Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 02

Second Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
Where does educating the subconsciousness conflict or harmonize with Tao, as it implies discipline with self-effort from an external expression?
Tao knows nothing of discipline. Tao is anarchic, spontaneous, effortless. All disciplines are unnatural – they have to be. Nature needs no discipline, it is sufficient unto itself. Trees and rivers and animals and stars don’t know anything of discipline. Discipline is man-created, man-made, and because of discipline man becomes split. One part starts manipulating the other part; then a rift is created. The mind tries to manipulate the body, and the body tries to manipulate the mind in subtle ways, or at least tries to sabotage it. This conflict creates confusion: all conflict is confusion. Because of conflict the fusion cannot happen: you cannot be one, you cannot be fused into one, hence confusion. The ultimate result can only be schizophrenia. You go on fighting and fighting, and by and by you are no longer one individual, you become many – at least two, and if worse happens, then many – then you become a crowd. And when you are not one, you cannot be happy.
Happiness is a function of unity. Happiness is the music that happens when you are in unity, when everything fits together, when everything harmonizes, when there is no conflict, not even a trace of it, when you are an orchestra, not a crowd; nobody is trying to manipulate, nobody is trying to become the master, nobody is trying to exploit, oppress. The whole being is overflowing with joy.
Tao is spontaneity, it is not discipline, hence Tao is the ultimate in religion – no religion touches that peak. The moment a religion starts becoming a discipline, it has already fallen very low.
There are three stages of a religion. Just as there is childhood, youth and old age in the life of a man or a woman, so there are three stages in the life of a religion. When religion is born – the childhood of religion is when a master is alive, fresh, the energy is flowing from the source, and the fragrance is coming. When Buddha is alive, or Lao Tzu is alive, or Jesus is alive, then religion has its first, virgin, innocent state: the childhood. It is as fresh as the dewdrops in the morning, fresh as the roseflower, fresh as the stars, innocent; it knows no discipline, it knows only spontaneity.
Then, people start gathering close to a master. That is bound to happen – a magnet is there, people start gathering. The second stage comes: the stage of organic religion. The first stage is individual religion – rebellious, spontaneous; there is no question of any effort, any discipline, any scripture. God is in the nude; truth is as it is – no camouflage, no dressings. Then people start gathering. The second stage is not so rebellious for these people, and because of these people, by and by discipline arises. The master goes on talking of spontaneity, but the followers cannot understand spontaneity; they translate it in terms of disciplining themselves. The master says, “Just be.” They ask, “How to be?” Their question of the “how” by and by brings discipline in; they create the discipline. Let me say it in this way: the master brings spontaneity, the disciples bring discipline.
The words disciple and discipline come from the same root. When disciples have gathered around a master, they start translating what he is saying, what he means. They start interpreting, and of course they interpret according to their minds – there is no other way. If you interpret at all, you will misinterpret.
The real disciple is one who does not interpret, who does not translate, who listens passively, who is not asking “how,” who is not in a hurry to get some result, who is not goal-oriented, who is not greedy. The greedy disciple immediately creates a discipline. This is the second stage – still alive; I call this stage the organic stage of religion. The master is there, the disciples have come, there is an organic unity but…
In the first stage there was only the center; now there is a circumference, and the circumference will go on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. The bigger it is, the less true it will be. The farther away the circumference goes from the center, the further away it goes from truth, innocence. It becomes knowledge, it becomes discipline, dogma, but still a little light comes through all these screens.
Then, the third stage: when the master is gone; the religion becomes an organized religion. It is now no longer organic because the center has disappeared. Now the circumference tries to exist without the center – it becomes a church, a creed, a theology. Now religion is very old; and some day, somewhere, the religion dies but the church continues.
You ask, “Where does educating the subconsciousness conflict or harmonize with Tao, as it implies discipline with self-effort from an external expression?” Tao never allowed itself to become even an organic religion. Naturally, it never allowed itself to become a church. It has remained spontaneous, hence there are no followers, there is no church like the Vatican, or the Shankaracharya – nothing like that. Tao has remained available for those who are courageous enough to be spontaneous. It needs great courage to be spontaneous because to be spontaneous means to remain in a state of constant uncontrol. Spontaneity means not to interfere with your nature – let it be whatever it is and let it go wherever it is moving; to be like the wind, to be like a river, not knowing where it is going – not caring where it is going, not bothering, not trying to plan, not trying to project.
To be natural needs great courage, hence there are very few people who have attained to Tao. There are millions of Christians, millions of Mohammedans, millions of Hindus, millions of Buddhists, but Tao has remained a transcendence, a fragrance – untethered, unimprisoned – hence its beauty, its sublime exquisiteness, its superb truth.
The superconscious, the conscious, the unconscious: these divisions exist because you have tried discipline. Otherwise there is an indiscriminate consciousness inside you. There are no divisions. Freudians, Jungians, Adlerians, and other psychologists, talk as if these divisions are naturally there, as if they are part of the facticity of humanity. They are not right. The unconscious exists because man has repressed his natural state; the moment repression disappears, the unconscious also disappears. The unconscious is not a natural division of your consciousness. You have done something with your consciousness: you have forced many things inside your being which you don’t want to look at; you avoid, hence the creation of the unconscious.
A buddha knows no unconscious. I don’t know any unconscious. All that is in me I am aware of; I allow it. It is in my vision; there is no dark basement where I go on throwing things. The basement starts existing only when you start repressing. Repression creates divisions, then you become more and more confined because you cannot look deeper: you are afraid, you cannot dare, you cannot afford to… The unconscious is created. Once the unconscious is created, then there is a small overlapping of the conscious and the unconscious; that is called the subconscious. The unconscious means complete darkness, the conscious means light. Of course, between this darkness and light there is an overlap, a small boundary, which is neither dark nor light: that is the subconscious.
These three divisions exist because of you, not because of nature. But psychologists go on talking as if they have found some natural division. There is no division at all. The moment you allow spontaneity to explode, your consciousness starts spreading. One day your whole being becomes light; there are no dark corners because there is nothing to hide. You stand nude to your own vision – nothing to hide, nothing to escape from, nothing to be afraid of – you have accepted yourself. In deep acceptance you become one.
Tao says that man has an indiscriminate consciousness. You cannot call it “the conscious,” you cannot call it “the unconscious,” you cannot call it “the subconscious,” because these divisions are really fabricated, man-made. When a child is born, he has no unconscious, he has no conscious – he is indiscriminate, he is one. But immediately we start educating him; immediately we start training him: be like this, and don’t be like that. So whatsoever we deny, he has to reject. Those rejected parts go on piling up inside him, and if he has to look at them it hurts – they are his own rejected parts – as if you had cut off his limbs. It is painful to look at them; it is better to forget them. To forget seems to be the only way, and when you forget something that is inside you, the unconscious is created.
The unconscious disappears when you again become spontaneous like a child. The whole teaching of Tao is to be again like a child. It means to undo all that the society has done to you; it means to destroy, to dismantle, the structure that society has put around you; to claim your freedom again which is your birth-right; to be radically transformed; to go beyond the structure of the society, to go above. To go to nature against nurture: that’s what the message of Tao is.
There is no discipline in Tao – Tao is not Yoga. Tao is just the diametrically opposite viewpoint to Yoga. If Patanjali and Lao Tzu met, they would not be able to understand each other – impossible; Patanjali would talk about discipline. If Patanjali met Confucius, they would become friends immediately; Confucius also talks about discipline, control, character. Lao Tzu talks about characterlessness. Remember the word characterlessness because Lao Tzu says that the real man has no character – cannot have a character; character means something of the past.
A real man lives in the moment. He does not live through the past; he has no ideas to live; he simply lives, he responds to the present moment. He has no scriptures to follow, no moralities to follow, he has no commandments. His only attitude is that of spontaneous responsibility: whatsoever is facing him, he responds to totally, he responds fully.
A man of character can never respond fully. He has ideas; he has to do things in a certain way. Before the situation arises he has already decided how to act, he has rehearsed. The man of Tao lives without rehearsal; he never manages, he never jumps ahead. Let the moment come and he is there to reflect it, and whatsoever is needed will come out of his being. He trusts nature: his trust is absolute, utterly absolute. The man of character does not trust nature. He says, “I should cultivate good character, otherwise in a certain situation I may behave in a bad way.” He does not trust himself. Look at the absurdity: he does not trust himself, and he is going to cultivate, and he is going to manage – he does not trust himself. His self-distrust is there so he becomes a pseudo person; then he loses authenticity. He smiles because he has to smile; he loves because he has to love; he behaves in a certain way because that is how one should behave – but all is false. Nothing comes from his heart, nothing flows through his heart, nothing has the touch of his being; everything is just managed. Naturally, he lives a very pseudo life: his love is not alive, his smile is painted; his gestures are all impotent, meaningless. He manages – that’s all, but he never lives.
Tao has no discipline. It does not trust in character, it trusts in being, in your nature. And there is no effort because all effort is going to create trouble. Effort means conflict; effort means imposing something, effort means that you are at war with yourself. Tao trusts in effortlessness. Jesus says to his disciples: “Look at the lilies in the field, they toil not, they labor not.” They don’t plan for the tomorrow, yet they are tremendously beautiful. Even Solomon was not so beautiful when he was attired in all his beautiful robes and diamonds and ornaments. Even then he was not as beautiful as these lilies in the field. What is the secret of the lilies in the field? They live naturally, they bloom naturally: there is no effort, “they toil not.”
Jesus must have got this message from some Taoist source. There are stories that he traveled to India, there are stories that he even traveled to Japan. There is a place in Japan which people say that he came to. There are stories that he traveled to Tibet. If he had traveled to Japan and Tibet he must have come to know something, something about Tao; he must have gathered something. Maybe he never went to Japan and never went to Tibet, maybe it was his own experience he came upon in his own inner search, but he is a Taoist – Jesus can be counted upon. He is a Taoist, hence the Jews could not trust in him. They are fundamentally a law-abiding people; they have lived according to law: the Ten Commandments of Moses. And Jesus says: “Moses has given you law. I will give you another law and a higher law – the law of love.” But love knows no law; he is tricky – love is always lawless. To convince the Jews, the law-abiding people, he says, “I will give you the law of love.” Law of love? It is a contradiction in terms: law is never loving, love is never law-abiding – cannot be. Love is freedom, law is bondage; they never go together, it is impossible to put them together.
I have heard…

A man was passing through a cemetery and he came upon a grave. There was a beautiful marble stone on the grave, and he read, “Here lies a great lawyer and a great lover.”
He said, “Impossible! How can two men be in one grave? A lover? And a great lawyer? Not possible!”
Jesus brought love and he brought lawlessness, that’s why the Jews could not forgive him. He had to be punished: he was disrupting the whole society. He was dangerous; he was really dangerous – very few people have been born on the earth that have been so dangerous. He was sabotaging the whole structure when he said, “God is love,” and the God of the Jews was never love. He was a very angry God and a very jealous God, and he would destroy you for small things if you didn’t abide by his commandments. He threw Adam and Eve out of Eden because they disobeyed.
Love forgives; love knows how to forgive. Love loves so much that it is impossible to be so angry and enraged. The God of the Jews was destroying cities for small things – because the people were characterless or they were homosexuals. He said he would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah; he said he would destroy whole towns. He flooded the whole world! He wanted to destroy the whole world. He cannot be very loving; he may be just, but he is not loving. How can justice be love? Justice has to be justice. Love is a totally different dimension. The Jews became afraid. Jesus brought spontaneity, he brought lawlessness and he brought rebelliousness, and in such a disguise that people were not even aware of what he was bringing in.
If people are against me in India it is natural: my whole message is a sabotage. Jesus says: “I don’t bring peace; I bring a sword.” And Jesus says: “I have come to put the son against the father, and the husband against the wife, and the mother against the son, and the brother against the brother.” What does he mean? These relationships, these so-called “relationships,” are no longer of love; they are only formal. Jesus says: “Love is enough, anything else is going to destroy your naturalness. Love your mother – not because she is your mother; love her, let there be love, but not because she is your mother.” How can you love a woman just because she is your mother? How can you love a woman just because she is your sister? You can fulfill duties but duties are ugly.
Duty is an ugly, dirty, four-letter word – avoid it! It has destroyed nature, it has destroyed humanity; it has not allowed man to flower and bloom.
No, there is no discipline, and there is no effort in Tao – there is only understanding. Remember, let me repeat it: there is only understanding. Effort means you have not understood rightly – that’s why you have to make an effort. If I say that love is enough, and you understand me, will you make any effort? That very understanding will bring a change. Understanding is revolution. If you understand, love is enough. If you understand that the lilies in the field are beautiful, if you understand what beauty is – to be natural is to be beautiful – are you going to make any effort to attain this beauty? How can you be natural through effort? To be natural you have to drop all effort. And will you try to drop your effort through some effort? Then you will be getting into the same trap again. It is not going to change you.
Just see the fact. Just see the fact, and let the fact be there. Let it penetrate into your heart, let it sink in and you will see that the very understanding of the fact has transformed you. Suddenly you see that you are a totally different man. The old man is gone and the new is born – there is no effort.
One thing more about Tao: it is sublime laziness. It does not believe in aggression; it does not believe in the male element. Tao is feminine: passivity, receptivity. Try to understand this. There are two ways to approach truth. One way is that of aggression, almost like rape. That’s why I always say science rapes: it is aggressive, it has been coercive on nature; it has forced nature to reveal her secrets. It is very crude, primitive. One has to rape only when one cannot love. A rapist is one who is incapable of love. If you can love a woman, how can you even think of raping her? It will not even come into your dreams – it is impossible. When one fails in loving, then rape arises. Violence arises only when love fails, aggression arises only when love fails. Science is a failure – failure in the sense that we could not persuade nature. It would have been better to persuade.
Tao persuades nature. There is no need to coerce. Love, and by and by nature reveals its secrets to you. Science tries to force. You come to know some facts but they are ugly, they are abortive, they are not naturally born.
Something of your violence goes on echoing and re-echoing. So it is not just coincidence that science has led to more and more violence in the world: science is violent. It is not just coincidence that science has culminated in atom and hydrogen bombs – they are a natural corollary to it. Science is coercion, and coercion ultimately ends in violence. If we don’t become aware, science is going to become suicide, a universal suicide. One day or other, man is going to commit suicide because if you force nature violently there are going to be repercussions from it. The violence that you do to nature will come back to you.
Things happen in such subtle ways that sometimes one is not aware of them. Adolf Hitler destroyed the Jews in Germany. He expelled Albert Einstein because he was a Jew. He never thought that the expulsion of this one man from Germany would be the end of his whole effort, would be the end of Fascism. Albert Einstein was turned out of Germany; he sought asylum in America, and he wrote a letter to Roosevelt proposing that atom bombs be created. It was Albert Einstein who became instrumental in creating the first atomic bomb, and that very atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. It destroyed the Fascists, the Nazis, and Adolf Hitler, and all his dreams of a one-thousand-year rule over the world. Now, if you look back, the thing seems to be very simple. He turned out Albert Einstein, and he could not have even imagined that this turning away of Albert Einstein would be his end. If Albert Einstein were not turned out of Germany, Hitler might have ruled the whole world. A Jew turned out of the country was not significant at all in his eyes. That Jew proved his undoing: in a roundabout way the atom bomb was created.
Life is very deeply interconnected: whatsoever happens here will have repercussions there.
Tao says: never coerce nature, otherwise nature will throw all coercion back on you, and you will be destroyed. Persuade, love. And, as Tao says don’t coerce outer nature; Tao says don’t coerce inner nature either.
Science tries to coerce outer nature, Yoga tries to coerce inner nature – so science and Yoga can go together very well; they are fellow travelers. Einstein could have understood Patanjali very easily, and Patanjali could have understood Einstein very easily. But neither Einstein nor Patanjali would have been able to conceive of what Lao Tzu was saying. He would look mad, he would look absurd. He brings a totally different dimension into the world – the dimension of the feminine.
Man is aggressive, woman is receptive. Woman is a womb – receptivity. Lao Tzu says that truth has to be received, not sought. “Seek, and you will never find,” says Lao Tzu. Wait, wait in openness, wait in vulnerability, and you will find truth because truth will come to you. Invite, and wait. Love, and wait. Be in a let-go.
That is what I mean when I say “sublime laziness.” It is inactivity, yet it is not lethargy; inactivity, yet it is full of radiance; not doing anything, but pulsating with energy. In fact, a person who is not doing anything should pulsate with tremendous energy because he is not putting his energy anywhere else. So energy is accumulating: he becomes a reservoir – radiant, alive, throbbing, streaming. In that great energy-moment, which is yet inactive, truth happens – hence I call it “sublime laziness.” The active person loses energy; the active person is destroying, dissipating his energy. The inactive person accumulates, so it is not lethargy. A person who is lethargic is inactive and has no energy; he is impotent. Hence I call it sublime laziness.
Just a few days ago I was talking about Ashtavakra. He is exactly like Lao Tzu; he also praises the quality of sublime laziness. He calls it alasi shiromani: the emperor of laziness, a great king of laziness, the highest peak of laziness. But remember, inactivity plus energy, plus vitality. Not a single effort has to be made because in the effort so much energy will be wasted that you will be less radiant. Godliness comes to you only when you are vital – optimally vital, optimum. The lowest energy of godliness is closest to man’s highest energy, and there is the communion.
To understand Tao is simply to understand.
Your repressions are like diseases, and all your efforts bring nothing but repressions.
I have heard…

A mysterious man was constantly found waiting on the doorsteps of the Metropolitan Museum in the morning when it opened. He was well dressed, but always unshaven, looking as if he had just got out of bed, flung on his clothes and made a dash for the Museum. But once inside, all he did was sit on a bench, unfold The Times, and read for an hour or so.
One morning he noticed a guard looking at him, and said testily, “I suppose you’re wondering why I come here? I’m trying to stop smoking, and I have to be some place where they won’t let me smoke, see?” He brooded for a while, then amplified his explanation. “On Sunday mornings, when you people are closed, I have to go to the church.”

If you are avoiding something, repressing something, escaping from some fact, your life will become a very ugly phenomenon. You will never be able to live your life because you will never be able to be at ease with yourself. Drop all unease, and remember: easy is right – no effort is needed. I know why effort appeals so much – because effort is very ego-fulfilling. When you make an effort you feel that you are doing something.
There is one more question, very much related to this question. The questioner says, “When I came here, in the beginning I was a great spiritual seeker, and I was making a great effort. Now I have become a sort of materialist because now I am making no effort to reach spirituality, to attain nirvana and enlightenment. So, Osho, what has happened to me? Have I fallen from grace?”
You have risen in grace. What you were thinking is materialism is true spirituality, and what you were thinking to be spirituality was just greed and materialism. You were trying to become enlightened – that was materialism because that was greed. To have any goals is to be a materialist; not to have any goal is to be spiritual. To try to attain something is to be greedy, to be desirous, to be ambitious – that is all an ego trip. To drop all those trips, and to live herenow, and love the small things of life, is to become spiritual. That is the difference between the so-called “ordinary spirituality” and the spirituality that is of Tao.
If you find Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu or Lieh Tzu, you will not be able to recognize them; they will be very ordinary. You will have to be with them to feel it. They don’t impose any extraordinariness; they will not show you miracles, and they will not show you siddhis and powers. They will be very ordinary people.
To be ordinary is the message of Tao, to be so ordinary that you don’t have any idea to be anything else; to be so contented, so contented… Eating, drinking, loving, talking, listening, walking, sleeping, sitting in the sun or under the moon, looking at the trees – these small things become sublime when you look with a contented eye. When you are happy, everything becomes tremendously beautiful, everything becomes luminous. It depends on you.
Let me tell you that when you came to me you were a materialist – you were thinking that you were spiritual. Now that you are falling into spirituality, by and by you must be becoming a little afraid – where has your spirituality gone? That was materialism. Go throughout India, and you will find that out of a hundred so-called mahatmas, ninety-nine are materialists. Materialists in the sense that they are ambitious, materialists in the sense that they are hankering for something in the afterlife – for heaven, paradise, moksha, nirvana. Their desire is very much alive; in fact, they are more desirous than ordinary people.
An ordinary person desires a big car – not much, he can be forgiven. Maybe stupid, but not a sin. A little foolish – so what? But somebody who is desiring heaven, that is too much greed; eternal life, that is too much greed. The car is a toy. A big house is a toy. But this so-called “spiritual man” wants eternity; to be forever and ever, he wants a deathless quality. His ambition is so big, his ego is so big, that he cannot be satisfied with small things. He wants God in his fist – only then, only then can he feel that yes, he is somebody.
Try to understand me. Here I am trying to put things upside down because things have been upside down too long. They have to be put right, and this is the only way. If somebody is standing on his head for many days, how do you put him right? Put him “upside down” then he will be right side up. The so-called spirituality is nothing but cloaked materialism.
You have to look into things. A man who has no desire is spiritual. A man who does not hanker for any ego-trip is spiritual. A man who is not worried about kundalini and chakras and sahasrar, the one-thousand-petaled lotus opening, that man is spiritual, that man has the quality of being a spiritual man. In his ordinariness he is extraordinary. In his mundane life he has a holiness.
Even the division between the spiritual and material is a materialist’s division. A spiritual person knows no divisions; a spiritual person simply accepts whatsoever is; and this isness is one. There is nothing like the spiritual and the material – that again is the division of the ego; all divisions are of the ego. When the ego disappears there is no division, there is one reality, undivided reality. Call it spiritual, call it material – it does not matter; when there is only one, any name will do.
In the name of spirituality people have been crippled, destroyed, paralyzed.

Once upon a time, the Duke of Lu went forward to meet a sea bird that had made its appearance in the confines of that land-locked country, and escorted it to his ancestral hall.
This is a Taoist parable.
There, an ox, a sheep and a pig were slaughtered, and a feast was spread before the sea bird, while the band was playing the celebrated music composed under the supervision of the Emperor Shuen. The bird, however, merely looked on, sad and doleful, refusing to relish a morsel of meat or drink a single cup. Thus it died of hunger after three days. The duke fed the bird as he would feed himself, and he failed to see that it should have been treated as a bird and not as a king.
The music is meaningless to the bird, and the ox and the sheep and the pig are not his food. Shuen killed the bird.

Man has been killed because you have been lured to things for which you are not made. You have not been given a chance to be yourself; you have been manipulated to be somebody else. All ideologies enforce upon you something which you have to become. Tao says: You are already that. There is no need to become – you are already that. You are a being – there is no becoming. You are that already – start living it.
See the revolutionary message. There is no need to improve upon yourself; you are already that which you can be. Just start delighting in it, celebrate it, live it. And the more you celebrate, the more you will live in a natural way, the more you will start feeling your innermost core. In the innermost core of your being is Tao: it is your nature, the way.

The second question:
Is it good to take risks?
Good or bad is not the question. If you are alive you have to take risks. Life is a risk. Only death is secure, life is never secure – there is no security. The companies that are called Life Insurance should really be called Death Insurance – in life there can be no insurance. Life is alive only because there is risk, danger – that’s why there are so many thrills.
You ask, “Is it good to take risks?” If you want to be alive you have to take risks; the more risks you take, the more alive you will be. So you are really asking, “Is it good to be alive?” Your question, rightly interpreted, means, “Is it good to be alive?”
Now, I am not a murderer, and I don’t want to poison your life. Many people have done that: the priests, the politicians are poisoning your life. They are all teaching you to live within bounds; to live in such a way that there is no risk, so that you are always safe and secure. But then you are dead, then you are already in your grave. Then you become miserable, and then you start seeing that you don’t have any love, that you don’t have any happiness, that nothing worthwhile is happening in your life. Then you start feeling there is no meaning, no significance; and the reason is that you are avoiding risks. Meaning comes through being dangerous, adventurous. Value arises only when you are alive; value comes through vitality.
Virtue simply means to have the quality of courage. Courage is the only virtue.
If you don’t live a life of danger, then better to commit suicide. Then why burden this earth? Then why feel miserable? Then what is the point of it all? Then your misery leads nowhere; then your misery is just a rut in which you go on moving.
Look at people. Their eyes have lost the luster of life; their faces are more like masks than real faces. They don’t live; they only pretend that they are living. They act, they don’t live. And then, naturally, they come to feel that there is no meaning – no flowering, no fragrance, no dance, no song arising. They go to the priest, and the priest says, “Yes, the song is possible, but it happens only when you are dead. After death.” They go to the politician; he says, “Yes, life can have meaning, but the social structure has to be changed, the economic structure has to be changed, the whole history has to be changed. Communism has to be brought in; socialism has to be brought in.”
When people lose meaning, of course they start asking where to find it. There are two people they go to: the priest and the politician – and they are the persons who put you into a state where meaning is lost. Now this is a very great conspiracy. First they destroy the possibility of meaning, and then, of course, you are in their hands – you have to go and ask, and they show you the ways.
Look at a child. He has meaning. Have you watched a child playing with the pebbles on the seashore or running after a butterfly? Just watch, but don’t make him self-conscious: the moment he becomes self-conscious he is no longer a child. Just watch, hiding somewhere – absorbed, the child is completely lost. And how beautiful he is! The grace on his face, the color, the joy, the glee, the gladness, the vitality – as if he has wings, and he is so absorbed. In that absorbed moment he is closest to godliness; he is in Tao, he is on the way, he is enjoying this moment. He is tremendously happy, so happy that he is not even aware of happiness because only miserable people become aware of happiness. He is so happy – who bothers? He is so totally in the moment that he is not an outsider.
Do one thing: bring a camera and try to take a photograph of the child. The moment he becomes aware that the photograph is being taken, all gladness disappears. His face is no longer true; his mask has come on. His eyes are no longer absorbed – that shining quality is no longer there, they have become dull. He is no longer dynamic; he has become static, rigid. Now he has become self-conscious, the ego has entered; with the camera, the ego has entered. Now the child is ugly.
That’s why it is very difficult to have a beautiful picture. The person may be beautiful, but when you take him to the photo studio, suddenly something goes wrong. The picture never comes out so well. Have you ever been satisfied with any of your pictures? Whenever you look at the picture, something is missing. What is missing? You became self-conscious, you became aware; you started performing. You wanted to look very good, happy, smiling; a great personality, magnetic, charismatic, and it all went down the drain; you became just ugly, dead. You were conscious of the camera, and you were conscious of the people who would look at your picture. You were so self-conscious, how could you be beautiful?
A person who is continuously thinking whether there is any risk or not becomes so self-conscious that he never lives. He becomes rigid and dull and stupid – mediocre. Forget all about risks. Life is a risk. The day you were born, one thing became certain: that you are going to die. Now, what greater risk can there be?

My mother’s mother was a very old woman, and she was always afraid for me. I was continuously traveling on the train – fifteen days a month I was on the train. She was always afraid, and she would say, “There are so many accidents!” Every day she would look in the newspaper just to see whether there had been some train accident, some airplane had fallen or something. She would collect all the cuttings, and whenever I would go visit, she would show them to me. “Look! So many car accidents, so many airplanes burned, and so many trains wrecked, and so many people killed. What are you doing? Fifteen days on the trains, planes, cars! Stop this!”
So I said one day, “Listen. If you are really interested in statistics then do you know that ninety-seven per cent of people die in their beds? So should I stand outside the bed the whole night? It is risky; there is no other thing more risky than to be in the bed. Ninety-seven per cent of people die in their beds! You are safer in an airplane – rarely does somebody die in an airplane, rarely in a train.”
She was very puzzled. She said, “It is true, but that cannot be done – it is impossible. Yes, that’s true.” Since then, she stopped talking about the accidents – she understood.

The day you were born you took the greatest risk that you could ever take. Death is going to happen; death is bound to happen. You have already taken one step into the grave the day you were born. Now, what more risks can you take? Even if you go on avoiding risks, you will die, so why not take the risks and live really authentically?

A rich man once said to a friend, “Why is it that everybody is always criticizing me for being miserly when everyone knows I have made provisions to leave everything I possess to charity when I die?”
“Well,” said the friend, “Let me tell you about the pig and the cow. The pig was lamenting to the cow one day about how unpopular he was. ‘People are always talking about your gentleness and your kind eyes,’ said the pig. ‘Sure, you give milk and cream, but I give even more. I give bacon and ham, and I give bristles, and they even pickle my feet! Still nobody likes me. Why is it?’ The cow thought a minute and then said, ‘Well, maybe it’s because I give while I’m still living.’”

Death is going to take everything. Then why be worried? Rather than saving it for death to take away, share it – take risks. The miserly man is the stupid man; everything will be taken away. Don’t be so cautious.
Don’t be so cautious; have the spirit of adventure. Yes, I know sometimes you may commit a mistake, but nothing is wrong in that. Sometimes you may go astray, but nothing is wrong in it. Those who can go astray can come back; but those who never go anywhere are dead.
Never commit the same mistake again and again – invent new mistakes every day. Be creative. Risk in new ways. That’s what sannyas is all about: to be risky, to live dangerously, to live without security and safety. To be tremendously in love with life is what sannyas is.
And don’t postpone it because all postponement is again being very cautious. Do it right now. If you have understood this, let life happen.

A pious brother sat on the front pew during the Sunday morning sermon. Presently he began to remove one of his shoes. This unusual procedure in the midst of a church service caused those who could see him to smile and lose interest for a time in the sermon. The brother then proceeded to remove his sock. This caused so much distraction that the preacher stopped in his discourse and asked the brother if there was something the matter.
“No,’ said the disturber, “I just noticed that one of my socks was wrong-side out.”
“Well, my brother,” chided the minister, “could you not wait until the service is over to make the change?”
“No, sir,” was the reply, “when I find I am wrong I always proceed at once to get it right.”

That should be the procedure: whenever you feel that something is wrong, get it right immediately – don’t postpone. If you have never taken any risk, take it now, and you will be richer for that.

The third question:
You say to be thankful to someone when he accepts the love you bring – but the seeds of my love fall mostly on stony ground.
Then be thankful to the stony ground!

The fourth question:
Yesterday you said that the understanding of death is the basis of Eastern psychology, and the understanding of sex is the basis of Western psychology. Will you please say something more about it?
Death is the greatest thing that is going to happen in life; death is the climax. Death has to be understood because death is the goal of life: all life is moving toward death. Not to understand death will really mean not to understand life.
We have been taught to avoid the fact of death; we don’t talk about it, we don’t think about it. The very idea gives us shivers; a trembling arises in the being and we want to be occupied somewhere else. When somebody dies you feel a little embarrassed. It looks like this is not the thing to be done – why should he die?
Anybody’s death brings you again and again to the awkward situation, and the awkward question arises in your being: “One day, am I also going to die?” And you want to avoid that.
The East has not avoided anything. That’s the beauty of Eastern psychology: whatsoever is, is – and it has to be looked into. Death is, so death has to be looked into, it has to be faced. And you will see that a person who avoids death will be avoiding life also because there is only one way to avoid death – to avoid life. Otherwise life is always leading you toward death. Whatsoever you do, you are going toward death. Don’t do anything: the only way to avoid death is to avoid life.
There is a way you can manage: you could fall into a coma. Then you could live longer because then there would be no accidents. The doctor could give you intravenous injections, feed you through injections, and you could lie down in the bed, protected, and you could live very long. You could live one thousand years, but that would not be life, that would be vegetating – you would be a vegetable. But you could live long.
There are a few people lying in underground, air-conditioned chambers in America, who have died. But they have made their wills out so that their money is used to protect their bodies because there is a rumor in scientific circles that within twenty years it will be possible to revive a person. So they have made a trust – of all their properties. It is very costly – almost ten thousand dollars per day – but their bodies are being taken care of so that nothing goes wrong. So after twenty years, when science becomes capable of reviving them, they will be revived. Now for twenty years, and even after twenty years when you are revived, what are you going to do? You will repeat the same foolishness that you were doing before. You will start chasing women again, and competing in the market again, and arranging money to die and be protected again. What is the point of it all?
Man is so afraid of death. The East says that death has to be looked in the eyes; death has to be looked into deeply. If you can look, if you can encounter death, in that very encounter you transcend death. You come to know that there is some element in you which is beyond death. Avoiding death, you remain under the control of death; facing death, you transcend death.
We never think about our own death. Whenever we think about it, it is always somebody else’s death: death means somebody else’s death – never yours.

Finklestein was arguing with a salesman.
“I don’t want I should buy your eggs,” he shouted, “My hotel should burn down and I wouldn’t buy them. My wife should die and I wouldn’t buy them. My children should choke and I wouldn’t buy them.”
The egg peddler caught the spirit of the argument and said, “You should go blind and buy a case.”
“Listen,” cautioned Finklestein, “leave me out of it.”

Whenever you are talking about death, danger, you are always leaving yourself out of it. That is no way to encounter life; that is no way to face the reality and truth of life. If death is, death is – what is the point of avoiding it? Look at it. The sooner you look the better.
The East says that by looking deeply into death, you transcend death; suddenly, you become aware that one who can look into death is beyond death. Deep meditation brings you to the moment of death voluntarily and consciously. Meditation is a death: one dies and is reborn again. One dies from the world of phenomena, and one is born into the world of noumena. One dies to the temporal, and one is born into the eternal. When you come back from your deep ecstasy in meditation, your whole life is transformed. Then you live without fear because there is no death.
From childhood we are making people afraid. From childhood everybody is protecting himself – we even contaminate children’s minds.

One Sunday at the zoo, Bill and his father stopped before the lion’s cage.
“Here’s the king of the beasts,” said his father.
“Why do you call him that, Daddy?”
“Well, he’s the big shot. He can lick any other animal. He’s a real man-eater too.”
“You mean he would even eat you?” asked the boy.
“I guess he would – if he got out.”
Bill studied the lion with interest. Finally, he turned and looked up at his father.
“Daddy,” he whispered, “if he does get out, what bus should I take home?”

Everyone thinks, even a child, that death will pass him – he will be left out of it. It will take Daddy, and he will have to go home, so “What number bus?”
There is something in the human mind that keeps away from death, and there is a reason for it, there is a cause: it is because the mind is going to die. You are not going to die. But don’t misunderstand me. When I say you are not going to die, I am talking of something inside you which you are not aware of. Your mind is going to die. That’s all you have known about yourself, and even that you have not known totally – you know only a fragment of the mind. Your mind is going to die; your mind is not eternal. It is a time-phenomenon; it is born and it dies. Your body is going to die: it is a constructed thing. It is the meeting of your father and mother, it is accidental. But you, you existed before your father and mother ever met, and you will exist when your body has gone into the earth – disappeared, “dust to dust.” You will exist. But that you, you have not known yet.
The East says that this element can be known only when you encounter death, when you face death, when you accept the challenge of death. Then you will see that deep inside – the body is gone, the mind is gone, the ego is gone. And if you remain courageous and go on facing the fact, you will come to a moment when suddenly you will see that all is gone and yet you are. And this is your reality. This is the answer to the question: “Who am l?”

The last question:
Becoming a sannyasin is attractive. But now I am deeply involved with Arica. I love Oscar Ichizo very much. The contradiction would be loving and serving two masters. How do I resolve it?
As far as I am concerned there is no problem – you should ask Oscar.
I am not jealous. You can love me, and you can love a thousand and one masters – there is no problem. In fact, my whole effort here is to make you fall in love with Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Gurdjieff, Krishnamurti, Ramana. Ramakrishna – a thousand and one. I am not jealous. I am vast, I can contain all your loves; so as far as I am concerned, there is no need to be worried.
But before deciding anything, you should ask Oscar because I have the feeling that he is jealous.
Enough for today.

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