The Wild Geese & Water 11

Eleventh Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - The Wild Geese & Water by Osho.
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The first question:
“Holier-than-thou” seems to be my lifelong mantra. Growing up as a Catholic, I thanked God daily that I was a part of the one true religion. As a Catholic nun I knew I had “made it.” Now, as a sannyasin, I observe those same attitudes and judgments happening at every turn. I watch myself as I act superior around non-sannyasins and inferior around those who have been with you longer than I.
I really exhaust myself in constructing intricate continua along which to place everyone in relation to myself. I simply can't shake hard enough to let it go.
Please comment.
Religion, as it has existed down the ages, is nothing but a subtle ego trip. Far more subtle, of course, than those trips which people are making for money, power, prestige, respectability, and all that. But the basic quality is the same.
Man’s mind has been molded, distorted, poisoned, for only one thing, and that is the ego. Sacrifice everything for the ego! That is the single note of all our civilizations, cultures, societies, religions, educational systems. From the very beginning we implant seeds of ambition in the child’s mind. Then we devote twenty-five years in the schools, colleges, and universities to nursing, watering those seeds so that they can have roots, branches, flowers, fruits.
Twenty-five years is a long time; it is one-third of your total life. And when you are conditioned for such a long time for ambitiousness, it certainly becomes very difficult to get rid of it. But ambition starts in such a way that you never become aware what poison it contains. The bottle of ambition contains pure poison, but the label is not that of poison: the label says it is pure nectar.
We live through words, we are word-oriented. Our whole life is dominated by words. Beautiful words can hide ugly realities. In fact, ugly realities exist in the world only because we are camouflaging them behind beautiful facades of language, philosophy, theology, ideology. Just give it a beautiful word and you can cover up anything.
The so-called religious people are the most egoistic because religion is one of the most beautiful words. It contains the whole spectrum of all that has been valued, appreciated, longed for: freedom, love, liberation, God, nirvana, moksha, immortality. What more can you ask? It contains the whole kingdom of God. The word is so beautiful that one has to be really intelligent to see what it is hiding behind it.
Religion is nothing but a very unholy trip in the name of holiness. Hence, you will see in the faces of your saints, in their eyes, in their gestures, nothing but the pious ego. But you will have to watch because it comes from the back door. It is never there in its nudity; it is always hiding behind curtains. Don’t be deceived by the curtains – the curtains may be beautiful, made of beautiful material, but what is behind the curtain has to be looked into.
Your saints have been doing hard work, their austerities are arduous. They are doing almost the impossible: celibacy, fighting with biology; fasting, fighting with their physiology; and doing everything that is unnatural for a single purpose – that whenever you do something unnatural you are respected. Naturally, you are thought to be a superior kind, a superman. You are no ordinary man. Ordinary men live ordinary lives – they love food, they enjoy food. The religious person is not allowed to enjoy food.
Mahatma Gandhi used a very strange chutney in his ashram which had never been used before – chutney made out of neem leaves. Now, neem leaves are the most bitter leaves, and if you eat chutney made out of neem leaves it is going to destroy all your food, it is going to destroy all your joy. The very idea is enough to destroy it.
When Louis Fischer, the American thinker-writer-philosopher, stayed with Gandhi to study his philosophy and life – he was proposing to write a book on Gandhi, so he wanted to be close to him to understand his ways of working, his ways of living, everything minutely – Gandhi invited him every day to come for food with him. On the first day he was very happy – Gandhi himself inviting him. But when he tasted the chutney, he could not believe… How was he going to manage? It made his whole tongue so bitter that to eat anything afterward would not change the taste.
Being a logical man, and being a very polite, cultured man, he could not say no to Gandhi. He thought the best way was to swallow the whole of the chutney in one gulp and then enjoy the food, rather than destroying the food again and again. That chutney had to be tasted, and it was a rule in Gandhi’s ashram that you could not leave anything on the plate, everything had to be eaten. So he swallowed the chutney in one gulp and Gandhi immediately ordered more chutney for him. He said, “Look! A man of understanding can immediately see the medicinal qualities of neem leaves.” For seven days he had to suffer that hell.
The whole idea behind the neem chutney was to destroy your delicate, fragile taste buds so that you only stuff yourself without tasting: aswad – tastelessness. That has been one of the very cherished goals of religious people. So if you are enjoying your food, you are ordinary. Ordinariness has to be condemned – only then can you become extraordinary. And then certainly, deep down, the feeling of holier-than-thou.
It is present in all the religions around the world; it has nothing particularly to do with Catholicism. Try to see the mechanism: the unnatural seems to be respected because the man who is capable of doing it seems to have certain powers which the ordinary person has not got. So anything that seems ordinary and natural has to be condemned, and anything that seems to be unnatural has to be respected. Laughter is condemned because it is very ordinary.
Christians say Jesus never laughed – I cannot agree with it. Only a man like Jesus has the capacity for real laughter. But Christians saying that Jesus never laughed are certainly making a point: they are saying that he is so sacred he cannot commit such a profane act as laughter.
Jainas say that Mahavira never defecated or urinated. Such ordinary acts. That is one of the criteria, whether somebody is really enlightened or not – toilet is the criterion. You see the stupidity of it? They say Mahavira never perspired. That is possible only if he had no skin – if instead of his skin, he was living in a kind of plastic bag. Plastic does not perspire, but skin has to perspire. That is part of its aliveness. It is very fundamental, you can only live if your skin perspires. Certainly dead people don’t perspire, they cannot. Mahavira was either dead or plastic!
A living person has to perspire, for the simple reason that every pore of your skin breathes. There are millions of small pores breathing into your body; you are not only breathing through your nose. If your nose was allowed to breathe and your whole body was covered with a thick paint so that all your skin’s pores were closed, you would die within three hours. If you were allowed to breathe through the nose, you would still die within three hours because your whole body needs to breathe; each cell of your body breathes.
And when it is so hot… Mahavira lived in one of the hottest parts of this country, Bihar, and he lived naked and traveled on foot. He must have been perspiring more than anybody else. Perspiration has a natural function: when it is too hot your body perspires to keep your body temperature within a certain limit. You perspire, your body relieves some water from the skin’s pores, that water evaporates taking away your body heat. Hence, the body can maintain a constant temperature. If you don’t perspire, your body will become so hot that you will burst forth, or you will be burned from the inside.
But all these stupid ideas are propounded for the simple reason to show that Mahavira is special, that Jesus is special. Something extraordinary has to be fabricated.
You say, “‘Holier-than-thou’ seems to be my lifelong mantra.” It is in fact everybody’s lifelong mantra, in different ways. Somebody is trying to show his ego by his money; somebody by his knowledge; somebody by his political power; somebody by his austerities; somebody by his religiousness. But it is all the same – only the excuses differ, but the motive is the same…

A bus loaded with tourists was making a rather prolonged drive along the seafront in Sicily, when it stopped for the passengers to have a brief rest and enjoy the scenery. At once, most of the men rushed up the embankment where they relieved themselves, despite the fact that the women remaining on the bus could see them.
When the men reboarded the bus, one indignant wife was so furious that she told her husband and the others in a loud tone of voice exactly what she thought of the strange maneuver. “But, Jock,” she continued in a more conciliatory tone, “I was awfully proud when you took out ours!”

The motive is the same. It may be profane, it may be sacred; it does not matter, it makes no difference at all. The motive is the same: somehow to prove, “I am greater than you, holier than you, wiser than you, more virtuous than you.”
You say, “…I thanked God daily that I was part of the one true religion.” Every religion believes that. There are three hundred religions on the earth, and every religion believes in the same idiotic idea. There are hundreds of countries in the world, and every country believes in the same nonsense. There are many races, many colors, but everybody believes that there is something special about his country, his religion, his race, his color.
If you observe these attitudes of others, you will be immediately aware what kind of idiocy prevails among human beings. But it will be difficult for you to see your own idiotic, irrational prejudices. First watch others, then it will become easier for you to see that the same is the case with you.

I always loved a beautiful story about a professor of philosophy; he was the head of the philosophy department at the University of Paris. He was a very logical man, obviously. He was a great philosopher.
One day he declared to his students, “I am the greatest man in the world.”
The students were shocked. They had never thought that their philosopher, their professor, who was such a logical man, would ever say something so absurd.
One of the students asked, “Sir, you have always been proving your statements rationally – can you prove this one too?”
And the professor laughed and he said, “Yes. If I cannot prove it, then I would not have made it in the first place.”
He spread on the board a world map. All the students watched him: “What he is doing?”
Then he asked them, “Which country is the best country in the world, and the greatest country in the world?”
Of course, they were all French so they said, “France.”
So he said, “Now, I have only to prove that if I am the greatest man in France that will do. France is obviously the greatest country in the world and I am the greatest man in France, so the natural corollary will be: I am the greatest man in the world.”
They had to agree. It was logical.
Then he asked, “Forget the whole world, look at the map of France. Which is the most beautiful and the greatest city in France?”
Now, the students started feeling a little worried that he was coming closer to the point. But they all lived in Paris, they all loved Paris, and they were all told from their very childhood that Paris was the greatest city in the world. And they said, “Of course, Paris.”
And the professor said, “Then we can drop the whole of France, it is now only Paris in which, if it is proved that I am the greatest man, then, as a natural consequence, it will be proved that I am the greatest man in the world.”
Then he asked, “Can you tell me which is the greatest place, the wisest, the most beautiful, the most sacred in Paris?”
Naturally, the University of Paris, the seat of wisdom.
And then he asked, “Now tell me, in the University of Paris which is the most significant, the most important department?”
Now what can compete with philosophy? And they were all students of philosophy, so they had to agree that the philosophy department was, of course, the very center of the University of Paris; it is the very soul.
And the professor laughed and then he said, “Now, do you see the point? And I am the head of the philosophy department.”

Deep down everybody is trying to prove it. If you ask Indians, they think India is the only religious country in the world. Remember, the only. All others are worldly countries; India is a sacred land, the land of the rishis, of the Upanishads and the Vedas, the land of Mahavira, Krishna, Buddha, the land of Kabir, Dadu, Nanak, Meera, Chaitanya – the land of all the great mahatmas, sages and saints. In fact, Indians believe that even the gods in paradise desire to be born in India; they are jealous of Indians.
No Indian would ever doubt it because it fulfills some inner need of his own. This is a vicarious way of saying, “I am the most religious person in the world – I belong to the most religious land, the sacred land.”
Just the other day I was listening to a song, a beautiful song, which tells how a pilgrim had gone to visit the places where Mohammed lived, Mecca and Medina. The song says, “Your paradise is beautiful, God. But for the moment, at least, I am not interested in it at all. I am in the city where Mohammed lived and walked. Even the dust of this city is far more valuable than your paradise. And if I have the choice, then I will live in Mecca or Medina rather than going to paradise.”
Mohammedans believe – it is part of the Mohammedan religion – that if you are really religious, at least once in your life you should go to the Kaaba; to visit the place where Mohammed began his sermons, where he composed his first part of the Koran. If you don’t go to hajj, on this sacred pilgrimage, you are not a complete Mohammedan – something remains incomplete in you.
The same is the case with the Jews. They think Jerusalem is not part of this world: it is a sacred city. Hindus say, “Kashi does not belong to this earth, it belongs to the beyond.”
These are all vicarious ways of fulfilling your ego. So remember, it has nothing to do with Catholicism as such; it is a very common disease for all religious people. They are utterly blind that they are projecting their ego in beautiful ways.
You say, “…I was part of the one true religion.” Every religion thinks, “My religion is the true religion.” Ask the Jainas, they say, “All other religions are untrue, only Jainism is the true religion.” And once you accept the idea of any religion as the true religion, you become a fanatic, you become obsessed. Then every nonsense is possible through you.
If you believe Mohammedanism is the only true religion, as Mohammedans believe, then it is your sacred duty to transform the whole world into a Mohammedan world. Even if people are to be forced violently to be Mohammedans, it is your sacred duty to do it because you are doing it for their own sake. Even if they have to be tortured and killed, it is worth it because if they die without becoming Mohammedans they are bound to go to hell. Save them from falling into hell!
Christians have the same idea: Christ is the only begotten son of God, and those who are with Christ will be saved. On the last Judgment Day he will come and sort out, “Who are my people and who are not my people.” Those he will choose as his people will enter paradise with great celebration, songs, dances, music. And those who are rejected will start falling into hell – and the Christian hell is the worst because it lasts forever; it is eternal. It is a very strange idea.
In one short life of seventy years… Christians believe in only one life, you are born only once. And this small life of seventy years will be decisive for your infinity, for eternity. This seems to be unfair and unjust, absolutely ridiculous. How can you commit so much sin in such a small life that your punishment will be for eternity? Even if you continuously commit sin – twenty-four hours a day, not even taking a tea break, for seventy years; not going to bed, not sleeping, just sinning and sinning and sinning – then still, eternal condemnation seems to be too much, unfair.
Bertrand Russell is right when he says, “I have counted all the sins that I have committed. If I am punished for them, then the hardest, rocklike magistrate cannot throw me into jail for more than four years. If my thoughts about committing sins are also to be accounted for – which I have not committed, just thought…” Somebody’s beautiful wife passing by, and just a fantasy – if that has also to be counted as adultery… And the Polack pope will agree that it has to be counted. Not only somebody else’s wife; the Polack pope says, “If you look at your own wife with desire it is adultery.” Your own wife? If you look with desire, appreciation, if you say, “You look beautiful,” that’s enough: you have committed adultery.
“Even if these thoughts have to be counted,” Russell says, “then at the most I can be put into prison for eight years. But for these sins, to throw me into hell for eternity is very unfair.” Then God is not as fair, compassionate, and kind as Christians, Mohammedans and others go on saying. Then God seems to be really an ugly despot, far uglier than Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong, far more cruel than Tamerlane, Nadir Shah and other murderers of history. But one can go on believing once you have accepted the idea, “This is the only true religion.”
Just now, Jainas are celebrating one thousand years since the completion of the establishment of a beautiful statue of Bahubali, one of their great sages. It is one of the biggest statues in the world. Now, nearabout one million people are gathered in the province of Karnataka, in Gomteshwar, to celebrate this special occasion. One thousand years the statue has stood, in rain, in sun, in wind. It is so big and huge that it cannot be sheltered. It stands naked. It is part of a hill; the whole hill has been carved. But you will be surprised to know that Bahubali committed suicide.
But Jainas cannot see it. It is impossible for them to see that a man who committed suicide cannot be enlightened. They call Bahubali “Bhagwan.” He cannot be “the blessed one” because the man who has attained the ultimate truth is neither interested in living a single moment more… If death comes, he welcomes it. If death does not come, he cannot desire for it. And committing suicide simply means desiring for death; at least one desire is still there.
But in a way this is the logical conclusion of the whole Jaina philosophy. It is life-negative, it is against life, it is anti-life. This is the logical conclusion of it: renounce life, escape from life. Every so-called Jaina saint is committing a gradual suicide. And Jainism is the only religion in the world which allows suicide. Of course, they give it a beautiful name, they call it sallekhana. One is so fulfilled, they say; one is so blissful, they say, that one feels there is no need to live any more – so one commits suicide.
But if one is so fulfilled that there is no need to live any more, is there any need to commit suicide? The fulfilled person accepts with joy whatsoever is happening. If life is happening, good; if death is happening, good. He lives in a dance, he dies in a dance. He cannot commit suicide.
Suicide certainly shows that he is still incomplete. Something in him is still desiring, something in him still wants – what it wants is immaterial. But Jainism says if you sacrifice your life totally then the other world is yours; so at the ultimate moment it is better to commit suicide than to die naturally. Everything natural is wrong. Suicide has something religious in it: you commit it, you do it.
The desire to live is a very natural desire. Everybody has it: animals have it, trees have it, birds have it. It is nothing special. But the desire to finish life, to put an end to it, and you earn great virtue. The motive is of earning, the motive is to get something out of it; you are sacrificing life as a means to attain something. It simply proves that the desire is there, the motive is there – but Jainas cannot see it.
I will not call Bahubali a bhagwan – no, not at all. His suicide proves definitely that something was wrong in his being. The really enlightened person neither wants to live, nor wants to die. If life is there, he dances with life; if death is there, he dances with death. Each moment is accepted in its totality without any desire for things to be otherwise. But Jainas will not be able to see it.
Now you can see it because you are no longer a Catholic nun. You are gaining a significant insight; you are coming out of that parrotlike knowledge, that repetitive knowledge that every religion conditions people for. In fact, parrots have been complaining to me, “Please don’t compare us with pundits!” I can see their point – parrots are not so stupid…

A vicar buys the only parrot left in the pet shop.
“I have to warn you, vicar,” says the shopkeeper, “that he swears terribly. But if you want him to stop, take him by the feet and swing him around in the air.”
The vicar takes the bird with him on a plane trip, and soon the parrot begins to swear. Embarrassed, the vicar takes the bird out of the cage, and swings him round in the passageway of the plane.
“Ahhh!” the parrot cries. “Just feel that fucking breeze!”

Parrots are not so stupid, but pundits are far more so. You can forgive the parrots, they are only poor parrots, but you cannot forgive the pundits.
You say, “As a catholic nun I knew I had ‘made it.’” That’s what they all go on hypnotizing you for. People are living like zombies in Catholic monasteries, nunneries; in Buddhist viharas. The Jaina monks and nuns are all living like zombies, conditioned, deeply conditioned, hypnotized by constant repetition that they have “made it.” And of course when it is constantly repeated to you, you start believing it. In fact, you want to believe it and when everybody says that you have done it, you jump upon the opportunity. You immediately accept it without any argument. But you are, in a way, fortunate that you were capable of “unmaking” it.
You say, “Now, as a sannyasin, I observe those same attitudes and judgments happening at every turn.” They must have gone deep in you, they must have become part of your blood, your bones, your very marrow. It will take a little time before they leave your system totally. But if you remain aware they are bound to leave.

Two psychiatrists were on the first green. The first one missed a two-footer and muttered, “Nuts!”
“Please, Max,” said the partner, “let us not talk shop.”

People become accustomed to words, ideas. Even if they change, the first change is only on the circumference, the center remains the same. You have changed your outer habits. The nuns’ clothes are called habits: you have changed from white habits to orange habits. But by changing the clothes nothing is changed; that is only a gesture. Much has to be changed now. And it is good that the question is arising in you, that you are becoming alert you are still carrying the same old judgmental attitudes.

One morning before school, little Johnny was sitting at breakfast when his mother asked, “What would you like for breakfast, Johnny?”
“I want some fucking cornflakes,” said Johnny.
Whereupon the mother belted little Johnny on the ear and shouted, “Don’t ask for that again, do you hear?” Then she turned to Johnny’s little brother, Tommy, and asked, “What do you want for breakfast, Tommy?”
Tommy sat nervously in his chair for a moment, then answered, “Ahem, I… I don’t know, Mom. But I sure don’t want any of those fucking cornflakes!”

You have changed, but not much. The important thing is that you are becoming aware that those judgmental attitudes are still hanging around you.
You say, “I watch myself as I act superior around nonsannyasins, and inferior around those who have been with you longer than I.” This is what has been told to everybody: that you have to put yourself higher and higher, that you have to climb the ladder, that you have to be ambitious, that you have to be the first.
My whole effort here is to tell you that you have to be just yourself, neither first nor last. And you are so unique that nobody has been like you before, and nobody is going to be like you again. Hence, there is no question of comparison at all, you are so unique that you are incomparable. So drop this whole idea of comparison.
It is comparison which creates trouble; then somebody is higher than you and somebody is lower than you. If you drop this comparative habit, then nobody is higher than you and nobody is lower than you. Then suddenly you recognize everybody’s uniqueness. The moment you can see everybody’s uniqueness, your life has a different flavor. It becomes non-ambitious, it becomes non-egoistic. Then you are not trying to imitate, then you are not trying to compete; then you are simply being yourself, relaxing with yourself. A great love for yourself arises. And not only for yourself, a great love for everyone else also because everyone is so unique. It is because of the uniqueness of individuals around the world that the world is so beautiful.
You say, “I really exhaust myself in constructing intricate continua along which to place everyone in relation to myself.” You are doing an absolutely impossible thing. You are simply yourself; there is no need to put yourself into any hierarchy. In a hierarchy somebody will be higher than you, somebody will be lower than you. The lower will feed your ego and the higher will hurt your ego. Both are dangerous, and because the higher hurts you, you will hurt the lower, you will take revenge with the lower.
There is a story…

Once, Birbal, one of the very significant people around the great emperor Akbar, cracked a joke. Akbar was angry because the joke was on him. He was so angry that he slapped Birbal in front of many people. But Birbal did not miss the opportunity – he immediately slapped the person who was standing at his side, who was lower in rank.
The person who was slapped by Birbal could not believe what was happening because he was not concerned with it at all. Birbal had cracked a joke and he had received the reward! Now, why should he be hit? He was nothing to do with it.
And he asked, “What are you doing?”
Birbal said, “Don’t waste time, hit another person lower than you. The world is round. Sooner or later the hit will reach Akbar.” And it is said it reached him in the night – the wife hit Akbar.
The next day he said to Birbal, “You are right, the world is round. But you have always to hit the person who is lower than you; you have to be alert about that.”

So everybody is hitting everybody else, hurting everybody else. That’s why we have created this insane world.
Drop this whole attitude, this whole approach. With me, nobody has to play the game of holier-than-thou. To me there is no division between the profane and the sacred, between the holy and the unholy – it is all one.

The second question:
Are there any meaningless coincidences, or is everything a gigantic, precise mechanism?
As far as ninety-nine point nine percent of people are concerned everything is meaningless, just coincidences and coincidences. Only for the very few rare people – the buddhas, the awakened ones, the krishnas, the christs, the zarathustras – only for those very few people who can be counted on fingers, the world is not coincidental.
But unless you become awake it remains coincidental. You are in a deep sleep, groping in your somnambulism. How can there be any purpose, any significance? How can there be any sense of direction? You are just walking like a drunkard – not knowing where you are going, not knowing from where you are coming, not knowing exactly who you are.

A German once sat in zazen,
Asked “Who am I?” again and again.
“If I don’t sort this out,
I shall stomp, scream und shout!
For I’m German, Heil Hitler! Amen!”

A German sitting in zazen is bound to “stomp, scream und shout.” And what will he shout? “Heil Hitler!”

There was an old fellow from Lyme
Who married three wives at one time.
When asked, “Why the third?”
He replied, “One is absurd,
And bigamy, sir, is a crime!”

Two wild elephants were grazing in the jungle, when suddenly Tarzan streaked in front of them in hot pursuit of Jane. One elephant turned to the other and asked, “How do you suppose he can breathe through that little trunk?”

A drunk and his inebriated friend were sitting at a bar. “Do you know what the time is?” asked the drunk.
“Sure,” said the friend.
“Thanks,” said the drunk.

Two small mice were crouched under a table in the chorus girls’ dressing room of a big Broadway show.
“Wow!” exclaimed the first mouse. “Have you ever seen so many gorgeous legs in your life?”
“Means nothing to me,” said the second. “I’m a titmouse.”

Jacqueline’s one-time mother-in-law phoned her recently to ask about her health.
“I’m in bed with arthritis,” moaned the young woman.
“What ever happened to the other Greek?” asked the ex-mother-in-law.

An Irish maid went to confession and told her parish priest that she had been having an affair with the butler who was married and already had two children.
The priest admonished her, saying that she had sinned against the church.
“Oh, no, father,” she explained. “It was against the china closet. And it would have done your heart good to have heard those dishes rattle!”

As far as ninety-nine point nine percent of people are concerned, everything is accidental: their birth is accidental, their love is accidental, their death is accidental, and all that passes in between. Everything is accidental.
That’s why when you fall in love… The phrase “falling in love” – it is not anything conscious in you. Suddenly you see a woman or a man and some instinctive force, some unconscious force possesses you. It is a fall, it is not conscious; you are unconscious. Hence, the people who are not in love will think you have gone crazy. All lovers are thought to be a little bit insane, but only by others. The same thing happens to others too, in their own time – then others think about them that they are a little crazy. Why does love look so crazy? – there is a point in it.
It is accidental. If somebody asks you why you have fallen in love with a woman or a man, what are you going to say? Whatsoever you will say will look very silly. The color of the eyes, somebody will say – now, what nonsense is this? Or the length of the nose, or the shape of the eyes, or the way she walks, or the way he stands. What nonsense! What has it to do with love? You are just finding something so that you can pretend to be rational, conscious, in control.
Just as people fall in love, they fall out; and when they fall out it is the same nose, the same color of the eyes, the same hairstyle, the same woman, the same man. What has happened now? Nothing has changed. You can fall in love today and you can fall out tomorrow. In fact, not to fall out tomorrow simply means you are not very intelligent because from now onward there is just repetition. Once you have learned the topography of the other, it is finished! Now the same curves and the same topography – how long are you going to touch the long nose? It will be the same nose every day.
Whatever happens in ordinary life is all accidental. Your birth was accidental. Maybe your father was not thinking about you at all – in fact, he was not even thinking about your mother while he was making love to her, he was thinking of Sophia Loren. He was not concerned with the woman he was making love with, he was just doing it like an exercise, a gymnastics. He had to do it because he is the husband; he is supposed to do it. He is fulfilling a duty.
And the woman was not at all thinking of your father either. She was thinking of Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest.” And your father is the farthest from Muhammad Ali, the greatest – there is nothing to compare. That’s why women always close their eyes when they make love – shy, knowing perfectly well that they are not interested in this man. They are thinking about somebody else, some superstar. It is better to think – when your eyes are closed you can fantasize in a better way.
These people have given birth to you – Sophia Loren and Muhammad Ali were not making love. The people who were making love have given birth to you, and they were not thinking of each other – and not at all about you! How could they think about you? They had not even heard of you, they had not even seen a picture of you, no idea that an orange sannyasin was going to be born! Otherwise they would have stopped in the middle.
It is all unconscious. How have you chosen your job? Just unconscious…

When I entered university, somebody was filling in his form, the application form. I had no fountain pen, so I asked him if I could borrow his fountain pen, just for a minute, to fill in my form.
He said, very happily, “Do, because I am hesitating about which subjects to choose. So while I am thinking about it, you can fill in your form.”
So I filled in my form. He looked at my form and he said, “Philosophy? That sounds good, I will also put that.” And he joined the philosophy department. Now he is a professor of philosophy!

Just a few days ago he came here – just a week ago – to visit, with his students. Now he is a doctor of philosophy – and it was just by coincidence. If I had been just one minute late, or if I had had a fountain pen with me, then nobody knows what would have happened to this man. One thing is certain, he would not have been a doctor of philosophy, a professor of philosophy. Now he has lived his whole life as a professor of philosophy, thinking that he has chosen it.
When Sheela brought his name, “Dr. Patel has come and he says that he is an old colleague, an old friend of yours.” I tried to remember. In a way, certainly, I have been very fateful to him: I have determined the whole course of his life. Then I remembered that he had filled out his form just by looking at my form.
Philosophy sounded good, and it certainly sounds good if you think of physiology, biology, zoology. Philosophy sounds good, something great, and he liked the word. And now his whole life he thought he had chosen it.
Your job is not chosen by you. You are living the life of a somnambulist.

A swank, Long Island country club staged a ladies’ tournament last summer. The day before the award of the trophy to the winner, Harris, the committee chairman discovered that no trophy had been bought. He hurried to Jenkins Jewelers and was told that he could not get the cup engraved in twenty-four hours. Jenkins suggested that the sample cup that he had on display be given to the winner with the explanation that one just like it, with a suitable inscription, would be delivered to her the following week.
Next evening, the tournament winner marched proudly up to the platform to receive her trophy. Harris, under stress and with a few scotches under his belt, forgot to mention that the cup was a sample, and one with the correct inscription would be delivered later.
She looked at what was inscribed on the cup and fainted dead away. Harris then picked up the trophy. It read, “Awarded to the Best Wire-Haired Bitch in Nassau County!”

If you look around you will see it is all accidental. Your whole life is accidental. You try to make some sort of meaning out of it just to console yourself, but in fact there is no meaning in it. Only buddhas have meaning, nobody else has any meaning.

Riedel came running into the clubhouse yelling for a doctor. An MD came over and was amazed to see the man had a putter rammed up his butt.
“What happened?” asked the physician. “I was playing golf with my wife,” replied Riedel. It was the first time she had ever played. I got on the green in three, but her second shot landed an inch from the cup. I bent over to pick up her ball and I said, ‘It looks like your hole, honey,’ and that’s all I remember!”

Two Scotsmen are on holiday in Rome, and the first night of their visit they decide to go out drinking. So, turning in to the first bar they find, they order two pints of beer.
“I’m sorry,” says the barman, “but we don’t sell beer.”
The Scotsmen are absolutely horrified and ask the barman, “What do you sell?”
The barman starts going through a huge and confusing drinks list.
“Look, Jimmy,” says one Scot, having a sudden brain wave, “what does the pope drink?”
“Crème de menthe,” replies the barman.
“Okay, give us two pints of that then,” says the Scot. And between the two of them they consume, during the evening, nearly thirty pints of crème de menthe.
So the next morning they both regain consciousness lying in the gutter covered in green vomit.
“Oh, God!” says one. “What happened last night?”
“We were drinking that stuff the pope drinks,” groans the other.
“Well,” replies the first, “if the pope drinks that stuff, no wonder they have to carry him about in a chair all day!”

Enough for today.

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