Tao The Three Treasures Vol 3 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Tao The Three Treasures Vol 3 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
It is my understanding that you see innocence as the opposite of knowledge – but what about ignorance? People without knowledge are so often misused by the ones with the knowledge. Please say something about this.
Ignorance is the state which exists before knowledge; innocence is the state which exists after knowledge. Ignorance is pre-knowledge; innocence, post-knowledge. They appear similar – they are in a way – and yet totally different.
A child is ignorant. When you call a child innocent you are misunderstanding the whole thing. Ignorance looks like innocence because the child does not know. He looks innocent, but he will know – he will taste the bitter fruit of knowledge, he will have to. He is just like Adam in the Garden of Paradise – he will have to be thrown out. He will pass through that, he will sin, he will become corrupted. His innocence is not powerful, it is impotent. It cannot avoid being in knowledge, knowledge will enter: the serpent will seduce him, the world will corrupt him, he will move into the ways of knowledge, into the ways of the mind. He is ready like a seed to move into knowledge. Innocence is not there, he is ignorant.
But then, a sage like Lao Tzu who has known the world and come back home – who was corrupted, who was in the ways of sin and knowledge, who tasted the bitter fruit, and now has become mature, has dropped knowledge, has become again childlike – is innocent. Only a sage is innocent.
Jesus says, “Only those who are like children will be able to enter my Kingdom of God.” Remember he says like children, not children. Children won’t be able to enter the Kingdom of God but those who are like children. What does it mean: who are like children and not children? – those who have passed through the world, who have known all corruption and who have regained their virginity.
Knowledge has two opposites: innocence, the innocence of the sage; and ignorance, the ignorance of the child. And don’t misunderstand me when I insist on innocence, I am not insisting on ignorance. I am not saying to be ignorant. If you are ignorant you are simply postponing knowledge. One day or the other, sooner or later, you will be in the trap of knowledge.
Go through it. Live it, know it. Taste the bitter fruit. Be thrown out of paradise so that you can come back and reclaim it – and then the quality is totally different. When you were thrown out, you were just ignorant. When Adam was thrown out of paradise he was simply ignorant. When Jesus entered again he was not the same Adam but an innocent sage, knowing well what the world means. And by knowing well what the world means, understanding it well, has transcended.

The second question:
What is the relationship between meditation and the unlearning process?
There is no relationship because meditation is unlearning. They are not two things that can be related; they are one thing, one process. Meditation is unlearning, unlearning is meditation.
What in fact do you do when you meditate? You simply unlearn the mind; by and by, you drop the layers and layers of mind. You are like an onion, you go on peeling yourself. One layer, the most superficial, is thrown out; another layer comes up, you throw that, you drop that also. Another one comes up – and it goes on and on.
But one day the last layer is peeled off and there is nothingness in your hands. The whole onion has disappeared. You look around and you cannot find yourself. This is the point where meditation is achieved. Now it is no longer meditation, it has become samadhi.
It has become what in the West you call ecstasy, but rather should be called instasy than ecstasy. The word ecstasy comes from the Greek ekstasis, which means “to stand outside of.” To stand outside your personality so totally that you are no longer part of it – that is ecstasy.
But samadhi is more like instasy – to stand within yourself so deeply that the within and without have disappeared. You have become the withinness, the very withinness; not that you are standing within, you are the withinness. This is samadhi.
The word samadhi comes from two roots, one is sam; sam means together, absolutely together. Another is adha; adha means going, reaching, being. Being together, reaching into togetherness, becoming togetherness. Samadhi means you become so together, so one, so crystallized, that there is nothing opposite to you within you. You have become one unity, a unison, a harmony of all the opposites.
The mind is opposites. You think one thing, and suddenly another part of the mind denies it. You want to meditate? One part of the mind says yes, another immediately says no. You want to become a sannyasin? One part of the mind says, “Right,” another part of the mind says, “Beware, what are you doing? Don’t do it. Wait.” For small things also: what clothes to wear today. You stand before the mirror and the mind cannot decide. The mind is a crowd.
Unlearning means to drop this crowd, to let these people go, and become so one that you cannot even say that it is one, because one is meaningful only in a crowd. One is meaningful only if two is meaningful.
That is why Hindus have never called it one – they call it nondual, they simply say “not two,” just to show that if we say “one” the two enters from the back door. Because what will one mean if there is no two? If we say God is one, if we say in samadhi you are one, then two is just at the corner; and then three – and then the whole world.
Hindus have insisted that the God is non-two, nondual, advaita; in samadhi you are not two, that’s all. Nothing more is said, just a negative – so that numbers should not enter again from the back door. By unlearning you become not-two. By learning you become many. By learning you become legion, a crowd, and the crowd goes on increasing. The more you learn, the more the crowd goes on and on. The ultimate result of learning can be madness and nothing else.
So it is not just an accident that great thinkers in the West have almost all gone mad some time or other. In fact if some thinker in the West has not been mad that simply shows that he is not a very, very deep thinker, nothing else. Nietzsche went mad – he was really a thinker. Bertrand Russell? He never went mad, he remained superficial: a popularizer, but not very deep.
In the East just a totally different thing has happened. We cannot conceive of Buddha going mad. That would be the most impossible thing in the world – Buddha going mad. Nietzsche goes mad because Nietzsche is a thinker, Buddha cannot go mad because he is a no-thinker. He drops thinking, how can he go mad? One day the whole crowd is gone and he is sitting alone, nobody to even disturb, so much alone that he is not even one – because who is there to say that you are one? If somebody is there to say that you are one, the other is still present.
Meditation is unlearning. Peel your onion: it is difficult because you have become identified with the onion; you think these layers are you, so to peel them is difficult. It is painful also because it is not like just throwing off your clothes. Rather it is like peeling your skin; you have become too attached to it.
But once you know, once you drop one layer, you feel freshness arising. You become new. Then courage increases. Then hope. Then you feel more confident. Then you can peel another layer. The more you peel, the more silent, the more happy, the more blissful you become. Now you are on the right track. Now it is not very far away when you will throw away the whole onion.
But it is good to peel layer by layer, because it may not be possible for you to throw away the whole onion. That too is a possibility, it has happened sometimes, but it happens in such an intense understanding which is not ordinarily available.
There are two ways to attain enlightenment – one sudden, the other gradual. The sudden way happens very rarely, but it happens. The gradual way is easier because then I am not asking you to throw away the whole onion; that will be too much. I will have to persuade you. Just peel off the first layer which has already become dirty – and you also feel it is dirty. So much dust has gathered on it, and it has become so dry, and you are so encased in it that it goes on shrinking and shrinking and it has become a prison. So you listen to me, you peel it off.
The second layer will be more difficult to peel. It will be fresh, you would like to cling to it. The third layer will be still more difficult – the nearer you reach, the more difficult it is because beautiful things start happening. You have not reached the center yet but you are moving nearer – just as if you are moving toward the river, and the air is cool and you start feeling good. Now the marketplace is left behind, the dirty air is no longer there, the stale atmosphere is not there. The sky is more open, the river is closer. The river is sending messages through the air: I am close, come on!
The nearer you come, the more you may start clinging to the layers because you will feel, “This is happening because of this layer.” It is not happening because of the layer, it is happening because you are now nearer to the center.
So there are people who cling to worldly things, and then I come across so many people who start clinging to spiritual things – these are part of the layers.
Somebody says, “Such beautiful light happens to me!” He comes and says, “Osho, help me so I can always experience this light.” What will you do with it? Light is an experience, it is not you. It is something different from you. You are the experiencer, the witness. Once before, you were experiencing money, now you are experiencing light, but it remains the same – it is an object. Now you want to cling. If I had said, “Drop your money, all worldly things,” you would have understood. But if I say, “Drop all this nonsense, this light. And your kundalini arising. And visions. And the lotus flowering within you – drop all this nonsense,” you wonder what type of spiritual man I am. I should help you so that more lotuses blossom within you.
But they will remain “of the layers,” they have to be peeled off. And I have to help you to peel the whole onion. I am not going to help you stop anywhere before nothingness happens. Nothingness is the goal, sunyata. All layers gone and emptiness in the hand. You are left alone, with no experience.
Spirituality is not an experience. It is to come to, fall back on, the experiencer itself. It is not an experience – all experiences are of the world because they belong to the layers. They don’t belong to you.
Meditation is an unlearning process. Don’t ask for the relationship, there is none – they are not two, they cannot be related.

The third question:
It is my understanding that when all is one, human beings are one. So to me, ignoring the misery on the streets is denying the oneness. Please say something about this.
When all is one there is no question of ignoring or not ignoring. If all is not one, then the question arises whether to ignore or not to ignore; then there is a choice. But when you feel all is one, there is no choice. I am not saying that you will ignore, I am not saying that you will not ignore; you are no longer there, so whatever happens, happens.
If you start serving those people on the streets, perfectly beautiful. If it doesn’t happen, nothing can be done. Try to follow me: because you think that when you come to realize oneness, you will serve those people. It may be so. It may not be so. Because when oneness is felt, who is the server and who is the served? Then who are you who is feeling the misery and sympathy and compassion, and who are they? They have disappeared. Then nothing can be said about what will happen. Something will happen. But nobody can predict.
The question arises because oneness has not been felt; it is just an idea in the mind. You have been thinking. It is a logical conclusion, it is not existential.
A beggar is on the street, you pass by; you feel hurt. This too is the ego which feels hurt. You feel compassion – or you don’t feel compassion, you just ignore. Ignoring is the ego, feeling compassion is also the ego; you are there in both cases. Of course compassion is a better ego, more polished, golden in a way, but it is also the ego. The man who is ignoring may have a very, very ordinary ego – not pious, not religious, uncultured – but he has an ego, and to me both egos are the same. Whether you feel compassion or you ignore, you are there.
My whole effort here is just totally different; the effort is that you should not be there, then let whatever happens happen. If you feel compassion arising, then you will not be there, only compassion will be there. Then you will not say, “I feel compassion for this beggar,” because that “I” cannot feel compassion. I – how can it feel compassion? And a compassion that flows through the I is already corrupted. It has not the innocence, the beauty, that should be there. It is already a part of the ego, it will strengthen the ego, it will create barriers for you to achieve oneness. You will be the compassionate, you will become a great man, or a great woman, a great servant of the people – and great servants of the people have been doing such mischief over all the centuries. They are not needed anymore. They are mischievous people.
In fact, if you enjoy your ego through compassion, deep down you would like beggars to be there on the street – otherwise how will you feel compassion? Deep down you would like lepers, beggars, crippled people, blind people, all around, so that you can have a good time being compassionate and of service. If all misery disappears from the world, the great servants of the people will be most miserable. Because then they will have nothing to do. God seems to be compassionate to them – he continues the misery.
No, I am not here to tell you to become servants of the people. That has not helped. That creates a subtle, pious ego, and when the ego is pious it is more poisonous because it looks so beautiful and you can cling to it more.
I am here to help you to drop the ego: pious, impious; of the sinner, of the saint. The ego has to be dropped – then whatever happens is beautiful. You go and you sit by the side of the beggar, you help, but you are no longer there. Then existence flows through you, the whole works through you. Then you are not expecting any result out of it, not even a simple thank-you from the beggar. And you are not looking for the photographer and for the newspaper man to reach you in time; and you are not looking for governments to take notice, and the Nobel awarding committee to think about you.
No, you are not there. And you will not carry it in your mind that you served, that you helped, that you were of such great service to somebody in misery. No, you will not carry it. You have not done it, existence has been there working through you. You were possessed. When you are empty you are possessed by the divine force. Then whatever happens is beautiful.
Sometimes it is possible that you will serve, will be of help, and sometimes it may happen that you will just pass by. One never knows. Sometimes you may just pass by. If the whole is not willing, if the whole has its own plans, you will not interfere.
If that man needs misery, if that misery is going to become a growing pain within him, if that misery is going to give him a new birth, then God is not going to help him. He is going to mature through it – help will be harmful. So don’t force yourself upon him, leave him aside. If God – and when I say God I mean the whole, not any person, just the whole – if the whole wants to take him out of his misery it will start working through your hands, but you, please, don’t come in.
You don’t know what is happening, what is going to happen. Why is this man in misery? There must be something in it. He may be suffering for something which he has done, it may be a karma to him; or he may be passing through a birth pain out of which he will be renewed.
It is just like coming across a woman who is going to give birth to a child, and she is crying and weeping and screaming, and you feel compassion, and you help in such a way that the child is not born. Then you are an enemy not a friend. Because then this child is going to die within the womb and the woman is going to die because of it.
Sometimes surgery is needed, sometimes indifference is needed, sometimes compassion is needed – but you should not be the decider. The decision should not be made by you. So what you can do is one thing only, and that is to drop yourself, unlearn, decondition yourself – and then you are a vehicle. But then the choice is not yours. Then you can say simply with your totality: thy will should be done. And then whatever happens is beautiful.

The fourth question:
Please explain man's free will and its relation to being and non-doing.
There is nothing like that, like free will. It is just an ego concept; there cannot be anything like that.
I am not saying the opposite, that you are dependent and slaves. The mind moves into opposites very easily. It creates dichotomies: either you are a free agent, free will, or you are a slave. Both are untrue, both are false concepts. Because you are not, so you cannot be a slave and you cannot be a free agent, because for both, you will be needed.
Life is a vast interdependence. You are just an organic part of the whole, you are not separate, so how can you be free? But I am not saying that you are not free, remember that. How can you be not free, or free? You are not, you don’t exist at all. It is a vast interdependence, and this interdependence is the totality, God. But the ego goes on finding its ways.
I have heard, once it happened…

A great elephant was passing across a bridge. The bridge was very old, it shook tremendously. A fly was sitting on the elephant’s head, just near his ears and when they had passed – they had almost destroyed the bridge – the fly said to the elephant, “Boy! Did we shake that thing!”
But the elephant didn’t hear. So the fly said, “What is the matter? Are you stupid or something! Can’t you hear me?”
But the elephant didn’t hear.

The whole is vast. We are not even flies. The proportion is very, very, tremendously great. It is not the proportion of a fly to an elephant – that’s nothing. We are almost nothing and the whole is so vast.
But you go on insisting that the bridge is shaking because of you. The fly was very considerate in a way. She said, “Boy! Did we shake that bridge!” We – that is so much consideration.
If the fly had the mind of a man, she would have said “I.” Flies are more considerate. She at least included the elephant. But man says free will, he does not even include the whole, it is completely discarded. He says “I.”
So two philosophies have existed in the world – one that says free will… But because this whole notion is wrong, absolutely false, it can be argued against, it has been argued against. There is another side that says nobody is free. We are just puppets and the threads are in some unknown hands; whatever he determines happens. We are just slaves, nothing else.
Both parties are wrong. You are neither slaves nor free agents. This is a little difficult to understand: it is because you are not that you are part of the whole. If you think yourself separate, you will feel like a slave. If you understand yourself as part of the whole, you become the master, but you become master with the whole not against the whole. If you are against the whole, you become the slave. If you flow with the river, you become the master. You become the river. If you try to go upstream you become the slave.
Free will is not there, and neither is slavery. Dependence and independence are both false words. They should be dropped completely, they should not be used. It is interdependence. I exist in you, you exist in me. That is the way life is: we exist into each other, we people each other. The breath that was in me just a moment before has now moved and has gone into you. Just a moment before I could have said, “This is my breath” – but where is it now? Somebody else’s heart is beating through it.
In your body the blood is flowing; just a few days ago it was flowing as juice in a tree. It became a fruit, now it is flowing in your body. Again you will fall to the earth – dust unto dust, and again a tree will arise; you will become fertilizer. And again a tree will become alive, and a fruit will come and your children’s children will eat it. You have eaten your grandparents – you are eating them.
And this goes on and on. The whole past is eaten by the present. And the whole present will be eaten by the future. Life is interrelated, deeply interrelated. It is just like a net. You are just the crossing point of two threads. You are not; you are just a tie between two passing threads. When you understand that, you laugh, you really laugh! You have been carrying such burden.
That’s why Jesus says, “Come follow me, my burden is light.” Your burden is very heavy. Your burden is you. Jesus says, “My burden is light, it is weightless” – because when you are not, there is no weight, gravitation doesn’t function then. You start to levitate. Wings grow out of you. You can fly.
Drop dichotomies: independence, dependence, they are interrelated. If you try to be independent, you will feel you are dependent. If you try to be independent, you will fail and you will be frustrated and you will feel that you are dependent. And both are wrong.
Just look within. You are not; just cosmic rays passing, creating a web, a pattern. A few days you are here and then you disappear, and then again you will be here – and disappear. Where do you come from? Where do you go again? Into the whole. You disappear to rest. Then again you are here.
Spring comes and trees start blooming, and birds start singing – a new life – and then it has gone, and everything is restful. Again it will come. Many, many times you have been here; many, many times you will be here. But once you understand that you are not, that the whole goes on playing through you, once you understand – then there is no need to be thrown again and again back into the body. There is no need. You have become alert, conscious. Now there is no need for any manifestation; you rest in the whole – this we have called moksha, nirvana. This we have called the ultimate freedom.
In the West, it is very difficult to understand this because whenever you talk about freedom you think of free will; and whenever the East talks about freedom it talks of being free of all free will. Freedom means to be free from you. In the West it means freedom from every barrier, limitation – but you remain, it is your freedom.
In the East when we talk about freedom you don’t remain in it – you are part and parcel of the bondage, you go with the bondage. Freedom remains, not you: that is moksha. It is not that you become free, on the contrary you become free of yourself. There is no self.
The self simply disappears – it was a false concept, an arbitrary concept. Useful, but not true.

The fifth question:
Has civilization done man any good?
Yes, it makes you sin so hard that one has to become a saint by and by. It throws you into such deep misery that you have to start looking for clues to get out of the imprisonment. Civilization helps tremendously. It helps you to grow, it helps you to understand the misery of life.
Just look here – many more people from the West come to me than from India. The West is more civilized, more cultured – of course more miserable. Everybody is just on the verge of going berserk, just on the verge, a little push is needed.
Out of four persons, they say nearly three are on the boundary line of becoming mad. Almost one out of four persons, one day or other, is going to become a victim of cancer. Out of four persons alive – alive on this day – out of those four, one is going to have cancer. Civilization gives cancer. It is a great gift because it shows the absurdity of the mind. Civilization brings the whole absurdity of the mind to the surface.
A culture starts becoming religious only when it is really civilized, rich, affluent. A poor country cannot be religious, cannot afford to be religious. A poor country thinks of communism; a rich country thinks about meditation, sannyas. A poor country thinks about bread and butter; a rich country is almost fed up with all that civilization, science, technology, can give. It wants something else.
When the needs of the body are fulfilled, the needs of the mind arise; when the needs of the mind are fulfilled, then the spiritual needs arise – they have a hierarchy. If the needs of the body are not fulfilled, you will not think about the needs of the mind; when you are hungry you don’t think of poetry, you can’t, it’s simply impossible. When you are hungry you can’t think of music; that would be suicidal. Beethoven doesn’t mean a thing when you are hungry. When you are hungry, beauty is a meaningless word. You see a beautiful face – and some bread appears!

I have heard that once a poet was lost in a jungle; for three days he couldn’t find the way. He was a great poet and he had written many, many songs, beautiful love songs, about the moon, and beautiful women, and the rivers and mountains and sea.
After three days of hunger and starvation, the full-moon night came: he looked and he was surprised – no beautiful face appeared in the moon, but a floating bread, a chapati.

With the needs of the body fulfilled, suddenly poetry, art, music, dance, literature, philosophy – all that becomes very, very alluring. New calls are heard in the heart. When the needs of the mind are also fulfilled, then for the first time, God, religion, meditation, ecstasy, become meaningful. And the search starts. This is the difference between these three words: if all the needs of the body are fulfilled, it is a civilized country; if all the needs of the mind are fulfilled, it is a cultured country; and if all the spiritual needs are fulfilled, it is a religious country.
Religious countries have not existed up to now. At the most a few civilizations have reached the point of culture, that’s all. Up to now a religious country has not existed in the world. People think of India as religious, but no country has yet been religious. India once reached a peak of culture, in the days of Krishna five thousand years ago – and then the need arose, the search for godliness. Now America is in almost the same situation: a deep inner search has started.
Civilization helps, helps tremendously, because it brings all the hidden miseries of the mind to the surface. And you have to know them, only then can you transcend them – there is no other way. Only the experience that nothing here on this earth is fulfilling, that nothing that can help the body and the mind can be of much help… It is okay, the needs of the body are fulfilled – then what? It is good, you enjoy music and poetry, then suddenly one day you feel frustrated – what? You are playing with words and waves in the air. It does not deeply satisfy.
Only religiousness can satisfy. Only religiousness can become contentment; it touches your very innermost core. But civilization creates the situation in which religiousness becomes possible.

The sixth question:
Is the whole conscious of itself?
No, neither conscious or unconscious. That is the meaning of supraconscious. Unconsciousness is a sleep state: you are not aware of yourself. Consciousness is self-awareness – you are aware of the self. But that creates a division: the self and the awareness of it. You become two. The whole is neither conscious nor unconscious, the whole is supraconscious, because there is no division between the self and awareness.
And when you become one with the whole you also are neither conscious nor unconscious. Or, you are both together. Unconscious in a way because there is no self to be conscious about, and conscious in a way because you are so alert.
If you can conceive a state – it is difficult to conceive – if you can conceive a state where there is no self but only awareness, nobody to be aware but only awareness, then there is rest, rest just like sleep, and there is alertness, alertness just like when you are awake. Either you can say it is both or you can say it is neither.
But one thing has to be remembered: all that you know is irrelevant when you talk about the whole. All that you know. You know two things: unconsciousness and consciousness, and both are irrelevant. Either join them together, or drop them together.
The whole is totally different. All that you have known up to now cannot become a category for it. And nothing much can be said about it. Because for whatever I say, I will have to use your words. And then there is bound to be misunderstanding.
So it is better to move into the whole and know it, rather than ask questions about it. Ask questions about yourself because there is the problem, and that problem has to be solved. With the whole there is no problem – forget about it. Just ask questions about yourself so that they can be solved.
One day, when you move into the whole, you will know. And there is no other way to know it. This much I am giving – and this is not information, it is just a hint, don’t take it too literally – the whole is supraconscious. It is both and it is neither.

The seventh question:
An artist is an artist in so far as he creates. Isn't creating doing? And aren't most forms of art the result of doing, of achieving, of not being? If an artist was just being he would have no art. Is a world without art what you intend? Is this the end of creation?
The question has to be divided in parts. The first part: “An artist is an artist in so far as he creates.” Then you don’t understand rightly. An artist is an artist only in so far as he allows creation to happen. It is not that he creates. If he creates he is not a creator. He may be composing things but he is not a creator. He may be a technician but he is not an artist.
For example if you create poetry, you can create absolutely according to the rules of the poetics, there may not be a single error in it – but it will not be poetry. The grammar may be perfect, the language absolutely right, the rhythm, the meter and everything okay, but it will be just like a dead body; everything perfect, but the body dead. No soul in it. You are not a poet, you may be a technician. You can compose your poetry, you cannot create it.
Because when you create, you have to disappear from the scene completely. When you create, the creator creates through you, it is not you. All great poets know it, all great scientists know it – that when they are not, something starts flowing through them. They are taken possession of. Something greater than themselves flows through, filters through; they are no more than a passage.
An artist is an artist in so far as he allows creation – not that he does it, it is not an act. That’s why all old poetry is anonymous. Nobody knows who created the Upanishads – so beautiful, so tremendously sublime. Nobody knows who created the caves of Ajanta and Ellora – anonymous. Nobody knows who created the poetry of Khajuraho in stone. Anonymous. The old artists understood it well – it was not their creation, their names should not be there. They did not sign it.
Existence is the creator, they were just vehicles it used, and they were grateful that they were chosen as vehicles to be used. First-rate poets, artists, painters, musicians, scientists, all know; only the second-rate don’t know it. The second-rate is an imitator. He imitates the first-rate people. Then he is the ego: “I am creating.” No artist worth the name has ever claimed that he is the creator.
“Isn’t creating doing?” No. Creating is non-doing. Much happens, but there is nobody who does it. “And aren’t most forms of art the results of doing, of achieving…?” No. The moment the achieving mind comes in, ugliness happens – not art, not beauty. The more the achieving mind is there, the more ugliness. When there is no mind, then beauty flowers; then there is a grace to it that is not of this earth.
“If an artist was just being he would have no art.” No, only then would he have art. “Is a world without art what you intend?” No, the world is already without art. I intend a world which is totally fulfilled in art. But there are two types of art: the art of the technician – which is a pseudo art – and the art of the artist.
The pseudo art is too much in the world. The real authentic art has disappeared. It has to disappear because authentic art can happen only with authentic beings. How can you think that inauthentic beings can create authentic art? It flows through you. The poetry comes from the deepest center of the poet. If the center is not there, if the poet is not centered; if the poet himself is not rooted, lives on the surface, how can the poetry move into the deeper realms of his being? The poetry will always be less than the poet.
You may be deceived by it because you are also inauthentic. In a false world, where masks have become realities and original faces are completely forgotten, where real things have disappeared, where roses no longer bloom in the bushes but are manufactured in plastic factories, where man himself is no longer natural but a manufactured thing, authentic art certainly disappears.
I would like the whole world to be full of authentic art, throbbing with it, living with it, because that is the only way. Through authentic art, real art, you transcend it. If the music is real, soon you will move into meditation, because the music will only give you a little glimpse of meditation, nothing more.
If it is real it will give you a glimpse. If it is not real – as all pop music has become in the world: not real, just superficial – it may give you a little catharsis. It may give you a certain state of mind where you can forget yourself, it may give you a little intoxication. It is alcoholic. That’s why all pop music is so loud, it drowns you. You have to forget yourself, it is so loud. How can you remember yourself with such a loud phenomenon around you? You forget yourself. It is like a drug.
Real music will make you more and more refined. It will become more and more silent. In fact, real music will help you to listen to silence, where all notes disappear, where only gaps remain. One note comes, disappears, and another has not come, and there is a gap. In that gap, meditation flows in you.
Real music will help you move toward meditation: beyond the needs of the mind, toward the spiritual needs. Real poetry will give you a glimpse of the minds of the sages – a glimpse of course. It will open a window so you can see the faraway distant Himalayas. And then an urge arises in you, and you start traveling.
Art is not the goal. It is a need of the mind. It has to be fulfilled. Through the window of art the urge will arise – you will see the distant horizon, and the beauty of it will become a tremendous pull on you, you will be pulled.
Civilization is needed to create art, poetry, music, painting – but they are not the goals; at most resting places for the night. In the morning you are again on your feet moving toward the distant goal. The goal is always godliness, nothing less will do.

The eighth question:
I am new to your teaching, but if I have understood you so far you say – approximately anyway – that knowledge obtained from books is mere information, and as such is useless and sterile. What matters is an inner knowing derived from experience, and feeling rather than intellect. Why then do you publish books for sale?
I speak to seduce you into silence. I use words so that you can be persuaded toward the wordless existence. The books are there to lead you beyond, so don’t cling to them. At the most they are bridges. But if you make your house on a bridge you are a fool. Pass through it!
Right now, you cannot understand silence, you can understand only words. I have to use words to give you the message of silence. Between the words, between the lines, sometimes – if you hang around me long enough – you may one day start hearing silence. Then there is no need, then burn those books with other Vedas, Bibles, and scriptures. My books also have to be burned.
Everything has to be left behind. But right now you are not ready. When you are ready there is no need for any books. Those books are not published for those who understand. Those books are published for those who have a desire to understand – but don’t yet understand. Their desire is beautiful. They have to be helped. And if I am to help you I have to come close to you. Before you can come close to me I will have to come close to you – that is the only way. Before I can take you to the place where I am, I will have to come down to the place where you are.
Those books are not necessary. Their need is because of you. If you can jump over them, avoid them, bypass them – beautiful. But you will not be able to bypass them; otherwise you would not be here. You are here to listen to me. You are still hoping that by listening you may gain. I am not thinking that by listening you may gain. I am thinking that by listening you will become able to listen to that which is not said, and through that you will gain. Nobody gains through books, but books can help you to go beyond. All the scriptures say the same thing.
In the Upanishads it is said, “Nayamatma pravachanen labhyo – this soul cannot be got from sermons. Na medhaya na bahuna shruten – neither can it be got from intelligence.” Somewhere else in the Upanishads they say, “The goal is where?” Where is the goal? Go beyond the words, only then you will know.
The point from where words turn back and cannot go beyond – that is the point, the door. The Bible, the Koran, they exist to help you to go beyond them. If you have been carrying them on your head it is your stupidity; you have not looked into them. Because they say, “Don’t cling to words, don’t cling to theories, to concepts, philosophies. All is rubbish!”
My books are there to be transcended. Enjoy them on the way but don’t cling to them. And get ready to go beyond.

The ninth question:
You told us yesterday that only through undoing and through unlearning can we find our true being. What are we to do when our profession requires a lot of knowledge?
Fulfill it! But let it be a profession, don’t allow it to become your soul. Of course information is needed. A doctor has to know about 707 arteries, dozens of muscles, glands, and thousands of things in the body – and above it all, about ten thousand drugs. Otherwise he cannot be a doctor.
But this is not a problem. He should know it, but this is not knowledge, this is information – useful, utilitarian, but this is not a growth in his being. Keep it separate. It should remain part of the memory; you are not to be burdened by it.
And the memory has tremendous capacity; no computer yet invented has that much capacity. One man’s memory, given enough time, can memorize all the books that exist in the world today. One man’s memory can contain the whole world of books. It has tremendous capacity. The only thing is, you should keep a distance; information is information, knowledge is knowledge.
Knowing is a totally different thing. Knowing is concerned with the being, it is the shadow of the being. Through information you will be useful to others. Through knowing you will be enlightened. It is not a utility.
In the world, in the market, information is needed. And there is nothing wrong in it. It becomes wrong when you think your information has become your knowing. Then you are confused. Be a doctor when you are in your hospital, and when you come home forget everything about it.

I was staying in a High Court judge’s house. He was one of my devotees. When the husband was not in the house his wife told me, “My husband loves you and believes in you so tremendously; you can help me a little. If you say something to him he will do it.”
I said, “Tell me, what is the matter? What do you want?”
She said, “Just tell him one thing: that he should not be a judge in the house. Even in bed he remains a magistrate. Only this much. We are being tortured by him like anything. He is never a man, he is never a father, a husband, never a friend; twenty-four hours a day he is a High Court judge. And we are all afraid and the children tremble before him because he looks at us as if we are all criminals standing in his court, waiting for his judgment.
“Please bring him down. If he can forget for a few hours that he is a High Court judge it will be a blessing to us.”

If you are a doctor, good, be a doctor in the hospital. But don’t look at your wife with the eyes of a doctor. Because as far as I know it rarely happens that doctors are good lovers, no; because they go on looking in the same way. They know so much about the body, how can they love a woman? Filth inside – they know…arteries and mucus and excreta…and they know. And the whole day diseases and diseases, and when they look at their woman, of course their information comes in between.
Doctors are not good lovers. Difficult to forget your knowledge and information. What I am saying is, in the hospital it is needed – use it, but don’t be used by it. When you come home, drop it! Just as you change your clothes. You don’t wear the same apron that you wear in the hospital, you change, you put on a nightgown – just like that.
Put the information aside, be a man – and then two things can go parallel. Information can function as a utility, and you grow as a being. That being grows through knowing, not through knowledge. If you can keep this much distance and alertness, then there is nothing wrong at all.
Just the other day a friend came and he brought many books for me. And before he gave them to me, in the morning he listened to me and he was a little puzzled: I am so much against knowledge. So in the evening he said, “I have brought so many books for you, and you are so much against knowledge, so what to do?” I said, “You can give those books to me and you can bring as many as you can. Knowledge cannot destroy me.” I can use it, but I am not used by it. That’s the whole point to be understood.

And now the tenth and the last question:
Why are you wearing all those fancy hats lately?
Ask the hats! They suddenly came. Somebody sent them to me, they came across my path. You have to ask them, not me. And they wanted to be welcomed and respected.
Enough for today.

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