Sat Chit Anand 28

TwentyEighth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - Sat Chit Anand by Osho.
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What is the transcendental?
The moment you start witnessing yourself, you will see three layers of existence within you. One is the outermost. Everybody can observe it: it is objective, it is material, it is your body. The second layer behind it is your mind, your thoughts, your dreams, your expectations. Only you can see them, nobody else can see them from outside. They are not objective. They are subjective, but they certainly are. They exist in their own way. You cannot deny their existence, certainly on a different wavelength – not as solid and physical as the body – but you can see them. They direct your life, they are your hopes, your projections, your expectations.
The first layer is called the objective and the second layer is called the subjective, but beyond both there is a witness which can watch both the body and the mind, the material and the nonmaterial. This witness, this consciousness, this awareness, is beyond both. It is neither material nor nonmaterial because it is beyond both. You cannot go beyond it. You cannot witness it. You have come to the very end of the rope, you have come to the very bottom of existence. This awareness is called the transcendental because it transcends the duality of body-mind. To be centered in it means you have come home. There is no way beyond it. Here the road ends.
Suddenly you find perfection in everything. Nothing is missing, nothing needs improvement, refinement; everything is as it should be, and this feeling, that everything is as it should be, brings tremendous gratitude. The perfection of existence fills you with the tremendous joy that you are a participant in a perfect existence, that you are an invited guest, that you are welcome here, that the whole existence needs you. If you were not here, it would miss you; some place would remain vacant. Nobody else can take your place. This gives you individuality and dignity and a great blissfulness. For the first time you are at ease with existence, with trees, with stars, with the ocean. The whole becomes your home. This is the transcendental.
It is called transcendental because it transcends all duality and brings you to a state of oneness. This is the ultimate outcome of a meditative consciousness.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi calls his meditation Transcendental Meditation. That is an unnecessary repetition of words. Meditation is enough, or transcendental is enough; both mean the same. Meditation brings you to transcendence and every transcendence is nothing but the ultimate flowering of meditation. And what he calls Transcendental Meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation; it is just chanting a certain name. You can chant your name. It gives a certain relaxation.
The great English poet Tennyson, without being initiated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – there was no question of it because he existed a long time before Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born – just found it by himself because he had to sleep in a room separate from his parents. They were rich people, they could provide each child with a separate room of his own. But he was so small and the nights were so dark. There was great fear – and particularly in England, which seems to be the most ghost-haunted country in the whole world.
It is strange, but nowhere in the world will you find so many ghost-haunted houses, so many people concerned about ghosts. So naturally the little child, Tennyson, was very worried when it became dark and the lights were put out. Finding nothing else to hold on to, he discovered a trick. He would repeat his own name continuously: “Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson,” just to avoid all kinds of ghosts who must have been around in the darkness, hiding in the nooks and corners of the room. He became so occupied with his own name that a certain curtain was created protecting him from all sides, so there was not even a small gap for any ghosts to enter.
He found – strangely, accidentally – what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi calls Transcendental Meditation. He became utterly silent, peaceful, and fell into deep relaxed sleep. And in the morning when he woke up, he would wake up with the same repetition – “Tennyson, Tennyson” – that he had gone with into sleep.
This is something to be understood. Anything that you go to sleep with, the last thing that you remember before sleep falls over you, will be the first thing you remember when you wake up, even before opening your eyes. Psychologically of course you were not aware of it, but you repeated the same thing the whole night.
If Tennyson repeated his own name while he was falling asleep, slowly, slowly the sleep became deeper and the word Tennyson became farther and farther away like an echo, until finally he forgot all about Tennyson and fell into an unconscious state. But that word continued in the unconscious as an undercurrent. That’s why in the morning, the first thing he remembered was his own name.
You can try it. Anything you fall asleep with will remain flowing within you and you will have to encounter it in the morning when you wake up. This means the whole night he was repeating consciously at first, then unconsciously, then again consciously, the same name. Naturally he could not dream. He could not think of anything else. His sleep became a very silent, deep, dreamless sleep – what Patanjali calls sushupti. Modern psychology is still not aware of it.
Patanjali, the man who first wrote the whole science of Yoga… It happens very rarely that a single man creates a whole science. It is now five thousand years old, but in these five thousand years, nothing has been added to the science of Yoga. It remains exactly the same. And I don’t think there is any possibility in the future either to make any improvement. A single genius completed the whole thing, not leaving anything out of it that could be added later on. Patanjali calls this state sushupti, dreamless sleep. It is a beautiful state, very healthy, very nourishing, very rejuvenating. But it is not meditation. It is just a kind of hypnotic sleep.
By repeating your own name continuously you create a certain kind of boredom. Obviously, if you repeat “Tennyson, Tennyson,” how long can you remain interested? Soon you start feeling bored, and boredom is a very good state for bringing in sleep. Whenever you feel bored you start falling into sleep. The mind finds a way to get out of boredom by going to sleep. That’s why in every church you will find almost everybody asleep, just having a good Sunday-morning sleep.

I have heard about a priest who was very famous and his congregation was very large. The reason for his congregation being so large was that there was no other preacher who was so boring. It was a strange reason. But he bored people to such an extent that even people who were suffering from insomnia fell asleep. The whole night, even with all their sleeping pills, they could not manage it, but the preacher was really a genius. His voice was so boring; what he was saying he had said so many times that people could hear it even in their sleep. He was also happy; with everybody asleep the whole church was silent.
He had only three sermons; there was no need to have more, three were enough. Nobody was awake so nobody knew which he was giving; nobody could repeat what they had heard. Everybody said that the man certainly cast a hypnotic spell.
Just one old man sitting in front of him, the richest man of the city, was a trouble. He snored. His snoring was not a trouble; the trouble was that because of his snoring, many people could not sleep. The preacher was very much disturbed that if it continued many people would stop coming. They came only to have a good morning sleep on Sunday. It was so rejuvenating, one hour’s sleep, that it was enough to keep them relaxed, calm and quiet for the whole week. He had to find some way – and he found it.
The old man always used to come with one of his great-grandchildren, just a small boy, but very alive. In fact, in the whole congregation only he was awake. The priest pulled the boy aside one day and said, “Listen, I will give you a quarter of a dollar if you can keep your old man awake. Whenever you see he is snoring, just start nudging him. Wake him up. Don’t let him sleep. And a quarter every week is certain.”
The boy said, “Done.”
The next week the old man could not figure out what had happened to the boy. He always used to sit silently by his side. The moment he started snoring, the boy started waking him up.
Outside the church he asked, “What is the matter with you? You did not let me sleep at all!”
He said, “The priest is giving me a quarter to keep you awake.”
The old man said, “Then you should have told me before. I will give you half a dollar to let me sleep!”
He said, “Done.”
The next week the preacher watched. Again many times he gestured to the child, gave all indications, but the child simply sat there smiling, not even bothering about the priest.
The priest thought, “What has happened? Has he forgotten completely?” When everybody was sleeping he even showed him a quarter. The child said no, just waved his hand. “Strange…” After the meeting he got hold of the child and asked, “What is the matter?”
He said, “My old man is giving me half a dollar.”
The priest said, “Half a dollar? I will give you one dollar, but don’t let that old man sleep!”
He said, “Done.”
But the priest thought, “I cannot compete with that old man because he is very rich. I am a poor priest.” He said to the boy, “Listen. I am a poor priest, I cannot give you more than that.”
He said, “It all depends on the old man. If he says he is going to give me two dollars… You are a man of understanding, business is business.”
And that’s what happened. The old man said, “Two dollars,” and the boy again stopped.
Finally the priest had to talk to the old man himself. “Let us clarify the whole thing. I am not worried about your sleep. My problem is that because of your snoring many people cannot sleep and they are complaining. My congregation is the biggest in the city because they enjoy such a beautiful sleep. Anything boring is helpful.”

Now they have created many machines which simply create the noise of the ocean, the waves coming to the rocks, splashing, making their sound. You just have to plug into the mechanism and it gives you the continuous sound of the waves, and many people are helped by it. They fall asleep, it is so boring.
What Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is teaching people is a kind of dreamless sleep. It is not meditation. Meditation is awakening, not going to sleep. I have nothing against it, he just should not call it Transcendental Meditation. It is simply hypnotic sleep. He is using a wrong name and exploiting people because of the wrong name. People think it is meditation. This is sheer conmanship.
In the East, we have known for centuries that chanting is good for sleep, and sleep is good for health. So there is nothing wrong in it, just fifteen minutes or ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening. If you can do it, you will have better health, a better sense of well-being, so there is nothing wrong in it. But it is not meditation.
Meditation is just the opposite. It is awakening. It is becoming fully aware of your body, of your mind. And you have simply to be watchful. You don’t have to repeat anything, because repetition means you have fallen into identifying with the thought process.
Chanting is also a thought process. Repeating a mantra or a name of God – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, it doesn’t matter. You can simply count from one to a hundred and back again, from a hundred to ninety-nine, ninety-eight, ninety-seven, then go back. Go up, go down. Just climb the whole ladder up to a hundred and again come down. Four or five times you will be able to do it and then you will fall asleep. But the whole night you will have to do that, climbing up, coming down, climbing up, coming down. It may even be tiring, so that in the morning you may feel your back is hurting, something has gone wrong, you feel giddy. The first thing that you will find in the morning is that you are coming down or going up. The whole night it has continued. Don’t choose such a thing.
It was perfectly good for Tennyson; he did it his whole life. In his autobiography he says: “I don’t know what the secret of it is. I simply stumbled on it out of fear. But I found it so peaceful, so relaxing, leading me into such deep sleep that I have used it my whole life. Whenever I have time, I repeat my own name, just sitting in the bus or in the railway train. There is nothing to do. I just close my eyes and go on repeating my name. And it is so peaceful and so silent.” But it is a silence which is of sleep, it is a peace which is of sleep.
You will not become aware at the very moment it is happening; you will become aware when you awake. You will see you have passed through a peaceful land. Only the remnants like a memory hang around you – some fragrance. But you have passed through the garden completely asleep. When you wake up, you find you must have passed through a garden because you can still smell the roses.
I entirely support what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is doing. But I absolutely disagree with his using a name which simply exploits people who do not know what meditation is. He is giving something very cheap in the name of meditation. Meditation is always the essential awakening, witnessing, watchfulness, consciousness. It is never unconscious; it is never a deep sleep. It is a deep awakening. The moment you are alert, you can see the body, you can see your mind, and you can experience yourself. You cannot go beyond this yourself. You cannot go behind it or beyond it. It is your very being. You cannot jump out of it. It is not a dress that you can jump out of. It is you yourself. It is your very essence.
This essence is transcendental.
But all religions have created their own ideas about meditation. Except Gautam Buddha, no other religion has been able to find exactly the right meaning of meditation. Hence he remains a pillar of light to all those who are seeking, searching. All other religions have fallen into the trap of chanting, prayer, mantras, rituals. A single man in the whole of history stands alone like an Everest, denying everything except witnessing. That’s what he means by vipassana.
It is the art of witnessing all your actions, physical or mental. As you watch them, they slow down. Your body becomes more at ease, tensionless; your mind becomes slowly, slowly thoughtless. And when the body is completely silent, and the mind is without any thought, your whole being is filled with a light that you have never known before. It is not the ordinary light that needs fuel. It is your very being radiating. From this moment onward, your journey will take a new turn. On each step, a new mystery will open its doors. You will be becoming more and more part of the miracles of existence.
Existence is a mystery. It is not something that you have to solve. It is not a problem, nor is it a puzzle; there is no solution to it. No philosophy can demystify it. You can experience it, you can enjoy it, you can dance it, you can live it, but you cannot know it.

The young mother is skeptically examining the new educational toy. “Isn’t it rather complicated for a young boy?” she asks the assistant.
“It is the very latest idea,” replies the girl. “It is designed to adjust the child to living in today’s world. Any way he tries to put it together is wrong.”

But this small anecdote is true about existence. Any way you want to explain it, your explanation is wrong. Those who know it do not try to explain it. They only describe its beauty, its truth, its glory, its blissfulness. They only give you some indications that may create a longing in you to find out what it is.
Once you enter it, you will forget all about finding out what it is. Enjoying it so much, who cares what it is? What are you going to do with your explanations? And anyway there is no explanation. The whole of existence is only an experience without any explanation. This is its transcendentalness. It transcends all understanding, all knowledge, all explanation, all philosophy. But you can experience it. You can become one with it. It is always ready to absorb you. Just as the ocean is ready to absorb any dewdrop.
Existence is always waiting and willing, welcoming. You just have to learn a little courage, just a little courage. One jump and you are gone forever into the mysterious. You yourself become a mystery. Every mystic is a mystery. He has become one with the ultimate mystery. Mysticism is not a religion because it has no theology, no philosophy, no doctrine, creed, cult. It explains nothing. It simply shows you the way to move into the unexplainable. It opens the door of the unknowable and pushes you in.
There is a beautiful story about the Great Wall of China. It must be a story because nobody has found the spot up to now. But it has been reported for almost three thousand years that there is a spot on the China Wall… The wall is thousands of miles long and broad enough for a car to move along it. It is one of the miracles man has achieved. Millions of people died in making it. It took hundreds of years to build. They created almost a mountain against invaders.
It was reported again and again that there is a spot somewhere on the China Wall where, if you place a ladder and go up the wall… Whoever has done that simply reaches the top of the wall, laughs loudly and jumps down the other side, where there is a deep ditch. The man is finished; you cannot even find pieces of him. But before jumping he laughs very loudly, perhaps the first belly laughter that he has ever laughed, with his whole body. It is the most mysterious point on the wall. Many have reported that they have seen people reaching the point where they laugh and jump. Nobody knows why they laugh.
Many people have tried, determined not to laugh whatever happens, and even if they laugh, not to jump. But whoever has gone to the point, even with absolute determination, suddenly forgets all determination, laughs loudly and jumps. Nobody has found any explanation yet of why it happens. And nobody comes back to tell you.
I don’t think there is any such point on the China Wall, but perhaps it is a parable about mysticism. Something like that happens the moment you reach and the door opens. You have a good laugh and you jump.
But the mystery remains a mystery. And that is the beauty of the mystic: he does not try to demystify existence. He loves the mystery. The mystery has a certain romance about it, its unknowability is exciting. It is a great challenge, a great adventure for all those who have souls strong enough to go on such a pilgrimage.
Mysticism is transcendentalism.

When the old road has come to its end and the new path is not seen yet…
When the past has no more meaning and the new dawn is still far away…
When everything looks old and futile and the new has not arisen yet…
When I know what I am not and I don't know who I am…
When there is no hope, not even for a new hope…
Osho, is this the dark night of the soul? Will I see the dawn?
Sarjano, it seems you have come to the point of the China Wall that we were looking for. Just have a good laugh and jump! The past is finished, there is no meaning in it. According to you, you have understood what is false, so there is no question of clinging to it; you don’t have anything to lose. Why not have a good laugh and jump?
It never happens the way you are asking. You remain intellectual. You are saying the darkness has gone but the light has not come. Now what am I supposed to do? It can’t happen in the very nature of things. The moment you understand the false as false, instantly you know what is real. These two things don’t happen separately. There is not a gap of time, they happen together. Here you understand what is false, and immediately, instantly, you know what is real. How can you understand the false as false if you don’t understand the real as real? Without the understanding of the real you cannot call anything false.
So your question may look very relevant – it is not. I will read it so you can see.
“When the old road has come to its end and the new path is not seen yet…” Then what are you seeing? That’s just what I was saying, have a laugh and jump. The old road is finished and the new you cannot see. Certainly there must be a valley. Just say, “Giddyap!” and take a jump! It does not need an answer, it needs a little courage. But I say to you, in the very nature of things it does not happen. “When the old road ends…” That is where the new road begins. The end of the old is the beginning of the new. They are not two separate things; there is not a gap between the two.
If there had been a gap, then it would have been impossible to find the new, because you would need something to join the old to the new. What will you call it? Old or new? You will need something to make the join, a bridge, a road – what will you call it? If you call it old, then when you were saying the old is finished, it was not finished. If you call it new, you have already found it, you just move on. No, there is no gap ever. In existence there are not gaps; everything is continuous.
Do you know when your childhood ended and you became young? Can you remember the day, the date, the hour, the minute, the second? Everything is continuous. Do you know the day you will become old? Will you be able to mark it on the calendar? “Today I am becoming old. Youth is finished. Now begins old age.” You never know. Things are continuous. Yes, one day you realize that you are now old, but it is not the moment when you become old. You don’t become old in a single moment. It is a process. It goes very slowly, without making any noise.
You see that “…the old road has come to its end and the new path is not seen yet…” but I cannot concede that. If the old is seen as ending, that is the beginning of the new. Move on it. “When the past has no more meaning and the new dawn is still far away…” It does not happen. You are asking a very intellectual question, but existence has no obligation to fit with your intellectual categories. Existence goes on its own way. You have to fit with it. If the past has no more meaning, you have become new. The dawn has come. The birds must have started singing, the flowers must be opening, the sun is rising.
Have you ever seen a gap between the night and the day? When the night ends, the day begins; when the day ends, the night begins – immediately. There is no gap at all. If there had been a gap, there would have been immense difficulty how to jump it. The day has ended, you are standing there and the night has not begun. Now how to jump? Where to go? Nature does not leave anything incomplete.
You say, “When everything looks old and futile and the new has not arisen yet…” How then can it look old and futile? With what are you going to compare it? When you say everything looks meaningless, it implies that you have a certain understanding of meaning. You know what meaningfulness is. Only in comparison to meaning can you say that something looks meaningless. Only in comparison to life can something look like death. If you don’t know anything about life, you cannot describe somebody as dead. These categories are combined. They are two sides of the same coin.
But you go on and on – “When I know that I am not and I don’t know who I am… When there is no hope, not even for a new hope… Is this the dark night of the soul? Will I see the dawn?” It is nothing so great as you are making it. The dark night of the soul is experienced only by very great mystics, Sarjano; it is not spaghetti! The dark night of the soul means you have come close to the dawn. The darker becomes the night, the closer is the dawn. The dark night of the soul is a moment of celebration because the dawn is not far away. If the dark night has come, then the dawn is implied in it. It is bound to come, in fact it has come. It is not separable from the dark night.
But you have a habit of complaining. This whole question is nothing but grumbling, complaining, that you have done everything that was needed. The old is finished, the false is dropped, the dark night of the soul has come, and nothing is happening. You remind me of Moses.

Moses is standing facing the Red Sea. Behind him, in the distance, clouds of dust from Pharaoh’s army, hot in pursuit, arise. Suddenly with a mighty roar, the waters part, opening an escape route.
Moses looks ahead at the wet roadway and the cliffs of water on either side. He lifts his face to the sky and murmurs, “Tell me something, God, how come I always have to go first?”

Such a great miracle is happening and he is not going to thank God. He complains about why it always happens that he has to go first.
If all that you are saying is really happening, be thankful. If the old has ended, you will see the new. If everything has become meaningless, you will find authentic meaning. If the dark night of the soul has arrived, dance, rejoice, the dawn is not very far away.
But always be grateful.

Prince Edward, the Queen of England’s youngest son, meets one of Gaddafi’s daughters at a party and they fall in love. Edward tells his mother that they want to be married, which puts the Queen into a dilemma. On one hand she is pleased because it will dispel all the rumors about Prince Edward’s homosexuality, but on the other hand, to have any allegiance with Libya will annoy Ronald Reagan considerably. Her motherly instincts get the better of her and she consents to the marriage.
Still not trusting the girl’s motives, the Queen instructs James Bond to spy on the young couple. The next morning Bond reports back to the Queen.
“What happened, Double-O-Seven?” she asks.
“Well,” says Bond, “first she said to him ‘I offer you my honor,’ then he said to her ‘I honor your offer.’”
“So what happened next?” asks the Queen excitedly.
“Well,” says Bond, “after that it was on her, off her, off her, on her, all night long!”

What you need, Sarjano, is a good laugh and then just jump. If the old road has ended, jump. You will be on the new road. Certainly you cannot be on the old road. If everything has become meaningless that is a great freedom. It means the very effort of trying to find meaning in things is an exercise in utter futility. Life has significance but no meaning. Meaning is a mind trip. Significance is a great love affair of the heart.
You are not potentially a man of the head. You are potentially a man of the heart. But everything is topsy-turvy in you, upside down. You have not realized a simple fact about yourself: you are a man, not of logic, but of love. Drop all intellectual bullshit. Get deeper into your heart and you will be able to see the new light, the new path, the new dawn.
They are here, but your eyes are closed. The head is blind. Only the heart has eyes. It is strange that almost every culture of the world, every society, and every civilization that has up to now pretended to exist, they all say love is blind – without exception. But I want you to be absolutely clear about it: only love has eyes. Logic is blind.
But all these societies wanted you to be fixed in the head and forget all about the heart, because the heart is not much use in the marketplace. What is needed there is the head, what is needed there is cunningness, cleverness; what is needed there is reason. Love is not needed at all in the world that we have created. That’s why it is ugly and miserable. Without love, man cannot get rid of misery, despair, anguish. He is bound to suffer. Only love is the savior, the redeemer.
Just get down from your ladder a little toward the heart. The heart is exactly in the middle between your head and your being. Once you are down in the heart, you will have a totally different vision of things. Then I can tell you: one step more, from the heart to the being, is a very relaxed, silent, peaceful journey with no hindrances. But from the head there is no direct way to the being.
Society has played a tremendously criminal trick on every human being. They have completely taken the heart away from you. This is the strategy so that you cannot reach your being. You can reach the being only via the heart. And the heart has been ignored by your education, by your religion, by everybody. It has been forced into darkness. So you are hung up in the head and you cannot go anywhere. You can only go on making questions, intellectual gymnastics, but it is all meaningless, futile.
Rather than questioning, you should start moving toward the heart. That is the true rebelliousness, love revolting against logic. And then from love to being is a very simple, very joyful way. It is a garden path full of roses.
Looking at your question, all that I can feel, Sarjano, is that you are not supposed to be an intellectual, a heady person. You are not. I have seen your tears and I have seen your laughter and I know that you are misplaced. It is within your hands to revive your heart, which has been repressed, and drop your head, which is not your destiny. It is nobody’s destiny. The destiny is to realize the being and the being can be realized only via the heart.
Unless you know and learn the art of love, unless you are sensitive and creative, unless you forget all Aristotelian logic, you will never reach your being. And your being is the place where sat-chit-anand – truth, consciousness, bliss – are waiting for you. Just a small effort from the head to the heart, then there is no effort needed at all. Effortlessly you will slowly sink from your heart into your being.
This reminds me that all the Eastern mystics have been saying that no effort is needed to find yourself. From the very beginning they were all trained to be in the heart. The modern mind, particularly the Western mind, finds it difficult to understand that you can achieve something without effort. Some effort has to be made. The reason for this problem is that the modern man is head-oriented and the people who were talking about effortless let-go were heart-oriented. The situation has changed. That’s why the modern man finds it difficult to understand the mystics of the East. There is a certain gap that has arisen. They were talking in the language of the heart, you are listening in the language of the head – and there is no communication between head and heart.
Moving from the head to the heart is the first step of any authentic meditation. But you don’t have to take the second step; it happens on its own accord. There are only two steps. One you have to make – from the head to the heart – the other happens spontaneously, on its own accord. You simply relax and you will find yourself slipping deeper and deeper. One day, suddenly all is achieved. All that was missing has become available. The whole is yours. The whole mystery is yours.

Being near you, I feel utterly at home, as if in the right soil. In the West, I worried: “How to be near Osho sooner?” and often found it impossible to be meditative. Is it really possible to grow and flower in the harsh environment of the West?
It is certainly difficult to grow into meditation in the harsh environment of the West, but it is not impossible. It is certainly arduous because the whole surrounding is against meditation. Everything is mind-oriented and meditation is a state of no-mind. The whole of education, the culture, the society, the people, are all believers that there is nothing beyond the mind. The mind is their whole world. Meditation simply denies the mind and wants to go beyond it.
So I can understand, it is difficult. But even in the West you can find silent moments when society cannot interfere. In your own room, in the middle of the night, when everybody has fallen asleep, when the noises of city life have disappeared, you can find the East in your bedroom. When you have some time, weekends, holidays, you can move to some solitary place, you can go to a forest. Don’t go where everybody else is going, just avoid those places. And you can always find… The West is not as populated as the East. Here it is very difficult to find a place where people are not.
I have heard a story about the first astronaut.

When he landed on the moon, he found a few Indians sitting in a corner, smoking beedies. He asked, “My God, how did you manage it? You don’t have enough technology, particularly space technology, you don’t have anything at all, how did you manage to reach, and not only one person, but a whole group?”
They said, “It is very simple, there is no need of any technology. We just stood on each other’s shoulders and went on standing. Finally we reached the moon.”

It is so crowded in the East, it is very difficult to find… But the West is not so crowded, you can still find very silent, very peaceful places which have not been spoiled by the mind-oriented society. Trees don’t get educated in your universities, nor have the mountains heard anything about the Vatican. Just take a small boat onto the ocean, and you are out of the West. You don’t have to go far away, just on a river or the ocean. Just stop your boat there and the sunrise will be as fresh as it has ever been. West or East does not matter; the starry night above will be as young and as beautiful and as unpolluted as it has always been from eternity.
So you just have to be a little alert to find moments, spaces where you can relax, where you can meditate. I’m not telling you to meditate sitting in a London street. That is possible when you have known meditation and you have passed on that path many times, then it doesn’t matter whether it is London or New York. Anywhere you can slip inside yourself. And your inner being does not belong to the East or to the West. It transcends all dualities.
But the problem is certainly there and the only way to solve it is – when you can manage it – come here, be here. Then forget the West completely and don’t waste your time on anything else. Put your whole energy into meditation. Once you are centered in your being, once you know the inner path, then wherever you are, you can manage to go to the center without any difficulty. Even when you are dying, it will not make any difference. You may be sick, it will not make any difference.

A strange thing happened with one great English philosopher, C. E. M. Joad. He was always against George Gurdjieff. In modern times, Gurdjieff was the only man – very authentic – to take the message of inner crystallization from the East to the West. Many others have gone to the West. Most of them are hocus-pocus; they have gone to the West just to earn money. Now all over the West there are Indian monks, Japanese monks, Tibetan monks, but these are not authentic people. Their only desire is to exploit the gullibility of Western humanity.
Because the West has developed its mind to such an extent, you cannot defeat it intellectually. You cannot defeat it in wars. But it has forgotten its inner world completely, so completely that any idiot can exploit it, saying they will show the way. The West has become lopsided. The intellect has gone very far and the heart has remained very small, untrained, uneducated. So when somebody comes and brings a message about the heart, the West has no way to understand whether the man is phony or authentic.
As far as I know, nobody has made such a tremendous effort as George Gurdjieff to bring the Eastern methods of self-realization to the West. But even a man like C. E. M. Joad, a great philosopher, who has written many beautiful books on philosophy, laughed whenever George Gurdjieff’s name was mentioned. “That man is just a cheat, a fraud. There is nothing inside, no center. What crystallization? He is just using these words and cheating people.”
But C. E. M. Joad fell sick and death was coming close, and the doctor said, “You are not going to live more than six weeks. So whatever you want to do, do!”
At that moment he realized, “Perhaps there may be something inside. I have been denying it only intellectually, I don’t really know. And I have been laughing at that man Gurdjieff, but my laughter was insensitive. I have not understood him at all, I have never gone to meet him while he was teaching in London.”
Finally he asked a friend, “Can you bring George Gurdjieff to my place? At least I can ask his forgiveness for making a fool of him without understanding him or his message. I have been criticizing him without understanding him.”
Some friend brought Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff sat by the side of C. E. M. Joad’s bed. Joad said, “Please forgive me. I may not have another chance to see you again because my death is coming closer.”
Gurdjieff said, “Forget about all that. It is death that has inspired you to call me. It is death that has made you waver about your whole lifelong stand that the mind is everything. But it is good! There is enough time. Six weeks will do. Even six minutes are enough. And a man of your caliber can even manage in six seconds. Just close your eyes – I am sitting here by your side – and watch your mind. Don’t do anything else, simply watch.”
When death is so close, one is ready to do anything. If death had not been so close, Joad would have argued that except the mind there is nobody who is going to watch, but there was no time to argue. It was better to experiment with what this man is saying – there can be no harm. He was amazed when he started watching the mind. He forgot about Gurdjieff, he forgot about his death, he forgot by and by all the thoughts, and there was an immense silence in the room surrounding him. It took almost three hours.
When Gurdjieff woke him up, he told him, “I am immensely happy, watching your face changing deeper into silence, watching your eyes, that they have become unmoving.”
You can even see from the outside, from the eyelids, whether eyes are moving or not. If there are thoughts inside or dreams or anything, your eyes will be moving. If thoughts stop, dreams stop; if there is nothing on the screen of the mind, the eyes stop. So Gurdjieff was sitting there, watching, when Joad’s eyes stopped moving and his body was almost relaxed – as if there was no fear of death – and his face started changing with his inner experience. As the witnessing grows, the face starts having a certain grace, a certain beauty.
Gurdjieff said, “You have done it. Now these six weeks are enough. Continue. And you have twenty-four hours every day. While you are awake, lying down – you have been told to rest which is good – use this opportunity that has been provided by death and you will die a very crystallized being. You are intelligent enough to understand the situation: before death comes, you have to know something in you which is deathless.”
There were tears of gratitude in Joad’s eyes. He didn’t say a single word, but those tears said everything, his gratitude, his apology. Those six weeks were the most important in his life. His last statement to his friends was: “I had never thought that it would finally be Gurdjieff who would help me on my new journey, who would help me to know something that is immortal and eternal.”

So wherever you are, just go on meditating. And it is just a question of a little intelligence to find a silent corner, a silent space. Once in a while move to the forest, to the ocean, to the mountains, and just meditate. The West cannot prevent you. If you cannot come here, then you have to find something there. But whenever you are here, devote your total time to meditation. All I would like you to do is to become so centered that you know the path very well. Become so acquainted with it that even in the crowd of any Western city you can manage to go inward. Nobody can prevent you.

One day, while decorating the bathroom, Hymie Goldberg repaints the toilet seat, but forgets to tell Becky about it. So when she uses the toilet, she gets stuck to it. She sits there screaming and crying until Hymie comes and unscrews the seat. He helps Becky to the bed and lies her face down.
Calling the family physician, Hymie does not tell him what has happened, but explains that there is no way that Becky can come to his office.
Reluctantly the doctor agrees to call by on his way home. When he arrives, Hymie shows him into the bedroom, where Becky gets up on her hands and knees to display her problem.
“Well, Doctor,” says Hymie, “what do you think?”
Stroking his chin, the doctor replies, “I think it is lovely, but why such a cheap frame?”

So whenever in the West, enjoy all kinds of stupidities that are going around. There are so many idiots in the West. Forty-three percent of people in America believe in flying saucers. Never before has there been such a great crowd of idiots in the world. Millions of people believe in crystals. It seems humanity is on the verge of absolute insanity. So enjoy. When you are in the West, enjoy all kinds of foolishnesses that are going around in the name of New Age.
While you are here, meditate, so that you can get in contact with yourself. That is the only religion there is. All else is simply exploitation of people who have lost grip of themselves, of life, who have forgotten how to approach their own being. And they have become vulnerable to exploitation by any kind of conmanship.
There are so many people doing all kinds of things that it seems soon there will be no possibility for any authentic religious movement. All these fake and fraudulent people are destroying the possibilities for any authentic movement. So while you are there, enjoy all the games that are being played in the name of spirituality. Here things are absolutely simple.
Except witnessing, I don’t teach anything else. So just witness your mind and the meditation will be happening. And once you have got in tune with your being, you know the way, you know the how. Then it does not matter where you are. Alone or in the crowd, in the silences of the forest or in the noises of a marketplace, it is all the same. You can simply close your eyes and disappear inward.

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