then all experiences disappear. When there is nothing to be seen, when there is no object to be observed, but only awareness, vast, unobstructed awareness not obstructed by any experience, then you have become spiritual. You become spiritual; spirituality is not an experience.
Kundalini, lights, visions…all disappear. They are good indications that you are growing, but nothing of the spiritual. And the real master is not interested in the experiences on the way, he is interested only in the goal. The way has to be passed, transcended. He is interested only in you, in your absolute subjectivity, with no object, no experience, nothing; when your awareness burns like a flame in an empty sky – not even a breeze, nothing, no God….
In spirituality there is no God, that’s why Buddhists, Jainas, never think of Christianity, Mohammedanism, the Jewish tradition as the last word in religion – because they go on talking about experiences: God, angels…they go on. Happiness, bliss – they go on talking about experiences. And spirituality is beyond all. It is the very beyondness. Only you remain, aware, fully aware, awakened, and all else has disappeared. In this total emptiness burns the flame of subjectivity, of absolute aloneness, awareness. Remember that.
I am not satisfied with your kundalini. I am not satisfied with your lights. I am not satisfied with your krishnas playing on the flute. All gods that you can see are your creations. Drop them all! Come to the point where nothing remains, nothing remains. Then only are you left in your total aloneness – and that has a beauty of its own. That is the hidden splendor. That is the spiritual.
Before that, everything is a game. There are games of the body – sex is the game of the body. There are games of the mind – love is the game of the mind. Spirituality is not a game. Everything finished, all games dropped, one comes back home, alone…sits in the home, no experience. All experiences are disturbances.
When only consciousness remains, only then a man like Bahauddin is satisfied with the disciple. Masters demand so much. They will not leave you with some foolish imagination, they will go on destroying all imaginations. When everything is destroyed, only that remains which cannot be destroyed – the deathless. You, in your fully awakened state.
Everything is a dream. There are layers and layers of dreams: beautiful dreams, ugly dreams, spiritual dreams, non-spiritual dreams. But spirituality is not a dream. Spirituality is the dreamer who has awakened out of all dreams. Then only the hidden splendor is revealed. The secret of all secrets becomes known.
Enough for today.

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