My Way The Way of White Clouds 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - My Way The Way of White Clouds by Osho.
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The first question:
You have talked to us about total surrender to the master, but often our minds come up with reasons for not following the instructions literally. We say things like: “The master doesn't know what conditions are like now.” Or: “The master doesn't realize what the practical conditions are in the West.”
Should we follow everything the master says to the letter, or are there times when we should use our own discretion?
You should follow either absolutely, or not at all. No compromise should be made, because anything halfhearted is not only useless but harmful. Anything halfhearted divides you – that is the harm. You should remain an undivided unity.
So either surrender totally – then there is no need to think on your part; follow blindly. I emphasize the word blindly – as if you have no eyes. Somebody who has eyes is leading you. Then you will remain an undivided unity; and undivided, integrated, you will grow.
Or, if you feel this is impossible and cannot be done, don’t follow at all. Then follow yourself completely. Then too you will remain undivided. To remain undivided is the end, the aim. Both will do, the ultimate result will be the same. If you can be alone, without a master, if you can follow your own consciousness wheresoever it leads, it is the same, the result will be the same. So it depends on you.
But the mind always says: “Do both.” The mind says: “Follow the master, but think about it.” Follow only those things which you think right. Then where is the following? Where is the surrender? If you are the judge, and you are to decide what to follow and what not to follow, then where is the surrender, where is the trust? Then it is better to follow your own consciousness. But don’t deceive – at least there should be no deception; otherwise you go on following yourself and you think that you are following a master.
If you are the deciding factor, if you have to choose, if you have to discard something, accept something, then you are following yourself. But you can create the impression around yourself and you can deceive yourself that you are following a master. Then nothing will come out of it. You will not grow, because through deception there can be no growth, and you will get more and more confused.
If you are capable of deciding what is to be done and what is not to be done, if you have to choose from your master’s guidance you will create a chaos. Because whenever a master guides you his guidance has an organic unity about it. Every instruction is related to another. It is a compact whole. You cannot discard something and follow something; you will become a ruin, a wreck. Even if a single thing is denied, then the whole has been disturbed. You don’t know how things are interrelated.
So this is my suggestion to you: Remain a unit, undivided. Decide. If you have to decide, then decide: “I will follow myself.” Then don’t surrender – there is no need.
This is what Krishnamurti has been saying continuously for forty, fifty years: “Don’t follow. People can reach without following anybody” – but the path is arduous and very long because you are not ready to accept any help or guidance which can be given to you – which is possible and which can cut many unnecessary difficulties on the path. This is what Krishnamurti has been saying – nobody has done it.
This is the problem of the mind. The mind can accept this – not because it has understood, but because it is very ego-fulfilling not to follow anybody. Nobody wants to follow anybody. Deep down the ego resists.
So around Krishnamurti all the egoists have gathered. They are again deceiving themselves. They think they are not following anybody because they have understood the fallacies of following, they have understood that the path has to be traveled alone, they have understood that no help is possible, nobody can help you, nobody can guide you; you have to travel alone. They think that they have understood this, that’s why they are not following anybody. That is not the real thing – they are deceiving. They are not following because their ego won’t allow it. And, still they go on listening to Krishnamurti. For years together they go, again and again.
If no help is possible, why do you go again and again to Krishnamurti? If nobody can guide you, what is the point of listening to him again and again? It is pointless. And even this attitude, that you have to travel the path alone, is not discovered by you – it has been revealed to you by Krishnamurti. Deep down he has become your master. But you go on saying that you don’t follow – this is a deception.
The same deception can happen from the reverse side. You come to me, you think you have surrendered, and still you go on choosing. If I say something that suits you – that means it suits your ego – you follow it. If I say something which doesn’t suit your ego, you start rationalizing: “This may not be for me.” So you feel that you have surrendered, and you have not surrendered.
People around Krishnamurti think they are not following anybody, and they are following. Around me you think you are following me and you are not following me. Mind is always a deceiver. Wherever you go it can deceive you, it will deceive you – so be alert.
I say to you: You can reach without following, but the path will be very, very lonely, very long – it is bound to be so. One can reach, it is not impossible – people have reached. I myself have reached through not following; you can also reach. But remember that not following should not become an ego-fulfillment; otherwise you will never reach.
Master or no master, that is not the basic thing. The basic thing is the ego, your ego. No ego – then even without a master you can reach. With ego – even a buddha cannot lead you. Either follow totally or don’t follow totally, but be total. So it is for you to decide. Remain undeceived by the mind and look deep within yourself. Be aware of what you are doing. If you are surrendering, then surrender.

I remember: It happened once with a group in Gurdjieff’s life. He was working with a few disciples. Absolute surrender was needed – and Gurdjieff had said that whatsoever he said, they had to follow. He was helping them to practice a certain exercise; he used to call it the stop exercise. So whenever he said: “Stop!” you had to stop whatsoever you were doing. You were walking, one foot was above the ground, and when he said: “Stop!” you had to stop there. You were talking and your mouth was open and he said: “Stop!” you had to stop with an open mouth. You were not to change it, you were not to make your posture convenient, because that would be a deception, and you were not deceiving anybody except yourself.
One day, suddenly, in the morning when people were doing some exercise outside the camp, and a few people were passing through a canal that was running by, he suddenly said: Stop! – He was inside the camp. So people stopped. Four people were crossing a canal. It was dry, the water was not running, so they stopped.
But suddenly somebody opened the canal and the water started coming. So they started to think: What to do? Gurdjieff was inside the tent, he didn’t know that they were standing in a canal and the canal was flowing. But they waited –because for a moment mind can wait.
When the water came up to their necks, one jumped out. He said: “This is too much. He does not know.”
Then the canal flooded more. Two others jumped out when the water came just near their noses – because now they would be drowned and the rationalization was simple and easy. You would have also done the same. They were going to die – and the master was inside the tent and he didn’t know!
Only one remained. The water was flowing above his head and he was standing. Then Gurdjieff rushed out of his tent and brought him out of the canal. He was almost unconscious. The water had to be brought out of his body; he was just on the point of death. But when he opened his eyes he was another man. The old man really died. This was a transformation. He was totally different.
What happened in that moment of death? He accepted the master. He rejected his own mind and the rationalizations. He rejected his own life-lust. He rejected his own innermost biological urge to survive. He rejected everything. He said: “The master has said stop! I have stopped. Now nothing can move me.”
It must have been very, very difficult – almost impossible. But when you do the impossible you are transformed. Dying, he would not allow the mind to interfere. Death was there, but he accepted death rather than his own mind and judgment.
He was never the same man again; nobody ever met the old man again. Then the others realized that they had missed a great opportunity. The three who had jumped out of the river, out of the canal missed a great opportunity.

This is total surrender. It is not a question of whether it is appealing to your mind or not, whether your mind says yes or not. When you surrender you have surrendered all possibility of saying no. Whatsoever the situation, you will not say no. The total yes means surrender. Difficult! That’s why transformation is difficult. Not easy – that’s why spiritual birth is not easy.
But I don’t say that you cannot reach alone. You can reach alone and you can reach with a master; you can reach in a group, you can reach as an individual. All the possibilities are open. I am neither for this nor for that. It is for you to decide, and to decide without any deception.
Remember, it is not a question of East and West. The mind is the same deep down; all the differences are superficial. Eastern and Western – these are just surfaces – cultural, racial impressions, but they are on the surface. Deep down the human mind is the same. From where you come is irrelevant.
Surrender or remain absolutely alone, but both paths can be traveled only by persons who are total. Alone, Buddha reached enlightenment; following Buddha, many reached the same enlightenment.
I am not partisan. I don’t say, as Krishnamurti says: “This is the only way.” I don’t say, as Meher Baba says: “This is the only way.” I know well why they say this is the only way – to help you, because once you become aware that another can also be the way confusion arises in you. Then you start swaying – sometimes you think this, sometimes you think that. That’s why masters have been saying: “This is the only way” – just to make your mind unconfused. Otherwise the opposite will also attract you and you will go on changing your standpoint. To make you total, masters go on emphasizing.
But I say both are ways. Why? – because that emphasis has become old, and you have heard it too much that this is the only way. It has become a dead cliché. It doesn’t help now. It used to help in the past; it cannot help now, because the world has become so much one. The earth has become just a global village, and every religion is known to every other religion and all the paths have become known. Now humanity is acquainted with all the paths – all the paths, all the possibilities, all the alternatives.
In the past people knew only one path, the path into which they were born. It was good to emphasize that this is the only way – to make their minds confident about it, trusting about it. But now this is not the situation at all. A Hindu reads the Koran, a Christian comes to India to seek guidance, a Mohammedan is aware of the Gita and the Vedas. All the paths have become known. Much confusion exists, and whosoever says that this is the only path is not going to help now because you know other paths are there. You also know that from other paths people have reached and are reaching. Hence I don’t emphasize any path.
You can take my help if you surrender, you can take my help if you don’t surrender – but you have to be clear about it. If you choose the path of surrender, then you have to follow me totally. If you choose that you are not going to surrender, then decide that. I can be a friend on the path, there is no need to make me a master. I can be just a friend on the path – or not even a friend. I can just be ….
You are searching and you meet somebody absolutely unknown, a stranger, and you ask him: Where is the river? Which path leads to the river? When he has spoken you thank him and you move. I can be just a stranger. No need even to be a friend, because with a friend also you get involved. You can take my help – my help is unconditional.
I don’t say: Do this, then I will help you. I don’t say: Surrender, only then will I help you. But this much I must say: Do whatsoever you like, but do it totally. If you are total, the transformation is closer. If you are divided, it is almost impossible.

The second question:
When Wakuan saw a picture of the bearded Bodhidharma, he complained: “Why hasn't that fellow got a beard?”
Osho, why don't you have a beard?
The tradition of Zen is really beautiful. Bodhidharma has got a beard, and a disciple asks: “Why has this fellow not got a beard?” The question is beautiful, but only a Zen disciple can raise it – because the beard belongs to the body, not to Bodhidharma. That fellow is beardless, because body is just an abode. The question looks absurd, but it is meaningful, and such questions have been asked many times.
Buddha talked continuously – morning, afternoon, evening, in this village, in that village, moving – forty years continuously talking. One day Sariputra asked: “Why have you remained silent? Why don’t you talk to us?” Patently absurd! Buddha laughed and said: “You are right.” And this man was talking – nobody has talked as much as Buddha. But Sariputra was right, because this talking happened only on the surface and Buddha did remain silent.
One Zen monk, Rinzai, used to say: “This man Buddha was never born, he never walked on this earth, he never died – he is just a dream.” And every day he would go to the temple and bow down before Buddha’s statue.
Then somebody said: “Rinzai, you are just mad! Every day you go on insisting that this man was never born, never died, never walked on this earth, and still you go to the temple and bow down.”
Rinzai said: “Because this man was never born, never walked on this earth, never died, that’s why I go and bow down.”
The questioner persisted: “We can’t follow you. Either you are mad or we are mad, but we cannot follow – what do you mean?”
Rinzai said: “The birth of this man was just a dream to him. Walking on this earth was just a dream to him. Death was not real to him – just an end to a long dream. And this man, the center of his being, remained beyond birth, beyond death.”
It is said that Buddha always remained in the seventh heaven. He never came down – only his reflection was here. And this is true! This is true for you also. You have never come down, only the reflection – but you have become so identified with the reflection that you have forgotten. You think that you have come down. You cannot come down – there is no way to fall down from your being.
You can look into a river and you can see the reflection, and you can become so identified with it that you can think that you are under water. You can suffer because of it; you can feel suffocated, and you can feel you are going to die. And you are always standing on the bank, you have never come down to the water – you cannot come.
So I say to you: Not only Buddha, nobody has come down from the seventh heaven, ever. But people get obsessed, identified with their reflections. This is what Hindus call the world of maya, the world of reflections. We remain in the brahman, we remain in the ultimate reality, rooted there eternally. Nobody ever comes down. But we can get identified with the reflection, with the dream.
So you are right in asking me. This fellow is also beardless. If you look at my body, you are not looking at me. If you look at me, then you will understand. The beard cannot grow on a soul. The beard can grow only on the body. And this beard is really very symbolic – soul is alive, body is half dead and half alive, beard is almost dead.
Your hair is a dead part of your body. That’s why you can cut it and you don’t feel any pain. Cut your finger, you will feel pain. Your hair is part of your body, but if you cut it you don’t feel any pain. It is dead cells of the body. So sometimes it happens that in a graveyard…. If you go to a Mohammedan graveyard and dig up a body, the man may have died beardless but there will be a beard now. Even on dead bodies beards can grow because beards are dead, just dead cells.
It is good to grow a beard, because then standing before a mirror you can see all the three layers of you: the completely dead, the half dead, half alive, and the absolutely alive. Beard is material, matter; body is matter and spirit meeting. The meeting is always difficult, but body is just a meeting ground of matter and spirit. Whenever the meeting breaks the balance is lost – you are dead – matter reabsorbed in matter, spirit reabsorbed in spirit.
This fellow is also beardless.
The whole question is: Why is Bodhidharma not matter? And the answer is: Because spirit cannot be matter.
Zen disciples ask in a peculiar way. Nowhere else can such questions be asked. You cannot ask a Christian pope: “Why is this fellow Jesus beardless?” The very question will be thought profane; you cannot be so intimate with Jesus. You cannot call him this guy or this fellow; that will not look holy. Your behavior will look insulting. Not so with Zen – Zen says: If you love your masters you can laugh about them. If you love them there cannot be any fear, even the fear of a man who is holy. If you love them, fear disappears.
So when for the first time Christian theologians became aware of the tradition of Zen, they couldn’t believe that such a religion could exist, because Zen monks go on laughing about Buddha. Sometimes they use such words you cannot believe. They can say: “This stupid fellow” – for Buddha! And if you ask them, they will say: “Yes, he was stupid, because he was trying to say something which cannot be said and he was trying to transform us who are impossible. He was a stupid fellow – he was trying to do the impossible.”
Zen masters have used terms and words that no religion can use. But because of that I say that no religion is as religious as Zen, because if you really love, where is the fear? You can joke, you can laugh, and an enlightened man like Buddha will laugh with you – there is no problem. He will not feel hurt. If he feels hurt, he is not enlightened at all. He will not say: “Don’t use such profane language” – because for Buddha all language is profane, only silence is sacred. So whether you call him a stupid fellow or one who has awakened, both are the same for him. Language as such is profane. Only silence is holy. So whatsoever you say is the same.
This disciple, Wakuan, is asking: “Why has this fellow Bodhidharma not got a beard?” Bodhidharma is the first master of Zen. Bodhidharma created this ever-flowing, ever-renewing river of Zen.

Bodhidharma went to China fourteen hundred years ago. When he entered China he was carrying one of his shoes on his head. One shoe was on his foot, one shoe was on his head. The emperor had come to receive him. He became embarrassed: What manner of man is this? He had been waiting so long, and he was thinking a great holy man, a great saint and sage is coming – and this man is behaving like a buffoon! The emperor was disturbed, he felt uneasy. And the first opportunity he got, he asked Bodhidharma: “What are you doing? People are laughing, and they are laughing at me also because I have come to receive you. And the way you have behaved is not a way to behave; you should behave like a saint.”
Bodhidharma said: “Only those who are not saints behave like saints. I am a saint! Only those who are not saints behave like saints” – and he is right, because you care about your behavior only when it is not spontaneous.
The emperor said: “I cannot understand this carrying one shoe on your head; you appear like a buffoon.”
Bodhidharma said: “Yes, because all that can be seen is buffoonery. Only the unseen…. Your standing here like an emperor, robed in a special dress, crowned, is buffoonery. Just to say this to you I was carrying one shoe on my head. All this is acting and buffoonery. The real is not there on the periphery. Look at me, don’t look at my body. This is very symbolic that I carry one shoe on my head. I say that in life nothing is sacred and nothing is profane. Even a shoe is as sacred as your head. I carry this shoe as a symbol.”
It is said the emperor was impressed, but he said: “You are too much. Just one thing I wanted to ask you and that is how to put my mind at ease. I am so impatient, so disturbed, uneasy.”
Bodhidharma said: “Come in the morning at four o’clock and bring your mind with you. I will put it at ease.”
The emperor could not follow. He started thinking: “What does he mean, this man – bring your mind with you?” When he was going down the steps of the temple where Bodhidharma was staying, Bodhidharma again said: “Remember, don’t come alone, otherwise who will I put at ease? Bring the mind with you. Come at four o’clock – and alone, no guards, nobody else with you.”
The whole night the emperor couldn’t sleep. He was thinking: “This man seems to be a little crazy. When I am there, my mind will obviously be with me. So what is this insistence – ‘bring your mind with you?’” Sometimes he thought: “It is better not to go, because, who knows, alone this man may start beating me or something. You cannot believe – you cannot predict this man.”
But at last he decided to go, because the man was really magnetic. He had something in his eyes, a fire which doesn’t belong to this earth. He had something in his breath, a silence which comes from beyond. So the emperor came as if hypnotized, and the first thing Bodhidharma asked was: “Okay, so you have come. Where is your mind?” And he was sitting there with a big staff.
The emperor said: “But when I have come, my mind has come with me. It is inside me – it is not like a thing I can carry.”
So Bodhidharma said: “Okay, so you think the mind is within you. Then sit and close your eyes and try to find out where it is. You just point and I will put it right. This staff is here – and I am going to make your mind silent, don’t worry. The emperor closed his eyes and tried to look, and Bodhidharma was sitting just in front of him. He tried and tried and tried, and time passed and then the sun was rising and his face was absolutely silent. Then he opened his eyes and Bodhidharma was sitting there. He asked: “Could you find it?”
The emperor started laughing and he said: “You have put it right – because the more I try to find it, the more I feel it is not there. It was just a shadow, and it was there because I never penetrated within. It was just my absence. I became present inside and it disappeared.”
This Bodhidharma is really a very rare being. His disciples could joke about him, laugh about him – he enjoyed it.

An enlightened person is a continuous laughter. He is not a serious man, as is ordinarily thought. Wherever you see seriousness know well something is wrong, because seriousness is part of a diseased being. No flower is serious unless it is ill. No bird is serious unless it is ill. No tree is serious unless something is wrong. Whenever something is wrong, seriousness happens. Seriousness is illness. When everything is okay, laughter arises.
Bodhidharma is continuously laughing, and his laughter is a belly laughter, an uproar. His disciples used to ask questions nobody except a Bodhidharma can answer. And I tell you: That fellow was without a beard, and this fellow is also without a beard.

The third question:
Goso said: “When you meet a Zen master on the road you cannot talk to him and you cannot be with him in silence. What are you to do?”
Osho, when we meet the master of masters on the lawn what to do?
Yes, it is true. When you meet a Zen master on the road you cannot talk with him, because what can you talk with him about? Your worlds are so different; your languages belong to two different dimensions. What can you talk with him about? What can you ask? Is any question really worth asking? Is any question really meaningful? When you meet a Zen master, what will you talk about? All that you can talk about belongs to this world, this mundane world – the market, the house, the family. All that you can talk about, all that you are is so futile.
It is true. When you meet a Zen master on the road – and you always meet a master on the road because the master is always moving. You never meet him anywhere else. Remember, you always meet a master on the road, because he is always moving. He is like a river, never static, never standing. If you cannot move with him you will miss him. He is always on his feet. You always meet him on the road.
What can you talk to him about? You cannot be silent either, because to be silent is almost impossible for you. You cannot talk, because the master belongs to a different world. You cannot be silent, because the world you belong to is never silent. Your mind goes on chattering. Your mind is a constant chatterbox. Consistent, inconsistent – thoughts go on and on and on and there is no end to it, they move in a wheel.
You cannot be silent and you cannot talk – then what to do? If you start talking it will be absurd. If you start being silent, it will not be possible. It is better not to decide on your part. Ask the master what to do. Tell him: “I cannot talk because we belong to different worlds. Whatsoever I ask will be useless, and whatsoever you can answer I cannot question. Whatsoever I question is useless, it is not even worth answering. And I cannot be silent because I don’t know what silence is. I have never known it; silence has never happened to me. I know a sort of silence – the silence that comes between two thoughts as a gap, the silence that exists between two words, just as a gap.”
Our silence is just like the peace which happens between two wars. It is not really peace; it is just preparation for another war. How can that be peace, which bridges two wars? The war simply goes underground, that’s all. It is a cold war, it is never peace. Our silence is like that.
So tell the master: “I cannot be silent and I cannot talk – so tell me what to do.” Don’t start anything on your own, because whatsoever you start will be wrong. Talk or silence – whatsoever you start will be wrong. Just leave everything to the master, and ask him: “What am I to do?” If he says: “Talk” – then talk. If he says: “Be silent” – then try to be silent. He knows, and he will ask only that which is possible for you.
Ultimately he will ask the impossible, but never in the beginning. He will ask the impossible in the end because then it will have become possible. But in the beginning he will ask only the possible. By and by he will push you toward the ultimate abyss where the impossible happens. If he says talk, then talk. Then even your talking will be a help. But then you are not really asking – just talking as a catharsis. You are bringing your mind out, you are acting your mind out. You are opening yourself. You are not asking, but exposing. This exposure will help. You will be relieved of much burden.
When a master is near you, if you can be really frank and say all that comes to you, irrelevant, inconsistent, not bothering about yourself, not managing and manipulating it….
When a master is near you, you can say totally whatsoever comes to your mind. It will become a gibberish; if you don’t manage it, it will be like a madman talking. But when a master is near you, if you are frank, honest and true and bring your mind out, the master will penetrate you from the back door. From the front door your mind is going out; from the back door the master is entering you.
So when near me on the lawn be sincere and true. Don’t bring questions which are intellectual – they are useless. Metaphysics is the most useless thing in the world. Don’t bring any metaphysical questions; they are not true, they don’t belong to you. You may have heard about them, read about them, but they are not part of you. Bring your nonsense out, whatsoever it is, and don’t try to manipulate it. Don’t try to rationalize it and polish it. Let it be as raw as possible – because before a master you must be naked. You should not wear clothes and you should not hide yourself.
That is an exposure, and if you can talk as an exposure – not as an inquiry, just opening your heart, not asking for anything – then silence will follow, because when you have exposed your mind and you have passed through a catharsis, silence comes to you. This is a different type of silence, not a forced silence, not a controlled silence, not a silence with any effort on your part.
When you have exposed your mind completely, released all that is there, a silence comes, descends on you, overwhelms you – a silence which is beyond understanding, a silence which is beyond you, a silence which belongs to the whole and not to the individual. Then you can be both. Now you can talk with a Zen master on the road and you can also be silent.

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