Sufis The People of Path Vol 1 08

Eighth Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - Sufis The People of Path Vol 1 by Osho.
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The first question:
Why do you give sannyas to babies and children?
Sannyas can be only given to babies and children. The very idea of being an adult is a barrier. The adult mind is an adulterated mind; it is already corrupt.
The physical age is irrelevant. Somebody may be seventy years old and yet a baby, and somebody may be young and may not be innocent.
To receive sannyas needs a very, very innocent mind – one that knows nothing. Then the contact is immediate and the contact is from being to being, from heart to heart. Otherwise the contact remains from mind to mind – and from mind to mind there is no contact really, it is a deception. It only appears as if there is a contact. There is a constant conflict between two minds.
Listen to this small story:

One evening, Katz, a black cat who lived at Master Soen-sa’s ashram, died. The seven-year-old daughter of one of Soen-sa’s disciples was very troubled by the death. After the burial and chanting to Amida Buddha, she went to Soen-sa for an interview.
Soen-sa said, “Do you have any questions?”
She said, “Yes. What happened to Katzie? Where did he go?”
Soen-sa said, “Where do you come from?”
“From my mother’s belly.”
“Where does your mother come from?”
She was silent.
Soen-sa said, “Everything in the world comes from the same one thing. It is like in a cookie factory. Many different kinds of cookies are made: lions, tigers, elephants, houses, people. They all have different shapes and different names, but they are all made from the same dough and they all taste the same. So all the different things that you see – a cat, a person, a tree, the sun, this floor – all these things are really the same.”
“What are they?”
“People give them many different names. When you are thinking, all things have different names and different shapes. But when you are not thinking, all things are the same. There are no words for them. People make the words. A cat doesn’t say, ‘"I am a cat.’" People say, ‘This is a cat.’ The sun doesn’t say, ‘My name is sun.’ People say, ‘This is the sun.’ So when someone asks you, ‘What is this?’ how should you answer?”
“I shouldn’t use words.”
Soen-sa said, “Very good! You shouldn’t use words. So if someone asks you, ‘What is Buddha?’ what would be a good answer?”
She was silent.
Soen-sa said, “Now you ask me.”
“What is Buddha?”
Soen-sa hit the floor.
She laughed.
Soen-sa said, “Now I ask you, ‘What is Buddha?’”
She hit the floor.
“What is God?”
She hit the floor.
“What is your mother?”
She hit the floor.
“What are you?”
She hit the floor.
“Very good! This is what all things in the world are made of. You and Buddha and God and your mother and the whole world are the same.”
She smiled.
Soen-sa said, “Do you have any more questions?”
“You still haven’t told me where Katz went.”
Soen-sa leaned over, looked into her eyes and said, “You already understand.”
She said, “Oh!” and hit the floor very hard. Then she laughed.
Soen-sa said, “Very, very good! That is how you should answer any question. That is the truth.”
She bowed and left. As she was opening the door, she turned to Soen-sa and said, “Master, but I’m not going to answer that way when I’m in school. I’m going to give regular answers!”
Soen-sa laughed.

This is a deeper communion than can be possible between two minds.
The child understands in a very different way. First, the child has no knowledge. When there is no knowledge, when you know that you don’t know, there is opening. When you know that you know, you are closed.
When a child asks a question it is really out of his ignorance; when a grown-up asks a question it is out of his knowledge. The question may be formulated in the same way, but the quality of the question is utterly different. When a child asks, there is purity. He does not know, that’s why he is asking. When a grown-up asks, he knows, he already knows. The question is out of his knowledge.
When the question is out of knowledge it is impossible to answer it. When you already think you know, you are in conflict with anything that is going to be said to you. You have something at stake – your knowledge, your past, your belief, your doctrine, your church.
A child has none of these hindrances. That’s why Jesus says, “Unless you are like a child you will not enter the Kingdom of God.”
So don’t be worried about why I give children sannyas – rather be worried about yourself. If you are not a child, even if I give you sannyas you will not receive it.
I go on giving sannyas to every kind of person. To say no is not my way. I hope even against hope. Even when I see somebody who is just like a rock – when I see him closed completely with no way to enter him – then too I never say no. Who knows, maybe tomorrow he will relax. Maybe just this gesture of his, that he wants to take sannyas, will begin a new chapter in his life. Who knows? Things change, people change. Those who are very, very soft become hard; those who are hard become soft. Life is a constant flux. Maybe in the past things have happened in such a way that the person has become rocklike. The future may be different, may have a different story to tell.
Just looking at the past – because a man is just his past. To deny him sannyas because of this past is to deny him a new future, is to deny him any possibility to change. Who am I to deny? So to whoever comes, even a rocklike person, I say yes.
To the lowest the highest remains possible. There is no way to go so far away from God that you cannot turn. The farthest point in existence from God is still in God; we cannot go out of him.
When a child comes, I accept the child.
I understand why you have asked. You have asked because I say that children should not be conditioned. But sannyas is not a conditioning, it is just the opposite. If I don’t give the child sannyas he is going to become a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan; he is going to become somebody who will be far worse. By giving him sannyas I allow him entry into a new kind of commune, a new kind of religiousness – which is not religion but just religiousness.
I am welcoming him to a new kind of family where we are not going to impose any dogma, we are only going to give him a kind of milieu. This is totally different. To give a dogma gives conditions; to give a milieu is not a conditioning, to give a milieu is just to share.
If I have attained something I can do two things. Either I can start conditioning you so you also attain the same thing – but through conditioning nothing is ever attained; or I can start helping to create a milieu, just a climate, where if you want to open you can open.
It is just like in the morning as the sun arrives on the horizon. It does not go to each flower, it does not knock at each bird’s nest, it does not order, “Now start singing – the morning has come. Now start opening – the morning has come. Now be awake!” It says nothing. The sun simply stands there. It creates a climate. That warmth, that life-giving warmth, spreads all over the earth. In that warmth trees start opening their eyes, birds start singing again, flowers open their petals.
Nothing is being said, nothing is being conditioned – it is just the presence. When I am giving sannyas to you, child or not, what is going to happen in it? It is just that I am allowing you to be in my presence. I am simply allowing you to become friends with me. This is just a friendship in which something is possible if you are ready to move.
And a child is more ready to move, a child is more inquiring, a child still has wondering eyes, a child is still clean. Nothing is written on his slate yet. Sannyas is not a kind of imprisonment, it is just an attitude of coming out of all prisons. So why should the children not be allowed to become sannyasins?
I have no creed, no dogma, no catechism. I am simply a presence. In this presence you can share something, you can partake of me. Everybody is welcome – a child of three months and an old man of ninety years. Everybody is welcome. Whoever wants to go on the journey of the unknown is welcome.
And all that we teach here – if you can call it teaching – is love and meditation. Both are deconditioning, both are dehypnotizing. We don’t teach a philosophy about love, we simply create the milieu where love can grow. And we don’t give a ritualistic, formalistic form of meditation – just the quality of meditativeness. Once you start drinking a little of meditativeness, a little of love, you start growing wings.
Sannyas is not the end of the journey, it is just the beginning. It is the first step. When you become a Christian it is the end, when you become a Hindu it is the end, when you become a Mohammedan it is the end. Then you can relax. Then you need not worry. When you become a Christian it is Christ’s duty and responsibility to save you. Now he will do everything; now you can continue in your own way, you can go on doing your things – you have left the burden on Jesus, he will carry your cross. Nobody can carry your cross, no, not even Jesus. Nobody can save you. How can anybody save you? The moment you start thinking that somebody else is going to save you, you are going to become a slave. The very idea that somebody else is going to save you creates slavery.
I am not a savior. I don’t deal in that kind of nonsense. I am not going to save you. You can save yourself. I will make available all that is in me, you can choose anything you like and love. And there is no enforced effort here to bring you all into the same mold. You can grow the way it happens to you. My trust is in the individual, I don’t trust the crowd. The crowd is by its very nature ugly. My sannyasins are connected with me individually. My sannyasins are not in fact connected to any organization.
If you see any kind of organization, it is just like the post office or the railway management. It is not a church, it is just to make me available to you more easily, more comfortably – otherwise I would be crowded and it would not be possible to work at all. The organization is there, just like the postal department. It is needed. But it is not an institution. Its function is there, its utility is there, but it is not a church. My sannyasins don’t belong to any organization, they belong to me. And each sannyasin belongs directly to me, it is not via the organization. The organization is there only to facilitate things. It is not a party, a sect, a church; it is nothing of the kind.
And to each individual my answer is always different, hence you will find so many contradictions. I don’t have anything fixed. Whenever I face an individual I reflect him. I see into him. I don’t have anything in my mind to enforce. I see into him; I respond to him.
When a child comes I respond in his way; when an old man comes I respond in his way. And each individual is so unique, so utterly unique, that you cannot give the same answer to everybody.

The second question:
Can a disciple transcend form and be in tune with the essence of the creator?
Why this hankering to transcend form? Form is also of the creator, form is also God. In the form he also exists. Nothing is wrong with the form.
The problem arises only when you start thinking that the form is all. There is no need to transcend the form, there is only a need to understand it. The form is perfectly beautiful, the body is perfectly beautiful – but don’t think that the body is all. There is something more, something more that is not visible to the eyes, something deep. It has to be there.
The body is the surface, the soul is its depth. These are not two things. God and the world are not two things: the world is the surface and God is the world’s depth. And the depth cannot exist without the surface, remember, neither can the surface exist without the depth. They are together, they are absolutely together. They are one. It is only in language that the division arises; reality remains indivisible.
So first, don’t hanker for transcendence. There is no need – only understanding is necessary. Or, if you love the word transcendence, then you can remember: understanding is transcendence. But transcendence is not of the form, transcendence is of both the surface and the depth – because the moment you see it is all one then you cannot define it as the surface and you cannot define it as the depth. Then all definitions are meaningless. Then you are facing the indefinable. You have transcended duality. But it comes through understanding.
The very idea of transcendence can create problems. You can start repressing, you can start condemning – that’s how condemnation entered human consciousness. And it has been the greatest calamity that man has ever suffered.
I have heard…

A guy went to his dentist. The dentist wanted to give him Novocain.
But he said, “No, I want to transcend dental medication.”

He must be a transcendental meditation freak. He says, “I want to transcend dental medication.” Why? Why this constant effort to go somewhere else, to be somewhere else, to be someone else? Why can’t you relax into reality as it is? There is nowhere to go, nothing to transcend, and nothing to transcend to. God is herenow.
Just understand. Just open your eyes and see. See without any ideas. If you have this idea of transcending something, you are always looking with prejudiced eyes. You know that this is the form and you have to transcend the form. How can you love the form? This is the body and you have to love only the soul! And this is the world and you can love only God!
You will be getting into unnecessary anxiety, and the anxiety that you will create is such that you will never be able to solve it – because the form is always there with the formless. The form is of the formless – let me be contradictory, or paradoxical, but it is so. The form is of the formless and the body is of the bodiless and matter is nothing but non-matter in a condensed form; it is the manifestation, matter is the manifestation of the nonmaterial. The word is nothing but the manifestation of silence.
Rather than trying to transcend, start thinking of relaxing into that which is. You will reach into the formless sooner – and without any effort on your own. Just relax and be drowned by the form, and when you are drowned by the form you start entering the formless. If you can love a woman or a man, your friend, your wife, your child, your father, your mother, if you can love anybody soon you will see that the form is not there alone. The formless has started coming through the form.
When you touch the hand of somebody you love it is not only a touch of the skin, something is touched that is beyond the skin, behind the skin. Some pulse, some vibe, simply jumps from one hand to another; something of the spiritual. Look into the eyes of somebody that you love and you are not only looking into the eyes – something deeper opens, something abysmal opens. By and by the body starts disappearing. You are getting into the spiritual. But the body is the door.
It is exactly like a temple. You enter a temple… What do you mean by the word temple? The door, the walls – do you mean that? Of course, the door and the walls are not the temple, the temple is the emptiness inside. That’s where you go. But those doors and those walls protect that emptiness, that shrine. If those walls and the doors disappear, there will be no shrine. Those walls are not against that emptiness; those walls support that emptiness, those walls protect that emptiness. So what is the temple? The walls, the doors, or the emptiness? No, you cannot divide that way, both are the temple. The wall and the doors are the outer form, and the emptiness, the innermost emptiness is the soul.
Exactly so is the case with man, with a flower, with a tree. God is there in every form and God is formless. Because God is formless, the idea of how to transcend form arises. But the only way to transcend it is to descend into it. The only way to transcend it is to go into it so totally, so lovingly, that there is no condemnation.
Don’t even call it the surface, because even our words have become contaminated. The moment you say that this is just the surface you have already condemned it – it is as if there is something wrong with the surface.
You go for a walk on the beach, you see millions of waves in the ocean – on the surface. Yes, this is the surface, but can you take the surface away from the ocean? And can you enter the ocean without entering the surface? The depth and the surface are two polarities of one energy. And the ocean will not be much of an ocean if you take the surface away, nothing will be left. You will go on taking the surface away, away, away, and nothing will be left because whenever something is there, it will become the surface.
To see this nonduality is to see. Then one becomes alert, aware, for the first time.

The third question:
I want to be creative. What should I do?
Become a child again and you will be creative. All children are creative. Creativity needs freedom – freedom from the mind, freedom from knowledge, freedom from prejudices.
A creative person is one who can try the new. A creative person is not a robopath; robopaths are never creative, they are repetitive. So become a child again.
And you will be surprised that all children are creative; all children, wherever they are born, are creative. But we don’t allow their creativity, we crush and kill their creativity, we jump upon them. We start teaching them the right way to do things.
Remember, a creative person always goes on trying the wrong ways. If you always follow the right way to do something you will never be creative because the right way means the way discovered by others. And the right way means that of course you will be able to make something, you will become a producer, a manufacturer, you will be a technician, but you will not be a creator.
What is the difference between a producer and a creator? A producer knows the right way of doing a thing, the most economical way of doing a thing; with the least effort he can create more results. He is a producer. A creator fools around. He does not know what the right way is to do something, so he goes on seeking and searching again and again in different directions. Many times he moves in a wrong direction, but wherever he moves he learns. He becomes more and more rich. He does something that nobody has ever done before. If he had followed the right way to do things he would not have been able to do it.
Listen to this small story:

A Sunday school teacher asked her students to draw a picture of the Holy Family.
After the pictures were brought to her, she saw that some of the youngsters had drawn the conventional pictures – the Holy Family in the manger, the Holy Family riding on the mule, and the like.
But she called up one little boy to ask him to explain his drawing, that showed an airplane with four heads sticking out of the plane windows.
She said, “I can understand why you drew three of the heads to show Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. But who’s the fourth head?”
“Oh,” answered the boy, “that’s Pontius the pilot!”

Now this is beautiful. This is what creativity is. He has discovered something.
But only children can do that. You will be afraid to do it, you will look foolish. A creator has to be able to look foolish. A creator has to risk his so-called respectability. That’s why you always see that poets, painters, dancers, musicians, are not very respectable people. And when they become respectable, when a Nobel Prize is given to them, they are no longer creative. From that moment creativity disappears.
What happens? Have you ever seen a Nobel Prize winner writing another thing that is of any value? Have you ever seen any respectable person doing something creative? He becomes afraid. If he does something wrong, or if something goes wrong, what will happen to his prestige? He cannot afford that. So when an artist becomes respectable he becomes dead.
Creators are only those who are ready to put their prestige, their pride, their respectability again and again at stake, and can go into something that nobody thinks is worth going into. Creators are always thought to be mad people. The world recognizes them, but very late. It goes on thinking that something is wrong. Creators are eccentric people.
And remember again, each child is born with all the capacities to become a creator. Without any exception, all children try to be creators but we don’t allow them. Immediately we start teaching them the right way to do a thing – and once they have learned the right way to do a thing they become robopaths. Then they go on doing the right thing again and again and again, and the more they do it, the more efficient they become. And the more efficient they become, the more respected they are.
Somewhere between the age of seven and fourteen a great change happens in a child. Psychologists have been searching into the phenomenon: Why does it happen and what happens?
You have two minds, two hemispheres. The left hemisphere of the mind is uncreative. It is technically very capable, but as far as creativity is concerned it is absolutely impotent. It can only do a thing once it has learned it, and it can do it very efficiently, perfectly; it is mechanical. This left hemisphere is the hemisphere of reasoning, logic, mathematics. It is the hemisphere of calculation, cleverness, of discipline, order.
The right hemisphere is just the opposite of it. It is the hemisphere of chaos, not of order; it is the hemisphere of poetry, not of prose; it is the hemisphere of love, not of logic. It has a great feeling for beauty, it has a great insight into originality – but it is not efficient, it cannot be efficient. The creator cannot be efficient, he has to go on experimenting.
The creator cannot settle anywhere. The creator is a vagabond, he carries his tent on his shoulders. Yes, he can stay for an overnight stay, but by the morning he is gone again – that’s why I call him a vagabond. He is never a householder. He cannot settle; settling means death to him. He is always ready to take a risk. Risk is his love affair.
But this is the right hemisphere. The right hemisphere is functioning when the child is born; the left hemisphere is not functioning. Then we start teaching the child – unknowingly, unscientifically. Down the ages we have learned the trick of how to shift the energy from the right hemisphere to the left hemisphere; how to put a stop to the right hemisphere and how to start the left hemisphere. That’s what our whole schooling is. From kindergarten to university that’s what our whole training and so-called education is. It is an effort to destroy the right hemisphere and to help the left hemisphere. Somewhere between the ages of seven and fourteen we succeed and the child is killed, the child is destroyed.
Then the child is no longer wild – he becomes a citizen. Then he learns the ways of discipline, language, logic, prose. He starts competing in school, becomes an egoist; starts learning all the neurotic things that are prevalent in the society, becomes more interested in power, money; starts thinking how to become more educated so he can become more powerful, how to have more money, how to have a big house, and all that. He shifts.
Then the right hemisphere functions less and less – or functions only when you are dreaming, fast asleep. Or sometimes when you have taken a drug.
The great appeal of drugs in the West is only because the West has succeeded in completely destroying the right hemisphere through compulsory education. The West has become too educated – that means it has gone to the very excess, to one side. It has become extreme. Now there seems to be no possibility. Unless you introduce some ways that can help the right hemisphere to be revived again in the universities and colleges and the schools, drugs are not going to go. There is no possibility of prohibiting drugs by law alone. There is no way to enforce it unless the inner balance is put right again.
The appeal of the drug is that it immediately shifts gear – from the left hemisphere your energy moves to the right hemisphere. That’s all the drug can do. Alcohol has been doing it for centuries, but now far better drugs are available – LSD, marijuana, psilocybin, and even better drugs will be available in the future.
The criminal is not the drug-taker, the criminal is the politician and the educationalist. It is they who are guilty. They have forced the human mind into one extreme – into such an extreme that now there is a need to revolt. And the need is so great! Poetry has completely disappeared from people’s life, beauty has disappeared, love has disappeared; money, power, prestige, have become the only gods.
How can humanity go on living without love and without poetry and without joy and without celebration? Not for long.
The new generation all over the world is doing a great service by showing the stupidity of your so-called education. It is not a coincidence that drug-takers almost always become dropouts. They disappear from the universities, colleges. It is not a coincidence – this is part of the same revolt.
And once a man has learned the joys of drugs it becomes very difficult for him to drop them. Drugs can be dropped only if better ways can be found that can release your poetry. Meditation is a better way – less destructive, less harmful than any kind of chemical. In fact, it is not harmful at all, it is beneficial. Meditation does the same thing: it shifts your mind from the left hemisphere to the right hemisphere. It releases your inner capacity of creativity.
The world can avoid a great calamity that is going to be there through drugs by only one thing – that is meditation. There is no other way. If meditation becomes more and more prevalent and enters peoples’ lives more and more, drugs will disappear. And education must start to be not so absolutely against the right hemisphere and its functioning.
If the children are taught that their minds are both left and right hemispheres, and if they are taught how to use both, and if they are taught when to use which… There are situations where only the left brain is needed, when you need to calculate – in the marketplace, in the everyday business of life, and there are times when you need the right hemisphere.
And remember always, the right hemisphere is the end and the left hemisphere is the means. The left hemisphere has to serve the right hemisphere. The right hemisphere is the master – you earn money only because you want to enjoy and celebrate your life. You want a certain bank balance only so you can love. You work only so you can play – play remains the goal. You work only so you can relax. Relaxation remains the goal, work is not the goal.
The work ethic is a hangover from the past. It has to be dropped. And the educational world has to go through a real revolution. People should not be forced, children should not be forced into repetitive patterns.
What is your education? Have you ever looked into it? Have you ever pondered over it? It is simply a training in memory. You don’t become intelligent through it, you become more and more unintelligent. You become stupid. Each child enters the school very intelligent, but it is very rare that a person comes out of university and is still intelligent – it is very rare. The university almost always succeeds. Yes, you come with degrees, but you have purchased those degrees at a great cost: you have lost your intelligence, you have lost your joy, you have lost life – because you have lost the functioning of the right side hemisphere.
And what have you learned? – information. Your mind is full of memories. You can repeat, you can reproduce – that’s what your examinations are. The person is thought to be very intelligent if he can vomit all that has been thrown into him. First he has to be forced to swallow, go on swallowing, and then in the examination papers, vomit. If you can vomit efficiently you are intelligent. If you can vomit exactly that which has been given to you, you are intelligent.
Now remember, this is something to be understood: you can vomit the same thing only if you have not digested it. If you have digested it you cannot vomit the same thing, something else may come. Blood may come, but not the same Vrindavan canteen bread. That will not come. It has disappeared. So you simply have to keep it down there in your stomach without digesting it. Then you are thought to be very, very intelligent. The most stupid are thought to be the most intelligent. It is a very sorry thing, a sorry state of things.
The intelligent may not fit. Do you know Albert Einstein could not pass his matriculation examination? Such a creative intelligence – it was difficult for him to behave in the stupid way that everybody else was behaving in.
All your so-called gold medalists in the schools, colleges, universities, disappear. They never prove to be of any use. Their glory ends with their gold medals. Then they are never found anywhere. Life owes nothing to them.
What happens to these people? You have destroyed them. They have purchased the certificates and they have lost everything. Now they will be carrying their certificates and degrees.
This kind of education has to be totally transformed. More joy has to be brought to the schoolroom, more chaos has to be brought to the university – more dance, more song, more poetry, more creativity, more intelligence. Such dependence on memory has to be dropped.
People should be watched and people should be helped to be more intelligent. When a person responds in a new way he should be valued. There should be no right answer. There is none. There is only a stupid answer and an intelligent answer. The very categorization of right and wrong is wrong; there is no right answer and there is no wrong answer. Either the answer is stupid, repetitive, or the answer is creative, responsive, intelligent. Even if the repetitive answer seems to be right it should not be valued much because it is repetitive. And even though the intelligent answer may not be perfectly right, may not fit with the old ideas, it has to be praised because it is new. It shows intelligence.
You ask me, “I want to be creative. What should I do?” Undo all that the society has done to you; undo all that your parents and your teachers have done to you; undo all that the policeman and the politician and the priest have done to you – and you will again become creative, you will again have that thrill that you had in the very beginning. It is still waiting there, repressed. It can uncoil.
And when that creative energy uncoils in you, you are religious. To me a religious person is one who is a creative person. Everybody is born creative, but very few people remain creative.
It is for you to come out of the trap – you can. Of course you will need great courage because when you start undoing what the society has done to you, you will lose respect. You will not be thought to be respectable. You will start becoming bizarre; you will look bizarre to people. You will look like a freak. People will think, “Something has gone wrong with the poor man.” This is the greatest courage – to go into a life where people start thinking you are bizarre.
There will be difficulties. You can ask Indivar. He has come from Australia. He was a renowned psychoanalyst there for twenty years and now he is in such difficulty. His wife thinks that he has gone mad; his children have become suspicious that “Dad has gone mad”; his colleagues are no longer in sympathy – there is no question of respect, even sympathy is missing. The bosses where he works in the clinic are ready to throw him out at any moment. And for the first time he is happy and for the first time he is doing something that he enjoys – and for the first time something from the right hemisphere is released in him.
Just the other night he was there, and when I touched his head I could feel the shift. It is no longer the left hemisphere, it is the right hemisphere where more energy is moving. His poetry is coming back. He is becoming a child again.
But naturally you have to risk. If you want to be creative you will have to risk everything. But it is worth it. A little creativity is more worthwhile than this whole world and its kingdom. The joy that comes by creating something new, whatever it is – a small song, a small painting, anything… When you create something new you participate with the creator because existence is the creator. When you create, you are in tune with existence. When you create, really existence creates through you – that’s why great joy arises. When you repeat, you repeat alone. Existence is not there. You are a desert, you are a machine. When you create, existence simply enters your heart. You become a hollow bamboo and it starts playing on you and you become a flute. Great song is possible.
Everybody is carrying that song, and unless that song is sung you will never feel fulfilled.
My sannyas is nothing but an initiation into creativity, initiation into danger, initiation into a new kind of life that has not been taught to you – in fact, against everything that has been taught to you.
My whole struggle is against this so-called neurotic society. I would like you to become uneducated again.

The fourth question:
Why is it so difficult to find oneself?
Because you have been turned outward. Your eyes have become paralyzed. They can only see the without. You cannot turn back; your neck is no longer flexible. You cannot go into your being; all that you know takes you outside.
You are very, very efficient in thinking – thinking takes you outside. To go in, to know oneself, non-thinking is needed. Now that seems impossible. The whole of life’s training in thinking has become such a fixed structure inside you that even when you don’t need to think, you go on thinking. You would like to sit silently, but the mind goes on chattering. You have practiced that chattering too long, it has gone into your blood. That’s why it looks difficult; otherwise it is the easiest thing in the world. It has to be the easiest because you are closer to yourself than anything else. If you want to know somebody else it is a long journey. If you want to know God one never knows where he is hiding and where to find him and what his address is.
But if you want to know yourself there should be no problem at all. You are yourself. If you cannot know even this – where you already are, where you exist – then what else can you do and what else can you know? Self-knowledge should be the easiest thing.
But it has become difficult because you have been trained to focus your eyes on the outside.
I have heard…

Sherlock Holmes arrived in heaven. The angels turned out en masse to meet him. The Lord himself descended from his throne to bid him welcome.
“Holmes,” he said, “we have a little mystery up here that you may be able to help us solve. Adam and Eve seem to have disappeared. Nobody has been able to locate them for eons. If you could possibly uncover them for us…”
Holmes darted to the fringe of the assemblage and hauled two frightened and surprised angels before the Lord. “Here they are,” he said.
Adam and Eve admitted their identities. “We became tired of being stared at and asked for autographs by every damn new angel who came up here,” they explained. “We assumed aliases and these simple disguises, and got away with them for centuries until this smarty-pants ferreted us out.”
“How did you do it?” marveled the Lord.
“Elementary, my dear lord,” said Holmes. “They were the only two who had no navels.”

Yes, to know oneself is elementary. It is not difficult – it can’t be difficult. You just have to unlearn the ways. You need not learn anything to know who you are, you only have to unlearn a few things.
First, you have to unlearn being concerned with things; second, you have to unlearn being concerned with thoughts; and the third thing happens on its own accord – witnessing.
Let me tell you in this way… These are the three things in your life. On the outermost fringe are things, the world; what Zen people call “The world of ten thousand things.” On the outermost fringe – the periphery, the circumference – are things, millions of things. Then between the center and the circumference there are thoughts, desires, dreams, memories, imaginations – the mind. If the world is called “The world of ten thousand things,” the mind should be called “The world of ten million thoughts.”
And the key is, one: first start watching things. Sitting silently, look at a tree; just be watchful, don’t think about it. Don’t say, “What kind of tree is this?” Don’t say whether it is beautiful or ugly. Don’t say, “It is green or dry.” Don’t make any thoughts ripple about it, just go on looking at the tree – that’s what meditators have been doing down the centuries. They would choose one thing – maybe the small flame of a lamp – and they would sit silently looking at it. What were they doing? The flame has nothing to do with meditation, it is just a device. They were trying one thing: to go on looking at the flame and to come to a point where no thought arises about the flame. The flame is there, you are here, and no thought arises.
You can do it anywhere, watching anything. Just remember one thing: when the thought comes, put it aside, shove it aside. Again go on looking at the thing. In the beginning it will be difficult but, after a period, intervals start happening. There will come moments when you will be looking at the tree and there will be no thought – and you will find great joy arising out of that simple experience. Nothing has happened – just thoughts are not there and the tree is there and you are there and between the two there is space. The space is not cluttered with thoughts. Suddenly there is great joy for no visible reason, for no reason at all. You have learned the first secret.
Then this has to be used in a subtler way. Things are gross, that’s why I say start with a thing. You can sit in your room, you can go on looking at a photograph – the only thing to remember is not to think about it. Just look without thinking. Slowly, slowly it happens. Look at the table without thinking and by and by the table is there, you are there, and there is no thought between you two. And suddenly – joy.
Joy is a function of thoughtlessness. Joy is already there; it is repressed behind so many thoughts. When thoughts are not there it starts surfacing.
Start with the gross. Then, when you have become attuned and you have started to feel moments when thoughts disappear and only things are there, start doing the second thing. Now close your eyes and look at any thought that comes by – without thinking about the thought. Some face arises on the screen of your mind, or a cloud moves, or anything. Just look at it without thinking.
This will be a little harder than the first because things are more gross, thoughts are very subtle. But if the first has happened, the second will happen – only time will be needed. Go on looking at the thought. After a while… It depends on you – it can happen within weeks, it can happen within months, it can take years. It depends on you how intently, how wholeheartedly you are doing it. Then one day, suddenly, the thought is not there. You are alone.
With the thing, thoughts disappeared: you were there and the thing was there; subjective and objective were both there, duality was there. When the thought disappears, you are simply left alone, only subjectivity is left alone. And great joy will arise – a thousandfold greater than the first joy that happened when the tree was there and the thought had disappeared. A thousandfold. It will be so immense that you will be flooded with joy.
This is the second step. When this has started happening, then do the third thing – watch the watcher. Now there is no object. Things have been dropped, thoughts have been dropped, now you are alone. Now simply be watchful of this watcher, be a witness to this witnessing. In the beginning it will be difficult again because we know only how to watch things. Even a thought is at least something to watch. Now there is nothing, it is absolute emptiness. Only the watcher is left alone. You have to turn upon yourself.
This is what Jesus means when he says conversion – turning upon oneself. This is what Mahavira means when he says pratikraman – turning upon oneself. This is what Patanjali means by pratyahara – turning upon oneself. And this is what Sufis mean when they use the word shahadah – witnessing the witness. This is the secret-most key. Just go on being there alone. Rest in this aloneness, and a moment comes when this happens. It is bound to happen. If the first two things have happened, the third is bound to happen – you need not worry about it.
When this happens, then for the first time you know what joy is. All those joys that you had known before – the joy that happened when the tree was there and the thought had disappeared; and the joy that happened when the thoughts disappeared and you were left alone… Yes, the second joy was a thousandfold greater than the first, but now something happens that is not only quantitatively different but qualitatively different. Now for the first time you know what Hindus call ananda – the real joy. All joys known before are now simply pale, simply don’t mean anything anymore. Those joys were something that were happening to you, now this joy is utterly different. This is you yourself; this is swabhav, this is your innermost nature.
It is not something happening to you, so it cannot be taken away. It is you in your authentic being, it is your very being. Now it cannot be taken away. Now there is no way to lose it. You have come home.
So you have to unlearn things, thoughts. First watch the gross, then watch the subtle, and then watch the beyond that is beyond the gross and the subtle.

The fifth question:
Do you find your jokes funny or are you catering to our sense of humor?
P.S. We love them!
To me the whole of life is a joke and I find everything funny. It is all so ridiculous.
But remember, I am not catering for your sense of humor. I never cater for you in any way. If I tell a joke it is simply a trick because it is only during the moment when you open your mouth that I can help you swallow something. It is just a device. Your mouth is open and you are unaware. I can throw in something! It really goes in. Your mind is no longer functioning, your thoughts are no longer there.
When you laugh, the mind disappears. In laughter, the mind cannot exist – for a moment there is a gap, and I seek that gap. That gap is of tremendous importance because only through that gap can I make contact with you.

The last question:
I want to surrender and yet…
This is how the human mind functions. It is always contradictory. It wants one thing and at the same time it is afraid. The mind can never be total. The mind’s existence is in division.
So if you are waiting to surrender only when your mind totally says yes, then it is not going to happen. At the most you can hope for only one thing: if the major part of your mind is saying go ahead, then go ahead; listen to the major and don’t be bothered by the minor. Sometimes just the contrary happens – people go on being bothered by the minor part of their mind.
One day somebody was saying to me, “I am ninety percent ready to take sannyas. Ninety percent!”
I said, “Man, this is a miracle! Ninety percent? Don’t wait a single moment because who knows? Just take sannyas!”
He said, “But what am I to do about that ten percent of the mind? It goes on saying no, so I will have to wait.”
But that man is not aware that even to decide to wait is a choice. To take sannyas is a choice; not to take it is also a choice. You cannot choose not to choose – that freedom is not given. You cannot choose not to choose. You are choosing every moment. You have to remain a chooser.
Man is not free not to choose, remember. But you can create an illusion… That man is thinking that he is not choosing yet because ten percent of the mind is saying no. But he is choosing in favor of the ten percent – he is not taking sannyas. He is going against the ninety percent for the ten percent. This is stupid. At least be a little democratic.
Don’t wait for totality. The mind is never total. When there is totality, the mind disappears. In fact, you are trying to surrender so you can be total. Now if you demand totality as a requirement to surrender, then you are just being absolutely absurd.

I have heard about an old church. The church was very ancient and the building was falling. A small wind would come and the building would start shaking. People stopped coming to it, they were afraid.
Then the committee, the board of directors, met. Even they didn’t meet inside the church. It was dangerous to go in so they met outside. And they decided that now something had to be done: “People have stopped coming, even the priest won’t go in. And it can fall any moment; it is a miracle that it has not fallen up to now. What should we do?”
But the orthodox mind… The old people were there who said, “This is an ancient church and we cannot demolish it.” And there were other new people who said, “We have to demolish it otherwise it will kill somebody one day. We have to make a new church.” And there was great conflict. What to do?
Then they decided on a compromise. They passed a resolution: “First, we decide that the new church has to be built. Second, we decide that the old church has to be demolished. Third, we decide that the new church should be made exactly like the old, on exactly the same spot, and all the material from the old church should be used in the new church. Nothing new will be used so it remains ancient. And fourth, till the new is ready, we will go on using the old.”

Now, how is it going to happen? Compromises don’t help.
If you want to surrender, just watch inside yourself. If the major part of your mind is ready, then take the jump.

A Russian commissar was so discouraged with life in Moscow that he decided to commit suicide. One evening, he walked out into the country with a loaf of bread tucked under his arm. When he came to a train junction, he lay down on the railroad tracks. A peasant passing by was amazed by the strange sight.
“What are you doing,” he asked, “lying on these tracks?”
Said the commissar, “I’m going to commit suicide.”
“What do you need the bread for?” asked the peasant.
The commissar answered, “In this country, by the time the train gets here a man could starve to death.”

But this is how the mind functions. You are ready to commit suicide!

I used to live in a house next to a professor. We were colleagues in the same university. I was very new, and the first night I became a little worried because the professor and his wife started fighting. The fight continued and I could hear everything that was going on. As I had not even been introduced to them it would have been an interference, trespassing, to go to their house in the middle of the night, so I had to wait and see what was happening.
Finally, the professor threatened that he would go and commit suicide. Then I became a little worried. I came out. The professor had left and the wife was standing there closing the door. I said to the woman, “What is the matter? Can I be of any help?”
She said, “Don’t be worried. This must be the hundredth time. He will take a good walk and come back. He never commits suicide. And he threatens every time.”
And within just five or seven minutes he was back. I asked him, “So soon? Have you committed suicide?”
He said, “The railroad is so far away and it is raining, can’t you see? And I don’t have an umbrella.”

The mind is like that. It goes on thinking in contradictions.

The young man poured out his heart’s devotion on paper, as he wrote to the girl of his dreams:
“Darling, I would climb the highest mountain, swim the widest stream, cross the burning desert, die at the stake for you.
P.S. I will see you on Saturday – if it doesn’t rain.”

Now drop that “yet.” If you really want to surrender, surrender. If you feel the “yet” is stronger, then forget about it. Then this is not the right moment for you.
The mind continues to be contradictory because that is its trick to survive, and that is its way to keep you always discontented. You want to do something – one part of your mind says, “Do”, another part says, “Don’t do.” If you do it, the part that was not in favor will go on condemning it and will go on saying, “It was worthless and I was telling you so from the very beginning” – and you will become frustrated. If you don’t do it, the part that wanted to do it will go on chattering to you, “Do it. You are missing something great. Why don’t you do it?” Either way, you remain frustrated.
And the mind is always happy if you go on only thinking. Do anything, and the mind becomes afraid – because when you do something you are committed, you get involved. The mind wants utter freedom to dream, desire, long for. Have you watched this phenomenon in you? If not, then watch it. Whenever you are thinking of doing something there are a thousand and one alternatives. The mind has great freedom.
For example, if you want to purchase a car you can go to a showroom. You have many alternatives; many kinds of cars are available. You can purchase this or that car, or you can dream about them all, but you can only purchase one. The moment you purchase it, the fact that out of a hundred cars you have missed ninety-nine is going to make you miserable. Now your mind has only one car and it will start finding all kinds of faults with it. And the remaining parts of the mind that wanted to have other cars will start telling you, “I was saying so from the very beginning.”
So a man remains continuously frustrated. Whatever you do brings frustration because doing always closes your freedom; it becomes a commitment. Without doing anything you are free to choose because you choose only in the mind. You can change and alter and do this and that: this morning you are going to purchase this, by the evening another thing – and you can go on playing. That’s why thinkers are not known to do many things. They don’t do at all. They only think.
Without doing anything you cannot attain. You will have to do something. You will have to have the courage to commit, to get involved somewhere, otherwise you can sit and go on thinking and dreaming. That is all futile, meaningless – a sheer wastage of energy.
So either decide to do it or decide not to do it, but don’t hang in between. Be decisive. Decisiveness is always good. It creates integration, it brings integration. It makes you more crystallized.
Enough for today.

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