The Guest 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - The Guest by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
What is fear made of? It is always there, round a corner, but when I turn to face it, it is only a shadow. If it is nonsubstantial, how does it manage to have such power over me?
Fear is as nonsubstantial as your shadow, but it is. The shadow also exists, nonsubstantial, negative, but not nonexistential. Sometimes the shadow can have a great impact on you. In a jungle when night is approaching you can be frightened of your own shadow; in a lonely place, on a lonely path, you can start running because of your own shadow. Your running will be real, your escaping will be real, but the cause will be nonsubstantial.
You can run away from a rope thinking it is a snake; if you come back and look closely, observe, you will laugh at the stupidity of it. You are afraid to go to places where fear exists. You are more afraid of fear than of anything else because the very existence of fear shakes your foundations. And this shaking of your foundations is very real, remember.
Fear is like a dream, a nightmare, and when you awake from a nightmare the aftereffects persist, the hangover persists: your breathing has changed, you are perspiring, your body is trembling, you are hot. You know that it was just a nightmare, a dream, nonsubstantial; but this knowing will take time to penetrate to the very core of your being. Meanwhile, the effects of the nonsubstantial dream will continue. Fear is a nightmare.
You ask me, “What is fear made of?” Fear is made of ignorance of one’s own self. There is only one fear – it manifests in many ways, there can be a thousand and one manifestations, but basically fear is one thing – and that is: “Deep inside, I may not be.” And in a way it is true that you are not.
God is, you are not. The guest is, the host is not. And because you are suspicious – and your suspicion is very valid – you don’t look in. You go on pretending that you are. You know that if you look in, you are not. This is a deep, tacit understanding. It is not intellectual, it is existential. It is in your very guts, the feeling that “I may not be.” It is better not to look in; to go on looking out. At least it keeps you befooled, it keeps intact the illusion that “I am.” But because this feeling of “I amness” is false, it creates fear; anything can destroy it, any deep encounter can shatter it. It can be shattered by love, it can be shattered by meeting a master, it can be shattered by a great disease, it can be shattered by seeing someone die. It can be shattered in many ways, it is very fragile. You are somehow managing it by not looking in.

Mulla Nasruddin was traveling on a train. The ticket collector came and asked for his ticket. Mulla Nasruddin looked in all his pockets, in all his suitcases, and couldn’t find the ticket. He was perspiring and becoming more and more frightened.
The ticket collector said, “Sir, you haven’t looked in one of your pockets. Why don’t you look in it?”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “Please don’t ask about that pocket. I am not going to look in it. That is my only hope! If I look in that pocket and it is not there, then it is not there, absolutely not. I cannot look in that pocket. Mind you, I will look everywhere else. That pocket is for my safety, I can still hope that it may be in that pocket. I have left it deliberately and I am not going to touch it. Whether I find the ticket or not, I am not going to look in that particular pocket.”

This is the situation with the ego too. You don’t look in, that is your only hope: “Who knows? Maybe it is.” But your tacit feeling says that if you look, it is not. This false ego which you have created by not looking in, by continuously looking out, is the root cause of fear.
You will be afraid of all those spaces in which you have to look. You will be afraid of beauty because beauty simply throws you in. A beautiful sunset, all those luminous colors in the clouds, and you will be afraid to look at it because such great beauty is bound to throw you in. Such great beauty stops thinking: for a moment the mind is in such awe it forgets how to think, how to go on spinning and weaving. The inner talk comes to a stop, a halt, and suddenly you are in.
People are afraid of great music, people are afraid of great poetry, people are afraid of deep intimacy. People’s love affairs are just hit-and-run affairs. They don’t go deep into each other’s being because the fear is there that the other’s pool of being will reflect them. Because, going deep into each other’s being, if they are not found in that pool, in that other being’s mirror, if the mirror remains empty, reflects nothing, then what?
People are afraid of love. They only pretend, they are only playing games in the name of love. They are afraid of meditation. Even in the name of meditation they are engaging in, at the most, new ways of thinking. That’s what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation is – it is neither meditation nor transcendental. It is simply chanting a mantra, and chanting a mantra is nothing but a process of thought, concentrated thought. It is again a new device, a device to not meditate. People are repeating Christian prayers, Mohammedan prayers, Hindu prayers – all ways to avoid meditation. Remember, these are not meditations; the mind is so cunning that in the name of meditation it has created many pseudo-phenomena.
Meditation is when you are not doing anything at all, when the mind is not functioning at all. That nonfunctioning of the mind is meditation – no chanting, no mantra, no image, no concentration. One simply is. In that isness the ego disappears, and with the ego the shadow of the ego disappears. That shadow is fear.
Fear is one of the most important problems. Every human being has to go through it and come to a certain understanding about it. The ego gives you the fear that one day you may die. You go on deceiving yourself that death happens only to others, and in a way you are right: some neighbor dies, some acquaintance dies, some friend dies, your wife dies, your mother dies – it always happens to somebody else, never to you. You can hide behind this fact: maybe you are an exception, maybe you are not going to die. The ego is trying to protect you. But each time somebody dies, something in you becomes shaky. Each death is a small death for you. Never send somebody to ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Each death is your death. Even when a dry leaf falls from the tree, it is your death.
Hence, we go on protecting ourselves. Somebody is dying and we talk about the immortality of the soul. The leaf is falling from the tree and we say “Nothing to be worried about. Soon the spring will come and the tree will have foliage again. This is only a change, only the garments are being changed.”
People believe in the immortality of the soul not because they know but because they are afraid. The more cowardly a person is, the more possible it is that he will believe in the immortality of the soul – not that he is religious, he is simply cowardly. Belief in the immortality of the soul has nothing to do with religion. The religious person knows “I am not,” and that whatsoever is left is immortal – but that has nothing to do with “me.” This “me” is not immortal, this “I” is not immortal. This “I” is very temporary – it is manufactured by us.
Fear is the shadow of “I,” and because somewhere deep down the “I” is always alert: “I will have to disappear in death,” the basic fear is of death. All other fears only reflect this basic one. And the beauty of it is that death is as nonexistential as the ego, and between these two nonexistentials – the ego and death – the bridge is fear.
Fear is very impotent, it has no power. You say, “If it is nonsubstantial, then how does it manage to have such power over me?” You want to believe in it – that’s its power. You are not ready to take a plunge into your inner depth and face your inner emptiness – that is its power. Otherwise it is impotent, utterly impotent. Nothing is ever born out of fear. Love gives birth, love is creative; fear is impotent…

Mr. and Mrs. Smith were brought before the bar of justice.
“I would like to divorce this character,” shouted the wife.
“I would like to get rid of this battle ax,” screamed the husband.
The judge asked, “How many children do you have?”
“Three,” said the wife.
“Why don’t you stay married one more year,” said the judge, “have another child, and then you will have four. Then you can take two each and both be satisfied.”
“Yeah,” said the husband, “but supposing we have twins?”
“Ha!” said the wife, “Look at my little twin-maker. If I depended on him, I wouldn’t have had these three!”

Fear is utterly impotent. It has never created anything. It cannot create; it is not. But it can destroy your whole life, it can surround you like a dark, dark cloud, it can exploit all your energies. It will not allow you to move into any deep experience of beauty, poetry, love, joy, celebration, meditation. No, it will keep you just on the surface because it can exist only on the surface. It is a ripple on the surface.
Go in, look in, and if it is empty, so what? Then that’s our nature, then that’s what we are. Why should one be worried about emptiness? Emptiness is as beautiful as the sky. Your inner being is nothing but the inner sky. The sky is empty, but it is the empty sky that holds all, the whole of existence, the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the planets. It is the empty sky that gives space to all that is. It is the empty sky that is the background of all that exists. Things come and go and the sky remains the same.
In exactly the same way, you have an inner sky; it is also empty. Clouds come and go, planets are born and disappear, stars arise and die; and the inner sky remains the same, untouched, untarnished, unscarred. We call that inner sky sakshin, the witness – and that is the whole goal of meditation.
Go in, enjoy the inner sky. Remember, whatsoever you can see, you are not it. If you can see thoughts, then you are not those thoughts; if you can see your feelings, then you are not your feelings; if you can see your dreams, desires, memories, imaginations, projections, then you are not them. Go on eliminating all that you can see. Then one day a tremendous moment arrives, the most significant moment of one’s life, when there is nothing left to be rejected. All the seen has disappeared and only the seer is there. That seer is the empty sky.
To know it is to be fearless, and to know it is to be full of love. To know it is to be godliness, to be immortal.

The second question:
What is love?
Tallis, love is the radiance, the fragrance of knowing oneself, of being oneself.
Tallis is very young, he is only nine, but he is far ahead for his age. His mental age must be almost double that, nearabout eighteen, hence the question.
Love is overflowing joy. Love is when you have seen who you are; then there is nothing left except to share your being with others. Love is when you have seen that you are not separate from existence. Love is when you have felt an organic, orgasmic unity with all that is.
Love is not a relationship, Tallis. Love is a state of being; it has nothing to do with anybody else. One is not in love, one is love. And of course when one is love, one is in love – but that is an outcome, a by-product, that is not the source. The source is that one is love.
And who can be love? Certainly, if you are not aware of who you are, you cannot be love. You will be fear. Fear is just the opposite of love. Remember, hate is not the opposite of love, as people think; hate is love standing upside down, it is not the opposite of love. The real opposite of love is fear. In love one expands, in fear one shrinks. In fear one becomes closed, in love one opens. In fear one doubts, in love one trusts. In fear one is left lonely, in love one disappears – hence there is no question of loneliness at all. When one is not, how can one be lonely? Then these trees and the birds and the clouds and the sun and the stars are all within you. Love is when you have known your inner sky.
And Tallis, this is the right moment, the right age, to enter the world of love. This is the time when parents, society, the state and the church are poisoning children and making them afraid. This is the time when fear is created by the exploiters. This is the time when society reduces small children to slaves; and one can be reduced to a slave only if great fear is created.
But if the society is sane, and not dominated by stupid politicians and priests, if the society is not pathological, then this is also the time when it will help the children to become more and more loving, will help the children to know more about beauty, about music, about poetry, about dance, about meditation. This is the time when a child can simply take a plunge without any difficulties. Later on it will become more and more difficult because as the children get older, their fears also grow older and stronger. As they get older their egos becomes stronger. As they get older their capacity to learn decreases. As they get older they become more and more cowardly, afraid of the unknown.
Young children are free of fear; they are born without any fear. If society can help and support them to remain without fear, can help them to climb the trees and the mountains, swim the oceans and the rivers; if the society can help them in every possible way to become adventurers, adventurers of the unknown; and if society can create a great curiosity in them instead of giving them dead beliefs, then the children will turn into great lovers, lovers of life – and that is true religion. There is no higher religion than love.
Tallis, meditate, dance, sing, and go deeper and deeper into yourself. Listen to the birds more attentively; look at the flowers with awe, wonder. Don’t become knowledgeable, don’t go labeling things. That’s what knowledgeability is: the great art of labeling everything, categorizing everything. From this age, start playing guitar or learning to play the flute. Meet people, mix with people, as many people as possible because each person expresses a different facet of God. Learn from people. Don’t be afraid, this existence is not your enemy, this existence mothers you, this existence is ready to support you in every possible way.
Trust, and you will start feeling a new upsurge of energy in you; that energy is love, that energy wants to bless the whole of existence, because in that energy one feels blessed. And when you feel blessed what else can you do except bless the whole of existence? Love is a deep desire to bless the whole of existence.

The third question:
Why are so many people attracted toward you from all parts of the world?
I don’t know. I also am surprised; it should not be so. The government is against me, society is against me, all the religions are against me, and still people keep on coming. All kinds of barriers are created, but still people keep on coming.
Something mysterious is happening, something which cannot be explained. Something elusive is transpiring. That’s why those who come as observers or spectators or journalists cannot catch hold of it. So they collect rumors from people in the town who never come here, and they carry on reporting. All over the world almost, in nearly all the languages, there are rumors on rumors. This is very strange. Those people have not experienced what is happening here, they have not been participants, and yet they think they have understood.
There are things which can be understood only when you participate. You cannot know what love is if you see two lovers hugging each other. If you watch from the outside, scientifically, you will know that two persons are hugging. But where is love? What is love? The meeting of the bones and the meeting of the flesh is not love. Two people kissing – you cannot explain it through chemistry, that would destroy the whole truth of it; chemistry cannot explain it.
The people that come here, unless they are participants, deep down they are still outside. And when they are just coming as participants in order to report, then they are not participants at all; they are taking notes, invisible notes about what they are going to report. They are not drunk with the wine that is available here.
This is a place for drunkards. This is a place for people who are crazy for God, for godliness. This is a place of love. You can see people dancing and you will shrug your shoulders: “So what? How can dance be meditation?” – because you see only the gestures, you don’t see the dancer disappearing within. And you cannot see. When the dancer disappears and only the dance remains, it is meditation; if the dancer is there, it is only dance, not meditation. When the singer disappears and only the song remains, it is meditation. When the musician is not found and only music remains, then it is meditation. But how are you going to find out from the outside? It is impossible – you will have to become a participant. The only way to know what wine can do to you is to drink it.

Many years ago, in a rural district, a farmer was helping at his wife’s delivery by holding up a kerosene lamp. When the doctor had produced not one, but three fine babies, the farmer ran away.
“Come back with that lamp,” said the doctor. “I think there is another one.”
“I will not!” answered the farmer. “I think it is the light that is attracting them.”

So I don’t know what is happening. Maybe it is because of the light that people keep on coming from every corner of the world. And the lamp that I am holding is not such that I can hide it; I cannot even escape. It cannot be put out – it is something that is beyond me, it is something that surpasses me. I am as much surprised by it as you are, I am as much intrigued by it as you are; so I cannot give you an exact answer as to why people are attracted. You will have to feel it for yourself.
You also have come here. Now get deeper, deeper into me and into the space that is being created here. That is the only way to know; there is no other.

The fourth question:
Thank you. I still don't know what to drop, but thank you.
Kabir, this is beautiful; this is how it should be. In fact there is nothing to drop. Just the understanding that the ego is not something to be dropped, just the seeing that it is not, is the dropping. The seeing is the dropping; the understanding is the liberation.
Jesus says, “Truth liberates,” but I would like to tell you, truth liberates only when it is your own. Jesus’ truth cannot liberate you, my truth cannot liberate you – only your own truth can. Liberation cannot come from the outside, liberation has to arise within you.
And this is good, Kabir, that you say, “I still don’t know what to drop, but thank you,” because you have started seeing. And the moment you start seeing you will find there is not anything to drop. The deeper you go into the ego the more nonsubstantial you will find it. And once you have looked through and through, you will simply laugh at the whole thing; it is so ridiculous because the ego is not there. And for so long it has tortured you, and for so many lives it has been a hell for you, so many miseries it has created for you. The harm has been incalculable – by something which, in the first place, is not.
The ego is a misunderstanding: so when you understand, the misunderstanding disappears. It is as if you have been calculating and you have put two plus two is five, and the whole calculation goes wrong. Then suddenly you look, you find the error, you see where you went wrong – two plus two is not five, two plus two is four.
You need not drop anything, there is nothing to drop. Simply seeing the error, the error disappears. Ego is a misunderstanding.

Two young lovers were strolling along a garden path. The boy felt exceptionally romantic. “Some moon in the sky, eh, honey?” he remarked.
“Yes, dear,” she agreed, “some moon in the sky.”
He steered her toward a part of the path where roses were blooming. “Some roses out there, eh, honey?” he nudged.
“Yes, dear,” she admitted, “some roses out there.”
By this time the dew was already shining on the grass and in his exuberance, the boy could not help remark, “Some dew on the grass, eh, honey?”
“Yeah, some do on the grass,” she snapped. “But I don’t, so be on your way.”

The ego is a very simple misunderstanding, just a fault in calculation, just a linguistic fallacy – just as your name is only part of the utilitarian world. A name has to be given – it would be difficult to manage in ordinary life without a name – but you know perfectly well that a name is not reality. Still, if somebody insults you by insulting your name you will be offended, although when you came into the world you had no name. Your parents called you Rama so you became Rama; they called you Chris, you became Chris. They could have called you something else, but if somebody now says something against Rama or Chris you are offended, you go mad. You are ready to kill or be killed – for a name which is only a utility, not a reality.
This is the case with the “I”; it also is a utility. You have to call yourself something, otherwise things would become very difficult. If you all started using the third person, if you all started calling yourselves “he” or “she,” it would become very difficult; things would become more complicated, it wouldn’t help anybody. Even when people become enlightened they go on using the word I, but now it is only a word; they are using their names still, but they are only labels. That has to be understood.
You cannot insult Buddha by insulting his name because he knows he is not it. You cannot insult Buddha by insulting his personality because he knows he is not that either. In fact you cannot insult him because he knows he is always the witness, and the witness cannot be insulted. That is the miracle: when you are insulting him, the witness is witnessing the insult. You cannot insult the witness. Buddha will always be the witness, you cannot reduce him to anything else. The witness always escapes any traps you lay, it is never found in those traps, it simply disappears; it is always standing outside. You cannot put it in prison, it is always standing outside.
Kabir, there is nothing to drop. One just has to see it, see that there is nothing to drop. And there is nothing to gain either. All is as it should be. And I am happy that that understanding is arising in you – hence your thankfulness.

The fifth question:
Why can't I understand you?
There is no need to understand me at all. What is needed is to understand yourself.
How is it going to help you if you understand me? And what will you understand by understanding me? You will understand what I say, you will collect it, you will become more knowledgeable – and that is not going to help. In fact it can even be a great hindrance. All knowledge becomes a hindrance to wisdom.
I am not here to make you understand me, I am here to help you to understand yourself. You have to watch your own actions more closely, your relationships, your moods; how you are when you are alone, how you are when you are with people, how you behave, how you react; whether your reactions are past-oriented, fixed patterns of thought, or spontaneous, responsible. Watch all these things, go on watching your own mind, heart. That’s what has to be understood, that is the book to be opened; you are the unopened book.
And millions of people die as unopened books, their pages uncut. Please don’t die as an unopened book. Read – go deep into your being. You are carrying all the Vedas and all the Bibles and all the Korans in you. You are carrying all that has happened to humanity or can ever happen to humanity. You represent in a tiny drop, in a dewdrop, all the oceans, past, present and future. In your small flowering will be represented all the flowers.
Do not to be worried about what I say. How can you understand it in the first place? I speak from my heights using the same language that you use because there is no other language, but I give those words different meanings, twists and turns. When you listen to those words you listen according to your own mind, according to your own conditioning. How can you understand me?
You can love me, but you cannot understand me. But if you love me, a great understanding will arise. And that will not arise through understanding my words, but by understanding your own being. The deeper your understanding is about yourself, the deeper will be your penetration into my words.
You are here, but you may not find it easy to understand me. There are different kinds of people; a Buddha is one type, Jesus is a totally different type. A man who can easily understand Jesus may not be able to understand Buddha easily, may find it almost impossible. That is one of the reasons I am speaking on so many enlightened masters – so that I can use different languages, so that I can become helpful to different types of people. One who can understand Tilopa may not be able to understand Kabir, and one who can understand Kabir may not be able to understand Saraha. I speak on different masters; different masters are just different excuses to approach different types of people. And all types of people have gathered around me.
This is happening for the first time, remember; this has not happened before. This is utterly unique. Thousands gathered around Buddha, but they were of a single type, the type for which Buddha had appeal. Thousands gathered around Mahavira, the type for which Mahavira had appeal. And Mahavira and Buddha were contemporaries: the people who had gathered with Mahavira remained with Mahavira, and the people who had gathered with Buddha remained with Buddha – they could never understand each other’s master. The followers of Mahavira could not understand what Buddha was talking about, it all looked like nonsense to them: There is no self? – what more nonsensical statement could there be?
Self, the Supreme Self, is at the center of Mahavira’s thinking. And when Mahavira uses the words Supreme Self, with a capital S, he means exactly the same thing as when Buddha uses the words no-self. The Supreme Self is not the ego; in the Supreme Self there is no idea of “I.” That’s why Buddha calls it no-self: when there is no “I” why call it self? The Supreme Self would make the “I” look even bigger.
These are different people; their language is different, although they are expressing the same truth. Around Jesus there was a certain kind of people, but only one type. With me it is a totally different phenomenon. Here there are Christians, and Mohammedans, and Buddhists, and Jainas, and Hindus, and Parsis, and Sikhs, and Jews, and all kinds of people. This is a world gathering.
Buddha lived in a small place, just in a small province, Bihar. The province was so named because of Buddha. Bihar means “wandering of the enlightened one,” the place of his wanderings. He wandered in a small place. Jesus was never heard of beyond his small country. His country was of almost no importance. It became important only because of him, and only later on. Otherwise it was just an unimportant country, a desert.
I have heard…

Two Jews were talking, and one said, “Our whole misery, this whole hell that we have suffered down the ages, can be put on the shoulders of Moses. He was responsible.”
The other said, “I don’t understand. Why? Why was Moses responsible for all our misery? He did all he could to help us.”
But the other was adamant. He said, “No! While leading us out of Egypt, if he had gone left rather than right, all the oil would have been ours. But he led us into the desert!”

Jesus was born in a very, very unimportant country. His name was not heard of beyond the small province where he lived. While he was alive not much was known about him, only a few Jews gathered around him. It was a similar case with Mohammed.
With me it is a totally different phenomenon. Almost all kinds of people have arrived here. This is a world gathering, for the first time this is a universal brotherhood. Hence I am speaking on all the enlightened masters. They are just excuses so that I can be available to all kinds and all types of people.
If you cannot understand me right now while I am speaking on Kabir, wait – soon I will be speaking on Buddha, maybe then you will find something closer to your heart. And then I will be speaking on somebody else: maybe it is Zen that rings bells in your heart, or Sufism, or Hasidism – I am going to speak on all the possible ways. If you can wait, sooner or later you will find something that fits you.
You cannot change your type, that is unchangeable. Your type changes only when you go beyond it – then you disappear. Then a pure consciousness remains; neither introvert nor extrovert, neither male nor female, neither of the head nor of the heart.

The bus was crowded and a lanky mountaineer was sitting next to a pretty girl, whose short skirt kept creeping up over her knees. She fought a constant, though losing, battle with it. She kept pulling her skirt down, but as soon as she let go, it began to slide up again. In desperation she gave it one hard yank, then looked up to meet the eyes of her traveling companion.
“Don’t rip your calico, sister,” he advised her. “My weakness is liquor.”

There are different types; people have different characteristics.
If these talks are not reaching your heart, if you are feeling a little at a loss, don’t be worried. Try to make the best of it, and be silently patient. I go on speaking every day; one never knows when it is the right moment for a certain person. It is a question of type, and also of mood. In a certain positive mood you simply understand with no effort; in a negative mood you can make a great effort and still fail. On a certain morning you are feeling in such harmony, such deep well-being, that your eyes are clear; the mind is not noisy, you are in a state of melody – and then something suddenly strikes home, goes in like an arrow and penetrates your being. One never knows when that moment will come. So I go on talking to you every morning, I go on shooting arrows in the dark. Somebody is bound to be hit. I know you are there; your time, your moment, will come. Be a little more patient.

The sixth question:
For years I have been listening to you to find out the right way to God. But the more I listen, the more confused I become. What is wrong with me?
Satya Prakash, there is no right way to God. There are ways and ways, but there is no right way to God. There are ways, but don’t seek the way. The search for the way creates fanatics. All ways are his, so don’t be too worried about the right way.
And how can you decide what is right? You don’t know anything about what is right and what is wrong. If you already knew what was right, there would be no need to search. You must be carrying a certain idea in your head. You must be carrying an a priori criterion, a conclusion given to you by others, and you must be judging according to that criterion. That’s why you go on missing me. And rather than clarity happening to you, you are becoming more and more confused.
My observation is that people who come already with a conclusion always become confused when they listen to me, because there is a constant struggle between what I am saying and their conclusion. Between these two they are crushed. People who come here without any conclusion immediately start attaining to clarity.
So that is what is wrong with you: you must be carrying a hidden conclusion – Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jaina. In a way you have already arrived, deep down in your heart you think you know. Now the only question is to find somebody who can support your conclusion.
You are not in search of a master, you are in search of somebody who can strengthen your ego, who can strengthen your knowledge; who can supply you with more information supporting what you already believe. But I don’t support any knowledge; I destroy all kinds of knowledge. I go on pulling away all that you know, brick by brick, slowly, slowly, until one day you find the earth beneath your feet has disappeared – hence the confusion. Listening to me, you have become attached to me as well, and you are not yet detached from your old conclusions. Hence, you are pulled in two directions, opposite directions, and because of that you are in confusion.
Either you have to drop listening to me or you have to drop your conclusions. If you drop listening to me you will have a kind of certainty; not clarity but certainty, a kind of certainty – the stupid kind. Because you don’t know much, you can think that you know enough. A little knowledge is dangerous because it can give you the feeling that you have arrived.
An intelligent person knows that one is always arriving but never arrives, that life remains a pilgrimage, an eternal pilgrimage. One is approaching closer and closer to godliness every day, but this is an eternal process. One cannot say one day, “I have arrived.” When someone says “I have arrived,” he is simply saying that all his resources are finished, that he is no longer interested in the pilgrimage, that he is no longer interested in the journey, that he is tired, that he is weary, that he wants to settle down.
The real seeker goes on and on. And the joy of the journey is infinite, so who bothers to arrive? The stupidest person is one who has not taken even a single step along the way and still has the idea that he knows what is right and what is wrong.
If you drop listening to me you will have a kind of certainty: the certainty that ignorance gives, the certainty that false knowledge, borrowed knowledge gives; the certainty that will make you more and more stupid, more and more unintelligent.
Or you can drop your conclusions and come along with me. All the certainty that you have will disappear. I cannot promise you any certainty. I can promise you only infinite uncertainty – but clarity will arise, your mind will be unclouded. And in that clarity is truth, in that clarity you are able to see what life is. You may not be able to come to any conclusion because life is vast and cannot be reduced to any conclusion – but you will be able to enjoy the bliss of existence. You may not be able to make a theory out of it, a system of thought out of it, but great poetry will arise in you, and great dance and great love and great compassion. Your life will become a rejoicing. I don’t promise you any philosophy of life, I only promise a new way, a new style of life.
You say, “For years I have been listening to you to find out the right way to God.” You seem to have arrived at right and wrong about almost everything, even about God. How do you know that God is? What certainty have you got about God? You have already decided that God is – and now you are searching for the way?
God is not a hypothesis. You cannot start with God, you can only start with an open heart, an inquiry into what is. You cannot call it God, you can simply call it an inquiry into whatsoever is: “I don’t know what it is, God or no God, but I want to inquire.” Then you don’t seek a way to God, then you seek a totally different thing. You seek methods of inquiry, not ways to God. And I can teach you methods of inquiry.
Meditation, all the types of meditation, are methods of inquiry, not ways to God. Yes, if you go on inquiring, one day God is revealed, but that is not for you to decide in the beginning. It happens one day when your heart is really clear, with no clouds in your inner sky. What is revealed is called God by a few people, no-God by a few others; truth by a few, beauty by a few others; paradise by a few, nirvana by a few others. And there have been many who have not called it anything at all, they have remained completely silent about it.
One of the greatest philosophers of this age, Ludwig Wittgenstein, says in one of his most important aphorisms, “That which cannot be said, should not be said.” Down the ages, many have followed this dictum. Buddha has not said anything for or against God. He must have been asked thousands of times, but he would never say anything about it.
Whenever I come across somebody asking Buddha about God in the Buddhist scriptures I always remember a small anecdote…

A husband came home very late at night. It was three o’clock in the morning, the night was almost gone. He entered his wife’s room, and was very shocked because his wife was in bed with a stranger. He was so shocked that for a moment he could not say anything. Before he could find the right words his wife asked, “Where have you been? Why are you so late?”
He said, “First, tell me who the man in the bed is.”
And his wife said, “Don’t change the subject!”

Buddha always changes the subject; whenever you ask about God he talks about something else, immediately. He simply bypasses the subject. Why? – because he does not want to say yes or no. His respect for the ultimate is so deep that to say yes would be wrong, to say no would be wrong; because yes gives a limitation as much as no gives a limitation. No word can be unlimited, each word becomes a limitation. He never defines because all definitions limit. He is so respectful of the ultimate, toward the ultimate, that he simply does not talk about it. He will not even say this much, that “nothing can be said about it.”
Once he was asked, “If you don’t want to say anything about God, why don’t you at least say that nothing can be said about it? Because that’s what the seers of the Upanishads have been saying: ‘Nothing can be said about it. God is anirvachana, unspeakable, indefinable, ineffable.’ Why can’t you say this much, that nothing can be said about him?” And Buddha replied, “Even to say that would be saying something about him.”
You see the delicate point? Even to say that would be saying something about him. If nothing can be said about him you have said something already, you have given a definition already. If you say he is indefinable, then that is your definition. If you say he is unspeakable, you have spoken. There has been a long tradition of many mystics who have simply kept quiet, who have not uttered a single word.
But you have come here, Satya Prakash, with a certain idea, conclusion. You already believe in God, now you are searching for the way. Your name makes me suspect that you may belong to one of the most fanatical religious sects that has developed in this country during the last century, Arya Samaj, because this name, Satya Prakash, is usually used by the Arya Samajis, the followers of Dayanand. It is one of the most fanatical sects that has evolved in this liberal country; it is almost as fanatical as the Mohammedans.
Now a bill is coming in the Indian parliament called “Freedom of Religion.” It is supported by Arya Samajis all over the country; they are the only supporters of it. The name is just the opposite of what it really means to do: if it becomes a law then it will be impossible for anybody in India to change their religion.
It is called “Freedom of Religion,” but it will destroy all freedom of choice. It is basically against the Christians who convert Hindus, saying that no conversion should be allowed. The Christians are against it; they are demonstrating all over the country, making resolutions that it should not become law. Only the Christians are against it, and only the Arya Samajis are for it; both are in the same boat and nobody else is saying anything. The Arya Samajis’ concern is that no Hindu should ever leave the Hindu fold, and the Christians’ interest is that they should be able to convert as many Hindus as they can into Christians, by fair means or foul.
Satya Prakash, you may be an Arya Samaji. And my experience of different religious people is that the Arya Samajis seem to be the most closed; Jainas, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs are not so closed. Arya Samaj is a reaction against the Mohammedans and the Christians. In fact Arya Samaj should not be counted as an Indian religion at all; it is a reaction against Christianity and Mohammedanism, and reactions always reflect the original source. It is like the Christians and like the Mohammedans: very closed, adamant, stubborn.
If you are not an Arya Samaji, very good. If you are, please drop it. Only then can you understand what I am saying to you, and only then will it not be confusing; otherwise you will become crazy.
You say, “What is wrong with me?” This is wrong with you: that you are listening with all kinds of prejudice. Listen with no mind, listen being neither for nor against. I am not saying to believe whatsoever I say, no, not at all. There is no need to believe, but there is no need to disbelieve either; simply listen. Why can’t you simply listen?
And there is a beauty in truth. If you are listening silently without being for or against, when truth is uttered, it immediately stirs your heart. A dance arises in your being, you start feeling deep sympathy. And finally you become so deeply attuned to the utterance that there is no time to think about whether you believe it or not. If it is not truth, no bell rings in your heart, you remain unaffected by it – but no decision is needed by the mind.
And one thing more: my whole effort here is to confuse you because unless I confuse you I cannot create clarity. You are settled, you are certain; I have to shake you, shock you, I have to confuse you. Only then will you start seeking and searching for new planes of clarity. So in a way this is good, this is not wrong; it is good that you are confused. Something is happening – your foundations are being shaken.

They were seated on adjoining stools in a dimly lighted cocktail lounge. “Honey,” he said, “what about forgetting your inhibitions and spending a quiet weekend with me in Atlantic City?”
“See here,” she answered, “after an exhaustive perusal of the corpus of documented evidence garnered by research on heterosexuality as applied to contemporary sociological mores, and in view of the innate predisposition to the more exotic manifestations of concupiscence evident in your demeanor, a categorical negative is my answer.”
“But honey,” he said, “I just don’t get it.”
“That’s what I mean,” she answered.

That’s what I mean. If you are confused, it is a good sign, it shows intelligence. Only an intelligent person can be confused. A stupid person cannot be confused; you cannot shake him, you cannot shock him. He is absolutely certain. Remember, only fools are absolutely certain.

Mulla Nasruddin was saying to one of his disciples, “Never be absolutely certain because only fools are absolutely certain.”
The disciple asked, “Mulla, are you absolutely certain about that?”
And Mulla Nasruddin said, “Yes!”

An intelligent person is always ready to hesitate. The more intelligent you are, the more easily you become available to hesitation because each hesitation is a new beginning, a new search, a new inquiry.
But if you have come here not to be confused, if you have come here to gain more certainty – not clarity but certainty – if you have come here to attain more knowledge so that you can become wiser, so that you can attain to God more easily, more certainly; so that not only in this life but in the afterlife you have a guarantee, an insurance; if you have come to find a certain catechism, certain principles, fixed theories, dogmas – then you have come to the wrong place.
I am not a scripture, I am a living light. You can learn how to see by being with me, but I will not give you any commandments. And commandments never help anyway because life goes on changing and principles are always out-of-date.

A devoted husband commissioned a Frenchman to paint his wife’s portrait. She was quite nervous during the first sitting and said to the painter, “I realize I am not young anymore. I would like a good likeness, but please paint me with sympathy.”
When the portrait was completed, the husband gave a party and invited a hundred friends to the unveiling. The cover was removed, and revealed a beautiful likeness of his wife. But a gasp of horror went through the audience because the picture showed a man’s hand reaching into the lady’s bosom.
“How dare you insult my wife like this!” shouted the irate husband.
“Insult your wife?” exclaimed the painter. “How can you accuse me of that? I did everything I could to please her. She asked me to paint her with sympathy, and when I looked up the word sympathy in your dictionary, it said: ‘A fellow feeling in your bosom.’”

Enough for today.

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