The Goose is Out 02

Second Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Goose is Out by Osho.
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The first question:
I feel that we need to hurry, that there is not much time left. The cocoon of slumber I am existing in seems to suffocate me, and I am afraid I will never make it.
You say the goose is out already. Why does it feel so impossible to grasp?
It is difficult to grasp because the goose is out; if it were in there would be no difficulty in grasping it. The bottle is dead, you can grasp it. The bottle is like a philosophy, theology, dogma, creed, cult, doctrine – just a corpse. The goose is alive, it is life itself; you cannot grasp it. It is not conceptual, it is existential. Who is going to grasp whom?
You are the goose! The mind is your bottle, and the mind is not something that can be broken. It is not material; it is just a thought, an imagination, the same stuff as dreams are made of. You cannot destroy a dream, you cannot kill a dream, you cannot cut a dream with a sword, you cannot burn it with fire. You just have to be awake, and the dream disappears. In fact, to say that the dream disappears is not right, because it was not there in the first place; it only appeared to be there.
That is the meaning of the Eastern word maya: illusion, a mirage – it appears but it exists not. You can see the horizon far away – it appears; it appears real. It seems that the earth is meeting the sky there; just a little effort and you will reach it. It seems within your capacity to reach it, but you can never reach it for the simple reason that it is only a mirage, it is not a reality. The earth and the sky never meet, there is no meeting place. So the closer you come to the so-called horizon, the more the horizon goes on and on disappearing ahead of you. The distance between you and the horizon always remains constant.
Albert Einstein says that the only thing constant in existence is the speed of light. I am not a physicist, I don’t know whether he is right or wrong, but I know one thing which is absolutely constant and that is the distance between you and the horizon. That is absolutely constant – not a single inch less can it be, not a single inch more can it be. The difference, the distance, between the real and the unreal cannot be reduced.
The mind is unreal, hence it is not really a question of coming out of it; it is only a question of seeing.
Hence, the crazy master Nansen said, “See, the goose is out!” He was not making a logical statement – he was not saying, “See, therefore the goose is out.” He was not even saying what Christmas Humphreys implies. Christmas Humphreys says, “There, the goose is out!” It cannot be said by Nansen. Nansen is not referring to there and here, he is not even referring to then and now. He is simply saying, “See, the goose is out! It has never been in, it cannot be in.”
Your consciousness is always free, it is freedom itself. The problem is arising, because you want to grasp it. This is mind trying to grasp something which is beyond its capacities. The illusory cannot grasp the real and the real cannot grasp the illusory, remember. The illusory cannot grasp because it is not; the real cannot grasp the illusory because how can you grasp the illusory? It is not there at all.
Hence Gautama the Buddha says, “The moment you are absolutely empty and aware, all is found.” It is only a question of shaking you up. It is a nightmare; the goose in the bottle is a nightmare. And sometimes it can happen in a very strange situation. It happened in many strange situations in the past.
In Joseph Grimaldi’s memoirs, as edited by Charles Dickens, there is the following story:

“In the July of this year a very extraordinary circumstance occurred at Sadler’s Wells, which was the great topic of conversation in the neighborhood for some time afterward. It happened thus:
“Captain George Harris, of the Royal Navy, had recently returned to England after a long voyage. The crew had been paid off; many of them followed their commander to London and proceeded to enjoy themselves after the usual fashion of sailors. Sadler’s Wells was at that time a famous place of resort with the blue jackets, the gallery being sometimes almost solely occupied by seamen and their female companions. A large body of Captain Harris’ men resorted hither one night. Among them was a man who was deaf and dumb, and had been so for many years.
“This man was placed by his shipmates in the front row of the gallery. Grimaldi was in great form that night; although the audience was in one roar of laughter, nobody appeared to enjoy his fun and humor more than this poor fellow. His companions good-naturedly took a great deal of notice of him and one of them, who talked very well with his fingers, inquired how he liked the entertainments; to which the deaf-and-dumb man replied through the same medium, and with various gestures of great delight, that he had never seen anything half so comical before.
“As the scene progressed, Grimaldi’s tricks and jokes became still more irresistible; and at length, after a violent peal of laughter and applause which quite shook the theater and in which the dumb man joined most heartily, he suddenly turned to his mate, who sat next to him, and cried out with much glee, ‘What a damned funny fellow!’ ‘Why, Jack,’ shouted the other man, starting back with great surprise, ‘can you speak?’ ‘Speak!’ replied the other, ‘Ay, that I can, and hear, too.’
“Upon this the whole party, of course, gave three vehement cheers, and at the conclusion of the piece adjourned in a great procession with the recovered man, elevated on the shoulders of a half-dozen friends, in the center. A crowd of people quickly assembled round the door, and great excitement and curiosity were occasioned as the information ran from mouth to mouth that a deaf-and-dumb man had come to speak and hear, all owing to the cleverness of Joey Grimaldi.
“The landlady of the tavern, thinking Grimaldi would like to see his patient, told the man that if he would call next morning he would see the actor who had made him laugh so much. Grimaldi, being apprised of the circumstances, repaired to the house at the appointed time, and saw him, accompanied by several of his companions, all of whom still continued to manifest the liveliest interest in the sudden change that had happened to their friend, and kept on cheering and drinking and treating everybody in the house, in proof of their gratification.
“The man, who appeared an intelligent well-behaved fellow, said that in the early part of his life he could both speak and hear very well; and that he had attributed his deprivation of the two senses to the intense heat of the sun in the quarter of the world to which he had been and from which he had very recently returned. He added that on the previous evening he had for a long time felt a powerful anxiety to express his delight at what was passing on the stage; and that after some feat of Grimaldi’s which struck him as being particularly amusing he had made a strong effort to deliver his thoughts, in which to his own astonishment, no less than that of his companions, he succeeded.
“Mr. Charles Dibdin, who was present, put several questions to the man; and from his answers it appeared to everyone present that he was speaking the truth. Indeed, his story was in some measure confirmed by Captain Harris himself; for one evening, about six months afterward, as Grimaldi was narrating the circumstances in the Green Room at Covent Garden, that gentleman, who chanced to be present, immediately remarked that he had no reason from the man’s behavior while with him to suppose him an impostor, and that he had seen him on that day in full possession of his senses.”

What actually happened? It was a laughter which shook him from his very roots. For a moment he forgot that he was in the bottle, for a moment he was outside the bottle, for a moment those forty years of deafness and dumbness disappeared. It is a simple forgetting.
That’s what happens in the presence of a master. Sometimes it can happen without the master – Grimaldi was not Nansen. Grimaldi himself was surprised, he could not believe his eyes; he was not trying to wake the man up.
It has happened in the past in many strange situations, unexpectedly. In fact, it has happened more unexpectedly than it has ever happened with expectation, because expectation belongs to the mind, and when you are not expecting anything you are more relaxed, you are more calm, at ease. The goose can slip out of the nonexistential bottle more easily if it is relaxed. If it is tense and trying to get out of it, that very tension will keep it in.
That’s what is happening to you. You say: “Why does it feel so impossible to grasp?”
It is impossible to grasp! If you are trying to grasp it, it is impossible; if you drop grasping, it is immediately possible, instantly possible – not even a single moment is lost.

The story is told that sometime in the last century a prominent European physician was examining an elderly man. After checking him over thoroughly and listening to his many vague complaints, the physician could find nothing physically wrong which would account for this patient’s symptoms. We might imagine that it occurred to the doctor, just as it might to one of his latter-day colleagues, that his patient’s physical complaints were in all probability serving as a mask for deep-seated emotional stress and depression.
Suddenly, an inspired idea came to him. He said to the old man that Joseph Grimaldi, perhaps the greatest clown of all times, was in town for a performance that very evening, and he told the whole story which I have just told you. The physician shrugged his shoulders about his inability to arrive at a diagnosis and suggested to the patient, “Why don’t you go to see Grimaldi tonight?”
A distressed and disappointed expression suddenly played across the old man’s face, and he exclaimed, “Oh, but you don’t understand. I am Grimaldi!”

It has happened that in the company of a pseudo master somebody becomes enlightened; in a situation where no master was present, a natural accident took place, and somebody has become enlightened.
Lao Tzu became enlightened through seeing a dead leaf falling from a tree. He was sitting under a tree meditating for years, and nothing was happening – and he had been to great masters. Something was missing. He was trying too hard to grasp the truth; that very effort was the barrier. That early spring morning, the birds singing, the trees swaying, the sun shining, the fragrance of the flowers… He forgot all about enlightenment.
Once in a while it is very good to forget all about enlightenment; otherwise it can drive you nuts – more than anything else! Money will not drive you as crazy, nor will politics, because they are all graspable. If you try hard you can get as much money as you want; just a little effort, a little cunningness, a little calculation – something Jewish in your blood – and you can manage. Something of the insane in you, and you can become a politician.

When Adolf Hitler started, nobody ever thought that he would become one of the greatest historical figures of the twentieth century. Two friends, a great psychologist and a great theologian, heard him speak for the first time, and both agreed that this insane man would never be able to make his name in any possible way. Both agreed on it: one was an expert in psychological matters; the other was an expert in theological matters. It was a great agreement between a psychologist and a spiritualist.
The man who was a theologian finally became the Pope. By that time Adolf Hitler had become the most powerful man in the world. The Pope’s old psychologist friend came to see him and he reminded him, “What do you say about it now? We both agreed that this man would never make his name in the world of politics; he was simply insane. Who was going to be impressed by him in a country like Germany which can brag about its intelligence and brag sincerely, truthfully? It is one of the most intelligent countries in the world. Who was going to be befooled by this maniac? We agreed, but what do you say now? He has made his mark; his name is going to remain part of history forever.”
The Pope looked at the psychologist and said, “Yes, I made that comment, but at that time I was not infallible!”

Neurotics, nuts, cuckoos, they can make their name, they can be great politicians, they can be the wealthiest people in the world, they can become very famous. All that is needed is a crazy urge to be on top – it is graspable.
Enlightenment is ungraspable, so the more you try to grasp it, the less it is possible. You cannot hold enlightenment in your fist – the tighter the fist, the less is the possibility. But you can hold enlightenment in your open hands; that is the only way to hold it. In your open hands you can hold the whole sky, all the stars, the whole existence, but in your closed fist there is nothing. The more closed it is, the more tight it is, the less is the possibility of anything being there. Enlightenment has to be achieved with open hands, by a relaxed, calm, quiet resting in your being.
It happened to Lao Tzu that way. For years he was trying to grasp and grasp, and nothing was happening. That morning he simply forgot all about it. It was so beautiful, so sunny, there was so much delight all around, who cared about enlightenment? For a moment that ambition was put aside. And just by coincidence a dead leaf, which must have been hanging off the tree, started falling.
Lao Tzu saw it falling from above, slowly, slowly. He watched it, he became just a watcher; there was nothing to do. He observed it: he remained aware of the swaying, and the leaf falling in the subtle breeze of the morning. As it settled on the ground something settled in Lao Tzu too. Suddenly the feeling of “Eureka!” Suddenly a great outburst of joy: “Aha!” He danced…the goose was out!
When the goose is out, what else can you do except dance, sing, laugh – laugh at the whole absurdity of it all, that you were never in, though you had believed that you were in? Your belief was the only imprisonment.
You ask me: “I feel that we need to hurry…”
What is the hurry? All of eternity is yours! You have always been here, you are here, you will always be here. Nothing is ever lost. Now it is a confirmed scientific truth that nothing is ever destroyed. If matter is not destroyed, why should consciousness be destroyed? Matter belongs to a very gross plane of existence. If the gross plane is so valued by existence, do you think the higher manifestation is not valued by existence? The higher plane is more valued! If matter persists and is impossible to destroy, consciousness cannot be destroyed either. It is the highest expression of life; there is nothing higher. It is the very Everest of life, the peak beyond which there is nothing. All of existence is moving toward that peak. There is no hurry.
The whole idea of hurry is a creation of the mind. Let me say it in this way: mind and time are synonymous; the moment your mind stops, time also stops. The more you are in your mind, the more you are in time; the less you are in your mind, the more you are out of time.
There is a famous statement of Jesus Christ – of course, this is not related in the Bible. The Bible has missed many beautiful statements of Jesus, but truth has its own way of persisting. It has been carried by the Sufi mystics down through the ages.
The statement is: somebody asked Jesus, “You talk again and again about the Kingdom of God. What will be the most special thing about the Kingdom of God? What will be the most unique phenomenon in this Kingdom of God that you talk about?”
Jesus said – it is a very simple statement but very pregnant; he said, “There shall be time no longer.” Strange, unexpected. One would have expected something else from Jesus: God the Father will be there; the Holy Ghost will be there; all the saints will be there, and angels will be playing “alleluia” on their harps – something like that. And what he said was totally different. He said, “There shall be time no longer” – and he was right.
Eternity means timelessness. But the Judaic tradition out of which three religions were born – the Jewish religion, the Christian religion and the Mohammedan religion –all contain the idea of one life. That idea of one life creates hurry, worry, a constant rush to reach, not knowing exactly where you want to reach to, or what to reach for, or what you will do even if you do reach the goal. A craziness has been created because time is short, and it is slipping out of your hands, and soon death will knock on the doors, and you are still unfulfilled – nothing special has happened yet.
Hence, as days pass your anguish becomes deeper and deeper; your anxiety becomes greater and greater. Your life becomes a burden; you start dragging yourself. You are constantly trembling and afraid that you are not going to make it.
That’s what is in this question. It reads: “The cocoon of slumber I am existing in seems to suffocate me, and I am afraid I will never make it.”
There is nothing to make! All that is needed has happened; it is there from the very beginning. You have to enjoy it, not make it. You have to rejoice in it, not make it. The idea of a small span of life, say seventy years, gives rise to a great trembling, because one-third of it will be lost in sleep, another third will be lost in education, schools, colleges, universities and all kinds of nonsense. The remaining third will be wasted in earning bread and butter, quarreling with the wife, taking care of the children, nagging the husband, fighting with the neighbors, competing for this and that.
In fact, if you sit down quietly one day and write down how your life has been spent up to now, you will be shocked! What have you been doing? Even small things take much of your time – shaving your beard and mustache every day… Look at women standing before the mirror for hours – even the mirrors get tired! How much time are you wasting reading the same stupid newspapers every day? It is the same story –nothing new ever happens. There is no news, it is all old – the same rape that has been happening for thousands of years…
Just the other day Sheela brought me a cutting from an English newspaper. A bishop – and who else? – had been sentenced to twelve years’ jail time for raping many women. That was his only work; he was doing it religiously. But this is not an exception; the poor bishop’s only fault was that he was caught; otherwise all bishops are bound to do it. They are ordained to do it, disciplined to do it! Their whole lives are structured such that they have to be phony, pseudo, double. He was living a double life, and all the rapes that he committed were committed after his beautiful, spiritual sermons. First he would sermonize about the great things of life – and celibacy must have been one of those great things – and then, because of his beautiful sermons, his learned scholarship and his mask of a religious holy man, he was able to seduce all kinds of women. And they were innocent girls, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen years old. He had been doing it for years, but when you do it behind a religious screen it is easier.
It was a long report, a full-page story: I told Sheela, “Keep it, because this is an old thing; it has always been happening. This is what the rishis, the munis, the bishops, the saints have always been doing. This man is unfortunate.”
One of my teachers, a very beautiful old man, used to say before every examination in school… He used to be the superintendent of the examinations. I loved that old man, his honesty, his truthfulness. He would come and tell all the students, “I am not against it if you are copying from others, or if you have brought books with you, or if you have brought notes with you – that has nothing to do with me. My whole concern is that you should not be caught. If you are caught then you will be in difficulty, so make sure… If you are certain you will not be caught there will be no problem with me, but if you are caught then I cannot save you.”
So he would say, “I will give you five minutes. Close your eyes and ponder over the situation, and those who have brought books, notes, etcetera, to cheat with can give them to me – no notice will be taken. But once you decide to cheat then don’t get caught. Then be clever enough; then be intelligent enough… And remember one thing: that if you are intelligent enough you need not have those notes! So let me warn you that having those notes simply proves you are not intelligent enough, and you will be caught!”
Immediately people would start bringing their copies, their notes, and he would gather them from almost everybody!
I loved that old man, he was sincere. He was saying that the question is not that you are cheating, the question is that you should not be caught.
What you read in the newspapers is that some people have been caught. Everybody is doing the same – with very few differences. The quantity may be different but the quality is the same. Murders are being done, rapes are being done, wars continue, all kinds of stupid things go on and on for centuries, and you are reading all these things and wasting your time, seeing a movie, seeing a TV show or listening to the same old scriptures. You have heard them thousands of times, you know the whole story, but still you go on keeping yourself occupied.
If in a seventy-year life you can find even seven minutes which were just yours – unoccupied, undistracted, relaxed, resting in your own being – that will be enough. But those seven minutes are missing, hence the hurry. Life is short and it is running by, and there is no other life. Death will come and you will die utterly empty, unfulfilled. This hurry is not going to help, this hurry simply makes things more difficult. It keeps you running, certainly, it keeps you chasing shadows, but while you are chasing shadows you are again wasting your time.
So, you say: “I feel that we need to hurry…”
If you are here with me forget all about hurrying, forget all about time. Jesus says: “There shall be time no longer in my Kingdom of God.” I say to you: drop time, and this very moment, here and now, you are in the Kingdom of God. Why wait for the Kingdom of God? I would like to reverse Jesus’s statement. He says: “Enter the Kingdom of God, because there shall be time no longer”. This is not right; it is putting the horse behind the cart. How will you enter the Kingdom of God? Where will you enter the Kingdom of God from? The very idea that there will no longer be any time in the Kingdom of God will put you in a deep hurry: “How to reach it quickly? How to enter the Kingdom of God so that there will be no time, no problem, no anxiety, and one will live in the eternal now?” But that “now” becomes a “then.” Now becomes a goal.
If you see the point, I say drop time, and in that very dropping the goose is out – because time is mind. Drop time and you are in the Kingdom of God. Not only are you in the Kingdom of God, but you have always been in it – time was creating a nightmare around you, your mind was there fabricating all kinds of dreams. You were surrounded by a mist of your own creation.
You say: “The cocoon of slumber I am existing in seems to suffocate me, and I am afraid I will never make it.”
I am also afraid! If you try to make it, you will never make it. Drop the whole idea of making it, forget all about it. Rejoice in the moment! Can’t you listen to the distant call of the cuckoo, can’t you listen to the crows, can’t you listen to the birds? They are now and here. No hurry, no yesterdays, no tomorrows.
Jesus says to his disciples, “Look at the beautiful lilies in the field. They are far more beautiful; they have far more grandeur than even King Solomon had, attired in all his glory.” What is the secret of those poor lilies? The secret, Jesus says, is that they think not of the morrow, they live now. Life is now, so there is no need to make it. It is already here! You are in it!
Kabir says; “You are like a fish which is thirsty in the ocean.” You are born in it, you are part of it, you live in it, you are a manifestation of it and you will disappear into it. You are just like a wave in the ocean. But the fish is thirsty in the ocean because she is contemplating some other ocean, some other life, some other time, some other space, some Kingdom of God.
Drop all that rubbish! There is no other Kingdom of God than this moment. The trees are already in it, the mountains are already in it, the stars are already in it – only man has fallen away, only man has gone astray. The reason why man has gone astray is his effort to grasp it, to understand it, to make a conceptual system in which he can logically put everything. Existence is paradoxical. If you try to make it logical you are never going to make it, you are never going to grasp it.
You say: “Osho, you say the goose is out already. Why does it feel so impossible to grasp?”
Because it is already out! Just see the point; don’t think about it. A moment’s thought and you have gone far away. Don’t brood about it, just see it. It is not a question of thinking about and about, going in circles, it is not a question of great intellectuality, of philosophical acumen, of logical efficiency. It is not a question of a trained mind, it is a question of an innocent heart.
Just see it! Wipe your eyes of all the tears, wipe your eyes of all the dust that has accumulated on them, and just look at existence. A leaf falling from the tree may become your enlightenment.
Buddha became enlightened seeing the last star in the morning disappearing. As the star disappeared, Buddha became enlightened.
Enlightenment is not something that has to be achieved, it is something that is your very nature. So don’t try to chase your own tail. You must have seen dogs doing it… Dogs are very philosophical, Aristotelian; they suffer from aristotolitis! You can see them in the winter morning enjoying the sun, but they cannot fully enjoy it because of the tail. The tail is always there; they would like to catch hold of it. They jump, and the tail jumps away, they jump harder – a logical conclusion: you have not jumped hard enough, you have to make a greater effort. The greater the effort they make, the faster the tail jumps – and they start going crazy. It is the dog’s own tail; there is no need to chase it.
Existence, enlightenment, truth, they all belong to you; there is no need to grasp, to achieve in the first place. And then it is achieved, and then it is grasped.

The second question:
I am a radical revolutionary politician. Have you something to say to me?
You have already gone too far, you will not listen. Just to be a politician is enough, but you are a revolutionary radical politician – cancer doubled, trebled! Is not politics enough? Do you also have to be radical, revolutionary? We always find beautiful words to hide ugly realities.
No politician can be revolutionary, because the only revolution is spiritual. No politician can be radical either; the very word radical means concerning the roots. The politician only prunes the leaves; he has nothing to do with the roots. Only enlightenment takes you to the roots, only meditation takes you to the roots of the problems.
Politics has always existed, politicians have always existed, but what has happened? The world remains the same sorry-go-round! In fact, misery goes on becoming multiplied every day. All these revolutionaries and radical politicians have only proved to be mischievous – with good intentions, of course. But intentions don’t count at all; what counts is consciousness.
The politician has no consciousness; in fact, he is trying to avoid his own inner problems, he is trying to escape from his own problems. The easiest way to escape from oneself is to become concerned about world problems, economics, politics, history, service to the poor, transformation of the conditions of society, reformation. All these are strategies for escaping from one’s own problems, subtle strategies – dangerous, because one feels that one is doing something great, while one is simply being a coward.
First face your own problems, encounter them. First try to transform your being. Only a transformed person can trigger processes of transformation in others.
You ask me: “Have you something to say to me?”
Remember two things. First, the three rules of ruination. There are three ways to be ruined in this world: first is by sex, second is by gambling, and the third is by politics. Sex is the most fun; gambling is the most exciting; and politics is the surest.
The second rule, remember the fundamental law of all revolutions: when the revolution comes, things will be different – not better, just different.
Politicians have been driving the whole world for centuries – where to, to what end? Is it not time that we see the stupidity of the whole game? At least we are aware, fully aware, of five thousand years of politics; before that the case must have been the same. But in five thousand years of political games what has happened? Man remains in the same darkness, in the same misery, in the same hell. Yes, politics goes on giving man hope, a hope for a better tomorrow which never comes. Tomorrows never come.
It is the opiate of the people. Karl Marx says religion is the opiate of the people. It is true, it is true ninety-nine point nine percent; only point one percent it is not true. A Buddha, a Jesus, a Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra, these few people can be counted in that point one percent. Otherwise Karl Marx is ninety-nine point nine percent accurate; religion has proved the opiate of the people. It has kept people in a drugged state, in such a sleep that they can tolerate an intolerable existence – they can tolerate all kinds of slavery, starvation – in the hope of a better tomorrow. Religions used to provide a better tomorrow in the other world, after death.
People come to me and ask, “What will happen after death?” I don’t answer them; I ask them another question instead. I ask them, “Forget all about after death, let me ask you one thing: “What is happening before death?” Because whatsoever is happening before death will continue to happen after death. It is a continuum: your consciousness will be the same – before or after will not make any difference. The body may not be the same, the container may change, but the content will remain the same. Whatsoever happens is happening to the content, not to the container.
Think about the goose, don’t be bothered about the bottle. You may have a different bottle, better produced, of better material, more sophisticated, a crystal bottle, a diamond bottle, but that does not make any difference. What makes the difference is your consciousness – the goose.
First, religion was giving opiate to the people tomorrow, after death. Millions of people remained in that state of druggedness, under that chloroform – religious chloroform. Now politics is doing the same. Even communism has proved nothing but a new opiate for the masses – communism is a new kind of religion. The strategy is the same: “Tomorrow will come the revolution, and everything will be all right.” You have to sacrifice your today for tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes.
Sixty years have passed since the Russian revolution, and tomorrow is still as far away as before. Thirty years have passed since the Indian revolution, the Gandhian revolution, and tomorrow remains as far away, in fact, farther away than before. The people who sacrificed sacrificed in vain; it would have been better if they had lived. The people who were killed were really committing suicide, hoping that they were doing a great service to humanity.
Don’t create more madness in the world; it is already full of madness.

A colleague of mine once worked in a mental hospital. While making the rounds he would test the patient by asking, “Why are you here?” The response usually revealed the patient’s degree of reality orientation.
One morning the psychologist received a response that rocked him. “I am here,” replied the patient, “for the same reason you are, doctor: I couldn’t make a go of it in the outside world.”

The patients and the doctors, the people and the politicians are all in the same boat. They are all Ayatollah Khomaniacs! All kinds of maniacs are loose in the world. If you drop out of your radical revolutionary politics there will be at least one Khomaniac less, and that will be a great blessing.

The third question:
I have heard you say that knowledge is useless. Then what is needed to guide us to the ultimate goal?
There is one good thing about your question that I appreciate: you say, “I have heard you say.” All the Buddhist scriptures begin in that way; that is a very sincere thing. The Christian, the Judaic, the Hindu, the Mohammedan scriptures don’t begin that way, but all Buddhist scriptures begin, “I have heard the master say” – because it is not a question whether the master has said it or not, “I have heard it”; these are two different things. The master may have said one thing; you may have heard something totally different, because between you and the master there is a great barrier – the barrier of the mind – prejudices, concepts, preconceived ideas. So what you hear is not necessarily the thing that is said.
This is good that you say, “I have heard you say.” You are not saying that I have said it. You are saying, “I have heard…” It may be right, it may not be right; I may have said it, I may not have said it.
This has to be remembered by all of my sannyasins: whenever you are quoting me, remember, it is what you have heard. There is a possibility it may have been said, there is a possibility it may not have been said at all; something else may have been said.
And that’s actually what has happened.
You say: “I have heard you say that knowledge is useless.”
No, I have not said that. Knowledge is very useful – wisdom is useless! Knowledge is needed in the marketplace, in business, in politics. Everywhere knowledge is needed – in technology, in science – everywhere knowledge is needed. Knowledge is very useful, utilitarian. Wisdom is absolutely useless, but that’s its beauty. It is not a commodity, you cannot use it in any way; you cannot sell it, you cannot purchase it. It does not belong to the utilitarian world; it is a flowering.
What use is a rose flower? What use is the song of a bird? What use is it? If you look around in existence – the stars, the clouds, the mountains, the rivers – what is the use of it all? It is all useless. Why are butterflies so beautiful? Why does God take so much care in painting their wings? What is the point of it all?
Remember, the outside world is the world of utility; the inside world is the world of significance, not of utility. The outside world has a totally different dimension – it is needed. You need bread, you need butter, you need a house, you need medicine, you need clothes, shelter; you need thousands of things. But the inner world is simply one of luxury; it is not a need, it is a joy. It is sheer rejoicing.
If somebody asks you, “What is the use of love?” the question is unanswerable, by the very use of the word use. Love is not a commodity, the world can go on without love – it is already going on without it. Everything is going perfectly well; in fact, it is only when love happens that some disturbance happens. Hence, all societies are against love.
The world will go on perfectly well without musicians. Who needs musicians? They will not be able to drive a train, to pilot an airplane; they are not reliable people.
I used to travel in India. One of my friends who died just a few months ago was a lover of traveling. I used to go on the fastest trains possible, because I had to cover the whole country. He loved to travel by passenger trains which stopped at every station, every small station. The journey that could have been completed within ten hours would take four days, five days, sometimes seven days. Whenever he was with me he would insist.
One time I agreed and it was really a joy, because he knew every place where the tea was the best, where the milk was the purest, where you could get a good sweet, where you could get good apples, mangoes. In those five days of traveling with him I forgot all about where we were going – there was no need to go anywhere! And everybody knew him – the porters, the stationmasters, the drivers – because he was always traveling on these slow trains. At each station the train would stop for one hour, half an hour, two hours.
One small station was a really beautiful place. The whole station was surrounded by a big mango grove, hundreds of mango trees. He took me out of the station and he started climbing a tree. I said, “What are you doing?” He said, “The mangoes are ripe!” And I said, “If the train leaves we will be in difficulty!” He said, “Don’t be worried. Come along with me.” I went with him. I was constantly telling him, “It is time now, the train will leave.” He said, “Don’t be worried. Do you see the man above us?” There was one man up in the tree. He said, “He is the driver. Unless he gets down, the train cannot move!”
I enjoyed that moment!
Life can be lived either with utility as your very style or it can be lived as a playfulness. Music, love, flowers, stars, poetry, painting, dancing, all belongs to the inner world. I am not against knowledge; when you are doing something in the world use your knowledge. There, to use wisdom is foolish; there, sitting in a car and meditating is dangerous. There, you should use all of your efficiency, all of your knowledge, all of your know-how, but you should not be confined by it. You should not become obsessed with it; you should be able to go inside. When the work is over you should be able to close the doors to the outside world and return to the inner. Then dance, sing, meditate, love, live. One should be flexible, liquid.
This misunderstanding is possible with me, but you can see my approach if you don’t bring your mind in. I am not telling you to renounce the world for the simple reason that you can always use your knowledge. Sitting in a cave in the Himalayas you will not be able to use your knowledge. The outside world is as beautiful as the inside world: if we can have both, why choose one?
My whole message is that you can eat the cake and have it too, so why go for half? Knowledge is useful in the outside world, in the inside world it is a hindrance. The same is true about the inner wisdom: it is of immense joy inside, but don’t try to use it outside.
Both things have been done. The West has lived through knowledge only; hence it has lost the inner dimension. It has lost the inner flowering, and it has lost contact with its own being. The East has done the reverse: thinking that knowledge is useless, it has become unscientific, non-utilitarian, so its outside world has become shrunken. It is poor, ugly, unscientific.
The West has lost contact with its own soul, and the East has lost contact with its own body. Man is a dance of these two complements; these two are partners in the dance. These two are like two wings: you cannot fly into the sky with only one wing. With one wing, you will fall. The West has fallen, the East has fallen; both have proved to be utter failures.
We need a new kind of human being who has both wings: the wing of knowledge – science, technology; and the wing of meditation – enlightenment, love, and freedom. When both wings are functioning in a deep synchronicity, in a deep togetherness, in accord and harmony, only then is man complete, total.
Knowledge is not needed for the inner world. About the inner world, you ask: “Then what is needed to guide us to the ultimate goal?”
There is no ultimate goal – let it be clear from the very beginning. There is no goal as such; hence there is no question of there being an ultimate goal. All that is, is immediate – let me repeat, immediate. There is nothing ultimate anywhere; immediacy itself is the ultimate. There is no goal; the pilgrimage itself is the goal. Each step is the goal, each moment is the goal.
For that, knowledge is not needed because knowledge is a guide for goals, for achievements. For that goal-less, immediate life, innocence is needed, not knowledge. Innocence, like a child – what Dionysus calls a “luminous ignorance” –that is exactly what is needed; a luminous ignorance, an enlightened state of not-knowing.
You always think in terms of enlightenment, as if it were the ultimate in knowing. You are wrong. Enlightenment is the ultimate state of not-knowing; it is luminous ignorance, it is child-like. The sage again becomes a child. He starts collecting on the beach – colored stones, pebbles, seashells. He starts collecting wildflowers for no reason at all, just for the sheer joy of it.

The Sunday school teacher asked her class of youngsters if they could name any of the Ten Commandments, and the kindergarten-aged boy stood up and announced proudly, “Thou shalt not omit adultery!”

This is luminous ignorance, so innocent: “Thou shalt not omit adultery!”

The pretty young schoolteacher was concerned about one of her eleven-year-old students. Taking him aside after class one day, she asked, “Victor, why has your schoolwork been so poor lately?”
“I can’t concentrate,” replied the lad. “I’m afraid I have fallen in love.”
“Is that so?” said the teacher, holding back an urge to smile. “And with whom?”
“With you,” he answered.
“But Victor,” exclaimed the secretly pleased young lady, “don’t you see how silly that is? It’s true that I would like a husband of my own someday, but I don’t want a child.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” said Victor reassuringly, “I’ll be careful!”

A stern father was taking his little son Johnny for a walk in the park when suddenly a honeybee settled on a rock in front of them. Just for spite, the boy smashed it with a rock, whereupon his father said, “That was cruel, and for being cruel you’ll get no honey for a whole year.”
Later, Johnny deliberately stepped on a butterfly. “And for that, young man,” said the father, “you will get no butter for a year.” When they returned home, Johnny’s mother was busy fixing dinner. Just as they entered the kitchen, she spied a cockroach and immediately crushed it. The little boy looked at his father impishly and said, “Shall I tell her, dad, or will you?”

The grade school principal dropped into the new third-grade teacher’s room to see how she was adjusting to her first day of school. “There is one problem,” she said. “That little boy in the first row belongs in the second grade but insists on remaining here, and he is so smart I hate to send him back.”
“He can’t be that smart,” said the principal. “Ask him something.”
The teacher called the boy forward and inquired, “What does a dog do on three legs that a man does on two legs that I do sitting down?”
“Shake hands,” said the boy.
“What has a cow got four of that I have only two of?” she went on.
“Legs,” the boy replied.
“What is a four-letter word meaning intercourse?” she continued.
“Talk,” he answered.
The teacher turned to the principal. “Well, what should I do?”
He drew her aside and whispered, “Better promote him to the fourth grade. I missed all three questions!”

The fourth question:
Will you say something serious so that I can also understand?
This is really a difficult question! I don’t know what seriousness is. I can try, but I don’t think I will succeed. I have never been serious – the more serious I look, the less I am! But let us try a few things for you. Who knows? You may get something serious out of it. People get all kinds of things which I have not said, which I have not meant, which I have not even dreamed of. And you may even understand something!

In the old days it was the custom in the old Jewish villages that the night after someone got married the rabbi would come and inspect the bedsheets to see that the bride had been a virgin.
The young bride knew this and also knew she would not pass the test. So she got up in the middle of the night and put some spots of ink on the bedsheet, but as it was dark she grabbed the wrong bottle and got green ink.
The next morning, the rabbi came as expected and did his inspection. Suddenly he shouted, “What a monster! He poked her through the gallbladder!”

No, it was not serious! Let us try again.

An old gentleman and an old lady have a conversation. They talk about the good old times and he asks her, “Excuse me, did you ever blush?”
“Oh yes,” she says, “four times. The first time when I undressed in front of my husband. The second time when I undressed in front of my lover. The third time when I took money for it. And the fourth time when I paid someone for it. And you?”
The man is silent for a moment and then says, “I blushed twice. The first time when I couldn’t do it the second time. And the second time when I couldn’t do it the first time.”

I missed again! I am not a good archer, because I don’t believe in targets and goals, so my arrows go everywhere except the target.
The last attempt:

It is the annual hunting season in heaven. But the Holy Ghost is reluctant to participate – every year up to now he has ended up with a shot in his bum.
God the Father finally convinces him to participate and promises to watch over him carefully. But toward the end it happens again: there is a shot and the Holy Ghost jumps around in agony, hands on his lower back.
In rage, God the Father runs into the bushes and pulls Joseph out. “Joseph!” he screams. “Will you never be able to forgive what he did with Mary?”

Enough for today.

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