The Last Testament Vol 2 08

Eighth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 2 by Osho.
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Prem Prabhati,
Munich, Germany
I'm grateful that I can ask you some questions about Osho Therapy because I'm going to write a book about it.
I'd like to know how your approach differs from all the former therapies like the Freudian psychoanalytic approach, the humanistic and the growth groups.
It is basically and totally different from any other therapy that has existed. The most fundamental difference is that all those therapies are for sick people, those who are not well mentally. Those therapies make an effort to put the people back into their normal life; the therapies serve the old rotten society. The society drives people mad, crazy, schizophrenic. The therapies put them back into their normal, average mind so they can function again in the old pattern – where they had become incapable of functioning.
So, all the therapies – Freudian or Jungian or Adlerian – their function is the same as was the function of the priest in the past. These are the priests of a sophisticated twentieth century, but their function is the same. It is against revolution, against change.
Rather than seeing why this society goes on creating sick people… No animal is sick in that way. Why does human society goes on making schizophrenic people? Why are there so many rapes? Why are there so many people burdened with guilt? Why are there so many murders, suicides? And even if a person somehow manages to live normally, deep down nobody is normal. They all have nightmares, they all have fear, they all have greed, they all feel insecure. Those therapies are in the service of the society that drives people nuts.
My basic difference is that I am trying to help the people understand that they are not responsible for their mind sickness; they are victims. My function is not to make then normal so that they can go back to the church, and back to the office, and back to the same wife, and back to the same world. No, my function is to give them a fresh individuality, a rebellious intelligence, a perception in which they can see that the society has manipulated them, exploited them, almost killed them. This is the first part of my therapy: the person should be made aware that it is the society that is sick, and he is only a victim.
Secondly, we have to make the person aware that he is a victim because he is more intelligent than other people. Idiots don’t go crazy, they have nothing to go crazy: to have a sick mind, first you need to have a mind. The normal, average people who are thought to be mentally healthy are really intellectually retarded. Even if they want to go mad they cannot. Madness needs some intelligence.
It is not a coincidence that all the great painters, poets, scientists, musicians – people who have touched the highest peak of intelligence in some dimension – most of them go mad, most of them commit suicide. Strange! We have created really a strange world where idiots are normal and geniuses are abnormal; where idiots don’t go mad, where geniuses go mad, suffer all kinds of mental torture. And the old therapies try to put them back, to force them back into the ordinary retarded humanity.
Of course they are a minority, so naturally they think something is wrong with them. Among millions of people who are retarded, to be intelligent is really unsafe. It is insecure, it is dangerous. Where people are living below the mental age of thirteen – that is the mental age of the masses – to have more intelligence than them is going to create trouble for you. They are the society, you are just an individual – helpless.
My effort is to make these people aware that their sickness is significant. They need not feel embarrassed; they should really rejoice, because they have intelligence – enough intelligence, more intelligence than the ordinary, normal people. That’s why they are having trouble. They cannot adjust with the society; they feel misfitting everywhere. That’s what gives people the idea that something is wrong with them.
The reality is just the opposite. They are the right people, but they are in a very small minority. The majority is stupid but it is the majority, and your so-called therapists are simply serving the vested interests.
So, my effort is to give you confidence that your sickness is symbolic, that you don’t have a retarded mind, that you should not feel bad about it. In fact, you should feel grateful to existence because you have raised questions which ordinary people don’t raise. You have created problems in your life which ordinary people don’t create. And because you did not fit with the majority, the masses, the crowd, they denounced you as mad.
The Freudians and the Jungians and the Adlerians all accept that idea that you are mad and you need treatment. And their whole treatment is bringing you down to the lowest common denominator in society.
My effort is just the opposite: first to make you feel relaxed about your situation; to make you recognize that the society is sick, not you; that the society needs a change, a revolution, not you. If you do not fit with the society, the reason is not that you are mad. The reason is that you have enough intelligence that you cannot fit with all these retarded people.
Secondly – which is even more important – my therapy helps you first to regain your confidence, your self-respect, the understanding that nothing is wrong with you; but this is only the groundwork. Then the real work starts. Once you are free from all the ideas that the masses have given to you, the psychologists have given to you – everybody around you has forced you to believe that something is wrong with you; first we have to clean all that nonsense and make you self-respectful. Then begins the real work: meditation. Therapy is only preparing the ground. It is not enough; it is just to undo what the society has done to you. Once it is undone, once you are unburdened, then the real work begins – the exploration into your own interiority.
So, therapy, according to me is only a groundwork for creating the space and the urge to explore your reality. All those therapists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists have nothing to do with meditation. They are not there to help you to grow. In fact, they are there to cut as many branches from you as possible – your height, your growth – so you become similar to other pygmies. And because you accept the ideas of the common mass, you allow them to cut your intelligence, to destroy your questioning, to hinder any possibility of going deeper than the ordinary people.
My work is first to unburden you, and then to give you the vision, the perception that this is not the end. Just not to be sick cannot be the end. Just not to be sick is not enough. You have to be psychologically healthy, whole. And unless you come to self-realization the work is unfinished.
Therapy stops at the point where you have become normal again, you have been dragged back. My work respects your sickness because it reflects the whole of society. You became a victim of it because you were more vulnerable, more open, more available, so you have been wounded from every side. You were more innocent and you were intelligent enough not to participate in superstitions, in idiotic ideologies. All this has become your condemnation.
Religions used to send you to hell. Now they have become outdated; nobody bothers much about hell. In fact, nobody believes in it. Now you are being sent to the couch of the psychoanalyst, which is a constant torture for years and years. In fact, there is not a single human being who has been totally psychoanalyzed. A strange kind of science you have! It takes seven years, nine years, ten years – still you are not fully analyzed, still the problems are there. Perhaps you have become more accepting of them, perhaps you have become aware not to express them in society, not to behave in such a way that people think you are strange. They have just taught you adjustment, and that takes years and thousands of dollars – just to be adjusted to idiots.
My effort is to give you back your individuality. And it is your individuality which has rebelled against the social norms. It is your individuality – a part of it – which refused to be destroyed. My function is to discover your whole revolutionary individuality, your uniqueness. I am not here to make you a cog in the wheel of this big civilization and culture that we have been creating for millions of years. We have ended by making the whole earth a madhouse.

There is a story by Kahlil Gibran: One of his friends went mad. He could not believe it, because that man was so intelligent, and he has been put into a madhouse. Gibran went to meet him; he was feeling very sad and sorry for him.
The friend was sitting on a bench under a tree in the garden of the madhouse. Gibran approached him, wanted to show his sympathy. The man started laughing.
Gibran said, “So it seems you have really gone mad. I am showing sympathy, compassion, my friendship, and you are laughing!”
The friend said, “I have to laugh, because those people who are really mad cannot convince me just because they are in the majority, that I am mad. In fact, since I have been in the madhouse I am immensely happy, because I have left the madhouse outside and here I can live as sanely as I want. Nobody is going to interfere. You should not feel sorry for me; I feel sorry for you. What the hell are you doing outside there in that great madhouse? Why don’t you come here and live with me?”
Kahlil Gibran was shocked, but a great question arose in his mind: “Perhaps the man is right?”

To me there is no perhaps. That man is right.
So, my therapy is a search to find your individuality, its uniqueness. And then once you are freed from the idea that you are sick, there opens a new dimension. You can grow into being more conscious, and ultimately enlightened.
So, I use your sickness for your ultimate health, wholeness. About that your therapists are completely unaware. They are even unaware of what they are doing; they are simply serving the politicians, the religions, the vested interests. They are not helping you. They are part of the status quo.
My therapists are not part of the status quo. My therapists are basically people who are helping you to get rid of all those ideas that people have forced into your mind that something is wrong with you. Once you are completely free of that garbage, meditation becomes simple, very spontaneous. Here, you drop out of the rotten society and you are available to the whole existence. Once you start getting roots and centered, meditations are very easy and they can lead you to the ultimate experience of life.
Those normal people never attain to that experience. They don’t have even the intelligence to become sick. It is just like a dead man cannot fall sick – or do you think a dead man can fall sick? A dead man is always healthy; there is no way to make him sick. Even if you inject him and put poison into him, there is no way – he will remain perfectly healthy.
It is life that is fragile and can be easily made sick, destroyed. Intelligence is even more fragile. If life is the tree, then intelligence is the flower – even more fragile; more colorful, more alive, more expressive, more poetic – but more fragile.
And enlightenment is the ultimate in fragility. It is just like the fragrance, you cannot even catch hold of it. You can feel its presence, you can smell its existence, but there is no way to have it in your fist.
So, my therapy is fundamentally different. Its purpose is different, its approach is different. The other therapies respect the society and condemn the poor individual. I respect the individual and I condemn the mob, because the mass of people has no soul in it. It is just a big crowd of almost-dead people who don’t know what life is, and who will never know what life is.
One has to look into people like Vincent van Gogh. Why did a man who could produce such immensely significant paintings go mad? In my opinion he never went mad. But according to everybody who knew him, he was mad. He was mad because he never worked, he never got well educated. He was mad because his family persisted, “Get educated” – they wanted to make him a priest – and he refused. “That job is respectable, that job is financially the best, it is powerful.”
But he refused, and he said, “I want to become a painter.”
The family simply said, “If you want to become a painter you must be mad, because what are you going to gain out of your paintings? If you want to become a painter, then we will have nothing to do with you. Just leave us alone, don’t bother us anymore.”
Hungry, without money – sometimes a few friends helped, but who was going to help him for long? And once a friend who had helped him saw his paintings, he stopped helping him because those paintings were not understandable. They were as mysterious as existence itself. But who was there to appreciate them?
His younger brother was very sad for him because he had a certain understanding about paintings. He used to work as a salesman for a big firm which was selling all kinds of art pieces, including paintings. He could understand a little bit. He had known the best paintings in the shop, he had seen the best sculptures. He had some sense and sensitivity.
So he used to send him just enough money so that he could eat two meals every day. And what would van Gogh do? – four days out of seven he would eat, and three days he would save the money to purchase canvases, colors. So he was eating only on alternate days.
Naturally, anybody would think this man is mad; he is starving but he continues to paint. And he is certainly insane, because he could not sell a single painting his whole life. Nobody was ready to give a single cent.
His brother – that younger brother who was supporting him – was very sad that he could not have even the consolation that somebody had purchased a painting; that at least somebody had come and appreciated. So he asked a friend, gave him money and told him, “Go to van Gogh and purchase a painting from him. I want to give my brother a little bit of consolation that at least there is one man who understands and is ready to pay.”
The man went. He had no sense of art, but he said to van Gogh, “I would like to purchase a painting.” Van Gogh could not believe it. Tears came to his eyes.
He said, “You are welcome, come inside and look. I have many paintings. Whichever you want you can take, and whatever you want to pay for it is more than enough. That you have come to purchase a painting is enough reward for me.”
The man said, “I am not interested in paintings. You can give me any, and here is the money.”
You can understand the shock of the man. His tears dried. He could not believe it. It was a simple, logical corollary. He said, “You must have been sent by my brother. Take this money back. And even if you bring millions of dollars, I am not going to sell any of the paintings to you. I will throw those paintings out and give them to beggars, but not to you. Just get out of the house.”
The man could not believe it. He said, “I am giving you money.”
Van Gogh said, “You are giving me money, but I can see that you don’t have any perception, any idea, any sensitivity for art. This must be my younger brother’s work.”
The man said, “It is strange that you figured it out so quickly. Yes, your brother has sent me and he has given the money. He wanted to give you some consolation. But you are a strange man.”
Now, that man must think van Gogh insane. He was not a very beautiful man, not even homely. He was a coal miner’s son; he had been brought up in poverty, in sickness, and he was almost starving. But his devotion to painting was religious. I call this quality religiousness. He never went to any church, he never bothered about any God, he never read any holy book, but he was a religious man. The way he painted, the way he sacrificed his life in colors, in canvases – it is something that can only be called religious. There is no other word to explain it.
No woman ever loved him. Again, his brother tried a prostitute, gave her money and said, “Just once in his life he should have the satisfaction that some woman wanted him.”
The prostitute was willing. There was no question: it was a simple business. She said, “You can send him. Give me the money in advance and you can send your brother.”
He tried to explain to the prostitute, “My brother has never known any woman because no woman will love him. He is not beautiful. Please try to help him so that he forgets that he is ugly, so that he forgets that nobody loves him.”
The woman said, “Don’t worry, this is our profession. There is no need to tell me – I know my profession perfectly well. Just send your brother.”
Vincent van Gogh was told by his brother, “A woman has approached me. She is very shy – she loves you but she cannot say it to you. She sees you painting on the beach, in the forest. She loves your paintings, she loves you even more.”
Van Gogh could not believe it. He said, “Is it another trick? Why are you after me? Because it hurts – you sent that man to purchase a painting. I understand your love for me, but you don’t see how wounded I felt. That man said, ‘Give me anything – anything will do. Just take this money, don’t waste my time.’”
His brother said, “No, I have nothing to do with it. The woman approached me.”
So Vincent van Gogh went to the prostitute, and of course as a professional she welcomed him. He could not believe it – all that welcome and warmth and love. He asked the woman, “Do you really love me? – because as far as I know, everybody says I am ugly. And I know it too, because I can see in the mirror, I am ugly. So what is impressive to you?”
The woman said, just laughingly, playing with his earlobes, “I love your ears, they are unique. I have seen many men…” And it was true, he had very long ears.
If he had been born in India the Jainas would have accepted him as their tirthankara, just because of his long ears. That is one of the qualifications of a tirthankara, a Jaina prophet: his earlobes should touch his shoulders. He would have been accepted by Buddhists as another Buddha; they have the same condition – earlobes. But he was born in a place where nobody would bother about his ears.
The woman could not find anything else to appreciate so she said, “You have unique ears.” And it was true.
He said, “You like them?”
She said, “I like them very much.”
He said, “Then wait, I will come back within half an hour.” And he cut off his ear, packed it in a box, rushed back with blood flowing all over him, and gave the ear to the woman.
He said, “Nobody has ever appreciated anything in me, you are the only one. Now I present this ear to you.”
The woman was shocked: certainly the man was insane. And immediately the neighborhood became aware that he was bleeding and he had cut off his ear. They reported it to the police and he was forced into a mental asylum.
He lived there for one year, and in that year he painted his best paintings. To the whole world he was mad; to the psychiatrist, the psychoanalyst, the therapist who was treating him, he was mad. If they had succeeded in treating him he would have been just a coal miner – back to the society he belonged in. But they could not succeed. Fortunately, they could not succeed with van Gogh. He went on painting the way he wanted. All his paintings were thought to be insane, and now each of his painting is worth millions of dollars.
If this man had come to my therapies, we would have made a Gautam Buddha out of him – not only because of his ears. He had the intelligence, the sensitivity; he just needed support, appreciation. He just he needed recognition, and immediately he would have become rooted, centered. And he had the capacity to grow as far as anybody can grow, but his whole life was tragic.
He was thrown out of the mental asylum because they could not do anything. He remained the same. He was becoming unnecessarily a burden on them: they had to purchase canvases, colors, paints, brushes, and the man was not changing a single bit. All their therapeutic work was useless.
Once out of the madhouse, he committed suicide. He wrote in his last letter to his brother, “I don’t see that there is any more that I can do. I have painted whatever I wanted to paint. Particularly this year in the madhouse has been of great significance. I always wanted to paint the sun as nobody has ever painted it, and I have succeeded. Now there is nothing else, so why unnecessarily suffer, starve, be condemned by everybody? I am a misfit. It is better to rest in death.”
Now, this man was not mad; he was in a mad world. He did not belong to this world. And I talked about van Gogh because that is the case with all artists, all poets, all people of intelligence, creativity, art, dance, music, sculpture. That is the case all over the world. My therapies will help them immensely. Freud cannot do anything for them; at the most he can reduce them so that Vincent van Gogh becomes a coal miner, Picasso becomes a clerk in a station. That is sanity.
These people who are thought to be insane – I have been to many insane asylums and the people who are thought to be mad are just different from the masses – that’s all. And they have more energy which needs expression. They cannot fit anywhere because they have a certain solid individuality. And they persist in remaining themselves; they have a certain rebelliousness in them. Even if they are condemned by the whole world they want to remain themselves.
My therapies are to help the misfit people in society to recognize that they are welcome in my commune. Here, nobody can manage to be a misfit, because everybody is a misfit. This is a society of people who don’t fit, so to be a misfit is just normal.
And everybody respects the other’s individuality. If it does not suit me, that is my problem, but I am not going to dump it on the other person. It is not his problem, it is my problem. If I cannot understand his painting, that does not make him insane, it simply means that I don’t have a sensitivity for painting. If I cannot understand his music, that means I don’t have an ear for music.
Just the opposite is happening in society; if you cannot understand somebody’s music, he is mad. And because you are the majority, the poor fellow starts feeling that perhaps he is mad, because everybody else agrees on his madness. Once a man accepts the idea that he is mad, insane, below normal, he has almost committed suicide.
So I have to drag these people back to life – and not only back to life but to a higher life, to a better life, to a more intense life. They are capable of it; that’s what has driven them mad in the first place.
So, therapy is the groundwork, and then comes meditation. Once a deep acceptance has come to you, then you can grow; you are nourished. And that’s why I wanted to create communes around the world, because even if a person goes through therapies and then back to the society, it will disturb him. In fact, he needs a totally new society. He needs people around him who love him just for the sake of love; there is no other reason. They may not understand his paintings, but they respect his creativity. They are not going to condemn him.
On the contrary, if they are interested they will learn how to appreciate painting, music, poetry. If I cannot understand your language, that does not mean you are mad. That simply means I don’t know that language. And if I am interested, I should learn the language. But just the opposite is happening all over the world: if people cannot understand your language, you are mad. You have to be forced to forget your language. You have to be forced to learn their language. And this is very destructive.
I don’t accept your therapists; even Freud, Jung and Adler were not completely psychoanalyzed. Freud was afraid his whole life. Many times his disciples – whom he had analyzed – wanted to analyze him. He refused. He knew perfectly well that being analyzed would expose him, he would have to tell all his eccentric, stupid dreams. Then who is going to accept him as the greatest psychoanalyst? He was just an ordinary man like everybody else. He would have to accept that he is afraid of death – so much so that even the mention of the word death used to give him a fit; he would become unconscious. He was very much afraid of ghosts – and he is the founder of psychoanalysis.
He needs to come here, wherever he is. He needs to go through the therapies available here. And he would have nothing to be afraid of because we do not condemn anything. If you have a nightmare it is perfectly good; human beings have nightmares. If you have a sexual dream it is just natural; you are only a victim of thousands of years of religious condemnation of sex.
I have been to aboriginal societies in India: strange – rarely does a person say that he has dreams. In an aboriginal society they don’t have dreams. Sigmund Freud would have completely freaked out that there are people who don’t have dreams. They don’t repress anything, so there is nothing left to dream about. They do whatsoever is natural. For dreams to exist, repression is an absolute necessity.
For example, if you want to have a dream about food, fast and you will have dreams about great, delicious plates, a Chinese restaurant. Your whole night will be just feast upon feast. But fasting is absolutely necessary. If you don’t fast, then you cannot dream of feasting. And the same is true about everything: if people have sexual freedom, nobody is going to dream about sex. For what? – he knows the experience, he is free to have it as much as he wants. There is nothing hanging over in his head.
But all the religions have repressed sex and filled people’s dreams with sexuality. Then a man like Freud came who started analyzing the dreams. It is such a vicious circle. You create the whole thing, then there are victims; then you need doctors, therapists, psychoanalysts to interpret those dreams. And a dream is a thing that you can interpret in as many ways you want.
To Freud, every dream ultimately becomes a sexual dream. Whatever you dream does not matter, he will find that it is sexual. If you go to Adler with the same dream, he is bound to find that it is will-to-power; it is ego, not sex. If you go to Jung, it is neither ego nor sex. He will find some esoteric explanation, perhaps in your past lives, in some mythologies. It is such a stupid situation that nobody bothers about these psychoanalysts. A single dream in the hands of different psychologists, psychotherapists, starts having different colors.
My reading is that Freud is sexually repressed, that’s why he finds sex in every dream of a person. The man is a poor victim of analysis. Adler is a very egoistic person and wants to become as powerful as possible. He projects his mind upon some poor person. Jung is esoteric, mythological, believes in fictions; he projects his fictions upon you. These three have destroyed many people’s lives, and their disciples are still doing the same all over the world.
My therapists are on a totally different trip. They have to clean your mind of all the unnecessary ideas that have been imposed by the society, its psychoanalysts, its doctors, its so-called wise men. They want you to become again a simple, innocent child, as you were born. A rebirth – that is the work of my therapy.
Once I have got the innocent child, then the work of therapy is finished. Then the work of meditation starts. Then you are healthy, whole and ready to take any quantum leap; you are ready to go into the unknown.
In the East meditation has existed, but without any therapy. It was half: if you don’t clean the ground and you start sowing the seeds, your roses will be lost in the grass that will be growing there. First you have to remove all the grass and any possibility for grass to grow. Therapy is missing in the Eastern approach, that’s why enlightenment has happened only rarely, very rarely. Among millions of people, perhaps one becomes enlightened. Just the opposite should be the case: among millions of people, perhaps one should miss, because enlightenment is just a natural phenomenon.
Without therapy, the East has missed much. Without meditation, the West has missed much. I am bringing the East and West together, because separately neither is going to create the whole man. Both together, in an organic unity – therapy plus meditation – are equal to religion. That is my formula.
Any other questions?
Yes, we all seem to be stuck about when to express and when to witness.
There should be no problem about expressing and witnessing. You can do both together and you should do both together.
That's difficult.
Just a little bit difficult in the beginning, but immensely paying. And it is only a question of a little effort. Otherwise, if you try only to be a witness, you will be repressing. What will happen to your expression? And that repression has been a problem for the whole of humanity. So now you will be using witnessing as a method to repress. The result will be the same as has been out of all repression. If you express and forget the witness, there is not going to be any growth of your consciousness. Everybody is doing that. No, you have to do both together. And they can be done both together.
For example, I am speaking to you – this is expression – but deep within me there is my witness, watching me saying something to you, watching you, watching every expression on your face, in your eyes. And I don’t see that there is any contradiction.
The idea of contradiction has been created by cunning people. So it just needs a little effort. Try with very small things. For example, you are cleaning the floor: now, it is not much of a great creative activity – why can you not witness too? You are walking, a morning walk in the hills – why can’t you watch yourself walking? What is the problem? Walking is such a simple exercise that the body is doing it, and you can remain centered inside and you can watch each step.
If you ever go to India, go to the place where Buddha became enlightened. Now there stands a temple in his memory, the bo tree under which he became enlightened – it is not the same but it belongs to the same bo tree. Bo trees have one thing very special: their roots grow down from their branches. So there are bo trees which are thousands of years old. Perhaps the original has died, but its descendants…
In India, the original bo tree was burned by Hindus. But before it was burned – long before that – Ashoka, one of the emperors of India, had sent branches of the bo tree to all the Buddhist countries. So when the bo tree was burned, a branch from Ceylon – where the original bo tree’s branch had become a big, huge tree – a branch was brought from there. So in a way it is the same tree, the same juice.
Just by the side of the tree is a small path; small stones indicate where his feet must have touched. That was Buddha’s way of meditating: walking one hour, walking continuously for one hour with full awareness; then one hour sitting under the tree doing nothing, simply watching whatever is happening inside. A thought moves on the screen of the mind, a feeling comes, or a bird suddenly starts singing and the sound comes to you, or the wind blows and in the tree its music is created, its whisper – anything that is happening around you, outside or inside, you have just to be a witness.
He had chosen both. Witnessing when you are not doing anything is simple, but once you know the taste of witnessing, then you can start doing small things like walking. There is no need to get lost into that activity. Then you can go to more complex activities: painting or playing on a guitar or dancing. Then any activity can be done, and you will be immensely surprised that all activities are the same. Whether you are washing the floor, walking or playing music, the basic methodology is the same, that you remain a witness at the same time.
The witness need not be lost in the activity. And once you know that the witness is totally a watcher upon the hills, and every activity is there in the valley, far far away from you, then no activity touches you. Then your activities start changing their nature, their quality, because a witness brings a radical change in you. You cannot kill; your witness will not allow you to do that. You cannot be jealous; before the fire of your witnessing, all jealousies, greed, anger, hatred will simply be burned.
According to me, whatsoever witnessing allows you to do is good. That is my criterion of good. And whatsoever your witness destroys and does not allow you, is bad.
So basically, reduced to the simple formula, there is no need to create a great theology of what is right and what is wrong and what is moral and what is immoral. I give you a simple key, a master key: Just witness your activity. If it is not good, it will fall of its own accord. The witness will not allow it to happen. Not that it will interfere, not that it will stop it; no, just its presence is enough. Anything wrong is impossible. And whatever is possible is right.
So I don’t give you detailed disciplines, “Do this, don’t do this,” because something may be moral in one situation and immoral in another situation. Something may be good today, may not be good tomorrow. Life is continuously changing, it is a flux. Who knows what turn the river of life will take tomorrow? So I don’t give you any detailed discipline, because every detailed discipline has made man a slave. He has to follow a certain doctrine, knowing perfectly well that it is against his consciousness, against his intelligence, against the situation – but what to do? – he has taken a vow to follow the doctrine.
My sannyasins don’t have any discipline, no law to follow, nothing. They just have to be witnesses and then they are free. Their witnessing will decide what is right and what is wrong. And once you are a witness you cannot do wrong; it is just not in the nature of witnessing. So a simple formula of witnessing changes your whole life, your whole perspective. Your way of seeing things, doings, actions, everything will be changed without any effort to change it. And that is where beauty lies.
If somebody tries, as Mahatma Gandhi was continuously trying, to be nonviolent – I wrote him a letter. I was very young, “Your very effort of continuously trying to be nonviolent shows one thing, that you are a violent man. Otherwise why are you making that effort?”
If somebody is continuously making an effort not to steal, what will the conclusion be? That man is a thief. He is trying hard not to do it, but the desire to do it is there. And the more he is trying not to do it means that the desire is not weak, it is very strong. That’s why stronger effort is needed to repress it. All your saints have been doing that: forcing themselves to be celibate, making every effort, strenuously doing everything that other idiots have told them.
For example, in India all the saints will tell you that if you want to remain a celibate, then take a cold bath before sunrise. Food – if you can live only on milk, then you will be more successful in your celibacy. Sleep as little as possible. Now, all these three things are dangerous.

I was talking to one of the so-called saints. He had become world famous – Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, India – he had followers around the world, and those were his teachings.
I asked him, because he had been a medical doctor before he became a Hindu monk and renounced the world, I asked him, “Do you realize what you are teaching? Because a cold bath makes a man more sexual; have a good, ice-cold bath and after that you would like to make love.
“Living just on milk you will be more sexual than ever, because in the whole kingdom of animals, it is only man who drinks milk his whole life. Other animals drink milk only in their childhood for a few months, maybe for a few years. But you will not find a bull milking a cow – there is no need.
“So the first thing,” I told him, “you are teaching something unnatural. A child needs food – liquid, easily digestible. He is not doing anything, so he has to live on milk. And milk fulfills almost all his needs. It is wholesome food.
“But the moment he starts getting a little bigger, and is capable of eating solid things and is able to digest them, then slowly milk should disappear out of his diet. It is dangerous because it is unnatural – one thing. It is also dangerous because a human child needs the milk of a human mother; because that is what he needs. Drinking the milk from a cow will give you the sexuality of a bull, because that cow was never made for you.”
And I said to him, “You are a medical man, you can understand that it was not made for man, it was made for the bull – and it will make you a bull. And celibacy will become more difficult.
“Then you suggest sleeping as little as possible. What is the fear of sleep? The fear is, because you are repressing sex, in sleep there will be dreams, and they will be sexual. So reduce sleep. But reducing the sleep means the man will be sleepy the whole day.”

That’s what the saints – you will find it everywhere in India, the whole day. This is a strange kind of spirituality. But once you get caught in any idea which is unnatural, and if it has been traditionally there for thousands of years, you never inquire.
Why are so many people sexually repressed? And what is their sexual repression doing to them? It is making them perverts, making them homosexuals, making them make love to animals. All kinds of perversions have ended in the disease AIDS.
I call AIDS a religious disease: religions are responsible for it. Every government should make a law against celibacy, that anybody trying to be celibate should be imprisoned immediately – and imprisoned with women, otherwise the jail is also a monastery; women are separate, men are separate. So what the monastery does, the jail does also, the army does, and hostels, universities.

When I became a teacher in the university, the first thing I did – because as I entered the class, I saw the girls sitting in this corner, four or five empty rows just in front of me, and the boys sitting in the other corner. I said, “Who am I going to teach – these tables and chairs? And what kind of nonsense is this? Who told you to sit like this? Just get mixed and be in front of me.”
They hesitated. They had never heard a teacher telling them to mix. I said, “Get mixed immediately, otherwise I am going to report to the vice chancellor that something absolutely unnatural, unpsychological is happening.”
Slowly, hesitantly… I said, “Don’t hesitate! Just move and get mixed. Every day in my class you cannot sit separately. And I don’t mind if you try to touch the girl, or the girl tries to pull your shirt. Whatever is natural is accepted by me, so I don’t want you to sit there frozen, shrunken. That is not going to happen in my class. Enjoy being together.
“I know you have been throwing slips of paper, stones, letters. There is no need; just sit by her side, give the letter to the girl, or whatever you want to do – because in fact you are all sexually mature, you should do something. And you are just studying philosophy! You are absolutely insane. This is the time to study philosophy? This is the time to go out and make love. Philosophy is for old age, when you cannot do anything else – you can study philosophy then.”
They were all so afraid. Slowly, slowly they relaxed, but other classes started feeling jealous of them. Other professors started reporting to the vice chancellor, “This man is dangerous. He is allowing boys and girls to do the things which we have all been prohibiting. Rather than stopping them getting into contact with each other, he is helping them. He says, ‘If you don’t know how to write a love letter, come to me. I will teach you. Philosophy is secondary – it is not much, we will finish the two years’ course in six months. The remaining one year and six months, enjoy, dance, sing – don’t be worried.’”
The vice chancellor finally had to call me, and he said, “I have heard all these things. What do you say?”
I said, “You must have been a student in the university.”
He said, “Yes, I have been. Otherwise how could I be the vice chancellor?”
I said, “Then just go back a little and remember those days when girls were sitting far away and you were sitting far away, what was going on in your mind?”
He said, “You seem to be a strange fellow. I have asked you to come because I want to inquire about something.”
I said, “That we’ll take later on. First answer my question, and be sincere. Otherwise I will give you an open challenge tomorrow before the whole university, all the professors, all the students. We can discuss it and let them vote.”
He said, “Don’t get excited. Perhaps you are right. I remember – I am now an old man, and I hope that you will not say this to anybody – I was thinking of the girls. I was not listening to the professor; nobody was listening to the professor. The girls were throwing chits, we were throwing chits, letters were being exchanged.”
Then I said, “Can I go?”
He said, “Of course. Simply go and do whatsoever you want, but I don’t want a public encounter with you. I know you will win it. You are right, but I am a poor fellow, I have to look after my post. If I start doing such a thing, the government will throw me out of this vice chancellorship.”
I said, “I am not interested in your vice chancellorship. Remain vice chancellor, but remember, never call me again – because many complaints will come, but I make it clear to you right now that every time I will be right.”
He said, “I have understood.”
Then students – boys and girls who were not students of my subject – started asking me, “Can we also come?”
I said, “Philosophy has never been so juicy. Come! Everybody is welcome. I never take attendance: every month, when the attendance register has to go back, I just go…absent, present, absent, present. I just have to remember that everybody gets more than seventy-five percent present, so they can go to the examination. I don’t bother. So you can come.”
My classes were overpopulated, people were sitting at the windows. But they were really expected to be in some other class.
Then complaints came again, and the vice chancellor said, “Don’t bring any complaint about that man. It is your problem if people are not coming to your class. What can I do? What can he do if they prefer him? And they are not students of philosophy, but they don’t want to come to your history, your economics, your politics. What can I do? And that man has challenged me: ‘Never again call me in; otherwise you will have to face a public encounter.’”
But so many complaints came from every department that finally he had to come. He knew that it was better not to call me; he had to come to my class. He could not believe it: in philosophy there are very few students, because philosophy is not a paying subject. But the class was overcrowded, there was not even space for him to enter. I saw him standing in the door behind the students. I told the students, “Let the vice chancellor come in. Let him also enjoy the whole scene that is happening here.”
He came in. He could not believe his eyes: girls and boys were all sitting together and so joyously listening to me. Not a single disturbance, because I had prevented all the disturbances from the very root. Now, the boy was sitting by his girlfriend; there was no need to throw a stone, throw a letter. There was no need.
He said, “I cannot believe that it is such a crowded class and there is pin-drop silence.”
I said, “There is bound to be because there is no repression. I have told the students that when they want to go they need not ask my permission, they should simply go; when they want to come in they should simply come in, they need not ask my permission. It is none of my business whether they are here or not: ‘I enjoy teaching, I will go on teaching. If you want to sit here, sit. Otherwise get lost.’ But nobody goes away.”
The vice chancellor said, “This should happen to every class. But I am not a strong man like you; I cannot say to the government that this is the way it should be.”

The whole of society is trying to repress sexuality. And then perversion comes in; then perversion brings psychological problems.
My therapies are just to clean. Whatever perversions have entered in, you have to be brought back to their natural source; they have to be changed into expressions, not repressions.
And it is a miracle to see. When all your repressed energy becomes expressive you cannot believe that you have so much energy, and you can do so much that you can also be a creator. Right now society has played a very ugly game on human beings. It has turned them against themselves, as if there has been a teaching, “I have to put my right hand against the left hand, and I have to go on trying to win.” Who is going to win? It is my left hand, it is my right hand; they both belong to me.
But one thing is certain: if I get involved in such a conflict, I will be split. That is what schizophrenia is. People’s energies have been split against themselves, so half of the person is against the other half, and they are fighting – their whole life is wasted in fighting. The same energy could have made this existence more beautiful, more creative, more relaxed, more enjoyable. There would have been more love, more laughter.
My therapeutic work is to undo everything that society has done to you. The moment you are completely freed from society, that’s what I mean by sannyas: that you have dropped the prison that you have been carrying all around yourself, that you are no longer a caged bird. Although the cage was made of gold, and there was much investment in it, and it was so beautiful, a piece of art, it destroyed your freedom. It destroyed you.
My work consists of bringing you out of your cages – Hindu, Christian, Jewish, communist, theist, atheist. There are so many cages of all sizes and shapes; you can choose any cage, there is no problem.
Every shopkeeper who is selling cages is against me – every one, without exception – for the simple reason that I am teaching my people that cages are not the place to live. The whole sky is yours. Just open your wings and try to reach the stars.
Other therapies are doing just the opposite. You are somehow trying to get out of the cage. Perhaps a part of you is already out of the cage – that’s what the society calls crazy, insane. And the work of the psychoanalyst is to force you back, to convince you with all his jargon, “This is not right, you should not try to get out of the cage. The cage is your safety, security, your sanity. In the cage you are normal; outside of the cage you will become abnormal.”
I want everybody to come out of the cage and live a life of absolute freedom. This life of freedom will make him capable of one day knowing his ultimate reality. I am using therapy for the first time as the groundwork for meditation. Also I am using meditations on a base of therapy for the first time, because to me a person who starts meditating without going through therapy will have a tremendously hard time – and perhaps will never reach enlightenment. It is almost impossible; first he has to drop so many things, with all those things you cannot go on uphill, to Everest.

When Edmund Hillary reached the top of Everest, he had to throw away everything. They had carried all kinds of facilities, but by the time he reached there, even to carry a flask was too much – because the air is so thin and the oxygen is so little, breathing becomes difficult. Carrying even a small load – just a flask of coffee or tea – even that he had to drop. When he reached the top he was standing there alone. He even had to drop his overcoat on the way; it was becoming too heavy.

The same is the situation with enlightenment. It is an Everest of consciousness, and you will have to drop everything. You will have to unburden yourself.
Therapies help you to unburden, and meditation teaches you how to go uphill. Both together make the whole equation.

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