The Search 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 9 discourses - The Search by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
You say that the mind's substance is memory and information. Does reading therefore inflate and invigorate the mind?
It depends. It depends on you. You can use reading as food for the ego. It is very subtle. You can become knowledgeable; then it is dangerous and harmful. Then you are poisoning yourself because knowledge is not knowing, knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom has nothing to do with knowledge. Wisdom can exist in total ignorance. If you use reading as food for the mind, just to increase your memory, then you are going in the wrong direction. But reading can be used in a different way; then reading is as beautiful as anything else in life.
If you read the Gita, not to collect information but to listen to the song of the divine – which is not in the words but between the words, which is not in the lines but between the lines – if you read the Bhagavad Gita as a song of the divine, if you listen to the music of it, then it has a tremendous beauty and it can be helpful. In certain moments of deep absorption, you will become one with the divine.
This can happen listening to the song of a bird also. So the question is not about the Gita, Bible or Koran – the basic question is about the listener. About how you listen. Are you greedy just to know more? Then all of them - the Gita, Koran, Bible - will poison you. If there is no greed, if you are just reading it as a beautiful poem; it has tremendous beauty in it. You are not trying to fill your memory with it, but you are just being aware - reading, watching, observing, going into it as much as possible. Remaining at the same time aloof – a watcher on the hills. You should not be impressed, because all impressions are like dust gathering on the mirror. I am not saying not to allow inspiration; that is totally different. To be inspired is totally different from being impressed. Anybody can be impressed, but to be inspired you need great intelligence, understanding.
Inspiration is getting in tune with a certain scripture, to be meditative with it – not through your mind, but through your totality. If you read the Gita that way, you are reading the Gita with your blood, with your guts, with your heart, with your mind, with your body. Everything that you have, your totality, is there. When you are simply collecting information, only your head is there and nothing else. Then you gather impressions and you miss.
Listening to me, the same is possible. You can listen to my words; you can listen to me. If you listen only to the words, you will leave a little more knowledgeable than when you came here; however, your burden will be more, not less. You will be deeper in bondage, not freed, because whatsoever I am saying, these are not words. Listen to the silence in them. Listen to the person who is speaking through them. Be with me! If you forget my words, nothing is lost. But if you carry only my words and you forget me, everything is lost.
Listening to me should not be only through your head, but with your totality. You are a unity. Everything is joined together. When you listen to me, listen from your heart, listen from your feet, your hands – become a listener totally, not just with your head. If your head listens, then it goes on comparing with whatsoever you have known before. It goes on interpreting and, of course, your interpretations are yours, not mine.
Everybody, if he is listening from his head, is going to listen from acquired knowledge, from some conclusions already achieved. Then he is not pure, not uncorrupted. Then he is listening from a corrupted mind – and whatsoever he interprets will be his interpretation.
I was reading an anecdote; it happened in a small school:

The teacher was telling the pupils about the discovery of America – Columbus and his journey and his discovery. One small boy was very, very excited; he was listening very intently, attentively. So the teacher asked him to write an essay on the discovery of America. This is what that brilliant boy wrote:
Columbus was a man who could make an egg stand on end without crushing it. One day the king of Spain sent for him and asked: “Can you discover America?”
“Yes,” Columbus answered, “if you will get me a boat.”
He got the boat and sailed in the direction of where he knew America was. The sailors mutinied and swore there was no such place as America, but finally the pilot came to Columbus and said, “Captain, land is in sight.”
When the boat neared the shore, Columbus saw a group of natives. “Is this America ?” he asked them.
“Yes,” they replied.
“I suppose you are Indians?” Columbus went on.
“Yes,” said the chief, “and you are Christopher Columbus, I take it?”
“I am,” said Columbus.
The Indian chief then turned to his fellow savages and said, “The jig is up. We are discovered at last.”

A child listens with a child’s mind, his own interpretations. Everybody listens with his own mind – then you are hearing but not listening.
In India, when somebody is reading an ordinary book it is called “reading”; but whenever somebody is reading the Gita we have a special term for it - we call it path. Literally translated it will mean “lesson.” Ordinary reading is just reading – mechanical; but when you read so deeply absorbed in it that the very reading becomes a lesson, then the reading goes deep into your being. It is not only part of your memory now but has become part of your being. You have absorbed it, you are drunk with it. You don’t carry the message in so many words, but you have the essence in you. The very essential has moved into your being. We call it path.
In reading a book, once you have read it, the book is finished. To read it twice would be meaningless; thrice will be simply foolish. But in path you have to read the same book every day. There are people who have been reading their Gita every day for years – fifty, sixty years – their whole life. Now that is not reading, because it is not a question of knowing what is written in it; they know, they have read it thousands of times. Then what are they doing? They are bringing their consciousness again and again to the same tuning, as if Krishna is alive before them, or Jesus is alive before them. They are no longer reading a book. They have transformed themselves into a different space, into a different time, into a different world.
Read the Gita, sing it, dance with it, and allow it as much as possible to go within. Soon words are left behind, but the music goes deeper. Then even that music is left behind – only the rhythm resounds. And then even that is gone. All the nonessential is gone - only the essential remains. That essential is inexpressible. It cannot be said – one has to experience it.
So if you read, it depends on you whether reading is going to help you become free, or whether reading is going to make you a greater slave. Whether it is going to become a freedom or an imprisonment depends on you.

A music teacher took her class to a concert in the hope of further developing their musical appreciation. After the program she took them out to eat and they had cakes, ice cream and other goodies.
Just as they were ready to go home, the teacher asked the youngest of them, “Well, did you enjoy the concert?”
“Oh yes,” he replied happily, “all except the music.”

If you read the Gita or the Bible only from your head, you will be enjoying everything else except the music; and the music is the real thing. That’s why we have called it the Bhagavad Gita – the song of the divine. The whole appreciation of it is in the internal coherence. It is poetry, it is not prose. And poetry has to be understood in a totally different way from prose.
Prose is logical, poetry is illogical. Prose is linear, it moves in a straight line. Poetry is not linear, it is circular, it moves in circles. Prose is for ordinary things and ordinary experiences. There are experiences which cannot be expressed in prose. Those experiences need poetry. Poetry means a more liquid form. Poetry means a more singing, dancing, celebrating form. All great scriptures are poetry; even if they are written in prose, they are poetry. Poetry can be written in prose and prose can be written in poetry. So it is not a question of the linguistic form only – it is a question of its very essence.
So when you read the Koran, don’t read it – sing it! Otherwise you will miss; you will miss everything because you will think you have understood everything, but the whole thing is in the music. If the music of the Koran, the Bible or the Gita surrounds you, and you have a dancing feeling, your energy is in sheer delight, overflowing, tears, laughter, dancing. If you feel as if a new breeze has entered your being, then you aren’t gathering dust.
To read is to know a certain art. It is to go into deep sympathy. It is to go into a sort of participation. It is a great experiment in meditation. If you read the Gita the same way as you read novels, you will miss it. It has layers and layers of depth. Hence, path – every day one has to repeat it. It is not a repetition; if you know how to repeat it, it is not a repetition. If you don’t know, then it is a repetition.
Try it for just three months. Read the same book – you can choose any small book – every day. And don’t bring your yesterday reading to it: again just as fresh as the sun rises in the morning – again fresh as flowers come this morning, again fresh. Just open the Gita again, excited, thrilled. Again read it, again sing it, and see. It reveals a new meaning to you.
It has nothing to do with yesterday and all the yesterdays before when you read it. It gives you a certain significance today, this moment; but if you bring your yesterdays with you, then you will not be able to read the new meaning. Your mind is already full of meaning. You think you already know. You think you have been reading this book again and again – so what is the point? Then you go on reading it like a mechanical thing, and you go on thinking a thousand and one other thoughts. Then it is futile. Then it is just boring. Then you will not be rejuvenated by it. You will become dull. That’s why, out of a hundred, ninety-nine religious persons are dull. Their intelligence is not sharp; it’s almost stupid. It is very difficult to find a religious man who is not stupid, because they are repeating the same ritual every day – but their minds are on the wrong things, not on the rituals. You can do the same thing as absolutely new; there is no need to repeat it.
You love a woman, then the woman is new every day. Reading the Gita or Koran is just like a love affair - every day is new. Maybe the words are the same, but the same words can carry different meanings. The same words can penetrate into your being from different doors. The same words in a certain moment can have a certain significance which they will not have in any other context. The meaning depends on you, not on the words you read. You bring meaning to the Gita, or Koran, or Bible, not vice versa.
Of course, after twenty-four hours you are more experienced. You have lived life for twenty-four hours more. In fact, you are not the same person. The Gita is the same – you are not the same person. After twenty-four hours, how much water has flowed in the Ganges?
One day you are in a mood of love. Another day you are in a mood of sadness. One day you are overflowing, another day you are a miser. Different colors and shades of moods - and in different shades and colors you will be reading the same book. Again and again, and the Gita becomes millions of doors. You can enter it from so many ways, from so many doors, and you bring the meaning. The meaning is yours.
One day when your mind has stopped functioning completely and you are just a flow – when I say your mind has stopped functioning completely, I mean you don’t bring the past in at all; the mind is the past – if you don’t bring the past in at all and you can read and listen, then your reading has become a meditation. Yes, reading can be helpful, but ordinarily it proves to be harmful, because the way you behave with books is harmful to you. You simply collect; you go on collecting dead facts. You become a junkyard – maybe an encyclopedia - but you lose the inner coherence, the inner music, the inner harmony. You become a crowd - so many voices, no unity. This is not getting integrated; this is disintegration.
So whatsoever you do – it is not only a question of reading, listening – whatsoever you do, it will depend on you.

The second question:
I took sannyas from Swami Shivanand of Rishikesh after reading his book Brahmacharya and other books of his.
After some years, I was attracted to Sri Ramana Maharshi and thereafter to Sri Aurobindo due to his integral approach to the divine. From 1959 onward I was doing meditation on the lines indicated by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
Thereafter J. Krishnamurti's approach attracted me, now yours.
I enjoy and feel happy whenever I read Sri Aurobindo's works, since he emphasizes living a full life and realization of the integral divine and gives much emphasis to physical transformation.
You also emphasize not to negate life but to live fully, and have given a new meaning to sannyas. Hence I am here to embrace this also. I wonder whether I am on the right path or drifting? What is this multifarious attraction in me? Could you help me with a right path if I am drifting?
The first thing to be understood: before one can come to the right door, one has to knock on many doors. Life is an adventure – of courage, daring, and basically it is trial and error. One has to go astray many times to come to the right path. And when I say the right path, I don’t mean that Sri Ramana’s path is not right, but it must not have been right for you; otherwise there is no need to go further.
Once you have come to the right path for you - and it is always a question of the individual - it has nothing to do with Ramana, Aurobindo or me; it is a question of you. If you have come to me, and you feel at home, then your journey is finished. Now there is no need to drift any more, now you can settle and start working because while drifting work is impossible.
It is as if you start constructing a house and in the middle of it you are attracted to something else, and you leave it and you start another house. And in the middle again you are attracted to something else. Then you will live like a vagabond. The house will never be completed. One has to settle somewhere, one has to commit somewhere, one has to make the fatal decision. But it is not difficult. If you have courage, it happens.
One has to be available to many sources. It is good that you have been to Shivanand, to Ramana, to Aurobindo. It shows you have been seeking – but it also shows that you did not feel at home anywhere. So the journey continued. The journey has to continue until you come to a point where you can say: Yes, I have arrived. Now there is no need for any more departures. Then you can relax. Then the real work starts.
Whatsoever you have been doing is just going from one place to another. The journey is exciting, but the journey is not the goal. One becomes enriched by the journey. You must have become enriched being open to so many sources; you must have learned many things – but still the journey continues. Then you will have to seek again and again.
Now you are here. Try to see and try to understand: do you fit with me, or do I fit with you? Sometimes it is possible that you may have learned only one thing – how to drift again and again, how to go away again and again. It can become a mechanical habit. Then you will be gone from here also. So don’t allow mechanical habits to lead you. If you don’t fit with me, it is perfectly good to go away because then your being here would be a sheer waste of time for you. But if you fit, then take courage and be committed – because only after the commitment does real work start, never before.
You think you have been to Shivanand and you think you have been initiated by him, but the initiation has not happened yet, otherwise you would not be here. Initiation means a commitment: that now one has looked all around – now this is the place to settle. Shivanand may have initiated you, but you have not taken the initiation yet. You have just been a visitor. You have not become intimate with any system of growth.
It is as if the plant has been removed from one place to another again and again. The plant cannot grow; the plant needs to settle on one ground so that roots can go deep. If you go on moving the plant again and again, the roots will never grow; and if roots cannot go deeper, the plant cannot go higher.
Hence commitment. Commitment means: this is the soil for me now and I am ready to settle for it. It is risky because, who knows, a better soil may be available somewhere else. So the risk is there, but one has to take that risk some day or other. If you go on and on just waiting for something better, something better, the time may be lost, and by the time you have arrived you will be dead.
The real thing is the work. It is good to go around, have a look, visit many places, many people – but don’t make it a habit. That habit is dangerous. It won’t allow you roots. If roots are not there, the tree cannot be alive ? flowers are not possible; fragrance will not spread from you and your life will remain empty.
So the first thing: don’t repeat your past a pattern in the future. Now you are here; don’t do the same thing to me as you have done to Shivanand, Ramana, Aurobindo. You don’t know what you have done.
It happened…

A great painter, James McNeill Whistler, is reported to have displayed a just-completed painting to Mark Twain. Twain looked at the painting judiciously from a variety of angles and distances while Whistler waited impatiently for the verdict.
Finally, Twain leaned forward and, making an erasing gesture with his hand, said, “I’d eradicate that cloud if I were you.”
Whistler cried out in agony, “Careful! The paint is still wet!”
“That’s all right,” said Twain coolly, “I’m wearing gloves.”

You must be wearing gloves. You think you were initiated by Shivanand, but it has not happened. Your gloves won’t allow it. You must be living in a capsule, closed. You must be clever, logical, cunning. You have been on the alert not to be committed anywhere deeply. Hence, before the commitment happens, you move on.
You say: “I took sannyas from Swami Shivanand of Rishikesh after reading his book, Brahmacharya, and other books of his.” Now, if you are impressed by a book written on brahmacharya, it shows much about you. You must have something like a problem concerning your sexuality. It has nothing to do with brahmacharya or Shivanand. You must be obsessed somehow with sex – hence the appeal of brahmacharya. You must have been repressing sex. You must have been brought up with wrong ideas about sex; hence you became impressed by Shivanand’s book on celibacy.
It is not that you are impressed by Shivanand – you are still following your own mind. You could not surrender to him. The phenomenon that you call initiation was intellectual; by reading the books, not by being in the presence of the master. You must be an intellectual, calculating, theorizing. This won’t allow you to go into a deep relationship – and the relationship between a master and a disciple is the deepest, deeper than the relationship between a lover and the beloved.
You may have been impressed by what Shivanand has written, but deep down you search for it again and again. It is not Shivanand that you are impressed or influenced by. You have certain ideas in your mind; wherever you find those ideas appreciated, you feel good. With me it is going to be dangerous. I am not going to appreciate any of your ideas; they are all rubbish. I say that even without knowing what your ideas are, because that is not needed. Unless you are aware, all your ideas are rubbish. So it is not a question of saying that this idea is rubbish and that one is good. To me, all thoughts are rubbish; only awareness is valuable. And awareness has no ideas in it. It is a simple, pure light of consciousness.
So it is going to be difficult with me. You may have come to the man now who can shake and shock you. With Shivanand, you thought you were with Shivanand, but basically, deep down, you felt that Shivanand was with you; that’s why you lingered there a little while. This is not going to be so here with me. I am not going to be with you, remember; you have to be with me. I am not going to be with you, I repeat, you have to be with me.
So I am not going to fulfill your expectations in any way. If you have theories, I am against them already without knowing them because I am against mind and my whole emphasis is how to become a no-mind.
The questioner seems to be too in his head: he became interested in Sri Aurobindo, “because he emphasizes living a full life and realization of the integral divine.” You have some fixed ideas, so whoever seems to be following your ideas you become impressed with. In fact, you remain impressed only with your own ego. You have been playing an ego game. You have been on an ego trip, that’s why Shivanand, Ramana, Aurobindo, nobody could help you.
As far as I know, if somebody comes back from Ramana, then there must be something very deeply wrong. With Shivanand it is not much of a problem, with Aurobindo also it is not much of a problem. Shivanand is just ordinary. Aurobindo is a great intellectual, a mahapundit, a great scholar. So if somebody comes away, nothing is lost; you have not lost much because there was nothing to be gained in the first place. But if you have come away from Ramana, that shows something deep like a cancer in your soul. People like Ramana are very rare – thousands of years pass, then sometimes that quality of being arises. Ramana is like a Buddha, a Jesus, or a Krishna – a very rare phenomenon. But I know why you could not get in tune with Ramana: because of your Shivanands and your Aurobindos. To get in tune with a Ramana means to drop your ego completely. Great courage is needed.
Now you are here. If you are really a seeker, then gather courage and drop the ego and the past. Forget the past; it has been nothing but a nightmare. Don’t go on repeating it; otherwise, you can go on repeating until the very end of time, changing from one person to another. This can become a habit; this shows simply your restlessness. Otherwise to come back from Krishnamurti would have been almost impossible. There is no need.
So now become aware of your basic trouble: something in you is betraying your whole effort; something in you is continuously causing clouds around your intelligence. Your awareness is not sharp.
It happened…

The little girl was invited to dinner one night at the home of a friend. The hostess, knowing that many children don’t like spinach, asked if she liked it.
“Oh yes,” the little girl replied. “I love it.”
When the platter was passed, however, she refused to take any.
“But, dear,” said the hostess, “I thought you said you liked spinach.”
“Oh, I do,” explained the child, “but not enough to eat it.”

Going to Shivanand, Aurobindo, Ramana, Krishnamurti, you have some idea that you like and you love these people, but your liking is not enough. You don’t love enough; otherwise you would have eaten them and they would have transformed you.
Become aware! As it is, you have wasted a long time already. You can also go from this door empty-handed, but remember: the responsibility is yours. If you take courage, I am ready to give you whatever can be given. But for visitors nothing can be given, and even if it is given they will not be able to understand.
If you are tired of your journey, going from one place to another, from one person to another; if you are really tired, then here I am, ready to give you whatsoever you are seeking. But you will have to fulfill one condition and that is: a total commitment. Unless you become part of my family, nothing can be given. Even then I would like to give you something, but you will not be able to take it. Or, even if you take it, you will think it is nothing because your mind will continuously befog you. It won’t allow you to understand, it won’t allow you to see directly. It won’t allow you to see what type of game you have been playing with yourself.
Up to now it has been drifting. Become aware how much you have wasted. Many opportunities were there but you have missed them. Now don’t miss this opportunity! But I know the mind gets in a rut, it becomes a pattern. You go on repeating the same thing again and again, because you become very efficient in repeating it. Now get out of that vicious circle. I am ready to help if you are ready to take my help. Such help as this cannot be forced on you. You have to take it or not take it. Your freedom has to decide it; it is your choice.
And don’t ask: What is the right path? All paths are right or wrong. It is not a question of deciding which path is right. The only thing to be decided is which path fits you. Of course, Ramana has a certain path – very simple, absolutely nonintellectual. The head was not required at all on that path; the head had to be dropped. If you had allowed him, you would have been beheaded by him. The head is not part of his path. It is a path of the heart.
Krishnamurti is just the opposite. The path is absolutely true, but the head has to be used and transcended, not to be dropped. That’s why Krishnamurti appeals tremendously to intellectuals – nothing of the heart; everything is analysis, dissection. He is a great surgeon; he goes on dissecting. You give him any problem – he does not, in fact, answer it; he simply dissects it. And if you are listening with deep participation and sympathy, it is possible that through his dissection he gives you an insight – not the answer, but an insight – and that is your insight. He simply dissects the problem. He is a rare intellectual man; gone beyond intellect, but he has gone through it. Ramana bypasses intellect, he never passes through the intellect; his path is of the heart. Krishnamurti’s path is of the intellect, of the head, of understanding, dissection, analysis.
Shivanand is not yet enlightened. He has no path – stumbling in the dark. A traditional man, he can make you knowledgeable, but he cannot help you toward ultimate understanding. A good man, a very good man, but just a good man, not yet a Jesus or a Buddha, not yet a Krishnamurti or a Ramana – a simple man. If he becomes enlightened some day in some life, he will be like Ramana – his path will not be of the head. But he is not yet realized.
And then there is Aurobindo: his path is as yet the path of an unenlightened person, moving toward it but yet in the dark. The morning is not very far away, but it has not happened yet. If some day it happens, then he will be a man like Krishnamurti; he will go through the head – a great scholar, he has much appeal for those who like logic-chopping, hair-splitting.
Then here I am: all paths are mine, or no path is mine. I am more concerned with individuals. When you come to me, I don’t have a certain path to give you. I look at you to find which path will be suitable for you. I have no fixed path. I have wandered on all the paths, and all paths are true. If it fits, then any path can lead you to the ultimate. If it doesn’t fit, then you can go on struggling, fighting, but nothing is going to happen; you are trying to pass through a wall. You will be hurt, wounded, that’s all; nothing is going to happen.
I don’t belong to any path; hence all paths belong to me. I am more concerned with the individual seeker. If I see that devotion, worship, prayer, will be helpful to you, I teach you that. If I see meditation will be helpful to you, I teach that. If I see that just understanding, pure awareness, will be helpful, I teach that. If I feel that awareness is going to make you very tense, does not fit with your type, then I teach you to be lost completely in something, absorbed completely in something. Dancing, get into it so much that you become the dance and there is nobody watching it; don’t create any separation and division between you, become the act.
Hence I am going to be very, very contradictory because to one person I will say something, to another I will say something else, sometimes even just the opposite, diametrically opposite. So whatsoever I have said to you, somebody may come and say to you: Osho has said something else to me. Don’t listen to anybody else. Whatsoever I have said to you, I have said to you. Otherwise, you will be confused.
Millions of paths go toward godliness. In fact there is nowhere else to go. Wherever you are going, you are going toward godliness. All paths lead to godliness. But when you are seeking, only one path can lead you. If you start walking on all paths together, you will be lost. One has to choose a path. So please don’t repeat your old pattern.
Now it will be very difficult. I am hurting your ego knowingly – because when I say Aurobindo is not enlightened, I immediately can feel what is happening to you. It is not a question of Aurobindo – whether he is enlightened or not enlightened, who bothers? It is his problem; it is not my problem; it is not your problem. But if you have been following Aurobindo and I say he has not yet become enlightened, your ego is hurt. You? Following an unenlightened person? Never, it is not possible!
When I say Shivanand is good but ordinary, mediocre, of course you will feel hurt because you have been initiated by Shivanand. How is it possible that you, so intelligent, were initiated by a mediocre man? No, it is going to hurt, but I do it knowingly.
I will create every sort of trouble for you so that if you stay, you really stay. If you decide to stay, it will be a real decision to stay with me. I am going to be hard. Shivanand, Ramana, Krishnamurti, Aurobindo, it seems, have been too compassionate toward you; hence you could drift.
I will make every effort to drive you away. I will create a struggle within you, a friction, because that is the only way now; otherwise your old habit will go on functioning. If you come and ask for sannyas from me, I am not going to give it to you easily because you have been taking things very easy. This sannyas is going to be arduous.

The third question:
I came to a point where I saw the ego can be dropped right now – but then I had to see that I don't want to drop it. But I want to want.
Can you bring light to this place?
Let me tell you a few anecdotes:

After being promoted to a high position in government, one man visited the town where he was born.
“I suppose the folks here have heard of the honor that has been conferred on me?” he asked a former schoolmate.
“Yes,” came the gratifying reply.
“And what do they say about it?”
“They don’t say anything,” was the reply. “They just laugh.”

You think your ego is something valuable? People simply laugh at it. Except you, everybody else is against your ego. Except you, everybody else knows the ridiculousness of it – about your ego; I am not talking about their egos.
What is the ego? It is a very ridiculous standpoint. The ego says, “I am the center of the universe.” The ego says, “The universe exists for me.” Ridiculous standpoints! Just a small understanding will be enough – not much light is needed. Just a small light will be enough. You are not the center of the world – because the world was here when you were not, and the world will be here when you are not here. You cannot be the center. You are not the center.
If there is a God, then only God can say “I,” nobody else. It’s okay as a formal expression, but only God can say “I” because he is the center of the world. But he never says anything like that; he has been keeping quiet. Man goes on saying “I.” Why? Because it is very, very disorienting to feel that you are not the center of the world, that you are not the end and the purpose of the world, that the whole world has not been waiting for you; that without you the world can exist. It is very disorienting. If you feel this, you feel shaken – as if the earth has been pulled from beneath your feet and you are hanging in a bottomless abyss.
The ego gives you a rock to stand on, but the rock is imaginary, it is just a dream. The ego is a declaration that “I am separate from others - separate from the trees, separate from the sky, separate from the sea - I am separate from others.” But are you? Are you really separate from others? In millions of ways you are joined with everything else.
You are joined with your mother, your father, and your father is joined with his father and mother, and so on and so forth. It goes on and on. You are joined with the air every moment. If you don’t breathe, you will die. You are joined with the sun’s rays; if the sun simply forgets one day to rise in the morning, we will be dead within ten minutes. You depend on water, you depend on food. How can you say you are not joined with the trees? We are deeply connected with everything else – that is the meaning of ecology. It is one system.
To say “I” is simply absurd. You cannot be independent – totally independent – then how can you say “I”? Just look at the ridiculousness of the “I.” I am not saying to drop it, because in the first place it is not there, so I cannot tell you to drop it. To tell you to drop it would mean that I accept that it is there. It is not there; it is simply a ridiculous notion, an idea with no substance in it. It is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. So I cannot say to drop it. I can only say: Wake up! Be awake! I can only shock you so that you can open your eyes and see that it is not there. Awareness is needed – I don’t teach egolessness, no.
For centuries religious people have been teaching egolessness. That doesn’t seem to work out. Then people become egoistic about their humbleness. Then they say, “Nobody is more pious than me and nobody is more religious than me.” Look at the so-called religious people. You will never find sharper egos anywhere else. They go on trying to hide behind words, rituals, prayers, but the ego is there.
Walter Kaufmann has coined a new word; he calls it humbition. Humility, humbleness and ambition he has joined together: humbition. And he says humbition is very good. But humbition is not possible – it is impossible. You can make a word out of two diametrically opposite things, but they cannot be joined. A humble man cannot be ambitious, and an ambitious man cannot be humble. But people go on trying to find some ways to hide – now humbition: I am humble and yet ambitious. This is impossible! A humble man is nonambitious, nonegoistic.
So I am not going to tell you to become humble or humbitious. I only want to point out to you that the ego you are clinging to is not there in the first place. It is just an idea. And everybody knows this about your ego as you know about others’ egos, but the stupidity is that no one becomes aware of one’s own nonsense.
The question is: “I came to a point where I saw that the ego can be dropped right now.” Then you have not come to that point because when you come to that point, there is no way to stop the ego dropping by itself. When you come to that point of understanding, it is not that you understand that now you can drop the ego. If you come to that point, you suddenly see there is no ego to be dropped or to be carried. You simply start laughing. The jig is up: at last America is discovered! Not that after understanding you have to drop it; in the very understanding it drops.
Just as in the morning, you awake - do you drop your dreams? Can you say, “In the morning there came a moment of wakefulness where it was absolutely clear to me that if I want, I can drop my dreams”? No, that’s not possible. If you are awake, dreams are no longer there – not that you have to drop them, they simply drop! The very act of waking drops them. There is no need to drop them separately. Here arises understanding - there disappears ego. It is simultaneous; there is not even a single moment’s gap.
“But then I had to see that I don’t want to drop it.” You missed. In the first place, the understanding was not there. Hence the second part, that you felt that you don’t want to drop it. If understanding arises, there is nobody to drop it or not drop it, and there is nothing to be dropped or not dropped.
Whenever you think that understanding will arise, you think that you must be there and understanding will arise. No, there will be no you there. In understanding you disappear, just like the dew on the grass disappears, evaporates, when the sun rises.
You are your ego. About whom are you talking? You are talking as if you are separate from your ego and your ego is something you can drop or carry. When ego is dropped, then who are you? You are dropped.

I have heard about one movie star who claimed he had not slept well for twenty years. He was vacationing at the home of a friend in the Himalayas. One morning the friend noticed the star looked a little more drawn and tired than usual. “Did you get any sleep?” he asked.
“Yes, I slept,” was the reply, “but I dreamed that I didn’t.”

People go on playing hide-and-seek with themselves. You think you came to an understanding and then you decided not to drop it. Now you are asking me because you want to want to drop it. Understanding is enough; there is no need to want to want to drop it. It drops when you are in that state of understanding, in that space of understanding.
So I am not worried about your ego. Forget about it! It is a shadow phenomenon; why be bothered? Rather, become more and more aware and understanding. Go on becoming more and more aware, and one day you will come and say to me: Now I am aware and I have been trying to find out where the ego is, and I cannot find it.

Bodhidharma went to China. The emperor said, “I am in deep turmoil within. I am very ambitious. Although I have one of the biggest empires in the world, my ego still feels discontented.”
Bodhidharma laughed and said, “You have come to the right person. Do one thing: come early in the morning at four o’clock. But remember to bring your ego with you; otherwise what can I do if you don’t bring it?”
The emperor felt a little confused: What does he mean? He asked again, “What do you mean?”
Bodhidharma said, “I mean exactly what I am saying, that’s what I mean. Bring your ego with you and I will be ready to finish it forever. But come alone; no need to bring any guards or anything.”
Four o’clock in the morning? This man seemed very ferocious, and nobody knew what he would do. The emperor could not sleep. He tried to forget the whole thing and not go, but then there was an attraction also: “Maybe this man knows something, and he seems to be so confident.” He had seen many great saints, this and that, and nobody had said so easily, “Bring it, and I will finish it forever!”
So finally he decided to go. He went there. Bodhidharma was sitting with a big staff in his hand. The emperor approached trembling.
Bodhidharma asked, “Alone? Where is your ego?”
The emperor said, “It is not a thing that I can bring. It is always in me.”
Bodhidharma said, “Then it’s okay. Sit down, close your eyes, and find out where it is hiding in you. The moment you catch hold of it, just tell me.”
Trembling, alone in that temple outside the town, the emperor for the first time in his life closed his eyes to meditate and he started looking around: Where is the ego? One hour passed, another hour passed. The sun was rising, and the emperor was sitting in such a blessed state. Bodhidharma shook him and said, “Now, that’s enough – two hours! Where is it?”
And the emperor started laughing. He bowed down and touched Bodhidharma’s feet and he said, “I cannot find it.”
Bodhidharma laughed and said, “See! I have finished it. Now whenever you have this wrong notion of ego, don’t go asking other people how to drop it. Just close your eyes and try to find where it is.”

Those who have gone inside have never found it there. It is as if I give you a flashlight and tell you to go in the room and find where the darkness is hiding. You take the flashlight, you go into the room, but the darkness is not there. If you take the flashlight with you, the darkness is not there. If you don’t take the flashlight, then it is there. Darkness is an absence of light. Ego is an absence of awareness. If you bring awareness to your being, suddenly it is not there.
So I don’t tell you to drop it, and whosoever says it has not understood anything.
Whosoever preaches “Drop your ego,” has not understood anything about the ego – it is not there. You cannot drop it, you cannot carry it. It is simply ridiculous.

The last question:
How can I surrender when Judas is in the way?
Nobody is in the way, no Judas, but your mind has a tendency to throw its responsibility onto somebody or other. The mind goes on finding scapegoats. This is a trick of the mind to save itself, to protect itself.
Except for yourself, there is nobody in the way; only you are obstructing the path. Don’t call it names. Don’t say Judas; don’t say the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub; nobody is hindering your path. Once you believe that somebody else is hindering you, you are relieved. If it is not you, what can you do? Somebody else is obstructing the path. But I say there is nobody.
Religious people, so-called religious people, have always created such things. They have created a Devil, so whenever you commit a sin, it is the Devil who tempted you. One feels relieved: So it is not me after all, it is the Devil. Hindus don’t talk about the Devil, they have their own mythology: that in a past life you committed wrong karmas. Those karmas are forcing you to do wrong karmas now. Again you are relieved – so what can you do? Your past life cannot be changed now. And if you ask these Hindus, “How did it happen that in the past life I committed wrong karmas?” they will say, “In another life you did wrong things.”
In the first place, in the very beginning, how did sin start? Then they become angry. They say, “Don’t ask such questions – you have to believe.” The same question can be asked about people who believe in the Devil. There are more people who believe in the Devil than those who believe in God, because God is not very useful – the Devil is much more useful. God, in fact, is a little troublesome. If God is, then you feel restless; but if the Devil is, then you feel unburdened: you can throw all your responsibilities onto the Devil. You commit murder – the Devil tempted you. What can you do? You’re a helpless victim!
Remember, this is not going to help. Don’t pity yourself so much and don’t try to look like a victim. This is a trick of the mind. Except for you, nobody is hindering the path. And except for you, nobody is going to help you. So don’t throw off responsibility. Take all the responsibility there is because only through accepting responsibility will your maturity happen.
People go on using devices, and their devices look very logical. Of course, when you become angry and go almost mad, later on you repent, you feel guilty. Now how to manage it logically? Later on you say: I never wanted to do it. Later on you say: In spite of me it happened. Later on you have to repaint your image. You were mad, but you always think about yourself as one of the wisest and sanest people in the world. Now that image is broken. What can you do? Bring in the Devil, Judas – anything will do. You did not do it; somebody forced you to do it.
In the story, when Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden, the same thing started. Adam threw the responsibility onto the woman, Eve. He said, “Eve seduced me to eat the fruit.”
Of course, Eve said, “I did nothing; it was the serpent.” And the serpent could not say anything, so it was finished! So with the serpent, everything was okay. Poor serpent!
Everybody is trying to shift the responsibility onto somebody else. If the serpent could speak he would say, “God created me, and he created me in such a way that I had to do it.”
Logic goes on finding ways and means – and it looks very logical. I have not come across anything more illogical than logic.
Let me tell you an anecdote:

The old blacksmith in a small town was telling a friend that when he was a young man his mother wanted him to be a dentist and his father urged him to become a blacksmith.
“And you know,” said the old man, “it’s a lucky thing that my father had his way, because if I’d been a dentist I’d have starved to death.”
“How do you know that?” asked the friend.
“Well,” said the blacksmith, “I can prove it. I’ve been right here in this shop for over thirty years and doing a lot of blacksmithing, but not once in all that time has a living soul asked me to pull a tooth.”

Looks logical. Logic looks logical, but it is not logical. In small things it may seem logical, but when you come to the deep, ultimate questions of life, logic is the most illogical thing. It is good for arranging small things, managing small things, but life is bigger than logic. Logic is only a part, a very tiny part of life.
Listen to life. Close off and meditate more inside yourself. Close your eyes and meditate more, and see who is barring your path. Judas? There is nobody except you. If you are doing something wrong, take the responsibility on yourself, because that is the only way to transcend it one day. If you are doing it then the possibility is open: if you want not to, you may not do it. But if somebody else is forcing you to do it, then the possibility is lost, then freedom is impossible.
Freedom and responsibility go together: they are two aspects of the same coin. If you want freedom, you have to be responsible for whatsoever you are doing. If you don’t want the responsibility, then you also lose your freedom.
Everybody likes to be free and nobody wants to be responsible. We go on shifting responsibility. And in shifting responsibility to others’ shoulders, you are throwing away all possibility of freedom. Become responsible! If you have been angry, you have been angry. Don’t say: In spite of myself… Don’t bring in Judas; don’t say: Somebody else, some other force, has possessed me. No, nobody is possessing you.
Whatsoever is happening, it is your choice. You have chosen it that way. You may be completely unaware of how you have chosen it, because sometimes you want one thing and you choose another – that creates the problem. You think you want one thing but you choose another. Or, you wanted something else, you have also chosen that, but the result is different.
For example: you want to dominate people – that’s your choice. You want to dominate people, but when you dominate them they fight you because they are also wanting the same thing. They will try to dominate you; and now you don’t like it – struggle, jealousy - hell is created all around it. And you say: I never wanted it. But you wanted to dominate people - that was the seed.
Always look for the cause. If the effect is there, the cause is bound to be there. If you have not seen the cause in the first place, the effect cannot be there, is not possible. People want to challenge the effect, but they don’t want to change the cause. This is the ordinary mind, the mind which is stupid.
The intelligent mind is of a totally different quality. Whenever it doesn’t want any effect, it goes deep into the cause and drops the cause – then there is no problem!
You want people to love you, and you are getting angry and hateful, and you do all sorts of things to people. You want them to love you; and when they don’t love you, when they hate you and they are also angry at you, then you say: These things are happening and I have never chosen them. You have chosen them. You wanted something else, but your choice is wrong. Look at the cause.
Just a few days ago, a sannyasin came and he said nobody loves him here; he loves everybody and nobody loves him. He was very angry. I asked him to bring a few witnesses whom he loves and who don’t love him, and I would ask them what they say. They would say the same thing, that they love and nobody is returning their love. He was not ready to bring any witnesses.
Everybody goes on thinking that he loves people and nobody returns the love, but it has never happened that way. It is against the law; it is against dharma, against the ultimate law of life. If you love, love comes in return. If it is not coming, go deeper; somewhere in the name of love you have done something else.

A man asked his boss one day if he could borrow the farmer’s car on October 30th. The date was about a month away.
“Sure,” said the farmer, the boss. “You can borrow the car. What’s happening then?”
“I’m getting married that day.”
“Fine!” said the farmer. “Who’s the lucky girl?”
“Well, I ain’t picked her out yet,” was the reply. “Wanted to be sure of getting the car first.”

Nonessential things. You want to be sure of them first and you think the essential is going to follow. Change that attitude: think of the essential first; the nonessential follows. Think of the essential first! What is essential? The effect is not essential – the cause is. The other is not essential – you are.
Whatsoever is happening today, you have managed somehow. Unaware, unconscious, you have sown the seeds of it; now you have to reap it. People go on thinking that if they can manage the nonessential, the essential will come.
For example, people think if they can earn enough money they will be happy. It is not so. If you are happy, you will be wealthy – that’s right, you will be rich. If you are happy, you will be rich. A happy person cannot be otherwise. He may not have big palaces, but still he will be rich. He may be a beggar on the street, but still he will be rich. But you first try to have much wealth, then you think you will be happy. It never happens that way because wealth cannot be a cause of happiness. Happiness is always a cause of wealth.
You think that essential things will come: First let me manage the nonessential. By managing the nonessential I will create a situation. First, power, prestige, wealth – all nonessential things.
Try to look deep into your being, and think of the essential. Be happy! Right this moment you can be happy. Nobody is barring the path. And if you cannot be happy right this moment, you can never be happy. Happiness has nothing to do with the future. Happiness knows no tomorrow because happiness does not depend on anything else. It is just an attitude. You can be happy right now as you are.
Try to just be happy for no reason at all, and you will be surprised! You can be happy for no reason at all because happiness is the reason for many things, it is a basic cause. You can be happy – try it. You have been trying the other way; now try it from the basic cause. First have the cause – be happy – and then effects will follow by themselves. Always remember not to find scapegoats – that is a sure way to miss your life.
Enough for today.

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