The Last Testament Vol 2 12

Twelth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Last Testament Vol 2 by Osho.
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The Tennessean,
Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Glad to meet you.
It's nice to meet you.
I am perfect.
I am just perfect. Start your questions.
Well I have a lot of questions, but the reason that I come is mainly a curiosity of my own to feel what it's like to be near you, and to ask a question of mine, that's a sort of apprehension of…
It will be easy now that you are here. And it will be easier to understand because you have a personal curiosity. A journalist who just comes to do his job cannot get to the very roots of anything. His approach remains superficial. It is good that you feel personally involved, that you want to know things not only intellectually, but existentially too.
It will be possible for me to communicate with you more easily. Your questions can be intellectual, my answers will not be. Questions don’t matter; what matters is the answer. And what matters even more than the answer is who is answering – whether he is simply answering the question or responding to a living human being. I don’t answer questions, I answer you.
I have to reach to your heart, not to your mind. And I know your heart is already beating – so better you start. And don’t be worried; whatsoever the question is, I am open and available, for any kind of question, any curiosity. You cannot ask me a question that has not been asked thousands of times.
I had sort of felt that.
But I always answer differently. I don’t care much about the question; whatever I want to answer, I answer. I use the question only as a jumping board.
Well, one thing I was curious about is that I had heard that you don't dream. And I'm wondering if that's true, and why. Why you don't dream?
It is true. One has to understand why one dreams. One dreams because there are unfulfilled moments, repressed desires, things that you wanted to do but could not because of the society, because of the culture, because of the religion. Animals don’t dream. Primitive people don’t dream. I have come across aboriginal tribes in India which are still living five thousand years back, they don’t dream. The more a man becomes repressed, civilized, starts repressing his nature and projecting a certain personality which is respectable, then there are dreams.
Dreams are simply to help you: what you could not do in your waking hours you can do in your sleep. They are a kind of substitute. That’s why Sigmund Freud and his school of psychoanalysis were so interested in your dreams. They were not at all interested in what you think in the day; that is all hypocrisy. What they were interested in was what you dream in the night, because that will give them a clue to the true person.
But a Sigmund Freud would be absolutely amazed if he met me, because I never leave anything incomplete. I do only what I want to do, irrespective of any consequences. I don’t care about respectability, I don’t care about what others think of me. I simply live my life. And because I live so intensely and totally there is nothing residual that can create dreams. Dreams are your unlived life.
You can try a simple experiment: fast for one day, and in the night you will have dreams of eating very good, delicious food. The fasting created a dream about food. Repress your sexual desire in the day, and in the night you will have a sexual dream.
Freud’s interest was correct – to know about you, your dreams have to be known. Once your dreams are known, then you can be helped to become more natural, less repressive, and to see where the points in your life are where you have been denying yourself, sacrificing yourself, either in the name of the country or in the name of religion.
I have never sacrificed anything. I have never done anything against myself. Whatever I want to say I say; whatever I want to do I do. I have never followed anybody, I have never taken anybody’s advice. I have lived a very innocent, primitive, simple life. That’s why there are no dreams.
Well, another thing I was wondering is how parents could raise their children differently, or treat their children differently as they're growing up – to reduce all the conditioning and the oppression that we then struggle with as adults.
A few guidelines can be given.
One: they should not make any effort that their children become carbon copies of themselves. And every parent is doing just that, trying to make the child a carbon copy. If you love your children, that is the first thing to be stopped – completely stopped – for the single and simple reason that nature does not accept carbon copies. It accepts only the original.
And they should ask themselves what have they gained in their life: what are their blessings, what are their songs and ecstasies? There is nothing – their lives are empty deserts, and still they are trying for their children to live according to them. One thing is certain, that their children should not live according to them. That should be their basic approach, because they have achieved only misery, anguish, anxiety, all kinds of suffering. But they are completely unaware that they are again preparing another generation for the same kind of experiences.

When I came back home from the university, my parents were naturally concerned about my marriage. My mother asked me first, because my father was always very cautious about asking me anything – because once I have said anything then there was no way to change it. So first he tried through my mother, “You should find out what he feels about marriage, because once he has said no to me, we would have to drop the subject completely! So, just to feel out his mind…”
When I was going to sleep, my mother came and sat on my bed and asked me, “Now you have finished your education, what do you think about marriage?”
I said, “I would like to ask you, because I have never been married before so I don’t have any experience. You have been married, you have raised eleven children. You are an experienced person – I seek your advice. Has this life been a life of blessings? Have you not thought many times in your life, that if you had not married it would have been better? And I don’t ask you to answer right now; I give you fifteen days to think it over.”
She said, “This is really strange. I was going to give you time to think about it, and you are telling me to think about it!”
I said, “Yes, because I don’t know. I trust you. If after fifteen days you say that yes, your life has been a life of tremendous joy and ecstasy, of course I will get married. But remember, I am trusting you so much, I am giving my whole life into your hands, in trust.
“And remember also that I know your life – there has never been any ecstasy, any blessing. It was a continuous fight, a struggle – with the father, with the children…” In India, it is a joint family. My family consisted of at least sixty people: my uncles, their wives, their children. “And you have been continuously miserable – that I know. Perhaps inside you may have experienced something that I am not aware of. Think it over for fifteen days. And I leave it to you. If you say ‘Get married,’ I will get married.”
After fifteen days she said, “No. Don’t get married.” She said, “You tricked me. You trusted me so deeply that I cannot betray you, and I cannot cheat you and cannot lie to you. You are right; many times I have thought, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ – just giving birth to children, raising children. This has been my whole life. From early in the morning at four o’clock, to late, twelve o’clock in the night, I am continuously working. I have never known a single moment of my own.
“These fifteen days,” she said, “have been a great turmoil in me. I have never thought about my whole life the way you forced me to think. I love you, and I take my question back. It was not really my question; your father was trying to find out the answer.”
I said, “Tell him that he should ask me directly.”
She told my father, “As far as I am concerned, it is finished. I have told him not to get married.”
My father said, “My God! You have advised him not to get married?”
She said, “Yes, because he trusted me so much, and he asked me to think it over for fifteen days. He was willing, but no, I cannot cheat and I cannot live with the guilt my whole life. You do whatever you want to do.”
Now he was even more afraid – even my mother had gone out of his hands. But somehow the answer had to be found out, what I wanted to do. He asked one of his friends, a Supreme Court advocate – very famous, very logical and rational, and he thought that that man might be the right man to argue with me.
And of course that man said, “Don’t be worried. I have been arguing in the Supreme Court my whole life. Do you think I cannot convince your boy, who has just come from university? What does he know? What is his experience? I will come tomorrow.”
The next day was Sunday, the courts were closed. He came to my house, and I told him, “Before you start – because my father has told me you are coming to meet me about my marriage – before you start I would like to make a clear statement: that if you convince me, then I am ready to get married, but if you cannot convince me you will have to divorce your wife. Because you have to stake something.
“And I trust you, so I don’t ask for a judge. I have loved and respected you, just as I have loved and respected my father. You have been such bosom friends, I have never thought of you as anything other than my father. So I don’t ask for a judge, because that would be distrusting you. I trust your abilities and I am ready for the arguments, but this condition should be remembered.”
He said, “Then just give me a little time, because I had never thought about this alternative. The truth is that I have suffered my whole life because of my marriage, but I had never given a thought to it. And you are proposing that I divorce if I cannot convince you in favor of marriage. Let me think it over. I have children, I have a wife, I have all my respectability in the society. I cannot divorce so easily.”
I said, “And you think that I don’t have anything? All that you have is past, and all that I have is future. The past is already dead and finished. I am risking the living, the coming, and you are risking only the gone, the finished. Do you think you are risking more than I am risking?”
And the second day he informed me, “I don’t want to argue about it at all.”
I used to go to his house every day, and he would tell his wife, “Just tell him that I am not in the house.”
Finally the wife asked, “Why are you afraid of that boy? Why do you go into the bathroom and lock it from inside the moment you see him coming? Why are you afraid?”
He said, “You don’t know. The problem is that either he has to get married or I have to get divorced. It is a question of life and death. Simply go on telling him that I am not at home!”
Before I was going to leave the city and join the university as a lecturer, the last day I went and I told his wife, “I know he has always been in, and you also know why he is not coming to face me. Just tell him that he may be an advocate of long experience in the Supreme Court, but he has lost this case as far as I am concerned. Tell him he should stop bragging that he has never lost a case. He has lost an actual, existential case – and even without a judge. He was both. I had given him the chance to be both the client and the judge. He could have cheated me, he could have been insincere to me. But I know that that is very difficult when somebody trusts so deeply in you.”
He came out while I was talking to his wife and he said, “Just forgive me. You are right. I have always been in, but I was afraid. I was never afraid of anybody but I was afraid of you, because I cannot tell a lie when I look at you, at your eyes, at your trust, your love toward me. I cannot tell a lie, and I cannot divorce my wife. There is so much involvement and there is so much investment – that I cannot do. My suggestion is that you talk to your father directly and tell him that there is no other way. He will have to talk directly to you.”

My father never did that. I asked him many times, “Why don’t you ask about my marriage? You have been trying to inquire from other ways; why don’t you ask directly?”
He said, “I know that your answer will create trouble for me. Your answer is not going to become a marriage for you, but it is going to become a nightmare for me. Simply forget the matter. Whatever you want to do, do. If you want to get married, get married; if you don’t want, just drop the subject. As far as I am concerned, I have dropped it.”
Parents should be aware of the conditioning they are giving their children – because they have lived through that conditioning, and what was their achievement? One thing is absolutely certain: that they have failed, that their life has been just a long, long misery and suffering. So one thing is certain: that they should make the children aware, “Don’t copy us, we have failed. Do anything but don’t copy us. At least try something new. Don’t copy us.”
But parents are doing just the opposite. That is a projection of their ego. The father wants the child to represent him to the world – to be more respectable, to be more honored, to be more rich, so that the world knows whose son he is. Even after death, the world will remember him through his son. He is not interested in the individuality of his son, he is interested in his own ego projection. That’s why he completely forgets that he has lived in hell and he is now preparing his son to also live in the same hell. Parents have just to be very alert and aware. This is the first thing.
The second thing is that the children should be protected, watched so that they don’t go astray, that they don’t commit suicide or become addicted to drugs. They should be protected, but very delicately and very understandingly.

I said to my father, “I want to start smoking.”
I was only thirteen year of age, and he said, “What? Smoking? You have some guts – you are asking me? If people want to smoke, and particularly children, they hide somewhere and smoke – and you are asking my permission?”
I said, “Yes, because I don’t do so many wrong things. First smoking, then lying, cheating, hiding – and if I am caught, then what face will I show to you? People are smoking all around, I want to know what is in it. And I don’t have money for it, and I want to have the best kind of cigars, cigarettes – you arrange it.”
He said, “I have to arrange it too?”
I said, “Certainly! Do you want me to steal? Do you want me to beg from the neighbors? You have to arrange it.”
He waited for a moment, then he said, “Yes, perhaps that is the right way. Perhaps you are right.”
He arranged it, and that was my first and last experience with smoking. It was simply stupid and silly to take dirty smoke in and out, when pure oxygen is available. And particularly in my place, it was so beautiful and so windy – polluting your own breathing and paying for it, destroying your own lungs and paying for it…
I told my father, “It is finished forever. But if you had not allowed me, perhaps I may have got into the habit of it. It becomes a challenge. If you say no, then it becomes a challenge. Then I have to prove myself also.”

Every child has to prove his individuality some way or other. And perhaps if I had gone on smoking for a few days I may have become accustomed to it, addicted to it.
Children should be protected, but given all opportunities and freedom. That is my second thing. And children should be given every freedom to experience the good and the bad, so they can decide on their own. You need not say it to them; you need not force them to follow certain rules, regulations. Let them find their way. Simply watch carefully that they don’t fall in a ditch.
And the third thing: never say anything to your children that is not your existential experience. Accept your ignorance. It will give more respect to you, more trust in you. But the parent’s egos want to pretend that they know everything: they know God, they know heaven, they know hell, they know everything – and they know nothing. Sooner or later the children are going to discover that their parents were lying about such ultimate things. That day, all their trust and all their love will disappear into their revenge, hatred.
So the third thing is, just say to the children what you have experienced. And tell them that you don’t know anything about godliness; you want to know but you don’t know, you are a seeker. And tell the children, “You are also to be seekers. If I find it before you, I will tell you. If you find it before, you tell me. We can always be available to communicate.”
This is one of the most difficult things in the world. Parents and children are living with such a gap that communication is almost impossible. Whatever the parents say to the children looks rubbish; whatever the children say to the parents looks childish.
The third thing means that the parents should be friends to their children. It is their responsibility to bridge the gap. Be respectful to the child. Parents expect respect from the children, but they forget that it is something mutual. Respect the children and they will respect you. Trust the children and they will trust you. Then there is a possibility of communication. And a great communication is needed. But that is possible only if the parents are not lying.

For example, when my father told me, “Now it is time that you should start coming to the temple with me and learn something about our religion,” I said, “I need not go there. Whatever you have learned, whatever you have experienced, you can teach me. I trust you more than the priest, a paid priest in the temple. I trust you more. I don’t trust those dead statues in the temple. And how am I going to know if what is written in the scriptures is true or not? You have been going to the temple your whole life. Tell me, have you really experienced anything, or was it just a dead ritual? Your parents have handed it over to you, and now you are handing it over to me?”
He never asked me again to come to the temple. He said to me, “You are right. I have not got anything from all these prayers, no answer. I have not experienced anything that these religions go on teaching. And I have tried my best.”
That much I was certain, that he was a man who would try his best in anything that he wanted to do. I had seen him praying for hours in the temple, morning, evening; I had seen him reading scriptures late in the night. I told him, “You have just to tell me, that if you have not got anything out of all this waste of time, then let me search in my own way. Don’t interfere.”

And you will be surprised, he died as my disciple. He died as a sannyasin – because I found it before he could find it through his past, dead, twenty-five centuries-old religion. I told him, “I have found it, and I am ready to communicate with you. And I am grateful to you that you did not force me, because I was too helpless, too dependent. You could have forced me to go to the temple, to learn from the priest, to read the same scriptures that for generations you have been reading. But in twenty-five hundred years, has anyone of your family become enlightened?”
In India many families have their family trees. My family had its family tree. It is a big map of twenty-five hundred years – how many people there had been who remained unmarried, who got married, how many children were born to him, the whole tree. I asked him, “The tree is hanging there” – we had a small temple in the house – “it is hanging there. Come with me and tell me who, out of all of these thousands of people, has become enlightened. And they have all been doing the same thing that you are doing. And I am grateful that you did not force me. With me there comes a discontinuity with your tree; I am no longer continuous with all these people.”
Tell me about trust, how you speak of it. How did you develop then the kind of trust that you're talking about? And how does somebody develop that kind of trust? You seem to have more than your parents had for you.
Trust is simply a very purified love. Love without sex, that is trust. They loved me. I was their eldest son, and in India it is traditional that the eldest son is going to inherit the whole family’s property, money, everything. So the eldest son has to be trained, prepared for all the responsibilities that will be his sooner or later. He will be the head of the family, a joint family, and he will have to manage it.
Naturally they loved me. They tried their best to make me as capable, as intelligent as possible. I loved them because it was not only love from their side, but respect too – respect for my individuality. Soon they understood that nothing could be imposed on me. It took a little time for them to understand that they had a different kind of child; they could not impose anything on me. At the most they could persuade, they could argue, and if they could convince me about something, I would do it. But they could not just order, and say, “Do it because I am your father.”
I had made it clear to them, “I am not going to accept anybody’s order. You may be my father, but that does not mean that you are going to be my intelligence, my individuality, my life. You have given birth to me, but that does not mean that you possess me. I am not a thing. So if you want me to do something, be prepared. Do your homework well; I am going to argue to the very end, till I feel convinced.”
So on each small thing – soon they recognized the fact, “It is better to propose a thing and leave him to decide whether he wants to do it or not. Don’t waste unnecessary time and don’t unnecessarily harass him and be harassed by him.” And because they gave me every freedom, my love became trust.
Love becomes trust when it is non-possessive. It does not reduce you into a thing. It accepts your individuality, your freedom, and it has every respect for you, although you are just a child. Their respect toward me became my trust toward them. I knew that they were people who could be trusted, who could not deceive me in anything.
And because I trusted so much – this is just a circle – because I trusted so much, they could not do anything or say anything which would disturb my trust in them. They never took me to the temple, they never gave me any religion. I have grown up on my own, and they allowed it. They protected me in every possible way. They helped me in every possible way, but they never interfered with me. And that’s what every parent should do.
If these three things are the guidelines, we will have a totally new world and a new man. We will have individuals, not crowds, not mobs. And every individual is so unique that to force him to become part of a crowd is to destroy him, his uniqueness. He could have contributed immensely to the world, but it was possible only if he was left alone – supported, helped, but not directed.
Now everywhere there is a vast generation gap. The parents are responsible for it, because they have been trying to impose their ideologies, political, social, religious, philosophical – they are trying to impose all kinds of things on their children. And this is the first time that something strange has happened in the world, of which they are not aware.
In the past, just five hundred years ago, the generation gap did not exist, for a simple reason – and it does not exist even now in very primitive societies. The child starts working with his father when he is seven years old, eight years old. If the father is a woodcutter, he becomes a woodcutter. Naturally the father knows more about woodcutting. And the child never becomes a youth, the way children today become youths. You send them to schools, to the university. By the time they come back home they are twenty-five years old, twenty-six years old. They are fully adult. They have intelligence of their own. They have their logic, their rationality. You cannot behave with them in the same way as in the past all parents have behaved with their children.
A seven-year-old child is a totally different phenomenon. He grows with his father. By the time he is twenty-five he is already old. In fact “youth” is a contemporary phenomenon. In primitive societies there is childhood, there is maturity, but there is no gap where somebody is simply young – doing nothing, no responsibility, supported financially, being given all kinds of education. By the time he returns home, you cannot expect him to be a Jew or a Christian or a Mohammedan. But that is your expectation. You cannot expect him not to argue with you: “That is disrespectful; to answer your parents is disrespectful.” But things have changed immensely.
A new phenomenon of “youth” has come into existence, and that is the gap. And the gap is going to become bigger and bigger, because in many fields your boy knows more than you. When he comes back home from the university, your child knows much more than you. You cannot expect the same old relationship, when the father always knew more – when older people always knew more because there was no school other than experience.
Now there are schools, colleges, universities. They give the child so much of which no parent knows. Children cannot have the same respect toward those ignorant people as children used to have before. Something has to be done by the parents, so that even these children can again have the same trust. But they have to do something very new: they have to accept that they are ignorant about many things. “You know many things because you have been educated. We are ready and willing to learn from you.” It is against their egos, but there is no other way. They have to give respect to their children and their knowledge. That is the only way to bridge the gap.
Then children will also feel gratitude toward their parents, because they supported, they educated them. Without them, they would have not been anywhere, and still they don’t have ego. Still, although they are older, they want to learn from their own children. That is the only possibility to bridge the gap.
It was a constant problem for me in my university. I have been expelled from many colleges and many universities.
For the simple reason that I knew more than the professors. I was reading so much, and the professors had stopped reading thirty years before, when they passed their Ph.D.s and became professors. They were finished. But in those thirty years so much had grown. In those last thirty years man had grown in every dimension of knowledge, more than he had been able to in three thousand years.

So when I entered the philosophical class, my professor had no idea of Jean-Paul Sartre, no idea of Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Soren Kierkegaard. Those names were simply not part of his education, because when he was studying these people were not in existence. They were not part of the curriculum. And what he remembered was Bosanquet, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach. Now they are all outdated; they have been replaced by better minds, far more intelligent. I knew all about Kant and Hegel and Bosanquet, but I knew much more about Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Sartre, Marcel. They had no idea of these people.
It was a strange situation, because on every point they were feeling defeated. I was expelled just for the simple reason that the professors continuously complained against me: “He is disturbance. He doesn’t allow us to move a single inch without days of argument. And when are we going to finish the course? This boy seems not to be interested in the course and he brings such names, of which we have never heard. And now, in our old age, we are not going to read all that he is reading. And it is very awkward in front of the other students to feel that you know nothing about the latest developments in philosophy.”
My principals would call me and they would say, “We know perfectly well that you are not wrong. You are not being expelled for doing anything wrong. I feel sad and sorry for you, and I want you to forgive me, but we cannot lose the professor. He is an old, well-reputed professor, and he has threatened – that either you will be in the university or he will be. He’s given his resignation.”
They showed me his resignation. It said, “Either you expel that boy or accept the resignation.”
I said, “It is better you expel me, because what I am doing here I will do somewhere else. But your college, your university will miss a well-reputed professor. And I don’t want him to find another job somewhere else in his old age; no, that is not for me to do. That is ugly. Call the professor, give him his resignation back, and tell him that I am being expelled.”
I have seen tears in my principals’, in my vice-chancellors’ eyes, that they are expelling somebody who has done no wrong. And I said to them, “You need not feel sorry about it. I have not done anything wrong, but I have done something far more dangerous, and that is make the professor feel continuously embarrassed every day.”

Now, these professors could have bridged the gap. They could have simply said, “Perhaps you are right and we are wrong; but the reason is we studied thirty years ago, and we don’t know anything about what has happened within these years. Wittgenstein’s name we have heard for the first time from you. So naturally we cannot argue.”
Just this much was needed, and they would have gained my respect, that they are capable men who can even accept ignorance. They are humble people who can say clearly, “I don’t know, so please don’t bring in these thirty years. What I know I can discuss with you with full confidence, but you bring people’s names, theories, ideas of which we know nothing. But we argue with you just to pretend that we know, and naturally we are defeated, because we are not really aware of what you are saying and we don’t understand the implications of it.”
They had known of Aristotle and his logic, but they had no idea that modern physics had gone beyond Aristotle, and his whole logic had been proved wrong. Now, I was reading Albert Einstein whose whole life’s experiments, philosophy, simply cut Aristotle, who had been the dominant figure in the world of logic for two thousand years, at the roots. Aristotle was thought to be the father of logic in the West. They were not aware that Albert Einstein had already finished him; there was no Aristotle anymore of any significance. They had known Euclid and his geometry, but they were not aware that now his geometry is no longer applicable. Modern physics had developed non-Euclidian geometry, had to invent it. They were simply shocked because they had never thought that Euclid could be wrong.
Euclid says that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Perfectly right. But Albert Einstein says there are no straight lines in existence. You cannot draw a straight line; that is an impossibility, existentially impossible. Euclid or no Euclid, you cannot draw a straight line.

And when I said this to one of my professors, he said, “That is strange. I can draw one.”
I said, “Draw it on the floor. The earth is round. If you go on drawing it, finally it will become a circle. So the small straight line was just illusory. It was an arc, it was not straight.”

Euclid says two parallel lines can never meet. And Einstein says they meet – because, whatever you do, two parallel lines cannot be created in the first place. And according to Euclid, the definition of the line is that it has length but it has no breadth. How can you draw a line which has no breadth, only length? Only in imagination – you cannot draw it on the board. Howsoever small the breadth of it may be, still it is there.
Euclid says the point has neither length nor breadth. But you cannot draw a point. Magnify it and you will see it has both. Even when it is so small, visibly the smallest possible, then too it has both the things which Euclid is denying.
So it was difficult for them, but the difficulty was simply their ego. If they had accepted, “Perhaps you know better because you have been educated and you have been learning things about which we were never educated,” they would have had all my respect, all my trust, and there would have been no problem. I would have dropped the argument.
I had told them, “If you simply accept your ignorance about the point, I will not raise it again, because I don’t want in any way to let you down. But you insist that you know – then I am going to fight to the very end and prove that your knowledge is wrong.”
It is the same question with the generations, with professors, with students, with teachers and their students, with fathers and their sons. It is the same question: that the older party is not ready to accept its ignorance.
In the past there was no need. The older party always knew more than the younger, so the question never arose. But now the younger generation knows more than the older generation, so we have to change our attitudes; otherwise the gap will go on increasing. It is already too big. Parents and children are no longer on talking terms. They meet only when there is some need, either on the child’s side or on the father’s side; otherwise there is no communication. They never sit together, they never chitchat, they never joke with each other, they never laugh with each other. There is no relationship.
A tremendous revolution has to happen, and the responsibility certainly lies with the older generation. You cannot put such a great responsibility on the new young people; they are too young. But the older people can understand that the situation between the generations has changed. With the change of situation, your attitude should change. You should be more respectful to the younger people; then they will not become hippies. If you are respectful to your children they will not become drug addicts. This is simply the gap, that they don’t have any communication with you. They have communication only with people of their own age. All are inexperienced; so if one is taking a drug, the other starts taking a drug. If one is becoming a communist, the other starts becoming a communist. If one declares atheism, others start following atheistic ideas. Now they can communicate only with their own age group, which is very dangerous because they are all inexperienced. And you cannot dump the whole responsibility on those young people. They are so young.
The older generation should take some steps, move closer to the new generation. And that can be done only if you are not trying to prove, “We are older than you, higher than you, more knowledgeable than you, holier than you” – then the gap is going to become bigger.
Now, here you can see it: I don’t say to my people that you have to believe in me, or you have to accept whatever I say to you. My basic thing is, learn to doubt. I teach doubt, and strangely, they trust me. This is how life functions, in a very mysterious way. Their parents say, “Believe in us,” their priests say, “Believe in us,” and they don’t believe. They refuse. I say, “Doubt,” because doubt is my fundamental teaching, “be skeptical. Never believe anything unless you experience it.”
Giving them so much respect, allowing them to doubt everything, allowing them to be skeptical – even about me – naturally creates a respect, a love, a trust for the man. This man cannot deceive you. This man cannot indoctrinate you. His whole approach is of doubt – how can he indoctrinate you?
I don’t call them my followers, I call them my friends, my fellow travelers. The very idea of leader and follower is rotten, out of date. The new generation cannot communicate with a leader; the new generation needs friends. And it is the older generation’s responsibility to fulfill the need. If they need friends, why should you unnecessarily impose yourself as a leader? Friendship is far closer, far more beautiful – and in friendship there is communion.
My people can listen to me with immense trust – and I am teaching them doubt. They can listen to me with immense silence – and I am teaching them to be skeptical.
You mean skeptical of things around them, but not of themselves?
About everything. Unless you find the truth – that you cannot doubt – you have to go on doubting. Doubt is the method of eliminating everything that is wrong. When everything wrong is eliminated, what is left is truth.
Doubt is something like a candle: first the flame burns the wax, but ultimately it burns itself. The wax is gone, then the flame is also gone. Exactly the same is the situation with doubt. It is a beautiful phenomenon. It doubts and goes on doubting – eliminating the wax – but when all that can be doubted is finished, doubt itself has to commit suicide. There is nothing else to doubt. You have come face to face with something which is indubitable, and that is what I call the truth, about everything.
And when you come to experience the truth in any dimension of life, you are so immensely enriched that whoever taught you to doubt you will feel grateful toward for your whole life, because without him you would never have reached to this experience, to this space, to this ecstasy. If you had believed, you would have remained with your dead belief.
A Christian believes, because Jesus says, “Believe. Have faith.” So for two thousands years they are believing and having faith, and what have they gained? What is their achievement? Just two thousand years of bloodshed – murdering, killing, wars, burning people alive – and that all in the name of God, in the name of Jesus Christ.
But the responsibility is on Jesus Christ himself. He was telling people to believe. That means he was telling people to be hypocrites. That’s what belief means – you don’t know and yet you pretend that you know. You worship a God you don’t know, and yet you are praying to something that you don’t know. Is this the way of intelligence? Is this the way to grow, mature? This is the way of remaining retarded.
Jesus is responsible for millions of people who have remained retarded, because he taught belief. But this is true also of other religious leaders. The whole past is based on belief systems. And you can see the result: the whole mess in the world.
My approach is based on doubt, on agnosticism, on skepticism, because these are the ways to eliminate anything that is not true.
What's the major belief that you think needs to be eliminated to…?
God is the major belief that has to be eliminated, because all other things hang on God. God eliminated means prophets, messiahs, saviors, messengers – all are eliminated. Heaven, hell – all are eliminated. With God eliminated, we can clean the whole mind of man. All rubbish will simply disappear. It can exist only with God. He is the center of the madness of man. He is the greatest block against human intelligence and its evolution.
Just think, if there is no God, then there are no holy scriptures, then there are no popes, no prophets. Then you cannot depend on anybody, you have to depend on yourself. In the beginning it is a little scary but soon you will start finding strength in yourself, in your independence.
How long has man been moving like a blind person, following somebody who himself is blind? The blind are leading the blind since millions of years. Jesus Christ has no experience of God. There is no God, so how can he have experience of God? He may have hallucinated, he may have imagined, he may have dreamed, but there is no God anywhere. Existence is all. And the very idea of God creates a split in existence: the creator and the creation. And that is the root cause of all other splits.
All the people who are suffering from schizophrenia may never know that the basic schizophrenia comes from the split between God and existence. Then you are continuously split: your body wants to do one thing, your mind says that is wrong, because your religion teaches you celibacy and your body wants to make love. You are torn apart. If you listen to the body you will feel guilty; if you listen to the mind you will become a sexual pervert. In both case you are going to be a loser.
So I say emphatically and absolutely: God is the greatest lie that has to be removed from human consciousness. And once man is free from God, hell and heaven, sin and virtue, his intelligence is free to grow. All the barriers have been removed. And it is his intelligence that will now be decisive about his actions, and he himself will be responsible. And each act brings its own punishment or its own reward, so there is no need to wait for the last judgment day – each act. If you are compassionate to someone you feel the joy of being compassionate – that is its reward. If you are angry at someone, you are first burning inside yourself. Even before you have acted on your anger you have suffered the punishment.
In my vision, every action has its intrinsic reward or punishment. So a man of intelligence soon starts finding out what acts bring you happiness, joy, blissfulness, and what actions create misery, suffering. There is no need to wait for the last judgment day, there is no need to wait until after death when you will be thrown into hell or into heaven. Each moment completes itself.
And if you are the person who is responsible, totally responsible, then certainly each of your actions will show that responsibility. Right now you can dump everything on God, everything on the past life, everything on the devil. But if God is removed, the devil is gone. The devil is God’s shadow. They cannot exist separate from each other. God needs the devil, the devil needs God.
You will be surprised to know that the world devil and the word divine come from the same Sanskrit root. Divine and devil are from the same Sanskrit root, which is very significant. It means they are just two branches of one tree and they can only exist together, perhaps like two sides of a coin: you cannot separate them.
Once man feels free from God and the devil and all nonsense, he is free from churches, free from temples, free from mosques, synagogues – a tremendous sense of freedom. And to act responsibly, because you are going to suffer from your act or to rejoice from your act – your act itself is decisive. Nobody else is going to decide for you. Then an intelligent person will easily sort out – perhaps he will fall once in a while into the wrong place, but he will not fall twice in the same place. And that is the way of learning: commit as many mistakes as you can, but don’t commit the same mistake again. That’s how one matures; one becomes more understanding, becomes more clear. And all this ultimately leads to enlightenment, because you cannot depend on praying, you have to find something else.
Prayer is addressed to a God. If there is no God, all prayers are meaningless. Meditation is not addressed to anybody. It is an inner journey of being silent, of being more and more peaceful, of being more and more alert and aware. A moment comes when your consciousness is so clear, so luminous, that time stops, that thoughts stop. You simply are, in your utter purity. That experience I call religiousness. For it, you need not go to any church, you need not belong to any crowd, you need not have any holy scripture. For that, all that is needed is an inward journey. And that’s what I am teaching my people.

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