The Sun Rises in Evening 10

Tenth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Sun Rises in Evening by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
The West has given birth to Aristotle, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, Berdyaev, Marcel and Sartre. Is it going to give birth to buddhas by itself or is a communion with the Eastern consciousness needed?
Chinmaya, the buddha consciousness is neither Eastern nor Western. It has nothing to do with geography or history and it has nothing to do with mind as such. Mind is Eastern, Western, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, German, but the innermost pure consciousness is simply the pure sky. You cannot identify it with anything because it is unconditioned.
What is East and what is West? – ways of conditioning, different ways of conditioning. What is a Hindu and what is a Jew? – different ways of conditioning. These are names of diseases. Health is neither Eastern nor Western.
A child is born and immediately the conditioning starts. Very subtle are the ways of conditioning, directly or indirectly we start pressing the child into a certain mold. He will speak a certain language, and each language has its ways of thinking, each language has its emphasis, its particular direction. That’s why sometimes it becomes impossible to translate from one language into another; the other language may not even have words which correspond, the other language may not have looked at reality and life in that way. Life is infinite, the way you look at it is finite; there can be infinite ways of looking at it.
And then the child starts getting colored by the family, by the school, the church, the priest, the parents, and silently it goes on. Slowly, slowly the whole sky of consciousness is closed, only a small window, an aperture, is left open. That aperture is Indian, English, American. That aperture is Hindu, Jaina, Buddhist. That aperture is Eastern, Western.
Buddhahood is regaining the consciousness that you brought with your birth. That uncontaminated purity, that original face without any masks, that innocence is buddhahood. So buddhahood cannot be Eastern and Western; it is transcendental.
You may be surprised: when a child grows up in a family – and each child has to grow in a family, it is almost a must, there is no other way, some kind of family is needed. Even if it is a commune it will have its own limitations, it may be a kibbutz but it will have its own limitations. And there is no way to bring up a child without a certain nourishing surrounding. That nourishing surrounding is a must; without it the child cannot survive. The child has to be looked after, but the child has to pay for it. It is not simple; it is very complex. The child has to continuously adjust himself to the family because the family is right, the father is right, the mother is right. They are powerful people. The child is helpless; he has to depend on them, he has to look up to them, he has to follow them. Right or wrong is not the question; the child has to become a shadow, an imitator.
That’s what Hinduism is, Christianity is; that’s what the Eastern and Western mind is. It is very subtle; the child may never become aware of it because it is not done in one day, it goes on so slowly, just like the water falling from the mountain, falling and falling and falling, it destroys the rocks, and the stones disappear.
The child has to adjust in many ways. That adjustment makes him false, inauthentic, makes him untrue, untrue to his own being. Now psychologists have discovered that if a certain child proves to be stupid, it may not be so, because no child is born stupid. It may be just the whole surrounding, the family that he had to adjust to. If the father is too intellectual, the child will have to behave in a stupid way to keep a balance. If the child behaves in an intelligent way, the father is, in a subtle way, angry. He cannot tolerate an intelligent child; he never tolerates anybody who is trying to be more intelligent than him. He will force the child to remain inferior, notwithstanding what he goes on saying. And the child will learn the trip of behaving like a fool, because when he behaves like a fool, everything goes okay, everything is perfectly okay. The father may show his displeasure on the surface, but deep down he is satisfied. He always likes fools around him; surrounded by fools, he is the most intelligent person.
Because of this, for hundreds of years women have learned a trick: they never try to be intellectuals – the husband won’t like it. Not that they are not intelligent; they are as intelligent as men, but they have to learn. Have you not watched it? If the wife is more educated, the husband feels a little bad about it. No man wants to marry a woman who is more educated than him, more famous than him. Not only that, but in small things too: if the woman is taller, no man wants to marry her. Maybe it is just because of this that women have decided biologically also not to become too tall. There may be some kind of psychological reason in it – otherwise you will not get a husband. If you are too intelligent, you will not get a husband. The woman has to pretend that she always remains a baby, childish, so that the husband can feel good that the woman leans on him.
In a family, the child comes into a ready-made situation. Everything is already there; he has to fit himself into it, he has to adjust to it. He cannot be himself. If he tries to be himself, he always gets into trouble and he starts feeling guilty. He has to adjust, whatsoever the cost. Survival is the most important thing, the first thing. Other things are secondary. So each child has to adjust with the family, with the parent, with geography, with history, with the idiosyncrasies of the people around him, with all kinds of prejudices, stupid beliefs, superstitions. By the time you become aware or you become a little bit independent, you are so conditioned, the conditioning has gone so deep in the blood and the bones and the marrow that you cannot get out of it.
What is buddhahood? Buddhahood is getting out of this whole conditioning. This is cutting the root.
You can go into the garden and look. One thing you will be surprised about: when a new tree is planted, naturally the tree has to adjust to the other trees which are already in existence. It has to find ways. It can grow its branches only where there is a space. If other trees are already occupying that space, it cannot grow in those directions. It has to find a way in the existing situation, it has to adjust. Maybe it cannot grow branches on all sides, it cannot be balanced – it can grow branches only to the north because there is some space there, the other three sides are already occupied. It becomes lopsided, it grows a branch too much toward the north and the other sides remain un-grown; it is lopsided. And this is on the surface. If you go deep, the same is happening with the roots. There are already roots of other trees; they have already taken possession of the earth. The new tree has to find ways; it has to avoid the places that have been already occupied, it has to find new sources of water if it can. It cannot grow its roots as they would have grown naturally if there had been no other trees around.
And that is also not possible for a child. The same happens to humanity: the child grows branches in whatever directions are available. The child grows roots; those roots become entangled with the roots of the parents. And they remain entangled if you don’t cut them. It is very difficult to find a really grown-up person. People only grow old, they never grow up. And growing old is not growing up, they are not synonymous. Growing old is moving toward death, growing up is moving toward more life, more abundant life.
Great decisiveness is needed on your part. People remain entangled. A man may be fifty, but he still behaves with his wife as if he were with his mother. He still expects the same from his wife as he used to expect from the mother. He is a child. The woman may be fifty, but she still expects from the husband the same kind of behavior as she expected from the father. This is not growing up. And because it cannot be met – the husband is not your father and the wife is not your mother – there is frustration. This is entanglement with the roots.
You are still entangled. The father may be dead, the mother may be dead, but your roots still go on moving in the same direction they learned to move during your childhood. Now the space is available, but you have forgotten how to grow in those spaces which have become newly available. Space becomes available every day, but you have forgotten, completely forgotten, or a few parts of you have died, they have simply disappeared. It is very difficult to find a man who is whole. Somebody’s hands are too big, and the brain too small. Somebody’s brain is too big, and the heart is almost nonexisting, zero. People are living only in parts, and to live in parts is to live in misery. A buddha is one who lives as a whole, as an organic whole.
East and West are irrelevant to buddha consciousness. If buddhas can happen in the East without the help of the West, why can’t they happen in the West without the help of the East? And who has told you that they have not happened in the West already? Just the names are different there; they don’t call it buddha consciousness, they call it christ consciousness. It is the same. Meister Eckhart or Jacob Boehme or Gurdjieff – these are buddhas. They have been happening in the West as much as they have been happening in the East, only the names differ.
No support of the East is needed, no communion. A buddha is not a communion of East and West. A buddha is a transcendence of all that is East and West – a transcendence of all divisions, not a communion; not a meeting but a transcendence; not a synthesis of the opposites but going beyond the opposites. A buddha is a pure sky, knows no boundaries. It can happen anywhere, in any time.
But the Eastern ego feels very good to think that buddhas can only happen in the East. And when Indians use the word East, they simply mean India; they don’t mean China, they don’t mean Japan, they can’t mean Pakistan. Their East simply means India. And if you insist in India too, “Where,” then it never means South India; it means North India. If you go on insisting, you will find finally that the Indian simply means that he himself is the person who can become the buddha, nobody else. If you go on insisting, finally you will find that he is declaring himself, that’s all – that he can become the buddha, nobody else. Deep down it is nothing but an ego game. Forget all these ego games. Get out of these egoistic assertions.
Just as happens in space, the same has happened again and again in time also. India is a certain space in time also, the same happens… Now, there are people who say, “Buddhas only used to happen in the past; they cannot happen now. They are not going to happen in the future, this is a kali yuga, this is the worst time.” Why is this the worst time? Time is always the same. The birds sing the same songs that they used to sing in Buddha’s time, the trees still bloom the same way, and the rivers flow the same way, the stars move in the same way. This is the same dance; time cannot make any difference. Why only in the past? Again the ego is involved. We are too attached to the past: “our past,” “our heritage.” We think of our past in glorious terms that gives us great satisfaction, and it helps us and consoles us that we have been at the top. Nobody has ever been at that height where we have been. It helps us to feel good – because when we look around and the real situation is so ugly, we need some dreams to help us.
And there are two kinds of dreams possible: either you dream of the past – that’s what religions have been doing. Or you dream of the future – that’s what materialistic religions are doing. Communism, Fascism, Nazism, dream of the future; they say in the future will be the utopia, the golden age. Old religions used to say, in the past was the golden age. Nobody says that right now is the golden age.
And I would like to declare it to you right now: now is the only golden time. Buddhas happen now because there is no other time, and buddhas happen here. And the here contains all, the whole space, and the now contains the whole time. But they happen only when somebody takes the decision to go beyond all boundaries, when somebody risks going out of the herd and the herd psychology, when one decides not be a part of the mob.
That’s what you are: when you are a Hindu you are part of a mob, when you are a Jaina you are part of a mob, you are a Christian you are part of a mob. When you drop out of the mob and you become free and you start to live life the way you want to live it; when you accept yourself totally, when there is no self-condemnation, when you don’t compare yourself with anybody or with any ideal and you don’t put yourself down again and again, when you start living your life joyously the way existence wants you to live…
Existence has not given you birth to live somebody else’s life. If it had wanted a Krishna, it would have created a Krishna, if it had wanted a Christ, it would have created a Christ. Why Chinmaya? Now it wants a Chinmaya.

The Hasid mystic, Zusia, was dying and he started praying, and he was trembling, and tears were flowing from his eyes.
Somebody asked, “What is the matter? Why are you trembling?”
He said, “I am trembling for a certain reason. This is my last moment, I am dying. Soon I will be facing my God, and I am certain he is not going to ask me, ‘Zusia, why were you not a Moses?’ If he asks I will say, ‘Lord, because you didn’t give me the qualities of a Moses,’ there will be no problem. He will not ask me, ‘Why were you not the Rabbi Akiba?’ I will tell him, ‘Sir, you never gave me the qualities of being an Akiba, that’s why.’ But I am trembling because if he asks, ‘Zusia, why were you not a Zusia?’ then I will have nothing to answer, then I will have to look down in shame. That’s why I am trembling and these tears are flowing. My whole life I tried to become Moses or Akiba or somebody else, and I completely forgot that he wanted me to be just Zusia and nobody else. Now I am trembling, now I am afraid. If he asks this question, what am I going to answer? How will I be able to raise my eyes when he asks, ‘Why were you not Zusia? You were given all the qualities of being a Zusia, how did you miss?’ And I have missed in imitating others.”

Remember, always remember Zusia. It is one of the most significant incidents in any mystic’s life. If you remember it, it will help. You have to be your own self, utterly your own self. Don’t imitate. Don’t follow the past. Don’t follow any ideals because they are all herd psychology. Slip out of them, be a lion and move out of the mob. And start living your life as truly as possible, because if you cannot be true to your own life, how can you be true to others? And by being true to your own self, you will transcend all limitations of countries, religions, political dogmas, East, West; you will transcend all limitations by being yourself. Just think of it: will you be a German, will you be a Japanese, or a Burmese? Just being yourself, who will you be? A Christian? A Hindu? A Mohammedan? You will not be; you will not find yourself in any of these definitions, you will start growing beyond definitions. Buddha-consciousness is transcendental consciousness. It has nothing to do with East or West.

The second question:
I have always dreamed of becoming a world-famous man, rich and successful. Can you help me in the fulfillment of my desire?
No sir, not at all, never, because your desire is suicidal. I cannot help you to commit suicide. I can help you to grow and be, but I cannot help you to commit suicide, I cannot help you to destroy yourself for nothing.
Ambition is poison. If you want to be a better musician I can help you, but don’t think in terms of becoming world-famous. If you want to be a better poet I can help you, but don’t think in terms of Nobel Prizes. If you want to be a good painter I can help you – I help creativity. But creativity has nothing to do with name and fame, success and money. I am not saying that if they come you have to renounce them. If they come it is okay, enjoy them. But don’t let them become your motivation, because when a person is trying to be successful, how can he really be a poet? His energy is political, how can he be poetic? If a person is trying to be rich, how can he be a real painter? His whole energy is concerned with being rich. A painter needs his whole energy in the painting, and the painting is herenow. Riches will come somewhere in the future – may come, may not come, there is no necessity, it is all accidental. Success is accidental; fame is accidental.
But bliss is not accidental. I can help you to be blissful; you can paint and be blissful. Whether the painting becomes famous or not, whether you become a Picasso or not, is not the point at all, but I can help you to paint in such a way that while you are painting even Picasso may feel jealous of you. You can be utterly lost in your painting, and that is the real joy. Those are the moments of love and meditation; those are the moments which are divine. A divine moment is one in which you are utterly lost, when your boundaries disappear, when for a moment you are not and godliness is.
But I cannot help you to be successful. I am not against success – let me remind you again – I am not saying don’t be successful. I have nothing against it; it is perfectly good. What I am saying is don’t be motivated by it, otherwise you will miss painting, you will miss poetry, you will miss the song that you are singing right now; and when success comes, you will have only empty hands because nobody can be fulfilled by success. Success cannot nourish; it has no nutrients in it. Success is just hot air.
Just the other night I was reading a book on Somerset Maugham, Conversations with Willie. The book is written by Somerset Maugham’s nephew, Robin Maugham. Now, Somerset Maugham was one of the most famous, successful, rich persons of this age, but the memoirs are revealing. Listen to these words that Robin Maugham writes about his famous and successful uncle, Somerset Maugham:
He was certainly the most famous author alive, and the saddest. “You know,” he said to me, “I shall be dead very soon, and I don’t like the idea of it at all.” (this statement was made when he was ninety-one.) “I am a very old party,” he said, “but that does not make it any easier for me.”

He was rich, world-famous and all that, and at the age of ninety-one he was still making a fortune, even though he had not written a single word for ages. The royalties from his books still literally flowed in from all over the world, and so did the fan letters. At this moment four of his plays were running in Germany. His play, “The Circle” had been brilliantly revived in England and “The Constant Wife” had just been turned into a musical. One of his most famous novels, Of Human Bondage, was soon to be made into a film, which might bring him as many millions of dollars as did Rain, The Moon and Sixpence and The Razor’s Edge. Unfortunately, the one reward all his talent and success had not given him was happiness.
He was the saddest man in the world.
“What is the happiest memory of your life?” I asked him. He said, “I can’t think of a single moment.” I looked around, says the nephew, the drawing room and its immensely valuable furniture and pictures and art objects that his success had enabled him to acquire. His villa itself and the wonderful garden – a fabulous setting on the edge of the Mediterranean – were worth six hundred thousand pounds. He had eleven personal servants, but he was not happy.
The next day he was looking into his Bible and said, “I have come across the quotation: What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” He clasped and unclasped his hands in agony and said again, “I must tell you, my dear Robin, that the text used to hang opposite my bed when I was a child.” And then I took him for a walk in the garden and he said, “You know, when I die, they will take it all away from me – every tree, the whole house, and every stick of furniture. I shall not even be able to take a single table with me.”
He was very sad, and he was trembling.
For a while he was silent as we walked through a grove of orange trees, and then he said, “I have been a failure the whole way through my life.” I tried to comfort him. “You are the most famous writer alive. I asked, “Surely that means something?” “I wish I had never written a single word,” he answered. “What has it brought to me? My whole life has been a failure, and now it is too late to change. It is too late.” And tears came into his eyes.
What can success bring to you? Now, this man, Somerset Maugham, lived in vain. He lived long, ninety-one years, could have been a very, very contented man, fulfilled. But if success can give it, only then; if riches can give it, only then; if a big villa and servants can give it, only then.
In the ultimate analysis of life, name and fame are just irrelevant; all that matters in the final reckoning is how you lived each moment of your life. Was it a joy? Was it a celebration? And in small things were you happy? Taking a bath, sipping tea, cleaning the floor, roaming around the garden, planting trees, talking to a friend, or sitting silently with your beloved, or looking at the moon, or just listening to the birds – were you happy in all these moments? Was each moment a transformed moment of luminous happiness? Was it radiant with joy? That’s what matters.
You ask me whether I can help you in the fulfillment of your desire. No, not at all, because that desire is your enemy, it will destroy you. And one day when you come across the sentence in the Bible: What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Then you will weep in frustration, and then you will say, “And now it is too late to change. It is too late.”
I say to you, right now it is not too late, something can be done; you can change your life totally from the very roots. I can help you go through an alchemical change, but I cannot guarantee in the worldly sense. I guarantee every success in the inner world; I can make you rich, as rich as any buddha – and only buddhas are rich. The people who only have worldly things around them are not really rich – they are poor people befooling themselves and others that they are rich. Deep down is the beggar; they are not the real emperors.

Buddha came to a city, and the king was a little hesitant to go and receive him. His own prime minister said, “If you don’t go and receive him, take my resignation, I cannot serve you any longer.”
The king asked, “But why?” The man was indispensable, without him the king would have been lost, he was the real key to his power. He asked, “But why? Why do you insist? Why should I go to receive a beggar?”
And the prime minister, the old man, said, “You are the beggar and he is the emperor, that’s why. Go to receive him, otherwise you are not worth serving.”
The king had to go. Reluctantly, he went. But after he had seen Buddha, he touched the feet of the old man, his prime minister, and he said, “You were right, he is the king, I am a beggar.”

Life is strange. Here, sometimes kings are beggars and beggars are kings. Don’t be deceived by the appearance. Look in. The heart is rich when it throbs with joy; the heart is rich when it falls in harmony with Tao, with nature, with the ultimate law of life, with dhamma. The heart is rich when you fall in harmony with the whole. That is the only richness there is. Otherwise, one day you will weep and you will say, “It is too late.”
I cannot help you destroy your life, I am here to enhance your life, I am here to give you life abundant.

The third question:
Is the ego still working when I feel joy and contentment?
When the joy is there, there is no ego. But when the joy has gone the ego comes back, and when the ego comes back it turns the joy into an experience. Otherwise when the joy is there, there is no experiencer and no experience, there is no division. It is not that you feel joy, you are joy; when the joy is there, you are not there, joy is, just joy. But sooner or later… You are still not capable of containing that joy forever: the window closes, the doors shut, the fragrance disappears; the music becomes distant and distant, and disappears. The ego is back, and the ego says, “Boy, what a beautiful experience. It was great, fantastic!” And now that which was not an experience has been reduced to an experience.
You ask me: “Is the ego still working when I feel joy and contentment?” When you are really in joy and contentment the ego is not, cannot be, because contentment cannot be with the ego – it is impossible. They cannot exist together, it has never been heard of. Their coexistence is impossible. When joy and contentment are there, only godliness is.
But I can understand your question. The question arises later on when the ego comes back and the moment of joy has disappeared, and the ego takes possession. It is very greedy, it takes possession of everything, it hoards everything. It reduces every living thing into a dead thing, because only dead things can be accumulated. Now it says, “Keep it as a memory, it was a great thing.” Now it is reduced into a memory, and the ego says, “Have this kind of joy more and more, create it more.” And you know you were not the creator of it; it had come when you were not, it had come unasked, it had come on its own, it had appeared out of the blue. You were not the creator of it, you were not the manufacturer of it, you had not put it together; it was something from the beyond that suddenly took possession of you, shook you up, bathed you. And in a moment you were sunlit, you had forgotten all misery and all anguish and all pain. You were not a man in that moment; it was a glimpse of buddhahood, just a lightning experience.
But the ego cannot miss out. Once the moment has gone, the ego immediately jumps and takes possession of it, stores it in the memory, and goads you to have more of it. Now you are in trouble. You don’t know what to do, how to bring that joy again.
This happens here every day. When new people come to me and they start meditating, suddenly one day it is there, the benediction, and they are thrilled, they are ecstatic. But the ego takes possession of it, and then it becomes more and more difficult for it to happen. Then they are worried: “It happened, now why is it not happening?”
It happened because you were unaware of it, it happened because you were not asking for it. You could not have asked because you had no previous experience. It happened because there was no search for it, it happened because you were not seeking it; you could not have sought it, it was unknown. Now you know something of it, and because you know, you are searching for it. And because you are searching, you are. In the search the seeker persists, remains, and the seeker is the barrier.
That is the whole message of Yoka and his shodoka, the whole message: that the seeker is the barrier. Godliness cannot be sought. Godliness comes; you just have to be receptive, available, that’s all.
When in meditation you feel ecstasy arising for the first time, it is not your doing – beware! You are not doing anything; it is happening to you, it is a sheer gift. Feel grateful. Don’t think in terms that you are the doer, don’t pat yourself on the back, don’t say, “Look, I have done it.” If you have done it, you will be in trouble; it will not come again. You have become cunning, clever; your innocence has been lost.
So whenever beautiful experiences of joy, contentment, love, beautitude and benediction happen, remember one thing: always remember that you are not the manipulator of them, they come. Feel thankful, grateful, and forget all about them. Don’t store them in the memory and don’t become greedy about them. If you become greedy, ego has come in, with revenge. The ego has started poisoning you again.
Ego disappears many times, in ordinary life too it disappears many times, but people don’t know how to keep those moments of purity intact, unpolluted by the ego that will come later on, that is bound to come. It has nothing to do with meditation as such. Meditation is only one of the ways to make you available, to help you become passive, receptive, feminine. But it happens; just seeing a bird on the wing, and it can happen.

Ramakrishna’s first samadhi happened that way. He was only thirteen. He was coming home from his farm, passing by a village pond, and a few swans suddenly flew from the pond. The sky was dark, full of dark clouds. Against the backdrop of those dark clouds, those white swans flashed like lightning. The moment was so pure, of such utter beauty. Ramakrishna fell then and there to the ground in great prayerfulness; he was struck by the truth.
He remained unconscious for a few hours. Somebody discovered him and people carried him home. That was his first samadhi. When he opened his eyes after a few hours, he was a totally different man. Those eyes were no longer the old ones; they had a new shine. The face was no longer the old one; it had a new glory. The boy was transformed. People started worshipping the boy, people started to come from far and wide just to see what had happened. Something divine had penetrated him. And he had not been doing anything; he was just passing by the pond. But he never allowed his ego to take possession of it.
When people asked, “What did you do?” he said, “I have not done anything; it happened.” And he was never greedy for it to happen again; otherwise he would have missed. And it started happening again and again – small things started triggering it.
You cannot find swans flying against the dark clouds every day. But that is not the point; that was just the beginning. Then small things… Somebody would smile, and it would happen. A flower by the side of the road, and Ramakrishna would look at it and go into ecstasy; he would no longer be there. Or somebody would say something, just the sound… Somebody chanting a mantra – just the sound, or somebody playing on a veena – just the sound, and he would go into ecstasy.
Later on it was so difficult for his disciples; to take him anywhere was a problem. Walking on the road, and suddenly he would be gone, he would disappear. Wherever he would go, anything…

In fact, slowly, slowly all is divine; slowly, slowly everything… That must have happened to Basho, the Zen mystic and poet:
The ancient pond
A frog jumps in.
Basho must have gone into a deep ecstasy: just the plop, the sound of the frog jumping into the ancient pond, was enough, more than enough – the door opens.
It opens to you too. Existence is generous, but you miss the point because you misinterpret it. Sometimes it happens while you are making love, more often when you make love because that is your deepest experience. Ramakrishna must have been a very aesthetic soul, otherwise who goes into such orgasm seeing a few swans flying by against the black clouds? He must have been of immense aesthetic sensibility. It was enough – he went into an orgasmic state.
Ordinarily people are not so sensitive; they have become very hard. Just to survive they have gathered armor around themselves, just to protect themselves, they are afraid of being vulnerable. But while making love one becomes vulnerable. In that intimacy the glimpse comes; you are lost, you are possessed by some energy which is not your own. You are tiny compared to it; it is huge, enormous. But don’t take possession of it later on – the ego is cunning. When it comes, thank existence, when it goes, thank existence, but don’t become in any way a doer. Remain a non-doer.

The fourth question:
You say we need only declare our own enlightenment to ourselves, but what about the gap, the discontinuity, the quantum leap, the death and the rebirth? Is the declaration a device – a way of creating the effect for the cause to follow? Is this an acceptance of enlightenment with a small e, knowing that one day the big E will come in a sudden flash of lightning? Confused, confused!
What are you talking about? What gap? What discontinuity? What quantum leap? You are it. The gap is just in your dream, the gap exists not; you have never been other than enlightened – enlightenment is the stuff you are made of.
You say: “You say we need only declare our own enlightenment to ourselves, but what about the gap, the discontinuity, the quantum leap, the death and the rebirth?” Nothing ever dies; nothing is ever reborn. How can there be rebirth when nothing ever dies? It is all one process, all one continuum. Life has never known death. You are dreaming.
I have heard a Taoist story:

A great emperor was sitting by the side of his dying son – the only son. All his hopes were shattered: he had only one child, he was old, and the child was dying. And the physicians had failed and they said, “Now, this is the last night.” He was sitting crying and weeping, he could not sleep. The whole night he sat by the side of the bed. By the morning, tired, exhausted, he fell asleep in the chair.
He dreamed that he had a very, very big kingdom on some other planet. He had huge golden palaces; he had twelve sons, all beautiful, intelligent. You could not think of any improvement in the situation; it was perfect.
And then the boy died. The wife screamed in pain. The king’s dream was disturbed, and he opened his eyes and started laughing. The wife thought he had gone mad. People gathered. The wife asked, “What are you doing? Why are you laughing? You loved the boy so much, why are you laughing?”
He said, “I am laughing because now what to believe? Just a moment before I was dreaming that I had twelve sons, so beautiful, so strong, supermen, so intelligent, incomparable, and I had a big kingdom with golden palaces; this palace looks just like a poor man’s hut. And the moment you screamed the dream disappeared, and with it my twelve sons and the golden palace, and the kingdom and all. And when I was dreaming about those twelve sons and the kingdom and the palace, it was so real that I had forgotten you, and the dying son, and this kingdom, and this me. Now I am laughing: for whom to weep, for those twelve sons, which have disappeared or this one who has disappeared? That’s why I am laughing.”

If the gap exists only in a dream there is no way to bridge it, because the bridge that you make will be a dream bridge. All that is needed is that you wake up. Wake up! Open your eyes, just see: all is dream. Sometimes you dream with open eyes, and sometimes with closed eyes. Sometimes you have nightmares and sometimes you have “daymares,” but that is the only difference – they are all “mares.” Wake up! Only the witnessing self is reality, all else that you see is a projected film. Turn in, and see that you are enlightened. It is not a question of bridging the gap, it is only a question of recognizing, remembering.
So it can happen any moment. The moment you allow it to happen, the moment you permit it to happen, it can happen. All that I go on saying to you is just to help you to permit it. It is not going to create enlightenment; it is just helping you to permit it, to accept it.
“Is the declaration a device: a way of creating the effect for the cause to follow?” Enlightenment is not the effect of any cause; enlightenment is already there, it has not to follow any cause. It is your very ground, nothing need be done to attain it. See the emphasis: the emphasis is not on doing anything, the emphasis is only on remembering.
You have a purse somewhere in your pocket, but you have forgotten it and you are feeling miserable. And you are thinking that now you are in a strange city, nobody knows you, where are you going to eat? You don’t have any money. And the money is there, you have just forgotten the purse. Or you may have misplaced it; you go on looking in the left-side pocket and it may be in the right-side pocket. And again and again you look, and again and again you feel more and more afraid, insecure; what is going to happen, who is going to give you food today? But nothing has to be done really; all that is needed is remembering where you have put it.
Doing is not the thing, only awareness. That is the emphasis of Zen. Yoga emphasizes doing: “Do this, do that.” That’s why Yoga satisfies people’s egos very much, because it gives you infinite possibilities to evolve in the world of the ego. So many postures, so many rules, so much discipline, pranayama, and exercises… It goes on and on, and you feel, “I have done so much. Now I am coming home, now I am coming closer, closer, closer.” But you never come; you never arrive.
Zen is a sudden phenomenon; it is not a gradual process. The whole approach is that you have never been otherwise; you are enlightened. From the very beginning you are a buddha.
I am repeating it day after day so that this constant hammering on your head may some day break the forgetfulness, the layer of forgetfulness. And any day that the forgetfulness is gone, it will come, it will come like an upsurge, it will well up in you.
You say: “Is this an acceptance of enlightenment with a small e, knowing that one day the big E will come in a sudden flash of lightning?” Enlightenment is enlightenment, whether with a big E or a small e makes no difference. It will not be different with a capital E; it is the same phenomenon. When I go on talking to you, it is not creating enlightenment with a small e, no; it cannot create enlightenment at all. That’s what I am saying, that’s what Yoka is singing: nothing can create enlightenment. You have fallen asleep, I am shouting. And sometimes I have to really shout.
Just the other day, Vivek was saying, “You were shouting so much this morning that I am shaken, jarred, my nerves are on edge.” Good, so I will have to do a little more shouting. Sooner or later how can you avoid waking up? How long can you avoid waking up?
Jesus says: “Go on the housetops and shout.” The Hasid mystic, Akiba, actually used to do it. He would go on the housetops and shout. In the marketplace he would go on somebody’s housetop and shout and say, “People, what are you doing? Awake! Remember your godliness!” And, of course, the people who were in the marketplace would become very afraid when he shouted: “Remember what you are doing. Again? Again the same stupid thing?” He was constantly moving in the marketplace and he would hold people and shake them and shout, “Remember!”
He must have been a nuisance. All masters are: when they become too much, people have to get rid of them. They crucified Jesus because he must have become too much – too much shouting – and he wouldn’t even allow them a night’s sleep. They had to poison Socrates; he must have been a nuisance around Athens. He was. It is said that people were even afraid to meet him on the streets, because if he saw you, he would catch hold of you. People were so afraid that they would not even say hello, because he would say, “What do you mean? Wait, let us discuss it, let us go deeply into it.” Now, even “hello,” and you are caught. It is said that people would see him and escape into some side streets or they would hide somewhere and let him pass. It must have become unbearable. Then they decided that it was better to finish with this man.
A master is a constant shouting in your sleep, but he has to go on doing it whether you listen or not, whether it becomes unbearable, whether you feel jarred, shaken, on the edge of nerves. He has to go on and on, he has to stir you; he has to penetrate your sleep. And the sleep is long; for centuries you have slept, you have completely forgotten how to open your eyes. A master has to virtually hammer you into wakefulness.
Friedrich Nietzsche used to say, “I philosophize with a hammer.” I don’t know about him, but I certainly teach with a hammer, I preach with a hammer. And the closer you come, the more I will shout at you. Only then is there a possibility that some day you may open your eyes in spite of yourself. There is no difference between the small e and the capital E; enlightenment is simply enlightenment.

The fifth question:
In surrendering to you, am I surrendering to myself?
Nirvesh, in asking it you have lost the way. Just a few days before, Nirvesh was in darshan and was saying to me, “Now it is enough. Enough is enough. For one year I have been wandering. Now I surrender everything to you. Now take possession of me and lead me wherever you want.”
Now, this question: “In surrendering to you, am I surrendering to myself?” Yes, if you really surrender to me, you have surrendered to your real self, because I am one with the real self of all. That is the meaning of godliness. I am no longer separate from the whole; I am where you also should be. I am just a reflection of your innermost core. You cannot see within it yourself, because you are not yet able to go into those deeper realms of your being, but you can see it in me. The master is nothing but an outer reflection of the innermost core. Bowing to a master is bowing to your real self. So, yes, if you really surrender to me, you are surrendering to yourself. But if you are surrendering to me in order to surrender to yourself, you have not surrendered to me at all, and then you miss the whole point. Do you get it? If you are surrendering to me only in order to surrender to yourself, then you have not surrendered to me. When surrendering to me you forget all about yourself – that is surrender.
Surrender means you efface yourself. You say, “I am no more, master. Now, you be. I am no more. From this moment I cease to be.” If you can do that, you will attain to yourself.

The last question:
You have said that all the meditations should be dropped. Because of your blessings, so many beautiful experiences have been attained. Meditating on that inner blue-green flame, even in that flame I see your eyes, your face, your whole being. It feels as if the whole of existence is pouring into me. Then again it becomes meditation on you. These blissful moments come and go on their own, I have no control over them. Even so, should I try to drop this? Is this also a meditation? Please explain.
How can you drop it? If these moments come on their own, how can you drop them? And when I say all meditations have to be dropped, I mean all meditations that you do. I am not talking about those meditations that happen, they are gifts from existence; receive them with great joy, celebration, receive them into your heart. You cannot stop them, and there is no need either. When I say drop all meditations, I mean the meditations that you have been doing on your own.
They have to be done in the beginning; otherwise you will never be able to drop them. The effort has to be made so that it can be dropped. But the real beauty is in dropping. You can drop only if you have been doing it – remember it.
There may be a few new people who have not done meditations, and they may feel very good, they will say, “Okay, so why do them? There is no need to if one has to drop.” No, you can drop only if you do. Only a rich man can distribute his riches, can renounce his riches, the poor man cannot do it. First you have to have, only then can you drop. So I am not saying don’t start meditation. When one starts meditation one has to be a doer; in the beginning, meditation is a kind of effort. That has to be so, in the beginning you cannot expect more.
But don’t be caught in that. There is another quality of meditation – prepare for that. Slowly, slowly doing meditation, a few moments will come which are not of your doing. Then shift from doing to those moments which are not of your doing. Slowly, slowly go on dropping the effort, and let the effortless spontaneity arise in you.
And that’s what is happening. You need not drop anything.
You say: “These blissful moments come and go on their own, I have no control over them.” That’s how it should be. If you have control over them, then they cannot be very beautiful and they cannot be divine. Your control means ego control. And if you control, they will be smaller than you; when they are beyond your control, they are bigger than you. They come – suddenly are there – they overwhelm you; for a moment you are not part of this world. You walk on the earth, and yet your feet don’t touch the earth. For a moment you are transported to another reality, a separate reality, a timeless reality, a spaceless space. These moments have to be cherished, allowed, welcomed. With great reverence open yourself up for these moments. This is the way godliness comes.

And the really, really last question:
This morning, I sit tall before you. A kind of defiance rushes through my veins and throbs with a rumbling rivering of fire. The words courage and dignity well up in me congealing into a silently exploding, roaring cry! Tears stream down my face and my chest heaves under the piercing painfulness of centuries of sobs. I keep looking at you directly, with a kind of will, willing beyond its own willfulness. A crescendo of undreamed-of intensity possesses me with every sort of emotion all at once soaring into an imploring prayer. I imagine raising my empty fists at the winds above a mountaintop, at thunder, and at the blackness of the dark. A desire so great that it cannot find an object, an urging so strong that I cannot deny it, reverberates within the masses of my soul, and I keep on looking, without anger, without fear, proud but not proud, knowing but not-knowing, and I know you know. My naked soul faces the enormity of your being with the power of its own helplessness. Your eyes understanding, emanate volts of light into my heart making the painful burning yearning even more… And then you enter without sound, with the softness of a petal dropping through a brilliant summer sky.
This is the way the sun rises in the evening. Allow it more and more; celebrate it more and more. This is the way godliness comes in.
Enough for today.

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