The Search 08

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

7. The Bull Transcended

Astride the bull, I reach home.
I am serene. The bull too can rest.
The dawn has come. In blissful repose,
within my thatched dwelling I have abandoned the whip and rope.

All is one law, not two. We only make the bull a temporary subject. It is as the relation of rabbit and trap, of fish and net. It is as gold and dross, or the moon emerging from a cloud. One path of clear light travels on throughout endless time.

8. Both Bull and Self Transcended

Whip, rope, person, and bull – all merge in No-thing.
This heaven is so vast no message can stain it.
How may a snowflake exist in a raging fire?
Here are the footprints of the patriarchs.

Mediocrity is gone. Mind is clear of limitation. I seek no state of enlightenment. Neither do I remain where no enlightenment exists. Since I linger in neither condition, eyes cannot see me. If hundreds of birds strew my path with flowers, such praise would be meaningless.
Gertrude Stein was dying. Suddenly she opened her eyes and asked her friends who were gathered together around her, “What is the answer?” Now this is tremendously beautiful, almost a koan. The question had not been asked, and she asks, “What is the answer?” Of course, nobody was capable of answering it. They looked at each other. They were at a loss even to understand what she meant. A Zen master was needed, somebody who could have responded from his heart – spontaneously, immediately. Who could have laughed uproariously, or shouted, or done something. Because such a question – What is the answer? – cannot be answered through words.
Stein is saying that the question is such that it cannot be formulated – and yet the question is there, so what is the answer? The question is such that it is impossible to utter it. It is so deep; it cannot be brought to the surface. But still it is there, so what is the answer? The question is such that it is not separate from the questioner; as if the questioner’s whole being has become a question mark: What is the answer?
They looked at each other. They were completely at a loss as to what to do. They must have thought the dying woman had gone mad. It is mad, absurd, to ask, “What is the answer?” when the question has not yet been formulated. No one replied. No one was aware enough to reply to it. No one responded because in fact no one was there to respond. No one was so present as to respond.
“In that case,” she insisted, “what is the question?” Again silence followed. How can anybody else tell you what the question is? Certainly she has gone mad. Certainly she is no longer in her senses. But the question is such that it is impossible to say what it is. The moment you say it, you betray it. The moment you verbalize it, it is no longer the same. It is not the same question that was there in the heart. Once it becomes verbalized, it becomes a head thing. It looks almost trivial, almost superficial. You cannot ask the ultimate question. In asking it, it will not be the ultimate any longer.
Only a master could have understood what she was saying. She was a beautiful woman, a beautiful person, of tremendous understanding. And at the last moment of her life, she flowered in this koan. You must have heard her famous statement which has almost become a cliché, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” Nothing can be said about the rose, except that it is a rose. All that you can say about it will falsify it. It is simply there in its strange beauty, with its unknown fragrance, as a fact. You cannot theorize about it. And whatsoever you theorize will be about something else, will not be about this rose; will be a reflection in the mirror, will not be the true thing.
A rose is a rose is a rose – nothing more can be said. Nothing is being said when you say: A rose is a rose is a rose. If you go to a logician, he will say this is a tautology; you are repeating the same word unnecessarily. You are not saying anything! But something is being said: that nothing can be said.
“In that case,” she insisted, “what is the question?” The silence remained unbroken. Nobody was capable of responding. A reply was not needed; she was asking for a response.
You can go on thinking about life and death, and you can go on creating many theories and hypotheses, but the whole of philosophy is just rubbish. Life remains unanswered, death remains unanswered. At that moment, Stein was asking about life and death; about that which is life, about that which is also death – about the ultimate, the substratum, the very ground of your being. She was asking: Who am I? But philosophy has no answers. Philosophy has been trying to answer; centuries of thinking, speculation, but the whole effort is empty.
Omar Khayyam said: “Myself when young did eagerly frequent doctor and saint, and heard great argument about it and about, but ever more came out by the same door as in I went.”
“About it and about…” Much argument, much philosophizing, but about it and about, never exactly to the point, beating around the bush. Much excited argumentation goes on; nothing comes out of it. Seems like just gibberish. Nothing can come out of it because life is not a philosophical question. Any answer that is only philosophical is not going to be the answer. Life is existential. Only an existential answer can satisfy you, not an answer given by somebody else; not an answer fabricated, manufactured by the mind; not an answer borrowed from the scriptures, but an answer that arises in your being – flowers, blooms, brings your total destiny into a manifest state, makes you fully aware. It is going to be a realization; not an answer but a realization, not an answer but a revelation, not an answer but an experience – existential.
This is the whole story of the ten bulls. The search is existential. Zen is the most straightforward. It goes directly to the target. It never goes here and there; it is never about and about. It is not beating around the bush; it is straight like an arrow.
One of the greatest philosophers of the West, Ludwig Wittgenstein, came very close to the Zen attitude; he almost knocked on the door. He says: It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists. That the world is is the real mystery. Not how you are here, not how you came here, not the purpose of your being here, but just the fact that you are here is the greatest mystery. Just the fact that you are, that I am, is the greatest mystery. And when the answer cannot be put into words, neither can the question.
It reminds me…

A man came to Buddha and he said, “Please answer my question without using words because I have heard it of old that the answer is such that it cannot be put into words.”
Buddha laughed and he said, “Of course, you have heard rightly; but put your question without using words, then I will answer your question without using words.”
Then the man said, “That is impossible.” Then he understood: if the question cannot be formulated, how can the answer be formulated? If the question itself cannot be stated, how can you demand an answer?

Wittgenstein is right. When the answer cannot be put into words nor can the question be put into words, the riddle does not exist. Neither can the question be put into words nor the answer, so where is the riddle, so where is the problem?
This is a tremendous insight. The problem does not exist – it is created by the mind; it is a mind-creation. If a question can be framed at all, it is also possible to answer it.
Somebody asked Wittgenstein, “Then why do you go on writing such beautiful books?” His book Tractatus Logico Philosophicus was recently acclaimed one of the great, great books of the whole of human history. “Then why do you go on writing books? If the question cannot be formulated and the answer cannot be given – then why?”
He said, “My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical.” Let me repeat it: “Anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical.” He has used them as steps to climb up beyond them. He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.
The moment you understand, then whatsoever I am saying also is nonsensical. If you don’t understand, then it looks meaningful. All meaning is because of misunderstanding. If you understand, then all meaning disappears; only life is. Meaning is of the mind, a projection of the mind, interpretation of the mind. Then, a rose is a rose is a rose – not even these words exist. Just the rose – just the rose without any name, without any adjective to it, without any definition to it. Life just is – suddenly without any meaning, without any purpose. And that is the greatest mystery to realize.
So meaning is not the real search. The real search is to come upon life itself – raw, naked.
All questions are foolish in a way and all answers also. All questions are foolish in a way because they are all mind-created, and the mind is the barrier between you and the real. The mind goes on creating questions, it delays the search. It convinces you that you are a great seeker because you are asking so many questions. But because of your asking you are collecting clouds around you. First you will ask, then the question will surround you. Then you will start getting some answers, then answers will surround you. There will always remain a barrier between you and raw, wild, naked life – that which is. It is neither a question nor an answer – it is a revelation. When the mind is not, life is revealed to you. It is simply there, manifested in all its glory, available in its totality.
Man goes on asking questions, and it appears to him that this questioning is somehow a great search. It is not. All questions, all answers – all are games, all games. You can play if you like, but nothing is going to be solved through them. And people go on asking to the very end of their lives.
But Gertrude Stein did well. At the last moment she revealed a Zen quality. She proved herself a woman of understanding, of awareness. Of course, the people who were there could not understand what she had revealed. She would have been understood in the East, not in the West. There she must have been thought mad just before dying – because our questions continue, the same foolish questions. Even at the very edge, when death is coming, we go on asking the same routine, rotten questions, and we go on seeking for answers.
I have heard…

It happened in a bank. The bank robber shoved a note across to the teller which read: “Put the money in a bag, sucker, and don’t make a move.”
The teller quickly wrote out a note and shoved it back: “Straighten your tie, stupid. Your picture’s being taken.”

Even at the moment of death, you will be straightening your tie because your picture is being taken. Man remains interested in mirrors. Man remains interested in what others are thinking about him, what others are saying about him. Man goes on just creating a beautiful image of himself. That is your whole life effort. One day you will disappear, and your image will fall into dust. Dust unto dust, nothing remains.
Be aware. Don’t be too interested in the image. Be interested in the real, and the real is within you – it is your energy. It has nothing to do with anybody else. No mirror is needed for self-knowledge because self-knowledge is not a reflection. Self-knowledge is a direct, immediate encounter; you come face-to-face with your own being.
The seventh sutra:
The Bull Transcended

Astride the bull, I reach home.
I am serene. The bull too can rest.
The dawn has come. In blissful repose,
within my thatched dwelling, I have abandoned the whip and rope.
The bull transcended. Once you have become master of your mind, the mind is transcended. The moment you have become master of your mind, the mind is no longer there. It remains only if you are a slave to it. Once you have taken hold of the bull and you are riding on it, the bull disappears. The bull exists as separate from you only if you are not the master. This has to be understood.
You remain divided if you are not the master, you remain schizophrenic, fragmented. Once mastery arises in you, once awareness and discipline – the whip and the rope – are there, divisions dissolve, you become one. In that oneness, the bull is transcended. Then you don’t see yourself as separate from your mind. Then you don’t see yourself as separate from your body. Then you don’t see yourself as separate from the whole. You become one.
All masters are one with existence; only slaves are separate. Separation is an illness. In health, you are not separate from the whole – you become one with it.
Just try to understand it. When you have a headache, your head is separate from you. Have you noticed it? When the headache goes on hammering inside, knocking inside, your head is separate from you. But when the headache disappears, the head also disappears; then you can’t feel it, then it is no longer separate, then it has become part of your being.
If your body is perfectly healthy, then you don’t have any body sense – as if you are bodiless. Bodilessness is the definition of perfect health. If something hurts, immediately you become aware of it – and in that awareness is separation. A thorn is in your foot, or your shoe pinches, then a division is there. When the shoe fits perfectly, the division is transcended.
You are aware of the mind because somehow your life is not in harmony – some discordance, something out of tune, out of accord. Something out of step is going on within you, hence you feel divided. When everything falls in tune and in harmony, all divisions are transcended.
This is the seventh sutra: Astride the bull… one is riding on one’s own energy. The energy is not moving in some other direction, and you are not moving in some other direction. Now both are moving in the same direction. The fight is no longer there, the division has disappeared. You are not fighting with the river; you are flowing, riding on the river. Suddenly, you are not separate from the river.
Go into a river. First try to go upstream – fight, struggle, and you will see the river is fighting with you; you will say the river is trying to defeat you. You will see: the river will defeat you eventually because a moment will come when you will become tired, and you will see the river is winning and you are getting defeated.
Then try the other way: float with the river, let go, and by and by you will see that the river is not fighting with you. In fact, the river was not fighting with you at all; even when you were going upstream, the river was not fighting with you. It was only you who was fighting, who was being egoistic, who was trying to win, to be victorious, who was trying to prove something, that “I am somebody.” That idea of being somebody was creating the whole problem.
Now you are nobody, floating with the river, in a deep let-go. The river is no longer against you – it never was! Only your attitude has changed, and you feel that the river has changed completely. The river has always been the same; now you are riding on the river. If you can float totally, not even a slight effort to swim, just floating, then your body and the river’s body merge. Then you are not aware where your body ends and where the river’s body begins. Then you are in an organic unity with the river. Then you will feel an orgasmic experience. Being one with the river, suddenly all limitations are transcended. You are no longer small, you are no longer big – you are the whole.
Astride the bull, I reach home. And that is the way to reach home – because home is the origin, the very source where you came from; home is not somewhere else. Home is where you come from, where you have arisen from. Home is the source. If one allows oneself to be in a deep let-go, one reaches home. “Home” means one reaches the very source of life and being, one touches the very beginning.
Astride the bull, I reach home. I am serene. You cannot be serene in any other way. The only way to be serene is not to be. The only way to be serene is to be in a deep let-go, surrendered, one with the energy of life.
I am serene. The bull too can rest. Not only can you rest; the bull can also. Not only can you rest, but the river can also. When the conflict continues, neither you nor God can rest. Remember this – this is something very valuable to remember always – if you are not serene, God cannot be serene; if you are not happy, God cannot be happy; if you are not blissful, God cannot be blissful because you are part of him, part of the whole. You affect him as much as he affects you.
Life is interrelated. Everything is interrelated with everything else. It is an ecology, a deeply interrelated co-relationship. Coherence exists. If you are not happy, then God cannot be happy because you are a part. It is just as if my leg is not happy, how can I be happy? That unhappiness affects me. Not only are you in deep trouble, your life energy is also in deep trouble with you. Not only you are complicated and ill; your life energy has become complicated and ill.
I am serene. The bull too can rest. The dawn has come. In blissful repose, within my thatched dwelling, I have abandoned the whip and rope. Now there is no need for the whip and the rope. The whip means awareness and the rope means discipline. When you have come to a point where you can feel yourself one with the river of life, then there is no need for awareness or discipline. Then there is no need to meditate. Then there is no need to do anything. Then life does it for you. Then one can relax because one can trust totally. Then there is no need even for awareness, remember.
In the beginning, awareness is needed. In the beginning, even discipline is needed. But as you grow spiritually the ladder is transcended, you can throw it away.
…within my thatched dwelling, I have abandoned the whip and rope. Remember: a saint is really a saint only when he has abandoned the whip and the rope. That is the criterion. If he is still trying to pray, to meditate, to do this and that, and to discipline himself, then he is still not yet enlightened. Then he is still there and some doing continues. And doing accumulates the ego. He has not reached home. The journey is yet to be completed.
In China there exists a beautiful Zen story:

A very rich woman served a monk for thirty years. The monk was really beautiful, always aware, disciplined. He had a beauty that comes naturally when your life is ordered – a cleanness, a freshness. The woman was dying, she was very old. She called a prostitute from the town and asked the prostitute, “Before I leave my body I would like to know one thing – whether this man I have been serving for thirty years has yet attained or not.” The suspicion was natural because the man had not yet abandoned the whip and the rope.
The prostitute asked, “What am I supposed to do?”
The woman said, “I will give you as much money as you want. You go in the middle of the night. He will be meditating because he meditates in the middle of the night. The door is never locked because he has nothing which can be stolen. So open the door, and watch his reaction. Open the door, come close, embrace him, and then come back and just tell me what happened. Before I die, I would like to know whether I have been serving a real master or just an ordinary, mediocre being.”
The prostitute went. She opened the door. A small lamp was burning; the man was meditating. He opened his eyes. Seeing the prostitute, recognizing the prostitute, he became afraid, a slight trembling, and he said, “What! Why have you come here?” And when the woman tried to embrace him, he tried to escape. He was trembling and furious.
The woman came back and told the old lady what had happened. The old lady ordered her servants to burn the cottage that she had made for this man, and be finished with him. He had not reached anywhere. The old woman said, “At least he could have been a little kind, compassionate.”

The fear shows the whip had not yet been abandoned. The anger shows awareness was still an effort, it had not become natural, it had not become spontaneous.
The eighth sutra:
Both Bull and Self Transcended
First the bull is transcended: the mind – mind-energy, life, life-energy – is transcended. And then, when you have transcended life, you transcend yourself.
Both Bull and Self Transcended

Whip, rope, person and bull – all merge in No-thing.
This heaven is so vast no message can stain it.
How may a snowflake exist in a raging fire?
Here are the footprints of the patriarchs.
The moment the mind disappears, you also disappear – because you exist in the struggle. The ego exists in the tension. For the ego, a duality is needed. It cannot exist with a non-dual reality. So just notice: whenever you are fighting, your ego becomes very sharp. Watch yourself for twenty-four hours and you will see many peaks and many valleys of your ego, and many times you will feel that it is not there. If you are not fighting with anything, it is not there. It depends on a fight.
Hence people go on finding ways and means and excuses to fight because without the fight they simply start disappearing. It needs constant creation, just like one pedals a bicycle. You have to go on pedaling; only then does the bicycle keep going. Once you stop pedaling, sooner or later the bicycle is going to fall down. It is a miracle: on just two wheels, against gravity, you go on riding. But constant pedaling is needed.
The ego is a miracle: the most illusory thing and it seems to be the most solid and real. People live for it and die for it. But it needs constant pedaling – that pedaling is your fight. Hence, you cannot live without fight. You will find some way or other. You will start fighting with your children if you cannot find somebody else. You will start fighting with your wife or your husband, sometimes for no reason at all. In fact, no reason is needed; all reasons are rationalizations. But you have to fight, otherwise you start disappearing, you start melting. You start falling as if you are in an abyss, a bottomless abyss.
In the morning, when you are just out of sleep, there is for a few seconds a state of no-ego. That’s why you feel so pure and clean and virgin. But immediately the world starts. Even in the night, in your sleep, you go on fighting; you go on creating nightmares, so that the thread with the ego is not completely lost.
The ego is possible only in conflict, struggle. If you have nothing to fight about, you will create some way or other to fight.

I was just reading the other day about a man who never had a fight with his wife, and the neighbors wondered what type of man he was. He would come home from his factory always laughing and happy, never tired, never tense. Even his wife sometimes wondered: He never fights, never is angry. What is the matter?
Then the whole neighborhood gathered and inquired, and the man said, “There is nothing much in it. In the factory…” He worked in a glass factory where, whenever something did not come up to standard, it was given to him and he smashed it – that was his job. Saucers, cups, glasses – the whole day he smashed them. He said, “I feel so happy, there is no need to fight with anybody. It is already too much! I feel on top of the world.”

You know well that whenever the wife is not feeling good, more saucers will be broken, more cups will fall down. It has to be so. The ego finds some way or other, anything – even imaginary – will do, but something has to be destroyed. So fight arises.
Woodchoppers, woodcutters, are very silent people. Their psychology is different: the whole day chopping wood, their anger is thrown out. They are constantly in catharsis. They don’t need Dynamic Meditation. You will find them very loving people. Hunters are very loving people also; their whole work is violence, but they are very loving people – you will not find better people than hunters. They don’t need to bring their ego against you; they have had enough of it with the animals.
If you go to prisons and see the criminals there, you will be surprised that criminals have more silent eyes than your so-called saints. Your so-called saints are sitting on volcanoes, constantly repressing something. Criminals have not repressed anything, that’s why they are criminals. They don’t carry a volcano within them. They are good people in a way – more silent, more loving, more sincere. You can trust them. But you cannot trust your saints – they are dangerous people; they go on accumulating much poison. They also have to create imaginary fights.
You must have heard about saints: the Devil comes to tempt them. It is nowhere: the Devil doesn’t exist; it is their own imaginations. They need some fight, otherwise they feel bad. Their egos cannot exist: they are no longer part of the market. That cut-throat competition is no longer for them; they have dropped out of it. Now, where can they sustain their egos, how to sustain their egos? They are not in politics – where can they sustain their egos? They are not poets, painters – where can they sustain their egos? They are not doing anything, not fighting with any competitors, so they create imaginary enemies – the Devil – and they start fighting with the Devil.
In India, we have many stories in the Puranas, in the old scriptures, that whenever saints are meditating, beautiful women come from heaven to tempt them. Why should anybody care? They are not doing anything bad, just meditating. Why should anybody be in any way interested in distracting them? But apsaras, beautiful damsels from heaven, come and dance around them. And they put up a great fight! They try to conquer the temptations.
Now this is all imaginary. They have left real enemies; now they are creating imaginary enemies because the ego cannot exist without enemies. A fight is needed; real, unreal, is not the question. If a fight is there, you can be. If there is no fight, you disappear. Hence the greatest message that I can give to you is – remember it – you have to come to a point where all fight is dropped. Only then will you transcend yourself. Only then will you never be again the small self, the tiny, the ugly self that you are. You will transcend it and you will become one with the whole.
Whip, rope, person and bull – all merge in No-thing. A great nothingness arises in which everything is lost. This emptiness is not negative: it is the very source of all being. But it has no limitations.
This heaven is so vast no message can stain it. How may a snowflake exist in a raging fire? As a snowflake will disappear in a raging fire, in this tremendous energy of the whole, everything disappears – whip, rope, person and bull.
Here are the footprints of the patriarchs. Here you find, for the first time, where buddhas have walked. Here you find, for the first time, the fragrance of the enlightened ones, the significance of their being, of their realization. Here you listen to their song. A new dimension opens its doors. Call this dimension nirvana, moksha, kingdom of God – anything you like – but something absolutely different from the world you have known up to now opens. Here are the footprints of the patriarchs, all the great ones who have walked into nothingness and disappeared into it.
The prose comment for the seventh sutra:
All is one law, not two. We only make the bull a temporary subject. It is as the relation of rabbit and trap, of fish and net. It is as gold and dross, or the moon emerging from a cloud. One path of clear light travels on throughout endless time.
All is one law, not two. Oneness is the very nature of existence. Twoness is our imagination. Hence, all our lives we are hankering for love. The hankering for love is nothing but a symptom that where oneness exists, we have created a twoness which is false.
You cannot find a person who is not in deep need of love – who wants to love and wants to be loved. Why so much desire for love? It must be something very deep-rooted. This is the deep-rooted truth: life is one, but we have imagined ourselves as separate. That separation becomes heavy; it is false and a burden. Love is nothing but the idea of becoming one again with the whole. Hence the desire to be loved; hence the desire to be needed; hence the desire that somebody should accept your love. It seems difficult to become one with the whole. At least some person will accept you; at least from the door of one person you will be able to bridge the gap.
That’s why if you are not in love, you constantly think of love. That becomes haunting; it haunts you. It continuously hovers around you. And if you are in love, then a second thing arises: love, however deep and intense, seems insufficient – something seems to be missing. Those who are not in love, they seek love; those who are in love, they become aware that something more is needed. Great lovers are greatly frustrated deep down because they come to meet, then they come to a point where it seems everything will disappear. Again they are thrown back to themselves. They have glimpses of closeness, but not of unity. If you have loved well, then the desire for prayer or meditation arises.
The desire for prayer is this: I have loved and I have found that love gives glimpses. But glimpses make you even thirstier than before. One is thirsty and then comes to glimpses of a beautiful river, a fountain – so cool. One hears the song of the fountain, and then it disappears – one becomes even thirstier than ever before. Those who are not in love, they suffer; but their suffering is nothing compared to those who are really in love. Their suffering is tremendous; their suffering is very penetrating and very intense because they are close and yet far away. It seems the kingdom is just around the corner, and the closer they come, the farther away it goes. It looks like a receding horizon.
Love is the first step toward godliness; prayer or meditation is the final step. Love teaches you a new thirst, a new hunger; hence love is beautiful. People come to me and they ask me about love, and I say to them: Go into it – knowing well that I am sending them into danger. I am not sending them into deep love so that they can be satisfied. Nobody is ever satisfied. I am sending them into a deep love affair to make them really thirsty, to make them so thirsty that only godliness will suffice – nothing else.
Love prepares you for a great thirst, a thirst for the divine because you have had glimpses in the other person. There have been moments when you have seen the god or the goddess. When you have looked deep into the other person, you have found solace; a serenity has come to you. But it is temporary, momentary, it comes and goes; more like the stuff of dreams than of reality.

A man came to Ramanuja, a great mystic, and he said, “I would like to fall in love with God. Show me the path!”
And Ramanuja said, “Tell me first one thing: have you ever loved anybody else?”
The man said, “I am not concerned with this world and worldly affairs, with love and things like that. I want God.”
Ramanuja said, “Again, please think about it. Have you ever loved any woman, any child – anybody?”
The man said, “I am saying to you: I am a religious person; I am not a worldly man, and I don’t love anybody. Show me the path, how I can attain to God.”
It is said Ramanuja started weeping. Tears came to his eyes, and he said, “Then it is impossible. First you will have to love someone. That is the first step. You are asking for the last step and you have not even taken the first? Go and love somebody!”

Only when love does not quench your thirst does God become a need. But both the needs are on the same path. The basic reason is that we are not in reality separate from the whole, but we think we are separate. Hence, the desire arises to become one with the whole.
The first step is to be taken with someone you can fall in love with, and then the second step will arise out of it of its own accord. A true love necessarily leads toward prayer. And if a love is not leading you toward prayer, it is not love yet; it is not true love because a true love necessarily proves that it is not enough. More is needed. A true love brings you to the door of the temple – has to. That is the criterion of a true love.
All is one law, not two. We only make the bull a temporary subject. The sutra says: the bull is not separate from you; it is just a temporary subject. In your misunderstanding, it has to be thought of that way. It was just a hypothesis, used and then thrown into the rubbish, used and then transcended. So don’t go on fighting continuously. The fight should not become an eternal affair. The fight is just a device. Remember this.
I have seen people who have been fighting their whole lives. They have been fighting and fighting, not only in this life but also in their past lives – they have become warriors. Now they have completely forgotten the very aim. Now the fight itself has become the aim! Now they go on fighting, and through fight they go on accumulating a subtle ego – very pious maybe, but still poisonous. They go on accumulating a very subtle ego. Ascetics, monks – watch them and you will find a very sharp ego, steel-like. It is not so sharp in worldly people because worldly people know that they are ignorant.
I have heard one story:

Against his better judgment, a man, a very old man, consented to go with his teenage son and his nephew on a trial run of the souped-up motor job they had put together. When the jalopy failed to make a curve, and finally bounced dizzily to a stop in a ploughed field, he lowered his head into his shaking hands.
“Are you hurt, dad?” asked the son. “Want to go to a doctor?”
“No,” came the studied reply. “Since only a jackass would ride in this contraption, take me to a veterinarian.”

The worldly man knows that he is a jackass. His ego cannot be very sharp. He knows that he has been chasing after foolish things. He knows it! He knows well that he has been after foolish things, but feels weak. Knowing it, he also goes on falling into the old trap, in the old track, in the old routine. He is a weakling – that he knows, and repents. Many times he decides not to fall into the old trap again, but he keeps doing it again. He knows his weaknesses, his limitations. His ego cannot be very sharp.
It happened…

Mulla Nasruddin went to a psychiatrist. He said, “I don’t have much money, and I don’t have any time to waste on that couch stuff. All I want to do is ask you just two questions.”
The psychiatrist said that was not the way he usually did his business, but in this case he would make an exception: “What are your questions?”
Said the Mulla, “My first question is this: Is it possible for a man to be in love with an elephant?”
The psychiatrist thought that one over seriously for a few moments. Finally he said, “No, it is not possible for a man to be in love with an elephant.”
Mulla looked disappointed. Was the doctor sure? The doctor said there was no doubt about it.
“Well, then,” said the Mulla, “my second question is this: Do you know anybody who could use an oversized engagement ring?”

The ordinary worldly man knows that somehow he is being foolish and stupid. His love affair is a stupid affair; he is in love with elephants – money, power, prestige. He knows very well that this is not possible; he knows that somehow he is going wrong, but feels incapable of resisting, feels incapable of stopping himself, feels weak. He cannot have a great, sharp ego.
But the religious ascetic, one who has gone away from the world and has gone to the Himalayas, feels tremendously egoistic. His ego is very sharp, like a sword. Of course, it cuts nobody because he has left the world. It is good that he has left the world. It cuts himself, it is self-destructive.
People who are in the world, their egos harm others. People who have left the world, their egos harm only themselves. They become masochistic. They start fighting with themselves and destroying themselves. In fact, they take a subtle, perverted joy in the miseries that they create, in the sufferings that they impose on themselves. A very perverted indulgence.
Remember this: if I tell you to be aware, it is just a device. If I tell you to be disciplined, it is just a device, a useful measure for you. Don’t make it a goal. Remember always: it has to be transcended one day, so don’t get deeply attached to it.
It is very difficult. First I have to teach people how to meditate; and it is difficult to move them into meditation. Reluctantly – they create all sorts of difficulties – somehow I force them into meditation. Then the day comes when I want them to drop it, and they don’t want to drop it. First they never wanted to enter the path, then they become too attached to the path. They think if the path is dropped their whole life is wasted – as if now they cling to the staircase, to the ladder. First they were afraid to get on it; then they are not ready to leave it.
Meditation is good, it is medicinal. The word meditation comes from the same root as the word medicine. It is medicinal. Medicine is needed when you are ill. When you are healthy, the medicine has to be transcended. It is not a goal. You should not carry the bottles with you always. There is no need to be proud of your medicines.
Meditation has to be transcended. Awareness has to be transcended. Discipline has to be transcended. A moment comes when one has to live spontaneously – chopping wood, carrying water from the well, eating when hungry, sleeping when feeling sleepy, living absolutely ordinarily; no longer worldly, no longer otherworldly; no longer materialist, no longer religious. Just simple, ordinary. A real man of this quality cannot be categorized. You cannot call him worldly or religious. He is beyond categories. He has gone beyond logic.
We only make the bull a temporary subject. It is as the relation of rabbit and trap, of fish and net – a temporary relationship. It is as gold and dross, or the moon emerging from a cloud. When the moon is emerging from the cloud, it is just accidental that the cloud is there. It is not part of the moon’s nature. When the moon is hidden behind the cloud, then too it remains the same moon. When it comes out of the cloud, it is the same moon. Nothing has changed. The cloud was just a temporary, momentary condition.
The mind is a cloud. Thinking is like clouds. You are the moon. The world is like a cloud; it has not made any difference to you. In your intrinsic nature it has not affected you at all. You remain pure, you remain divine.
That’s why I go on insisting that you are gods right now. There is no need to postpone it. Maybe there is a cloud, but that doesn’t make any difference. You can realize your godliness even hidden behind a cloud. The moon remains the same moon. One path of clear light travels on throughout endless time.
The prose comment for the eighth sutra:
Mediocrity is gone. Mind is clear of limitation. I seek no state of enlightenment. Neither do I remain where no enlightenment exists. Since I linger in neither condition, eyes cannot see me. If hundreds of birds strew my path with flowers, such praise would be meaningless.
Mediocrity is gone. The mind is mediocre. People say that somebody has a mediocre mind; that is wrong because all minds are mediocre. The mind as such is mediocre. Remember it: mediocrity is the quality of the mind itself.
Intelligence is not of the mind, intelligence is of the beyond. When the mind is not there, then there is intelligence. When the moon is not hidden behind the cloud, then you can see it – brilliant, shining. When it is hidden behind a cloud, the cloud interferes with the brilliance; it cannot reach you. Then you cannot see the brilliance of it. Every person is a brilliant moon hidden behind a cloud. The cloud is the mind: you are the no-mind.
Mediocrity is gone. Mind is clear of limitation. And when there is no limitation, there is no-mind.
I seek no state of enlightenment. In this moment of realization, who bothers about enlightenment? There are hundreds of beautiful stories in Zen:

Somebody comes to a master and he asks, “I would like to become a buddha,” and the master hits him hard.
The man says, “But why? Why are you hitting me? What wrong have I said?”
And the master says, “You are a buddha, and you want to become a buddha? That’s impossible!”

A buddha trying to become a buddha is impossible. Hence a good hit is needed to bring you back home, to bring you back to your senses, to realize that you are speaking nonsense. You are a buddha.
Sometimes it happens that just the hit comes, and the person becomes enlightened. It must be the right time. It must be that the man has been searching for many lives and is tired of the whole journey, weary of the whole journey, and is ready. That last straw was needed for the camel to drop down, and the hit was the last straw.
This is true – you are already that which you seek. The seeker is the sought. The goal is not somewhere far away in the future. It is just under your feet. It is exactly where you are standing. You may take time to realize it; you may take many lives to realize it, but that doesn’t make any difference. The day you realize it, you will laugh at the whole foolishness of it – that it was just under your feet all along.
The eighth prose comment: Mediocrity is gone. Mind is clear of limitation. I seek no state of enlightenment. Neither do I remain where no enlightenment exists. All states are transcended: enlightenment, no-enlightenment; the world, nirvana – all are transcended.
Since I linger in neither condition, eyes cannot see me. This eighth picture has nothing in it: a circle with nothing inside; neither the bull nor the seeker after the bull. Whip, rope, bull, the fighter – all have disappeared. Pure emptiness.
This eighth picture was the last Taoist picture because Taoism could not see what more could happen. Finished! Everything has disappeared. No-thing has happened; now what more can happen? Everything has been transcended. Pure transcendence has happened; now what more can happen? But Kakuan created two more pictures – he must have been a great creator – and those will be the remaining two pictures we will discuss. But this is the last Taoist picture.
This is the difference between Tao and Zen, and this is also the difference between Buddhism and Zen. Buddha would also have liked the eighth to be the last. His disciples, Bodhidharma and Kakuan and Baso, have gone a little further than the master. Zen is not just Buddhism, it is more than Buddhism. It is the ultimate flowering – as if Buddha has also been improved. A few touches, master touches, and the whole face changed.
Zen brings a totally new form of religion to the world.
Zen is going to be the religion of the future of humanity because it teaches how to renounce and it also teaches how to renounce renouncing. It teaches how to go beyond the world, and it teaches how to go beyond the beyond. It looks paradoxical but it is not because when you go beyond the beyond you are back in the world – the circle is complete.
With Buddha the circle remains a little incomplete. Nirvana remains nirvana, the world remains the world – separate. The enlightened man remains enlightened, the unenlightened remains unenlightened – separate. Zen bridges them. The ultimate flowering is when a man is neither enlightened nor not enlightened – beyond categories. He lives in the world and yet does not live in the world. He lives in the world but the world does not live in him. He has become the lotus flower.
Be a lotus flower. Be in the water, and do not let the water touch you.
Going to the Himalayas and being pure there is not very difficult. What else can you do? You have to be pure; it is almost helplessness.
Bring your Himalayas back into the world. Let your Himalayas be herenow in the world, in the marketplace, and then there is the criterion, the test.
The real criterion is in the world. If you have really attained to nirvana you will come back to the world because now there is no fear. Now you can be anywhere. Now even hell is heaven and darkness is light and death is life. Now nothing can distract you. Your attainment is total, perfect, ultimate.
Be a lotus flower!
Enough for today.

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