The Sword and the Lotus 15

Fifteenth Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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The more I watch the desires and needs of the mind, the more I come to a space that looks like madness. Please comment.
It is madness, but it is higher than what you call sanity. There are two kinds of madness. Madness simply means out of the mind. You can be out of the mind, falling below the mind – that’s where insanity starts. But you can also be out of the mind going beyond the mind – that’s where meditation starts. In one sense they are similar in that both are out of the mind. Hence one can feel, living in the beauty of the present moment, as if it is madness, because madness and meditation have a similarity but only on one point: both happen outside the mind. In every other sense they are different.
To go below the mind means to become unconscious. To go beyond the mind means to become super-conscious. And the super-conscious and unconscious are as distinct as two things can be, as far away from each other as there is possibility. They have nothing in common except that one point. Hence in the beginning every meditator feels that it is something like madness. But it is saner than your sanity. You have to wait a little, to become acquainted with the new territory of the world of meditation.
Others may also think that you are mad, because sometimes you will be doing things like a madman. But the basic difference is that no madman ever acknowledges, ever accepts that he is mad. He refuses it vehemently. You can go to any madhouse, not a single madman will accept that he is mad. But the meditator can accept it smiling. He is aware of the similarity. He can understand the outsider’s judgment, and he can accept it. He can see also that the action…for example, a meditator sometimes feels so blissful that you will see a smile on his face although there is no reason at all to smile. And we forgive people for being miserable without any reason, but we cannot forgive people for being so happy without any reason. We ask people, “What is the cause? Why are you smiling?”
And a man who is experiencing something within himself, joyful, something immensely sweet – what can he say to you? And whatever he is going to say, you are not going to believe it, because it is not your experience. You can believe only if it is also your experience. Two meditators can sit silently and smile without asking each other why they are smiling. They can laugh, they can dance without asking each other why they are doing it.
Our life is always dominated by something from outside. The meditator’s life is inspired from inwards, he cannot show anything outside as a cause. He can simply say he is feeling so blissful he would like to dance just as the birds sing in the morning, or the flowers release their fragrance.
It is a known fact that great poets cannot explain why they are writing certain poetry. One of the great English poets, Coleridge, when he died left forty thousand incomplete poems. And his whole life people were asking him why he went on collecting incomplete poems, and saying that he should complete them. Just one line was needed, or two lines were needed…but only a poet of the quality of Coleridge can understand why he was not completing them.
People thought he was mad, because he used to say, “I don’t write. Something in me begins to write it. And if it completes, good, if it does not complete, I am not going to complete it, because I have tried it – it looks totally different. It does not have that quality, it looks ordinary. So unless it happens again, and the unknown in me completes it…I am always willing to complete it. But I cannot do it willfully, because whenever I have done it willfully it is not of the quality that I would like it to be.”

It happened in one of the great Indian poets, Rabindranath Tagore’s life…. He translated his own book, Gitanjali – offering of songs. For this book he received the Nobel Prize. But before taking it to England, to show his poet friends, he showed it to one of the great Christian missionaries, C.F. Andrews – just a translation. He was a little suspicious whether he had been able to bring the quality of the original into the translation or not, and whether the language, the grammar, was correct or not.
C.F. Andrews suggested to change four words at four different points, because they were not linguistically right. C.F. Andrews was not a poet, but he was a great scholar. Rabindranath understood it, and he changed those four words.
In England, one of the great English poets, Yeats, called a meeting of all great poets to listen to Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali. While listening to it, Yeats himself said that at four points it seemed somebody else had interfered in the translation. Exactly those four points were the four words that C.F. Andrews had suggested.
Rabindranath was simply shocked. He could not believe it. He said, “These are the four words suggested by C.F. Andrews.”
Yeats said, “You drop those words. They may be linguistically right, but they have not the poetic quality. They are like blocking stones – they stop the current, the flow, the spontaneity. Please put your original words that you had before C.F. Andrews suggested these four words to you.”
Rabindranath put back his old words, and Yeats and the other poets said, “They are linguistically wrong, but they are far superior poetically. You leave what you had originally written. Don’t listen to anybody.”

A poet cannot be corrected by a grammarian, by a linguist, by a scholar – and another poet of the same depth can immediately see. That was the trouble with Coleridge. He completed only seven poems in his whole life. Just those seven poems make him one of the greatest poets in the world. And he has left forty thousand incomplete poems. But that does not matter, he was sincere and honest. He could have managed, but that would not have been coming from the heart, it would have been coming from the head, and the head is far inferior to the heart. And the heart cannot be ordered, it is like a breeze – whenever it comes, it comes.
The meditator enters into a world beyond mind, a space which is so beautiful and so blissful that he cannot contain it. It starts overflowing him. Then it will look as if he is mad.
He will be silent where it is needed for him to speak. And he may be speaking when he is alone and there is nobody to speak to. There are moments when something in him wants to be expressed. If he is a poet, it may be expressed in poetry; if he is a musician, it may be expressed in music; if he is a dancer…It all depends on his talents, on his genius, on his qualities. If he is articulate, to say something – and he is so full of it – then it does not matter whether anybody is there to listen or not, he will say it; he has to say it. It is almost like a cloud full of rain. The cloud comes and showers itself. It cannot contain.
A meditator is a rain cloud. The clouds don’t discriminate about where the fertile land is and where the mountain is and where the river is, and where one country’s boundary ends and another country’s boundary begins. The rain cloud does not care about all these things, he simply showers when he is too full.
A meditator sometimes behaves…particularly in the beginning, when he is entering that wonderland of his own being for the first time. As he becomes more and more acquainted, his madness stops showing any indications to the outside world. As he becomes perfect in his meditation, there is no madness left at all. Then he is pure sanity. But it takes time to reach to such maturity.
In the beginning it is such a surprise, the experience is such that one had never thought about, had never dreamed about it – it is unbelievable. Its unbelievability drives one crazy. And these are the moments when the master is helpful. He goes on telling you, “Don’t be worried and don’t be afraid. It is not madness, it only looks like madness. It is the beginning of meditation. You just have to become more acquainted, take it more calmly and quietly – just a few days more.”
There is an anecdote in Gautam Buddha’s life….

He and his disciple Ananda have lost their path into a forest. They inquired of an old woman who was collecting wood, “How far is the village?”
The old woman said, “My sons, it is not very far, just two miles. You go directly.”
Two miles passed, and there were no signs of any village. They come across another man, who was cutting a tree. They ask the woodcutter, “How far is the village? Have we lost the way?”
And the woodcutter said, “No. The village is just close by, just two miles.”
Ananda said, “It is strange. The old woman said two miles. We have gone two miles. This man again says two miles.”
Buddha said, “After two miles, ask again.”
Ananda said, “What do you mean? After two miles also we are not going to get to the village?”
Buddha said, “I don’t believe them. They are just compassionate people. They are simply encouraging you. If they say it is ten miles, you may get discouraged.”
It turned out to be exactly ten miles, and each time they asked everyone on the way, just simple villagers, all said, “Just two miles, it is just…you have almost reached.”
When they reached the town Ananda asked, “How did you know that it must be at least ten miles? It turns out to be exactly ten miles.”
Buddha said, “That is my whole business. That’s what I have been doing my whole life, telling people, ‘Just a little more. Soon you will be reaching,’ just to keep them going.”

A friend, a guide, a master is immensely helpful in many ways; otherwise you may get tired, you may think you have lost the way. You may think it is a futile search, you may think it is really madness and it is better to stop doing such things. People may start to think of you as insane: you are getting into danger. Your own children, your wife, your father, your mother, your friends have started thinking that you are going a little cuckoo. It is best to stop right now, before it is too late, before you have gone too far and you cannot come back.
A master is needed to assure you, “This is only a momentary phase, it will go away. You have to go a little farther. Going back is meaningless. Go on, in spite of what happens, in spite of what people think of you. You will pass over it.”
Somebody with great authority and experience has to keep you inspired, courageous. There are moments of weakness, there are moments of doubt, and somebody is needed to keep your spirit awake, strong, ready to go on the full adventure.
The master cannot take you to the goal, but without the master it is almost impossible to reach. There are so many other difficulties, which you alone may not be able to cross over. This is one, and this is one of the most significant because nobody wants to be thought about as crazy or mad. But it comes to every meditator. This is the price one has to pay.
You cannot get the highest experience in life without paying any price. These are the prices you have to pay. And when these moments come, feel grateful to existence that the journey has started, that you have entered at least into the new space of your innermost being.
Be thankful for this madness. It happens only to those who are blessed. And if it is happening to you, you are blessed.

My question tonight is about causality. I am wondering what could produce the mystic's experience of the absolute. The absolute must be infinite and eternal, and yet the cause must be both spiritually and temporally distinct from what it produces. Since nothing could stand outside of eternity, or nothing could stand outside of infinity, there could be no cause which could produce this experience of the absolute.
What possible chance, if this is the case, is there for me if all of my actions not only cannot produce this experience of the absolute, but would do the opposite, would perpetuate my finiteness and my temporality?
The experience of the infinite is not a causal experience. There is no causality involved. The world knows only about one kind of happening – that is the world of causality. Every effect needs a cause – without a cause you cannot produce an effect.
His question is very significant. He is saying that the experience of the infinite cannot be caused by anything because there is nothing outside the infinite and the cause has to be outside the effect. For example, you heat water…. At one hundred degrees it starts boiling. One hundred degrees creates the causality, and the effect is the transformation of water into vapor. If you give coolness to vapor it will again become water.
Remember one thing: everything that is caused can be reversed, and the experience of the infinite is irreversible. You cannot reverse it.
Secondly, it is absolutely true that nothing is outside the infinite, so nothing can cause it. But the world knows – particularly the scientific world which dominates our minds, our education, our thinking – only one way of things happening, and that is the way of causality. But there are some other ways also of things happening.
For example, Carl Gustav Jung discovered a new law which has been known to the mystics all down the centuries. It is not a discovery, it can only be called rediscovery. He called it the law of synchronicity. Just as there is a law of causality, there is a law of synchronicity. It functions in a totally different way.
Many things in life happen through it, and if you try to think of those things according to the law of causality, you will find yourself in absolute difficulty. You will have to deny those things, because they don’t happen according to the law of causality.
Love comes under the law of synchronicity. I would like you to understand it so that you can see that there are things which do not follow the law of causality, and that it is not the only law. You can try it….
In an empty room, absolutely empty, put a sitar or veena in one corner of the room, and let some good sitarist, a master, play on the sitar in another corner of the room. And a strange phenomenon happens that has been known for centuries to the musicians, that the sitar which is just kept at the other side of the room – and there is nobody playing it – starts moving, starts giving sound.
If the master is really a master player, he can create the vibration in the room. And the room is so empty that the vibration is bound to reach to the sitar sitting on the other side, and the strings of the other sitar are bound to synchronize with the master’s music. Soon there will be two sitars resonating with each other.
Now it is not causal, and Carl Gustav Jung discovered it in a strange situation. He was staying in an old castle where there were two famous big clocks. They were famous for one thing: you could change their times, but soon they would start showing the same time again. They were hanging on one wall, and he changed one clock five minutes further on. Soon, within two or three hours, slowly, slowly they synchronized – both became two and a half minutes fast. One did not remain five minutes further on, the difference was divided by both and they each became two and a half minutes fast – but they did it together.
Jung tried this many times, and each time, after a few hours, they would again move together and show the same time. He tried to find out how it happened. And he found that these clocks were so big, so old, that their vibration, their moving pendulums created a subtle vibration in the wall – and they were both on the same wall. The other clock was receiving the new rhythm, and they synchronized slowly to the same rhythm. It is not causality, it is something totally different.
Your question is not even under the law of synchronicity, it is something even more mysterious. The experience of the infinite, the absolute is acausal. You cannot cause it by any preparation, for the simple reason that it is already there. It is not something that has to be produced, it is something that you have forgotten, something that has only to be remembered.
You will be surprised to know that the English word sin means forgetting. There is only one sin – that you have forgotten yourself. You are there in your totality, nothing has to be added, nothing has to be produced so there is no question of cause. You are not going to be an effect of something. You have been eternally there, and you will be eternally there.
It is something that you all may have experienced sometimes: somebody asks you someone’s name you used to know, and you know that you know this name – it is just on the tip of your tongue. You say, “It is just on the tip of my tongue, but I cannot remember it.” It is a very strange experience: you know it; you know that you know it; you know that it is almost on the tip of the tongue – still, you cannot remember it. The more you try, the more difficult it becomes, because the more tense you are, the less is the possibility for it to surface. Finally, everybody has to give up.
You drop the whole idea. You go into the garden, you start digging a hole you had left half done; you forget all about that name, you start doing something else – and suddenly it is there. The moment you do not try, you find it there; it has come.
This is neither a question of causality, nor is it a question of synchronicity. It is something totally different. The ultimate experience of oneself, whatever the name one gives to it, is only of something forgotten.
All that has to be done is to remember it. And for remembering what can you do? If you try too much, you will not get it. That’s what happened in Gautam Buddha’s life. I will remind you….

For six years he was trying too hard to get it – and he could not get it. Then finally he dropped the idea, saying, “It is not worth it. I have simply wasted six years. I have renounced the world, renounced my kingdom. I have destroyed my body, I have tortured myself in every possible way – and nothing has happened.”
And that very night it happened.
It would not have happened if he had not tried for six years. But those six years are not the cause.

You can try for six years and it may not happen. Millions of Buddhist monks have been trying for twenty-five centuries – there is no necessity. It may happen to different people in different ways. Causality is always the same. Synchronicity is something that may be helpful in remembering it, but just helpful, it cannot cause it. And the mystics have used synchronicity; they have called it satsang, sitting with the master. Just sitting with the master, not doing anything, just being in his presence – it is a very difficult thing for the Western mind to understand. And the Western mind is the modern mind. Even in the East the modern mind is Western.
It is difficult to understand what you are doing just by sitting with a silent man. But his silence can create a synchronicity in you. His silence may vibrate silence in you. It is not necessarily certain, because it is not a question of causality, when at one hundred degrees the water is going to boil. Whether you do it in India or in Nepal or in Tibet or in Japan…it does not matter where, but at one hundred degrees water is going to boil – that is absolutely certain.
Synchronicity is not such a certainty. It may happen, it may not happen. It depends on very mysterious things – how powerful is the presence of the master; how ready you are to allow his presence to enter you, to vibrate in you; how much trust you have; how much compassion the master has…. It will differ in every case. Sometimes it can happen, sometimes it will not happen.
Synchronicity is not a law of certainty, but it is certainly a law. A few things happen that way. Love happens that way.
What in the East we have called darshan – which is absolutely an Eastern concept, that people go to a master just to see him. In the West this seems absolutely absurd. Unless you have some question to ask, it is meaningless just to see a person, or just to touch his feet.
But the West has not been aware of the law of synchronicity. Just seeing may do something miraculous. Just in the moment of touching his feet, something may transpire in you. Just seeing the master, something will immediately change within you. You are certainly not the same person in the presence of the master as you are ordinarily.
These things can be just helpful, not causes to make you remember yourself. Coming close to a person who has remembered, falling in love with the person who already remembers, may create an atmosphere of synchronicity. And if you are available, open, receptive, something inside you which has always been there…and just because it has been always there, you have not taken any note of it.
The obvious is always forgotten, and you are the most obvious thing to yourself.
You are.
You know you are.
You may remember thousands of other things, but you need not remember yourself. Life goes on perfectly well without remembering yourself. That is not a need. It is absolutely useless. As far as life and its day-to-day work is concerned, you don’t need to know the absolute, the infinite. Naturally, you start taking yourself for granted, as if you know, as if you remember.
It is only rarely…when you come in contact with somebody who makes you aware that you don’t remember yourself, you have forgotten yourself, you have fallen asleep. Unless somebody provokes you, creates a question in you, the obvious will remain forgotten.
Being with a master is just to learn – not the answer but the question. The answer is within you. You have forgotten the question.

Gertrude Stein was dying. The friends of the poet were around. The dying poet asked, “What is the answer?”
Naturally, somebody said, “But you have not asked the question.”
So the dying poet asked, “Then what is the question?”
And the poet died….

Neither do we know the question, nor do we know the answer – but the answer is within you. Nobody can give it to you, but somebody can certainly provoke the question, the quest. It is a very strange thing. You have come with questions to me, but my basic work is to create the real question in you. By answering your questions, I am simply eliminating all other questions so the basic question comes up. When there is nothing to be asked, only then are you going to ask about the real question. And the beauty is, that the real question has just to be asked, and the answer surfaces within your consciousness itself.
The answer is already there, only the question is missing. The question is not a cause, it is not producing anything. It is simply removing perhaps a curtain at the most, and making you aware of something which has always been there.
The experience of the infinite is not an ordinary experience, hence it does not come under the category of causality. It is not something that is produced in you. It is not something that has to be brought from somewhere. It is something that is already there, you have just forgotten it.
Let me tell you a Sufi story….

A very rich man became fed up with all the riches and all the luxuries and all the material things. He had everything. Naturally, if you have everything, and you are not retarded, you are going to become fed up because whatever money can purchase, you have purchased and you have found nothing – no contentment, no fulfillment, no peace.
That man started asking saints, theologians, philosophers, “How can I get peace of mind?”
Everybody suggested some method. He tried those methods – nothing happened. He became more tired, more frustrated. Finally, a man suggested, “I know a certain man. Only he can help.”
So the man traveled on his fastest horse, with a bag full of diamonds to show to the man – “I have everything in the world. I have so many diamonds that in my house we don’t count them, we simply weigh them. Just to show you how rich I am, I have brought this big bag full of big diamonds. I want peace of mind.”
The man was sitting under a tree. He said, “You will get it. Do you want it right now?”
This was the first person who had asked it so directly – not giving a mantra, not giving some method: “Do it and after a few years you will have peace of mind.”
The man said, “Do you want it right now?”
For a moment the rich man was taken aback. Hesitantly, he said, “Yes, I want it right now.”
And at that very moment when he was saying, “I want it right now,” the man took the bag and ran.
The rich man jumped from his horse and followed the man. He had not thought that a saint would do such a thing.
The saint knew every small nook and corner of the village, and the rich man had never run in his whole life – he had never even walked. But he had to run behind him, shouting, “I have been cheated, I have been deceived. I have been robbed.”
And the whole town laughed, because the whole town knew about the saint – that he was a strange fellow. He did things – one never knew what he meant, but he always meant well.
And he was even more surprised that nobody was helping him. The whole village was making a fool of him. They were simply laughing. Nobody was even moving. A crowd had gathered to see the whole scene, but nobody was helping to catch the thief. Perspiring and tired and huffing, finally, as the saint reached back to the tree from where they had started, the rich man reached there. And the saint gave him the bag and said, “Do you feel a little peace of mind?”
And the rich man said, “It is strange, I really do! This is not good. You tired me and I am perspiring, and I have simply asked a question, not expecting this kind of misbehavior.”
The saint said, “I have answered your question; you have tasted a moment of peace. Now just get on your horse and go home. Now you know what peace of mind is. It has always been there; you have just forgotten it. Somebody had to remind you and that’s why I had to take such trouble. I don’t like running myself! But what else to do? Other than that nothing was going to give you peace of mind.”

And what had happened? Because he had started taking all the pleasures and everything that he had for granted, now this man gave him a gap. He took away a large quantity of his diamonds. And for the first time the rich man became worried about the diamonds, and he forgot all about peace of mind: “This man is not a saint. He is a thief pretending to be a saint.”
But finally that man proved to be a saint, a great saint. What nobody was able to do, he managed. This is not caused, it is just creating a situation in which the man becomes mindful, remembers that if all his money gets lost and he regains it, he will have immense joy that he has never had before. All the money was with him. But it was so obviously with him that he had forgotten. And now he was going back towards home with really great relief.

A master creates devices. All devices are just arbitrary, but they are not causes. They only create a certain situation in which perhaps you can remember yourself.
What I call witnessing is only a device.
What I call meditation is nothing but a device.
It is not going to give you anything that you don’t have. It is only going to make you aware of all that you have, and that you have had it always. Now this is not even under the law of synchronicity, it is a totally different world of mystery which comes under no law.
The world needs saints of that quality who can create such a situation. You have saints who are dull and dead, traditional, orthodox. You worship them because they fulfill your expectations. You have certain expectations of how a saint should be, and they fulfill it.
It is a strange conspiracy against yourself. They fulfill your expectation of being a saint, and then you touch their feet because they are saints. But real saints cannot fulfill your expectations. Real saints will destroy all your expectations.
A real saint is going to be almost an electric shock. That’s why the real saint is always misunderstood. People feel annoyed, irritated. You can think of that rich man when his bag is lost. In those moments he cannot believe that this man is a saint. If this man is a saint, then who can be a sinner? But when the saint returns the bag and asks him, “Do you have a little peace of mind?” then he falls at his feet and he thanks him for reminding him about something which has become absolutely certain for him. For a moment he lost that big bag of money. He got it back – it was the same bag which he had brought himself, but now it brings with it peace of mind.
There are very few real saints in the world. The only definition of the real saint is that he will not fulfill your expectations, that he does not want you to worship him. He wants you to be awakened. He wants you to be in the same state in which he is. He does not want followers, he does not want worshippers. All that is simply nonsense. He wants people to be awakened so that they can remember their real treasure. It is infinite because it has no limits. And the moment you remember it, it is not just yours. It is something universal.
Gautam Buddha remembered one of his experiences in a past life….

He heard – he had not become awakened up to that moment – he had heard that one awakened man had come and was staying by the side of the river near the village where he lived. Just the very idea had never occurred to him.
The awakened man was almost sixty years old, and in sixty years the idea – even the idea of the awakening – had never occurred to him. He went to see the man just out of curiosity.
The man was certainly an experience, so graceful, so beautiful – in his eyes such depth, in his silence such music, in his words such poetry.
Buddha said, “I touched his feet, not knowing why I was doing it. I had just gone there out of curiosity, but seeing the man something transpired. For the first time I became aware that there is something more to life than I have thought about. This man knows something more than I know. This man has experienced something which I have missed.”
And without thinking, he simply touched his feet. And when he stood up, he was more amazed – the awakened man touched Buddha’s feet. He said, “What are you doing? I am just an ignorant person and you are touching my feet.”
The awakened man said, “To you, you may be ignorant. To me, since I have known myself, nobody is ignorant. My experience is not only mine, it includes the whole universe. And it is only a question of time. Some day you may get the same experience which I have got. I am just touching your feet in advance.”
Gautam Buddha, when he became enlightened, remembered that man’s words: “I am touching your feet in advance. One day you will come to know about it. It does not matter, a few years in this eternity are just like a few seconds. A few lives in this eternity don’t count.”

So when you have the experience, it envelops the whole existence. It is cosmic. It is infinite. And the moment you know it, you laugh at yourself that you have been searching for something which you have never lost, that you have been looking for something which has been always with you, which even if you wanted to lose, you could not lose, it is your very nature.
Every person who has become enlightened, his first act is to laugh at himself.

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