The Secret 03

Third Discourse from the series of 21 discourses - The Secret by Osho.
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It is recorded that someone said to the great philosopher Saadi, “I wish for perception, so that I shall become wise.”
Saadi said, “Perception without wisdom is worse than nothing at all.”
He was asked, “How can that be?”
Saadi said, “As in the case of the vulture and the kite. The vulture said to the kite, ‘I have far better eyesight than you. Why, I can see a grain of wheat down there on the ground, while you see nothing at all.’
“The two birds plummeted down to find the wheat, which the vulture could see and the kite could not. When they were quite near the ground the kite saw the wheat. The vulture continued his dive and swallowed the wheat. And then he collapsed: for the wheat was poisoned.”
Man is a slave. He is not born as a slave, he is born free. He is born as freedom, but he is found in chains everywhere. He lives in chains, he dies in chains. This is the greatest calamity that has happened to humanity.
The moment a child is born, the society starts transforming the child into a slave; it is not interested in free people. It is afraid of freedom, freedom seems to be dangerous. A slave is safe. And the society needs only slaves because they can be exploited. The priest is interested in slaves, the politician is interested in slaves, the pundit is interested in slaves.
These three p’s are the most poisonous p’s. These three have been the root cause of human suffering, and man will remain chained, imprisoned, unless he gets free of the politician, the priest, and the pundit. These three have to disappear from the world. Only then can man bloom in freedom.
What these people have done to humanity has to be understood – because this is your story: how you have become a prisoner. The question is not how to find God, the question is how to get out of this prison that you call your mind, that you call your culture, that you call your religion – beautiful names for ugly things. If you look deep, without prejudice, you will be surprised: your mind is not yours at all. It is a conditioning forced upon you from the outside. The mind that you call yours is not yours, it belongs to the exploiters. They have played a trick upon you: they have implanted this mind in you, and through this mind they go on controlling you. Hence they have been very much against people like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed.
Why did they crucify Jesus? Why did they poison Socrates? Why did they murder Mansoor? These were innocent people, they had not done any harm to anybody. What was their sin? This was their sin, that they were trying to make a door so that people could get out of the prison, so that slavery could be destroyed from the earth.
History says slavery has been destroyed. That is all bunk! It has not been destroyed, it has only moved from the gross to the subtle. Yes, you don’t have chains on your hands and on your feet because the chains have become more subtle; they have gone into your mind, they have become more inner. On the outside you are enjoying freedom, democracy, equality, brotherhood – just empty impotent words – deep down there is no brotherhood, there cannot be.
How is there any possibility of brotherhood if there are Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans? How can there be any possibility of brotherhood if there are nations: India, Germany, England? It is impossible. Man is constantly at war, each moment you are living in conflict. And how can there be equality when you have been taught from the very beginning to be ambitious?
Ambition means that you have to be higher than the other. Ambition means that you have to prove your superiority, that you have to prove everybody else is inferior to you, that you have to succeed. If success remains the god, if ambition remains your education, how can there be equality? To talk about equality is utter nonsense. It does not exist even in communist countries; it cannot exist anywhere unless ambition disappears.
In Russia or in China there are still classes. Their names have changed, the labels are different. Now there is no class of the poor and the rich; a new class has arisen, of the rulers and the ruled. It is the same old game, it makes no difference at all. We go on playing the same game. All that we do in the name of revolution is to change the labels.
The real question is not how to find truth because you cannot find the truth unless you are free. Truth arrives in freedom. Jesus has said, “Truth liberates.” That is true. That is only half of the story, that truth will make you free. The other side, which has not been told to you, is also as important: truth happens only in freedom. In fact, truth and freedom are two aspects of the same coin, they happen together. If you are unfree you cannot attain truth, and if you have attained truth you cannot be unfree. But from where to begin? If you start with truth, you will become a victim of words, philosophies, theologies, scriptures. You will be lost in the jungle of linguistic logical speculations.
Start with freedom: that’s my message to you. Come out of the prison that has been imposed upon you – and the prison cannot exist if you don’t cooperate with it. That is the only ray of hope, that it cannot exist without your cooperation. But you cooperate with it. It feels safe, it feels secure, it feels convenient and comfortable, it feels warmer, and you have decorated it well from the inside.
Down the ages that’s what man has been doing, decorating his prison cell. You have made it really beautiful inside, it almost looks as if it is a temple. You have painted your chains beautifully. You have covered your chains with gold and silver, they look like ornaments. Hence you go on cooperating.
Freedom is the basic requirement if you want to know godliness, if you want to know at all what this life is, and what the benediction of this life is, and what the beauty of this existence is. If you want to know it at all, you will have to come out of your prison. You will have to risk. Because the prison seems comfortable and you have lived in it so long, you have become accustomed to it. You will have to come into the open, under the sun and the moon and the sky. You will have to come into the wind. You may have lived so long in the cage that you may be afraid to open your wings again. You may have completely forgotten that you have wings.
This is the situation where man exists. But before we can make a breakthrough out of the prison walls, we will have to understand how the prison is made, what the strategy is, of what it consists. The most fundamental strategy is that the priests and the politicians and the pundits have been substituting every real thing with something unreal. That is the most fundamental strategy of how this prison, this slavery, has been created.
They have substituted marriage for love. Marriage is a plastic thing. It can be beautiful if it comes as a consequence of love, but the priests have managed it: they say, “First marriage, then love.” Then love never happens. They have stopped your most significant part, your heart, from functioning. After marriage you may start liking the woman or the man because you live together, just as brothers like sisters and sisters like brothers – but there can be no poetry, no thrill, no ecstasy. Love will move on plain ground. It will not know any peaks, it will not be acquainted with orgasmic peaks.
And exactly like this, they have been substituting every real thing with something unreal. Marriage is synthetic, it is man-made. Love is God-made. Love happens, marriage is manufactured. Beware of all that is manufactured by man. It looks like the real thing and it is not, it is only a pretension. It only creates hypocrisy and nothing else, and you cannot pretend for long. Sooner or later the pretension wears out and then you are left in misery.
I have heard…

A little boy and his sister put on their parents’ clothing. They went next door and knocked. When the neighbor answered it they said, “Mr. and Mrs. Brown have come to call.”
Taking it all in her stride, the neighbor lady said, “Please do come in, Mr. and Mrs. Brown. Will you join me in some refreshments?”
After serving them milk and cookies, the lady asked, “Care for anymore?”
“Thank you, no,” replied the little girl. “We must be going home now – Mr. Brown just wet his pants.”

How long can you pretend? Sooner or later you will have to face the reality. And you are just using the clothes, you are not Mr. Brown. Sooner or later you will wet your pants – and it is going to be sooner than later.
Man is living in hypocrisy, in utter hypocrisy. You are not what you think you are, you are not what others say you are, you are not what you believe you are. This is the most fundamental strategy of creating a prison.
You are living in hypocrisy; that is your slavery, and for every real thing there has been a substitute. For example, character has been substituted for consciousness. Character is man-made, consciousness is divine. A conscious person has no character at all. A conscious person is utterly characterless, he need not have character. Character is a very poor thing. A conscious man lives by his consciousness, his consciousness is his character. He need not depend on any outer discipline, he has an inner light to live by. He responds moment to moment, not out of a certain dead habit which is called character. He responds moment to moment as the situation demands. He is conscious, he has not decided beforehand what to do and what not to do. That’s what character is: deciding beforehand what to do, what not to do, creating an automatic reaction in yourself, becoming mechanical. That’s what character is all about.
If somebody insults him, the man of character has a ready-made answer. The man of consciousness has no ready-made answers. He need not be bothered. He has consciousness, he has a mirrorlike quality. He will reflect the situation, and he will respond to the situation. His act will be out of that moment’s awareness. His act will not be out of the past, out of memory, out of the mind. His act will be born anew in the present. His act will be fresh, as fresh as dewdrops in the morning. His act will have beauty, his act will have splendor, his very act will be that of grace.
The man of character is ugly. He is dull, stupid; he lives in the past, he lives in habits. He has created what are called “good habits” – but why do you need habits? You need habits because you can’t depend on your awareness, otherwise there is no need to have any habits. You can always rely on your awareness, you know you will be there, fully aware – so why prepare beforehand? There is no need. Whatever is required by the moment will arise in you.
The society has substituted character for consciousness. Children are very conscious, more alert than they will ever be. You can watch children; that’s why they look so alive, so fresh, such a bubbling cheerfulness. Where does all that disappear to? And look at people who have character: you will always see a kind of dullness in their eyes. You will not find any spark, you will not see intelligence. Children are intelligent. They are not yet covered by layers of dust, they have not yet gone through the factory called education, they have not yet been cultured. They are yet wild, and they still have the freedom of wild animals, and the innocence and the joy. They act moment to moment.
But we start cultivating them, we start curbing their freedom. We start imposing, “Do this, don’t do that.” We start imposing do’s and don’ts on them. Soon they will forget all about freedom, soon they will start acting out of the past, pretending. Soon they will no longer be alive.

A small girl was getting ready for her first dance. She was very ecstatically thrilled. Her mother was dressing her and combing her hair. The small girl looked in the mirror – and she looked so beautiful. She asked, “Mummy, were there dances arranged in the old days also, when you were alive?”

Yes, people die long before they actually die. A person is dead by the age of four. Then he simply repeats, then he moves in a groove, in a rut. Then his whole life is just a long story of unconsciousness.
Character is the cause of your unconsciousness. If you are not forced to have a character, you will grow more and more brilliant, luminous. You will have to – because you will not have anything else to lean upon except your consciousness. Because of these substitutes – marriage for love, character for consciousness, morality for religion, logic for truth, philosophy for existential experience – because of these substitutes, you are lost in a kind of desert. You have become unconscious.
Whenever the question of truth arises, you start thinking immediately: that’s your response. How can you think about truth? You can think only about something you already know. Thinking can exist only within the boundary of the known. Truth is not known yet; how can you think about the unknown? The unknown cannot be thought about, the unknown has to be experienced.
But people go on thinking about truth, about God, about love. People go on thinking about things which have to be experienced and not thought about. But you have been told, “Become great thinkers and you will attain truth.” And a thinker is just a biocomputer, a thinker is never original. You must have heard about original thinkers: there have never been any original thinkers. Thinking is not original, so how can the thinker be original?
Experience is original. Yes, it is from the origins, it is original. Thinking is never original, it is always borrowed – but you can believe that you have come across an original thought. You may have simply forgotten where you read it, you may have forgotten from where you got it. If you search a little more deeply, you will find from where it came into you.
All thoughts have come from without. Experience arises within. The without has replaced the within, thinking has replaced experiencing. But one can pretend: one can mix one thought with another, can create a composition, and can think it is original. It is not.
I have heard…

A man was sitting on his porch rocking back and forth. He seemed to be having a long discussion with himself. Every once in a while he broke into loud laughter. At other times he shouted, “Phooey!” in disgust.
A policeman passing by stopped to watch the man and asked him what was going on. “I’m telling myself jokes,” the man told him. “And if I say so myself, most of them are very funny.”
“Then why do you keep saying ‘phooey’?” the policeman asked.
“I only say that when I’ve heard them before.”

That’s what you are doing, that’s what everyone is doing. All so-called original thinking is just nonsense. Thinking is never original, thought is always borrowed. It comes from the outside, no thought is yours.
But people start fighting – because they say, “I have to fight for my thought, for my ideology, for my religion, for my philosophy.” The Christian fights, the communist fights, the Hindu fights – for what? They have been persuaded to believe: “This thinking is yours, this philosophy is yours.” No thinking is yours and no ideology is yours. You have been deceived – but you can remain in this deception because you are unconscious. And you have become unconscious because consciousness grows only with the real.
With the unreal there is no growth. It is as if you have a real tree in the garden, it grows; but if you have a plastic tree, it will not grow. It can deceive the passersby, it can deceive the neighbors, but it will not grow. The unreal cannot grow.
Character is unreal, so it never grows. Knowledge is unreal, so it never grows. Morality is unreal, so it never grows. And because you become too attached to these ungrowing things, you stop growing. That’s what I mean when I say you become unconscious. Consciousness has to be a constant flow; only then do you remain conscious. Consciousness is riverlike. The moment you become stagnant you lose consciousness.
People are living unconsciously. It hurts to feel, “I am living unconsciously,” it goes against the ego. But this has to be understood – at least by seekers this has to be understood: you have lived an unconscious life. This very understanding is the beginning of consciousness.

A city-dweller came to a farm and saw a beautiful horse. He decided he had to have the animal. He bargained with the farmer and the farmer finally sold him the horse.
The city man jumped on the horse and said, “Giddyup!” The horse did not budge.
The farmer explained, “This is a special kind of horse. He will only move if you say, ‘Praise the Lord’” – he was really a very religious horse. “To stop him, you have to say ‘Amen.’”
Keeping this in mind the new owner yelled, “Praise the Lord” whereupon the horse took off with great speed. Soon horse and rider were headed for a cliff. Just in time, the rider remembered to say, “Amen!” The horse came to a screeching halt right at the edge of the cliff.
Relieved, the rider raised his eyes to heaven and exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!”

Watch man, watch yourself, watch and you will see: everybody is functioning unconsciously.
To become conscious is the whole secret of being religious. To become conscious is to get out of the prison. All that is needed is to become more and more conscious. More knowledge is not needed, more consciousness is needed. You already have too much knowledge, you are burdened with it. The load is heavy, you cannot move because of it. You have to unburden yourself, and you have to start finding the real and dropping the unreal.
Always search for the real and don’t be deceived by the society. Of course, people will be angry with you because the moment you become conscious, you are no longer under their control. They want you to be obedient, they want you to be disciplined – disciplined according to them, obedient to them. They go on talking as if there would be chaos if people stopped obeying. And they go on saying that if people stopped being disciplined, the society would be shattered.
That is not true. The society is shattered, it is a chaos, it is already a chaos. What more chaos can there be? You are living in a chaotic society, in a neurotic society. It is already hell.
When I say to stop obeying, what I am saying is: become your own self. The man who has become his own self will know when to obey, and when not to obey. He will not be obedient, he will not have a character of obedience. He will decide according to each case when to obey, and when not to obey. When he sees the truth he will obey, when he sees untruth he will not obey. He will remain free to obey or not to obey.
It is good to be free because you have obeyed stupid politicians for too long, and they have been creating violence, war, bloodshed, and nothing else. You have obeyed the priests too long and they have given you churches and temples and mosques, and they have taken the real temple of God away from you. They have talked about the other world but they have destroyed this world – and this is the only world there is.
So when I say don’t be disciplined by anybody, I don’t mean that you become a chaos; I mean you become an inner discipline. Be disciplined according to your own awareness. Follow your own awareness, be a light unto yourself. This is freedom – to become a light unto oneself.
But the society does not want you to become a light unto yourself – because if you become a light unto yourself, you will not follow all kinds of nonsense that you have been following up to now. And there are people who have a great vested interest in your unconsciousness. Hence your schools, colleges, and universities create unconsciousness, they don’t create consciousness. They create efficient robots. They give you knowledge but not wisdom, and wisdom is the real thing. Knowledge is a false, synthetic, man-manufactured thing, but knowledge looks like wisdom, and there is the danger. The plastic flower looks like the real rose, and that is where the danger is. If you have not seen a real rose for a long time, you may start thinking that it is a real rose – because all that you have come across again and again has been a plastic flower.
Hence Jesus is crucified. Jesus is a real rose, he had to be crucified. Otherwise others would have started comparing, and they would have come to know that what they had been carrying as a real rose was not a real rose, it was a synthetic, plastic flower. They would have thrown it away. Socrates had to be poisoned because he was trying to make people more aware.
When a person is aware he does not become disorderly, but his order comes from his own being. He is nobody’s slave, he is his own master. And that’s what sannyas is all about: becoming your own master. That is the meaning of the word swami: to become a master of one’s own, to be a light unto oneself. And there arises a different kind of order – real order.
Buddha lives in that order, and you can see the grace. He lives according to his own light. He has his own way, his own authentic individuality. He is a free man – but remember: a free man is going to be in constant conflict because a free man has to be in rebellion. That is the price one has to pay.
There are three more things which have been used as a strategy to destroy your freedom. They are secondary. The most basic is substituting the false for the real, but these three are also there.
The second is: creating a division in man, making man split – because whenever you are divided you become weak. Naturally, you start fighting with yourself. Then you cannot fight with the society, then you cannot fight with the prison. The prisoner is constantly in such inner conflict; from where will he gather enough energy to break through the wall? It will not be possible. So another trick has been played upon you: you have been divided. You have been told your body is separate from your soul; you have been told God is separate from the world; you have been told the other world is the real world, and this world is a false world, maya, illusion.
For at least ten thousand years a deep schizophrenic philosophy has been taught: divide. The moment you become divided, split, you are lost – because your right hand starts fighting with your left hand. Then both your hands are engaged, and the politician can exploit you, the priest can exploit you, the pundit can exploit you. Both your hands are engaged; you cannot defend, you cannot rebel.
My message to you is that there is only one world, this is the only world. This earth, this very earth, is paradise. I teach you to be earthy because there is nothing else, there is no other world. The other world is an invention of the priest. Your body and soul are one unity, it is all one. Don’t fight with your body, don’t try to be separate from your body, otherwise you will remain a victim. You will never become powerful, and power is needed to rebel, your energy is needed to rebel. Only when you are overflowing with energy can you be free. Otherwise you cannot be free.
And the third thing that has been used is fear. You have been made afraid – of hell, of punishment. And the other side of it is, you have been made very greedy for paradise, heaven, and the joys and the pleasures there: “You will be awarded greatly if you follow the priest; if you don’t follow the priest you will be punished very badly, horribly.”
Man has become fear-oriented. No child is born fear-oriented. You can watch any child: he can even play with a snake, he has no fear. He can even play with fire, he has no fear. The child comes into the world as fearlessness, but we impose fear. The child, every child, is love-oriented, and every so-called grown-up is fear-oriented.
I would like you to again become love-oriented. Drop all fears, there is nothing to be afraid of. There is no hell, don’t be worried about it; and there is no heaven, so don’t become greedy for it. All that is, is herenow. This moment contains all hell, all heaven. And it depends on you: if you enjoy, rejoice. If you are in deep love with life, if you can celebrate, you are in paradise. If you cannot enjoy, if your sources of celebration have been poisoned, if you have such heavy chains on your feet and your hands and you cannot dance with life, then you are in hell.

A parish priest saw Muldoon, who had recently got married, in church after a long absence. Speaking to him later, the priest said,
“I believe your wife has brought you back to your religion.”
“That’s right,” said Muldoon. “I did not believe in hell till I married her.”

The priest, the politician, the pundit have created a hell here, and because they have created a hell you have started believing in hell. And the more you believe in hell, the more you participate in creating it.
This life has to be lived with as much joy as the birds are living it. Have you seen a bird on the wing? Just joy on the wing! Or have you seen a rose opening its petals? Joy opening its petals. Have you seen a river rushing to the ocean? Joy rushing to the ocean. Except for man, have you ever seen misery anywhere? The trees are blessed because they don’t have these three poisoners; the birds are blessed. The snake in the Garden of Eden who poisoned Eve and Adam’s consciousness must have been all these three together: he must have been a politician, a priest, and a pundit. Beware of the snakes! And the problem is that they have dominated your mind so long that you don’t think they are enemies. In fact, on the contrary, people like me look like enemies – because they go against your conditioning.
The Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, goes on saying almost every day that if people follow me, society will be destroyed. Just the other day, the Education Minister of Maharashtra gave a statement to the newspapers that I cannot be allowed to remain in Pune – because if people listen to me and follow me, this society is going to be shattered. In a way they are right.
This society, this rotten society, needs to be destroyed. Only on the ruins of this society can another society arrive. Only on the ruins of this imprisoned consciousness can freedom be born. Man has to live in a new way. We have lived too long with these poisoners, and they have destroyed all that is beautiful, all that is valuable. They have destroyed the whole poetry of life. They have given you only toys and they have taken real things, all real things, away from you. They have given you words: you can go on chewing on words like God, love, but you don’t know what God is, you don’t know what love is. All that you know is fear, all that you know is money, power-politics, and you go on talking about prayer. That is mere talk.
In a way they are right: if people listen to me, this society is going to be destroyed. But this destruction is just an introduction to a new creation. Before something can be created, the old has to be destroyed.
Just the other day I was reading the Poona Herald. They had written an editorial against me. The main thing was that I am teaching an earthly religion, earthy. That is true, but that is not something against me, that is really a compliment. Yes, that’s exactly what I am teaching – this very earth the paradise, and this very body the buddha. I am teaching you that there is nowhere else to go. Don’t sacrifice the present moment for anything, for any philosophy, theology, for any politics, ideology. Don’t sacrifice your present moment for any nation, for any church, for any race. Don’t sacrifice your present moment, don’t sacrifice at all. Celebrate, and if you celebrate this moment, the next moment will become one of more celebration. And when slowly, slowly your whole life is a song, that is the transformation.
These ten thousand years, humanity has lived in a kind of nightmare, but now things have come to a climax and something is going to happen, something tremendously important is going to happen. Either man is going to die utterly… If you go on following the past, then you are doomed, or – and there is every possibility that humanity will not decide to commit suicide – there is every possibility that now things have come to such an end that humanity will decide to take a new route.
We have moved horizontally for too long. Now we have to move vertically. We have moved in time for too long, now we have to move in eternity. We have desired and been ambitious for too long, now we have to drop all desiring and ambition and we have to put our whole energy into the present moment, to make it a celebration.

A newly ordained priest was going to do missionary work in South America. When he was leaving home, the local parish priest offered to drive him to the airport.
The young priest was reluctant to accept the offer because the old parish priest was a notoriously bad driver. But he didn’t want to offend the old man and he agreed to go with him.
After a hair-raising journey, they arrived at Dublin airport.
“It is a long way to South America,” said the old priest.
“It is,” said his friend. “But the worst part of the journey is sure over.”

I can see a new dawn which is very close by. The night is so dark, true, but when the night is so dark, the dawn is very close by. I am preparing you for that dawn. The worst part of the journey is over.
But you cannot see that far. The moment you start seeing, you will be thrilled. Humanity is coming closer and closer every moment to a great revolution, a revolution of consciousness, a revolution from all old concepts into a new way of living.
Sufism can be immensely helpful because there have been people – they have always been there… Once in a while a person has escaped from the prison, has gone out of the prison and seen the open skies and the stars, and the joy of the sun and the wind and the rain, and has declared to the prison inmates, “Come out also!”
A Buddha came out, a Jesus, a Bahauddin, a Rumi. And Sufis have great messages for the future of man.
These stories are just ways of saying something in such a way that even a child can understand. Truth is always very simple. If you are not complicated, it is just like a small story told to a child. These stories are simple, but their significance is immense:
It is recorded that someone said to the great philosopher Saadi, “I wish for perception, so that I shall become wise.”
Saadi said, “Perception without wisdom is worse than nothing at all.”
First: Sufis use the word philosopher in a totally different sense than it has in the West. They use it literally. The literal meaning of philosophy is lover of wisdom. In fact, the word sophy and the word sufi come from the same root: sophia, wisdom.
In the West, the philosopher has become a totally different phenomenon. Due to the Greek influence, the philosopher lost his roots in existence and became more and more rational, became more and more speculative. And Western philosophy has grown out of the Greek experiment. Hence, Western philosophy has gone in almost the opposite direction from Sufism. It has become logic-chopping, great arguments about nothing, just hair-splitting.
And slowly, slowly Western philosophy has come to a dead end. Now it is nothing but linguistic analysis. It no longer thinks of great things, it is no longer concerned with God or truth or freedom or love, no, not at all. Its whole concern has become the meaning of words. When the Western philosopher thinks about God, he means that he will think about what the word God means. He is not concerned with the reality of God, he is concerned only with the word God – as if by analyzing the word fire you will come to know fire, or by analyzing the word bread your hunger will be satisfied. Western philosophy goes on thinking about the word – bread, God, love – and has completely forgotten that love is only a word, it is not the reality. It is only a symbol, it is a finger pointing to the moon.
Western philosophy goes on thinking about the finger – how long it is, how beautiful or not beautiful it is, black or white, and has completely forgotten that it simply points to the moon. You need not be concerned with the finger, you can forget about it. Look at the moon and forget the finger. But Western philosophy has become greatly skilled in thinking about the finger.
If you read the works of the greatest philosophers in the West – Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. E. Moore – you will be surprised: just linguistic analysis. The reality is no longer any concern of philosophy.
So when this story says …the great philosopher Saadi… remember, it is not said in the same sense as when we say, “the great philosopher G. E. Moore,” no. It is in the same sense as when we say, “the great philosopher Jesus,” “the great philosopher Buddha,” “the great philosopher Lao Tzu.” It has the meaning of a wise man, and that is really the meaning of the word sophia: one who loves wisdom.
Saadi is also a great poet. That’s how it should be, it has always been so. Wherever wisdom has happened, poetry has also happened by the side, of its own accord. Poetry is a by-product of wisdom. I don’t mean that every wise man is going to write poetry. No, that is not needed – he lives poetry, his whole being is poetry. If you taste Buddha you will know what I mean; if you taste Jesus you know what I mean. Not that Jesus writes poetry – he is not a poet in that sense – but he lives poetry, each of his movements is poetic. Even on the cross, his last statement praying to God, “Father, forgive these people because they don’t know what they are doing,” is pure poetry. Only a poet can have that much heart.
Saadi is a great poet and a great philosopher, he is a wise man. And remember, by “wise man” I don’t mean a man who knows much, no. Knowledge has nothing to do with wisdom. Remember knowledge is a substitute, a false substitute for wisdom. Wisdom grows in your consciousness; knowledge is implanted in you, imposed on you. Knowledge you get from the universities, wisdom you get from life itself; no university can give it to you. You have to live life. Knowledge you can get from books, scriptures, teachers, experienced people, by your own life’s experiences; wisdom is a totally different phenomenon. Wisdom you get only if you are open, vulnerable to existence, in deep love with existence. Then an old, dead leaf falling from a tree will give you wisdom. It will show you the momentariness of life, it will give you a message of death. And the way it falls – so gracefully, so fearlessly – will also give you wisdom, that this is the way to die. In the morning the rose blooms and by the evening it has gone. Coming, it was joy, going, it is joy.
Wisdom comes from watchfulness – not by study but by awareness, not by concentration but by meditation. One has to be just open to this infinite splendor called life. One has to be open to the earth and to the sky. One has to be open to everything, each and everything. Without judgment, one has to be open; then wisdom comes.
If you judge, you prevent; if you choose, you prevent; if you condemn, you prevent; if you evaluate, you prevent. The man who wants wisdom to shower on him remains just a pure witness. Thoughtless, he looks; he is just a mirror, he reflects. He does not conclude, he is not in a hurry. He never gathers knowledge; he goes on learning. He goes on learning, but never gathers knowledge.
The knowledgeable person lives in his memory, in the past. The wise man lives in the present – not in his memory but in his awareness this very moment. Saadi is a wise man.
A man came to Saadi and said: “I wish for perception, so that I shall become wise.” Now, no one can become wise. It is not an effort. One can become knowledgeable; it is an endeavor, an enterprise. One can cultivate knowledge, one cannot become wise. Wisdom is not becoming, it is being. That has to be understood.
Becoming is a process of time: today you have this much knowledge, tomorrow you can have more, and the day after tomorrow, more and more and more. Wisdom is not a quantity. Knowledge is a quantity, so the quantity can be more or less. The student has less, the professor has more. But wisdom is never less or more; it is a quality. Buddha is wise, so is Mahavira, and so is Bahauddin, and so is Zarathustra. Now, you cannot say who is wiser, that is not possible. It is not a quantity, you cannot compare. They are all wise. Wisdom knows nothing of more or less.
But about knowledge that is possible. You can say, “This professor is more knowledgeable – he has three PhD’s. That professor is not so knowledgeable – he has only one PhD. This professor is more knowledgeable – he has published in many academic journals. He has written so much, so many books have been published. That man, the other man, is not so knowledgeable.”
Knowledge is a quantity, it can be compared. Wisdom is not a quantity, it is a quality. You cannot become wise. It is a sudden happening, it is not gradual. It is not that one moment you are wise, and another moment a little more, and a little more, and gradually one day you become perfectly wise. No, it happens instantly: it is a sudden enlightenment, it is a state of being. When you have dropped all knowledge, it happens. When you have come out of the prison that the society has created for you, it happens. When you are again a child, it happens.
Remember the words of Jesus: “Unless you are like a small child, you will not enter my Kingdom of God.” What does he mean? Unless you attain the same freedom that you were born with, “…you will not enter my Kingdom of God.” Drop all that the society has given to you: character, morality, the idea of good and bad, the division of body and soul, the split between the earth and heaven. Drop all that the society has imposed on you. Become innocent again, a clean slate, and suddenly you are wise.
Wisdom is something that happens like a sudden lightning. That is the meaning of enlightenment, satori, samadhi.
The man said to Saadi: “…I wish for perception, so that I shall become wise.” Now, he is asking a wrong question. But people are not aware of what they are saying, they go on using words. He has heard, he is using words. He does not know with whom he is talking. He is not even aware that he is facing a buddha. Saadi is an enlightened man, but the man is talking in the same way, in the same gibberish, that he has been speaking to other people. He is perfectly unaware of whom he is talking with.
I have heard…

A lady went into a pet shop to buy a bird. She saw one that interested her. “What kind of bird is that?” she asked the salesman.
“That is a crunch-bird,” he replied. “Let me show you what he can do.”
“Crunch-bird, my paper!” the man ordered. The bird flew down and in one gulp ate the sheet of paper.
“Crunch-bird, my pencil!” The crunch-bird swooped down and swallowed the pencil.
“He is wonderful!” said the lady. “I will buy him.”
The lady brought the bird home. Her husband looked at the bird and wondered what kind of bird it was. He had never seen a bird quite like it before.
“That, my dear,” the wife boasted, “is a crunch-bird.”
The husband scratched his head, “Crunch-bird?” he said. “Crunch-bird, my foot!”

Talking to a Buddha, or to a Saadi, or to a Bahauddin, you should be a little more alert about what you are saying. You should be very careful of what words you are using. And if you are really careful and alert you may not use any words. You may simply bow down, you may simply put your head at the feet of Saadi and wait there for him to say something to you – because what can you ask? Out of your confusion only a confused question will arise. What can you ask out of your unclarity, out of your ignorance, darkness? What can you ask?
It is said, when a disciple of Buddha went to see Buddha for the first time…

He was a great scholar, one of the very well-known in India in those days; his name was Sariputra. When he went to Buddha for the first time, he went with five hundred disciples, his own disciples; they were all great scholars. He was a well-known Brahmin and he was much known for his debates. He had the capacity to defeat anybody. He used to roam around the country with his disciples, quarreling, debating, discussing, defeating other scholars. He was victorious in his art, nobody had yet been able to defeat him.
His disciples were very thrilled that now they were going to defeat Buddha. Sariputra could defeat anybody. They knew it, they had seen it happen again and again, but they were not aware of what was going to happen. The moment Sariputra saw Buddha he started crying, tears came into his eyes. The disciples were bewildered: they could not believe it, they had never seen such a thing. Sariputra was a very arrogant scholar, roaming around the country defeating every kind of philosopher, imposing his philosophy. Crying? A great silence descended. Even Buddha’s disciples could not believe it. They were also waiting: “There is going to be a great debate and discussion.”
Sariputra bowed down, put his head at Buddha’s feet and remained there. Buddha asked him, “Do you want to ask anything, Sariputra?”
He said, “No. Seeing you, all questions have disappeared. I want to be here with you. If some day you feel that I am worthy and you would like to say something to me, you can say it. But if you don’t say anything, then too I will be contented. I am contented. Seeing you, I have seen all that is worth seeing.” This is the way to approach a man who is wise.

The man said to Saadi: “…I wish for perception so that I shall become wise.” Saadi said, “Perception without wisdom is worse than nothing at all.” What is he asking for in the name of perception? He is asking for knowledge, he is asking for the capacity to see more, to know more. He thinks that wisdom can be caused by something – by perception, by knowledge, by the capacity to see.
Wisdom is not caused by anything, wisdom is already the case. You were born wise, wisdom is your nature. All that is needed is to drop the pretensions that you have cultivated. All that is needed is to rediscover. It is already there, somewhere deep down, hidden behind all kinds of rubbish that has continuously been poured into you by the parents, by the teachers, by the professors, by everybody around you.
All kinds of nonsense are being poured into every child; it becomes piled up. You call it your ideology, your philosophy, your religion – your communism, your Christianity, your Hinduism. It is just junk! And deep down, hidden behind it, is the real treasure. It has only to be rediscovered.
Saadi said, “Perception without wisdom is worse than nothing at all.” Knowledge can be dangerous if you are not wise. That’s what is happening in the world: people become knowledgeable, and their life loses all meaning. Just go and see the knowledgeable people – they are the most lost, they feel life to be absolutely meaningless. They cannot feel any joy. They are continuously wondering why they are alive at all: “Why not commit suicide?” Maybe they are cowardly and cannot commit suicide, but they are not able to answer why they are living, for what. They don’t feel any purpose anywhere. Life seems to be accidental, unnecessary. They can’t see the point where they are needed in any way. They are feeling uprooted. The more knowledgeable a person is, the more he feels uprooted.
Knowledge does not lead to wisdom, knowledge leads to madness. Knowledge does not lead to enlightenment, it leads to deeper and darker unconscious realms of your being. Knowledge takes all celebration away from your life – it destroys all poetry, all song, all dance. It makes you serious.
Wisdom knows how to laugh, knowledge cannot laugh. Knowledge is always serious, wisdom is playful. Wisdom knows how to live, how to love, how to laugh. Wisdom is light, knowledge is heavy. You cannot attain wisdom through knowledge.
That’s what the person is asking, and that’s what everybody is thinking: “If I gather a little more knowledge I will be wiser.” You will not be; you will be less wise. The more you know, the less you will know. Socrates was right when, at the end of his long life, he said, “I know only one thing – that I know nothing.” This is wisdom.
Knowledge creates specialists who know more and more about less and less, and finally end up by knowing all about nothing. Wisdom is a totally different dimension: it is the dimension of being, not of becoming.
The man asked Saadi:
“How can that be?”
You say ignorance is better than knowledge without wisdom.
“How can that be?”
Saadi said, “As in the case of the vulture and the kite. The vulture said to the kite, ‘I have far better eyesight than you. Why, I can see a grain of wheat down there on the ground, while you see nothing at all.’
“The two birds plummeted down to find the wheat, which the vulture could see and the kite could not. When they were quite near the ground the kite saw the wheat. The vulture continued his dive and swallowed the wheat. And then he collapsed: for the wheat was poisoned.”
That’s how it has happened: man has collapsed because of his knowledge. First his inner world was destroyed by knowledge and knowledgeability, and now scientific knowledge is destroying nature. First we have destroyed the inner by so-called religious knowledge, now we are destroying the outer by so-called scientific knowledge. The inner ecology has been destroyed by the priests, and the outer ecology is being destroyed by the technologists. Man is collapsing.
We are living in the most significant time ever – because it is a time of great collapse. Either humanity disappears or a totally new way of life arrives. These moments are very critical, it is the greatest crisis man has ever encountered. Religion has destroyed half of the world, the inner world, and science is destroying the other half.
We need a totally different kind of religion and a totally different kind of science – a science which helps ecology. And we need a totally different kind of religion – a religion which gives you freedom, not slavery, which helps you to be yourself, which is not an imposition.
Science is a rape on nature, and religion has been a rape on your inner consciousness. Both have failed, both have been destructive.
A new vision is needed. It was never needed as much as it is needed now – because the time is very limited. We are sitting on a pile of atomic weapons. The capacity to destroy this earth is so vast that you cannot even imagine for what we have gathered such a capacity to destroy. It is a thousandfold: every man, every single man, can be killed one thousand times, one thousand earths can be destroyed. We have piled up that much capacity to destroy, and we go on piling more up every day. It may be a communist country or a capitalist country, it makes no difference; each country is trying to put all its energy into war, into destruction.
Even a country like India, which boasts of being nonviolent and all that jazz, is greatly desirous of having atomic weapons. Even a country like India, which thinks and claims and boasts that it is a religious country, puts seventy percent of its energy into war efforts. People are dying, starving, and the Gandhians, who have been the rulers of this country for three decades, go on piling up more and more weapons – and they go on talking about nonviolence. It is such an absurd world. It is so ridiculous! You have to be aware of it, you have to be very, very alert to it. We are sitting on a volcano, our own, manufactured, made by ourselves; it can erupt at any moment. Before it erupts we have to find a new science and a new religion.
In fact, the new science and the new religion will not be two separate things. They are separate because of the division created in you: the body and the soul, this world and that, inner and outer, man and woman, day and night. Because of these divisions, science and religion have been in conflict – because your body and your soul have been in conflict. The new religion and the new science will not be two separate things, it will be one thing. You can call it religio-science or anything you wish, but it will be one thing. It has to be one because man is one. The outer and the inner are not in conflict, they are aspects of the same coin.
If man is wise, he will have a different kind of world, more natural in every way, more harmonious, more poetic. Both the outer and the inner need great change. Both have suffered much, but they can be revived because they are eternal. Even though much poisoning has been going on, that poison can be dropped out of the system, the system can still be purified. Still there is hope.
It is out of my hope that I am creating you, my sannyasins. It is out of my hope that I am creating a new kind of consciousness, where religion and science can meet, where East and West can meet – there should be no East and no West in the future – where all dualities disappear and the nondual is felt. That nondual is God.
But you can know that nondual, that God, only if you come out of your prison. Come out, wake up: you can. Nobody can hinder you except yourself. You will have to drop a few comforts, a few conveniences, but it is worth it – because once you have known the real joys of life, you will never regret that you had to drop those false toys.
But before you have known the real, it is really difficult. Trust is needed. And that is the function of a master, to create trust in you. I cannot give you freedom because freedom cannot be given by its very nature. And a freedom that is given can be taken away at any moment, so it is not of any worth. I cannot give you freedom. In fact, you don’t need it, you have it deep inside. It is still alive, it just has to be searched for, found. I can give you trust, I can help you to gain confidence.
Your confidence has been taken away. You have been made afraid, you have been forced to tremble in fear. In your temples you are doing nothing but trembling, and you call it prayer. You are simply afraid, and out of fear you create gods. They are not gods, they are just shadows of your fear. And out of your misery you create paradise. That is just a consolation.
The real God cannot be attained through fear. The real God is attained only through love, but love is possible only in one way: love is possible only in freedom. The slave cannot love, and the slave cannot be wise either. Drop your slavery. You have nothing to lose except your chains, and you have everything to gain, the whole world to gain.
You don’t know how much you are missing. You don’t know what compassion arises in buddhas when they look at you – because they can see what you can be, and what you have become. They can see a great dance that can happen in you, they can see a golden flower that can bloom in you.
But you don’t have any idea of a golden flower. You don’t have any idea of your being a god. You don’t have any idea that the kingdom of God is within you. You are an emperor who has fallen asleep and dreams that he is a beggar. Wake up. You can go on accumulating knowledge in your dream; that is not going to help. Wake up. Wake up! Only then will you be wise.
Wisdom is nothing but wakefulness. Wisdom is an awakening.
I can give you trust. I can allow you to fall in tune with me and to have a little taste of what is possible. And that taste is satsang, that taste is communion between the master and the disciple. And once even a single drop of that nectar has fallen on your tongue you will never be the same: you will be in constant rebellion, you will destroy all prisons. You will have to come out under the sky. And the benediction is great; you cannot even imagine. It is sat chit anand – it is truth, it is consciousness, it is bliss.
God is not a person, but the experience of bliss, truth, and consciousness. God is this whole existence in utter celebration. You have only fallen out of line. Fall in step.
So what can you do? Saadi says that by attaining more knowledge or perception, nothing is going to happen. I say the same to you. I am not here to impart more knowledge to you. I am here to make you alert, to shock you into wakefulness.
When the heart is awake and becomes a flame of light, you know the meaning of life and the significance of it – and it is great. Then gratefulness arises. Then the sheer gift of life is enough to be contented with forever and forever.
Enough for today.

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