Sufis The People of Path Vol 2 11

Eleventh Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - Sufis The People of Path Vol 2 by Osho.
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The Sufi ancient, Junnaid, taught by demonstration, through a method in which he actually lived the part which he was trying to illustrate. This is an example:
Once he was found by a number of seekers, sitting surrounded by every imaginable luxury.
These people left his presence and sought the house of a most austere and ascetic holy man, whose surroundings were so plain that he had nothing but a mat and a jug of water.
The spokesman of the seekers said, “Your simple manners and austere environment are much more to our liking than the garish and shocking excesses of Junnaid, who seems to have turned his back upon the path of truth.”
The ascetic heaved a great sigh and started to weep.
“My dear friends, shallowly infected by outward signs which beset man at every turn, know this, and cease to be unfortunates! The great Junnaid is surrounded at this moment by luxury because he is impervious to luxury. And I am surrounded by simplicity, because I am impervious to simplicity.”
The belief in the myth of change is the most dangerous kind of belief. Man has suffered much from it – much more than from any other kind of belief. The myth of change – that something better is possible, that man can improve upon himself, that there is some place to go to, that there is somebody to be, that there is some kind of utopia – has corrupted human mind infinitely down the centuries. It has been a constant poisoning.
Man is already there. Man has been all along that which he wants to be. Man need not change in order to be. All that is needed is an understanding, an awareness – not a change. Becoming is never going to give you being. Through becoming you will remain constantly in anguish, in tension – because becoming means that the goal is somewhere else, that the goal is never here, never now, that the goal is far away. You have to strive for it and your whole life is wasted in striving. And you can go on striving and you will not find it because the goal is here and now, and you are looking then and there.
Your being is in the present, and all ideas of becoming are projections into the future. By projecting into the future, you go on missing the present. That is a way of escaping from the reality. The idea that you have to become something is the idea that takes you away from your real being, from your authentic being. You are already that – that’s why I say the myth of change is one of the most dangerous myths.
It has two dimensions to it. One is political, the other is religious.
The political dimension is that the society can be improved, that revolution can help, that there is a utopia that can be realized. Because of this, politicians have been able to torture, to murder, to exploit, to oppress. And people have suffered in the hope that revolution is going to happen. That revolution never happens. Revolutions come and go and society remains as it has always been.
Hitlers, Stalins, Maos, can exploit people for their own sake. And if you want to get to the utopia, to the wonderland, to paradise, you obviously have to pay for it. This is the secular dimension of the myth – that something better is possible. Right now it is not there, but some day it can be – you have to sacrifice for it. Millions of people were killed in Soviet Russia, tortured inhumanly, for their own good. And logic says that if you want to have a better society, who is going to pay for it? You are going to pay for it, naturally. So the people cannot even revolt, they cannot even resist. If they resist, they look like enemies of the revolution. And the myth is so deep-rooted in the mind that they accept all kinds of humiliations in the hope that maybe if they cannot live in a golden age, their children will. This is the secular direction of the same neurosis.
The religious dimension is that you can have a better future – if not in this life, then in the next. Of course, you have to sacrifice. If you sacrifice the present, you will have the future.
That future never comes. The future in itself cannot come. The tomorrow is not possible, it is always today. It is always the present that is there. The future is just in the mind, in the imagination. It is a dream; it is not part of reality.
The political myth has been taken up by the sadists – those who want to torture others. and the religious myth has been taken up by the masochists – those who want to torture themselves. Torture yourself. Fast. Don’t sleep. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. This is the whole secret of the so-called ascetic attitude towards life: torture yourself. And naturally, your body is helpless, your body is defenceless. It cannot protest. It cannot go against you.
There is a possibility that people may revolt against the politicians, but what is the possibility that your body may revolt .against you? There is no possibility. The body is very innocent, helpless. You can go on torturing it and you can go on feeling that you have immense power because you can torture it. You can go on killing it, and feel powerful. And you can attain to a great ego.
There are two kinds of people in the world: the sadists and the masochists. Sadists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing others, and masochists are those whose enjoyment consists of torturing themselves – but it is the same violence, it is the same aggression. The sadist throws it on somebody else; the masochist turns it upon himself. Because the sadist throws it on others, sooner or later they will revolt. But when the masochist throws it upon himself there is nobody to revolt.
In fact, all revolutionaries; once they are in power, by and by lose respect. Sooner or later they are dethroned; sooner or later their power is destroyed; sooner or later they are thought to be criminals. Your whole history consists of these criminals. Your history is not the history of humanity because it is not the history of humanness. How can it be the history of humanity? It is not the history of humanity, it is only the history of politics, political conflicts, struggles, wars.
It is as it you write the history of robbers and murderers and you call it the history of humanity. The revolutionaries are great murderers, they are no ordinary murderers – otherwise they would have been in the jail or sentenced to death. They are powerful people. They possess power. Until their power goes, they are worshipped like God. But their power goes sooner or later. A day comes when Hitler is no longer honored; he becomes an ugly dirty name. A day comes when Stalin is no longer honored. Just the reverse happens.
But with the other dimension, the religious dimension, of the myth – the ascetic, the self-torturer, the masochist – people never come to know their reality because they never torture anybody else. They torture only themselves. And people go on respecting them. People respect them very much because they are not harmful to anybody except to themselves. That is their business. The ascetics have always been worshipped. But asceticism is a kind of neurosis; it is not normal.
To eat too much is abnormal; to fast is also abnormal. the right amount of food is normality. To be in the middle is to be normal. To be exactly in the middle is to be healthy and whole and holy.
If you go to one extreme, you become a politician. If you go to the other extreme, you become a religious fanatic, an ascetic. Both have missed balance.
So the first thing to be understood is that the religion that we are creating here – and it has to be created again and again because it becomes corrupted again and again – the religion that we are invoking here is not political and is not in the ordinary sense even religious. It is neither sadistic nor masochistic. It is normal. It is to be in the middle.
And what is the way to be in the middle? The way to be in the middle is to be in the world but not to be of it. To be in the middle means to live in the world but not to allow the world to live in you. To be exactly in the middle and to be balanced means you are a witness to all that happens to you. Witnessing is the only foundation for a real authentic religion. Whatsoever is, has to be witnessed – joyfully, ecstatically. Nothing has to be denied and rejected. All denial, all rejection, will keep you in limits and you will remain in conflict. Everything has to be accepted as it is.
And you have to be a watcher. Pleasure comes – watch. Pain comes – watch. Neither be disturbed by pleasure nor be disturbed by pain. Let your calm remain unperturbed. Let your silence, your tranquillity, remain undisturbed. Pain will come and go and pleasure will come and go. Success will come and go and failure will come and go. And soon you will come to understand the point that it is only you who remains. That is eternal. This witnessing is eternal.
The contents that flow in the consciousness are temporary. One moment they are there, another moment they are gone. Don’t be worried about them; don’t be either in favor of them or against them. Don’t try to possess them, don’t hold onto them, because they are going to go. They have to go. It is the very nature of things that they cannot be permanent.
Something pleasant is happening. It cannot be permanent. It will have to go. And following it, something unpleasant is already getting ready to happen. It is the rhythm of life – day and night, life and death, summer and winter. The wheel goes on moving.
Don’t hold on and don’t try to make something very, very permanent. It is not possible. The more you try, the more frustrated you will become, because it cannot be done. And when it cannot be done, you feel defeated. You feel defeated because you have not understood one simple thing: nothing can be static. Life is a flux. Only one thing is eternally there and that is your consciousness, that innermost watcher.
Sufis call it “the watcher on the hills.” The valleys go on changing but the watcher remains on the top of the hill. Sometimes the valley is dark and sometimes the valley is light and sometimes there is dancing and singing and sometimes there is weeping and crying – and the watcher sits on the hill-top and just goes on watching.
By and by the content of consciousness does not matter Only consciousness becomes significant. That is the essential foundation of all true religion. And this is the understanding of the Sufis.
Before we enter into this small parable today. Let me tell you that there are four ways to approach truth, to be connected with truth.
The first is known in the East as karma yoga – the way of action. Man has three dimensions in him: action, knowing, feeling. So three ways use these three directions: action, knowing feeling. You can act, and you can act with total absorption, and you can offer your act to God. You can act without becoming a doer. That is the first way – karma yoga: being in action without being a doer. You let God do. You let God be in you. You efface yourself.
In this, the path of action, consciousness changes the content. These two things have to be understood: consciousness and content. This is all that your life consists of. There is something which is the knower in you and something which is the known. For example, you are listening to me. Now two things are there: whatsoever I am saying will be the content, and whatsoever you are inside, listening, watching, that is the consciousness. You are looking at me. Then my figure in your eyes is the content and you, who are looking at that figure in the eye, are consciousness – the object and the subject.
On the path of action, consciousness changes the content That is what action is. You see a rock. Somebody may stumble upon it – because it is getting dark, night is falling. so you remove the rock from the path. This is action. What have you done? Consciousness has changed the content.
On the path of action, content is important and has to be changed. If somebody is ill and you go and serve him and you give him medicine, you are changing the content. If somebody has fallen in the river and is drowning, you jump in and you save him from drowning. You have changed the content.
Action is content-directed. Action is will – something has to be done. Of course, if the will remains ego-oriented, then you will not be religious. You will be a great doer, but not religious. And your path will be of action but not towards God. When you allow God to become your will, when you say, “Let thy will be mine,” when you surrender your will to the feet of god and his will starts flowing through you, then it is the path of action – karma yoga.
The goal of karma yoga is freedom, moksha – to change the contents so much that nothing antagonistic is left there, nothing harmful is left there; to change the content according to your heart’s desire, so that you can be free of limitations. This is the path of Jainism, yoga, and all action-oriented philosophies.
The second path is the path of knowledge, knowing – gyana yoga. On the second path consciousness is changed by the content. On the first, content is changed by consciousness; on the second it is just the reverse – consciousness is changed by the content.
On the path of knowledge you simply try to see what is the case – whatsoever it is. That’s what Krishnamurti goes on teaching. That is the purest path of knowing. There is nothing to be done. You have just to attain to clarity, to see what is the case. You have just to see that which is. You are not to do anything. You have simply to drop your prejudices and you have to drop your concepts, notions, which can interfere with reality, which can interpret reality, which can color reality. You have to drop all that you carry in your mind as a priori notions – and then let the reality be there. Whatsoever it is, you just see it. And that changes you.
To know the real is to be transformed. Knowing the real as the real, you cannot act in any other way than the way of reality. Once you have known the reality, reality starts changing you. Consciousness is changed by the content.
The goal of the path of knowledge is truth. The goal of karma yoga, the path of action or will, was freedom. The goal of the path of knowing – Vedanta, Hinduism, Sankha, and other paths of knowing, Ashtavakra, Krishnamurti – is truth, brahman. Thou art that. Let that be revealed, then you become that. Once you know that, you become that. By knowing God, one becomes God. Thou art that – that is the most essential phenomenon on the second path.
The third is bhakti yoga – the way of feeling. Love is the goal. Consciousness changes the content and the content changes consciousness. The change is mutual. The lover changes the beloved, the beloved changes the lover. On the path of will, consciousness changes content, on the path of knowing, content changes consciousness; on the path of feeling, both interact, both affect each other. The change is mutual. That’s why the path of feeling is more whole. The first path is half, the second path also half, but the path of love is more round, more whole, because it has both in it.
Vaishnavas, Christianity, Islam, and other paths; Ramanuja, Vallabha, and other devotees – they say that subject and object are not separate. So if one changes the other, then something will remain unbalanced. Let both change each other. Let both meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and merge into each other, let there be a unity. As man and woman meet and there is great joy, let there be an orgasm between consciousness and content, between you and reality, between that and thou. Let it not be only a knowing, let it not be only partial – let it be total.
These are the three ordinary paths. Sufism is the fourth. One of the greatest Sufis of this age was George Gurdjieff. His disciple, P. D. Ouspensky, has written a book called The Fourth Way. It is very symbolic.
What is this fourth way? If it is neither of action, nor of knowing, nor of feeling – because these are the three faculties – then what is this fourth way? The fourth way is the way of transcendence. In India this is called raja yoga – the royal path, the fourth way. Neither consciousness changes the content, nor the content changes consciousness. Nothing changes nothing. All is as it is with no change. Content is there, consciousness is here, and no change is happening. No effort to change is there.
This is what I mean by being. With all the three paths something remains in the mind that has to be done. With the fourth, all becoming disappears. You simply accept whatsoever is. In that acceptance is transcendence. In that very acceptance you go beyond. You remain just a witness. You are no longer doing anything here, you are just-being here.
A goal is not possible with the fourth way. There is no goal. With the first, the goal is freedom; with the second, truth; with the third, love. With the fourth there is no goal. Zen and Sufism belong to the fourth. That’s why Zen people say “the pathless path, the gateless gate” – because there is no goal. The goal-less goal. We are not going anywhere. We are not striving for anything. All that is needed is already here. It has been here all along. You have just to be silent and see. There is no need to change anything. With the fourth, the myth of change disappears.
And when there is no need to change, joy explodes – because the energy that gets involved in changing things is no longer involved anywhere; it is released. That released energy is what is called joy.
Sometimes it happens to you too, unknowingly. Sometimes sitting alone, doing nothing, you feel something happen. You cannot believe what it is. You cannot even trust what it is. It is so incredibly new, so unknown. It happens to everybody – in rare moments, for no reason at all. You cannot figure it out; you cannot reckon why it has happened.
You have been lying in your bathtub and suddenly something happens. The mind is not rushing in its usual way; the body is relaxed in the hot water. You are not doing anything; you are just being there. suddenly it comes – the silence of the house, the birds singing outside, the children playing in the street. All is there as it has been, but with a new quality. There is great restfulness, a relaxation. Something in you is no longer striving for anything. You are not goal-oriented, you are just herenow.
If you start thinking about what it is, you miss it immediately. If you start trying to get hold of it again, you will never get hold of it again. It comes when it comes. It comes when the right situation is there. But you cannot create that right situation. If you try to create it, you will fall into one of the first three ways. If you try to change the content, you will become a follower of the path of action. If you try to change your consciousness through the content, you will become a follower of the second path – the path of knowledge. If you try to make both meet and mingle and merge, then you will become a follower of the third path.
But if you don’t do anything – not willing, not knowing, not feeling – if you just relax, then there is witnessing. Witnessing is not knowing; witnessing is totally different. In fact, it cannot be said that you are witnessing. You are not doing anything – not even witnessing. You are just there. Things are happening. Suddenly a bird starts singing outside and you hear it – because you are there, you hear it. There is no effort to hear it, there is no deliberate concentration for it.
Just the other day I came across a Sankhya sutra of immense beauty: dhyanam nirvishayam manah – that’s how Sankhya sutras define dhyana. Meditation is mind without thoughts, without feelings, without will. Meditation is consciousness without any striving. Dhyanam nirvishayam manah. There is no longing for any object. You are not striving for anything. Then you are in dhyana, then you are in meditation. You are not doing anything; on no plane are you doing anything. All doing has simply disappeared. there is utter silence inside you, and absolute rest.
Let this word rest be remembered by you. Relaxation. You cannot do it, remember. How can you do it? If you do it you cannot relax, because then relaxation becomes a goal and you become a doer. You can only understand it. You can only allow it to happen; you cannot do it, you cannot force it. It has nothing to do with your doing. You can only understand how it happens and you can remain in that understanding. And it comes.
Dhyanam nirvishayam manah. When the mind is, with no desire, no object, no goal, not going anywhere, then how can it be tense? It is not a state of concentration . It is not concentration at all because concentration will need striving; concentration is a kind of tension. It is not even attention, because attention is also a kind of tension.
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the word meditation as concentration. That is absolutely wrong. Meditation is not concentration. Concentration means mind striving, forcing, willing, trying to do something. Putting one’s whole energy into one direction – that’s what concentration means. Meditation means you are not putting your energy into any direction; it is simply overflowing. It is not going in any particular direction, it is simply overflowing like a fragrance, a fragrance overflowing from a flower, unaddressed – neither to the north nor to the south. It is not going anywhere, or, it is going everywhere. Wherever the winds will take it, it is ready to go. It is utterly relaxed.
This moment happens sometimes to you. I would like you to remember that it is not something rare that happens only to religious people. It happens in ordinary life too but you don’t take note of it. You are afraid of it.
Just a few days ago, I received a letter from a woman. She had been here, then she went home. For six months she was trying and trying to meditate and it did not happen according to her idea of meditation. She must have had some desire about what it should be like. She must have had some expectations, and it was not happening.
She has written a letter to say that one day she was just sitting in the room. There was nothing to do. The husband had gone to the office; the children had gone to school; the house was empty. She was just sitting, not doing anything, there was no desire to do. She was just sitting in the chair with closed eyes – and it happened. It was suddenly there, with all its benedictions. But she became frightened. She became frightened because when it happened suddenly a fear came to her – because it was there, meditation was there, but she was not there. That became a great fear and she simply pulled herself out of it. It felt as if she was disappearing.
Yes, it happens. Your ego cannot exist there. Your ego is not possible there. Your ego is nothing but all your tensions together. Your ego is nothing but a bundle of past tensions, of present tensions, and of future tensions. When you are non-tense, the ego simply falls to the ground in pieces.
She became afraid. For six months she had been trying to meditate and nothing was happening, and then one day it happened. It came while she was completely unaware of it. She was taken aback. It was there. And she had been provoking it and desiring and asking and praying, and it had not come. And then it came. But she missed. It was there but she became frightened. It was too much. She felt as if she might disappear into it and might not be able to come out of it. She pulled herself out of it. Now she writes that she is crying and weeping, and wants it back.
Now this wanting it back won’t help – because it came that day without any wanting. Without any idea of what was going to happen, suddenly it came. It always comes like sudden lightning.
This is the fourth way, that’s why it is called raja yoga – the royal path. The king is not supposed to do anything. Servants do. The king is not supposed to do anything. He simply sits on his throne and things happen. There are so many people to do it. That’s why it is called raja yoga – the path of the king. The other three are ordinary; the fourth is really exceptional. The king is not expected to do anything; he simply sits there relaxed. That’s what we mean by one who is a king. Doing has disappeared, knowing has disappeared, feeling has disappeared – the king is utterly relaxed. In that relaxation it happens.
Sufi and Zen are raja yogas – the royal paths. Neither consciousness changes the content nor the content changes consciousness. This is the fundamental principle: nothing changes, there is no change happening. Things are. The flower is there and you are there. You don’t change the flower and the flower does not change you. Both exist together. It is existence with no motive.
Zen people call it nirvana, the goal, the no-goal – nirvana. One simply ceases to be. the word nirvana is beautiful. It means: as if somebody has blown out a candle. Just a few minutes before it was there, the lamp was burning bright, and then you blew it out. Now the flame has disappeared into the infinity. It has become part of the cosmos. You cannot find it. You cannot trace where it has gone, where it is. It has simply disappeared.

There is a Sufi parable.
A Sufi mystic was entering a village and he came across a small boy who was carrying a lit candle. The boy was going to the mosque. The night was coming and the boy was going to the mosque to put the candle there – as an act of worship.
The mystic saw the boy, the innocent boy, his face lighted by the light of the candle. The mystic asked the boy, “Have you yourself lighted the candle?” And the boy said, “Yes, sir.”
The mystic jokingly asked, “Then you must have seen from where the flame comes. Can you tell me from where the flame comes?” The boy laughed and blew out the candle and said, “Now you have seen it going. Can you tell me where it has gone?”

Nobody knows from where it comes and nobody knows to where it goes. It comes out of nothingness or out of all – which means the same – and it goes back into nothingness or into the all – which is the same. That is nirvana.
Sufis have the word for it – fana. It means exactly the same. One is utterly lost.
There is no need to do anything on the path of will or on the path of knowledge or on the path of feeling. Nothing is needed to be done – because if you do something you will remain, you will persist a little. Something of the ego may linger on. No change, no improvement, no effort to make you better is needed – just be.
Mohammed says: “Be in this world as a stranger or as a passer-by.” Be in this world but don’t be of it. Be in this world but don’t allow the world to be in you. “Be for this world as if thou were to live a thousand years, and for the next as it thou were to die tomorrow.” Live this moment as if you are going to live forever and yet be mindful that the next moment may not come. So live totally, and yet remain a witness. Be involved in it, but still keep yourself like a watcher on the hill.
That is what Junnaid was doing.

Now this story.
The Sufi ancient, Junnaid, taught by demonstration…
Sufis always teach by demonstration. There is no better way. So it always happens that when outsiders come to a Sufi master, they are always puzzled – because they cannot understand what is happening. They don’t know the whole story. They only take the fragment that is in front of their eyes. It may be a demonstration. It may be something in which the disciples and the master know what is going on.
Gurdjieff used to do that. And outsiders were always puzzled. And there are hundreds of books written on Gurdjieff by outsiders. Naturally they are all against him, because they don’t know the whole story. It is only possible for art, insider to know the whole story.
For example, if you had suddenly reached Gurdjieff, you might have been surprised. He might have been shouting – humiliating somebody, using abusive words. He was a past master in using abusive words. And when he was in a rage, he was really in a rage – it was as if he was going to murder.
If you saw it, naturally you would wonder what kind of master he was. He did not seem to be at all enlightened – because you have a certain idea about enlightenment: that the master will be such and such. He should fulfill your expectation. But masters don’t exist to fulfill your expectations. They have something else far more important to do than to go on fulfilling your expectations. They are not here for that kind of work. They are not asking for your respect or for any respectability. They are not bothered by public opinion; they are not asking for your vote. They are doing something which is immense, which is possible to understand only when you are an insider.
The insider knows on whom Gurdjieff is throwing all kinds of abuse. He knows – or maybe in some moments he knows and in some moments he also misses. There are some moments when you will feel, “What kind of man is this? Why is he abusing me so hard? What have I done?” You may have done a very small wrong, negligible, and he is being mad out of all proportion – as if you have committed a sin. Sometimes even the insider may miss. But the insider will be able to remember. Gurdjieff has said, “You have to be watchful. I will provoke you. I will provoke you in many ways, so that you can lose your watchfulness.”
Now something is transpiring between Gurdjieff and his disciple. You as an outsider will miss it. He is not in rage. The rage is just acting, and the disciple is being provoked into being angry. If the disciple gets angry, he misses the point. He loses an opportunity. If the disciple remains calm and quiet, watchful; does not allow the content to change this consciousness; and does not try in any way to change Gurdjieff and his behavior – that is consciousness trying to change the content…. The content is there – Gurdjieff is mad. So okay, Gurdjieff is mad. And one is there watching – neither the consciousness is affecting the content nor the content is affecting the consciousness. And you cannot deceive Gurdjieff – because a slight change in your consciousness and your whole behavior changes. Your face changes, your aura changes, your energy pattern changes – you are no longer the same person.
If the disciple can remain undisturbed, unperturbed, can remain as he was before Gurdjieff started going into this rage, he has taken one step into the inner journey. He has come closer to the master.
But it will be difficult for people who come from the outside. If you had gone to Gurdjieff…. It was a rare phenomenon. Every night he would invite all his disciples. The whole community would gather together. And there would be eating and drinking – so much that anybody from the outside would think that these people were just mad. What were they doing? And Gurdjieff would go on forcing people to eat and to drink. He would force people to drink so much alcohol that you would think that this was an epicurean phenomenon. What kind of religion was this? Just eat, drink, and be merry? And that too was going to extremes. And Gurdjieff was very insistent about going on drinking. He himself used to drink as much as a man could drink, but he was never drunk. That was the whole point. He would tell the disciple to drink.
And there comes a point when you lose control. Immediately your reality comes up, surfaces. You can never see the real person unless he is drunk. People have repressed themselves so much that only alcohol can bring them up from their reparations. It was one of the greatest experiments ever done by any master.
In the East we know it has been done by tantrikas down the ages, but Gurdjieff was the first man to do it in the West. Whenever he saw that a disciple had drunk too much and had come to his reality – that now he was no longer the same person that he was pretending to be – then he would watch. Now he could be helpful. Now he knew your unconscious. What psycho-analysis does in years, he did in one day. Psychoanalysis goes on poking you to bring your unconscious up. The psychoanalyst will sit, day in and day out, by the side of the couch and listen to all kinds of nonsense and rubbish, for years – just to help you to go on throwing out rubbish. By and by the real will start-coming up. When the top rubbish is thrown out, then the inner rubbish-will start coming up. But it takes years.
Gurdjieff used to do it in a master-stroke, in a single day. The first day the disciple was there, the first initiation would be through alcohol. The master wants to know the unconscious immediately because there the real work is to be done. He does not want to waste time with the conscious personality. That is a -mask. Once he has known, then there will be no need. But he will take you into deep drunkenness.
Now, if somebody comes from the outside – the so-called religious people – they will be puzzled, very puzzled. What is happening! If somebody comes who has been tasting. Gurdjieff will give him too much to eat, and if somebody comes who has been eating too much, he will put him on a fast. He will disturb your old patterns, because when patterns are disturbed, your reality comes up. It is like changing gears. When you change one gear to another, just in the middle you have to pass through the neutral.
If a man – for example, a Jaina – has never eaten meat in his whole life and he goes to Gurdjieff, Gurdjieff will force him to eat meat. This is destroying his whole personality. For fifty years he has not eaten, never touched, maybe has never seen, meat. Now his whole personality will revolt. He will feel nauseous. The very idea may be nauseous.
My own grandmother, when she was alive, would not even allow tomatoes in the house because they looked like meat. That was her idea. Tomatoes – such innocent people! They were not allowed in the home.
So if a person who has not even eaten tomatoes is forced to eat meat, you can understand what turmoil the master is throwing him into. He is putting him upside-down. it will really be a destruction of all his patterns. He will vomit, he will fall ill, he may have fevers, he may have nightmares – but this will destroy all his learned patterns and he will become again a child. And from there work can start.
If a man has been eating meat, drinking, Gurdjieff will put him on vegetable food. He will tell him not to drink at all. He will make him a vegetarian, a teetotaler – he will force him to be as holy as possible. The technique is the same – to disturb the past, to put things upside-down so that the facade no longer functions and the mask can be removed and the reality can be seen.
A master has to put his disciples into their childhood again because from there they have been distracted. Somebody has become a Mohammedan, somebody has become a Hindu, somebody has become a Christian – from that moment they have been distracted. The master has to put them back into their childhood so another kind of life, another kind of reality, starts growing.
The Sufi ancient, Junnaid, taught by demonstration, through a method in which he actually lived the part which he was trying to illustrate. This is an example….
He will live the part that he is going to illustrate. But how can an outsider know it – know what is going on? It is a drama. It is a psychodrama. Only the people who are inside, who know the inside information – what is going on – will be able to see. Even they may miss many times. Suspicion will arise even in them.
For example, a naked woman is dancing. There are wine flasks. Wine is being poured into glasses, is handed over to people. There is luxury all around. There is dancing and music – a kind of orgy is going on. And Junnaid is sitting just in the middle of it – the master of the ceremony.
You see it. And you have an idea of how a master should be. It is very rare to find a man who does not come with any idea. It is natural. It can be forgiven. Everybody comes with an idea. If a Christian comes to me, he has the idea of Christ. He starts looking at me – am I behaving like Christ or not? If he feels I am not, then I cannot be anything. A Jaina comes; he has the idea of Mahavira. He looks; he is expecting me to behave like a Mahavira. I am neither Christ, nor Mahavira, nor Buddha – I am just myself. I exist in my own right. I have no borrowed authority; my authority is my own. But people come with ideas. They have been trained. So it becomes very difficult. They look from the prejudices, hidden behind the prejudices. If I fulfill their prejudice, then it is okay; if I don’t, then they will think that this is not the master, this is not the true master. They will have to go somewhere else.
And remember, no true master has ever fulfilled anybody’s desire. He cannot, if he wants to help you. He has to annoy you, he has to shock you. He has to be shocking because his whole work is to shock you into awareness.
Once he was found by a number of seekers sitting surrounded by every imaginable luxury.
These people left his presence and sought the house of a most austere and ascetic holy man, whose surroundings were so plain that he had nothing but a mat and a jug of water.
Now Junnaid is one of the greatest Sufi masters. An ordinary man will fulfill your desire – in fact, only an ordinary man will fulfill your desire, he will pretend to be whatsoever you can expect him to be – but no real man is going to be defined by you. He remains indefinable. No real man can be put into categories. He remains uncategorized. A real man is like mercury – you cannot hold him in tight compartments. A real man is freedom. If you want to see the real master, you will have to put all your notions aside.
And how can you have the right notion? You don’t even know who you are, and you pretend to know what a master should be! You are completely oblivious of your own reality and you want to believe that you can know the ultimate reality or the ultimate expression of reality. It is pretentious, and it is dangerous, and only you will be the loser. If you want to seek the real master, you will have to drop all expectations. You will have to go nude, naked. You will have to go without any mind – only then is there any possibility of any contact.
Just the other night a young man took sannyas. I was watching him. He was very closed. I was watching him. Whatsoever I said to him – and I talked to him for almost half an hour – was not heard by him. I was watching. His ears were closed. His mind was very much clouded. And then finally I asked, “Have you something to say to me?” He said, “Yes, I am a Christian, how can I have two names? I have been given a Christian name, I have been initiated into Christianity. And you are giving me another name. Now there will be difficulty.”
I was watching – he had not heard a single word. I asked him, “If you really know that you are growing, if you know that you are silent, happy, blissful, if by being a Christian you are contented, then there is no need to be a sannyasin. You are already a sannyasin. Why have you come here then? For what? If things are going perfectly well wherever you are, be there with all my blessings. Why have you come for sannyas? Nobody has asked you. You have come on your own. You have asked me to initiate you and now you bring a problem. If you are not growing, if you are not happy where you are, then drop the past.”
Now this young man is carrying a notion. He thinks he is a Christian. How can you be a Christian if you have not contacted Christ? The so-called priest in the church cannot make you a Christian. Only when you partake of Christ do you become a Christian. The ordinary priest himself is not a Christian – what to say about the ordinary man? Even the Vatican pope is not a Christian. He cannot be – because to be a Christian does not mean to belong to a church, it means to enter into Christ-consciousness.
Jesus is not the only Christ. Buddha is also a Christ, so is Mohammed, so is Junnaid, so is Kabir and so is Nanak. Christ is a state just as Buddha is a state. It is the same thing; it is the same state. These two names indicate the same state. Jainas call it the state of Jina, the conqueror – because they follow the path of will. Buddhists call it the state of Buddha: the state of awakening, awareness, witnessing. They follow the fourth path. Christ is a state, the ultimate state – when you are no longer a man but you become God, when you transcend humanity, when you surpass humanity.
But you can become a Christian only if you partake of a Christ – otherwise your Christianity will be false and your false Christianity will prevent you from making contact with any living Christ. But people come with their minds. It can be understood, it can be forgiven, but forgiving does not mean that you have to cling to it. It has to be dropped.
Now this young man can become Christian for the first time – if he enters me and allows me to enter him. For the first time he has come around a Christ-consciousness, but he is afraid. He is afraid because he is a Christian and naturally he cannot think of me as Christ because he has an idea of Christ. If he sees me crucified only then will he believe – but then it will be too late.
And I am not going to repeat the drama! Once, it is good twice, it is boring!
Now these seekers came to Junnaid. Junnaid was sitting surrounded by every imaginable luxury. They must have interpreted. They must have been shocked and annoyed. What kind of master is he?
Just the other day Maitreya brought me a Hindi magazine. They have written an article against me as the cover story. And on the cover page the title is: What Kind of God? Naturally, they have a certain idea – what kind of God? I am not Rama, I am not Krishna, I am not Mahavira – so what kind God am I? And these are the same people who, when Mahavira was there, were asking, “What kind of God?” – because he was not Rama and he was not Krishna. And these are the sane people who, when Krishna was there, were asking, “What kind of God?” – because he was not Rama. These are the same people who go on asking again and again. Rama is never repeated. Nothing is ever repeated. This existence is so unique and so beautiful.
So if you want to make contact with reality, you will have to drop notions. We all have notions.

The Sunday-school teacher asked her class to learn an appropriate phrase from the Bible and recite it as they were putting their pennies in the collection box.
On the following Sunday little Lucas came up with, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” as he dropped his penny in the box.
Richard’s quotation was, “The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” This too was well received.
And so on down the line to little Lloyd. As he grudgingly made his contribution, he mumbled, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Now all three boys had looked in the Bible, in the same Bible, but they had found three different quotes. When you look, you always find something that reflects you.

Father Duffy and Rabbi Muchnik were chattering at a town meeting.
“Could I ask you a question?” inquired Father Duffy.
“Of course,” said Rabbi Muchnik.
“It has always been my understanding that the apostles were Jews. Isn’t that correct?”
“Absolutely right!” replied the Rabbi.
“Then how the deuce did the Jews let go of a good thing like the Catholic Church and let the Italians grab it?”

Now that is a relevant question. How did the Jews allow such a beautiful business to be lost? The richest business in the world is the Catholic Church. The question is relevant – how did the Jews allow it to be lost? How did they miss it? This is not very Jewish.
Our minds work continuously.

In a small class the teacher asked, “Who is the greatest man in the world?”
One boy said, “Abraham Lincoln.”
Another boy said, “Mahatma Gandhi.”
Another boy said, “Washington.”
Another boy said, “Karl Marx.”
And so on and so forth.
And then came the little Jewish boy who said, “Jesus Christ.”
The teacher was surprised and said, “Aren’t you a Jew? How come?”
The little boy said, “n my heart of hearts I know that the greatest man in the world is Moses – but business is business.”

Whenever you interpret something, rather than thinking that it is objective, always remember it is a reflection of your mind.
Now these seekers were very puzzled at seeing the luxury and Junnaid sitting there. These people must have been very, very attached to things; these people must have been very, very desirous of having, possessing; these people must have been very, very materialistic. Seeing Junnaid surrounded by all these luxuries, a deep jealousy must have arisen in them which was not visible to them. and whenever people are very indulgent they have a religious idea that people who are indulgent are not religious. How can they be religious? They are indulgent. So people who are religious must be far away from all kinds of indulgence. If you are too much of a money maniac, then you will have an idea that the real man of God will not have any desire for money.
This has to be understood. You always put the opposite higher than you because you condemn yourself utterly. You know that you are mad about money, so immediately the idea comes, “So he is just like me. He is nothing special. He is just like me.” If you are too sexual, if your mind is continuously fantasizing about sex and you see Junnaid sitting with a beautiful woman, immediately Junnaid is condemned in your mind. So he is just like you. This is what you would like to do – so what is the point of making this man your master?
People go on searching for the opposite. People only respect the opposite. This has to be understood – this tendency. People are attracted by the opposite but the opposite cannot change you – because the attraction of the opposite is a very natural law. Man is attracted to woman; woman is attracted to man. The poor is attracted to the rich and – you will be surprised – the rich is attracted to the poor. Rich people always think that the poor are enjoying great things – they have beautiful sleep, they have good appetite. Rich people always think that there is great joy in living in nature – in living in a hut, in a cottage. Rich people always think that in small villages far away there is joy and bliss. In great cities how can there be joy? They live in the great cities and they hanker for the village.
And ask the villager. He hankers for Bombay, New York London. His hankering is to reach the biggest city possible. His hankering is to live in a big skyscraper. He wants all that the rich people have.
Remember, rich people are interested in the poor – so whenever they see an enlightened person living in poverty their heads bow down. They say, “This is the right thing.” If they see a janak, a rich man, enlightened, they cannot believe it. It is impossible for them. Their understanding becomes a barrier.
Now an enlightened person has no bondage. He can live in poverty if he feels this is going to help his disciples; he can live in riches if he feels this is going to help his disciples. His whole life is a teaching. It is a deliberate device. It is a situation. It depends on him what he chooses. He has no bondage to anything. And he can change from one to another. He is utterly free.
They thought that this was not the right man. They left Junnaid. They missed a great opportunity.
These people left his presence and sought the house of a most austere and ascetic holy man, whose surroundings were so plain that he had nothing but a mat and a jug of water. They must have thought that this was the right man. They were all worldly people. Seeing Junnaid surrounded by worldly luxuries they thought that he was just like them.
Look into your so-called religious people and see who they respect – you will be surprised. For example, in India, the Jainas are amongst the richest people. They are the Jews of India. They have all kinds of luxuries. It is a small community but it has one of the biggest portions of this country’s wealth. See their saints. They are naked; they don’t possess anything. This is rare. The community is rich and the community worships somebody who is absolutely naked, possesses nothing. It looks strange logic but it is not. The opposite is attractive.
The rich people can only worship the poor. They live in luxury; they can only worship somebody who lives in austerity. If you want Jainas to be your disciples, you will have to become a masochist. You will have to torture yourself. The more elan and thin you become – just bones – the more and more respect will be coming to you. You will have to commit slow suicide. The more dead you are, the more people will be coming to worship you.
And this is strange! These people are living wealthy, rich lives. But the opposite attracts. It is always the opposite that attracts.
Another example…. Mohammedans are poor people in this country. When their religious festival days come, they will purchase new clothes, new perfume. They will prepare good food for themselves and invite friends. When the Mohammedans’ religious function comes, they will wear new clothes because that is the only time they purchase or they can purchase. Then the whole year they will use the same clothes. And they will prepare good sweets. delicious foods, invite people. Those days will be of great joy. And they will spend money. They cannot afford to spend money the whole year round – only once or twice in a year.
Now the Jainas, the richest community in India, when their religious festival days come, they fast. They don’t eat at all! The whole year round they eat too much. Jainas are the only people in India who go on diets. They eat too much. They are the only people who are interested in naturopathy. And when their religious days come, they fast. On their religious days, they live very saintly lives. They will not use their ordinary clothes, they will use just white clothes. They will look saintly. They will go in saintly robes to their temples. This is only for ten days – the whole year round they are just the opposite.
What is happening? The opposite attracts. Remember always that just because something is opposite to you, it does not mean it is true. It may be opposite to you, but it may not be opposite at all. Or the person who is being opposite to you, may just be trying to attract your respect. It is very easy to gain respect by just becoming opposite to people.
And people very, very much respect those who are masochistic. They think this is great. They are torturing themselves for the other world. Their sacrifice is great. It is nothing! It is simply neurosis! Those people are ill. They need psychiatric treatment – because it is natural to be joyous, to be healthy, to be hungry, to eat. It is natural to live comfortably. It is unnatural to create discomfort. It is very normal to find a way of life which is less and less inconvenient. A person who seeks inconvenience is somehow pathological.
So they left the presence of Junnaid and they came to a very, very ascetic and austere man whose surroundings were so plain that he had nothing but a mat and a jug of water. It appealed to them.
The spokesman of the seekers said, “Your simple manners and austere environment are much more to our liking than the garish and shocking excesses of Junnaid, who seems to have turned his back upon the path of truth.”
– as if they knew what truth was and what the path of truth was; as if they knew what was transpiring there between Junnaid and his disciples; as if they knew that it was a psychodrama. They knew nothing. From the very outside they judged. Never judge anything from the outside.
And when you go inside, the deeper you go, the more totally different will be the vision. Then you will see the real; then you will see what reality is. Never watch it from the outside.
It happens here every day. People come to watch. They see you dancing, singing, and they say, “What is this? Dancing and singing? How is dancing and singing related to religion?” They have a certain idea that religion means that somebody should be sitting under a tree with closed eyes, in a yoga posture. If people see you all sitting here under trees with closed eyes in yoga postures, then we will be mobbed. Then the whole country will start rushing here. So many saints!
But I prevent them. I have my own devices – simple devices! If they see a man and woman holding hands, they escape! This is not the place. This is what they always wanted to do and have not. They feel jealous – “This can’t be a religious place. These people are just living in the world, being very worldly – laughing, dancing, singing, loving.” This is not their idea of religion.
But they don’t know what is transpiring here. It is possible that a man who is sitting under a tree with closed eyes in a yoga posture will be a murderer.

It happened once….
A man murdered somebody and escaped. The police followed him and were coming closer and closer. Then the murderer came to a river which was flooded. He was puzzled because he did not know how to swim and it was dangerous to go into the river. Looking around he saw a man, a saint, sitting under a tree. He had rubbed ashes on his body. So he threw his clothes in the river, became naked, rubbed ashes on his body, and sat under the tree. The police officers came and looked at these two great ascetic saints. They touched their feet – in India that’s how things are – they touched their feet. The murderer laughed inside. This was a miracle! Just a few minutes ago they were after him. If he had been caught he would have been sentenced to death. But now they became his followers. They started coming to him for satsang, to sit by his side. And in India every stupid person knows things about spirituality, so he started talking about spirituality. By and by greater officers came. Finally the king came. and when the king touched his feet he could not believe what was happening.

But this happens. You look only at the posture, you look only at the outside. It is possible that when people are dancing they may be in a state of utter silence. The music is outside, the noise is outside, their bodies are moving, there is great movement, but there may be a point deep inside which is not moving at all. In fact, to attain to that point which is not moving, movement is the best background. When everything is moving around you, the wheel is moving fast, just at the center of it – the center of the cyclone – nothing is moving.
You may see a man sitting silently with closed eyes and he may be fantasizing about women. And it is possible that a man may be holding the hand of his woman and may not be sexual at all in that moment. But that is something inner. In fact, as I see reality, to be with a loving woman and to be with a loving man is the best way to get beyond sexuality. If you love, sex disappears. If you have enjoyed, penetrated, got involved with love energy, sooner or later you will find that sex disappears. If you want to remain sexual, starve yourself of sex – and you will remain sexual. And your mind will go on fantasizing.
You can just try a small experiment. If you eat well – I’m not saying too much, just the right amount, what Buddha calls samyak ahar, right food, whatsoever is needed by your body – you can forget about food. If you fast one day, you will think about food the whole day. And you will fantasize. Fantasy comes out of unlived experiences. Your so-called saints sitting under trees in austerity may be just the opposite. Deep inside they may be fantasizing about all kinds of things, they may be fighting with them.
I am creating a totally different kind of situation – where you are allowed to be natural so you can see everything that your mind wants to see. Then you can go beyond.
That was the situation – but they missed. That’s what was happening there. Junnaid was sitting in luxury with his disciples, creating a situation in which they could become very, very silent and witness.
“Your simple manners,” they said to the ascetic, “and austere environment are much more to our liking than the garish and shocking excesses of Junnaid, who seems to have turned his back upon the path of truth.”
The ascetic heaved a great sigh and started to weep.
The ascetic knew far better about his own inside. He must have been a sincere man. Otherwise it is very difficult when people are respecting and worshipping you to say, “No, you are wrong.” He must have been a sincere man.
“My dear friends, shallowly infected by the outward signs which beset man at every turn,” he said, “Know this, and cease to be unfortunates! The great Junnaid is surrounded at this moment by luxury because he is impervious to luxury. And I am surrounded by simplicity, because I am impervious to simplicity.”
He said something tremendously meaningful, tremendously significant – “Know this. Don’t be befooled by shallow, outward signs, otherwise you will remain always unfortunate. You will miss the real person because the real will not in any way fulfill your expectations. He has no obligation to fulfill your expectations. The unreal and the pseudo will always be ready to fulfill your expectations, and you will fall into the trap of the unreal. And you will remain unfortunate.”
He said, “Know this, and cease to be unfortunate. Know one thing: that the outward is not a sign for the inward.” If you want to see the inward, you have to see it directly, immediately. You are not to see from the outward signs.
“The great Junnaid is surrounded at this moment by luxury because he is impervious to luxury.” He can be surrounded by luxury because he can remain beyond. He is impervious to it. There is no passage inside his being for luxury to enter and affect him. He is a watcher on the hills. He is there and yet not there. Luxury is surrounding him but he is not surrounded by luxury. That’s why he is sitting there.
“And as far as I am concerned,” the ascetic said, “I am surrounded by simplicity because I am afraid of luxury. I am still weak. I am still desirous. I am pretending to be simple. Junnaid is simple. He can afford to be surrounded by luxury because he is simple. He knows his simplicity cannot be destroyed and corrupted by anything. He is so beyond the material that it does not matter. The material matters no more. He can be in the marketplace and yet be in his deep meditation. I cannot afford that because I am not impervious to luxury. On the contrary, I am impervious to simplicity. Although simplicity is all around me it is not entering me. There is no passage.”
The man must have been an authentic, honest man. Of course, he was still moving in the wrong direction, but he was not a fake. He was moving in the wrong direction but moving with sincerity. When you move in the wrong direction with sincerity, sooner or later your sincerity will bring you to the right direction.
The story does not say anything else, but one thing is certain: this man understands Junnaid. How long can he remain away from Junnaid? He will have to go to the master. And he understands his problem – how long can he go on pretending by arranging simplicity around him? One day or other he will get out of it, and he will start looking for the right key. The right key is the fourth way.
The fourth way means content not affecting consciousness; consciousness not affecting content. The world is there, I am here. There is no bridge. There is no meeting. This is the path of Sufism, the path of Zen, the path of all essential religions.
Enough for today.

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