Tao The Pathless Path Vol 1 08

Eighth 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:
Can one believe in Tao, not interfering with other people's lives, accepting what is now, and by profession be a psychotherapist? What, or how, is a Tao way of doing therapy?
This is of tremendous significance.
The first thing: “Can one believe in Tao…?” Tao does not depend on belief. You cannot believe in it. Tao knows no belief system. It does not say: “Believe.” That’s what other religions do. Tao drops all belief systems. A totally new kind of trust then arises – trust in life. Belief means believing in concepts. Concepts are about life. Trust is not concerned with concepts. Trust is immediate, direct, in life; it is not about life. Belief is far away from life. The stronger the belief, the greater the barrier. Tao is neither a belief nor a disbelief but the dropping of all beliefs and disbeliefs. When you drop all beliefs and disbeliefs and you are immediate, in contact with life, a trust arises, a great “yes” arises in your being. That “yes” transforms, transforms totally.
So the first thing you ask: “Can one believe in Tao…?” No, it is not a belief. Don’t approach through the door of belief otherwise you will be in a philosophy, in a religion, in a church, in a dogma, but you will never be in life. Life simply is. It is not a doctrine preached by somebody. Life is simply there all around you, within and without. Once you don’t look through words, concepts, verbalizations, it reveals truth to you; everything becomes so crystal clear, so transparent. In that transparency you are not separate from it; how can you believe in it or disbelieve in it? You are it. That is the way of Tao: to become Tao.
The second thing: “Can one believe in Tao, not interfering with other people’s lives…?” Once you have stopped interfering with your own life, you have stopped interfering with others’ lives. If you continue to interfere with your own life, you are bound to interfere with others’ lives. That is just a reflection, which is just a shadow. Stop interfering with your own life; then suddenly all interference disappears because it is absurd. Life is already going where it needs to go, why interfere?
The river is already flowing toward the ocean, why interfere? Why direct it? If you start directing the river, you kill it – it becomes a channel. Then it is no longer a river, then its life has disappeared, then it is a prisoner. Then you can force it anywhere you want to take it, but there will be no song and no dance; it will be carrying a corpse. The river was alive, the channel is dead. The channel is just a river for the name’s sake. It is not a river because to be a river means to be free, to flow, to seek, to follow one’s own intrinsic nature. Not being directed, not being pulled and pushed, not being manipulated, is the very quality of being a river. Once you have understood that you grow when you don’t interfere in your own life, when you understand that you grow when nobody interferes in your life, how can you interfere in anybody else’s life?
But if you interfere with your own life, if you have some ideal of how it should be, the ideal brings interference. The “should” is the interference. If you have some ideal: that you have to be like Jesus, or like Buddha, or like Lao Tzu, that you have to be a perfect man or a perfect woman, that you have to be this and that, then you will interfere. You have a map, you have a direction, you have a fixed future. Your future is already dead, you have converted your future into a past. It is no longer a new phenomenon: you have converted it into a dead thing. You will carry the corpse, you will interfere in everything because whenever you feel you are going astray – and by astray I mean astray from your ideal… Nobody has ever gone astray, nobody can go astray. It is not possible to commit error. Let me repeat it: It is impossible to go astray because wherever you go is godliness and whatsoever you do culminates in divinity. All acts are naturally transformed into the ultimate – good and bad, all. Sinner and saint, all end in godliness.
Godliness is not something that you can avoid, but if you have some ideal you can postpone it. You cannot avoid this: sooner or later, godliness is going to take possession of you, but you can postpone it. You can postpone it infinitely – that is your freedom. Having an ideal means you are against godliness.
Gurdjieff used to say that all religions are against God, and he had something – he had a great insight. All religions are against God because all religions have given ideologies, ideals. No ideal is needed, no ideology is needed. One should live a simple, ordinary life; one should allow God to do whatsoever he wants. If he wants you to be this way, good. If he wants you to be that way, good. Let his kingdom come, let his will be done – that is the Taoist attitude. Then there is no interference. When there is no ideal there is no interference. Once you enjoy the freedom that comes when you don’t have any ideals, how can you interfere in anybody’s life?
You interfere in the lives of your children. You interfere in the life of your wife, your husband, your brother, your friend, your beloved. You can interfere only because you think that by interference you are helping them. You are crippling them. Your interference is like what Zen people say – they have the right expression – they say: “Putting shoes on a snake.” You are helping; you may be making a great effort, doing great things – putting shoes on a snake thinking, “How will the snake walk without shoes? There may be difficulty and the roads are rough, and there are also thorns. Life is full of thorns, so help the snake – put shoes on the snake.” You will kill the snake.
All effort to improve upon people is just like that, but it is a natural corollary: if you are trying to improve yourself, you will try to improve others. Your own disease goes on overflowing onto others. Once you stop improving upon yourself, once you accept yourself as you are unconditionally, with no grudge, with no complaint; once you start loving yourself as you are, all interference disappears.
The third thing: accepting what is now, can one be a psychotherapist? He will be a therapist, but in a totally different sense – not in the Freudian sense – he will be a therapist in the real sense. What is the real sense of “therapist”? He will allow freedom; he will simply be a presence, a light, a joy. He is not going to change the patient, though the patient will be changed. He will not make any effort to make him well. He will not make any effort to make him normal. He will not make any effort to help him to be adjusted to this neurotic society. He will not try to do anything. He will simply be a presence, a catalytic agent. He will love. He will share his energy with the patient; he will shower his energy on the patient. And remember, love is real therapy; everything else is secondary.
In fact, there are so many psychiatric patients in the world because they have not been loved, nobody has loved them – that’s why they have gone berserk. They have lost contact with their center because it is only in love that one becomes centered. Their illness is not the real problem; the real problem is that deep down they have never been loved, that they have never known the milieu of love. So a Taoist therapist will simply give his love, his understanding, his vision. He will share his energy and he will not in any way interfere.
The healing is going to happen. Healing will happen, not by any effort of the therapist but by his no-effort, by his inactivity, by his tremendous passivity. Have you seen it happen? Sometimes you are ill and you call the doctor. The doctor comes, and suddenly just by his entering the room, you are no longer as ill as you were before. He has not given you any medicine, just his presence, his care, his love. He just puts his hand on your head, takes your pulse, and suddenly you feel a change is happening. He has not done anything, no medicine has been given; he has not even diagnosed. Even before diagnosis, if the doctor is a loving person, fifty per cent of the illness has disappeared. For the remaining fifty per cent, he has to do something because he too does not know that man cannot heal anybody. It is always God who heals. Man can only become a passage for the healing energy – that’s how healing works. Three or four people – loving people – just sit around the patient holding his hands, singing a song, chanting, and suddenly the patient feels a tremendous upsurge, a transformation happening. What is happening? These four people, in love, have become vehicles of God, for Tao.
Somebody can be a therapist. Tao is not against therapy, but the therapy will have a different quality. It will be wu wei; it will be action in inaction, it will be feminine. It will not be aggressive, it will not force the patient to be healed; it will simply persuade. It will simply seduce the patient to be healthy, that’s all. There is going to be a great seduction. The therapist is centered, grounded, is flowing; his presence, his light, his love, will help the patient’s energy to come up, to surface in his being. It is always there – he has just lost contact.
In Zen temples they treat mad people. They don’t do anything. They take care. When they pray, the mad person comes and sits, and they are not praying for the mad person at all, that is not their concern. They are praying as usual, they are chanting as usual, and the mad person sits there. One hundred Buddhist monks chanting, and the beautiful chant, and the vibe, and the atmosphere, and the silence of a Zen community; the trees, and the rock garden, and the whole atmosphere of it… The patient simply sits. In fact they don’t even call him a patient because to call a patient, a patient, is to fix the idea in his mind that he is ill. It is a suggestion; a very dangerous suggestion. They don’t call him a patient – a person who needs prayer, a person who needs meditation, a person who needs relaxation, yes, but not a patient; not that he is ill, not that something has gone wrong, that he is a nut, no.
The very idea that somebody is a nut fixes the concept in him that he is a “nut.” He goes on repeating it, and he tries hard not to be a nut. There is a certain law discovered by hypnotists; they call it the law of reverse effect. If you try too much not to be a nut, you will become a nut. You can try it and see. Try for seven days not to be a nut – continuously remain conscious: “Don’t be a nut.” Watch every act that you do, and within seven days, you will go nuts. The continuous repetition will create the reverse effect. In a Zen monastery, they think that the person needs relaxation, that he was too much in the world and has become too tense, that he is too tired – that’s all. No devaluation of the person in it, just compassion. He is not hospitalized, he is sent to a temple.
Temples used to function in the old times as the places of therapy. The temple is still the right place for therapy because the very idea is different. You are not a patient, you are not to be hospitalized, you are not to lie down on the psychiatrist’s couch; you go to the temple. You go to the temple to renew your contact with God. Renew your contact with God because he is the source of healing and health and wholeness.
Yes, a person can be a psychotherapist. In fact, only a Taoist can be an authentic psychotherapist. But he will not be the doer. He will be just a vehicle, a medium.

The second question:
I imagine you can talk about all the “traps” of growth because you experienced these problems in your life. Would you be willing to talk about your real life experiences rather than just the abstracted, impersonal concepts?
The real cannot be talked about. The moment you talk about the real it becomes an abstract concept. The moment something is expressed it becomes a concept. That’s why Lao Tzu says: “The Tao that can be spoken is no longer the Tao.” The truth that can be uttered becomes a lie. The real cannot be talked about; the real can only be experienced. And it is good that the real cannot be talked about, otherwise people would simply gather words about the real and forget about experiencing it. By its very nature reality is elusive, it never comes into words.
All that I can do is to show you the traps so that you can avoid them. If you can avoid all the traps, you will fall into the real. That is the most ancient method; the Upanishads call it neti-neti, “neither this nor that.” They say, “Show the disciple that this is not true, that is not true. Go on showing him what is not true. When you have covered the whole field, when you have shown him everything that is not true, then suddenly he will become aware of truth because now only truth is left.” So all that I can do is to talk about the traps.
The question is very relevant. Many people say, “You should talk only about God, about truth, about moksha, nirvana. Why do you talk about jealousy, hatred, anger?” If you go to other ashrams in India, you will not find therapies there. You will not find encounter groups; you will not find gestalt groups; you will not find bioenergetics; you will not find Rolfing and Structural Integration. No, they simply read the scriptures; they talk about truth. Here the whole approach is totally different because to go on talking about truth is meaningless unless the traps are broken. My whole effort here is to break all the traps. Once the traps are broken, the blocks are removed, the stream of truth flows. It is not a question of the stream; it is only a question of the rocks that are blocking the path.
The whole approach has to be understood, and that’s what I go on doing while I am talking. You may be surprised because for all of these few days I have not been talking about Tao, rather I have been criticizing Confucius. He is the trap; he has to be broken, demolished completely, with no compassion. He has to be smashed to pieces and bits, and thrown away. Once Confucius is gone, Lao Tzu enters. You would like to invite Lao Tzu, but Confucius is sitting on the throne; he has to be dethroned first. Once he is dethroned, suddenly you will see that Lao Tzu has always been there – the presence of Confucius was hiding him.
Neti-neti – the negative approach: my approach is negative. I will never talk about reality because it cannot be talked about. I only talk about what is unreal, what is wrong. Once you understand the false as the false, you will become capable of knowing the real as the real.

The third question:
When am I going to become enlightened?
Please don’t be in such a hurry because I will be left without business. This is not fair. If I have so much compassion for you, you should have at least a little compassion toward me too. Go slowly. Let me also enjoy the masterhood.

The psychiatrist leaned heavily on the bar and began to drink long, hard doubles. His face was wreathed in sorrow, and he was, at the same time, ominously sad. Another psychiatrist happened by.
“John!” he exclaimed: “John! My good fellow. You don’t seem to be yourself tonight. Care to tell me about it?”
“There isn’t much to tell,” John replied. “Remember that rich nut I was treating for years? The one who practically kept me in business from the start?”
“I certainly do. You mean the one who kept dreaming for thirty years that he was still in high school?”
John nodded.
“What happened?”
“Last week he graduated.”

Don’t graduate so fast. Go slowly. Even if you want to be in a hurry, remember: there are things which cannot be done in a hurried way, and enlightenment is one of those things.
If you hurry, you will never arrive. If you go slowly, there is a possibility of arriving. And if you don’t go anywhere at all, if you simply sit where you are, you have arrived. It is not a question of any distance that has to be traveled; it is not a goal far away. Naturally, if the goal is far away you can go faster.

Mulla Nasruddin works in an office, and he just lives across from the office but is always late. The boss, tired of it one day, said, “This is too much. I have been telling you again and again and again. Don’t you see? The other person who works with you and lives three miles away is always on time, but you just live across the street from the office but are always late.”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “It is simple; it is logical. If he is late, he can hurry – three miles. If I am late, I am late – there is no way to hurry. He can run; he can take a taxi. But what is to be done? If I am late, I am late. I am just across the street from the office – there is no way to hurry.”

Remember, enlightenment is not somewhere else, neither in space nor in time; it is herenow. If you hurry too much, you will go astray; you will go far away. The whole thing is to slow down – to slow down so deeply that one day nothing moves in you. In that very moment, in that moment of no movement, you will become enlightened.
Particularly for the Western mind, speed is an obsession. They think that from the bullock cart they have come to the jet, so why can’t speedy methods be developed for enlightenment? If coffee can be instant, then why can’t nirvana be instant? They don’t understand that nirvana is not somewhere else. Otherwise it would be possible to go with speed. But enlightenment is already the case. You have only to come to where you are. You have to be that which you already are. The faster you go, the further away you will get – far away from enlightenment. It is not a question of getting someplace, it is not a question of arriving – you have to simply slow down. That’s what the whole teaching of Tao is, and my teaching too.
Slow down. Relax. Forget ideals. Forget that there is any future. Let this moment be all. Relax. Enjoy the small things of life, so that you are not always going, so that you are not always projecting some desire into the future. You don’t have any future.
Then one day it happens: you have fallen tremendously into the present moment – nothing moves. In that moment of no movement one simply recognizes who he is. All these meditations that you are doing here are only to help you to relax, to forget the future, to be herenow. Singing, dancing, chanting, humming: it is a present moment activity; you get absorbed in it. Listening to me is a meditation: you get absorbed in it. You are not worrying about going anywhere; you are simply here with me.
In the East, satsang has been one of the most valuable methods for enlightenment. The East has said that if you are in the presence of the master, nothing else is needed. Just be in his presence, just sit silently with him, just be with him and enlightenment will take care of itself. Whenever the right moment comes it will happen. You need not worry about it, you need not plan for it, otherwise you will be in turmoil: “When is this enlightenment going to happen?” Then enlightenment has also become a desire, a greed, a lust.

The fourth question:
You said the other day that duty was a four-letter word, but I have also heard you say many times that you want your sannyasins to be tremendously responsible. Please tell me, are not a sense of duty and a sense of responsibility the same thing? I hope that I am not confusing you!
You cannot because I am utterly confused. You cannot confuse me anymore. I am absolutely confused.
Duty and responsibility are synonyms in the dictionary, but not in life. In life they are not only different, they are diametrically opposite. Duty is other-oriented, responsibility is self-oriented. When you say, “I have to do it,” it is a duty. “I have to go and sit by my mother’s side because she is ill.” Or, “I have to take flowers to the hospital. I have to do it, she is my mother.” Duty is other-oriented: you don’t have any responsibility. You are fulfilling a social formality – because she is your mother. You don’t love her. That’s why I say that duty is a four-letter, dirty, word. If you love your mother, you will not say, “This is a duty.” If you love your mother, you will go to the hospital, you will take the flowers, you will serve your mother, you will be by her bedside, you will massage her feet, you will feel for her, but it will not be a duty – it will be responsibility. You will respond out of your heart.
Responsibility means the ability to respond. Your heart vibrates, you feel for her, you care for her; not because she is your mother – that is irrelevant – you love the woman. She is your mother – or not, that is secondary – but you love the woman, you love the woman as a person. It is a flowing from your heart. You will not feel that you have obliged her, and you will not go advertising all around that you are such a dutiful son. You will not feel that you have done something. You have not done anything. What have you done? Just taking a few flowers to your mother who is ill, you feel that you have done a great obligation? That’s why I say that duty is dirty. The very word is dirty; it is other-oriented.
Responsibility has a totally different dimension: you love, you care, you feel; it comes out of your feeling. Duty comes out of thinking that she is your mother: “that’s why,” “therefore,” it is a syllogism, it is logical. You somehow go, dragging yourself; you would like to escape, but what can you do? Your respectability is at stake. What would people say? Your mother is ill and you are enjoying yourself in the club; and you are dancing, and your mother is ill? No, your ego will be hurt. If you could avoid this mother without your respectability being affected and your ego being affected, you would like to avoid her. You will go to the hospital, and you will be in a hurry to rush away; you will find some reason: “I have to leave because there is an appointment.” There may not be. You want to avoid this woman; you don’t want to be with her, even five minutes are too much. You don’t visit out of love.
Duty I am against, but responsibility – yes, I say that my sannyasins have to be tremendously responsible. And once you drop duty you are free to be responsible.

In my childhood, my grandfather used to like his feet to be massaged and he would call anybody – whoever was passing. He was very old, and he would say, “Will you massage my feet?”
Sometimes I would say, “Yes,” and I would massage them, and sometimes I would say, “No.” He became intrigued. He asked, “What is the matter? Sometimes you say yes, and nobody massages my feet as lovingly as you do – but sometimes you simply say no.”
I said, “Whenever it is a duty I say no. Whenever it is a responsibility, I do it.”
He said, “What is the difference?”
I said “This is the difference. When I feel love, when I would like to massage your feet, then I do it. When I feel it is just a formality – because you have asked, and I have to do it – and my mind is not here because the children are playing outside, and they are inviting me… I will not be here at all, then I don’t want to do it because that is ugly.” So sometimes it would happen that I had to say no to him when he wanted a massage, and sometimes I would simply go to him and ask, “Would you like a little massage? I am in the mood. I will really do a beautiful job. Would you allow me?”

Do whatever comes out of your feeling, out of your heart; never repress your heart. Never follow your mind because the mind is a social by-product, it is not your reality. Move from your reality. Function from your reality. Don’t function from principles, etiquette, patterns of behavior, what Confucius calls “being gentlemanly.” Don’t be a gentleman; be a man – that’s enough; be a woman – that’s enough. And be truly a man, truly a woman. Sometimes you will feel like doing something, do it; pour your heart into it; it will be a beautiful flowering. Sometimes you won’t want to do it, so say so, be clear about it; there is no need to camouflage it.

The fifth question:
Why does one cling to the old? Why is one afraid of the new?
There is a natural reason in it. With the old, one is efficient; with the new, one is awkward. With the old, you know what to do; with the new, you will have to learn from ABC. With the new you start feeling ignorant. With the old, you are knowledgeable. You have done something again and again; you can do it mechanically, you need not have any awareness. With the new, you will have to be alert, aware, otherwise something may go wrong.
Have you not noticed? When you learn driving, you are so alert. When you have learned it, you forget about it. You sing a song, you listen to the radio, you talk to a friend or you think a thousand and one thoughts, and driving continues as a mechanical thing, robotlike – you are not needed. The old becomes mechanical, habitual. That’s why with the new comes fear. That’s why children are capable of learning. The older you grow, the less is the capacity to learn. It is very difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. He will repeat the old tricks again and again; those tricks he knows.
I have heard…

The foreign diplomat was unable to speak English. When the lunch bell rang at the United Nations Assembly he stood behind a man at the food counter and heard him order apple pie and coffee. So he ordered apple pie and coffee too. For the next two weeks he kept ordering apple pie and coffee. Finally he decided he wanted to try something else so he listened attentively while another man ordered a ham sandwich.
“Ham sandwich,” he said to the counterman.
“White or rye?” the counterman asked.
“Ham sandwich,” the diplomat repeated.
“White or rye?” the counterman asked again.
“Ham sandwich,” the diplomat repeated.
The counterman grew very angry. “Look, Mac,” he roared shaking his fist under the diplomat’s nose, “do you want it on white or rye?”
“Apple pie and coffee,” answered the diplomat.

Who should make such bother? It is getting too dangerous, that’s why one goes on with the old. But if you live with the old, you don’t live at all; you live in name only.
Life is only with the new. With the new, and only with the new is life. Life has to be fresh. Remain a learner, never become a knower. Remain open, never become closed. Remain ignorant, go on throwing away the knowledge that accumulates – automatically, naturally. Each day, each moment, free yourself from all that you have known, and become a child again. To become innocent, like a child, is the way to live and to live abundantly.

Is the childishness of senility anything to do with awareness? Is senility a disease of the West only? What is senility?
It has nothing to do with East or West. East and West may differ on the surface – deep down there is no difference. Man is man. There may be a few different patterns in the East and in the West, but the differences are on the surface; they are only skin deep. Just scratch a little and East and West both disappear. Deep down humanity is one.
This question is significant. “Is the childishness of senility something to do with awareness?” And, “What is senility?” Senility is becoming old without becoming mature. Senility is growing old without growing up. Then, as the end result, the senile person becomes very childish because his child has never become a grown-up; he has been hiding the child inside. He was occupied with a thousand and one things of the world, and the inner child was waiting and waiting. Now he has become retired; now all those occupations are gone and his energy is weakening. All those controls are also gone. When you control yourself, and you pretend to be something that you are not, and you hide that which you are, great energy is needed. The old man is naturally losing energy; his control is gone, he cannot control so much any longer, and that which is hidden inside him surfaces: he again becomes childish.
However, that is not what Jesus meant when he said: “Only those who are like children will be capable of entering into the Kingdom of God.” Childlikeness is not childishness. Childlikeness comes only when a person is not only growing in age but is growing up, is becoming integrated inside. It is not only a physiological phenomenon that he is sixty, but psychologically, spiritually, he has become a grown-up person, mature, ripe. Then, in the end, the person becomes childlike, innocent.
Childishness is not a value, it is of no value. Childlikeness is of great value. To be childlike means that the circle of life is complete: the man has lived life, lived and loved, experienced all that was available and has come to conclude that there is nothing more valuable than innocence. He has known that knowledge is futile, so he has dropped knowledge. He has known all the cunning ways of the world – he has been cunning, he has been deceptive, he has been deceived. Others have been cunning toward him – he has known all that, but he has grown up, and he has come to conclude that all that is just useless, meaningless. Deceiving, deceived – all is a game; it does not lead you anywhere, it is a dream. He has dropped all those games.
A really mature person is one who no longer has obsessions with any game. He lives simply, innocently, without any pretensions and without any masks. That is the innocent person: a grown-up person becomes innocent, childlike. Simply getting old in age, one becomes senile, ugly, rotten; and one day, when your energies are gone, your childishness surfaces and the old person starts behaving in foolish ways.
Remember, to be foolish is one thing and to be innocent is totally another. Sometimes they look similar, but they are not. An innocent person may sometimes look foolish, but he is not foolish. You can cheat him, but he is not foolish; and while you are cheating him he is feeling compassion for you. One day you will understand that you were a fool; he was not a fool. A foolish person looks innocent, but is not innocent. He is also cunning, though his cunningness is not a very developed quality; his cunningness is not very complex. He is also cunning, but other people are more cunning than him; he is relatively less cunning, so he looks foolish. An innocent person looks similar to the foolish one, but he is not.
Childishness is foolishness, stupidity: it is idiotic. Childlikeness is totally different: it is a flowering of innocence. St. Francis is childlike, Jesus is childlike, Lao Tzu is childlike.

The seventh question:
The last time I was here I saw myself as a beggar; this time a thief. Please comment.
You are growing well! This is the spiritual path. A disciple, when he first comes to the master, is naturally like a beggar. He is begging; he is tremendously desirous, greedy; he goes on asking this and that. When you have grown a little into the world of discipleship, you become a thief. Then you start feeling that truth cannot be given, it can only be stolen.
Yes, this is the way in which a disciple grows. Truth has to be stolen from the master, it cannot be given. You will have to be very, very intelligent, aware, to steal it away. If I could give it to you, it would have been simple, but I cannot give it. You have to become very, very alert.
Do you know that the art of the thief is the art of awareness? When a thief enters into somebody’s house in the dark night – no light – he may not have entered the house before, he may not know the topography of the house at all, but still he functions well. He moves around in somebody else’s house, where he has never been, as if it were his own house. He has tremendous confidence. He is so alert that he does not make a single sound; his breathing is very quiet; he moves as if he were not there. This is great art.
It is said about one Zen master that he used to send his disciples to learn the art of stealing. He used to send them to a master thief, telling them, “Go to the master thief and learn such self-confidence as a thief has, such awareness, such cautious alertness, such mindfulness – because a thief has to be very, very mindful, he needs presence of mind.” You cannot rehearse it – it is not acting; you cannot prepare for it. Nobody knows what is going to happen. You cannot arrange for it, you cannot prepare for it – anything is possible. It is very accidental.
It is said about a master, a master who was well-known all over Japan and was a master thief, that his son asked the old man, “Now that you are getting old, teach me your art.”
The old man said, “Okay, but this is an art which cannot be taught. It is more like a knack than like knowledge, but I will try. Come with me tonight.”
The young man was very afraid, but the old man – who was very old, seventy years old – the old man went and broke open a wall. The young man was perspiring although it was a cold night, and he was trembling. But the father was working so at ease, as if this were his own house. He broke open a hole; he entered and called the son. The son went in, but his breathing was so chaotic that he could not control it. The father was as if he were not breathing. Then the father took his son in. He opened many doors and they went to the main chamber of the house where he opened a cupboard and told the son, “Go in and bring the best dresses there are.” And the son went in and the father locked the door, made a loud noise and ran away.
The whole house was suddenly awake and everybody started searching – where was the thief? The wall had been broken, certainly. And this young man – inside the cupboard and the cupboard locked – started thinking, “Has my father gone mad? Is this the way to teach me?” And he started praying to God saying, “This is my first and last. I will never even think about it again.” Then a servant came with a candle and looked around, and suddenly the young man found that he was making a noise like rats make. It was very intuitive.
The servant opened the door and looked in. The young man blew out the candle, rushed out with the whole household, the servants and the neighbors following him. He came to a well, and he threw a big rock in it and stood back, behind a tree. The household and the servants and the neighbors all gathered around the well. They thought that the thief had jumped in, and they said, “Now there is no problem. In the morning we will see, either he will be dead or he will go to the jail.” And they went to bed.
The son came back home, and the father was fast asleep and snoring. The son pulled off his blanket, threw it back and said, “Have you gone mad?”
And the father said, “Now there is no problem. You are back, so you have learned the art. Now go to sleep and from tomorrow you start on your own.”
But the son said, “Tell me why you did this!”
The father said, “It is not a question of teaching – it is an intuitive art. Such things happen, so I left you in a very accidental situation. Such things happen! This is no ordinary art, but now you have come back home so I know you are a born thief, you are my son.”

Last time you were a beggar, now you are a thief. Be a really master thief.

The eighth question:
What is rationalization?
Rationalization is pseudo reasoning – it looks like reason, but is not. In life you use it every day. You come from the office angry, the boss was nasty but you could not be angry there; there you had to smile. He was shouting at you, screaming at you, and you were smiling; you were as soft as butter, you swallowed anger. You wanted to kill the man then and there, but that is not economical and can lead you into danger. So now you come back home, now you start searching in a very unconscious way to find some excuse so that you can justify your anger. And your small child comes in dancing and singing, and you are angry, and you shout, “Not a single moment’s peace! Stop it! The whole day I have been tired, and I come home, and there is no peace even here.” And you get angry.
Now, rationally, you can manage if the child disturbs you. Your child has always been that way, but today you are angry, now you rationalize. Or you don’t like the food that your wife has prepared – not that the food is bad, but you are searching for something to become angry about; you are groping in the dark for some excuse. And then, if the food is not good – or you can prove that the food is not good, which is very easy – then you explode at your wife and you rationalize. But you don’t look at the real reason.
If you really want to be awake and alert, and if you really want to be a religious person, you will have to drop all rationalizations. These rationalizations are very tricky: because of them you never look deep inside yourself. You find a thousand and one ways to persuade yourself, to pretend. These pretensions have to be dropped. If you are angry, let it be clear to yourself that it is anger. Better go to the wife and say, “Do something wrong please. I am angry, and I want to throw something.” That will be better, more alert. Tell your son, “Shout! Jump! Break something! I am very angry, and I would like to blame it on you. Help me.” That will be more conscious.
If you start living consciously, by and by you will see in your life that you have been rationalizing and rationalizing. You have not done anything else.
Let me tell you few anecdotes that will give you some different angles on rationalization.

There was a row in a small town between a Christian group of citizens and the Jewish community. The Christians were unveiling a statue of Jesus, when a Christian started a fight with a Jew. The Jew picked up a large stone and threw it at his enemy, but it struck the statue instead, knocking off its head. He had not intended that, but he could not let the incident be a loss of face – a Jew never allows anything to be a loss of face.
“There you go!” he shouted triumphantly. “If that had been Moses, he would have ducked.”

Now this is a rationalization. One has to find a way to escape, and one has to use it for one’s own benefit. You never allow anything to become a loss of face. Good, bad, nectar, poison – whatever it is, you try to use it for your own profit. But by and by this becomes such a deep-rooted habit that you completely forget about the real reasons.

The fighter had a good chance at the championship if he trained diligently, but he couldn’t break the habit of indulging in New York nightlife. Finally his manager was forced to lay down the law. “Either you quit the night life until after the bout,” he ordered, “or I’ll cancel the bout on the grounds that you’re out of condition.”
The fighter agreed to behave himself and all went well for about a week. Then the manager found the fighter sneaking into an all-night bar at four in the morning. “Well, what’s your alibi this time?” the manager asked in disgust.
“I heard a noise in the alley,” the fighter explained, “so I got up to investigate.”
“Yeah, well how come you’re all dressed up in a tuxedo?”
“I thought it might be a lady burglar.”

One goes on and on defending oneself, creating more and more lies around oneself. If you look at yourself honestly, you will find nothing but a bundle of lies. That’s why people don’t look at themselves because it is horrible to look at: the whole thing is just a lie. Socrates said, “Know thyself.” The Upanishads say, “Look within.” Jesus and Buddha and Lao Tzu all went on teaching: “Close your eyes and go within.” But you cannot go within because whenever you look within there are lies and lies, queues upon queues of lies. It is horrible to look at those lies that you have lived, that you have pretended to live.
A man who is really in search of truth has to drop all these rationalizations.

Three textile merchants were seated in Feuerstein’s, the Lindy’s of the Lower East Side, discussing the finer things life has to offer.
“The best,” said Nat Pincus, “is a nice juicy steak, smothered in onions and mushrooms with crisp french fried potatoes.”
“I don’t agree,” answered Lou Goldberg. “The best is borscht, a boiled potato and a good piece of herring.”
Sharfman shook his head. “I’m sorry, gentlemen, to me the best is a date with Lana Turner, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe.”
“Aha,” replied Pincus and Goldberg, “and who’s talking about the very best?”

Immediately – they were talking about the best and now they say “Who’s talking about the very best?” You can always find a loophole to protect yourself; and the mind is very cunning. If you really want to get out of the cunningness of the mind – which is not deceiving anybody but yourself, you will have to find out how the mind has become trained in finding rationalizations, loopholes, false reasons, pretensions, masks, lies. It has really become a great inventive force in your life.
And it is not only about big things. About small things too – your smile, the way you look at people, the way you walk, are all lies. You never walk as if you were alone on the earth. You never smile as if the smile were coming from your inner being. It is always a pretension; it is always a language, a gesture. Look at people and you will find a mess. Their eyes say one thing, their lips say another thing; their words say one thing, their hands are expressing something else. But nobody looks because everybody is so drowned in his own lies – how can you look at others?

Gurdjieff took his disciples far away to a Russian town, Tiflis, for three months. They kept absolutely silent for three months; silence was really absolute – not even through gestures could they to communicate, not even through their eyes could they recognize that somebody else was present. Thirty people in one, simple, small house. And each had to live as if he were alone. Twenty-seven left – only three remained in the house by the end.
After three months, Gurdjieff brought these three persons to Tiflis, the town, and said to them, “Look around.”
Ouspensky was one of these three disciples. He wrote in his diary, “I could not believe it. I saw dead people walking – lies and lies and lies. Nobody was true.” “And on that day,” Ouspensky said, “I recognized Gurdjieff and his truth. Only he alone was standing there; in that whole town of thousands of people, he was the only one who was true.” Ouspensky said, “Before that I had never imagined such a situation. I had never thought that all these people were just lies.”

The day your meditation enters your being you will be surprised: you will find millions of somnambulistic people just moving in deep sleep, living lies, corpses. Only then will you be able to recognize a buddha, only then will you recognize who is enlightened. Before that it will be impossible. The way toward enlightenment is to throw away all rationalizations. Next time you start rationalizing something, stop immediately, then and there. The moment you catch hold of yourself red-handed, stop it immediately, even if it feels awkward. You were just going to smile, a friend came to meet you, and you were just about to smile, and you know it is a lie; stop it. Let it disappear immediately from your lips, and tell your friend, “Excuse me. I was just going to smile and it was false.” He will feel more love from you because how can love flow through such falsity? You were just going to say something which is false – stop immediately, even if you catch hold of yourself in the middle of the sentence. Then and there, don’t complete the sentence, ask forgiveness. Watch out. It will take a little courage and a little time and a little patience to get rid of rationalizations, but it’s a must.
Once rationalizations are gone, suddenly you are vulnerable. The Wall of China has disappeared.

Finklestein was frantic. For five weeks now he hadn’t been able to do anything in the way of business because he’d forgotten the combination to the safe. His partner, Kanubowitz, had gone away on an extended road trip and there was no word from him. Then one day the phone rang. “Izzy,” Finklestein shouted into the phone, “thank God you called. I can’t do any business. I had to lay off the whole shop, fire the salesman, refuse orders from our biggest accounts and just stay here in the office and wait for your call.”
“What happened?” asked the partner.
“It’s the safe. I forgot the combination.”
“That’s simple. Turn once left and twice right.”
“But how about the numbers?”
“It doesn’t matter?” said the partner. “The lock is broken.”

It is as simple as that. Once rationalizations are dropped – in fact there is no lock – you are open, you can enter your being. Sometimes it happens that there is no lock, but you think there is a lock, and you go on finding keys and inventing keys, and you are wasting your time.

It happened in the life of Houdini. He was imprisoned in many jails, chained many times, but within seconds he would come out of the chains, out of the prison cells; nobody had been able to keep him in jail. In Italy once it happened that for three hours he could not get out of a cell, and there were thousands of people waiting for him to get out. What happened? It had never happened before. Had the police succeeded? Had they created a situation from which Houdini, the great magician, could not escape? When he came out, he was perspiring and tired and exhausted. He simply fell out, and they asked, “What happened?”
He said, “They fooled me, they tricked me. There was no lock! I was trying to open the lock for three hours, and there was no lock. The door was not locked – they tricked me. So after three hours of strenuous work on the lock, when I stumbled and fell against the door, it opened.”

On your inner being there is no lock. There never has been. No key is needed, no truth is needed – but lies have to be dropped and truth will assert itself. It is burning right this moment inside your being, but there are great layers of lies – layer upon layer – and you cannot see the light. Rationalization is one of the very cunning tricks of the mind to create a Great Wall of China around you. You are imprisoned in your rationalizations. If you want to be liberated, drop rationalizations.
Nobody else can do it for you – only you can do it for yourself. It is your responsibility. If you want to be miserable, then it is good. If you don’t want to be miserable, start dropping the lies in your life. There is no need to go to the Himalayas, and there is no need to go to any temple or church, and there is no need to go into the scriptures: the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas. If you can only do one simple thing by dropping lies, falsehoods and inauthentic gestures, you will arrive.

The ninth question:
Why do sannyasins have to change their names and wear a mala? The spiritual jet set talks about all these “enlightened masters.” “Osho is more enlightened than Oscar,” “Oscar is more enlightened…” How can we tell what it means?
First: there is no reason why sannyasins are in orange and wear a mala except that I am eccentric about it. I am a little in love with the orange and I am also in love with myself, hence the mala. This is the truth, if you understand it. If you need some rationalization, you can ask my disciples.
And the second question: “‘Osho is more enlightened than Oscar,’ ‘Oscar is more enlightened…’ How can we tell what it means?” Enlightenment is never more or less: either one is enlightened or one is not. It is not a question of more or less. How can you be more enlightened and less enlightened? This is absurd. Enlightenment is not a relative concept: either one has arrived or one has not arrived. How can you partially arrive? You have come back home. Can you say, “I have come partially back home – only one leg, but my head has not come yet”?

It happened in a jail. A man was imprisoned and then immediately, the second day, he started saying that his teeth were aching, so the teeth were removed. After a few days, he started saying that his appendix… So the appendix was removed. Then he said the tonsils… And the tonsils were removed. The jailer came, and he said, “I know what you’re doing. Bit by bit you’re getting out of prison!”

You cannot be more or less enlightened. Either one is enlightened, or one is not. There is no partial enlightenment.
One thing to remember always: enlightened people cannot be compared. This foolishness has persisted down the ages. Jainas will say, “Mahavira is more enlightened than Buddha.” Buddhists will say, “Buddha is more enlightened than Mahavira.” Hindus will say, “Krishna is more enlightened than either of them.” So on and so forth. But the whole idea of more and less is absurd. Those who are enlightened are simply enlightened. Nobody is superior and nobody is inferior.
The second thing: “How can we tell what it means?” You cannot, and there is no need to. Whatsoever you say will be wrong – you are not yet enlightened. It would be as if a blind man were talking about light: all that he says is meaningless. He may have heard much about light, he may have even read much about light through Braille, he may have consulted great physicists who know about light, he may have talked to painters and poets who are deeply in love with light. But still, a blind man is a blind man; whatever he says is going to be wrong because he is not in a position to say.
So please, you have enough worries as it is. Don’t take on these worries: who is enlightened and who is not. Rather, become enlightened and you will know.

The last question is a few short questions:
Why could you not speak for a year and a half after your birth?
I was so surprised at my birth, that’s why. I had to get over that surprise and it took one and a half years.

What were you doing when you were a kid?
I did nothing when I was a kid. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and I practiced for it.

And the third:
What do you say about drinking?
A difficult question – don’t take it seriously. A drink in time is fine.
Enough for today.

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