The Ultimate Alchemy Vol 1 07

Seventh Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Ultimate Alchemy Vol 1 by Osho.
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Unmani bhaavah paadyam

The upward flow of the mind
is paadyam – the water for divine worship.
The mind is the bridge between matter and consciousness, between without and within, between the gross and the subtle. When I say mind is the bridge, I mean many things. Man comes to the world through mind; man comes to the body through mind; man comes to desires through mind. So wherever you reach, the reaching is always through the mind. If you create a hell for yourself, you create it through mind. If you create a heaven, that is also through mind.
One of the Zen patriarchs, Hui-Hai, has said, “Mind is heaven and mind is hell.” So whatsoever you are or whatsoever you can be, it will depend ultimately on how your mind works. This working can create something for you which is not; this working can reveal to you that which is. So a mind can create a very illusionary world around it: it is capable. It can dream, and its dream can be so real that you cannot even detect that whatsoever is seen and perceived is not real.
So mind has a projective force; it can project. Mind can create that which is not, and because mind can create that which is not, it can forget that which is. It can just be in such a state that the reality is never in any contact with it; and whatsoever happens, it depends only on the mind. So the mind has to be taken as the root of everything that one can experience. Even if one has to know the divine, one has to go through mind. Of course, that “going” is difficult, because that “going” implies the dropping of the mind. Even if dropping of the mind is needed, it is through mind. Unless you drop the mind you will never be able to know the truth.
Mind is everywhere, either positively or negatively. Whatsoever you are doing – creating an illusory world or discovering the real, creating a madness for yourself or creating a meditative state – it is all through mind. Wherever you go, you go through the bridge of the mind. Even if you have to come to your Self it will be through mind. Of course, the coming will be negative; you will have to negate mind. You will have to come back, and the same steps will have to be taken, only the direction will be different. If I go from my home, there are steps which lead me away from it. If I am returning, the same steps will lead me back – only the direction will be different. So if you can understand how mind goes out, you know that the same path has to be followed back.
Secondly, in Indian symbology, “upward” is synonymous with “inward,” and “downward” is synonymous with “outward.” When we say upward we mean inward; they both mean the same. The more inward you go, the more upward; the more outward you go, the more downward. These two are different symbols. The Chinese mind has always used “downward” as synonymous with “inward,” and “upward” as synonymous with “outward.” So whenever Lao Tzu would speak he would never use upward; he would say, “Come downward,” and by down he means come within. So the within for Lao Tzu is just like an abyss: you fall in.
Indian symbology is different. We use upward for inward. For us the inward is not like an abyss, it is like a peak. Both can be used because symbols are just symbols, they indicate; more than that is meaningless. So it has always been a problem. The Upanishads always talk of upward, and the symbol is fire – fire constantly running upward. For Lao Tzu and Taoists, water is the symbol – water running downward, finding out the most downward position possible. It can rest only when the deepest abyss has been found. But fire will rest only with the sun. It will go upward, upward, to the invisible upwardness.
There is no contradiction. Really, whenever persons like Lao Tzu or Zarathustra or Jesus speak, they may use contradictory terms but they are never contradictory. They cannot be, that is impossible. So if their words are contradictory that only shows their type, their choice, their individuality, their way of saying things, nothing more. But pundits, scholars, can make much out of these apparent contradictions. Whenever we are talking about the absolute, the ultimate, one thing must be understood very clearly: you can use either of the extremes to express it, and each extreme is as valid as the other.
For example, the Upanishads use for the divine the word absolute. This is one extreme, that of positivity – the perfect, the absolute. Buddha uses for that same state and the same realization “nothingness” – the other extreme. Totally opposite as far as words go, but as far as the realization is concerned they both mean the same. But it created much confusion.
Buddha appeared to be absolutely contradictory to the Hindu mind. He was not. He was one of the purest Hindus possible, but he used a negative word. That was his liking, and it is good not to discuss likings, because one is as valid or as invalid as the other. Both can be used. Either you say “the infinite” or you say “the zero” – both are infinite. If you take it in the beginning, it is zero. If you take it in the end, it is infinite. Both mean the same thing.
Just like this, Buddha and Mahavira, both contemporaries, used very contradictory language. Mahavira says, “To know the Self is the ultimate knowledge, the wisdom. To know the Self is the wisdom.” And Buddha says, “To believe in the self is the only ignorance.” Mahavira says, “Only the Self is,” and Buddha says, “Only the self is the deception, the most false thing.” Nothing can be more contradictory – so Jainas and Buddhists have been fighting constantly for twenty-five centuries. But the whole conflict is based just on linguistic fallacies – because Mahavira uses the word “Self,” negating everything of the ego in it. He says, “You become the Self when there is no ego.” So really, “Self” becomes just like “no-self.” If there is no ego, the Self becomes just like no-self. And Buddha uses the “self” as the ego and he says the self means the ego, so the most perfect ego means “the self.” Then the meaning becomes clear. So both are right. When Buddha says, “To believe in a self is to be ignorant,” he is right. Mahavira is also right when he says, “To know the Self is the ultimate wisdom.” The contradiction is just apparent.
Lao Tzu says, “To go down to the last is to reach the basic existence.” He begins from the beginning: “Drop down back to the very beginning, to the original source. The original source is deep down.” The Upanishads say, “Go up to the last where the peak is achieved.” Lao Tzu says, “Go down to the original source,” and the Upanishads say, “Go up to the ultimate possibility, to the very end. Achieve the potentiality to the very end; make the potentiality absolutely actual.” The beginning and end are not two separate things. Really, no end can end unless it reaches again to the beginning, and the beginning begins only where the end ends.
Life moves in a circle, so if you begin a circle, the point of beginning will also be the point of the ending. Life moves in a circle, so you can say the same point is both the beginning and the end. So the upward is not contradictory to the downward. The Lao Tzu-an downward and the Upanishadic upward – both mean the same. Only the words differ.
If we can penetrate to the meaning beyond the words, only then can we conceive of and comprehend these minds. These minds are living in such experiences which cannot really be expressed through ordinary words. But they have to use ordinary words, so they can use only ordinary words with a very different meaning, with a very different connotation. So one thing more: when the Upanishads say upward, remember, it is the same as inward. The more you go in, the more up, and vice versa: the more up you go, the more in. What is this upwardness or inwardness? Why should the sutra say that this upward flow of the mind is the only water by which you can worship the feet of the divine? So many things are implied. One is that it is useless to use just water – it is useless!

Al-Hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic, was killed. When his hands were cut off, blood began to flow, and he used that blood as Mohammedans use water for wazu – cleaning the body before going to the worship. They use water, but Mansoor used blood. When he made the gesture of wazu, someone asked from the crowd, “Mansoor, have you gone mad? What are you doing?”
Mansoor said, “For the first time I am doing wazu, cleaning myself with my own blood – because how can you clean yourself with water?”

He gives a deeper significance. Really, he means that unless you die, how can you purify yourself for the prayer? Wazu, through blood, means dying. Only dying can be a real cleansing, a real purity. And when you die, you become able to pray. Unless you die, you cannot pray. So the courage to die becomes a basic requirement for prayer.
This sutra says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for the divine feet.” No other water will do. It goes even deeper than Mansoor’s blood, because blood is not so deep, it is only skin-deep. You can do wazu with your blood; it is not so deep yet. But the upward-flowing mind is the deepest possibility, for two reasons: because, basically, the mind is downward flowing; basically, the trend is to flow downward because it is easy. The downward flow is always easy. The upward needs effort, the upward needs a fight with the gravitation, the upward means austerity. You cannot flow upward unless you change your nature completely. It is a transformation. The downward flow is but natural, it is in the very nature of things. So mind naturally has a downward flow.
Think of it in this way: if you want to think and concentrate on the divine you will feel much difficulty. The mind will be wavering constantly. You will not be able to concentrate even for a single moment, really. It will be going here and there. Concentration will not be possible, contemplation will not be possible, meditation will not be possible. Mind will not be ready. Even with much effort you will find it is not coming to the divine, towards the divine. But think of sex, and mind is absorbed. No need to concentrate – it concentrates. No need to make any effort, mind flows easily.
Really, we don’t know anything else except sex by which we can understand what concentration means. So it always happens that whenever a person can concentrate on any other thing, sex will not be a problem for him – whenever! Even if he is just a scientist, a research-worker working in his lab, if he can concentrate on his work then sex will not be a problem in his life at all. But if you cannot concentrate on anything else, then your mind will constantly be flowing through the channel of sex.
One thing must be understood: when you are thinking about sex you are totally absorbed, there is no wavering. You even forget that you are thinking about sex. You may remember afterwards. Even this much wavering is not there. You forget that you are different and that this procession of sexual thoughts and images is different, you become one with them. This is what is meant when bhaktas say, “The constant remembering of the divine – without “you,” without “I.” The same phenomenon occurs, only the object changes. It is not sex now; the object becomes the divine. And unless the divine becomes as absorbing as sex naturally is, you cannot flow upward.
So the upward flow is an effort: you have to pull yourself together for it. The downward flow is easy. That’s why, whenever you feel tense, sex becomes a relaxation, a relief – because every tension means that you have been pulling yourself together towards something which is not natural. Then if you can relax to the downward flow you will feel a relief. So in the West particularly, sex has become just a relief, just a relief from tensions. It is, and it is because when you flow downward no effort is needed. So sex is used by many – really by ninety-nine percent of people – as a tranquilizer. If you move in sex then you can sleep well. Why? – because when the mind is flowing downward your whole body is relaxed. Unless you are relaxed in the same way when your mind is going upward, you are not a religious person at all.
That is the difference between a secular mind and a religious mind. A secular mind is at ease with downward flowing, relaxed. A religious mind is only relaxed when upward flowing. Whenever a religious mind has to flow downward it becomes tense. Ultimately, when the upward flow is achieved, the same effort will be needed to flow downward – even more effort, because upwardness, even when arduous, is still upwardness, and downwardness, even with no effort, is downwardness. And when one has to come down with effort, the effort becomes a thousandfold more arduous.
For a person like Ramakrishna, even to eat is an effort. For a person like Buddha, even to move is an effort, even to be in the body is an effort. This effort means that the whole nature has become transformed. That which was downward before has now become upward, and that which was upward before has become downward. A religious mind flows upward as if the upwardness has just become downwardness. Meera is at ease when she is dancing and singing for Krishna, but when her husband Rana is there she is not at ease, because now Rana is a downward flow. This upward flow is bound to be an effort for us. Unless you will it, you will not achieve it.
Now again, you will find a conflict between Tao and the Upanishads. Lao Tzu says, “Effortlessness is the means,” and the Upanishads say, “Effort, total effort, is the means.” When Lao Tzu says “effortlessness,” he means be so still that there is not a single movement, because any effort is a movement, any effort is a tension, any effort means that you are outside. So when Lao Tzu says “effortlessness,” he is using it to mean an absolutely relaxed state of mind – do not do anything.
It is not so easy. It is as difficult as the upward flow – rather, even more difficult, because we can understand terms which imply doing, but we cannot understand terms which imply nondoing. Nondoing is for us more arduous, but both are arduous and both try through different ways to achieve the same point. If you become totally effortless, you achieve your innermost center – because you cannot move! When there is no movement you will drop down, down, down to the center. Every peripheral event is an effort. When there is no effort, you will be down in your ultimate center.
The Upanishads again use a different way which is, of course, in logical relationship with their concept of upwardness. They say, absolute effort is needed. When you make an absolute effort you will become more tense, more tense, more tense, and there will come a moment when you will be nothing but tension. You will be nothing but tension! Then there is nothing further. The ultimate has been achieved. Now you are just a tension. When this climax comes, suddenly you will fall from the climax. You cannot go further; you have come to the last limit. The tension has come to its ultimate, the maximum, it cannot go further. When tension comes to a total climax you suddenly relax and you reach the point which is meant by Tao, by Lao Tzu – effortlessness. You come to the center.
So there are two ways: either relax directly as Tao implies, or relax indirectly as the Upanishads say. Create the tension to its ultimate, and then there will be relaxation. I think the Upanishads are more helpful because we are tense and we understand the meaning, the language, the ways of tension. Tell someone suddenly to relax and he cannot. Even relaxation becomes a new tension for him. I have seen a book which is entitled You Must Relax. The very “must” will create tension. The word is anti-relaxation – “must.” It becomes hard work: you must relax. So try now to relax, and your very effort to relax will create more tensions. The title should rather be You Must Not Relax – if you want to relax.
Relaxation cannot come directly to us. We are tense, so tense. Relaxation doesn’t mean anything; we have not known it. Lao Tzu is right, but to follow him is very difficult. He looks simple. Always remember – whenever something looks very simple it must be very complex, because in this world the most simple is the most complex, and because it looks simple you may deceive yourself. So I can say, “Just relax!” – it will not happen.
I was working for ten years continuously with Lao Tzuan methods, so I was continuously teaching direct relaxation. It was simple for me, so I thought it would be simple for everyone. Then, by and by, I became aware that it is impossible. I was in a fallacy: it was not possible. I would say, “Relax” to those I was teaching. They would appear to understand the meaning of the word, but they could not relax. Then I had to devise new methods for meditation which create tension first – more tension. They create such tension that you become just mad. And then I say, “Relax.”
When you have come up to the climax your whole body, your whole mind, becomes hungry for relaxation. With so much tension you want to stop, and I go on pushing you to continue, continue to the very end. Do whatsoever you can do to create tensions, and then, when you stop, you just fall down from the peak into a deep abyss. The abyss is the end, the effortlessness is the end, but the Upanishads use tension as the means.
So be effortful to flow upward. Really, to use the word flow is not good because flow means downward. How can you flow upward? You have to struggle. To flow upward means a struggle, constant struggle. A moment is missed and you will find you are downward. You stop the struggle for a moment and you will be flowing downward. It is a constant struggle against the current. So now understand what the current is and against what current you have to struggle upward.
Your habits are the current. Long habits, habits generated by many, many lives; not only human lives – animal lives, vegetable lives. You are not isolated, you are part of a long succession, and every habit is just ingrained. You have been flowing downward continuously for millennia, so it has become a deep habit. Really, it has become your nature. You don’t know any other nature. You know only one nature which goes down and down and down. This downwardness is the current, and every cell of the body, every atom of the mind, is just part of a long, long succession of habits. They are so deep that we don’t even remember from where they came.
Now Western psychology has come to discover many, many new things. For example, now they have discovered that whenever you feel violence, your violence is not in the mind alone, it is deep in your teeth and in your nails. So if you suppress violence, your teeth will absorb it and your jaw will become diseased because animals, whenever violent, use teeth and nails. Our nails belong to animality, our teeth belong to animality – a long animal heritage. So when someone is violent and suppresses it, the teeth become loaded.
Now they say that many diseases of the teeth are just because so much violence is suppressed – many diseases of the teeth. So a violent man has a different type of jaw. Just by seeing his jaw you can say that he is violent. A person who has suppressed many, many violent fevers, upheavals, will begin to have a particular type of jaw – the violence will be there. One psychologist, Wilhelm Reich, would just push your teeth by his hands, press your teeth by his hands, and suddenly your whole body would become violent.
Wilhelm Reich had to be continuously guarded against his patients because he would push, manipulate and reactivate hidden violences just by touching. He became an expert. Simply by touching a particular part in the jaw and teeth he would bring many, many violences back to you which even you would not remember. You would begin to scream, attack. He would say, “Now I have touched a built-in program. A built-in program has been touched and reactivated.”
Sometimes it happened, when Reich would push particular spots – and he became aware of them by continuously working for forty years on jaw spots, he became aware that every spot had a particular type of violence hidden in it – so he would push a particular spot, a particular chakra in the jaw, and a particular violence would come out. He became capable of pushing you back so much that you would become just an animal. Sometimes it happened that the patient would again not be a human being at all. He would fall back, be reduced to an animal. He would begin to roar like an animal, attack like an animal.
This is the current. When you are violent, you alone are not violent; your whole history is violent. When you are sexual, you alone are not sexual; the whole history is sexual, the whole succession. That’s why it has so much force. You are just a dead leaf in a big current. So what to do so that you can go upward against the current? What to do?
Three things to be done: one, whenever mind begins to flow downward become aware of it as early as possible – as early as possible! Someone has insulted you. For you to become angry, a little time is needed because it is a mechanism. You will get angry, but after a gap. Things will happen like a flash. First you will feel insulted. The moment you feel insulted, the second current will begin to flow; you will become angry. At first the anger will not be conscious; at first it will be just like a fever. Then it will become conscious. Then you will begin to express or suppress it.
So when I say, “The earlier the better,” I mean when someone insults you become aware as soon as you begin to feel that you have been insulted. Whenever you become aware, just make an effort to stop. Don’t fall into the automatic track even for a single moment. Even a single moment’s stop will help much. Longer stops will help even more.

When Gurdjieff’s father was dying he called his boy. He was just nine, and Gurdjieff remembered the incident all his life. The father called him. He was the youngest child and the father said, “I am so poor I cannot give you anything, my boy. But one thing I can give you which my father gave to me. You may not even be able to understand what it means now, because I myself was not able to understand what it meant when my father gave it to me. But it proved the most precious thing in my life, so I am just giving it to you. Preserve it. Sometime you may begin to understand it.”
So Gurdjieff just listened. The father said, “Whenever you feel angry, never reply before twenty-four hours. Reply, but let there be a gap of twenty-four hours.”
Gurdjieff followed his dying father’s advice. It became deeply impressed in his mind the very day his father died, and Gurdjieff said, “I have practiced many, many, many spiritual exercises, but that was the best. I never could be angry in my life, and that changed the whole flow, the whole current, because I had to stick to the promise. Whenever someone would insult me I would create something, some situation. I would just tell him that I would come back after twenty-four hours to reply, and I have never replied because it proved such nonsense to reply.” Only a gap was needed, and the whole life of George Gurdjieff became something different.

So even if you can begin with one thing in the current, you will begin to change the whole. Really, this is one of the basic truths of esoteric religion: that you cannot change a part unless you change the whole. It works both ways. Either you change the whole, then the part will change; or you change even a single part totally and the whole will follow, because they are so integratedly related.
So begin anywhere. Find out your chief characteristic. Find out the chief characteristic for you: that which is most forceful, which you cannot resist, that which tempts you and causes you to go down. It may be sadness, it may be anger, it may be greed, it may be anything. Find out your chief characteristic, your weakness. And begin with the stronger one, then the weaker ones can be won very easily. Begin with the strongest. If anger is the strongest, begin with anger. First, when you feel that you have been insulted, you have been rejected, you have been hindered – anything which creates anger – just when you feel that “Now the first step has been taken and I am feeling insulted,” stop for a moment. Don’t breathe: just stop the breath wherever it is. If it is out, let it be out. If it is in, let it be in. Stop breathing for a moment, then release the breath. Go in, and find out whether you have missed the thing or it is still there.
You will have missed it. The connection is missed. You will have given a gap to the automatic working. Somewhere you have disjoined the mechanism, and breathing is wonderful to disjoin anything. Just stop breathing, and there is a disjoining inside. Your feeling insulted and the mechanism of anger will not be joined. If they are missed even for a single moment, they are missed. Your mechanism will never know that you have been insulted.
The earlier this happens, the better. There are even earlier stages: they belong to the other, not to you. When the other is insulting you, before feeling insulted, look at him and feel that he is angry. Stop your breath and look at him again, and you will not be insulted. He will insult you, but you will not be insulted. You will not feel insulted because again there comes a gap. This gap is between him and you. Now he cannot cross this gap; he cannot insult you. He will insult, but somewhere he has missed you, you are not the target now. For him you are the target, but actually you are not. You can laugh, and if you laugh it is better.
So first create a gap. Second: do something which is ordinarily never done in such situations. When someone is insulting no one laughs, no one smiles, no one thanks, no one hugs, embraces. Do something which is never done. Then you are against the current, because the current is always that which is done, that which is usually done. This is what the current means. Be unusual. Someone is beating you: laugh and feel the difference – not only in those who are beating you, but within yourself. If you can laugh you will feel totally different. Try it – something absurd. Then you disconnect the whole mechanism, you confuse the whole mechanism, because the mechanism cannot understand what is happening. A mechanism is just a mechanism. It may be very deep-rooted, but it is mechanical, it has no consciousness. So confuse your animal. Don’t allow him to push and pull and manipulate. Confuse the animal! The more you confuse him, the less powerful he becomes – and by “animal” I mean your past.
This is a rare experiment: to do something which is never done. When you are happy, do something which is never done in happiness – be sad, act sad, be angry, act angry. Confuse the mechanism. Just don’t allow the mechanism to know everything that is to be done. Don’t allow, and within a year your mechanism will be at a loss. Someone will be insulting, and your mechanism will not know at all what to do. You have broken from your past. So try. Every moment can be an experiment, and you will feel a sudden change in your consciousness. When someone is insulting you, laugh and feel what is happening inside – something new you have never known.

I am reminded of a Zen monk, Rinzai. He is sleeping in his poor hut. A thief comes in at midnight, it is a full-moon night and a thief comes in. The light of the moon is coming in, the doors are open. There is no need to close the doors because he has nothing. He has only one blanket, in which he is asleep. So the thief goes around the hut and finds nothing.
Rinzai is awake. He feels very sorry for the thief because there is nothing. And he doesn’t want to disturb him either, because he can give the blanket – that is the only thing – but the thief will be disturbed, he may even run. So he suddenly laughs. The thief is stunned. Rinzai throws the blanket over him and runs away. The thief follows. What has happened? The whole thing has become just a confusion. So the thief follows him, catches him by the hand and asks him, “What are you doing?”
He says, “I am just confusing my mechanism. You are not concerned at all, don’t worry. It was just a coincidence that you came in. I was just experimenting with myself.”

What to do? Traditional answers are always ready. Use your fantasy, use your imagination, because your mechanism is the least imaginative thing – the least imaginative. It is very much traditional and orthodox. Understand what I am saying: it is orthodox, traditional. You have been angry the same way, always. Innovate something, use your imagination, be creative, and confuse the current. The more you are capable of confusing the current, the more you will transcend it.
So the second thing: use unusual expressions. Don’t allow the routine. The more you allow it, the more powerful it goes on becoming.
The thief I was mentioning just fell at the feet of Rinzai and he said, “If you can use such things, allow me to use them myself also. You ran like a thief, and you are the master of the house. You confounded me. I have been in many, many situations, but never like this. You have hypnotized me also. You are the first man who has not behaved with me as a thief, who has not thought about me as a thief, so I cannot leave you now. Everyone has tried with me that I should leave this profession, and I had my own reactions. But with you I change. Now initiate me into your path.”
Rinzai said, “How can I initiate you? Really, when I laughed, in that moment I became enlightened. When I laughed, I became enlightened. I was trying and trying and trying; I had been meditating for years and nothing had happened. But in that moment of laughter something broke down, something exploded, I became disconnected from myself. So you are my teacher, really – you have initiated me.”
Use something absolutely absurd such as Zen monks have been using. If you go to a Zen teacher, you can never conceive what his answer will be. If you go to a Hindu teacher, a Hindu guru, your question can show you what the answer is going to be, the answer is predictable. Whenever the answer is predictable it is useless – it is useless because it is routine. So if you go to a teacher you can know that if you ask “this,” he will answer “this.” But you can never know with a Zen teacher. Everything is possible, and nothing is impossible. He may answer, he may not answer. He may answer in such a way which is not at all connected with your question – not at all.
You may have asked, “Is there a God?” and a Zen teacher might answer, “Look. The sun has gone down. The evening is to come” – not related at all. Someone may ask, “What is a buddha?” and a Zen teacher might just beat you or throw you out of the window. Why? Really, they are not answering you. They are just trying to create a gap between your questioning mind and the answer – a gap.
If you ask, “Is there a God?” and I throw you out of the window, how can you relate these two? – no relation. If I answer, “There is no God,” it is related. If I say, “There is a God,” it is related. My theist answer, my atheist answer – all are related, they don’t create the gap. But if I begin to beat you or I just begin to dance, I just begin to laugh, just a mad laugh, it is not related. And if you can be unrelated, unhitched from your routine track, if you can be derailed from the track, something has happened. It has happened many times that the seeker is thrown out of the window and he comes back to touch the feet of the master and say, “Much has happened, and I never dreamed about it. My question was not even related, but you have replied to me.”
The first Zen teacher from India, Bodhidharma, went to China. He introduced Zen there. “Zen is really the Chinese form of dhyan, meditation. “Dhyan” is Sanskrit, and the equivalent of dhyan in Pali, the Buddhist language, is zhan. So zhan in China became ch’an, then zen in Japan.
When Bodhidharma reached China, the Emperor Wu came to receive him. When he entered the boundary where he was to be received, there were many thousands of monks. No one could conceive that Bodhidharma would enter in such a way: one foot was naked; on one foot there was a shoe and another shoe was on his head. He entered with a shoe on his head.
The Emperor Wu was just bewildered: “What type of man is this? Is he mad?”
Wu became worried, and Bodhidharma laughed. Bodhi-dharma said, “You must be thinking the man is mad. I can predict you, but you cannot predict me: that is the difference. You must be thinking I am mad. You have not said so, but I can predict you. You cannot predict me: that is the difference.”
Become unpredictable: this is the second thing. If you are predictable you are a thing, not a person. The more unpredictable, the more you are not a thing – not just a thing among things – you become a person. So the second thing: against the current; be unpredictable. Sometimes be absurd. Just don’t try to be logical, because the current is logical. Remember this: the current is very logical – strictly logical. Everything is related. You insult me – I am angry. You appreciate me – I am happy. You call me good and I am one way; and you call me bad and I am different. Everything is predictable, it is logical.
Really, if you are angry and I don’t reply to you with anger you will feel something strange has happened, you will not be at ease. You will not be at ease because something illogical has come in. We live in a logical world. This current is very logical, mathematical; everything is fixed. Unfix it! Disturb it! Create a chaos. Create an inner anarchy. Only then can you throw the animal heritage. Animals are predictable and animals are very logical. To transcend them you must have the courage to be illogical, and that is the deepest courage – to be illogical.
Jesus says, “Those who have will be given more, and those who have not, even that will be taken away.” This is illogical. This is absolutely illogical. What does he mean? He is using some Zen words. If you look in the words of Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, you will find that they are not logical. If you ask a buddha, “I will be good, virtuous, I will follow – what will I gain?” he will say, “Nothing! You will not gain anything – nothing.”
This Emperor Wu asked Bodhidharma, “I have donated millions for the purpose of Buddhism. I have opened many monasteries, ten thousand monks are fed daily in my palace, so what will be the result? What will I gain?”
And Bodhidharma said, “Nothing. And if you insist more, you may even fall down into hell. If you insist more, you may even fall down into the deepest hell.” It looks illogical.
Even the ten thousand monks were just afraid: “What is he saying? He may destroy the whole business” – because they were trying to persuade the emperor that he will get into a high heaven, that he will be just by the side of the divine emperor, the divine throne. He will be just by the side, and he will have a palace there. And whatsoever he is giving here, he will get back ten-thousandfold. But this man is destroying everything. He says, “Nothing.”
Bodhidharma is illogical; Wu is logical. Wu again asked, “Are you joking? – because I have done so much. Is it not holy?”
And Bodhidharma said, “There is nothing holy. The word holy is just empty. And if you insist more, you will fall down into a deep hell.”
The Emperor Wu said, “We have no communication between us. What you are saying I cannot understand, and what I am saying I think you are not hearing.”
Bodhidharma said, “Yes! How can there be communication between me and you? Either you come up or I must come down, only then can we meet somewhere. And I am not ready to come down; you try to come up.” But it didn’t happen, so Bodhidharma remained outside the empire and the emperor went back to his palace.
After ten years, when he was dying, the emperor remembered. When death came, every logical system was shattered. Then he became afraid of whether anything was going to happen because “I have fed these bhikkhus, and I have made so many temples and viharas and so many monasteries, but this death is there.” Then he remembered the monk, Bodhidharma, and he asked, “Bring him back. If he is found anywhere bring him back soon, because I am dying and death has shattered all my logic and rationality. Now only that man can help.”
But Bodhidharma was dead. He had died one year before, but he had left a message for the Emperor Wu and said to his disciples, “One day when he faces death he will remember me because I was just a death to him, to his whole expectation, to all his desires, to his whole fantasy about the other world. I was just a death to him. When death comes and when death shatters his hopes, he will remember me.” So he had left a message for Wu. That message was given. In the message it was written again, “You cannot predict me, but I can predict you. When you die you will remember me. I can even predict what you will remember when you die, because death is illogical.”
Really, if you can understand: life is illogical, death is illogical, love is illogical, God is illogical, and all that is logical is just marketplace. In this life everything that is meaningful, significant, deep, ultimate, is illogical. So create an illogical-ness inside. Don’t be too logical – then you can break…logic is the foundation of your old mind, your traditional mind. Illogic should be the beginning of the new mind.
And, thirdly, whenever you feel convenience, comfort, easiness, be alert, the mind is flowing downward. So don’t ask for inner comfort, otherwise you will be lost. Don’t ask for inner convenience, otherwise you will be lost. Whenever you feel everything is okay be alert, you are flowing downward – because nothing is okay really. So whenever you feel that everything is okay, nothing is to be done and everything is just flowing, everything is good, remember, you are flowing downward. Be aware of inner conveniences. When I say “comfort and convenience,” I mean inner ones. Outwardly it makes no difference, you may be in comfort outwardly – but inwardly never allow comfort to set in.
That’s why no one remembers religion when he feels happy. When you feel sorrow, when you feel sadness, when you feel misery, you begin to think about religion. Inconvenience inside must be used. So two things: first remember always that the downward flow is very convenient. Don’t be a victim to it. Always create some inner inconvenience. This is tap – inner inconvenience. This is tap – this is austerity. What do I mean by inner inconvenience?
You are sleeping, relaxed: create an inner inconvenience. Let the body relax, but don’t relax the alertness. Sufis have used vigil, night vigil, as an inner inconvenience. The whole night they will be on vigil. In India, sleep was never used, really – food and hunger were used as inner inconveniences. The hunger is there: don’t take food. The hunger is there: remember it, be aware of it, and yet be away from it. An inner inconvenience is created. The mind has a habit of falling for the convenience, so create any inner inconvenience. And always go on changing, because if you are fixed to one thing it will not be an inconvenience for long.
You can even become fixed to your fasting. Then it becomes a convenience rather than an inconvenience, because to take food may begin to appear as an inconvenience. Once you know that the body can run without food – the body begins to feel more light, the body begins to feel more alive, the body begins to feel more vital; and the body has a built-in process so that for at least three months you can be without food, without any food – after seven or eight days, to take food will be inconvenient. So use fasting as an inconvenience, and when fasting begins to settle, use food.
Gurdjieff was strange in this. He would give you such strange foods, such strange foods as you have never eaten. The whole stomach would be disturbed, and he would create inconvenience. Such strange foods – Chinese foods, Indian foods, Caucasian foods – he would use them in New York. Whenever he was traveling, a whole truck of strange foods would follow with him.
His followers were very much afraid because he would force them to eat so much that it became a torture. From eight in the night up to twelve – four hours would be for eating, and he would be there. He would go on forcing; no one could say no. He would force so much alcohol that ordinarily it would just make you deadly unconscious, but he would go on. He would create inner inconvenience and he would say, “Let the inconvenience be there. Remember. Be awake.” He would go on pouring alcohol, and he would say, “Remember! Remember, and be awake!”
Tantrics have used alcohol, and a real tantric can take any amount of it without being affected at all. They say, and they say rightly, that alcohol creates the deepest inconvenience inside. To fight with it and remain aware is the most arduous thing. When the alcohol goes in and every body cell becomes lethargic and the chemical begins to work and the mind begins to lose consciousness, then to be aware is the most arduous tap – austerity – possible. But it is possible, and once it happens you will never be the same again.
So create any inner inconvenience. The current always helps you to be convenient: that is the trick, then you begin to flow with it. So the third thing for the upward flow of the mind is to create inward inconvenience continuously, and go on changing. You can make anything a habit – go on changing. When something becomes convenient, leave it; create something new. Then, by these inconveniences, you create a crystallization inside. You become integrated, one. For this oneness, this integration, this chemical crystallization, alchemists use the word gold. Now the baser metal has been changed into higher. Now you are gold. This integration is the third point to remember.
So continuously be aware that some integration must take place. No moment should be missed in which you have not tried to integrate yourself. You are walking: a moment comes when your legs give way and they say, “Now you cannot move.” That is the point to move. Now move! Now don’t listen to the legs and you will become aware of a subtle force, because the body has two force reservoirs. One is just ordinary, for day-to-day use. Another, a deeper one, is infinite. It is not for everyday use, it only comes into operation when there is some emergency.
You are walking: you have walked twenty miles, and now you know very well, your logic says, your mind says, every fiber of the body says that now no movement is possible, you will just drop dead. A single step more, and you will drop dead. This is the moment: now move! Don’t listen to the body. Now run! Don’t listen to the body, and suddenly there will be an upsurge of energy again. Within moments you will feel a new energy, and now you can walk for miles together. This energy comes from the reservoir, and this reservoir is connected only when the day-to-day energy source is just empty. If you listen to the body then this reservoir is never used.
You are feeling sleepy, and now you cannot even open your eyes. This is the moment. Stand! Open your eyes! Stare! Don’t blink! Forget sleep and try to be awake, and within seconds a sudden upsurge of energy will overflow. There will be no sleep. You will be fresher than you have ever been in the morning. A new morning, an inside morning has happened. A deeper source energy has come. This is how to integrate your mind and how to let it be arrowed continuously upwards.
The rishi says, The upward flow of the mind is the water for divine worship – mm? No other water will do. This constant upward flow, by this and only by this can you worship the feet of the divine.

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