Sufis The People of Path Vol 2 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - Sufis The People of Path Vol 2 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on

This interchange between the Sufi mystic, Simab, and a nobleman named Mulakab, is preserved in oral transmission as a dialogue often staged by wandering dervishes.
Mulakab: “Tell me something of your philosophy so that I may understand.”
The mystic replied: “You cannot understand unless you have experience.”
Mulakab: “I do not have to understand a cake to know whether it is bad.”
Simab: “If you are looking at good fish and you think that it is a bad cake, you need to understand less, and to understand it better, more than you need anything else.”
Mulakab: “Then why do you not abandon books and lectures if experience is the necessity?”
Simab: “Because the outward is the conductor to the inward. Books will teach you something of the outward aspects of the inward, and so will lectures. Without them you would make no progress.”
Mulakab: “But why should we not be able to do without books?”
Simab: “For the same reason that you cannot think without words. You have been reared on books; and your mind is so altered by books and lectures, by hearing and speaking, that the inward can only speak to you through the outward. Whatever you pretend you can perceive.”
“Does this apply to everyone?”
Simab: “It applies to whom it applies. It applies above all to those who think it does not apply to them!”
Sufism is an alchemy. It is the science to transform lead into gold, the lower into the higher, the outer into the inner. It is the science to transform the world into God.
Remember, Sufism is not a philosophy, it is a science. It does not believe in speculation, it believes in experience. It does not believe in logical thinking, it believes in experimentation. Only experiment decides what is true; nothing else can be decisive. Only when you know do you know – there is no other way to know.
Sufism does not trust in beliefs. It wants you to drop all kinds of beliefs because they will be the barriers to knowing. A belief is a pseudo kind of knowing – you really don’t know but because you believe, because you have believed so long, you start feeling as if you know. All your beliefs have to be taken away from you. You have to be left in ignorance and innocence. Only from there is experimentation possible.
Science presupposes nothing – no belief, no a priori belief. There is no presupposition at all. Science starts with a blank mind.
These are the three things you will have to understand deeply. The first is art. Art does not bother much about the object. it has its own projections. Art uses the object as a screen on which to project its subjectivity. When you see a woman’s face or a child’s face or a flower, art is not concerned with the objective – with what is there – art is concerned with what you make of it, what you project onto it. Beauty is not part of the objective, beauty is your dream that you bring to the object – then the object looks beautiful.
Art invents, art does not discover. It is not interested in discovery, it is inventive, it is imaginative, it is projective. That is the basic meaning of the word poet. The original root comes from poietespoietes means one who creates. Art is creative.
But what can you create? Whatsoever you create will be your mind projection. Art creates beauty. Science is not creative in that sense. Science is discovery. Whatsoever is there, science only uncovers it. It does not invent, it has no idea to project. Science is objective; art is subjective. With art you have some projections, some ideas as a requirement. Before you come to the rose-flower you have to come with some dreams in your mind, you have to nourish dreams. When those dreams are overflowing they will overflow onto the roseflower, they will surround the roseflower with a glory, with an aura, and you will see something which is not there. You will see something which is really inside you and is only reflected from the outside back to you. Art is a dream; it is dream stuff.
Science is objective. The basic requirement of science is to go nude, naked; to go without any prejudice; to go without any idea of what the case is; just to be there, impartial, objective, with no thoughts in the mind – so that you can watch whatsoever is there. Reality reveals itself if you can be a witness. A pure witnessing is what science is.
And then there is philosophy. Art at least projects onto something outside. Science does not project at all; it allows the outside to reveal its truth. And philosophy? It is pure subjectivity. It does not even bother about the screen. Art at least bothers about the screen – the screen has to be there, then it can project. Philosophy is pure speculation. You close your eyes and you go into your thoughts and you can go on and on forever. It is an endless procession of thoughts.
Philosophy is pure subjectivity, science is pure objectivity, art is just in the middle of the two – a little of philosophy and a little of science, a little of objectivity and a little of subjectivity. Art is a mixture.
Religion can be of three types. It can either be philosophic or it can be artistic or it can be scientific. Sufism is the third kind of religion. It believes in experiment, in experience; it does not believe in beliefs. It trusts only the truth that is already there. You have only to uncover it.
To start with, Sufism says that you have to prepare yourself so that no prejudices, no conditionings, come in between you and the truth. The journey starts with you dropping beliefs, theories, philosophies, systems. Only when you are empty of all thought are your eyes ready, receptive. Then you can see.
The state in which human beings ordinarily exist is called nafs by Sufis. The word means: desire-nature – what Hindus call vasana and what Buddhists call tanha – the desire to have more, the desire to possess, the desire to be powerful, the desire to be this or that. You are full of these desires, nafs, and because of these desires you cannot see what truth is. Your desires go on overcrowding your consciousness and if the consciousness is too overcrowded by desires there is no possibility of seeing the truth.
When you are full of lust, you start seeing things according to your lust. When you are full of desire you start projecting, you start seeing things which are not there. According to your desire you start coloring things.
One day just go into the marketplace. Well-fed, satisfied with your food, go, have a stroll on the street. And then another day fast and go again on the same street. you will be surprised – it is not the same street. When you are well-fed you see certain things; on the same street, when you are hungry, you see totally different things. When you are on a fast, hungry, you will see restaurants, hotels, things like that. You will go on missing the shoe-store and other things. When you are well-fed you will not see the restaurants and the hotels at all. You may not have any idea that they exist there.
You constantly choose according to your desire. When you are full of sexuality you will see women, if you are a man; or if you are a woman, you will see men. When sexuality disappears you stop seeing man and woman, you stop dividing that way. It simply does not matter. It is pointless.
The first thing that you see in the other is whether he is man or woman. Have you watched it. You never forget it. You can forget everything – you can forget the name of the person, the face of the person – but you never forget whether the person is man or woman. Why? Have you ever forgotten that about anybody? Have you ever wondered whether he is man or woman? “I knew him twenty years ago. I don’t remember his name, I don’t remember his face, I don’t remember anything about him….” but have you ever wondered whether he was man or woman? No that you remember. That goes deep in you – because of nafs. The first thing you look into is whether the person is man or woman.
Just a few days ago it happened that a Japanese man took sannyas and Mukta told me that he was a she – some mistake from the office on her chart. So I gave him sannyas and gave him a “Ma” name, but he was a man. And you know the Japanese, they are so polite they will not say no. I have heard that the Japanese have no equivalent word to no, they always say yes – hai. They are just being polite.
So he accepted even that. He didn’t say, “I am a man. I am not a woman.” Only later on was it known that he was a man and I had given him a “Ma” name.
What happened? When you don’t have nafs you don’t look into another’s sexuality. That doesn’t matter. That does not matter at all. You are not concerned with the form of his body – whether he has breasts or not, whether he has a beard or not. You don’t see it that way. Once nafs has disappeared, once the desire-nature has disappeared, the other is a person, a pure person. Maleness, femaleness are irrelevant facts. Who bothers? Otherwise those are the most pertinent and relevant facts. The first thing that you see in the other is a reflection of your nafs.
Sufis say nafs is the state where man exists, and through nafs there is no possibility of seeing God – because nafs can only see sexuality, money, power. Nafs is blind to God. Unless you drop nafs you will not see God – and God is everywhere. Only God is. All is God. Nothing else is. But you will not see God, you cannot see God. To see God you will have to drop nafs.
Why does nafs become such a barrier? What exactly is nafs? Nafs is a neurotic hunger which cannot be satisfied. That’s why it is neurotic – because there is no way to fulfill it. The more you fulfill it, the more it grows. Nafs is a constant hankering to have more – of whatsoever. If you have money you want to have more money, if you have a beautiful woman you want to have a more beautiful woman, if you have power you want to have more power – always more and more and more. Now this more cannot be satisfied. In the very nature of things the desire for more cannot be satisfied – because whatsoever you have, your desire for more remains.
You have ten thousand rupees – your desire for more says, “Have one thousand more. Eleven thousand will be okay.” When you have eleven thousand the desire-nature says, “Have twelve thousand.” And so on, so forth. You can have millions, it will not make a bit of difference. Ten thousand rupees or ten million rupees, it will not make a bit of difference, not even an iota – because the desiring-nature always goes on asking for more. You have ten million rupees, the desiring-nature says, “Have eleven million rupees.” It is the same mind. When you had ten thousand it was saying, “Have eleven thousand,” now you have ten million it says, “Have eleven million.” The proportion remains the same.
The desire nature, nafs, is like the horizon – it always looks as if it is just there, maybe ten miles away. If you rush you can reach it within two hours. But you will never reach it. After two hours, when you look, you will find that it has again receded back, and the distance is the same.
This goes on – that’s why all the religions have called this desire-nature the source of all kinds of mirages, illusions. It creates an illusion, an illusory line, there – the horizon. The horizon does not exist because the earth and the heaven never meet anywhere. And the earth is round. It just appears that somewhere the earth and sky are meeting – just yonder, there. And it seems so close that it seems worthwhile to try. It remains always so close and always so distant. Between you and the horizon the distance is constant. It is the same distance.
The desire for more cannot be satisfied. And because the desire for more cannot be satisfied, you cannot see that which is. You always hanker for that which is not, so your mind is somewhere else and you cannot see that which is very obvious and surrounds you. You see the horizon; you don’t see yourself. You see the distant; you don’t see the close-by. And God is your neighbor, God is really inside you, you are God. But that is very close and you don’t have any time or energy to look for the close. You will have time and energy only when your desire for the distant has disappeared.
Nafs is a neurotic state of mind. Just look inside yourself and you will always find nafs. Why does this nafs exist at all? What is the reason for its existence in the first place?
Man is afraid of his inner emptiness – so much so that the inner seems almost a kind of death. Look within and there is emptiness and nothing else – a silence, an eternal silence, never disturbed, not even a ripple arises there. Not even you are there – because you are noisy, you are the crowd. At the innermost core of your being there is pure emptiness, and that creates fear. One wants to fill it with something, one wants to stuff it with something, one wants to become something so that this emptiness can be dropped. That’s the reason why nafs exists. It is because of the fear of inner emptiness that you go on stuffing yourself.
You may have watched it. When you are feeling very empty, you start eating, when you are feeling very lonely you start eating, when you are missing your beloved or lover you start eating too much. You stuff yourself. You just want to have a feeling of fullness. But no food goes into your inner emptiness, it only stuffs your stomach. It is destructive to your body if you eat too much. And you remain empty.
Somebody becomes a food addict, somebody becomes a power addict, somebody becomes a money addict – they are all addictions. These are the real drugs. LSD or marijuana are nothing compared to money, compared to power. These are the really destructive elements. And I am not saying that LSD or marijuana are not destructive; they are destructive, but they are nothing compared to money or power.
Whenever you are trying to fill your inner emptiness with anything, you are going against God – because that inner emptiness is the face of God. When you stop stuffing yourself with food, money, power, et cetera, et cetera, then suddenly you become aware of who you are.
Sufis say that the first thing to be understood, experienced, is nafs, and by understanding it there is a dropping. It is not that you have to drop it – just to see it is to drop it, just to realize the fact and the absurdity and the neurosis of it is to drop it. That dropping has a beautiful name – Sufis call it tambah.
Tambah means turning; tambah means exactly what Jesus says when he says “repent.” The original root word from which “repent” comes has nothing to do with repentance. It means “return to the source.” Return – that is the meaning of repent. It has no idea of guilt in it, just return to your source. Sufis call it tambah, Patanjali calls it pratyahar – turning towards oneself – and Mahavira calls it prankramana – coming back home. It is the same process.
First understand the nature of nafs, desire, desire for more, that mad, neurotic desire for more – understand it, and tambah happens. Seeing the futility of it you turn back. Then you don’t rush towards the horizon, you start moving towards yourself. A one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn, an about-turn, that s what tambah is.
Through this turning the third thing starts happening – Sufis call it hal. Hal means a state of being, but a temporary one; an altered state, a changed state of being; a state of no-mind, but for single moments, like flashes. For a single moment you are rooted in your being and again you are uprooted. It comes like lightning. Hal means a state of consciousness, but temporary.
In the beginning it will happen only in a momentary way – sometimes it will be there and sometimes it will not be there. It will be like a ray of light in your darkness, or a single star in the dark sky, clouded sky. And sometimes you will be able to see it and sometimes you will not be able to see it. This is called hal, what in America they now call “altered states of consciousness.” In fact, I have heard a suggestion from somebody that now they should be told to change the name of the United States of America. Jimmy Carter should be told to change the name to Altered States of America. That will be more relevant. The consciousness is changing. Man is more interested in consciousness now than ever.
Nafs is interested in the content – the content that you can fill your consciousness with. The content may be money or food or knowledge or something else, but nafs is interested in the content. After tambah, after the turning in, one becomes interested, not in the content, but in consciousness itself. What is this inner emptiness that you want to fill? First see it, know it, first become acquainted with it, first have a real taste of it, have a bite of it and chew it and see whether it is something to be filled or something to be enjoyed. And the moment you have a taste of it, then everything you have tasted before will look worthless. This emptiness is fullness itself; this inner emptiness is the greatest joy there is; it is a benediction.
First you will have hals, states – sometimes like a flash you will be enlightened – but then it is gone and you have fallen into misery again, deeper than before. If you don’t create a nafs for the hals…. There is a possibility that you may start hankering for more – then you have fallen back. Then you have turned back again. Again you have created a horizon, again the mind has come in, again there is the desire-nature.
Remember it – to many people here, hals happen. When the hal happens, when you have a taste of that state, naturally you start desiring more. You become very, very desirous. A great longing arises – how to have it every day? And how to have it again and again – morning, afternoon, evening, night – how to have it more?
I can understand. It is so beautiful, it is such a benediction, that one would like to have it. But if you start expecting, desiring, you will miss even the hals. Even these flash-like lightnings will disappear, even these moments will be no more – because they can happen only when nafs is not there. If you enjoy the hal and you don’t become desirous of it – when it is there you feel grateful, when it is gone you don’t hanker for it, you wait without desiring, you wait patiently, without demanding – it will come more and more.
Then comes the fourth state – hals become permanent. That is called magama. Magama means that one has arrived. Then it is always there. Then- it is not that it happens to you – now you are it. From nafs to magama, this is the journey of a Sufi. And the whole journey consists of experiment, experience. It is existential.
You will have to go a little deeper into the details of the state of nafs because the more you are acquainted with it, the more is the possibility for tambah, for conversion, for repentance, for pratyahar, for that great leap and change of direction.
There are three states of nafs, there are three kinds of sleepy people in the world. Just the other day there was a question: You say, Man is asleep, but are all men asleep in the same way? No, they are not. Everybody is asleep but there are differences in sleep too, very significant differences.
The first are called the hostiles. They are asleep. They are asleep in their rage, in their anger, in their hostility, hatred, in their violence, in their aggressiveness, in their ambition. The first kind of sleep is that of the hostile.
You can see people. The hostile person is very apparent. He is always angry about everything. He is destructive. He wants to destroy everything. The hostiles become the revolutionaries – Mao, Stalin, Lenin. They want to destroy. They want to destroy the whole past, they want to destroy the whole society. Of course, when you want to destroy, you cannot destroy as a pure act – you have to give a utopia to peoples’ minds, like an opium. All utopias are opiums. You have to tell them, “We are going to change the society for a better state, that’s why we are destroying’ – otherwise nobody will support it. You have to create a dream. When you create the dream and people become infatuated with the dream, then you can destroy.
That beautiful society never comes; it has never come, it is never going to come. That’s why a man like Buddha never talks about the society. No social revolution is going to happen. Who is going to do it? The hostiles do it. They are really interested in destruction. The idea of creating a better society is just a strategy to destroy, to destroy without guilt.
This hostile person is one extreme. His anger is not particularly directed towards something, he is simply angry about everything. He is angry. He has no object of anger – everything and everybody seems to be inimical to him. Not only persons but things look inimical towards him. He is inimical, that’s why the whole existence looks inimical. His basic attitude is negative. His sleep is a very, very angry sleep.
One thing is good about him – he is hot. He is not cold. He is really burning, boiling. He can be changed more easily than the other two kinds because he is hot. His fire is alive – wrongly directed, but the direction can be changed. He has power. If his direction is changed, if his anger becomes a fuel for inner transformation, he can become a buddha easily.
It is not just a coincidence that all the great masters in India came from the warrior race – kshatriyas. Brahmins have not produced so many enlightened people. One would have expected that Brahmins would have produced more enlightened people because they are well-versed people – logically, philosophically, in every way. They are good people but they have not produced many enlightened people. Buddha was a warrior, so was Mahavira, so was Neminatha, so was Adinatha, and so on, so forth. The twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas, Buddha, Ram, Krishna, Nanak – they are all kshatriyas, they all come from the warrior race. It is not accidental. If the hostile person changes, he can become a buddha very easily. So this is the best kind of sleep – the hostile sleep.
That’s why my work here consists first of making you hot through encounter, through other cathartic groups, through Dynamic meditation, Kundalini. The whole point is to create more fire in you, to bring your hostility to the surface – because from there, there is a possibility of change.
The second kind of sleep and the second kind of people are the phonies. This is the other extreme. One extreme is the hostile, the other extreme is the phony. These are the goody-goody people – always smiling, false and pseudo, always deceptive, never true. The hostile is true. He shows his face – whatsoever it is. It is ugly, certainly ugly, but he shows it. The phony has an ugly face but he has a mask. You never see his real face.
The politician and the priests, these are the phonies. The Brahmins could not produce so many enlightened people – they are the phonies. They are always trying to be sweet. This is a trick to protect themselves. These are the people who are very repressed. They go on repressing all hostility. The hostility remains but goes into the basement, hides in the unconscious.
The hostile is a simple person. You can always trust an angry person, remember. Never trust a person who is always smiling. I have heard about people who even smile in their sleep. They are so phony that the smile has become almost a fixed state of affairs. The lips have become paralyzed in a smile. The lips cannot do anything else. The smile has become material, concrete. It is not a thing that comes from the heart, it is a painted thing.
This is the person who is very orthodox. The first kind becomes revolutionary, the second kind is orthodox. He always believes in the rule; he is very obedient to society. In whatsoever society he is, he is obedient to it. He does not bother about what he is obedient to; he is simply obedient. These people become very respectable, naturally – because they obey the society. They never do anything wrong, they are always right. Their ego trip is for the right. They ride on the right – they are the righteous people. They always do the right thing, they never do the wrong thing. Naturally they get all kinds of respect and honor from the society. These are the respectable people.
The second kind is more difficult because the sleep of the second kind has more sweet dreams in it. The first kind is suffering from nightmares. Remember, when you suffer from a nightmare there is every possibility for you to awake. It always happens. When you really go into a nightmare and when the nightmare becomes too much, you are suddenly awake, your sleep is broken. The nightmare itself automatically works against the sleep. But when you are sleeping a sweet sleep and you are seeing beautiful dreams of paradise and heaven, then there is no problem – the sleep can continue. A sweet dream defends the sleep, a nightmare is against the sleep.
So the second kind, the respectable person, is the least religious person in the world. And, naturally, he is very cold. He cannot afford to he hot. These are the people who, if they come to this ashram, they immediately escape.
There is one woman – she has been here for one month – she only listens to me and then she escapes. She goes on writing letters to me: “I want to see you, Osho, but I can’t do your meditations. They are dangerous. And I can’t go to any group because they are dangerous too. I can only listen to you. I love what you say.”
But what kind of love is this? If you love what I say, then that love will lead you naturally into what I am saying to do. If you avoid the meditations, if you avoid the groups that go on here, then what kind of love is this?
With words you know that no change is going to happen. You can absorb words – you have become very, very expert at absorbing words. And with words you are free. You can interpret in your own way. You can drop a few words, you can add a few words, you can change the very quality of what I say. But you cannot change the meditation and you cannot change a group process like encounter. You will have to go into it. And one is afraid.
Now this woman is a phony. She is in a deeper kind of sleep than a hostile person. A hostile person can be changed because he is hot. This woman is phony. She is cold, ice cold. When the water is hot it is very close to evaporation – just a little more heat and it will evaporate. When you have ice cubes, first you have to melt them, then you have to heat them. The process is longer.
The third kind, the most difficult kind, are the zombies – the hostiles, the phonies and the zombies. The zombie is just in the middle – he is neither hostile nor phony. He is just in the middle, he is both. He is dead. He is neither hot nor cold, he is impotent. He has not taken any side, he is afraid. He just hangs in the middle. He cannot decide. So he has decided to be just a machine.
These people – the zombies – are just dead. They are walking, talking corpses. They are mechanical. They only know life as a rut, as a routine. They are ritualistic. The zombies become great saints and mahatmas; the hostiles can become revolutionaries, criminals, sinners; the phonies are very respectable people, the gentleman and the lady.
Just yesterday I was reading about a court decision in the United States of America. In some American state there was a case for a divorce and the magistrate ruled that a person who is divorcing his wife and a woman who is divorcing her husband should not be called gentleman and lady – they are simply man and woman.
I was surprised. In the twentieth century? And in America, out of all other lands! The magistrate ruled that a person who is divorcing is no longer a gentleman, he is just an ordinary man. He cannot be addressed as “gentleman.” And the lady who is divorcing – of course, how can she be a lady? Impossible. No respect should be shown to them, that’s what the magistrate was saying.
These phonies get all the respect. They are the gentlemen and the ladies. They become the priests, the politicians; they are the powerful people. And the zombies become the saints and the mahatmas. Only they can, only they can afford to. They are so dead. They sit just like dead statues.

It is said that once a seeker came to Rinzai, the great Zen master. And the seeker said, “I have been to other monasteries, I have learned much. Now I come to you, the greatest master of this age.”
Rinzai looked at the man. He must have seen that he seemed to be a zombie. Rinzai said, “What have you learned? Just show me.”
Now this was a rare question. He had been to other masters, other teachers, other monasteries – they never asked, “Show me.” Yes, they asked questions and he answered perfectly well because he was very well-versed. For thirty years he had been in the profession of seeking, so he knew all the trade secrets – but, “Show it!” How do you show your philosophy?
He could not think of anything else so he just closed his eyes and sat in a Buddha asana, absolutely like a statue. And Rinzai laughed, hit him hard on the head and said, “You fool! Get out from here! We have enough buddhas. Can’t you see in the temple?” Rinzai used to live in a temple which was known as the Ten Thousand Buddha Temple. There were ten thousand statues. He said, “Look, we have ten thousand fools like you. Marble statues. We don’t need any more. Get out! Simply don’t show your face again!”

Zombies can become great mahatmas because they are so dead. Life has shrunken in them. It is not that they have become desireless, no. they have become lifeless. When there is no life there is no desire – but that is not the point. A real sage is one who has no desire and absolute life. The false saint is one who has killed his life because that is the simplest way to kill his desire. But he is dead.
These are the three kinds of sleepy people and these are the three kinds of nafs. You have to watch your own – what kind of nafs do you have? If you are a hostile, be happy, things are easier. If you are a phony, be happy, things are a little more difficult but still possible. If you are a zombie then still be happy that you have understood that you are a zombie – some possibility is there!

Now this beautiful dialogue.
This interchange between the Sufi mystic, Simab, and a nobleman named Mulakab, is preserved in oral transmission as a dialogue often staged by wandering dervishes.
Mulakab: “Tell me something of your philosophy so that I may understand.”
It looks like a very relevant question. “Tell me something of your philosophy so that I may understand” – as if by telling something one can understand.
We believe too much in words – as if the word itself is the truth, as if the letter is the spirit. It is not, but we have been brought up on words. All that we know is words. So naturally the seeker comes to the master, the mystic, Simab, and asks, “Tell me something of your philosophy.”
Now Sufism has no philosophy. Sufism cannot be told. It can be lived, it can be experienced, but it can’t be told. And it is not that Sufis have not tried to tell it, they have tried to tell it, but it goes on slipping. That’s what I go on doing. I go on telling it but it goes on slipping. No word ever does any justice to truth; all words falsify. Sufis agree perfectly with Lao Tzu when he says, “The Tao that can be said is Tao no more. The truth that can be uttered has already become a lie.”

You will have to experience it on your own. But man is imitative, so entirely imitative, that he just imitates other peoples’ words, their philosophies, their beliefs.

I have heard….
Two men and a young lady were on the Pullman going to California and decided they had better get acquainted.
One man said, “My name is Paul, but I’m not an apostle.”
The other said, “My name is Peter, but I’m not a saint.”
The girl muttered, “My name is Mary, and I don’t know what the hell to say.”

That’s how it goes. We just see what is happening, what people are doing, and we do it. We imitate.
In sleep, man remains a monkey, and as far as sleepers are concerned Darwin is perfectly right that man is born out of the monkey. Otherwise how can you explain so much monkeyish-ness, imitativeness?

The new minister stood at the church door greeting parishioners as they departed after the close of the service. The people were generous in complimenting the clergyman for his sermon, except for one fellow who said to him, “Pretty dull sermon, Reverend.”
And in a minute or two the same man appeared again in line and said, “Pretty dull sermon, Reverend.”
Once again the man appeared, this time muttering, “You really didn’t say anything at all, Reverend.”
When he got the opportunity, the minister pointed out the triple-threat pest to one of the deacons and inquired about him.
“Oh, don’t let that guy bother you,” said the deacon. “He’s a poor soul who goes around repeating whatever he hears other people saying.”

Just watch your mind. What have you got there? Anything original? Anything authentically yours? Or do you just go on repeating what other people are saying? Drop that repetitiveness, then the door opens to experience. Philosophy is not going to help – only insight into your being will help.

An elderly lady had a parrot that was using offensive language. Every time the lady would come into the room it would say, “I wish she was dead, I wish she was dead.”
She told her pastor about it and he said, “I have a parrot, too, but it is never rude. You bring your parrot over and leave it for several weeks, and maybe it will take up my parrot’s good behavior.”
So she did. Returning for it after a time, she opened the door and walked in. Her parrot saw her and said, “I wish she was dead.” Then the minister’s parrot chimed in and said, “Amen, Lord, grant her request.”

Even parrots are not as parrot-like as man. Man is more of a parrot than the so-called parrots. And if parrots repeat and imitate, they can be pardoned, forgiven, but man cannot be forgiven. Never forgive yourself for imitativeness otherwise you will remain an imitator. Stop forgiving yourself for imitativeness. Let imitativeness be the original sin. And when I say original sin, I mean it.
The word sin is very beautiful. It means separation. If you are imitative you will remain separate from your real self; if you are imitative you will remain separate from God – because only your original self can have a meeting with God. This false, this pseudo mask cannot have any encounter with God. The false cannot encounter the real, only the real can encounter the real.
Mulakab: “Tell me something of your philosophy so that I may understand.”
The mystic replied: “You cannot understand unless you have experience.”
Understanding is a by-product of experience, a shadow of experience, a consequence of experience. It is not a pre-requirement. You need not have understanding to experience – just the reverse is the case. You need experience to understand a thing. You cannot understand unless you have experienced. And God is not a hypothesis, God is not speculation, it is not that we think God is – God is, whether we think or not. We can go on denying God, that doesn’t make any difference – God still is. God is existential. Whether you believe or disbelieve has no effect on reality. Your belief, your disbelief, is not going to change that which is. So what is the point of belief, disbelief? Drop them and try to see whatsoever is the case. When that has been looked into, understanding arises.
Mulakab: “I do not have to understand a cake to know whether it is bad.”
Very logical. In life you need not experience many things – still you feel that you know. But the same logic cannot be extended towards God.
In life you are living with sleepy people who function through belief. If you follow their belief you will have a convenient life. Your belief will help you to remain comfortable and convenient. But with God you are not searching for convenience or security or safety, with God you are hankering for truth.
Just the other day I was reading about a college in America. Suddenly it got a great donation, a great endowment, and it decided to become a university. So they wanted a motto for the university door. They decided that the motto should be in Sanskrit, not in Latin, not in Greek, and they decided that the motto should mean something like this: Truth unfolding like a flower.
So they searched in America for the greatest Sanskrit scholar and they approached a professor who was a world-renowned authority on Sanskrit. And they said, “This is what we want as a motto on the university door: Truth unfolding as a flower. Please translate it into Sanskrit. We want to put it in Sanskrit.”
The professor refused. He said, “It cannot be translated into Sanskrit because the Eastern mind says that truth has no unfolding, truth simply is. It does not grow. It is not an unfolding. You discover it, you grow towards it, but truth never grows. You come close or you go away, but truth remains the same. Growth happens in you, not in truth. So truth is not unfolding, and truth is not a flower – because the flower is sometimes in the seed and sometimes in the tree and sometimes in the bud. And then it flowers. It has a temporal procession. Truth simply is; it is not evolution. It is simply there. It has no past, no present, no future. It is eternally the same.”
I agree with that Sanskrit scholar. He was right. It is not that it cannot be translated into Sanskrit, it can be translated into the Sanskrit language – but it will not be the spirit of the East. The translation will be false. It will not show the right understanding about truth.
If you believe or you disbelieve, you remain distant. There is something between you and truth – your belief or your disbelief.
If you want to know the truth, you need not have anything between you and the truth, you have to remove all furniture – the furniture of the mind. You have just to see. Your eyes have to be completely unclouded.
Simab: “If you are looking at good fish and you think that it is a bad cake, you need to understand less…”
– because your understanding is wrong, upside-down. It is a fish and you think it is a bad cake. Your knowledge is not going to help you. It is better that you have less knowledge. No knowledge will be the most perfect thing, then there will be nothing to distract you from the truth. All knowledge distracts. When you know, it interferes – hence one has to be innocent. Only innocents know – because those who think they know are already corrupted by knowledge.
“…you need to understand less, and to understand it better…”
Now the word understanding is being used in two different senses: one in the sense of knowledge and the other in the sense of meditation; one in the sense of intellectuality, the other in the sense of intelligence.
The English word meditation comes from a Sanskrit root medha. Medha means intelligence. In fact, it would be more correct to call it medha-tation rather than meditation – because meditation has a wrong connotation in the Western mind. It appears as if you are thinking about something, meditating upon it. No, to bring it closer to home it will be medha-tation. Medha means intelligence – not thinking about something, just being intelligent, alert, aware, pure, innocent.
When you don’t have any knowledge, you know; when you have knowledge, your eyes are covered and you cannot know.
“If you are looking at good fish and you think that it is a bad cake, you need to understand less, and to understand it better, more than you need anything else.”
Now the seeker wants to know more about the Sufi philosophy, and the mystic says, “If you really want to understand more about the Sufi philosophy it will be good if you don’t know anything at all. Come with that state of mind we call not-knowing.”
Mulakab: “Then why do you not abandon books and lectures if experience is the necessity?”
That’s how the logical mind goes – either or. The logical mind is always divided into either or. It does not know how to connect opposite polarities. It does not know how to use the words and and both.
First Mulakab wants to know about Simab’s philosophy, the Sufi philosophy; then, because he is saying there is no philosophy, there is only experience, Mulakab moves the other extreme – if not this, then the other. Then he says, Then why do you not abandon books and lectures if experience is the necessity?
Many people come to me and they say to me too, “You go on saying that it cannot be said, but why do you go on talking then? You go on repeating again and again that theories and philosophies and systems are of no help, they are barriers, but you still go on talking to us. Then why, why do you talk at all?”
That is the logical mind: either talk with the condition that through talk truth can be understood, or don’t talk at all. But both will be absurd positions.
The master has to talk in such a way that he makes you aware that talk is not going to help. The master has to use words in such a way that you don’t get entangled with words. The master has to explain many things to you and to simultaneously keep you alert so you don’t get caught in explanation. The master has to use the mind to relate to you because you exist in mind and there is no other way to relate to you. But he has to keep you alert, he has to remind you again and again that this is not the whole thing, that this is just the beginning, that this is not even the real thing. the real is to come. He has to keep you alert so that you can move – move from words to wordlessness, from theories to truth, from philosophies to experience.
A moment comes when the master can be silent, but that is possible only when the disciple has come to relate to the master in a totally different way – from the heart.
Even when Buddha was alive, and when thousands of disciples were there, when he kept silent one day only one disciple, Mahakashyap, understood it – out of those thousands of disciples.
It is said of a Zen master, Huen Shah, that one day he was about to preach a sermon when a bird began to sing nearby. He remained silent, pointed to the bird, and left. Later on he said he could not have improved upon the bird, that’s why he remained silent. The bird was saying the same truth that he was going to say and in a far superior way. But I don’t know what happened to the disciples – whether anybody understood it, whether anybody got the message.
Even with Buddha only Mahakashyap smiled when Buddha kept silent and looked at a lotus flower in his hand. All were anxious to hear the words and he was not speaking and not speaking. And then Mahakashyap laughed and Buddha called him and gave the lotus flower to him and said to the other disciples, “That which can be said through words I have said to you, and that which cannot be said through words I have given to Mahakashyap.”
Yes, there is something beyond the words, but you have to be prepared through words for the beyond.
But this logical fallacy happens. The logical mind believes that either everything is possible through words or nothing is possible through words.

A disciple of the Holy Yehudi had taken upon himself the discipline of silence, and for three years had spoken no words save those of the Torah and prayer. The Yehudi sent for him and said, “Young man, how is it that I do not see a single word of yours in the world of truth?”

Yehudi was one of the Hassid masters.

When the young man justified himself by speaking of “the vanity of speech” the Yehudi replied, “He who only learns and prays is murdering the word of his own soul. Whatever you have to say can be vanity or it can be truth.”

Listen to it again.

Yehudi said, “Whatever you have to say can be vanity or it can be truth. Come to me after the Evening Prayer and I shall teach you how to talk. Real words are not vain; vain words are not real.”

Yes, there is a reality to words too. It is not ultimate, it is only indicative. It is like a gesture. When I am pointing to the moon with my finger, my finger is not the moon. Don’t mistake it. And don’t start clinging to my finger, that is not the moon. But don’t move to the other extreme – if the finger is not the moon then how can you indicate the moon by the finger? That is absurdity again. Either you cling to the finger because you say, “You are showing the finger,” or you say, “Then don’t show the finger – the finger is not the moon.”
But the moon can be indicated by the finger and the finger is not the moon. The words can become indicative; they are gestures.
Mulakab: “Then why do you not abandon books and lectures if experience is the necessity?”
Simab: “Because the outward is the conductor to the inward. Books will teach you something of the outward aspects of the inward, and so will lectures. Without them you will make no progress.”
The outward and the inward are not so different. The outward is also part of the inward, the outermost part, of course. And the inward is also part of the outward, the innermost part of the outward, of course. But they are not separate, they are together. Never separate them. They are one reality, just like the circumference and the center. The center cannot exist without the circumference, and the circumference cannot exist without the center. If the circumference is there without the center it cannot be called the circumference, and if the center is there without the circumference of which it is the center, it is not the center any more. Of what? The center depends on the circumference as much as the circumference depends on the center. The surface is part of the depth as the depth is part of the surface. This is the right understanding.
Simab: “Because the outward is the conductor to the inward.” Many times it happens that people come to me and they say, “We want to be sannyasins but what is the use of the outward: the dress and mala and things like that?” A woman wrote to me, “Osho, I love you and I want to surrender to you but I cannot surrender to the orange dress and I hate your mala.”
This is the logical mind. The logical mind says, “The inner is the inner and the outer is the outer, so love Osho from the inner. What is the need of any outward show?” But when you are hungry, you eat something from the outside. You don’t say, “Hunger is inside and I cannot go to Vrindavan and I don’t care a bit about food. What is the need of food? Hunger is inside.”
But the inside hunger is fulfilled, satisfied, by outside food – because the outside is constantly changing into the inside. When you eat, you chew, you digest; it becomes the inside. And what is inside is constantly becoming your outside. Life is changing always – moving from the inside to the outside, from the outside to the inside. It is a tremendous movement between polarities.
So don’t create such logical problems for yourself. Don’t divide. You are one. In and out, you are both. Hence sannyas has to be both together – inner and outer.
Just look at the absurdity. You say, “I love you, Osho, but I hate your mala.” This is not possible. One thing must be wrong: either you don’t love me or you can’t hate the mala. If you hate the mala you can’t love me; if you love me you can’t hate the mala. But I can understand why the statement is possible. You divide the outer and the inner.
When you love a man or a woman you divide the outer and the inner. You say, “I will not touch your body because I love you from the inside and what is the point of touching your body? I love you but I hate your body.” Have you said that to any woman some time? – “I love you but I hate your, body.” She will never forgive you. Have you said that to any man, “I love you tremendously but don’t touch me, don’t make any outward show. What is the point of hugging and kissing and embracing? No need. We can love as inner centers.” But is that love going to grow? Is that love going to fulfill? Is that love going to become a contentment? It is not possible.
Simab: “Because the outward is the conductor to the inward. Books will teach you something of the outward aspects of the inward, and so will lectures. Without them you will make not progress.”
Mulakab: “But why should we not be able to do so without books?”
Logic wants to be consistent and life is not consistent. Logic says that if books are not needed then they are not needed. Then why can’t we do without them? Then why don’t you be consistent? Why are you not consistent? Either say books are useless and burn them or say they are useful and worship them.
But a man who understands life is not an extremist. He says, “Books can be used, but there is no need to worship them. Books can be used, but there is no need to burn them.” Both are extremist, partial standpoints.
Sufis will not agree with the Zen masters burning scriptures, because when you burn the scriptures it shows that you are still too much attached to them – otherwise why burn them? Why take so much trouble? You have some attachment, some obsession – either you can worship or you can burn but you cannot just use them. Sufis are more down to earth.
People simply jump from one extreme to another the logic always can deceive you because it pretends a kind of consistency.
A little man tip-toes up M.G. Road, stopping at intervals to scatter some kind of powder here and there on the street from a bag in his hand. His behavior is so odd that he soon attracts a crowd of followers. A policeman decides to investigate and approaches the man.
“What’s in that bag?” says the policeman.
“Woffle dust,” says the little man.
“What’s that?” asks the policeman.
“Woffle dust is my own discovery,” says the man, “and is for the eradication of most varieties of poisonous snakes, lions, tigers, elephants, et cetera, et cetera.”
“But there are no snakes, no lions, no tigers, no elephants on M.G. Road,” explains the policeman.
“I know,” says the little man. “This is pretty powerful stuff.”

This is very consistent. It is because of this stuff that you will not see any elephants, tigers, lions. This is pretty powerful stuff.
Logic is very self-fulfilling. It creates a very consistent world of concepts. If you decide that the scriptures are useful then logic says: “Worship them. Put them on a high pedestal. They are truth, embodied truth.” Or if you say: “Truth is not in the words,” then scriptures are meaningless, then throw them away, burn them. Either worship them or insult them.
But the really practical man, the pragmatic man, will use them. He will neither worship nor insult them – because both are emotional attitudes. You don’t worship a timetable and you don’t burn a timetable either – you simply use it. All scriptures are timetables for the inner journey. They are not the inner journey, remember, they are maps. The map of India is not India. Seeing the map of India you have not visited India, but there is no need to burn it because it is not India. It can be helpful. It can be helpful. It can be of tremendous help. It can bring you to the real India.
And a road map is a must when you are traveling in a strange land. A road map contains many things – except one thing: how to fold it! It can be used. That is the pragmatic standpoint.
Mulakab: “But why should we not be able to do so without books?”
Simab: “For the same reason that you cannot think without words. You have been reared on books; your mind is so altered by books and lectures, by hearing and speaking, that the inward can only speak to you through the outward. Whatever you pretend you can perceive.”
We have been reared on books. Our mind is nothing but words, logic, philosophy. If this mind has to be converted then it has to be approached in a way it can understand. Hence masters use words, masters even use logic. Masters use all that is of any help to you.
But their whole effort is to take you beyond yourself. They use words to go beyond words and they use your mind to drop it, to become mindless, to become a no-mind.
Mulakab: “Does this apply to everyone?”
Again this is logic trying to find consistency. “Does it apply to everyone?” Logic always generalizes, and reality is not a generalization. Unique individuals are here, there are no generalizations. Have you ever seen a human being? You see Teertha, you see Maneesha, you see Sudha, you see Sheela, you see Madhuri – you see many people. but you never see a human being. A human being is a generalization. You will never come across a human being. You will always come across concrete men, women, not human beings. Concrete. Logic lives in generalizations.
Mulakab asked: “Does this apply to everyone?”
Simab: “It applies to whom it applies. It applies above all to those who think it does not apply to them!”
This is of tremendous importance. Keep it always in your consciousness.
“It applies above all to those who think it does not apply to them!”
Because that is the last deception the mind can play. That is the last trick, strategy, of the mind to protect itself – “It does not apply to me.” You always become a victim of that trick – “It does not apply to me.”
Here people write to me: “Osho, what you said was perfectly beautiful. Many people will be benefited by it, many – but not me.”

I have heard about a man who used to come to a church to listen to a priest, and every day, whenever he was leaving, he would say to the priest, “You did well. You hammered well. All those people needed it.”
By and by it became a kind of drag to the priest. This man was so egoistic. It was an everyday thing. Whenever the priest would speak, in the end the man was waiting and he would say, “You did well. You hammered well. These people needed it. They deserved it. You put them right. That is going to help them.”
And the priest was waiting for the right opportunity to talk to this man. Then one day it happened. It was raining hard and only this man turned up. Nobody else was there. So the priest thought, “Now, let us see what he says.” And the man was waiting.
When the priest finished and the man was going out he said, “You did well. They would have been benefited very much if they had been here. Poor fellows. They missed. I feel sorry for them!”

Remember that all that is being said by masters is said to you, to you in particular. Don’t bring others in. And if you feel that it does not apply to you then it applies to you certainly and absolutely. Whenever you want to make an exception for yourself, beware. You are being befooled by your mind. Beware, and escape from the trap. And if you are aware and you escape from the trap you can become the exception. By not thinking you are the exception, you can become the exception. By not thinking you are great, you can become great. By not thinking you are very humble, you can become humble. All that is good is unselfconscious, it is innocent.
Enough for today.

Spread the love