Sat Chit Anand 15

Fifteenth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - Sat Chit Anand by Osho.
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What is the generation gap?
The generation gap is a very new thing in the world. Just half a century ago, nobody had even heard the term generation gap. Man has been here for thousands of years, but no society, no culture, no civilization was bothered about the generation gap. So, a few things have to be understood: how it came into existence, what it is, and what its final implications are.
In the past, by the age of six or seven at the most, children used to follow their fathers’ professions, whatever it was, and howsoever little they could help… If the father was a carpenter, the boy would try to bring wood, to help him in his own little way. And this was the only way that was available for the child to learn.
Always the older generation was the wiser generation. Just being old was enough to be wise, because knowing came only through one door – and that was experience. But experience needs time. Obviously the children were so new they did not have enough time to compete with the older generation. The older generation knew much more about everything – it had lived longer. That was the only measurement.
Those who had lived a long time became more and more respected because they were more experienced. They knew more things than others. This created the phenomenon of respect for the old. So whatever the older people were saying was bound to be right. There was no hesitation, there was no question, there was no doubt in the minds of the younger people. They believed in the older generation’s religion, they believed in the older generation’s superstitions, they believed in everything that the older generation was handing over to them.
The generation gap was not there, the generations overlapped. Before retiring, the older generation prepared the newer generation to take over the work. So there was an overlapping time of twenty years, thirty years, in which the younger generation was working under the older. And the older generation had all the power, all the prestige, and it molded the new generation according to its own ideals, morality, manners, etiquette.
There was no opportunity for the youth to declare their individuality. They were part and parcel of the older generation. They had come out of the womb of the mother, but they never came out of the womb of the older generation. By the time the older generation was retiring, becoming very old or dying, they became individuals. But by that time they themselves were old and they had to take care of the new generation that had come into being. So it was a very deeply connected world.
How did the generation gap come into being? It is dependent on many factors. Scientific progress has given people time for their children to be educated in the schools, colleges, universities. Now a new door has opened for learning. In the whole past there was only one possibility to learn and that was from the older generation. Now a new door has opened for learning, fast learning.
Experience moves at a very slow pace, but education depends on your intelligence. You don’t have to depend on the pace at which education is moving. And during these twenty-five years of education, you are no longer under the control of your parents, of your society, of your priests.
In these twenty-five years you have no responsibility, you are not married. In the past, marriage used to happen too early – seven years, eight years, ten years, was old enough to get married. A ten-year-old boy gets married to a seven-year-old girl, and with the phenomenon of marriage comes a tremendous responsibility – they have almost become adults.
In other words, what I want to say is that in the past there has never been anything like youth. From children, people became adults. Youth was missing. Youth is a new phenomenon, the younger generation is a new phenomenon. It is a by-product of scientific progress. Scientific progress has given us so much technology and children are allowed to have many years in the universities to learn.
Secondly, when there was no science – and it was not long ago, just three hundred years – nothing was changing. Everything was as it had always been. The bullock cart had been there for centuries. It was still the only vehicle. So the older generation knew everything because everything was old.
With scientific progress the world of great books has completely disappeared. And progress is going faster and faster, so fast that scientists no longer write big books out of fear that if you write a big book, by the time it is completed it will be out of date; scientists are simply writing papers in the periodicals.
It was perfectly good for Charles Darwin to take thirty years to write a single book. Now it would simply be stupidity. By the time you are finished, all that you have written is wrong. Science has gone further, and the speed of science is so great that you cannot write with the same speed.
And science has developed into such a huge tree, with so many branches, that now to call anyone just a scientist is not right. It does not give you the right definition. He may be a physicist, he may be a chemist, he may be a mathematician. And the branches go on dividing into new branches. Now there is a new chemistry which has its own independent world – biochemistry.
Mathematics is no longer just one science. The old mathematics which is used in the ordinary world is no longer relevant for nuclear physics. It needs a new mathematics. So there are new mathematicians. The theorems of Euclidean geometry are no longer relevant. Now there is a totally new science opposing them, non-Euclidean geometry, which does not believe in any definitions of Euclid. For two thousand years Euclid was valid.
For two thousand years Aristotle’s logic was the only logic. It is no longer the case. There is non-Aristotelian logic, there is non-Euclidean geometry, and every day sciences go on growing into different dimensions. And each dimension is so vast that the man who knows nuclear physics may not be aware at all of what chemistry is doing, or what is happening in the world of biology, or what is happening in the world of medical science. The scientist is no longer a man working alone, but only a specialist. Because of this specialization, things are moving very fast. Everybody has taken a small part and is developing it to its ultimate end.
When the student comes back home after five years at the university, he knows more than the older generation. That is the problem, that is what is creating the generation gap. To him, even his own parents look foolish, out of date, knowing nothing. This has taken away the respect that was taken for granted in the past. You cannot respect someone who looks to you completely out of date, out of tune, who does not know what has happened in the last twenty-five years.
The growth and the pace of growth is such that what before did not happen in twenty-five centuries now happens in twenty-five years. Naturally, a tremendous gap between the older and the newer generation is bound to happen. It is inevitable. The newer generation knows more, for the first time in the history of man, than the older generation.
If a student is intelligent enough, he can know more than the professors. He just has to spend more time in the library and be acquainted with the latest developments. The professor is already twenty years behind. All the professors, all the teachers, all the parents, all together are complaining of one thing: the newer generation is not respectful toward them. But they can’t see one simple thing: the whole reason for respect has disappeared. You have to accept it, there is no other way. The person who knows more cannot respect the people who don’t know that much.
And this gap is widening. It has stopped the communication between the older generation and the newer generation because conversation is so difficult. The parents have their own egos. They are not going to sit at the feet of their own children and learn from them. The children have their own egos, they know more: why should they sit at the feet of their parents and learn from them things which have proved to be completely wrong? They almost speak different languages. The influence of the older generation on the newer generation has completely gone. The relationship has become more and more formal. It is just a remnant of the past, but its substance, its soul, is dead. And this is going to happen more and more because every day science is developing with greater speed in all dimensions.
Specialization is a new thing in the world. In the past, you used to have a family doctor. Now you cannot have one because there are all kinds of specialists. The family doctor used to treat you as a whole organism, but now you have been divided into parts because each part is so detailed that a person goes on researching it his whole life, and yet he does not come to the end. So there are specialists who will be only taking care of your eyes. To you, eyes look small, but once you enter the world of specialization, the eyes have their own whole world. It is not a small thing, it is a very complicated phenomenon. There is a specialist who understands the brain. There is the specialist who takes care of your skin. Dermatology in itself is such a big science that there is no time for the person to think of other things. Somebody takes care of your ears, somebody takes care of your tuberculosis, somebody takes care of your cancer.
You can’t have a single person taking care of you anymore, because there is no such thing as a physician, just purely a physician. In fact, there are only consultants who direct you… Their whole work is to direct you to the specialist you should see, because specialization has gone to such minute detail that you need a consultant to decide to which specialist you should go. Your body is no longer taken as a whole organism, it has been dissected.
Science dissects everything into segments because each segment is so big that the whole body cannot be understood by one man alone. So when a student specializing in eyes comes home, he is not going to listen to his father’s or mother’s old recipes for cures for the eyes. He knows so much more that they seem simply ignorant and their recipes simply foolish, superstitious.
The older generation will have to learn one thing: to no longer expect respect. On the contrary, if you want to be still respected, give respect to your own children. This advice is meaningful only because of this generation gap. In the past it would have been meaningless. The older generation used to give love and the younger generation used to give respect. That was a settled thing for thousands of years. Now everything is unsettled; it is a chaos. And because the older generation is not getting the respect, they are withdrawing their love. The whole communication, the old relationship, is on the rocks. The new generation is still expected to respect, to listen, to follow – which is impossible.
In fact, the older generation will have to listen now and will have to give respect to the new people. And only if the older generation is humble enough to give respect to their own children, will the children perhaps be able to give respect. There is no other possibility. All communication lines are broken because they speak different languages. And it is not their fault, it is simply the situation.

“I never slept with a man before I slept with your father,” declares the stern mother to her wild daughter. “Will you be able to say the same thing to your daughter?”
“Yes,” replies the girl, “but not with such a straight face!”

“Just look at me!” declares old man Rubenstein. “I don’t smoke, drink or chase women, and tomorrow I will celebrate my eightieth birthday.”
“You will?” asked his son curiously. “How? You neither smoke, nor drink, nor chase women. How are you going to celebrate?”

All lines of communication are completely blocked, but what old people are doing – condemning the new generation – is wrong. I can see the reason why things have changed. The new generation is not responsible. It is not their crime. It is simply a totally different set of circumstances. The older generation should show a little more understanding, a little more clarity, a little more readiness to listen to the new generation because they are the future. In the past, the past used to rule the future. Now things are otherwise; the future is going to rule over everything.
I have been a teacher and I have attended conferences of professors of the universities. The whole problem to them was how to create discipline, how to create respect. The students were getting out of hand, no discipline, no respect. I was the only exception. Because I said to them “The whole responsibility is yours” they finally started dropping me from their conferences.
In the past, there were children who were married before they were ten. Sometimes children were even married when they were still in their mother’s womb. Just two friends would decide: “As our wives are pregnant, if one gives birth to a boy and the other gives birth to a girl, then the marriage is settled, promised.” The question of asking the boy and the girl did not arise at all. They were not even born yet. And for the parents there was no certainty: both might be girls, both might be boys. But if one was a boy and another was a girl, the marriage was settled. And people kept their word, their promises.

My own mother was married when she was seven years old. Her parents had to tie her to a pillar inside the house when the marriage party was coming and there were fireworks. At the reception there was music and dance, and everybody was out of the house.
My mother still reminds me, “I could not understand why only I was left inside the house and tied! They wouldn’t let me go out.” She had no understanding what marriage was. Like any child, she wanted to see all the beautiful things happening outside – the whole village had gathered, and she was crying.
My father was not more than ten years old, and he had no understanding of what was happening. I used to ask him, “What was the most significant thing that you enjoyed at your wedding?”
He said, “Riding on the horse.”
Naturally, for the first time he was dressed like a king, with a knife hanging by his side, and he was sitting on the horse, and everybody was walking around him. He enjoyed it tremendously. That was the most important thing that he enjoyed at his wedding.
A honeymoon was out of the question. Where will you send a ten-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl for a honeymoon? So in India the honeymoon never used to exist and, in the past, nowhere else in the world either.
When my father was ten years old and my mother was seven years old, my father’s mother died. After the marriage, perhaps one or two years afterward, the whole responsibility fell on my mother, who was only nine years old. My father’s mother had left two small daughters and two small boys. So four children – and the responsibility on a nine-year-old girl and a twelve-year-old son. My grandfather never liked to live in the city where he had his shop. He loved the countryside. He had his own beautiful horse. When his wife died he was absolutely free.
You will not believe it, but in his time – and it is not long ago – the government used to give land to people for free because there was a lot of land but not so many people to cultivate it. So my grandfather got fifty acres of land free from the government. He loved living sixteen miles away from the city where he had left the whole shop in the hands of his children – my father and mother – who were only twelve and nine years old. He enjoyed creating a garden, creating a farm, and he loved to live there in the open air. He hated the city.
Now, how can you think that there could be a generation gap? My father never had any experience of the freedom of young people of today. He was never young in that way. Before he could be young, he was already old, taking care of his younger brothers and sisters and the shop. And by the time he was twenty he had to arrange marriages for his sisters, marriages and education for his brothers.
I have never called my mother mother because before I was born she was taking care of four children who used to call her bhabhi. Bhabhi means “brother’s wife.” Because four children were already calling my mother bhabhi, I also started calling her bhabhi. Even today I call her bhabhi, but she is my mother, not my brother’s wife. They have tried hard to make me change, but it comes so natural to me to call her bhabhi. All my brothers and sisters call her mother. Only I am crazy enough to call her bhabhi. But I learned it from the very beginning, when four other children…
And then I had a rapport with my uncles and with my father’s sisters, a friendliness. They were a little older than me, but there was not much distance. I never thought of respect; they never thought of receiving respect. They loved me, I loved them.

It was a totally different world just seventy years ago. Generations were overlapping, and there used to be no youth. Now youth has come into existence and it will be growing bigger because as machines are going to take more and more jobs in the factories, in the offices, what are you going to do with people? They cannot be left doing nothing, otherwise they will do something absurd, something irrational, something insane. They will go mad. So you have to extend the period of their education. From twenty-five, soon it will be thirty-five. Then you will have to give them only a very small period of employment.
My own understanding is that there is going to be a second layer of university. After ten years of work, not more than that, you will be retired. By the time you are forty-five, you are retired. The best way will be to have another university that begins at the age of forty-five. It will be good, beneficial to the world, because knowledge will expand with such tremendous speed. But it will be very difficult as far as human relationships are concerned. They change with small things. You may not even think…
For example, in the past when there were no cars, it was impossible to fall in love with a girl who did not live in your own neighborhood. And then too it was very difficult because all the neighbors knew you, all the neighbors knew the girl, all the neighbors knew your parents, the girl’s parents. Immediately you would be reported. You could not go far away. The moment the car came into existence and was put into the hands of the young people, love became a tremendous phenomenon.
Now taking your girl to any faraway place where nobody knows you, nobody knows the girl, nobody is going to complain to your parents, has become very easy. It has also become very easy to take out a different girl every day because the first girl will never know where you have gone. The car has managed a totally new world of love affairs. The inventors of the car never thought that it would change the whole structure of society.
In America, the average person lives in one city for not more than three years, remains in one job for not more than three years, remains in one marriage for not more than three years. Strange, but things are changing so fast. When you change your job, it is not only the job that changes. You have to change the city, the place you live in, the house. You become acquainted with new secretaries, new typists. You were getting fed up with the old ones, but the new ones bring new life to you.
One of my attorneys was going to come this week but then he informed me, “I am sorry, I will not be able to come because my wife is divorcing me, so I am going through the process of divorce. And I will end up almost a pauper because she is a powerful woman. Everything is in her name – the house, the car – so once we are divorced, I am on the streets. She is going to take everything. And living with her has become so difficult that I would prefer to be on the streets than continue living with her. The person who is going to marry her I think of as my best friend, because he is taking on the whole responsibility, not realizing what is going to happen to him soon.”
In the past people lived in one village their whole lives. Perhaps they went once in a while to the nearby town or city. But even today in India there are millions of people who have not seen a railway train because they have never gone that far from their small village. They are perfectly satisfied in their village. They are poor, but they don’t have the longing to go anywhere. They have a small piece of land and they are too attached to it – they cannot leave it.
America is continuously on the move. It is the car that keeps people moving. When I was in America I wanted to see trains, but I could not see any. Five years I was there. I inquired, “I don’t see any railway trains. I never come across railway crossings.” I was informed that most of the people fly. The remaining ones who enjoy traveling use their cars. Trains are almost old-fashioned. It takes seven days for a train to cross America. Who is going to waste seven days in a train? The distance can be covered by plane within two hours. You can have your supper in London, your lunch in Mumbai, your coffee break in Tokyo, your supper in New York.
With this speed, there are bound to be many implications; old ties cannot remain. So people have their girlfriends all around the world. It was not possible in the past to have a girlfriend if you were married. Even if you were not married, then too it was not possible to have a girlfriend. It was against the older generation’s morality. They never gave you the chance. Before you could even think of any girl, you were married. Marriage came almost naturally. Just as you got your sister, your brother, you got your wife. Before you became aware what was happening, you were already caught. There was no question of choice.
There is a certain human psychology. If you are living, for example, with your sisters, with your brothers, you simply love them. Not that they are very beautiful or something unique. They are just your sisters, they are your brothers, and you have lived so long together that a liking naturally arises. In the past, love had no existence, it was only liking. You lived together with your wife for years before you could make love to her, and a certain liking… There was no alternative, so you were almost in chains.
You could not have any friendship with any woman. That was prohibited. Your only possible relationship was with your own wife, and that, too, deep in the darkness of the night when everybody was asleep. You could not even whisper. Somebody might wake up because families were extended families with fifty people, forty people living under one roof.
It was good in a way because you never saw the woman, her whole topography. You never saw the man. Everything was happening in the dark. You never got fed up. Now everything is happening under electric light and there are idiots who even have cameras fixed in their bedroom to take pictures of what kind of stupidity they are doing, so later on they can enjoy them in their photo album.
Small things make such long-lasting and deep changes in life that one is not aware that this is going to happen. The new generation is going to have a greater future and, for the first time, the older generation has to learn to be humble, loving. Perhaps if they are humble and loving they may still be respected for their love and for their humbleness, and there may continue a certain communication. But they have to understand clearly that they represent the past and the new generation represents the future – and the gap is large.
If they go on sticking to their ideologies and to their churches and to their superstitions, the gap will become bigger. It looks strange to learn from your own children, but I don’t think it is strange – just the situation has changed. For thousands of years, children have learned from you. Now it is time to have a change. Start learning from your children. Start looking at the world through the eyes of your children, and the gap will disappear. But the gap will disappear only if the older generation changes its attitudes. It is not going to disappear the way they are behaving all over the world.
They are trying to force the new generation to go according to them, as they have always been going. But they don’t see that the whole world has changed. Nothing is anymore the same. New things have brought new possibilities. The inventors had no idea what their inventions would do, but small things can have a tremendous effect. The world cannot be the old way again. People cannot leave all the facilities, comforts and luxuries that technology and science have given to them.
So the gap is going to become bigger and bigger, unless the older generation proves more prudent. Now is the time to prove that you are really wise. Up to now, it was just taken for granted. This is the challenge to the older generation to behave wisely and intelligently. Then the gap can be bridged. But it will be bridged from the side of the older generation, not the younger generation.

When I see you, sometimes I see a twinkle of childlike innocence, a warmth that I call love. And sometimes I see a vast emptiness, as cool and crystal clear and impersonal as the night sky. Are both these qualities in you? Are both these qualities in me? It seems impossible but true.
You have stumbled on a very significant truth. The childlike innocence and the warmth of love that you see are not contradictory to “…a vast emptiness as cool and crystal clear and impersonal as the night sky.” In fact, they are both sides of the same coin. If you become childlike, innocent, there will be a warmth and love in you. But on the other side of the coin, you will be just like the cool, impersonal nothingness, just like a starry night.
Both these things happen together. The first happens – the coolness, the nothingness – and then the innocence of the child brings the warmth. But it is always difficult for the intellect to figure it out when it sees something which appears to be the opposite.
For example, if you dig up the roots of a rosebush, you cannot conceive that these roots are connected with the roseflowers. The roots are ugly. There seems to be no likeness in any way possible between the roseflowers and the roots. But the roots are giving all the juice and life to the roseflower. It is the roots which are giving the color, the liveliness, the warmth, the beauty to the roseflower. Life is full of such apparent opposites. This is your inner opposite: if inside you, you become as cool as the starry night – nothingness, impersonal – this will be your root; then your childlike innocence, warmth, love, will be your expression as a flower. They cannot exist separately.
This is in me and these qualities are in you too. Once you have become aware of the phenomenon, it won’t take long for you to realize the same roots and the roses within you. Only when you experience it within you, will you be able to understand – not just intellectually, but existentially. But you have certainly stumbled on a tremendously great truth.
You are saying, “It seems impossible but true.” Truth is impossible, but anyway it happens. It only appears impossible, but it is our very potential. Existence is so full of mysteries: never think in terms of impossibilities. Everything is possible. The impossible is only an idea of the mind.
Can you understand how these green trees are growing upward, against gravitation? It is impossible. But they are managing perfectly well – all the trees of the world – and they have never thought about gravitation, they don’t care about it. Scientists have been very troubled that trees grow one hundred and fifty feet high. And not only the trees, but the juice, the water, has to go upward without any pumping system in the tree. How is it managing? You cannot take water one hundred and fifty feet high without an electric pump.
But these trees have their own mystery, and it is so subtle that when scientists became aware of it they could not believe it: for millions of years these trees – ignorant, uneducated, not knowing anything of science – have been doing a miracle. The miracle is that on the top where every tree is searching for the sun… That is the trick: every tree is searching for the sun. So whenever the trees grow thick, the trees will also go higher. It is a competition. Whoever goes higher will survive longer.
They are seeking the sun so the sun can evaporate water from their tops. And it is a connecting link; they function like blotting paper. When on the top the sun takes the water as vapor, the top becomes dry, the blotting paper becomes dry. It goes on taking the water from underneath and the second layer of blotting paper becomes dry. And because the second layer has become dry, it takes water from a lower one. In this way, for one hundred and fifty feet the tree goes on carrying its water without any pumping system. But it needs the sun, otherwise it will die.
It is the sun against gravitation. The tree is managing a conspiracy against gravitation in combination with the sun. With the help of the sun it is going higher, taking juices from the roots. It has been found that roots have a certain sensitivity which even we don’t have. A few people have it. You must have heard of a few people who can just walk around and tell you where you will find water. But these people also take help from the trees, which you may not have noticed. They always carry a branch, a fresh branch cut from the tree, in their hands. The whole trick is that they carry the branch in their hands. Their hands are very sensitive. They don’t know anything about water, but the tree branch knows. So wherever the tree branch gives them a jerk – just so slight that you cannot see it, but they can feel the jerk – the tree branch is interested, there is water.
They are deceiving people, they are trying to show that they are working a great miracle. It is not a miracle; it is a simple method the trees have been using. Wherever the water is, the branch is bound to move. And they have only to be sensitive to the branch, where it moves, which side, where it points. They will go round and round, again and again, at the same point, to make completely sure where the point is, where you will find water.
It has been found that the roots of trees move hundreds of feet away just to find water. But how do they manage to know that a hundred feet south or north there is water and, strangely enough, even water in a water pipe, a hundred feet away? The tree roots are so sensitive toward water that although the water may be going through a pipe, they become aware of it. And it has been found that they break the pipe. They enter the pipe and they start drinking your water for their own purposes, sending it one hundred and fifty feet high. It is stealing, and they don’t pay any taxes! They don’t care about your water corporation. But they manage.
In the commune in America we were living in a desert. Only one type of tree grows in that desert. That tree has learned ways to exist in the desert, it has adapted itself to desert life. As the camel is adapted to the desert, those trees are also adapted.
Their whole strategy is – because they don’t have any water as far as their roots are concerned – to gather moisture from the air, particularly in the night when the desert becomes cool and there is moisture, humidity. From each leaf, from every branch, they suck in the moisture, and that is their only way of existence. They don’t use their roots because as far as the roots are concerned, it is pure desert; there is no water at all. But they learned a new method – just the opposite – of absorbing moisture through the leaves.
Ordinary trees everywhere evaporate water from the leaves and suck water from the roots. But desert trees function in a totally opposite way. They don’t use their roots. They use their roots only to keep them standing, just as a support for them to stand – that’s all. It is sheer intelligence: in the night they will suck in all the moisture from the air –and they live perfectly well.
It is a wrong idea that existence is unintelligent. It is more intelligent than you can think. Its whole functioning is full of intelligence and nothing is impossible. You just have to find the right way and then impossibles become possibles. Your mind is a little cowardly. Your mind wants things according to it, it wants everything in accordance with its own conditioning. That makes many things impossible. You have to learn not to force existence to be in accordance with you. That is the irreligious way, and you are not going to win.
The religious way is to be humble and function according to existence. Be natural and let nature decide the course of your being. And nature is tremendously intelligent. It gives you birth, it gives you life, it gives you your intelligence. Unless it is an ocean of intelligence, from where can you get your intelligence? – which is small, certainly, in comparison to the universal intelligence.
It is my experience that both these things come together. A silent nothingness, impersonal coolness… But remember not to hear me saying “coldness”; I am simply calling it “coolness.” Coldness is a totally different thing: coldness is a closedness. Coolness is not a closed experience. It is very lively, very open, a fresh breeze passing through you continuously. You are being renewed every moment – that’s why you are cool.
And because you are impersonal, you are innocent. Otherwise you cannot be innocent. And because you are innocent and alive and fresh every moment, there comes a certain loving warmth in you which is unaddressed to anybody – just like a fragrance. Anybody can rejoice in it who is capable of being receptive.
I want my people to make this impossible possible. When this impossible becomes possible, you will have the total existential understanding of sat-chit-anand, of truth, of consciousness, of bliss.

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