OSHO-The Art of Dying 10

Tenth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - OSHO-The Art of Dying by Osho.
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The first question:
You seem to be against the demystification of life. In this reference is it right to say that movements in the West like Arica, Zen, Sufism, EST, TM, etc., are the inevitable synthesis between Eastern mysticism and Western science?
The real synthesis will be the disappearance of East and West; it will not be a meeting. In the real synthesis the East will not be there and the West will not be there. That’s what yesterday I called the transcendental.
East and West are polarities. If you try to synthesize them, take something of the East and something of the West and make a hotchpotch out of it, it will be a compromise and not a synthesis. It will be mechanical, not organic. You can put things together – that is a mechanical unity – but you cannot put a tree together, you cannot put a human being together. The unity of a tree grows, it comes from its own innermost core and it spreads toward its circumference. It arises in the center. A mechanical unity can be put together from the outside; you can put a car or a clock together, but the clock has no center to it, the car has no center to it, the clock has no soul. That is what we mean when we say the clock has no soul; it means it has no center of its own. It is a unity put together from outside. It works; it is utilitarian.
But a tree, a bird, a human baby – you cannot put them together. They grow. Their unity comes from their innermost core. They have a center.
A compromise is a mechanical unity; a synthesis is an organic growth. So whatsoever is happening right now in the name of EST, TM, Arica, is a sort of mechanical unity. And mechanical unity has its own dangers. The greatest danger is this: the East has developed a great insight into religion and the West has developed a great insight into science. When a Western person starts searching in the East, his attitude is scientific. He can understand only that which is scientific in the East. Try to understand this. And the East has not developed any scientific attitude; Eastern science is very primitive and rudimentary. When a religious person goes to the West from the East, he looks into Western religion, which is very rudimentary, very primitive. And he can understand only the religious language.
So when somebody from the East approaches the West, he approaches the West from the weak point in Western growth. And when somebody comes from the West to the East he approaches the East from the weakest link in its growth.
Now what is happening? East and West are meeting in Arica, EST, TM and other so-called spiritual movements – and just the opposite to what was expected is happening. It is not Eastern religion meeting Western science, it is Eastern science meeting Western religion. It is an ugly affair.
You must have heard:

A French actress told George Bernard Shaw that she would like to get married to him.
Bernard Shaw inquired why.
She said, “The logic is simple. I have a tremendously beautiful body. Look at my face, look at my eyes, my form – it is perfect. And you have a beautiful intellect, the greatest intelligence ever. Our child will be a beauty: your brain and my body.”
George Bernard Shaw said, “I am afraid things can go wrong. Our child may have my body and your intellect.”

This is what is happening!
He declined the offer to marry. He said, “It is dangerous. There is no certainty about it.”
Of course, George Bernard Shaw had a very ugly body – and actresses have never been known to have any intellect. Intelligence is a strange phenomenon to actresses, otherwise why would they be actresses in the first place?
Arica, EST, and TM are just by-products of the marriage between George Bernard Shaw and the actress. Things have gone wrong. This is not a synthesis; this is a compromise, a hotchpotch. And it is very dangerous.
A great synthesis is needed. That synthesis will not come through movements, it will come only through a few people who attain to that synthesis in their souls. It is not a question of reading the Bible and reading the Bhagavad Gita and finding out the similarities and making a synthesis out of it – that would be a mechanical unity. Many people have done that.
Dr. Bhagwandas has written a very scholarly book: The Essential Unity of All Religions. The whole thing is silly. Read the Koran, read the Veda, read the Bible, read the Dhammapada, find the similarities – it is very easy to find similarities – but in fact the Koran is beautiful only because of those things which are not in the Gita. The beauty is in its uniqueness. When you find something, as Mahatma Gandhi has done… He read the Koran and found things which were similar to the Gita. He was looking for the Gita in the Koran. It was unjust to the Koran; it was not good manners either because he was imposing some alien element on the Koran. And whatsoever was not similar to the Gita, in tune with the Gita, he would forget about. He would forget that it existed in the Koran. And that which was dropped is the uniqueness of the Koran.
The same can be done by a Christian. He can look into the Gita and find something which satisfies his Christian mind – then he is looking for the Bible in the Gita, but the Gita is beautiful only where it is not at all similar to the Bible. There is its uniqueness. Beauty is in uniqueness; similarities become clichés, similarities become meaningless, similarities are monotonous. The Himalayas are beautiful because they have something unique that is not in the Alps. And the Ganges is beautiful because it has something that is not in the Amazon. Of course both are rivers, and there are a thousand and one similar things, but if you go on looking for similarities you will live in a very boring world. I am not in favor of it.
I will not tell you to look into Eastern scriptures and into Western scriptures and to find some sort of compromise, no. I would like you to go into your innermost being. If you go beyond the object, you have gone beyond the West; if you go beyond the subject, you have gone beyond the East. Then the transcendental arises and there is the synthesis. And when it has happened within you, then you can spread it without also. The synthesis has to happen within human beings, not in books, not in dissertations, not in PhD theses. An organic unity is possible only in an organic way.
This is what I am doing here. I am hammering you to make you go beyond the objective and beyond the subjective. I am not telling you to make subjective and objective meet inside you, because that meeting will not be able to bring the higher into existence. You have to go beyond. The humanity of the future has to go beyond East and West; both have been only half, both have been lopsided. I am neither for East nor for West, I am for a total world, a world that is whole.
But it is natural in a way – Arica, EST, TM – in a way natural. This is because the common humanity, the ordinary human mind, always tries to find cheap methods, shortcuts. People are not really interested in the ultimate truth; they are interested at the most in a convenient, comfortable life. They are not really interested in being alive and being an adventurer, they are really afraid of all adventures. They want to put things together in such a way that things become comfortable and one can live comfortably and one can die comfortably. Comfort seems to be the goal, not truth.
And everybody has his own prejudice. The Christian, the Hindu, the Mohammedan all have their prejudices. They are very deep-rooted. You can talk about love, but that is always superficial.
Let me tell you an anecdote:

The distraught young man was perched on the fortieth floor window ledge of a midtown hotel, threatening to jump. The closest the police could get was the roof of an adjacent building a few feet below. However, all pleas to the man to return to safety were of no avail.
A priest from the nearest parish was summoned and he hastened to the scene.
“Think, my son,” he intoned to the would-be suicide in a very loving way. “Think, my son, think of your mother and father who love you.”
“Oh, they don’t love me,” the man replied. “I am jumping.”
“No, my son, stop!” cried the priest with great love in his voice. “Think of the woman who loves you.”
“Nobody loves me. I am jumping,” came the response.
“But think, still think, my boy,” the priest implored. “Think of Jesus and Mary and Joseph who love you.”
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph?” the man queried. “Who are they?”
At which the point the cleric yelled back, “Jump, you Jew bastard, jump!”

All love disappears immediately. All talk of love is just superficial; all talk of tolerance is intolerant deep down.
People say, “Tolerate each other.” What do you mean when you say, “Tolerate each other”? It is already intolerant. The very word tolerance is ugly. When you tolerate somebody, do you love him? When Hindus tolerate Mohammedans, do they love them? When Mohammedans tolerate Hindus, do they love them? Can tolerance ever become love? Tolerance may be politics, but it is not religion.
One who wants to know the truth – the truth that is beyond all polarities: man–woman, East–West, good–bad, heaven–hell, summer–winter – one who is interested in knowing, in inquiring into the truth which is beyond all dualities, has to drop all his prejudices. If he still carries his prejudice, that prejudice will color his mind.
To know truth you need not be a Hindu, you need not be a Mohammedan, you need not be a Christian, you need not be a Jew – to know truth you have to drop all this rubbish, you have to be just yourself. You need not be Indian, you need not be American, you need not be English, you need not be Japanese, Chinese. To know truth you have just to be immense, huge, vital, alive, loving, inquiring, meditative, but with no prejudice, with no scripture, with no concepts, with no philosophy.
When you are completely nude of all that has been taught to you, when all the conditionings have dropped, then suddenly there is the highest truth – and that highest truth is a synthesis unto itself; you need not synthesize. It is an organic unity. And from that altitude you can laugh at all the nonsense that goes on in the name of religion, in the name of tolerance, in the name of love, in the name of churches and temples and mosques.
The revolution has to happen within you; it has not to be introduced into the world. Because only you are alive – society is dead, society is just a name. Only you have something of the soul. The synthesis has to happen there. The synthesis does not have to happen in Pune or in New York or in Timbuktu or in Constantinople, the synthesis is going to happen within you, within me. And each individual has to become a great experiment toward that synthesis. But remember, when that synthesis arises, you will not be able to say whether it is a synthesis between East and West, between Mohammedan and Christian, between Hindu and Jaina. No, you will immediately be able to see it is a transcendence. Synthesis, real synthesis, organic synthesis, is a transcendence; your altitude has changed, you are standing on the highest peak. From there you look.
Whatsoever we look at, whatsoever we see, is not very important. The important thing is where you stand. If you are clinging to the East, whatsoever you see in the West will be a misinterpretation.
Just the other day I was reading a newspaper; someone had written an article against me. The article asked how Americans can understand religion, how Western people can understand religion. They cannot, so my whole effort is wastage. This is the Indian chauvinist mind. The Indian thinks that nobody can understand religion except the Indian. And this is not only so with the Indian, this is so with everybody. Everybody deep down carries this nonsense: “we are the chosen few.” This idea is very destructive.
It is not a question of being American or Indian; truth has nothing to do with all these labels. Truth is available to anybody who is ready to drop all these labels. Truth is understood only when you are neither American nor Indian nor Hindu nor Christian. Truth is understood by a consciousness that is no longer clouded by any conditionings, which is no longer clouded by the past. Otherwise we go on seeing in things only that which we can understand.
I was reading a very beautiful anecdote:

The family managed to bring the patriarchal grandfather from Hungary and he came to live with his daughter and her family.
The old man was fascinated by New York and all it had to offer.
One day his grandson, Yunkel, took him to the zoo in Central Park. Most of the animals were familiar to the old man. However they came to the cage where the laughing hyena was confined and the old man became curious.
“Yunkel, in the old country I never heard of an animal that laughed.”
Yunkel noticed the keeper standing nearby and approached him.
“My grandfather recently came from Europe. He says they don’t have any laughing hyenas there. Could you tell me something about it so that I can in turn tell him?”
The keeper said, “Well, he eats once a day.”
Yunkel turned to his grandfather and said in Yiddish, “He eats once a day.”
The keeper continued, “He takes a bath once a week.”
“He bathes once a week.”
The old man listened intently.
The keeper added, “He mates once a year.”
“He mates once a year.”
The old man shook his head up and down thoughtfully.
“All right. He eats once a day, he bathes once a week, but if he mates only once a year, why is he laughing?”

Now this old man is not so old. His mind is still clinging somewhere to his youthful days. His mind is still sexual. He cannot understand why the hyena is laughing if he mates only once a year.
There are people who cannot understand that happiness is possible in any way other than sex. There are people who cannot understand that there is any bliss beyond sex. There are people who cannot understand that there is any happiness except in food. There are people who cannot understand that there is any happiness except in big houses, big cars, much money, power and prestige. It is impossible to understand beyond your own standpoint – people remain confined within their own standpoints.
That is the real prison. If you want a synthesis you have to drop all the imprisonment, you have to drop out of your cages. They are very subtle cages and you have decorated them for a long time. You may have even started loving them. You may have forgotten completely that they are prisons; you may have started thinking that they are your home. A Hindu thinks Hinduism is his home, he never thinks that it is a barrier. All “isms” are barriers. The Christian thinks that Christianity is the bridge; he never thinks that it is Christianity that is not allowing him to reach to Christ. The church is not the door; it is the wall, the barrier, the Wall of China.
But if you have lived with this wall for too long, for centuries, if the mind has become accustomed to it, you think of it as a protection, as a shelter, as security. And then you look at other people; from your cell in the prison you look outside. Your presence in the cell corrupts your vision.
Come out under the sky and under the stars – and synthesis will take care of itself. You need not synthesize East and West, you are simply to go beyond these standpoints. Move to the transcendental, and there is synthesis.

The second question:
I have heard you saying that man is a goal-oriented process and his destination is the stars. Can you please open this flower for me for a deep smell?
The flower is open. I suspect your nose is closed.
Your nose has to be opened and you have to reclaim the capacity to smell. You may have lost the sensitivity to smell. You have lived so long in lies that when you come across truth you cannot recognize it. Even truth has to come to you – if truth wants to be recognized – in the garb of a lie. You cannot see it directly. You have learned how to look sideways; you never look directly, your look is never immediate. You are always wavering this way or that and you are always losing the fact.
I am here. This is the flower I am talking about. I am your future. That which is going to happen to you has happened to me. If you cannot smell then don’t blame the flower – blow your nose.
But that is difficult for the ego; the ego is always ready to deny, it is never ready to transform itself. The ego can say, “There is no God”; it cannot say, “Maybe it is because I have got so many blocks that I cannot feel God.” The ego can deny that there is a flower, but it cannot recognize the fact that it has lost the capacity to smell.
Hence there are so many people who deny God. It is easy to deny God, it is comfortable in fact, because if there is no God you need not bother about your nose, you need not work upon your being. If there is no God then there is no work, then there is no growth, then there is no search – you can be lazy, you can drown yourself in lethargy. If there is no God then there is no guilt.
I am against guilt, the guilt that has been created by the priests, but there is a different type of guilt which is not created by the priest. And that guilt is very meaningful. That guilt arises if you feel there is something more in life and you are not working hard to get to it. Then you feel guilt. Then you feel that somehow you are creating barriers to your own growth, that you are lazy, lethargic, unconscious, asleep; that you don’t have any integration; that you cannot move toward your destiny. Then guilt arises. When you feel that you have the possibility and you are not turning it into actuality, then guilt arises. That guilt is totally different.
I am not talking about the guilt that priests have created in humanity: don’t eat this otherwise you will feel guilty, don’t do that otherwise you will feel guilty. They have condemned millions of things, so if you eat, if you drink, if you do this and that, you are surrounded by guilty feelings. I am not talking about that guilt; that guilt has to be dropped. In fact that guilt helps you to remain where you are. Those guilty feelings don’t allow you to know the real guilt inside.
They create so much fuss about small things. You eat in the night and the Jainas create much fuss: you are guilty, you are a sinner. Why have you eaten in the night? Or you have divorced your wife or your husband and the Catholics create a guilty feeling in you; you have done something wrong. It was not wrong to live with the woman and continuously fight, it was not wrong to destroy the woman and destroy yourself, it was not wrong to destroy the children – just between the two of you they were being crushed, their whole life was conditioned in a wrong way. No, that was not bad; but if you get out of that marriage, if you get out of that hell, you feel guilty.
These guilt feelings don’t allow you to see the real spiritual guilt, which has nothing to do with any politics, with any priesthood, with any religion or church. This guilt feeling is very natural. When you see that you can do something and you are not doing it, when you see how potential you are but you are not changing that potentiality into actuality, when you see that you are carrying tremendous treasures as seeds which could bloom, and you are not doing anything about it and you are just remaining in misery – then you feel a great responsibility toward yourself. And if you are not fulfilling that responsibility, you feel guilty. This guilt is of tremendous import.
I am here; the flower is here. In Zen they say that the flower does not talk, but I would like to contradict that. I would like to say to you the flower talks too, but one thing is needed: you need the capacity to hear, you need the capacity to smell. The flower has its own language. It may not talk in the language that you understand. Your language is a very local language; the flower speaks the universal language.
I am here; look into me, feel me, try to imbibe my spirit in you, let my flame come closer to you. Any moment there can be the jump – my flame can jump and light your unlit candle. Just come close, come close… And when I say come close, I mean be more and more in love. Love is the only closeness there is; love is the only intimacy there is. It is not a question of physical closeness; it is a question of inner intimacy. Be open to me, as I am open to you. Be available to me, as I am available to you. Don’t be afraid; you have nothing to lose – except your chains.

The third question:
Somewhere there is a fear which makes me closed and hard and sad and desperate and angry and hopeless. It seems to be so subtle that I don't even get really in touch with it. How can I see it more clearly?
The only problem with sadness, desperateness, anger, hopelessness, anxiety, anguish, misery, is that you want to get rid of them. That’s the only barrier.
You will have to live with them. You cannot just escape. They are the very situation in which life has to integrate and grow. They are the challenges of life. Accept them. They are blessings in disguise. If you want to escape from them, if you somehow want to get rid of them, then the problem arises – because if you want to get rid of something, you never look at it directly. And then the thing starts hiding from you because you are condemnatory; then the thing goes on moving deeper into the unconscious, hides in the darkest corner of your being where you cannot find it. It moves into the basement of your being and hides there. And of course the deeper it goes, the more trouble it creates – because then it starts functioning from unknown corners of your being and you are completely helpless.
So the first thing is: never repress. The first thing is: whatsoever is the case is the case. Accept it and let it come – let it come in front of you. In fact just to say “do not repress” is not enough. If you allow me, I would like to say, “Befriend it.” You are feeling sad? Befriend it, have compassion for it. Sadness also has a being. Allow it, embrace it, sit with it, hold hands with it. Be friendly. Be in love with it. Sadness is beautiful. Nothing is wrong with it. Who told you that something is wrong in being sad? In fact only sadness gives you depth. Laughter is shallow; happiness is skin-deep. Sadness goes to the very bones, to the marrow. Nothing goes as deep as sadness.
So don’t be worried. Remain with it and sadness will take you to your innermost core. You can ride on it and you will be able to know a few new things about your being that you had never known before. Those things can be revealed only in a sad state; they can never be revealed in a happy state. Darkness is also good and darkness is also divine. The day is not only God’s, the night is his also. I call this attitude religious.
“Somewhere there is a fear which makes me closed and hard and sad and desperate and angry and hopeless. It seems to be so subtle that I don’t even really get in touch with it.” It becomes subtle if you want to get rid of it. Then of course it protects itself, it hides in the deepest corners of your being. It becomes so subtle and so garbed that you cannot recognize it. It starts coming under different names. If you are very much against anger then anger will arise under a different name – it may become pride, it may become ego, it may become even a religious pride, it may become even pious. It may hide behind your virtues, it may start hiding behind your character. Then it becomes very subtle because now the label is changed. It is playing somebody else’s role, but deep down it remains anger.
Let things be as they are. This is what religious courage is: to allow things as they are.
I am not promising you any rose garden – there are thorns, roses also. But you can reach the roses only when you have passed the thorns. A man who has never been sad cannot really be happy. It is impossible for him to be happy. His happiness will be just a forced gesture – empty, impotent. You can see it on people’s faces when they laugh: their laugh is so shallow, it is just painted on their lips. It has no relationship with their heart, it is absolutely unconnected.
It is just like lipstick – the lips look red and rosy, but that redness does not come from the redness of the blood. It is good if lips are red, but the redness should come from aliveness, from your blood cells, from your energy, vitality, youth. Now, you paint your lips – they look red, but it is ugly. Lipstick is ugly. And you will find only ugly women using it. What does a beautiful woman have to do with lipstick? The whole thing seems to be absurd. If your lips are red, vital, alive, what is the point of painting them? You are making them ugly and false.
Your happiness is also like lipstick. You are not happy and you know you are not happy, but you cannot accept the fact because that would be too shattering for your ego. You – and not happy?! How can you accept it? Maybe you are not happy inside, but that is your own problem, you must not express it, you are not to say the truth. For the world you have to keep a face, you have to maintain a personality. So you go on laughing. Watch people’s laughter and you will immediately see which laughter comes from the heart. When laughter comes from the heart you can immediately feel a different vibe – an overflowing. That man is really happy. When laughter is just on the lips it is empty. It is just a gesture; nothing is behind it. It is a facade.
The man who cannot laugh deeply is the man who has repressed sadness – he cannot go deep because he is afraid of sadness. Even if he goes deep into his laughter, there is a fear that sadness may surface, may bubble up. He has to be always on guard.
So please, whatsoever the situation is, start allowing it. If you are sad, you are sad. This is what God means for you – at this moment at least he wants you to be sad. So be true – be sad! Live this sadness. And if you can live this sadness, a different quality of happiness will arise in you; it will not be a repression of sadness, it will be beyond sadness.
A person who can be patiently sad will suddenly find that one morning happiness is arising in his heart from some unknown source. That unknown source is existence. You have earned it if you have been truly sad; if you have been truly hopeless, desperate, unhappy, miserable, if you have lived in hell, you have earned heaven. You have paid the cost.
I was reading a joke:

Mr. Goldberg came home from the office unexpectedly and found his wife in bed with Mr. Cohen, the next-door neighbor.
Distraught and angry, he ran next door and confronted Mrs. Cohen.
“Mrs. Cohen!” he cried. “Your husband is in bed with my wife.”
“Calm down! Calm down!” Mrs. Cohen said. “Look, don’t take it so hard. Sit down, have a cup of tea. Relax.”
Mr. Cohen sat quietly and drank his cup of tea. It was then that he noticed a little glint in Mrs. Cohen’s eye.
Coyly she suggested, “You want a little revenge?”
And with that they withdrew to the couch and made love. Then they had another cup of tea, then a little more revenge, a little more tea, more revenge; more tea…
Finally Mrs. Cohen looked at Mr. Goldberg and asked, “How about another revenge?”
“I will tell you, Mrs. Cohen,” said Mr. Goldberg quietly, “to be truthful, I‘ve got no hard feelings left.”

Whatsoever the situation, if you are sad, be sad; if you are in a revengeful mood, take your revenge; if you are jealous, be jealous; if you are angry, be angry. Never avoid the fact. You have to live it, that is part of life’s progress, growth, evolution. Those who avoid remain immature. If you want to remain immature then go on avoiding; but remember, you are avoiding life itself. Whatsoever you are avoiding is not the point; the very avoiding is an avoidance of life.
Confront life. Encounter life. Difficult moments will be there, but one day you will see that those difficult moments gave you strength because you encountered them. They were meant to be. Those difficult moments are hard when you are passing through them, but later on you will see they have made you more integrated. Without them you would never have been centered, grounded.
The old religions all over the world have been repressive; the new religion of the future is going to be expressive. And I teach that new religion. Let expression be one of the most fundamental rules of your life. Even if you have to suffer for it, suffer. You will never be a loser. That suffering will make you more and more capable of enjoying life, of rejoicing in life.

The fourth question:
You are the best whiskey-coke I have ever had. I stumble out of your lectures every day, my head spinning. Should I give you up as a bad habit?
It is very difficult to give up bad habits. Good habits are very easy to drop.
Who has ever heard of any man or woman capable of giving up a bad habit? And if religion has become your bad habit, or sannyas, you are blessed, you are fortunate. If I am your bad habit then you are fortunate. I would never like to become a good habit to you, no, because a good habit can be dropped very easily!
Let me tell you an anecdote:

St. Peter, concerned about the state of affairs in America, sent his most dependable and conservative disciple, St. Theresa, to look over the situation and give him a personal report. She stopped first in New York and phoned at the end of three days to say that things were even worse than they had feared.
“Let me come home,” she begged.
“No,” said St. Peter. “Finish the job. Go on to Chicago.”
She called him again from Chicago with an even more dismal tale. “It is a mess of corruption,” she reported sadly. “Sinners on all sides. I can’t take any more of it. Allow me to return to heaven.”
“Patience and fortitude,” consoled St. Peter. “They tell me Hollywood is worst of all. Have a look around out there and then you can come home.”
Two weeks went by, then four weeks went by, then six weeks went by without further word from St. Theresa. St. Peter, beside himself with anxiety, was about to turn the case over to the celestial FBI when the phone finally rang and the operator said,
“One moment, please. Hollywood calling.”
And then a sweet voice came over the wire, “Hullo, Peter darling! How divine! This is Terry.”

I would not like you to become St. Theresas. Even if you go to Hollywood, Hollywood is not going to corrupt you because I have corrupted you finally, utterly. I am a bad habit. And nobody can make a good habit out of me because good habits are not reliable. At the drop of the hat, good habits disappear. Let religion be your bad habit; let meditation be your bad habit. Yes, it is perfectly good – let me be your whisky-coke.

The fifth question:
When I first saw you, I felt I had found protection. Osho will protect. But now I am asking myself, “How is Osho going to protect me from Osho himself?” Please comment.
That is not your problem. That is my problem. How am I going to protect you from myself? That is my problem. It is none of your business.
One thing I can say… Let me say it through an anecdote:

Edwin’s life was over. His wife had left him and taken the children. He had lost his job. The bank had just foreclosed the mortgage on his house. He decided the only thing left for him to do was to jump off a bridge and kill himself. He walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, climbed as high as he could and was just about to jump when he heard a voice down below, screeching.
“Don’t jump! I can help you.”
He yelled back, “Who are you?”
To which the voice replied, “I am a witch.”
Curious, he climbed down and there before him was an ugly old crone. She looked at him and said,
“I am a witch and if you do as I say I will grant you three wishes.”
He thought to himself, “Things can’t be any worse so what do I have to lose?” So he said, “All right. What do I have to do?”
She said, “Come home with me and spend the night.”
He went with her to her hovel and she commanded him to make wild love to her. With great effort he accomplished all her bidding and finally fell asleep in a completely exhausted state. When he woke up there was the ugly old woman standing in front of him.
He said, “Now that I have done your bidding old witch, you must keep your part of the bargain and grant me my three wishes.”
The hag looked at him and asked, “How old are you?”
He replied, “Forty-two.”
The old woman sighed, “Do you mean to tell me that you still believe in witches?”

Listening to me for so long, do you tell me you still believe in Osho?
My whole effort is to take all the props away from you, all beliefs, Osho included. First I pretend to give you help, because that is the only language you understand. Then by and by I start withdrawing myself. First I take you away from your other desires and help you to become very passionate about nirvana, liberation, truth. And when I see that now all desires have disappeared, there is only one desire left, then I start hammering on that desire, and I say, “Drop it because this is the only barrier.”
Nirvana is the last nightmare. You cannot go back because once you have dropped those futile desires, you cannot get back into them. Once you have dropped them, the very charm, the very mystery disappears from them. You cannot really believe how you were carrying them for so long. The whole thing looks so ridiculous you cannot go back.
And I start taking the last desire from you. Once the last desire disappears, you are enlightened. Then you are Osho. My whole effort here is to make you capable of declaring yourself that you are also a master – and not only declaring it, living it too.

The sixth question:
When I think about your life on this earth and why you have come, it seems that there must be a risk in your undertaking – and the possibility of failure, that your work cannot be granted, that you also must be able to err, to commit a mistake. It seems that if there is no freedom to err, then there is no freedom at all.
But when I look at you there is no question of mistakes; egolessness is perfect. Please comment.
The first thing: I am not under any obligation to do anything. This is not an undertaking. I am not doing any work actually; it is not work that I am doing. It may be work for you, it is not work for me. I am enjoying the game. It is a play. And in a play it does not matter whether you make mistakes or not. It does not matter.
Mistakes become very, very important when you are serious about a thing. When you are doing it as serious work then mistakes become very important. But I am not doing it seriously at all. It is laughter, it is a dance, it is a play for me. I am enjoying it. And I have no plan, no reverence for it. How can I commit a mistake? You can commit a mistake if you have a plan – then you know where you missed. I carry no plans with me. I have no blueprint. I simply go on doing whatsoever happens in the moment. So whatsoever happens is perfectly right because there is no way to judge it, there is no criterion, there is no touchstone. That’s the beauty of it. And that’s what freedom is. In serious work you can never be free; in serious work anxiety will always haunt you; in serious work you are always afraid that something can go wrong.
With me nothing can go wrong because there is nothing that is right. If something is right then something can go wrong; if nothing is right then nothing is wrong. That’s the meaning of the Eastern concept of leela – play. It is a playfulness. While I am here I am enjoying this playfulness, I am enjoying it terribly, enjoying it terrifically.
You ask, “When I think about your life on this earth…” You are thinking in wrong terms. You are thinking in the terms that religions have conditioned your minds to think in. You are thinking as Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, Jainas do. You have not yet learned my language.
Christians think that Christ came to deliver the whole world from sin – all nonsense! You can see the world is not delivered yet. In fact if the world were completely delivered from sin there would be no work left for Christ. He would go broke. He would go bankrupt. He would have to close the shop. Jainas think that tirthankaras come to help humanity. I can understand – you want help, so you project help.
But a tirthankara is not going to help you. He is simply enjoying. And if you want to enjoy, you can participate. He simply opens a door to spiritual enjoyment, to spiritual bliss. And he is not worried whether you come or not, he is not worried whether a few people come or millions come. If nobody comes it is as good as if millions come. He is not in search of customers. He is happy; things are going perfectly well for him. If a few people come and dance with him, good. If nobody comes, he dances alone. His dance remains perfect, it is not a work.
Hindus think avatars come when the world is in misery, when the world is in ignorance. When religion disappears from the world then avatars come. All nonsense! Avatars have come many, many times, but the misery has not disappeared, the ignorance has not disappeared.
Religion never becomes an established fact; in fact the moment religion becomes established, it is no longer religion, it becomes a church. Established religion is no longer religion, religion remains only unestablished. Religion is a rebellion. You cannot make anything established out of it; it is intrinsically rebellious. And the play continues.
But I can understand why people have projected their need for help all over the world. This is their hope. They are in misery, that is certain, and they want somebody to help them. Why do you want somebody to help you? – because you don’t want to take the responsibility on yourself. First you say that others have made you miserable, now you say that somebody has to take you out of the misery. What are you doing? You don’t create your misery, you can’t drop it.
Do you exist or not? Responsibility is existence, responsibility gives you being. If you go on throwing responsibility on to someone else – it is the Devil who is creating misery and it is God who becomes Christ, becomes Mohammed, becomes Mahavira, and takes you out of the misery – then what are you doing? You seem to be just like a football: on one side is the Devil, on one side is God, and you are being kicked from this side to that. Enough! Simply say, “Enough! I am not going to allow myself to be kicked anymore.” Are you a football? Claim responsibility.
I am not here to help you. You may be here to be helped, but I am not. I am just enjoying my thing. I am doing my thing. And you will be benefited more if you drop your idea of help and work and Christ and avatars. You will be helped more if you drop all concepts of help. Simply be with me. Don’t bring business into it. Let it be pure play.
“…it seems that there must be a risk in your undertaking…” There is nothing, no risk – because it is not an undertaking. I am not risking anything because there is nothing to risk, there is nothing to lose. All that is, always is. And that which is not, never is. So what is the risk?
If somebody comes and kills me, he kills only my body, which is already dead, has always been dead; it is part of the earth. So, dust unto dust. He cannot kill me. I was before I was born; I will be after death has happened. So what has he done? – nothing serious; nothing of much importance. The person may think he had done a very serious thing: that he has killed me, that he has crucified a Jesus or killed a Socrates. That is his idea. But in me, that which is matter is going to fall into matter and that which is consciousness is going to fall into consciousness, so nobody can kill me. You can shoot at me, but you cannot shoot me. You can cut my head off, but your sword will not touch me. The sword is material and it cannot touch the spiritual.
There is no risk and there is no possibility of failure – because there is no possibility of success either. I cannot succeed so how can I fail? In fact the very terminology of success, failure, benefit, loss, is absurd, irrelevant.
You ask: “…that your work cannot be granted, that you must be able to err, to make a mistake. It seems that if there is no freedom to err then there is no freedom at all.” Freedom is so absolute that there is no right and no wrong. Freedom is so absolute that whatsoever you do is right. It is not that you have to do something and sometimes it is right and sometimes it is wrong. Try to understand my standpoint from my grounding, from my centering. Whatsoever you do is perfectly right – not that it fulfills any criterion of what is right. Simply there is no criterion of what is right. That’s why I can be with Hasids, I can be with Sufis, I can be with tantrikas, I can be with yogis. It is very difficult for so-called religious people; if they are with Mahavira, how can they be with Mohammed? Impossible. If one is right then the other is wrong. If they are with Krishna, how can they be with Christ? If one is right, the other is wrong. Their mathematics is clear: only one can be right. To me there is no criterion.
You cannot judge who is right and who is wrong. Mahavira is right because he enjoyed his thing; Buddha is right because he also enjoyed his thing; Mohammed is right because he enjoyed his thing, tremendously. Bliss is right. So whatsoever I am doing I am enjoying it tremendously – and to be blissful is to be right.
Even if I commit mistakes according to you… Maybe sometimes you feel I am committing a mistake. That will be according to you, because you carry some criterion.

I stayed in a Jaina family once. An old man came to see me – ninety years old. And he touched my feet and said,
“You are almost a twenty-fifth tirtankara.”
I said, “Wait, don’t be in a hurry. Just watch me.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Simply watch me. Otherwise you will have to take your words back.”
He became a little disturbed. It was dusk, the sun was setting, the evening was descending and a woman, my host’s wife, came in and said, “Your food is ready.”
I said, “Wait.”
The old man said, “What? The sun has already gone past the horizon. Are you going to take your food?”
I said, “Yes, I am telling the woman to wait. I will have to take my bath and then I will take my food.”
He stood up. He said, “Sorry. I must take my words back. You were right. You can eat at night? You don’t know even this much? Then what type of enlightened person are you?”

He has a certain criterion: an enlightened person cannot eat at night. This is the Jaina criterion.
If you go to any person he has criteria and he looks through those windows to see if I fit or if I don’t fit. But I am not here to fulfill your expectations. I am always right because I don’t carry any criteria. There is no way. You cannot even find contradictions in me, because whatsoever I have said up to this moment is irrelevant. I don’t bother a bit about it. Now it is for foolish scholars, it is finished for me! The moment I say something, I enjoy saying it – that’s all. More than that is not my concern. The moment I do something I enjoy it infinitely – beyond that it is not my concern.

“But when I look at you there is no question of mistakes; egolessness is perfect.” How can egolessness be perfect? The very idea of perfection is the ego; egolessness cannot be perfect. Egolessness simply means an absence of the ego. Can absence be imperfect? Absence cannot be imperfect, so how can absence be perfect? Absence is simply absence. Ego can be imperfect, ego can be perfect, but egolessness cannot be either. There is nobody to be perfect.
Seeing the point that the whole game of ego is absurd, ego disappears. Nothing is left behind. There is a wholeness, but there is no perfection. There is totality, but there is no perfection.
The old religions were all perfection-oriented; my whole teaching is whole-oriented. I say be whole, I don’t say be perfect. And the difference is tremendous. When I say be whole, I allow you contradictions. Then be wholly contradictory. When I say be whole, I don’t give you a goal, a criterion, an ideal; I don’t want to create any anxiety in you. I simply want you, in this moment, wherever, whatsoever you are doing, and whatsoever you are, to be total in it. If you are sad, be totally sad – you are whole. If you are angry, be totally angry. Go into it totally.
The idea of perfection is absolutely different, diametrically opposite – not even different, opposite. The perfectionists will say, “Never be angry; always be compassionate. Never be sad; always be happy.” They choose one polarity against the other. In wholeness we accept both the polarities: the lows and the highs, the ups and the downs. Wholeness is totality. And you have to see the whole nonsense of the ego; otherwise it can come in from the back door. If I say, “Now become perfectly egoless,” you will have to prove that there exists nobody who is more egoless than you.
Let me tell you an anecdote:

A family with a son about to be bar mitzvahed wanted to celebrate the occasion in a unique way. Money was no object. The caterer suggested many things: flying the party out to Disneyland, renting out the White House, having the affair in a nuclear submarine. All of these ideas were rejected by the family as old hat. It was not until the caterer came up with the idea of having the bar mitzvah on safari in Africa that the family grew excited. Invitations were issued to two hundred guests, two hundred plane tickets were bought and the group set off for Africa.
In Africa the bar mitzvah party was met by two hundred elephants, fifty guides, seven buglers and three hundred native porters who were to carry their food. Each guest mounted his own elephant with the father of the bar mitzvah boy in the rear of the procession.
They were only several miles into the jungle when the whole caravan came to a sudden halt.
From the rear elephant the father cried, “What is going on there?”
And the question was repeated two hundred times till it reached the head guide at the front of the procession. The answer came back up the line.
“We have to stop here for a little while.”
“Why?” wailed the distressed father.
“Why?” wailed the two hundred guests as the question proceeded up the line.
And then came the answer.
“There is another bar mitzvah party ahead!”

The whole ego trip is like that. You move in a circle, you can never be in the front – never. Again there will be a bar mitzvah party ahead. Even in the darkest jungles of Africa you cannot do anything that has not been done before, you cannot be anything that has not happened before, you cannot be unique. That’s why the ego can never be satisfied. The ego remains imperfect and goes on demanding perfection.
My whole message is to see the truth, to see the hell that ego creates in the name of perfection, uniqueness, and to let it drop. Then there is a tremendous beauty – no ego, no self, just a deep emptiness. And out of deep emptiness is creativity, out of that nothingness arises bliss, sat-chit-anand, truth-being-bliss, all arise out of that absolute purity. When the ego is not, you are a virgin. Christ was born out of a virgin; your nothingness is that mother virgin, Mother Mary.

The last question – and the most important one. In fact a question of historic importance:
Why do you always carry a towel? And why don't you drop it now?
The first thing: the towel has been with me for almost twenty-five years. It is a silver jubilee year! And I am very surprised by the question because only last night I decided to drop it.
I am reminded of a story:

A man became very old, he became a hundred years old, and the journalists came to interview him. They asked many questions. One journalist, hesitating a little about whether to ask or not – that must also have been the case with the person who asked this question; he or she must have hesitated many times whether to ask such an absurd question or not – the journalist asked, “Sir, one thing more I want to know. What do you think about women?”
The old man said, “Strange, only this morning I decided not to think about women at all!” A hundred-year-old man, and he decided just that morning! And he said, “Please, don’t tempt me again!”

I decided just last night.
But it is good that you have asked. It is a long history how the towel started to be with me, and before I part company with it I had better tell the story to you:

When I started living in Jabalpur, there were so many mosquitoes – don’t laugh, because you have nothing in Pune compared with Jabalpur; that’s nothing – I had to chase them with the towel the whole day. It was impossible to sit still.
Once a Buddhist monk, a very famous scholar, Bikkshu Jagdish Kashyap, stayed with me. He was my guest.
When he saw the mosquitoes he said, “I used to think that Sarnath was the tops for mosquitoes, but now it seems that Jabalpur has defeated Sarnath.”
And he said, “I will tell you a story about Sarnath, concerned with Buddha.
“Buddha came to Sarnath only once. His first sermon was delivered at Sarnath – but he never came again. So down the centuries Buddhists have said he never came again because of the mosquitoes.”
I told Bikkshu Jagdish Kashyap that once I left Jabalpur I would not go back again. And I have not been there since I left. I can understand Buddha’s difficulty. How could he have managed without a towel? Throughout his life he visited the same towns many times – Shravasti at least thirty times, Rajgrih at least forty times – and he never came back to Sarnath again. There must be some secret in it.

In fact mosquitoes are old enemies of meditators. Whenever you meditate, whether the Devil comes to tempt you or not, the mosquitoes will always come.
For eighteen years I was in Jabalpur. My towel became my constant companion. When I left Jabalpur and came to Mumbai I was thinking of leaving it, but then people started spinning esoteric theories about it. So just to save the theoreticians I continued using it.
Now it is a superstition. The word superstition comes from a root which means: something that was useful sometimes, but the circumstances have now changed, it is no longer useful. But it continues. This towel is a superstition and I have continued carrying it just for your sake – because there are theoreticians, esoteric people around who have to have something to base their theories upon.
One woman, one of my beautiful sannyasins from the Phillipines, told me that she had found out the truth about my towel. I asked what it was. She said, “You are a nobody, you live in nothingness, you have to hold something otherwise you will disappear.”
I said, “Right! Absolutely right!”
I had just three things: my lungi, my robe and my towel. My lungi is gone, you can see. Parijat helped me to renounce it. Parijat is my official seamstress – appointed by His Holiness, Osho Shree Shree Shree Oshoji Maharaj! She made the robe so beautifully that the lungi became almost absurd with it. It started looking like a bullock cart by the side of a Cadillac. So out of necessity I had to drop it.
Now here goes my towel. The only thing left is my robe. Please never ask any question about it!
Let me tell an anecdote:

A young Jewish couple was being wed in the usual Jewish tradition surrounded by at least two hundred relatives and friends. The room was in complete hush as the rabbi reached the part of the service which said: With all my worldly goods I thee endow.
The best man turned to the maid of honor and said, “There goes Erwin’s bicycle!”

And here goes Osho’s towel. It is all that I have. So I must remind you again: never ask any question about my robe.
I will throw the towel. Whosoever it lands upon becomes its proud owner, but nobody must raise their hands or try to catch it. Hmmm? You just be in a meditation, absolutely passive. That is the way godliness also descends. If you try to catch it you cannot be the owner of it.
And if some problem or some dispute arises that two or three persons claim the towel, you can always go to Mulla Nasruddin. It will be difficult to locate him because he is a very subtle and invisible man. But he’s the best. If you cannot locate him then you can go to the next best person, Swami Yoga Chinmaya. He will decide the dispute – who the owner is. And if it cannot be decided then you can always divide it.
Remember that you are not to catch it. If you try to catch it, you miss the opportunity. Let it land on you.
Here goes Osho’s towel!
Enough for today.

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