Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 04

Fourth 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:
What is not illusion?
All is illusion except the witness. All is dream except the witness. Only the knower is true, is real. Whatsoever you see is illusory; the seer is not illusory. In the night you see one type of dream, in the day you see another type of dream. In the night the dreams of the day are forgotten; in the day the dreams of the night are forgotten. Sometimes you dream with open eyes and sometimes you dream with closed eyes, but one thing remains eternally there, never changing, and that is your consciousness. In the night you see dreams; in the day you see things, the world. Everything changes: night into day, day into night, dreams into thoughts, thoughts into dreams. Only one thing remains eternally there – your witnessing.
That which is eternal is true. That which is changing is illusory.
Remember, by “illusion” I don’t mean that it is not. By “illusion” I only mean that it is not eternally true. What is the meaning of something being temporarily true, true only for the moment? Before the moment it was untrue, after the moment it again becomes untrue. That’s why in the East we have not been chasing life. Before birth it was not there; after death it will not be there again. So this momentary phenomenon is not of much value. There is no need to get obsessed by it; one can pass through it unconcerned, untouched by it.
The emphasis of the West is on that which is seen, and the emphasis of the East is on the seer. Either you focus on the object or you focus on yourself. When you focus on the object, your approach is scientific, objective. When you focus on the subject, your approach is religious. This subject is eternally true.
The Bible says: “In the beginning there was the Word.” The East cannot say that. The East says: “In the beginning there was the witness; in the middle there is the witness; in the end there will be the witness – one thing remains eternally the substratum of all.” Even if the word had been there in the beginning, somebody must have heard it, otherwise it cannot be. So the one who heard it precedes the word; the word cannot be in the beginning. Just go on looking more and more for the witness, and go on getting more and more involved in the witness, and one day the gestalt changes. Your focus goes through a transformation.
For example, right now you are listening to me. You can listen in two ways because each thing can be done in two ways: Eastern and Western. You are listening to me; your emphasis can be on what I am saying, on the speaker – then it is a Western approach. The Eastern approach is that your emphasis be on the listener, the watcher, the observer, the witness. You are not too concerned with what is being said or what is being heard, but with who this witness is who is hearing this. You are seeing me. Who is this seer who is seeing? That transformation, that change of gestalt, will bring you to the world of non-illusion; otherwise everything is illusory.
I understand your question. You mean by it that there must be something real in the outside world and something unreal. No, the outside is unreal. It is not that something is real and something is unreal; the outside is unreal and the inside is real. With the outside, mind grows; with the inside, meditation. To work with the outside, your mind becomes more and more efficient. In the West the mind has become tremendously clever. When you start looking at the inside, at the looker, then meditation grows. Then you don’t become a great thinker or a great philosopher, but you experience truth – you become a great mystic, you become a Buddha, a Lieh Tzu, a Jesus.
The whole emphasis – always remember – is on the mirror that reflects. Don’t become too attached to that which is reflected. You look in the mirror; your image looks so real, but it is unreal. Don’t get too obsessed with the image. The image is unreal in the mirror and the person who is standing before the mirror is also unreal. Only one thing is real: the consciousness that knows “I am standing before the mirror,” the consciousness which knows that the mirror is reflecting the one who is standing. That transcendental consciousness is reality, and through that descends the benediction, sat-chit-anand; through that one becomes true, conscious and blissful.
Why do we call the world illusory? Let me remind you again: by “illusory” we don’t mean unreal, we mean temporarily real, only for the time being real.
Why do we call the outer world unreal? Because it brings only misery and it gives you only projections, ambitions, desires; it never allows you to be really happy, authentically happy. It gives you hope but never fulfills it. It leads you on many journeys, but the goal never arrives, hence it is called maya, illusion. It deceives you; it is a mirage – it appears to be there, but when you reach there you don’t find anything; and by the time you reach there, your desires are projected further ahead. It is like the horizon: you go toward it; it goes on receding. You never arrive – you cannot arrive, by its very nature it is not possible. It only appears to be there – it is not there.
Just the opposite is the case when you enter your inner world of consciousness: the closer you come, the more real it becomes. The closer you come, the more blissful, the more cheerful, the more joyful you become. The closer you come, the more authentic and true you become; and the moment you stand at the very center, you are truth itself. In that moment the Upanishadic seer declared: “I am God, I am Brahman. Aham brahmasmi. In that moment of inner centering, al-Hillaj Mansoor declared: “Ana’l haq, I am the truth.” In that moment, Jesus said, “I and my God are not two, but one.”
If you move toward the object, you are moving away from yourself. And the further away you go from yourself, the further away you are going from truth because truth is centered in you.
You ask, “What is not illusion?” I would like to say: everything is illusion, except you. But I should hurry to say that when I say “you,” I don’t mean the you that you know, I mean the you that is yet undiscovered by you. The you that you know belongs to the outside world, it is as much unreal as the outside world. The you that you know is nothing but an accumulation of all the illusions, all your dreams and desires. The you I am talking about has nothing to do with you as such; it is the eternal you, the eternal thou. It is not yours, it is not mine, it is nobody else’s. It is everybody’s; it is the very center of all.
When your I drops, then the real I arises. When your self disappears, the real self arrives. People come to me, and they say, “We feel it is very difficult to surrender because surrendering means we will be losing ourselves.” What they say is true, and what they say is not really true. It is true because their self, the self that they have known up to now, is going to be dropped. But it is not really true because once this false self is dropped, the real self arises. It is there, it is hidden behind the cloud of the false self. You, as you really are in your center, are the reality. Everything else is illusory.
To know this reality, one has to come to a moment of total inactivity because whenever you are acting, you are outside yourself. That’s why Lieh Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, emphasized passivity so much; when you are active, you are relating with the outside world.
What is activity? Activity means relating with the outside. When you are passive, you are not relating at all. You are simply there, unrelated; there is no bridge between you and the outside – all bridges have disappeared. In this total silence, in this total unrelatedness, you become aware of who you are. Otherwise activity keeps you so occupied that there is no space for the self to assert, to manifest, itself. It goes on waiting. It goes on waiting, and you go on remaining occupied with trivia, with mundane things.
One has to learn to do nothing.
I have heard…

The bum appeared at the doctor’s office in massive pain. After a careful examination the physician told the man he’d have to give up wine, women and song.
“But, doctor,” the man protested, not knowing what that had to do with his ailment, “I can’t bend down.”
“Oh yes,” said the doc, “You’ll have to give up smoking too.”
“I object,” said the bum.
“Why?” asked the doctor.
“I feel like a fool standing around doing nothing.”

Doing nothing, one feels as if one is a fool. One has to do something – if you cannot do anything, at least smoke. People start smoking whenever they don’t have anything to do; smoking is a complementary thing. Whenever you don’t have anything to do, at least you can smoke; you then feel occupied. People feel foolish if they have nothing to do. Have you not observed this phenomenon in yourself? If you are just sitting, you start feeling restless – you have to do something. If somebody comes, you will pretend to do something. You will start reading the same newspaper you have read already, just for show. Somebody has come, so you take the newspaper in your hand so that he knows that you are doing something; otherwise he will think you are a fool. What are you doing? A man has to do something always and always, and continuously. People pretend, they cannot just be – it is not allowed.

In the West you have the saying: The empty mind is the Devil’s workshop. If somebody is not doing anything, that is dangerous. In fact, the active mind is the Devil’s workshop. The empty mind has never done anything wrong to anybody. Hitler was not an empty mind, Buddha was an empty mind. Genghis Khan was not an empty mind, Chuang Tzu was. All the nonsense that has happened down the centuries has been done by active minds. The inactive mind has not done any wrong because the inactive mind is not interested in doing at all – so who bothers about it? You cannot persuade an inactive mind to become an Adolf Hitler; he will laugh at the ridiculousness of it. “Why?” he will ask, “For what?”

Alexander, while coming to India, met Diogenes – he was an inactive mind. He was lying on the bank of a river resting, taking a sunbath naked. Alexander was very impressed: the peace that surrounded this naked man, the silence; the beauty of this man, the grandeur, the grace, the natural simplicity, the spontaneity. Alexander felt jealous. It is said that Alexander had never felt jealous of anybody else because he had more than anybody else – why should he feel jealous? But with this naked man he felt jealous – he had something that Alexander could never even dream of. Alexander said to Diogenes, “Next time I am sent back to the world, I will ask God, ‘Make me a Diogenes; don’t make me an Alexander again.’”
Diogenes laughed. He said “Why wait that long? You can become Diogenes right now. Who is preventing you from it? You can rest here and take a sunbath, as I am doing.”
The point was clear – as clear as it can be. Alexander felt ashamed and he said, “Yes, I also hope that one day, when I have conquered the whole world, I will also rest and enjoy life like you.”
“But,” Diogenes said, “I don’t understand. Why? If I can enjoy life without conquering the world, why can’t you enjoy it right now? That can happen right now. Why are you postponing? This bank of the river is big enough for many people. You will not be encroaching on my space – it is big enough; nobody ever comes here.”
It is said that Alexander became very sad after he met Diogenes, and he remained sad for many days, and he talked again and again about Diogenes. The impact was tremendous.

A passive, inactive, empty mind has a beauty; only in the inactive mind can one come to know what is true. Activity creates illusion. Your activity creates ripples around you, and you cannot see that which is. Inactivity: all ripples gone, the lake silent, the mind has no thought; everything has disappeared, the smoke has gone, and the flame burns bright. When consciousness burns so bright that there is no smoke and the flame is pure, then you know what is real.
The way to reality is through inaction, passivity, receptivity. The way to the real is through feminine receptivity. The way to the unreal is through male, aggressive activity.

The second question:
Why don't I have a question?
You are fortunate, Vani. Don’t bring the question through the back door; don’t become worried about it: “Why don’t I have a question?” You are fortunate; you are blessed because not to have a question means you are getting ready to have the answer.
A person who is too full of questions will never receive the answer, remember. Ordinarily people think, “How are you going to get the answer if you don’t ask?” That is wrong. You only get the answer when there is no question. A non-questioning mind arrives; a questioning mind never arrives. If you ask – yes, some answer will be given to you, but it will never be received. When a mind is too obsessed with questions, even if this mind should receive an answer, it will create more questions out of the answer and nothing else. You ask one question; I will answer, and out of my answer you will find ten more questions arising in you. Your questioning mind will go on creating questions. You need a non-questioning mind to receive the answer.
The answer is here. The answer has always been here, but because you are asking so many questions you cannot receive it.

It used to happen that whenever a person would come to Buddha and ask some question, he would say, “Wait for one year; be silent for one year. Drop all thinking, and after one year, if you ask, I will answer.”
A great scholar came, and he asked many questions, and Buddha listened and then he said, “I will answer but you will have to wait one year. That’s my condition and my promise too. After one year I will answer.”
The man said, “Okay.”
Another disciple of Buddha, who was sitting under the tree, started laughing loudly. The man, the questioner, felt a little embarrassed, and he asked, “What is the matter? Why is he laughing?”
Buddha said, “Ask him.”
And the man asked, “Why are you laughing?”
He said, “Buddha is deceptive, he deceived me and now I am laughing because he is deceiving you too. He told me the same thing: ‘Wait one year, silently. Drop your thinking, let all thoughts disappear and then ask.’ But when thoughts disappear, how are you supposed to ask? Now no question is left! So I am laughing; he is deceiving you also. If you really want to ask, ask now; otherwise you will never ask.”
But Buddha said, “That is my condition, and if you ask after one year, I will answer. If you don’t ask, then I am not responsible.”
One year passed and Buddha asked that man, “Now what do you say? Have you some questions left?”
The man started laughing and he said, “Now I understand why that disciple was laughing that day. Questions have disappeared!”

Good, if no question arises, that’s how it should be. Don’t feel uneasy about it. I understand. One feels uneasy, one feels a little abnormal. When everybody is asking questions and you are not, you feel, “What is wrong with me?” When everybody is going to the doctor, one starts thinking to go, otherwise people will think that something is wrong. Whatsoever is being done by everybody, one imitates. Don’t try to create a question which is not there. Rest in this non-questioning attitude.
Don’t think that your quest is not intense. The mind will say, “No question is arising because there is no quest.” No, if there is a real, authentic quest, questions disappear – only thirst remains. That is a totally different state of mind: no question is formulated, only the quest, an unverbalized intensity, a passion. One wants to know, but there is no question because how can you ask the real question? The real question is going to be so profound that it cannot be put into words. All that can be put into words will be trivial, will be ordinary, will not be of much depth. Words are on the surface. There is a state of mind when there is no question, but the quest is there like your heartbeat: you feel it, but you cannot say what it is. Then you have become the question. No question is there – your whole being has become a question, a quest, a thirst, a hunger; and in that moment, when your whole being is a quest without any verbal questions, the answer comes. In fact, the answer is there in that intensity – you become aware of it.
I am not saying that you should not ask questions. If they come, ask them. I am not saying that you should start fighting with questions. If they are not coming, good, no need to produce them, no need to make an effort to formulate them. If they are coming, good; let them be relieved, let them be asked, don’t start fighting. The mind is always very tempted to do the wrong thing. For example, I am saying to Vani that if the question is not coming, no need to ask, good. But I am not saying it to others who are asking questions. And the questions are arising. If they are arising and you don’t ask them, they will become stronger and stronger.
An unasked question, if it is there, will start haunting you, will drive you crazy. That’s not the way to get rid of it. Go on asking. Watch, witness that the question arises; you ask it, I answer. Then watch your mind – what your mind is doing – whether it is receiving the answer or is creating new questions. Watch it, and by and by you will become aware that this seems to be a ridiculous situation: you ask a question, an answer is given, ten questions arise. You ask ten questions; ten answers will be given, a hundred questions will arise and so on and so forth. This will be ad infinitum.
Just watch the ridiculousness of it, the hopelessness of it. And out of that experience of hopelessness, out of that understanding that this is not the way, one day, suddenly you will feel that the question is not arising.
I am not saying that you should fight with the questions; I am saying just understand the questioning pattern of your mind. Then, out of that understanding, questions burn and disappear. One day, you will be in the same position as Vani is. Suddenly you will see there is no question, and a question will arise: ‘Why don’t I have a question?’ Don’t ask that question because that is not a question at all. Then you are turning a blessing into a curse. Don’t bring things in from the back door.
I have heard…

Mulla Nasruddin had one of the finest apple orchards in the state, and come fall, regular as clockwork, the kids from the neighborhood would sneak in to purloin apples. Regularly, too, Nasruddin would come charging angrily out of his house, waving a shotgun, and threatening the fleeing youths with everything he could think of.
After watching one of these vain pursuits, a neighbor said to Mulla Nasruddin, “Danged if I can understand you, Nasruddin. You’re normally a calm and generous man – and you’ve got ten times as many apples ripening in that garden as you can possibly use, why don’t you just let the kids have some?”
“Heck,” laughed Nasruddin, “I want them to have the apples. But I was a boy once myself, and if I didn’t holler and chase them they’d never come back.”

Thoughts are like children – so are questions. If you chase them, they will come back; if you don’t chase them, they will not come back – what is the point? So don’t take a shotgun and chase your questions, otherwise they will come, and they will come in crowds and bring others too, and you will go crazy. Never chase thoughts; just try to see the whole process – how the mind functions. Once you know how the mind functions, in that very knowing, you have transcended.
Yes, one day it happens, you are there with a deep passion to know and there is no question. Then your whole consciousness has become a quest, and in that very intensity something evaporates, something changes. Out of that very intensity – just as at a hundred degrees the water evaporates – in that hundred degree quest, when you are totally in it, something radically changes. That change will bring you to the answer.
No question ever brings the answer, only a non-questioning quest.

The third question:
Since your lecture yesterday, I worry that what I felt was acceptance of a situation may merely be consolation. How can I know when I have accepted something or when I have only consoled or distracted myself from the pain?
It is simple. Consolation is out of thinking, explanations, theories; acceptance is out of understanding. When you explain yourself, you console. When you understand, then there is acceptance. Consolation has to be brought in; acceptance comes on its own. Acceptance is a happening; consolation is a doing.
You are miserable; then you seek some theory to explain it - past life karmas; somewhere you try to find a shelter. Or maybe God is putting you in misery so that you can grow: it is a challenge to grow – a consolation. Or it is the nature of life; you philosophize, you say, “Everybody is in misery, and I cannot be the exception. Buddha says that all of life is misery – so it is. One has to accept it, what else can one do? One has to accept it.” Then it is consolation. Then you try hard to create a buffer around yourself.
Acceptance is out of understanding – it has no explanation. The misery is there. You look into the misery, and you don’t bring any theory, and you don’t bring any explanation; you simply look into the fact of misery, and looking into the fact of misery, suddenly, you find there is arising an acceptance. If somebody asks, “Why?” you will not be able to answer because there is no why. You will not be able to show the cause. You will simply say, “It has happened.”
Acceptance is like love – all that is really beautiful is always like love. When you fall in love with a woman or a man and somebody asks, “Why?” can you really answer it? You try sometimes, but all your answers are absurd. You say, “Because the woman is beautiful,” but there are millions of people, and they have not fallen in love with that woman. If she were beautiful she would not have been available to you – somebody else would have grabbed her before you. But nobody else thinks she is beautiful, so in fact, you are putting things upside down. You say, “I have fallen in love because she is beautiful.” The real thing is just the opposite: she looks beautiful because you have fallen in love. One day, when love will disappear, the same woman will not look beautiful to you; she may even start looking ugly and horrible. Right now, you cannot leave her for a single moment. One day, when love has disappeared, you will not be able to tolerate her presence for a single moment.
You cannot do anything about love. When it comes, it comes; when it goes, it goes. It is like a breeze: it comes, and it is gone. Acceptance is like love; it is a happening. When you are true, authentically with the reality of the moment, you don’t look to the past to find an explanation, you don’t look to the future to find an explanation; you simply look into the fact. You don’t ask Buddha, you don’t ask Krishna, you don’t ask Lieh Tzu, you don’t ask anybody; you simply look into the facticity of the misery. You simply live the pain, you simply go into it. Alone, holding nobody’s hand – Buddha’s, Krishna’s, Christ’s – you simply go into it. All those hands would become consolations; all those people would become explanations.
You will say, “Jesus says this, Buddha says this, that’s why I have to accept.” But that acceptance is pseudo: it has not arisen out of your own experience. Go into the pain of a situation single-handed, alone. Face the situation as it is, with no mind to explain it away. Just look into it without any thought interfering, and then there will be acceptance. It will not be a consolation; there will be great contentment. Suddenly you will see that you can accept, but there is no cause to it.
Consolation has a cause to it. Consolation is a false coin – it deceives you, it pretends to be the real thing – it is not the real thing. And I would like to tell the questioner that it is very possible that whatsoever he was thinking to be acceptance must have been consolation, because if it were acceptance no doubt would arise. The certainty is self-evident: if it were acceptance, no confusion would be possible, no worry would arise. It must have been consolation because consolation is just on the surface; it never goes deep, and anything can shake it and shatter it.
Drop all consolations – they are of no worth; they are just wasting time. It is better to suffer than to be consoled. It is better to be in pain than to be in consolation because through pain there is a possibility to reach to real acceptance. Through consolation there is no possibility; you have taken a wrong turn. Through consolation you never get to the reality; you have fallen victim to a dream. Now you will have to live in your consolation, and you will start being afraid of reality because everything of the real will be a shattering thing for your consolation. You will avoid, you will not see directly, you will escape from facts. If somebody brings you to the facts, you will start feeling very restless, you will start perspiring, you will feel nervous, because you will know that now everything is going to be shattered.
Consolation is a belief. A created thing cannot be of much value. You have created it – it cannot be bigger than you, it is bound to be smaller than you. Acceptance is bigger than you – it happens. When does acceptance happen? It happens when you don’t cling to any consolation. So put all the consolations aside.
It is hard. Tao is so pure that in the beginning it is very hard. You want to play with toys, and Tao never gives you any toys. It has no belief systems to supply; it simply forces you to encounter the reality, whatsoever it is. Painful? Then let it be painful; what can be done? Whatsoever it is; it has to be looked into. But through that very encounter arises a tremendously new consciousness; a new being is born.
So please put aside all your consolations, all your theories and beliefs; they are hindering your path. Once you are nude, with no belief systems around you, once you are unburdened, then immediately a great trust happens: trust in life, trust in existence. And trust is not a belief. Trust is a total conversion. It is a new birth. It is a resurrection.
So be very alert. It is very easy to fall into the trap of consolations because they are cheap; you can purchase them anywhere. Every temple, every church, every organized religion is supplying them. People go to church just for that – to find consolations. Your sleep is disturbed, you need a lullaby – you go to church and the priest supplies you with the lullaby: he sings the song, he repeats the song again and again – you become consoled. It is like a tranquilizer, it gives you good sleep.
Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples: “I am doing only two things in your life. First, if you have really come to me then you will never be able to sleep again, I will disturb your sleep permanently. And second, if you listen to me your life will be hard, arduous. But one thing I can promise: you will not die a dirty death; you will not die like a dog.”
Both are tremendously significant. If your sleep is disturbed, only then will you not die like a dog. Dog means the animal state, fast asleep, unconscious. You can die consciously, then you die a beautiful death because then you know, even while dying, you know that you are not dying. That’s the beauty of it. Right now, even alive, you don’t know you are alive. Even living, there is no life – you are simply dragging – it is phony. A man who has encountered life and its facts, and gone through its pleasures and pains, dark nights and beautiful days, and watched everything and has become a profound observer will die in a totally different way. He will die alert, aware.

Just a few days ago I was reading the memoirs of the doctor who attended Gurdjieff when he died, and the doctor said, “I have attended so many people while they were dying, but this death was tremendously exceptional.” The doctor said, “I cannot think that anybody has ever died like that. The moment he was dying, he opened his eyes, sat up in his bed, supported by many pillows, asked for his hat, put his hat on – a very beautiful red hat – took his cigar in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other hand, smoked and sipped the coffee.”
The doctor was watching the disciples crying and weeping, and the doctor knew that within seconds Gurdjieff was going to disappear. His legs had become numb – they had gathered too much water and the water had to be removed. And the doctor knew that he might not be able to completely remove the water because before the water was removed, Gurdjieff would be gone. He asked Gurdjieff – because giving him pain seemed unnecessary now that he was going to die; death was certain – he asked Gurdjieff, “What should I do?”
And Gurdjieff said, “If you are tired, then I can wait a little longer. I have been waiting so many years for death. You can rest a little and then you can do it. I have been waiting so long, I can wait a little longer – there is no problem. If you are too tired, you can have a little rest – two, three hours – because you have not been asleep the whole night. If you are not tired, you do your work.”
Crying, because he also was a disciple, the doctor started taking water out of his legs. And Gurdjieff was there, sipping his coffee and smoking his cigar and talking and joking. All life had disappeared from the body, but his face was aflame, his eyes were so radiant. And at the last moment he said, “Has anybody any question? Because now I am leaving.”
He used to say to his disciples that one can die very consciously, and he died very consciously. Just twenty-four hours before he was removed to the hospital he has been insisting that he would not go to the hospital, and he asked the doctor, “What do you think? Can the hospital save me? If I cannot save myself, then who can save me?” the doctor had been crying, so he said, “Okay, if you are crying, I will go to the hospital.”
So the doctor ran outside to phone for the ambulance. And when the ambulance came, he went into the room – Gurdjieff had disappeared! He could not believe how he had gone because he could not move!
Gurdjieff was standing on the road near the ambulance. He came in and he said, “The ambulance has come – where is the doctor?” He was walking and the doctor could not believe it – it was impossible, he was not in a state to walk. Other doctors came to consult and they, nobody, could believe that he could walk, but he walked to the ambulance. Not only that, he came in again to inquire, “Where is the doctor?”
Two weeks before – and he was ill, very ill – suddenly one evening he asked his disciples, “Bring my car, I would like to drive.” Two weeks before!
They said, “The doctor says you should not move out of the bed.”
He said, “Forget all about doctors. Bring my car.” And he drove the car and went to a certain Russian church. There he sat for one hour, with closed eyes, under a tree. That was the place where he would be buried two weeks later. He had gone there two weeks before to see the place, and he sat on the exact place where he was to be buried two weeks later. And then they all understood: death was so clear to him – when it was going to happen, where he was going to be buried. And that was a church he had never gone to in his whole life. It was not that he used to visit it; he had never gone. That was the first and the last time alive. The next time he was dead.
When Bennett, the narrator of the story, arrived twenty-four hours later, Gurdjieff had died. He arrived in the middle of the night, rushed to the church where the body was lying and went into the room; there was nobody there. He sat silently, and then he became afraid; he started trembling because it felt as if Gurdjieff were still alive. Bennett was a scientist, a mathematician, and he could not be deceived. He was not a devotee, he was not emotional or sentimental; not the feeling type at all. So he went close to the body to feel what the matter was and became completely silent to listen. It felt as if somebody were breathing. He went all around the room. Whenever he came closer to the body he would hear the breathing more clearly, whenever he went further away, the breathing would not be heard so clearly. The man was dead, but Bennett had a feeling that he was still hovering around – as if the body were alive, as if his presence were there.

It is possible. A man who dies totally alert can do many things. A man who dies in awareness, in fact, never dies. He has come to recognize the deathless in himself.
Drop consolations, beliefs, become more and more alert. Drop your sleep, and drop your lullabies; that is the only way. Tao is simple and yet arduous: simple because Tao cannot be arduous; arduous because you are very complex and you cannot be simple easily. The complexity is in you not in Tao. Tao is a very simple approach; a simpler approach is not possible. No discipline, no character, no morality, nothing is expected of you – only one thing: that you live naturally, simply, in tune with existence. Don’t bring beliefs and don’t bring any theories; don’t bring any theologies into it.
Tao mystics never talk about God, reincarnation, heaven, hell. No, they don’t talk about these things. These are all creations of the human mind: explanations for something which can never be explained, explanations for the mystery. In fact, all explanations are against God because explanation de-mystifies existence. Existence is a mystery, and one should accept it as a mystery and should not pretend to have any explanation. No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberates.

The fourth question:
Who is a Christian?
Difficult to say because I am not a Christian, neither was Christ a Christian. One thing is certain: that Christ was not a Christian, Buddha was not a Buddhist, Krishna was not a Hindu.
To be a Christian one has to avoid being a Christ. To be a Christian means to remain asleep. You are using another drug called Christianity to remain asleep. Somebody else is using another drug called Hinduism to remain asleep, but these are all drugs. A real man, a man of courage, has the courage to face reality as it is. A real man has the courage not to be secondhand. A Christian is secondhand, Christ is firsthand – don’t become secondhand.
Go to reality, direct, immediate – not through any belief system, otherwise you will never reach to reality. The belief system will hinder you; it will not allow you to see directly: it is an imprisonment.
There are many prisons on earth. They say that there are three hundred religions, so three hundred prisons – beautiful prisons, very well decorated, comfortable, convenient, but a prison is a prison. Get out of prisons.
When I initiate you into sannyas, I am initiating you into freedom. My initiation into sannyas is initiation into absolute freedom. By becoming a sannyasin you can become a Christ, but never a Christian; you can become a Krishna, but never a Hindu; you can become a Buddha, but never a Buddhist. And remember, if you really want to become a Buddha, then avoid the doctrine that has gathered around Buddha.
The Zen people say, “If you meet Buddha on the way, kill him immediately!” They even go to this extent: they say “If you repeat the name of Buddha, immediately rinse your mouth!” Not that they are disrespectful about Buddha, they have tremendous respect. Their respect is impeccable, but still, what they are saying is significant. It is very easy for the mind to gather knowledge, to gather belief; it is very easy for the mind because nothing is at stake. If you become a Christian, you don’t put anything at stake, you are not committed to anything – you can simply go to church.
I have heard a definition of the Christian: a Christian is a man who feels repentance on a Sunday for what he did on Saturday and is going to do on Monday. Deceptions, all deceptions.

The fifth question:
When does discipline become meditation?
Never. Discipline never becomes meditation; meditation certainly becomes a discipline. Don’t start with discipline otherwise you will never arrive at meditation. Start with meditation, and you will arrive at a discipline; the discipline will not be imposed from the outside. It will be an inner overflow; you will become luminous from within.
In fact, to call it “discipline” is not good because it is so utterly free – but still you can call it discipline. Your life will be disciplined, not by any effort, but by your inner understanding. You will behave responsibly, not that you have to behave that way, you will behave responsibly because a conscious man can behave only in that way – there is no other way. You will not behave for any profit, for any motive; you will behave out of your spontaneity; there will be no greed in it. If somebody is a Christian saint, he is greedy; he wants to reach to a Christian paradise. If somebody is a Jaina monk, he is greedy, he is a businessman. He is trying to win by virtue, to be victorious in the other world, to become a spiritual conqueror; but the idea is one of greed.
If you go and look around the world at monks and saints and mahatmas, you will find ninety-nine per cent of them are just greedy people, materialistic people. They are disciplining themselves because they know that if they sacrifice, the payoff is going to be great. They are ready to sacrifice; they are ready even to kill themselves – but it is a bargain.
A man of meditation, of understanding, has no motive, no bargain with reality. How can you bargain with reality? The whole idea is silly. A man of meditation is good because it feels good to be good; there is no motive. He is virtuous because being virtuous he feels so happy and so delighted. He loves, he shares, just like a flower shares its scent, its fragrance – naturally. His virtue is not cultivated or conditioned; it is a quality of growth in his being.
So you ask, “When does discipline become meditation?” Never. Discipline never becomes meditation; but meditation always brings discipline, an inner discipline. That discipline is beautiful because it is not against freedom. That discipline is because of freedom. That discipline is not a new cage; that discipline makes you totally free and liberated. You don’t have any commandments to follow; you don’t follow anybody, any scripture, you simply follow your own inner core. There is no conflict within you, there are no alternatives. You are not to choose, you don’t have to choose to do this or to do that. Whatsoever arises in your being, you do. There is never any repentance because a man of meditation cannot do wrong – it doesn’t happen. Whatsoever he is doing, he is doing totally; the next moment he has moved beyond it. He never looks back, he never repents: whatsoever happened, happened; whatsoever did not happen, did not happen. He neither praises himself saying, “I did this.” Neither does he ever feel guilty, saying, “Why could I not do this?” He has no hangover; he has a clean break with the past. Each moment he moves into the future, each moment the past disappears and he is fresh like the dewdrops in the morning.
That discipline has freshness, that discipline has freedom, that discipline has fragrance. Otherwise, discipline makes people dull, stupid. Discipline makes people mediocre; discipline kills your freedom, kills your being; discipline becomes a suicide. So never start with discipline, start with meditation. That’s why my emphasis is on meditation. If discipline comes out of meditation – good, otherwise it is not needed. It is better to have no character than to have a forced character.

The sixth question:
Why am I still not happy?
Because you still are chasing happiness. Happiness cannot be sought, you cannot seek it. It is a by-product, it is a natural consequence. If you make a goal out of happiness you will never find it, you will always miss it. It comes very silently, it comes like a whisper; it comes like your shadow. When you are totally absorbed in something and not thinking about happiness at all, it is there. Whenever you are thinking about it, it is not there, it is very shy. Whenever you look around, it disappears; whenever you start thinking, “Am I happy or not?” you are not. A happy man never thinks about happiness – he is so happy, how can he think about happiness? Only an unhappy man thinks about happiness, and by thinking, he becomes more unhappy.
I have heard…

A big dog saw a little dog chasing its tail, and asked, “Why are you chasing your tail so?”
Said the puppy, “I have mastered philosophy, I have solved the problems of the universe which no dog before me has rightly solved: I have learned that the best thing for a dog is happiness, and that happiness is in my tail. Therefore I am chasing it, and when I catch it I shall have it.”
Said the old dog, “My son, I too have paid attention to the problems of this universe in my weak way, and have formed some opinions. I too have judged that happiness is a fine thing for a dog, and that happiness is in my tail. But I have noticed that when I go about my business, it comes after me. I need not chase it.”

Listen to this old dog’s idea.
You must have seen that whenever a dog is happy, he wags his tail, so naturally dogs think that happiness must be in the tail. Then they start chasing it, but you cannot chase your own tail. You jump, the tail jumps; you jump more, the tail jumps more – you will get crazy. That’s what is happening.
Listen to the old dog. You go about your business, and it comes after you. One thing has to be learned – nothing is more valuable than that – and that is to be absorbed into whatsoever you are doing. Don’t think about whether it is a very great thing or not. If you are cleaning the floor, get totally absorbed in it. If you are cooking, get absorbed in it. Washing your clothes, get absorbed in it.
Whenever you are dissolved in your act, ego disappears. Then there is no space for the ego to exist. In that very moment when ego is not, there is happiness.
So let me say it in this way: ego is misery, no ego is happiness. Ego remains only when you are split, ego is not whenever you are harmonious. Dancing, you become the dance – ego disappears; singing, you become the song – ego disappears; sitting silently doing nothing, you become that non-doing – and ego disappears. Act or no act, remember one thing: get absorbed in it, whatsoever it is. You have gone for a morning walk, get totally absorbed in it. Forget all about yourself; forget all about happiness; forget all about health, the oxygen in the air and all calculations; forget all that you have read about the beautiful experience of a morning walk – forget everything. Just walk, and one day you will find that suddenly you are totally there, and it has been there; happiness has visited you.
You will lose contact again and again because the moment you start thinking about it, thinking that it is there, it is gone. You come in, it goes out; you go out, it comes in; you cannot be with it together. Both you and happiness cannot be together in the room – that’s impossible.
Start losing yourself. You may be too much after it, you may be continuously thinking about it, you may be planning how to attain it – then it is never going to happen. If you are too much after happiness, all that happens is hell. If you forget about it, it is a very natural phenomenon. Self-consciousness does not allow it; that makes you very narrow. When the self disappears, when self-consciousness disappears, you are vast like the sky. Suddenly it pours into you.
The art of being happy is the art of forgetfulness. And when I’m saying this, remember: don’t start planning how to forget, how not to think about happiness – otherwise you are again in the same trap.
It is not a question of “how,” you simply do it. It is not a question of tomorrow; you do it right now, this very moment. Listen to me. This very moment, listen totally. Don’t think about what I am saying, don’t try to figure it out, don’t plan. Just listen. Just be here with me, this moment, and happiness is here. Silent, listening, attentive, with no self – how can you miss happiness? Nobody has ever heard that anybody can miss happiness when one is silent, attentive, self-forgetful, absorbed.
If you cannot be absorbed into my word, into my presence, it will be difficult for you to be absorbed anywhere else. Listening to me, just listen, and let it be this very moment.

An old rabbi used to say to his people, “Repent the day before you die.”
“But,” they said to him, “Rabbi, we know not the day of our death.”
“Then,” he answered, “repent today, repent now.”

Don’t postpone because one never knows. Tomorrow you may not be here, the next moment you may not be here, so this is the only moment you have. Now is the only time you have, and here is the only place you have. I am not telling you to prepare, to get ready. That’s the whole message of Tao too: you are ready as you are. Start enjoying this moment and happiness will follow you. It always follows you because it is in the tail. When you go about doing your business, the tail comes along.

The seventh question:
For the last two, three days, I feel as if you are constantly looking at me. Tell me, what do you want to say to me through your eyes?
I have been constantly looking at you – not only for two, three days, but you may have only become aware of it during the last two, three days. Good that you became aware.
When I look at you there is a message because there are many things which cannot be said in words. I have to say with my hands, and I have to say with my eyes, and I have to say with my silence, and I have to say with my presence. Words are inadequate; they go only so far – beyond that they cannot go. But eyes can convey. The eye contact can become a great communion.
So when you see me looking at you, into your eyes, don’t miss that moment. In that moment don’t start thinking, in that moment just look into me, in that moment be lost. In that moment, don’t think, “What is the message?” because if you start thinking about the message, you have missed. The eye contact itself is the message. Just be here, present, looking into my eyes and something is going to happen, something will transpire between me and you. Here I am not. If you can look into my eyes for a single second, totally, you will also disappear. And when the master and the disciple both are not, there is the meeting.

“I am newly initiated and wish to be instructed in Zen.” Thus Kyosai approached the Master Gensha. “How do I enter in the way, master?”
“Do you hear the river running nearby?” asked Gensha.
“Yes,” said the seeker, “I do, master.”
Then, for a single moment, there was absolute silence and then Gensha said, “There! Here is the way to enter.”

He is not talking about the river, remember. When he said, “Do you hear the river running nearby?” the disciple became aware. In that awareness, for a single moment, thoughts stopped. He heard the river running by, the noise, the song, the dance of the river – for a single moment he was no longer self-conscious; his awareness was total. The master watched. When the master felt that the moment had come – the seeker was no longer there; the questioner was no longer there; his self-consciousness had disappeared, and there was only silent awareness and listening to the river running by – he shouted, “There! Here is the way to enter.”
Remember, he was not talking about the river. He was talking about this inner awareness. This silence, this self-unconsciousness, this purity, this innocence that had entered into the being of this disciple: he said, “Here is the way to enter.”
When I look into your eyes, and if you are also looking into my eyes: “There! Here is the way to enter.”

The eighth question:
I often take drugs. Once when I was attending the discourse, I closed my eyes and suddenly felt the same as I feel on a drug trip. Is there any relation or similarity between samadhi and drugs?
There is and there is not. There is because drugs create a false samadhi, a pseudo samadhi almost like samadhi. So there is a relationship because even if drugs create a false samadhi, they create something similar to samadhi. And there is also no relationship because the false is not the real, and the false can never be the real.
It is like this: if you are hungry in the night and you dream that you are eating – yes, eating in the dream – everything looks like eating; you feel satisfied, you turn over and continue in sleep. In the morning you feel it was just a dream. It has not nourished you, it simply deceived you.
Drugs deceive you and create a false samadhi – they don’t nourish you.
Some day, when you will awake, then you will see that you were simply dreaming that you were eating. It helped because if you are hungry in your sleep, the dream that you are eating helps you to continue sleep, otherwise your sleep will be broken. If the hunger is too much, how can you sleep? So the mind creates a dream: the mind says, “Okay, you are hungry – eat!” In the dream you go to the fridge, you open the fridge, you are eating many things that you have always been denying yourself. You eat well, you feel perfectly good, you turn over and you go on sleeping. In the morning you know that it was a false food. Dream food cannot help – but you will only know in the morning, not before it. And the morning I am talking about may not come if you don’t work for it.
So drugs can deceive you, they can deceive you for your whole life. They create a similarity through chemical change: through chemical coercion of the body and the mind, a certain state is created which feels as if one has arrived. In the morning, when the drug influence is over, you are in exactly the same place as you were before – maybe even lower, because every high experience through drugs is bound to be followed by a very low and depressed experience. Then again more drugs are needed, and the quantity has to be increased – you become an addict. This is not a way toward truth because it is not nourishing.
Samadhi is a nourishment. You are not drugged by samadhi, you are awakened. But there is a similarity, so sometimes it can happen if you have been taking drugs. Listening to me there can come a moment when you become silent, you are en rapport with me. And suddenly there is a moment, a moment of tremendous joy and beauty, and because you have taken the drug in the past, you will think in terms of the drug. But if it is happening just by listening to me. Think of it. If you meditate, if you go into the same world where I exist, into the same dimension where I exist – and if it can happen just by listening to me – then what to say about when you yourself will move into this world? Then you will know and you will have something to compare to. Then you will know that all those experiences through drugs were just foolish, silly; you were wasting your energy and wasting your time.
They keep you asleep. If you are interested in sleep, drugs are good, alcohol is good, any type of chemical that helps you feel that you are happy seems good. Happiness never comes through it, but it gives you the illusion of being happy; it keeps you asleep. If you are interested in becoming alert, awakened, then the drug is dangerous. Then you are undoing your very longing to become awakened, enlightened. You are undoing it with your drugs.
I have heard…

A traveling salesman in the Deep South hit a hotel where the rooms were infested with giant, economy-size mosquitoes. Furthermore, he was told that no mosquito netting was available. “All you got to do is follow the example of the man who owns this hotel, Colonel Rip Clatterborn,” the desk clerk told him.
“And how,” inquired the salesman sarcastically, “does your blasted Colonel Clatterborn manage to go to sleep without a net?”
“He doesn’t,” admitted the clerk. “But the Colonel is what you might call a dedicated drinker. He goes to bed so well oiled he doesn’t notice the mosquitoes for the first half of the night. And for the second half, the mosquitoes are so drunk they don’t notice the Colonel.”

You can go on playing this way, but you are wasting a tremendous opportunity. Avoid drugs. If you are really interested, then why not take the real drug? Samadhi is the real drug, but you cannot purchase it at the druggist’s. You cannot purchase it through a dope pusher. You have to attain samadhi through great intensity, thirst, passion, inquiry. Samadhi must be attained. Drugs are available from the outside, samadhi happens in your innermost core; it is the ultimate drug – soma.

The last question:
I want to ask three very short questions.
Thank you. If you ask short questions, I am going to give you short answers.
First: What do you think of life?
Life is wonderful. Without it, you are dead.
The second: What do you think about the love of a good woman?
Now, that is not fair. To ask such a question of a chronic bachelor is not right, but since you have asked, I have to answer. And I know the answer, this is the answer – there is nothing better in the world than the love of a good woman, unless, of course, it is the love of a bad woman.
And the third. Was there any long period in your life when you did not speak at all?
Believe it or not, but once it did happen. For a year and a half I didn’t speak at all – no morning discourse, no evening darshan. That year and a half was the time immediately after I was born.
Enough for today.

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