The Dhammapada Vol 8 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 13 discourses - The Dhammapada Vol 8 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
How can you, as a man, talk about the feminine psyche? How do you know that God is a he?
I am not talking as a man, I am not talking as a woman. I am not talking as a mind at all. The mind is used, but I am talking as consciousness, as awareness. And awareness is neither he nor she awareness is neither man nor woman. Your body has that division and your mind too, because your mind is the inner part of your body, and your body is the outer part of your mind. Your body and mind are not separate; they are one entity. In fact, to say body and mind is not right; and should not be used. You are bodymind – not even a hyphen between the two.
Hence, with the body, with the mind, masculine, feminine – these words are relevant, meaningful. But there is something beyond them both; there is something transcendental. That is your real core, your being. That being consists only of awareness, of witnessing, of watchfulness. It is pure consciousness.
I am not talking here as a man; otherwise it is impossible to talk about women. I am talking as awareness. I have lived in the feminine body many times and I have lived in the masculine body many times, and I have witnessed all. I have seen all the houses, I have seen all the garments. What I am saying to you is the conclusion of many, many lives; it has not to do with only this life. This life is only a culmination of a long, long pilgrimage.
So don’t listen to me as a man or a woman; otherwise you will not be listening to me. Listen to me as awareness.
Secondly, you ask, “How do you know that God is a he?” God is neither he nor she. God simply means the totality of consciousness in existence. God simply means life eternal. Life expresses in two ways, man and woman. God is the unmanifest source of life; you cannot call him “he,” you cannot call him “she.” But because for centuries the word he has been used, I go on using it. You have to remember that I don’t mean it.
If you really want to go deeply into the phenomenon of God, then God does not exist at all – as a person. God is only a presence. In other words, there is no God but only godliness: a quality that pervades, permeates, the whole of existence; that is everywhere, in every leaf, in every dewdrop. It is a quality. Once you start thinking of God as a quality, your whole outlook on life, on religion, on love, will be totally different.
Existence consists not of nouns but of verbs. Nouns are inventions of man and so are pronouns. Verbs are real. When you say “a river” what do you mean? Have you ever seen a river as a noun? The river is always flowing, it is always a movement. It is never static, it is dynamic. How can you make it a static noun? The word river seems to be static.
If you ask the buddhas, the awakened ones, they will say, “Rivers don’t exist.” But you see the river flowing by. The flow is there, a kind of rivering is there, but no river. You see so many trees, but in fact what exists is a kind of treeing, not trees, because every tree is changing every moment. In the time that you take to use the word tree, the tree is no longer the same. A few old leaves have fallen, a few new leaves have started coming out, a flower has opened up, a bud is getting ready to open. There is great activity; the tree is constantly in momentum.
The whole existence consists of verbs, and God is nothing but the totality of all these verbs. God is not a quantity but a quality, not a person but a presence. God is an experience, not an object of experience but an experience itself. God is subjectivity. And how can you call subjectivity “he” or “she”?
I know why the question has arisen. All over the world, particularly in the West, the liberated woman is asking, “Why call God ‘he’?” And she is right, in a way. Why make God identified with the masculine mind? It is a kind of male chauvinistic approach. For centuries, the male has dominated everything, hence he has called God “he.” And the rebellion against it is absolutely right.
But to start calling God “she” will not put things right; it will be moving to the other extreme. That will be another kind of chauvinism, it won’t change anything. The wrong that man was doing will simply be done by women; both are wrong. God is neither.
Hence in the East, where for ten thousand years hundreds of people have arrived to the ultimate pinnacle of experiencing godliness, we don’t call God “he” or “she,” we call him “it.” That is far more beautiful because it takes God beyond he and she. But some word has to be used, and whatsoever word is used is going to be inadequate – he, she, it – because the word it also has its own dangers. It seems to be dead because we use it for things, and God is not a thing either. It seems to be too neutral, and God is not neutral; he is tremendously committed, involved. It seems to be lifeless, and God is life itself, love itself. Any word will have its own limitations.
So you can use any word – he, she, it – but remember, all words are limited and God is unlimited. If you use these words mindfully, then there is no danger. The basic remembrance is that God is a presence, otherwise many foolish questions arise.
If you call him “he” or “she,” then the question arises, “Where does he live? Where is he?” And then the question seems very relevant because you have reduced him to a person: then where is his dwelling?

“Where is the dwelling of God?”
This was the question with which the rabbi of Kotzk surprised a number of learned men who happened to be visiting him.
They laughed at him, “What a thing to ask! Is not the whole world full of his glory?”
Then he answered his own question: “God dwells wherever man lets him in.”

There is no dwelling outside somewhere. Whenever you allow yourself, you open up to existence, whenever you allow the wind and the rain and the sun to reach to your innermost core, suddenly there is God, godliness. Suddenly you are overwhelmed by something bigger than you, by something which is oceanic. You start disappearing into it like a dewdrop.
The moment we say, “God is a person,” then we start praying, praising. That is a kind of bribery. That is a kind of buttressing his ego. If God is a person he must have an ego. Then praise him and he will be happy with you, and you will be rewarded either here or hereafter. The moment we think of God as a person we start searching for him not in the world but somewhere far away in heaven, and we miss the whole point. God is now-here, God is nowhere else.

There is a tale that a man inspired by God once went out from the creaturely realms into the vast waste. There he wandered till he came to the Gates of Mystery. He knocked. From within came the cry, “What do you want here?”
He said, “I have proclaimed your praise in the ears of mortals, but they are deaf to me, so I come to you that you yourself may hear me and reply.”
“Turn back!” came the cry from within. “Here is no ear for you. I have sunk my hearing in the deafness of mortals.”

God is in the stones, God is in the waters, God is in the animals, God is in the birds, God is in people, in sinners, in saints. God is equivalent to isness. Now, is isness he or she? The question will be utterly meaningless.
So don’t be worried whether God is he or she. Rather, look within yourself and find the place where he and she both disappear. And that will be the beginning of your understanding of reality, of what it is.
This thing cannot be decided by argumentation. It is not a metaphysical question, it is something existential. If you can find something within yourself which is neither masculine nor feminine, then you will know that there is something in existence which is neither, which is beyond both. And that beyondness is godliness.

The second question:
I am sixty years old, but yet the same desires persist. What is the matter with me?
Growing old is not growing up. Time by itself does not bring wisdom. Yes, it brings many experiences, but experiences by themselves cannot deliver wisdom to you.
Wisdom is a totally different phenomenon. It does not happen through experiences of the outside world. It happens when you become centered within your being, when you become rooted in your being, when you become integrated, when you are no longer a crowd and you become a crystallized soul.
Desires can’t disappear just because you have become sixty years old. You can be six hundred years old and desires will be there, in fact more, because they will be also six hundred years old. Your desires are sixty years old; they have gone deep in you in sixty years.
People have this idea that when you are young you suffer from desires, when you become old you go beyond them. Just by being old? That is ridiculous! You don’t go beyond desires just by being old. You simply become a hypocrite; you start pretending that you have gone beyond desires. Maybe you can’t go into desires because there is no energy available, but the mind thinks more and more. Because you can’t do anything, your whole energy becomes cerebral. The young person can do something about his desires; you cannot, so you only think.
And as death starts coming closer and closer, a great fear arises: so many desires are there which are unfulfilled. You become afraid: if death comes and takes you away… It is bound to happen sooner or later, and the possibility is of sooner than later. All those desires start taking possession of you. “Fulfill us,” they say. “Time is short. Do something.” You start going crazy. You become continuously obsessed.

A moralist addressing an audience thundered, “Remember, my friends, when temptation comes your way, you must resist it – resist it!”
“I would like to,” said one of the old men, “but I am always afraid it may never come again.”

That fear is natural. Death may come before the temptation comes again. Who knows? – it may not come again. The old man becomes more and more afraid of losing his desires.
It is not an accident that Buddha introduced a new idea into the world of sannyas. He started initiating young people into sannyas. In India, the tradition was that you should take sannyas only when you are very old, after seventy-five years old – the fourth stage, when you have done everything and only death is left. Then take sannyas. That was the idea and it was a very comfortable idea, a very cozy idea.
In the first place, very few people are going to live beyond seventy-five, particularly in those days and in India. Even today very few people will live beyond seventy-five, so there is no fear of living after seventy-five and becoming a sannyasin. And if by chance you happen to live after seventy-five, all your energies will be already wasted, gone down the drain. Whether you take sannyas or not you will be a sannyasin, so why not take it?
People used to take a vow of celibacy after seventy-five. You see the foolishness of it!

A man used to come to Ramakrishna each religious festival and he would give a big feast. He was a nonvegetarian, and many animals would be cut up for the feast. He was very rich. Then suddenly all the feasts stopped. There was a great festival and the feast was not happening, and the man had come to see Ramakrishna.
Ramakrishna asked, “What happened? Why are you not celebrating this feast? Have you become irreligious or something? Are you no longer interested in your religion?”
He said, “That is not the point. My teeth have fallen out. And when I cannot eat, why should I bother?”

The feast was not for any religious reason; the feast was simply because he wanted to enjoy. Religion was just an excuse.
People can take an oath of celibacy after seventy-five so they are saving both worlds: they have enjoyed this world and now they are creating a bank balance in the other. They are becoming virtuous so cheaply that it is all false.
Buddha introduced the idea that young people should become sannyasins. Then it is something significant. When a young person goes beyond sex, when a young person goes beyond desires, when a young person goes beyond greed, ambition, the longing to be powerful, the ambition to be famous, then it is something tremendously meaningful, significant.
Remember one thing: when you are young you have energy. That energy can take you to hell and that same energy can take you to heaven. Energy is neutral; it depends on you how you use it.
So the first thing: just by becoming an old person does not mean that you have become wise. Wisdom needs meditation not worldly experience. Worldly experience makes you more cunning; hence it is very difficult to find an old man who is not cunning. You can find a young man who is not cunning; you can find many children. In fact, almost all children are innocent, they are not cunning. They have not known anything of the world. They have not learned tricks, strategies, politics, diplomacy. They are simply whatsoever they are – they are authentic. As they grow more and more, as they become acquainted with the world and all the hypocrisy around, naturally they start becoming part of the world. They start learning the same kind of strategies.
By the time a person becomes old he becomes very cunning – not wise, not intelligent. Remember: if you were stupid when you were a child you will be more stupid when you are old. You will have a long, long-rooted stupidity in you with great foliage and flowers and fruits. Whatsoever you have will grow with your age. If you meditate then meditation will grow. But just by becoming old you cannot be wise.

The ex-captain’s wife paid a visit to a doctor who had achieved fame in the successful treatment of impotency. His method consisted of convincing the male patient he had the virility of a horse. The doctor consented to treat the woman’s husband.
A few weeks later the doctor met the woman on the street, “Have you noticed the change you wanted in your husband?” he asked.
“No,” replied the woman, “but he just won the Derby!”

Now, a stupid old man…! If you tell him “You are a horse,” you can’t expect anything else! He will become a horse; he will become hypnotized with the idea.
Intelligence is a totally different phenomenon; intelligence cannot be hypnotized. An intelligent person cannot be Hindu, cannot be Mohammedan, cannot be Christian – impossible, because these are all tricks, hypnotic tricks. People are being hypnotized from their very childhood: “You are a Hindu.” A constant repetition of “You are a Hindu” makes you a Hindu. It is nothing else but conditioning. A wise man becomes unconditioned.
So the first thing I suggest to you: become unconditioned. Whatsoever your sixty years’ life has conditioned you for, drop it. That’s what your mind is: the accumulated conditionings. Drop them!
And the beginning of meditation is when you start dropping your conditionings. A moment comes when you become unconditioned again, like a child. Then your intelligence explodes. And an intelligent person cannot desire, that is impossible, because desiring only brings misery, frustration. Desiring only creates anxiety, anguish; it never brings any fulfillment, never any contentment.
An intelligent person cannot go on desiring. His very intelligence is enough and desiring disappears – not that he renounces, remember. Only fools renounce.
Intelligent people don’t renounce the world. They live in the world, but they live intelligently, without desiring. Whatsoever comes on their way they enjoy, but they don’t hanker for anything. Their sleep remains undisturbed; they don’t dream for anything. They don’t project for the future, they live in the present.
Yes, you are becoming old, but don’t hope that just by becoming old you will become wise enough and desires will disappear on their own accord.

She lay in bed, blissfully happy on this, the first morning of her long-dreamed-of honeymoon.
“Darling,” she called as she heard him puttering around in the bathroom, “did you brush your teeth yet?”
“Yes,” he cooed, “and while I was at it, I brushed yours too.”

Yes, you can become old, but just by becoming old nothing is achieved.
Real growth happens inward. It is a transformation of your interiority. And now that you are here, forget those sixty years and all the nightmares that you must have passed through in those sixty years. Start your life afresh, from the very beginning again.
Jesus says: “Unless you are born again you will not be able to enter into my kingdom of God.” And he is absolutely right. You need a new birth; you have to be twice-born. And to be with a master is a rebirth. It is initiation into the inner world.
You have wasted sixty years on the outside, accumulating money, accumulating this and that, trying to be respectable, famous, powerful. Now get out of all those stupid games – no more games! Now let there be a single-pointed search for the truth: the truth that you are, the truth that resides in you, the truth that you are made of, the truth of your consciousness.
My whole effort is to help you toward self-knowledge. It does not need time; it needs intensity, sincerity. It needs commitment. It needs a tremendous effort to go in, because in those sixty years you have created so many things on the outside which will hinder you from going in. They have become walls. You have become unbridged to your own self.
You ask me, “I am sixty years old, but yet the same desires persist.” Good that you have become aware that the same desires are still there. There are many people who are not aware; they have repressed their desires so deeply that even they themselves have become unaware of them. Good that you are aware. The first ray of intelligence: that you are aware that the same desires persist.
And you ask, “What is the matter with me?” Nothing is the matter with you; it is the same with everybody. One phase of your life is over. Now it is time to grow into another dimension. Sixty years is enough time to know about the world and all that it offers – or at least promises to offer. You have known it, and it is only by knowing it that one becomes aware of the deceptiveness of it all. You have seen the illusion – now turn in. Now become a sannyasin. You have been a worldly man up to now. And by a worldly man I simply mean one who is absolutely unaware of himself and is concerned about trivia – money, power, prestige.
And I call the person a sannyasin who becomes deeply interested in his own life’s source, who starts asking, “Who am I?” and who starts moving toward his center. From the circumference he changes his abode toward the center.
The day you reach to your center is the day of great blessings, the day of great enlightenment. That day you transcend life and death. That day you transcend man–woman. That day you transcend all dualities. That day, for the first time, you will taste what bliss is.

The third question:
Why are you against following someone who knows the secrets of life? What is the need to discover them oneself on one's own?
Truth cannot be transferred. That is one of the intrinsic qualities of truth: nobody can give it to you. Yes, words can be given to you, theories can be given to you, theologies can be given to you, but not truth. Following somebody you will be following his words. Following somebody you will become a Jaina, a Mohammedan, a Buddhist, but you will never become your own self.
And Buddha is a unique individual just as you are. What did he do? Try to understand it; that may be helpful in your journey. But don’t follow him literally, otherwise that will make you only phony, that will make you only pseudo. Existence never repeats anybody. Jesus comes only once, Buddha comes only once. There has never been a person like Buddha before and will never be again, for the simple reason that existence never repeats.
You are a totally new manifestation of existence. It has never been before so there has never been a person exactly like you. So whomsoever you follow, you will be following somebody who is not like you and you will get into trouble. You can cultivate a certain character around you, you can act, but by acting you are not going to become a buddha.
That’s what the Buddhist monks have been doing for twenty-five centuries – acting, performing, literally following. The way Buddha walked they will walk, the way Buddha ate they will eat, the way Buddha sat they will sit. You can do all these things and it is possible you may do them even better than Buddha, because Buddha was not imitating anybody else; he was spontaneous. When a person is spontaneous he has no time to rehearse it; you will have enough time to rehearse. You may even defeat Buddha in a competition.
It actually happened once…

Friends of Charlie Chaplin were celebrating his birthday and they found a beautiful way to celebrate it. They advertised in newspapers all over England that there will be a competition and whosoever can imitate Charlie Chaplin will be rewarded. There were three big awards.
Many people participated. At least a hundred were chosen from different cities and they all gathered in London for the final selection of the three winners.
Charlie Chaplin had an idea. He entered the competition from a different town hoping that he was going to win the first prize – there was no question about it. But he was wrong; he got the second prize! People came to know only later on that he was also a participant. He was so surprised that somebody who was not a Charlie Chaplain managed better than himself. Naturally, the other had practiced it for a long time. Charlie Chaplin was just being there: there was no need to practice. He is Charlie Chaplin, so why practice? What is there to practice? But the other was more polished, more practiced. He walked better than Charlie Chaplin, he talked better than Charlie Chaplin. He outdid him.

This is possible. Some Christian monk may defeat Jesus; some Buddhist monk may defeat Buddha. But still, Buddha is Buddha and you will be only an imitator. Still, Charlie Chaplin is Charlie Chaplin and the man who was acting even better was just acting; deep down he is himself.

You can never be somebody else. Remember it as one of the most fundamental laws. Aes dhammo sanantano – this is the eternal law: you can never be like somebody else. That does not mean you should not learn. Learn, but don’t follow. Absorb, but go on your own way. Learn from all the enlightened ones. Sit at their feet, absorb their presence, but go on your own way.
Buddha himself said as his last statement on the earth: “Be a light unto yourself.”

A squirrel on the ground was watching two other squirrels in a tree.
One of them fell to the ground, bounced a couple of times, looked back up in the tree and said, “That making love in the tree is for the birds.”

That’s why I say don’t follow. Don’t try to make love in a tree – that is for the birds! – otherwise you will be in the hospital.

A little boy and girl squirrel were chattering and playing around when suddenly a fox appeared. The girl squirrel dashed up a tree but the boy squirrel stayed on the ground.
“That’s strange,” said the fox. “Usually squirrels are afraid of me and run up the nearest tree.”
“Listen,” said the boy squirrel. “Did you ever try to climb a tree after playing with a girl for twenty minutes?”

Just look to your own situation!
Buddha has a different space, different context, a different world. You cannot follow him – literally you cannot follow him. Metaphorically you can understand him and you can be tremendously benefited by him.
You ask me, “Why are you against following someone who knows the secrets of life?” How do you know that someone knows the secrets of life? That is just a belief. Unless you know the secrets of life, you will never know that someone else knows them. And following somebody just out of belief you may be getting into trouble. He may not know at all. He may be a convincing talker; he may be arguing better than you can argue. He can silence you in argument; that does not mean that he knows. He may be more articulate than you are, he may have studied the scriptures. Even the Devil can quote the scriptures! How do you know that he knows the secrets of life? You can know only if you also know.
You can understand Buddha really only when you are also a buddha. You can understand Christ only when you are also a christ – not by following them but by becoming awakened on your own accord.
Hence I say there is the need to discover the truth by yourself. The inner truth is different from the outer truth. The outer truth can be discovered by one person and then the whole world possesses it. For example, the theory of relativity was discovered by Albert Einstein. Now everybody else need not discover it again and again; that would be just wasting time. He took years to discover it; now if you are intelligent you can understand it within days – if you are really intelligent, then within hours. There is no need to waste years in discovering it again and again.
Somebody discovered – Newton discovered – the law of gravitation. Now you need not go and sit in a garden and wait for an apple to fall and then brood over it and then come to the conclusion that there must be a certain magnetic force in the earth which pulls things downward. Now, if everybody has to do that there are not so many gardens and there are not so many apple trees, and apples may not oblige you. You may go on sitting under the tree for hours, days, months; they may not fall.
And do you know, apples used to fall even before Newton, and thousands of people must have watched them falling, but nobody discovered the law of gravitation. So there is no certainty that, even if they oblige and fall in the right time, you will discover the law of gravitation. There is no need – Newton has done it for you, for all, forever.
This is the quality of the outer, objective truth: once discovered it becomes universal.
The inner truth has a totally different quality: it always remains individual, it never becomes universal.
Buddha discovers it but he cannot convey it; he cannot adequately express it, he cannot make it universal. It remains essentially individual. And whatsoever he does is just inadequate; it never fulfills the great need of the masses – that they need not discover it anymore. Buddha has discovered it, Jesus has discovered it; now you can simply follow it.
This is the beauty of the inner truth: that you have to discover it again and again afresh. And the very discovery is such bliss that it is good that one person has not finished it forever; otherwise there would have been no spiritual quest left. Buddha is not the first; there had been other awakened people before him. One enlightened person would have done it and then in every primary school you could teach it to everybody. The whole joy of discovering it would have been lost. It is beautiful that the subjective truth remains individual. Thousands of times it has been discovered, but it has not become universal yet and it will never become universal; it will remain individual. You will have to seek and search for it on your own.
And when you find it you will be surprised: it is the same truth that was found by Buddha, it is the same truth that was found by Mahavira, the same truth that was found by Mohammed or Moses; it is not a different truth. But this is the quality of the inner world – that you have to go there all alone. Nobody can accompany you and nobody can give you ready-made maps.
It is a very mysterious world inside; the outside world is not so mysterious, maps are possible. But the inner world remains a secret, a hidden secret. Even when you have known it and you would like to share it you cannot. All that you can share is your desire to share, that’s all – your deep compassion to share, your love for others. But the truth remains as unexpressed as before.
Then why do masters speak at all? They speak not to share the truth – they know perfectly well it cannot be shared. They speak to make your thirst for truth aflame. They speak to make you more thirsty, more hungry. They speak to create a tremendous longing in you to go inward. Their presence, their vibe, their song, their dance, all indicates toward one thing: go in.

The fourth question:
I don't want to die and yet I am here with you. Am I crazy?
Sane people don’t come here, because the so-called sane people are the most insane in the world. The sane people are those who crucified Jesus. The sane people are those who poisoned Socrates. The sane people are those who made many efforts to kill Buddha. The sane people are in politics; they don’t come to the enlightened ones, to the awakened ones. Only crazy people come – but these crazy people, in the real sense, are the sanest.
It is a paradox. The people who followed Jesus must have been crazy – they were crazy. Everybody was saying that they were crazy. The people who followed Buddha must have been crazy. Even Buddha’s father was saying to people, “You are crazy! He is crazy and you are crazy! He has renounced his kingdom – he is a fool. And now so many people are renouncing and going with him. What can you find in the jungles? Sitting under trees with closed eyes, what can you find? If you want to do something, do it in the world. If you want to find something, find it in the world.”
When Buddha went back to his home after his enlightenment, his father was very angry and he said, “You are crazy, but I can forgive you because I have the heart of a father.”
Buddha laughed and he said, “First say everything that you wanted to tell me the twelve years that I have not been here in the house. You must have accumulated much anger – first cathart! When you have thrown all the garbage out, then there is a possibility to communicate something to you.”
His father was shocked. What is he saying? It was not expected at all! For a moment there was silence. And Buddha said, “Just look at me. I am not the same person who went. I am a totally different person because my inner being has changed. I am reborn. I am not your son anymore. I am not this body and I am not this mind either. I have attained to the beyond.
“So first throw out all your anger so that you can see me, so that your eyes are clear enough to recognize the change that has happened in me – a radical change. The person that had gone has died, and the person that has come today is a totally different person – of course in the same continuum. Hence I look the same way from the outside only; from the inside I am not the same at all.”

You are crazy! All of my sannyasins are crazy. Only crazy people can be religious – crazy in the eyes of the world but not crazy in the eyes of the awakened ones, because in the eyes of the awakened ones the world is insane. The world is a big madhouse; you have escaped from it. You are learning how to be sane, how to be saner.
You ask me, “I don’t want to die, and yet I am here with you.” This happens to everybody. When you come here you start learning a new language, the language of transformation. You start seeing a new truth: that if the ego dies, then you will be really born. If the ego is dropped, then godliness can enter you. The ego is the barrier.
When you come here for the first time, you come for improvement, for growth – not to die. But slowly, slowly you start understanding that growth is possible only if first you allow a certain death: the death of the ego.
Then fear grips you and a contradiction arises in you, a double bind. The intelligent part of you starts saying, “Die – don’t waste time.” And the unintelligent part – your past – says, “What are you doing? Are you crazy? Who knows what will happen after death? If you drop your personality and your ego, how will you keep yourself together? You may start falling apart! How will you control yourself?” You are afraid of so many things that could happen to you if control is lost.
Hence you start doing a very contradictory work: on the one hand you dismantle yourself, and on the other hand you put yourself together again. This can continue for years.

The fashionably dressed girl these days wears pants to make her look like a boy, and see-through blouses just to prove that she is not.

This is a double bind! And this is bound to happen.
Sooner or later, one day, you will have to take a decisive step. You will have to come out of this double bind, because this is wasting time, energy, opportunity. Who knows? I may not be here tomorrow – or the next moment. This opportunity may be lost. Right now the door is open and I am beckoning you, “Come in!” Tomorrow the door may disappear and there will be nobody to beckon you to come in. And then you will suffer much, then you will be in deep anguish. Then you will cry and weep for the spilled milk.
Right now is the time to listen to the call, to the challenge. I am a challenge, a call: a challenge of the unknown, calling you toward the uncharted sea. I know you are afraid and I know that to leave the shelter of the shore is difficult. You have lived on the shore so long and you have made such a beautiful hut. It is so cozy there, with no fear of the waves and the ocean and the dangers of the unknown. You seem to be very secure there, and I am calling you, “Come out of your cozy security!” – because it is just a deception.
Death is bound to destroy all. Before death destroys, take the decisive step on your own accord. Move into the unknown. Before death kills you, let the ego be killed by you yourself. Then there will be no death for you, then you can transcend all death.
Great courage, of course, is needed, but if you have taken the courage to be a sannyasin, now don’t look backward. For the sannyasin there is no way to look backward. Listen to the challenge and go wholeheartedly toward it.
Yes, it will look more and more crazy because you will see you are committing a kind of suicide. But once you have committed the suicide – the suicide of the ego – you will be surprised: to live in the ego was real suicide and to get out of it is to attain to absolute freedom. Buddha calls that freedom nirvana.

The fifth question:
Why are you always talking and telling jokes about the Jews? Why not about Indians?
Indians don’t have jokes. They are such holy people, you know, so spiritual! They don’t have any sense of humor. I have never come across a single originally Indian joke. All the jokes are imported. Sometimes I wonder why the government allows it! On everything else there is great taxation; only jokes can be imported and you don’t have to pay three hundred percent tax on them. Indians don’t have jokes, hence it is very difficult to tell Indian jokes.
And Jews are the richest in jokes; they have the best jokes. They are very earthly people, just the opposite of the Indians. Indians have this nonsense of being very holy, and Jews are very earthly people. Their religion is also very earthly. They don’t have any idea of renouncing the world. Their rabbis are not celibates; their rabbis are as ordinary as anybody else. This is something beautiful – I appreciate it. These hierarchies should disappear. The greatest snobbishness exists in the minds of the so-called religious people. And India is very snobbish; hence they have not created any jokes.
Jews are earthly people, ordinary people. They have enjoyed their ordinariness, and they have a great sense of humor. In fact, their sense of humor has been a great blessing to them; otherwise, they have suffered so much… For two thousand years they have been suffering all over the world. Without that sense of humor they would not have survived. Their sense of humor has helped them survive, has helped them to always resurrect again and again. They have been crushed and killed and destroyed, and yet their spirit has come back again. They could laugh at misery, at suffering. Laughter has been a great boon.
And it is very difficult to change a Jewish joke into anything else! Sometimes I try, but it loses its beauty.

A man said to a friend, “Let me tell you a joke.”
“Okay,” said the friend.
“Well, a Jewish man was walking down the street when he ran into…”
“Stop!” cried the friend. “Why are you always telling jokes about Jews?”
“Okay, okay, I will tell it differently. A Chinaman is walking down the street when he runs into another Chinaman. ‘Are you coming to my son’s bar mitzvah?’ he asked.”

It is very difficult to change a joke. Jewish jokes have a flavor of their own, and if you translate them, they lose that flavor; they become flat.
And why are you worried? Why does it hurt you? Every race in the world has contributed something. Every race has lived in different situations, different climates, has evolved differently, has its own personality. Jews have their own personality, and Jewish jokes are very essential to that personality. They know how to laugh; they know how to laugh at themselves too. That is something really beautiful. It is easy to laugh at others; the real laughter is when you can laugh at yourself.

The sixth question:
Sometimes when I hear you reading a question my first reaction is, “What kind of a stupid question is this?” Don't you ever feel that way?
Once in a while… For example, reading this question.

The last question:
I would like to try experimenting with alcohol a la Gurdjieff, except I am broke. Can I have an alcohol allowance?
George Gurdjieff would not have given you that experiment; that was only given to people who were against alcohol. For example, if Morarji Desai had gone to George Gurdjieff, then he would have forced him to drink alcohol – instead of his own urine! But not for you.
So it is very difficult for me to allow you an alcohol allowance – that would be against the spirit of George Gurdjieff. He would never forgive me!
The essential core of the experiment is to disturb you, to shatter you, to shatter your patterns, fixed patterns. If you desire alcohol, then that is the last thing that is going to shatter you. It will be fulfilling, it will not be shattering. Instead of alcohol, start drinking the water of life.

“You know, you are the first man I have met whose kisses make me sit up and open my eyes.”
“Yes. Usually they have the opposite effect.”

With you, alcohol will not be of any help; the water of life may have the right effect. You may open your eyes and sit up. And one more thing is good about it: you can be broke and still you can enjoy it. No allowance is needed, so Laxmi need not worry about it. It gives you total self-dependence.

One Saturday night George ended up at a party in an unfamiliar apartment building. He got very drunk and somehow found his way home in the small hours. When he woke up the next afternoon with a terrible hangover, he realized that he had left his jacket, tie, shirt and shoes at the party.
With much difficulty he found the apartment building, but he had no idea which apartment he had been in. The only thing he remembered about it was a magnificent gold toilet.
So he knocked at the first apartment. The door was opened by a man with a hangover.
“Hello,” said George. “Did you have a party here last night?”
“We sure did!” groaned the man.
“And do you have a gold toilet?”
“A gold toilet? No, we sure don’t.”
So George had to go to the next door, and so on for three floors. Everyone was recovering from a party, but no one knew anything about a gold toilet. By the time he got to the last apartment, George was beginning to think he had imagined the gold toilet. The door was opened by a man with a hangover.
“Uh, hello,” said George. “Did you have a party here last night?”
“We sure had a party here!” groaned the man.
“And do you by any chance have a gold toilet?”
There was a long silence.
Finally the man shouted back over his shoulder, “Hey, Harry – here is the guy who shit in your tuba!”

So, the allowance can be allowed – but what about other people’s tubas? You will create trouble. If you listen to my advice, forget the whole idea. It is good that you are broke. This is called a blessing in disguise. If you were not broke you would have gone a la Gurdjieff, and that would have led you into more trouble.
Gurdjieff certainly forced people to drink, but only people who were against alcohol. He used to raise toasts every night for all the kinds of idiots in the world. He had twenty-six categories of idiots. I don’t know to which category you would belong, but you must belong to some category. Unless you are awakened you are bound to belong to some category or other.
An idiot is a person who is trying to find joy where joy does not exist at all, who is trying to search for something which he has never lost in the first place. The enlightened person is one who has looked into his being before searching for anything anywhere else. It is better to look in your own house. He has looked in and has found it there. Now his search has disappeared.
The person who is interested in alcohol must be living in misery, in a kind of suffering. That’s why he wants to somehow forget it all. Alcohol is nothing but a chemical strategy to forget your miseries, anxieties, your problems, to forget yourself.
My whole effort is to help you to remember yourself – and you want to forget yourself. By forgetting yourself you will be creating more and more hell for yourself and for others. Remember: rather, remember yourself.
My methods are different from George Gurdjieff’s. I am not in favor of alcoholic beverages. I am not in favor of psychedelic drugs either, because they create illusory worlds for you and they are distractions. They make you more and more oblivious of your own being, unaware of your own self.
My work is based in awareness. The word awareness is the golden key here, the master key. You have to learn to be more aware. Howsoever painful it is in the beginning, be more aware, because it is by becoming more aware that one day you will become part of the celebration of the whole.
Aes dhammo sanantano – this is the eternal inexhaustible law.
Enough for today.

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