The Sword and the Lotus 20

Twentieth Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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During the last years the Indian shamans have gone more and more into public work.
Can you say something about this work?
It is something complex to be understood, but two points will help. One is – which is a vital point – that the East has suffered tremendously from the Western invasion of the East, creating slavery. And the East was not prepared to fight. For centuries it has been thinking of nonviolence and it has gone into its very conditioning not to fight. It is better to be a slave than to be a killer of man.
It was Eastern spirituality which helped the Western powers to rule over the East for three centuries. They should not think that it was their power. They were all small nations. Their power was small. The Eastern nations were tremendously big. They had immense potential for power, but just the spiritual background was against violence and war.
But everything has a reaction.
Although the East became a slave to Western materialism and material forces, the West could not kill the Eastern spirit, its mysticism. There is no way to kill it. They even started to inquire into the mysteries of the East. They translated all the best mystic literature of the East into Western languages. That was the beginning of the turn of the wheel. Then Eastern spiritual teachers started going to the West, because now the West was acquainted intellectually with Eastern spirituality, and it was so clear to them that their own spirituality was far behind.
As the Eastern teachers reached the Western countries they proved it absolutely – that whatever is thought to be religion in the West is very primitive and crude, and the East has something more superior to offer.
What I am leading up to is that the East lost its freedom because of spirituality. Now it is gaining a new kind of empire around the world because of the same spirituality; now every seeker from every country has to come to the East. And it is perfectly good, because spirituality does not create any slavery, yet it can create an empire of influence, and that is what is happening – and it is going to happen more and more.
The West will have to pay for whatever wrong it has done to the East – it has been ugly and barbarous. And it conquered people who were not at all interested in fighting. The reason they succeeded was not the power of the conqueror, the reason was simply that the people they were conquering had dropped the very idea of conquering, fighting, killing.
But nature tends to a balance….
The West will have to learn from the East and accept the East in a very different sense – the master. Spirituality cannot create slavery, but it can prove a certain inner superiority. So more and more Eastern teachers – Hindus, Sufis, Zen, are bound to conquer the world. They have every right…without killing anybody. And it should be welcomed because it is going to change the violent attitude of the West.
So three hundred years of repressed spirituality is now expressing itself because all that materialist empire of the West has disappeared. Now the Eastern countries have freedom, and they certainly have thousands of years research, discipline and experience. In comparison to the East, the West is very childish. So the teachers who are going to the West to work may not be aware why it is happening, but I am perfectly aware it has to happen to bring the balance.
Secondly, the West has enjoyed materialistic values and is now fed up with them. They have created two world wars, and they have brought the whole world to the brink of a third world war which is going to destroy all life. They are in immense need for an inner transformation.
The East can fulfill their conditions, can change their attitudes, can give them some taste beyond material values. And once you have some taste beyond material values you are a totally different person.
Christianity will try to prevent these people from coming to the West because now it is a question that if these people go on coming, then Christianity’s hold cannot remain for long.
There is nothing in Christianity which is comparable to the Upanishads or to the teachings of Gautam Buddha. Christianity is a barren religion. It has not created anything like Zen or Sufism or Hassidism, for the simple reason that it has never allowed any rebellious spirit. It has been cutting the rebellious spirit from the roots.
Religion reaches to its heights only through the rebellious people, not through the mundane, the ordinary; not through the obedient; not through those who are satisfied just to believe that they will be saved, but only by those who make an effort to save themselves. Christianity has not allowed them.
It is the most out-of-date religion so there is great fear. It has nothing to offer, and the more it resists the mystic teachings coming to the West, the more it will be in trouble because the youth, the young people, are no longer interested in Christianity. It has nothing of interest. It is a sick religion. It stopped growing the day Jesus was crucified.
The Eastern religions have been growing because the rebellious people may not have been liked, may not have been accepted by the orthodox, but they were not killed. And when they blossomed, even the orthodox had to accept that they were wrong.
It is because of this quality that the highest peaks of Zen, Sufism and Hassidism became possible. These are the most rebellious elements in Buddhism, in Mohammedanism and in Judaism.
Hinduism has no future, just as Christianity has no future. Both have lost touch with reality, both are hanging only with empty words. You cannot deceive people for long. And other circumstances are helping.
For example, Tibet has been taken over by China, so all the best Tibetan lamas had to leave Tibet. Now they are all over the world…and Tibet has one of the greatest disciplines to create a new man.
Hassidism is not accepted by the orthodox Jews, but it will be accepted by the new generation. My own people consist of forty percent Jews, and the reason is Hassidism. Listening to me and being with me, for the first time they recognized that Hassidism is the very cream of their religion, and whatever I am saying is purely Hassid.
It is not just a coincidence that in this big world where Jews are few, forty percent of my people should consist of Jews.
The Zen people are so much interested in me that there are many Zen masters in Japan – they have big monasteries, and they are teaching Zen through my books.
When I was in jail I received thousands of telegrams and telephone messages and letters. Many Zen masters protested, but not a single Hindu religious leader protested. Many Sufis protested. In India, Ajmer is the headquarters of the Sufis because the grave of one of the great Sufis – Nijamuddin Chisti is there. He was of such eminence that his name has not remained just that of an individual. Chisti has become a school, a specialist school of Sufis. And the man who is the head of Nijamuddin’s dargah in Ajmer sent me a telegram – he had never seen me. He quoted a Sufi saying.
I don’t know what the word baaj is in English – you will have to find it out. Baaj is one of the strongest words – he who flies the highest in the world – the saying says that. It is an ancient saying. He simply quoted the saying – that was the whole telegram. He wrote to me, “It is not the crows who are being caught and imprisoned, chained, it is the baaj who has the highest flight. It is difficult to catch him, but once he is caught then he is chained, imprisoned. So it is a blessing they have recognized that the baaj is in you.”
I received letters from Hassid rabbis saying, “We are with you.” But I did not receive anything from any Christian religious leader or any Hindu religious leader, and I can see the reason why they could not. They cannot have a rapport with me; they are dead and rotten.
So more Tibetans are there, more Japanese masters are there, more Hassid masters are working and becoming respectable in the new generation. It is really a reversal of the whole role.
The East is spreading its wings as a spiritual empire over the whole world – and it is good news. It is not going to harm anybody, it is going to take away the chains of people, their conditionings, and make them enjoy freedom – and the time is ripe.
The West has been clinging to materialist values which are very much lower than yours. They can kill, but they cannot give you a new life. They can destroy, but they cannot create.
So there is a great creative upsurge in the whole world. It is coming from the East, and soon the distinction between the East and the West will be lost.

The new age movement is becoming stronger in Europe. We see parallels to your prophecy of the quantum leap. What do you think about the new age movement?
It is good but not good enough. It is good because anything replacing the old and the rotten is good, but I also say it is not good enough because it is only a reaction.
To be perfect it has to be not a reaction but an understanding, and it is missing that.
In reaction you simply move to the other extreme, and every extreme is dangerous. For a few days it may give you the feeling that you are free, but all extremes prove to be prisons. And from the extreme there is no growth because there is nowhere you can go ahead.
Growth is always in the middle.
Extremes are horizontal: the past has lost its value…there is a vacuum. Certainly the natural tendency of the mind is to create opposite values to the past – because it has failed – and replace them. You are certainly replacing new values in place of the old, but you are forgetting that they were extremist and you are also extremist. So the change is only superficial. Deep down you are still in the same position.
Certainly a new man is needed, but the new man will not come out of reaction. The new man can come only out of understanding the old – where it has failed and why. And it is impossible to miss that it was extremist. It went too far in one direction, denying the other direction completely.
For example, it may have been spiritualist – denying materialism completely. It may have been otherworldly – denying this world completely.
The reactionary person will be just the opposite, will accept this world and deny the other world, will accept materialism and deny spiritualism. It is simply putting things upside down. It is not going to help. It is a relief for a few days…again you are caught in the same old game.
My understanding is that man, if he really wants to be new, has to be more understanding and less reactive. Reaction needs no understanding; it is anger, it is frustration, it is revenge. But in revenge, in anger, in frustration, you cannot produce the new man.
The new man has to be understanding, meditative, silent, calm and collected, centered. He has to be exactly in the middle where materialism and spiritualism meet, where that world and this world meet, where all opposites meet. And he has to be comprehensive, big enough to contain all the contradictions in him and create a symphony.
The new age movement is there. It is a good sign that people are frustrated with the past, but that is not enough.
It may destroy the past but it will not create a new future, and whatever you do out of reaction will be a continuity with the past. If the past was the thesis, you will be antithesis, but connected with it, dependent on it. Your whole excitement is in destroying the past, disconnecting yourself from it, but that is not enough – that is really wasting energy.
Your energy should be creative – of the new man. And the new man cannot be created without meditation, because that is the only way to find a more clear consciousness, perceptivity, sensitivity. And that is the synthesis of the opposites – so there is no question of any reaction. It is action on its own, not related to something as reaction.
Reaction never brings freedom.
You can see it in J. Krishnamurti’s life – a man of tremendous potential who has lived his whole life in reaction. Whatever he was taught by his teachers, masters, there seems to be a wound in his heart. It is a strange situation which has never happened before.
People have become enlightened on their own, but this was a forced enlightenment. He was not allowed to meet ordinary people, not allowed to mix with ordinary people. And he was continuously trained, disciplined so that he would become a world teacher. And one can understand – twenty-five years of continuous discipline and torture, anybody will react – and he reacted.
He started denying all those values that were imposed on him: discipline, discipleship, initiation, the necessity of a master, the necessity of holy scriptures…everything that was forced on him he denied, rejecting, reacting, furiously. And it is sixty years, and he has been doing the same thing.
The theosophists have not created a world teacher. Their whole effort has created an anti-world teacher, but this is not balance. He has paid too much attention to his past, he is not out of it. He will be out of it the day he drops his reaction. People think him revolutionary because they can’t make the distinction between revolution and reaction.
Reaction is not the birth of a new consciousness, it is simply a revenge. He is still fighting. Those twenty-five years have been such a deep wound – it has not healed in sixty years. And he won’t allow it to heal because now it has become his whole life.
If he had not reacted but, without any seriousness and without being angry, had simply come out of the theosophical movement saying, “Forgive me, I cannot do this,” and if he had forgotten them and moved on his own insight, he would have become a world teacher with a tremendous understanding. He would have been of immense help to people. He has worked hard these sixty years, but nobody is being helped.
The same is the situation with the new age movement – they are just going on a reactionary trip. I would like them to stop in the middle: forget the old and put your whole energy into creating the new man, because without the new man there is no new age.

There is a great potential of creative, crazy and intelligent energy amongst the European artists, poets, writers and theater people. Their life is full and hot and they are totally surrendered to their profession. Meditation is a strange phenomenon for them. Most of them don't even want to hear anything about it. Please comment.
Anybody who does not understand meditation cannot be a great poet. From where will he get the inspiration? He is unaware of his own sources. He can compose poetry – it will be verbal, linguistic. He may fulfill all the rules that are needed, but there will be nothing poetic in it. It will remain prose in the form of poetry.
On the other hand the meditator may not write poetry, but his prose is poetry. Whatever he says has poetry in it.
The people who have not heard about meditation cannot be great painters. Meditation is the background of all great creativity. Whatever they do – painting, music, poetry – it will remain mundane.
And the danger is that without meditation they can always go mad. So the craziness is a potential danger. To be creative is a strange situation. If you are creating things through your mind…the mind has a very limited scope and it is not meant to be creative. It is a memory system, but because it has also the capacity for imagination, you can turn that capacity for imagination into poetry, into painting, into music. This is going to be dangerous because your mind potential is very limited. You will be exhausting it.
That’s why all these people look crazy, a little bit outlandish. Something seems to be wrong with them – they are not normally healthy. The problem is that they have used the energy of the mind which keeps you normally healthy and now there is an empty space in the mind. And that is what gives you the feeling that something is loose in their heads.
Creative energy has to come from meditation, because meditation has no other purpose. And meditation is vast, its resources are infinite. You can share in poetry, in music, in sculpture as much as you want, and fresh waters will run in.
The mind has a limited quota. It is not supposed to be creative, it is supposed to be only a computer. Computers can also create: if you feed them poetry, they will reproduce poetry, but they cannot bring anything new. And that is the poverty of the mind. It is only a biocomputer.
So whatsoever these people are doing, their poetry must be stolen. It may not be stolen from one source, it may be stolen from many sources so you cannot find from where they have got these ideas. Their painting will be stolen.
I am reminded of Picasso….

One of his paintings was sold at a very high price – one million dollars. And some critic suggested to the purchaser, “Have you inquired whether it is an authentic Picasso? There are so many people who are copying, and it is very difficult to find out which is authentic and which is not. Picasso was also present at the exhibition; you could have asked him.”
The man said, “There is no question, because while he was painting it, then too I was present. We are friends. It is absolutely authentic. I need not inquire of anybody. I saw with my own eyes that he was painting it.”
But the critic was suspicious. They both went to Picasso – both were friends of his. Picasso’s girlfriend was also present, and they asked, “What do you say about the painting? Is it authentic or not?”
Picasso looked at the painting and said, “It is not.”
The man said, “But this is too much. I saw you painting it.”
And Picasso’s girlfriend said, “That man is right – you have painted it! And now this is unnecessarily hurting the man. He has wasted one million dollars on it and this is not a time to joke.”
But Picasso insisted, “It is not authentic. And the reason is that I have painted this painting before. This is only a copy of it. I had no other idea at the time, so I simply repeated an old idea which was liked very much. I have copied myself. So you are both right, that you have seen me painting it. But I am talking from a different viewpoint. It does not matter who copies it – whether Picasso himself copies it or somebody else – but it is a copy, it is not authentic. The vision was not authentic…I had no vision when I was painting it. I had no joy when I was painting it. I was simply painting it for the exhibition, and finding nothing original coming to me, I simply painted an old painting.
“If you don’t believe me I can tell you in which gallery the original painting is and you can take this painting and compare it. There is the original. This may even look more beautiful than that because I have grown. That painting was done when I was amateurish. So this may look even better now I am expert. But I cannot lie. The truth is, it is a copy.”
They went to the gallery, and there was the painting. Certainly it was amateurish and this one was far better. But Picasso said, “That is the original. I have not painted it. I was not there when it was being painted – the idea had possessed me totally. When I painted this I was just an expert painter. It was done only by the mind, I was not possessed by anything. Please forgive me, but I cannot lie. You can say to people that it is Picasso’s own painting, but don’t say that it is authentic.”

Now this man is making a tremendously great distinction. Mind can repeat but cannot create. And by repeating it is exhausting its limited sources and it drives the person crazy. And finally, the man is going to go mad.
I do understand what is happening in the West. So many people are painting, so many people are playing music, so many people are dancing, so many people are composing poetry, literature…but there seems to be nobody who is going to be a master. They will all end up in madness, sooner or later.
They are giving the indication that they don’t care about meditation – they have not even heard the word. And even if they have heard it they don’t want to get into it.
They don’t know anything about what meditation is – it is your greatest source of energy. The mind is a small mechanism – you can reach to meditation and use the mind in any way. The mind has to be used for any expression, but then the energy will be coming from meditation. You won’t look crazy. You will look more peaceful, more calm and more quiet, more at ease. And whatever is expressed through you will have something of the beyond in it.
The mind is superficial; it can create superficial things. The mind is not at peace, so whatever it creates has the impact of tension, anguish, anxiety, craziness.
To be in contact with meditation changes the whole quality. It is not only today that it is happening; for almost one century slowly, slowly the painters, the poets, and other dimensions of creativity have lost contact with meditation. Looking at their paintings you can see the craziness. In fact, the crazier the painting, the greater people think it is. The paintings have gone so crazy that you don’t know which side is up and which side is down.
One man was purchasing paintings from Picasso….

The man wanted two, and Picasso only had one. Picasso went in and cut the painting in two! Picasso’s girlfriend said, “What are you doing? You have destroyed a great painting.”
He said, “Don’t be worried. I have created two paintings – and you will see.”
He sold them as two paintings. Neither did he know what it was, nor did the other person know what it was.
You cannot cut a real painting in two because it is an organic unity. But if it is just crazy – throwing colors on the canvas without creating an organic unity – you can cut it into two pieces, or four pieces…Then it becomes four paintings…and nobody is supposed to ask “What does it mean?” Meaning has been lost long ago.
And the man was immensely happy to have two paintings. He paid for two paintings.

Music has fallen very low, dance has fallen very low…almost to the state where they can only be described as disgusting, ugly. They have taken the color of sexuality. All your music, all your dance, is nothing but sex provoking. You enjoy them because they are sex provoking.
It is a kind of subtle masturbation. This is the first time that art has fallen so low.
Looking at an ancient Zen painting, or Zen poetry, or a Sufi story, you are transported higher, you don’t fall downwards. They touch higher centers of your being.
Even if a man like Gautam Buddha, who does not paint, who does not compose music or poetry, who does nothing that is thought of as a creative activity…creative arts…. But the way he is, the way he speaks, or the way he remains silent is in itself a poetry, a painting, a sculpture.
In Indian temples you will find the statues of Buddha, and in Jaina temples you will find statues of Mahavira and twenty-three other Jaina prophets. You can’t make any distinction between those twenty-four tirthankaras and Gautam Buddha, except one. Buddha has his hair piled up like a crown, and the Jaina tirthankaras don’t have hair. Otherwise, you cannot make any distinction, their posture is the same….
And twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas – even Jainas cannot make any distinction, so they have to invent symbols for each. Underneath the statue there is the symbol line for Mahavira, and other symbols. So if you ask, “Who is this?” they will look at the symbol and they can tell you. Otherwise there is no difference.

I was visiting a great Jaina temple….
The priest was a very learned man. And I asked him, “Can you imagine twenty-four persons over a long stretch of time being exactly the same?”
He said, “I have never asked myself the question, and nobody has inquired about it. This is certainly impossible to have twenty-four persons exactly the same: their eyes, their noses, their faces, their bodies…”
I told him, “You should find out.”
The next day when I was leaving, he said, “I could not sleep the whole night. I don’t see any way to find out; the scriptures say nothing. And your question is absolutely relevant, it cannot be denied.”
I told him, “You don’t be worried because I know the answer. These are not the statues representing personal identities, these are the statues representing the qualities of meditation, silence, beauty, centering. And it was good that the sculptors never bothered about physical differences – they have looked at the spiritual similarities. These statues are not of the physical bodies, the physical bodies cannot be the same for twenty-four persons. They have looked at the spiritual qualities.”

It is certainly an experience to sit silently in a Jaina temple watching a statue of Mahavira, or any other prophet – just looking at it. And you will be surprised that you start feeling certain qualities – tremendous silence, a great beauty. The centering of the statue somehow creates a synchronicity – you start feeling centered, calm and quiet.
Jaina temples are the best in India. Neither Hindu temples nor Buddhist temples can compare with the spiritual quality that Jaina painters, sculptors, architects, have brought. Hindus don’t have great temples. Buddhists must have had at one time, but their temples and their statues have been destroyed. In fact, they were the first in the whole world to make the statue of Buddha.
At least in the East no one had seen statues before Gautam Buddha’s were made. That’s why in Arabic, in Persian, in Urdu, the name for image or statue is but, which is just a slight change of buddha. They were the only statues. In these languages the temple is called butkhana. That means the place of the buddha, the house of the buddha. The word buddha became synonymous with statue.
There are big temples in China, in Japan and other countries, but Jaina temples have certainly a unique quality. The reason I can understand – the Jainas are the richest people in India. They could manage billions of dollars to make their temples. Hindus are poor in that way; they could not manage. And Buddhists did not live in India for long – only five hundred years after Buddha. And for three hundred years they worshipped, not the statue of Buddha, but only the statue of the bodhi tree.
For three hundred years Buddhist temples had only the bodhi tree carved in marble. There was nobody sitting underneath. And that was very symbolic and very significant. Buddha was not even represented. The meaning is clear-cut – that sitting under this tree, Buddha disappeared as a human being and became a universal force. Now, how to make an image of a universal force? So for three hundred years they were not creating it for a very valid reason.
But slowly, slowly they found that over three hundred years people lost the idea of Buddha. There was only a tree. Nobody remembered that somebody had sat under the tree who had become so absent that he could not be sculpted.
At that very time, Alexander the Great came to India. His face was beautiful, his body was beautiful – and all the Buddhist statues resemble Alexander the Great as far as the physical shape is concerned. They had no pictures, no paintings of Buddha, no idea how he looked. But seeing Alexander, they thought that he must have looked better than this man. He comes very close.
So none of those statues of Buddha resembles Buddha. We don’t know how he looked: the statues are of Alexander the Great. And he had a Greek beauty – a very handsome man, a very disciplined body. They changed the statue totally. They took the outer form of Alexander’s body. He was not a meditator, he was not a silent man, he was not compassionate, he was as cruel as one can be. He was murderous. He was so full of desire that he wanted to conquer the whole world.
He was just the opposite of Buddha, who was desireless, silent, the most cultured man humanity has produced. So they have taken the outer shape, but they have put all the qualities…
Sitting before Buddha’s statue you will find the same happening to you, and this I call objective art. It is not your crazy mind and its crazy ideas.
The people who created these statues must have been meditators, otherwise it is impossible for them to bring to marble those qualities. It is really a great, unbelievable phenomenon that they have changed stones into silence, into sermons….
In the West, whatever is happening in the world of art is crazy. It will remain crazy and will go more and more mad and will go on falling lower and lower, unless these people are introduced to meditation. That will help their own individuality and that will help to transform the very quality of their art.
Without meditation they are just spent cartridges. They will go on repeating what they have been doing and they will do all kinds of stupid things. They will make collages…cuttings from newspapers and magazines, and joining them…. They will show their craziness in every way.
In American jails I saw, in almost every cell in all the five jails I was in, they had cut naked women in ugly postures from magazines – which to a refined mind, to somebody who knows something of silence and peace, will not look sexual. They will look simply perverted. But the whole of the walls of the cells were covered with all kinds of pictures.
In the cell in the first prison I had an inmate with me. He had all those pictures. He said, “Please forgive me, but what to do in this jail? So I have put these pictures…”
I said, “It doesn’t matter. If you enjoy them, it is perfectly okay. And I am not going to be here for long – maybe one day or two days. Don’t get disturbed by me.”
And in the morning I saw him kneeling on the ground, putting his head on the bed, on the Bible, and praying to God. Then I tapped on his shoulder and I said, “This is stupid.”
And he said, “You did not object to those nude women and you are objecting to my prayer to God…?”
I said, “There is a contradiction. Can’t you see? You should stop at least one activity. And I think those pictures are more important. You have put them on the walls to look at for twenty-four hours, and this you do for five minutes in the morning…this is not so important.”
He said, “You must be crazy.”
I said, “If I was not crazy, why should I be here? But you tell me which is really important – these five minutes…? And I have been watching you. Although you are putting your head on the Bible, you are looking at the pictures. And you call me crazy!”
He said, “That is true. This I am doing just because I have been told from my childhood that he is the savior. I have been five years in this jail and I have to be here ten years more. So I was just telling him, ‘You are compassionate, and you know how my family must be suffering, so save me from this misery.’ Ten years is too long. Somehow I managed to pass five, but I don’t think I will be able to survive ten years.”
I said, “That’s perfectly okay. But while you are saying that, why are you looking at those pictures? If you go on doing that Jesus will not hear you, because you are not interested in Jesus or his Bible. You are simply trying to use him, but your real interest is on the wall.”
He had at least fifteen pictures cut out of magazines and pasted there. And then I found that in almost every cell there were the same kind of pictures.

These people in the West, if they don’t want to go mad, they will have to go into meditation. They have more potential than ordinary people, but it is a strange thing that artists are very egoistic. They may be following any kind of art but they are very egoistic, and that ego prevents them, and that ego is going to cause their madness.
So whether they listen or not…if they don’t want to listen to the word meditation, they can use other words – use witnessing, use awareness, use alertness, use consciousness – they all mean the same.
Perhaps meditation reminds them of religion and they have reacted against it – they have thrown the baby out with the bath water.
Use other words: consciousness, awareness, watchfulness…which do not have much association with religion.
Use some Eastern terms for which they have no antagonism: nothingness, nirvana…. Perhaps they may get interested – “What is nirvana? What is nothingness?” Then you can explain to them exactly what meditation is.
Use any name, but meditation has to be introduced into their lives to save them, and to save through them many others who will be corrupted by their art.

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