The Wisdom of Sands Vol 1 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 9 discourses - The Wisdom of Sands Vol 1 by Osho.
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A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom.
He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome which was kept in a place of honor in his room.
The sage would allow nobody to open the volume.

When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as his heirs, ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained.
They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page.

They became even more bewildered and then annoyed when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase which met their eyes.
It was: When you realize the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.
Man is not born perfect. He is born incomplete, he is born as a process. He is born on the way, as a pilgrim. That is his agony and his ecstasy too – agony because he cannot rest, he has to go ahead, he always has to go ahead. He has to seek and search and explore; he has to become, because his being arises only through becoming. Becoming is his being. He can only be if he is on the move.
Evolution is intrinsic to man’s nature. Evolution is his very soul, and those who take themselves for granted remain unfulfilled, those who think they are born complete remain unevolved. Then the seed remains the seed, never becomes a tree, and never knows the joys of spring and the sunshine and the rain, and the ecstasy of bursting into millions of flowers.
That explosion is the fulfillment; that explosion is what God is all about – exploding into millions of flowers. When the potential becomes the actual, only then is man fulfilled. Man is born as a potential. That is unique to man; all other animals are born complete, they are born as they are going to die. There is no evolution between their birth and their death: they move on the same plane, they never go through any transformation. No radical change in their life ever happens. They move horizontally, the vertical never penetrates them.
If a man also moves horizontally he will miss his manhood, he will not become a soul. That’s what Gurdjieff meant when he used to say that not all people have souls, that it is very rare that a person has a soul. Now this is a very strange statement because down the ages you have been told that you are born with a soul. Gurdjieff says you are born only with the potential of becoming a soul, not with the actual soul. You have a blueprint, but the blueprint has to be worked out. You have the seed, but you have to search for the soil, and the season, and the right climate, and the right moment to explode, to grow.
Moving horizontally, you will remain without a soul. When the vertical penetrates you, you become a soul. “Soul” means the vertical has penetrated into the horizontal. Or, as an example, you can think of the egg, the caterpillar and the butterfly.
Man is born as a larva. Unfortunately, many die also as larvae, very few become caterpillars. A larva is static: it knows no movement, it remains stuck in one space, in one place, at one stage. Very few people grow into caterpillars. A caterpillar starts moving; dynamism enters. The larva is static, the caterpillar moves. With movement, life is stirred. Again, many remain caterpillars: they go on moving horizontally, on the same plane, in one dimension. Only rarely does a man like Buddha or Jalaluddin Rumi or Jesus or Kabir take the final quantum leap and become a butterfly. Then the vertical enters.
The larva is static; the caterpillar moves, knows movement; the butterfly flies, knows heights, starts moving upward. The butterfly grows wings. Those wings are the goal. Unless you grow wings and you become a winged phenomenon, you will not have a soul.
Truth is realized through three stages: assimilation, independence, and creativity. Remember these three words, they are [very] seminal.
Assimilation – that is the function of the larva. It simply assimilates food, it is getting ready to become a caterpillar. It is arranging, it is a reservoir. When the energy is ready it will become a caterpillar. Before movement, you will need great energy to move.
The caterpillar is assimilation complete, the work done; then the second thing starts: independence. The larva is dropped. Now there is no need to stay in one place. The time has come to explore. The time has come for adventure. Real life starts with movement, independence. The larva remains dependent, a prisoner, in chains. The caterpillar has broken the chains, starts moving. The ice has melted; it is no longer frozen. The larva is a frozen state. The caterpillar is movement, riverlike.
And then comes the third stage, of creativity. Independence in itself does not mean much. Just by being independent, you will not be fulfilled. It is good to be out of the prison, but for what? Independence for what? Freedom for what?
Remember, freedom has two aspects: first, freedom from and second, freedom for. Many people attain only to the first kind of freedom, freedom from – free from the parents, free from the church, free from the organization, free from this and that, free from all kinds of prisons. But for what? This is a very negative freedom. If you know only freedom from, you have not known real freedom. You have known only the negative aspect. The positive has to be known: freedom to create, freedom to be, freedom to express, to sing your song, to dance your dance. That is the third state, creativity.
Then the caterpillar becomes a winged phenomenon, a honey taster – searches, discovers, explores, creates. Hence the beauty of the butterfly. Only creative people are beautiful because only creative people know the splendor of life. They have eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to feel. They are fully alive, they live at the maximum. They burn their torch at both ends. They live in intensity, they live in totality.
Or we can use the metaphors used by Friedrich Nietzsche. He says that man’s life can be divided into three successive metamorphoses of the spirit. The first he calls “the camel,” the second he calls “the lion,” the third he calls “the child.” They are very pregnant metaphors: the camel, the lion, and the child.
Each human being has to draw upon and assimilate the cultural heritage of his society: his culture, his religion, his people. He has to assimilate all that the past makes available. He has to assimilate the past. This is what Nietzsche calls the camel stage. The camel has the power of storing up in his body enormous amounts of food and water for his arduous journey across the desert. The same is the situation of the human individual: you have to pass across a desert, you have to assimilate the whole past.
And remember, just memorizing is not going to help. Assimilation. Also remember, a person memorizes the past only because he cannot assimilate. If you assimilate the past, you are free from the past. You can use it, but it cannot use you. You possess it, but it does not possess you. When you have assimilated food, you need not remember it. It does not exist separate from you: it has become your blood, your bone, your marrow; it has become you.
The past has to be digested. Nothing is wrong with the past. It is your past; you need not begin from ABC because if each individual had to begin from ABC, there would not be much evolution. That’s why animals have not evolved. A dog is the same as it was millions of years ago. Man is the only evolving animal. Where does this evolution come from? It comes because man is the only animal that can assimilate the past. Once the past is assimilated, you are free from it; you can move in freedom and you can use your past. Otherwise you will have to pass through so many experiences. Your life will be wasted.
You can stand on the shoulders of your fathers and forefathers and their fathers and their forefathers. Man goes on standing upon others’ shoulders, hence the height that man achieves. Dogs cannot achieve that, wolves cannot achieve that; they depend on themselves. Their height is their height. In your height Buddha is assimilated, Christ is assimilated, Patanjali is assimilated, Moses is assimilated, Lao Tzu is assimilated. The greater the assimilation, the higher you stand. You can look from the peak of a mountain; your vision is great.
Assimilate more. There is no need to be confined by your own people. Assimilate the whole past of all the peoples of the whole earth; be a citizen of the planet earth. There is no need to be confined by Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans. Assimilate all! The Koran is yours, the Bible is yours, so is the Talmud, and so are the Vedas and the Tao Te Ching – all are yours. Assimilate all, and the more you assimilate the higher will be the peak on which you can stand and look far away, and distant lands and distant views become yours.
Nietzsche calls this the camel stage. But don’t be stuck there. One has to move. The camel is the larva, the camel is a hoarder. But if you are stuck at that stage and always remain a camel, then you will not know the beauties and the benedictions of life. Then you will never know God. You will remain stuck with the past. The camel can assimilate the past, but cannot use it.
In the course of his personal development, the time comes when the camel has to become the lion. The lion proceeds to tear apart the huge monster known as “thou shalt not.” The lion in man roars against all authority.
The lion is a reaction, a rebellion against the camel. The individual now discovers his own inner light as the ultimate source of all authentic values. He becomes aware of his primary obligation to his own inner creativity, to his innermost hidden potential. A few remain stuck at the stage of the lion: they go on roaring and roaring and become exhausted in their roaring. It is good to become a lion, but one has still to take one more jump – and that jump is to become the child.
Now each of you has been a child, but those who know say the first childhood is a false childhood. It is like the first teeth: they only look like teeth but they are of no use, they have to fall out. Then the real teeth come. The first childhood is a false childhood; the second childhood is the real childhood. That second childhood is called the “stage of the child” or the “stage of the sage” – it means the same. A man becomes utterly innocent, free from the past, so free that he is not even against the past.
Remember, the person who is still against the past is not really free. He still has some grudges, some complaints, some wounds. The camel still haunts him, the shadow of the camel still follows him. The lion is there, but still afraid somehow of the camel, fearful that it may come back.
When the fear of the camel is completely gone, the roaring of the lion stops. Then the song of the child is born. I would like you to go into these three stages very deeply and very penetratingly because they are of immense value.
The stage of the camel, assimilation, is just like a child in the womb who does nothing but assimilate, just eats the mother, gets bigger and bigger, is getting ready for the final plunge to move into the world. Right now there is no other work for the child: for nine months in the mother’s womb he eats and sleeps, sleeps and eats. He goes on sleeping and eating; these are the only two functions. Even after the child is born, for months he will be just doing that – eating and sleeping. Slowly, slowly, sleeping will become less and less and eating will also become less and less. He is ready, he is ready to become an individual – and the moment the child becomes ready to be an individual, disobedience enters. The child starts saying no, yes-saying by and by disappears. Obedience dies, disobedience is born.
The state of the camel is the state of assimilation. The camel does not know how to say no. The camel is not acquainted with the no. He has not heard the word and he has not tasted the joys of saying no. He only knows yes. His yes cannot be very deep because without knowing no, your yes cannot be very deep; it has to remain superficial. The man who has not known no, how can he really know yes? His yes will be impotent. The camel’s yes is impotent. The camel does not know what is happening; he only goes on saying yes because that is the only word that he has been taught. Obedience, belief – these are the characteristics of the stage called “camel.” Adam was in this state before he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Each human being passes through this state.
This is a state which is pre-mind and pre-self. There is no mind yet. The mind is growing, but is not a complete phenomenon; it is very vague, ambiguous, dark, nebulous. The self is on the way, but still only on the way; there are no clear-cut definitions of it. The child does not know himself as separate yet. Adam, before he ate the fruit, was part of God. He was in the womb, he was obedient, a yea-sayer, but he was not independent. Independence enters only through the door of no; through the door of yes, there is only dependence. So in this stage of the camel there is dependence, helplessness. The other is more important than your own being: God is more important, the father is more important, the mother is more important, the society is more important, the priest is more important, the politician is more important. Except you, everybody is important. The other is important, you are still not there. It is a very unconscious state. The majority of people are stuck there; they remain camels. Almost ninety-nine percent of people remain camels.
This is a very sad state of affairs – that ninety-nine percent of human beings remain as larvae. That’s why there is so much misery and no joy. And you can go on searching for joy, but you will not find it because joy is not given there, outside. Unless you become a child – attain the third stage – unless you become a butterfly, you will not be able to know joy. Joy is not something given outside; it is a vision that grows inside you. It is possible only in the third stage.
The first state is of misery and the third state is of bliss. And between the two is the state of the lion – which is sometimes miserable and sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful and sometimes pleasurable.
At the stage of the camel you are parrots, you are just memories, nothing else. Your whole life consists of beliefs given to you by others. This is where you will find the Christians and the Mohammedans and the Hindus and the Jainas and the Buddhists. Go into the churches and the temples and the mosques and you will find great gatherings of camels. You will not find a single human being. They go on repeating, parrotlike.
I have heard a story…

The story is told of a medieval knight who attended a course at the local dragon-slaying school. Several other young knights also attended this special class taught by Merlin, the magician.
Our antihero went to Merlin the first day to let him know that he would probably not do well in the course because he was a coward and was sure he would be much too frightened and inept ever to be able to slay a dragon. Merlin said he need not worry because there was a magic dragon-slaying sword which he would give this cowardly young knight. With such a sword in hand, there was no way that anyone could fail in slaying any dragon. The knight was delighted to have this official magic prop with which any knight, no matter how worthless, could kill a dragon. From the first field trip on, magic sword in hand, the cowardly knight slew dragon after dragon, freeing one maiden after another.
One day, toward the end of the term, Merlin sprung a pop quiz on the class which the young knight was attending. The students were to go out in the field and kill a dragon that very day. In the flurry of excitement as all the young knights rushed off to prove their mettle, our antihero grabbed the wrong sword from the rack. Soon he found himself at the mouth of a cave from which he was to free a bound maiden. Her fire-breathing captor came rushing out. Not knowing that he had picked the wrong weapon, the young knight drew back his sword in preparation for undoing the charging dragon. As he was about to strike he noticed that he had taken the wrong sword. No magic sword this, just your ordinary adequate-for-good-knights-only sword.
It was too late to stop. He brought down the ordinary sword with a trained sweep of his arm, and to his surprise and delight, off came the head of still another dragon.
Returning to the class, dragon’s head tied to his belt, sword in hand, and maiden in tow, he rushed to tell Merlin of his mistake and of his unexplainable recovery.
Merlin laughed when he heard the young knight’s story. His answer to the young knight was, “I thought that you would have guessed by now. None of the swords are magic and none of them have ever been. The only magic is in the believing.”

The camel lives in the magic of believing. It works. It can work miracles. But the camel remains a camel: the growth is missing.
The people praying in the temples and the churches are under the influence of belief. They don’t know what God is, they have never felt anything like that; they only believe. The magic of their belief goes on doing certain things to them, but that is all make believe, a kind of dream world. They are not yet out of their unconscious, out of their sleep. And remember, I am not saying that this stage is not necessary; it is necessary, but once it is complete one has to jump out of it. One is not here to remain a camel forever.
And don’t be angry at your parents, or the teachers, or the priests, or the society. They have to create a kind of obedience in you, because only through obedience will you be able to assimilate. The father has to teach, the mother has to teach, and the child has to simply absorb. If doubt arises prematurely, assimilation will be stopped.
Just think of a child in the mother’s womb who becomes doubtful. He will die if he becomes doubtful whether to partake of food from this woman or not, whether the food is really nourishing or not – who knows, it may be poisonous – whether to sleep for twenty-four hours or not, because this is too much, sleeping continuously for twenty-four hours a day for nine months. If the child becomes a little bit doubtful, in that very doubt the child will die. And still a day comes when doubt has to be imbibed, learned. Each thing has its own season.
Listen to this beautiful poem by Carl Sandburg: “What shall he tell that son?”
A father sees a son nearing manhood.
What shall he tell that son?
“Life is hard; be steel, be a rock.”
and this might stand him for the storms,
and serve him for humdrum monotony
and guide him amid sudden betrayals
and tighten him for slack moments.
“Life is soft loam; be gentle, go easy.”
and this too might serve him.
Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
The growth of a frail flower in a path up
has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
A tough will counts. So does desire.
So does a rich soft wanting.
Without rich wanting nothing arrives.
Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial;
and quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted good enough men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
Tell him to be a fool every so often
and to have no shame over having been a fool
yet learning something out of every folly
hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.

Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lies about himself
whatever the white lies and protective fronts
he may use amongst other people.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
Tell him to be different from other people
if it comes natural and easy being different.
Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
Let him seek deep for where he is a born natural.
Then he may understand Shakespeare
and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
Michael Faraday and free imaginations
bringing changes into a world resenting change.
He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own.
Each father is faced with the problem of what to tell the son. Each mother confronts the problem of what to teach the daughter. Every teacher worries about what should be imparted to the new generation. The past has much: many glories, many peaks of understanding, many conclusions which have to be imparted to the child.
In the first stage, everybody has to be a camel: yea-saying, believing whatever is given, assimilating, digesting. But this is only the beginning of the journey; this is not the end.
The second stage is difficult. The society gives you the first stage; that’s why there are millions of camels and very few lions. The society leaves you when you have become a perfect camel. Beyond that, the society cannot do anything. It is there that the work of the society ends – the work of the school, the college, the university. It leaves you a perfect camel with a certificate.
You have to become a lion on your own. Remember it. If you don’t decide to become a lion, you will never become a lion. That risk has to be taken by the individual. That is a gamble. That is very dangerous too, because by becoming a lion you will annoy all the camels around you. And the camels are peace loving animals; they are always ready to compromise. They don’t want to be disturbed, they don’t want any new thing to happen in the world because all new things disturb. They are against the revolutionaries and the rebellious. And not only about great things, mind you – not only about Socrates and Christ who are bringing great revolutions. The camels are afraid of such small things that you will be surprised.
I have heard…
In December, 1842, Adam Thompson of Cincinnati filled the first bathtub in the United States. The news of Mr. Thompson’s tub was quickly spread. Newspapers said that the newfangled idea would ruin the democratic simplicity of the republic.
Just think of it! – a bathtub will ruin the integrity of the democratic republic.
Doctors predicted rheumatism, inflammation of the lungs, etc. etc. The wise ones agreed that bathing in the wintertime would result in the decline of the robust population. Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty, tried to put a ban on bathing from the first of November to the first of March. In 1845, Boston made bathing unlawful except on the advice of a doctor. Hartford, Providence, Wilmington, and other cities tried to block the bath habit with extra heavy water rates. The state of Virginia took a slap at bathing by placing a tax of thirty dollars a year on every bathtub brought into the state. But by 1922, there were 889,000 bathtubs manufactured a year. To think that in the lives of people still living, man did not even know that a bath was good for him puts man in a class of absolute unreliability as to his judgment of thinking on any matter.
The camels are simply against anything new, it does not matter what. It may be just a bathtub, and they will rationalize their antagonism.
In one part of ancient Greece it was long the custom that when a man proposed a new law in the popular assembly, he did so on a platform with a rope around his neck. If the law was passed, they removed the rope. If it failed, they removed the platform.
Lions are not welcome. The society creates every kind of difficulty for the lions. The camels are afraid of these people: they disturb their convenience, they disturb their sleep, they create worry. They create a desire in the camels to become lions – that is the real problem.
Why is Jesus crucified? His very presence, and many camels start dreaming of becoming lions – and that disturbs their sleep, and that disturbs their ordinary, mundane life.
Why is Buddha stoned? Why is Mahavira not allowed to enter cities? Why is Mansoor beheaded? These people disturb; they disturb their sleep, they go on roaring. Buddha has called his sermons “The Lion’s Roar.”
The first, the state of the camel, is given by the society. The second state has to be attained by the individual. In attaining it, you become an individual, you become unique. You are no longer a conformist, you are no longer part of a tradition. The larva is dropped: you become a caterpillar, you start moving.
The state of the lion has these characteristics: independence, no-saying, disobedience, rebellion against the other, against authority, against dogma, against scripture, against the church, against political power, against the state. The lion is against everything; he wants to shatter everything and create the whole world anew, closer to his heart’s desire. He has great dreams and utopias in his mind. He looks mad to the camels because the camels live in the past and the lion starts living in the future. A great gap arises. The lion heralds the future, and the future can come only if the past is destroyed. The new can enter existence only if the old ceases to exist and creates space for the new. The old has to die for the new to be. So there is a constant fight between the lion and the camel, and the camels are the majority. The lion happens once in a while, the lion is an exception – and the exception only proves the rule.
Disbelief is his characteristic, doubt is his characteristic. Adam eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: mind is born, self becomes a defined phenomenon. The camel is non-egoistic, the lion is very egoistic. The camel knows nothing of the ego, the lion only knows the ego. That’s why you will always find revolutionaries, rebellious people – poets, painters, musicians – are very egoistic. They are bohemians. They live their life, they do their thing. They don’t care a bit about others; let the others go to hell. They are no longer a part of any structure. They become free from the structures. Movement, the lion’s roar, is bound to be egoistic. They need a great ego to go into this.
In the East you will find more camels, in the West you will find more lions. That’s why in the East to surrender seems so easy. For the Western mind, surrender seems so difficult. But one thing has to be remembered: the Eastern mind finds it very easy to surrender; that’s why his surrender is not of much value. He’s already surrendered. He does not know how to say no, that’s why he says yes. When a Western mind surrenders, it is very difficult. It is a struggle for the Western mind to surrender, but when the Western mind surrenders there is great transformation because the surrender has been hard, arduous, an uphill task. In the East the surrender is cheap, in the West it is costly. Only a few courageous people can afford it.
The East surrenders because there is no longer a possibility of becoming a lion. It feels very comfortable, easy to surrender, to become part of a mob, a mass. The West has created the ego. The West has paid more attention to the lion – doubt, disbelief, ego – but whenever the Western mind surrenders, there is really great transformation.
The Eastern mind surrenders and remains the camel. If the Western mind surrenders, there is a possibility for the child to be born. When the lion surrenders, he becomes the child; when the camel surrenders, he remains the camel.
So I may appear paradoxical to you, but if you understand what I am saying, it will not be very difficult and the paradox will not really look like a paradox. Each individual has to be taught the ego before he will be able to drop it. Each individual has to come to a very crystallized ego, only then is the dropping of any help; otherwise not.
The first state, of the camel, is unconscious. The second state, of the lion, is subconscious – a little higher than the unconscious. A few glimpses of the conscious have started coming in. The sun is rising, and a few rays are entering the dark room where you are asleep. The unconscious is no longer unconscious. Something is stirred in the unconscious; it has become subconscious. But remember, the change is not as great from the camel to the lion as it is going to be from the lion to the child. The change is a kind of reversion. The camel starts standing on its head and becomes the lion. The camel says yes, the lion says no. The camel obeys, the lion disobeys. The camel is positive, the lion is negative.
It is to be understood that the camel has been saying yes so much – and must have been denying the no. The no accumulates; and a point comes where the no wants to take revenge on the yes, the denied part wants to take revenge. Then the whole wheel turns: the camel turns upside-down and becomes the lion.
The difference between the camel and the lion is big, but they exist on the same plane. The larva is static at one place; the caterpillar starts moving, but on the same earth. Movement is born, but the plane is the same. The first thing is given by the society: your being a camel is a gift of the society. Your being a lion will be a gift that you give to yourself. Unless you love yourself, you will not be able to do it. Unless you want to become an individual, unique in your own right – unless you take the risk of going against the current – you will not be able to become a lion.
But if you understand the mechanism, in the very heart of the camel the lion is created. Again and again, saying yes and denying no, no goes on accumulating. A day comes when one is fed up with saying yes; just for the change one wants to say no. One is fed up with the positive, the taste of it becomes monotonous; just for the change one wants to taste no. That’s how the camel, for the first time, starts having dreams of the lion. And once you have tasted the no – the doubt, the disbelief – you can never be a camel again because it brings such liberty, such freedom.
The majority is stuck at the camel stage, the minority is stuck at the lion stage. The majority means the masses and the minority means the intelligentsia. The artist, the poet, the painter, the musician, the thinker, the philosopher, the revolutionary – they are stuck at the second stage. They are far better than the camels, but the goal is not yet complete. They have not come home. The third stage is the child.
Listen attentively: the first stage is given by the society, the second is given by the individual to himself. The third is possible only if the caterpillar comes close to a butterfly; otherwise it is not possible. How will the caterpillar ever think on his own that he can fly, that he can become a winged thing? It is not possible. It is impossible to think it. It will be absurd, illogical. The caterpillar knows how to move, but to fly is just absurd.
I have heard about butterflies teaching caterpillars that they can fly, and they object and say, “No. It may be possible for you, but it is not possible for us. You are a butterfly, we are only caterpillars. We only know how to crawl.” How can one who knows only how to crawl imagine flying? That is a different dimension, an altogether different dimension: the vertical dimension.
From the camel to the lion is evolution. From the lion to the child is revolution. A master is needed at that stage. The society can make you a camel, you yourself can make yourself a lion. But you will need a master: a Buddha, a Christ, a Rumi; you will need a butterfly who has wings. Only with a winged phenomenon will you be able to start dreaming about wings.
How can you dream about something that you have not known at all? Do you think that a very primitive tribe living somewhere in the Himalayas can dream of a car? They have not seen one, they cannot dream about it. The dream is possible only when you have seen something – when you have seen a Christ or a Buddha or a Bodhidharma, and you know that this happens. These people look just like you, and still they are not like you. They have the same body, the same structure, and yet something from the unknown has penetrated their being. The beyond has come into them; the beyond is very, very tangible there. If you approach them with sympathy and love, you will be able to have a few glimpses of their inner sky. And once you have seen that inner sky, you will start dreaming about it, a great longing will arise in you: “How can I become a winged phenomenon?”
That is the infection that comes from the master to the disciple. The third phenomenon happens through the master. “The child” means creativity, interdependence.
The first stage, the camel, was dependence, the second stage was independence, but in innocence one comes to know that neither there is dependence nor independence. Existence is interdependence – all are dependent on each other. It is all one. The sense of the whole is born: no I, no thou, no fixation with yes or no, no obsession either to say yes always or to say no always – more fluidity, more spontaneity; neither obedience nor disobedience, but spontaneity. Responsibility is born. One responds to existence; one does not react out of the past, and does not react out of the future. The camel lives in the past, the lion lives in the future, the child lives in the present, herenow.
The camel is pre-mind, the lion is mind, the child is post-mind. The camel is pre-self, the lion is self, the child is post-self. That’s what the meaning of the state of no-mind is. Sufis call it fana – the ego is gone, the other too. They are both together; you cannot have one without the other. I–thou are part of one energy; they both disappear.
The child simply is: ineffable, indefinable, a mystery, a wonder. The camel has memory, the lion has knowledgeability, and the child has wisdom. The camel is either Christian, Hindu or Mohammedan, theist; the lion is atheist; and the child is religious, neither theist nor atheist, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian nor communist – just a simple religiousness, the quality of love and innocence.
Adam eats the fruit, becomes a lion. Adam, before eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, is the camel. And when Adam has vomited the fruit, dropped knowledge, he is the child. That child means Christ. Christ says again and again to his disciples, “Repent.” The word repent in Hebrew means return, go back, the Garden of Eden is still waiting for you. Vomit this apple of knowledge and the doors will be opened unto you.
The camel is Adam before eating the fruit, the lion is Adam after eating the fruit, and the child is Adam become Christ, returning home. Buddha calls it nirvana, Jesus calls it the Kingdom of God. You can call it anything you like: Tao, dhamma, moksha. Words don’t mean much there; it is a wordless silence, a thoughtless innocence.
Now the story…
A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible source of wisdom.
Each word has to be decoded. A wise man… Who is a wise man? – the child. Wisdom does not mean knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom; knowledge is a false coin, pseudo wisdom. It is borrowed, you have gathered it; it is dead. Wisdom is what has arisen in you, it has bloomed in you, it comes out of your own being and out of your own source. It is alive. Wisdom is knowing the truth on your own. Knowledge is collecting information from others, who may have known, may not have known. Who knows? It is belief, it is memory, it is junk.
A wise man is one who has entered godliness, who has penetrated the mystery of life, who has encountered reality. A wise man may not be knowledgeable, may be knowledgeable – that is irrelevant – but wisdom has nothing to do with knowledge. Jesus was not a man of knowledge; any other rabbi of his time was more knowledgeable than Jesus. Buddha was not a man of knowledge; any other brahmin pundit was more knowledgeable than him. He knew nothing much about the Vedas, but he was a man of wisdom.
Knowledge comes through memory; wisdom comes through meditation. Knowledge is possible even to a machine, that’s why computers are knowledgeable. But no computer can be wise. Have you ever heard of a wise computer? Knowledgeable, of course, more knowledgeable than man, more efficient, more skillful – less possibility of committing errors, very fast, quick, instant. You ask the question and the answer is there, but the answer will only be that which has been fed into the computer before. It can’t be new, it can’t be original, it can’t be wise. It will not relate to you as a person; it will be simply an answer to the question. Observe the difference.
If you come to me, your question is less important. You are more important. I answer your question, in fact, to answer you; the question is secondary. But if you go to a computer, to a pundit, to a scholar, you are irrelevant; the question has all the relevance. He answers the question. The man of knowledge answers the question, the man of wisdom answers the questioner. The man of knowledge will always be consistent. You ask, “Does God exist?” and the man of knowledge will always have a definite answer. If he believes yes, he will say yes. Who asks the questions will not make much difference, not at all.

Buddha was asked by a man one day, “Does God exist?” and Buddha said, “No.”
And the same day, in the afternoon, another man asked, “Does God exist?” and Buddha said, “Yes.”
And the same day, in the evening, a third man asked, “Does God exist?” and Buddha kept quiet.
Now, this can’t be done by a computer. Either you know or you don’t know. The computer simply knows the answer and supplies the answer. Why does Buddha behave differently with three people? His disciple, Ananda, was very disturbed, could not figure it out. Naturally, he had heard all three answers. That night he asked Buddha, “I will not be able to sleep. Just tell me why. The question was the same, why did you answer differently? To one you said no, to another you said yes, to the third you didn’t say anything, you simply kept quiet. You remained silent and you closed your eyes. Why? The question was the same, exactly the same.”
Buddha said, “But the questioners were different. I was answering the questioners. One was an atheist, he did not believe in God. He had come just to make his conviction stronger. He wanted me to say no so that his belief could become stronger, and I cannot help anybody’s belief. I have to destroy beliefs. To that man I said ‘Yes, God is,’ because unless beliefs are loosened, nobody comes to know.
“The other man was a theist, he believed in God. He had come to be supported by me. I’m not here to support anybody’s belief. I am here to destroy all beliefs so that the mind can rise above beliefs into knowing. That’s why I had to say something else to him. I had to say no.
“And the third man was neither a theist nor an atheist, so yes or no was not needed. I had to keep quiet. I was telling him ‘Become silent, and you will know. Just do what I am doing. Close your eyes and become silent and you will know.’ The question is such that it can’t be answered in a yes or no. The question is so profound that you can know only when you are profoundly silent. You will know only when the question has disappeared. Then the answer will arise in your being.”

Now this is a wise man. This you can’t expect from a scholar, from a pundit, from a professor, from a computer, from a machine.
A wise man, the wonder of his age… And the wise man is always a wonder because the wise man is indefinable. The wise man is mysterious. The presence of the wise man takes you on such faraway journeys, far out journeys. The wise man helps your wonder to become stronger. He does not supply you knowledge; he destroys your knowledge and releases your wonder, makes you a child again, fills your being with wondering, with poetry, with mystery, with song.
A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom. And wisdom is inexhaustible. Knowledge is exhaustible, wisdom is inexhaustible because to be wise means to be related to the infinite source of the whole. To be in God is to be wise. God is inexhaustible. The wise man is an ocean: you can take as much as you can; nothing is reduced, he remains as he was before. You cannot reduce infinity. Knowledge is finite, it is only so much.
He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome which was kept in a place of honor in his room.
Why did he attribute his knowledge to a thick tome? – because of the camels. The camels wouldn’t understand the mysterious source of his wisdom. To make it understandable to them, he kept a big tome in his room and he used to tell them, “All my wisdom comes from that book.”
That is understandable. If somebody says, “My wisdom comes from the Vedas,” you understand; somebody says, “My wisdom comes from the Old Testament,” you understand; from the Talmud, you understand. But somebody says, “My wisdom comes from nowhere,” and suddenly there is misunderstanding. The camel cannot understand the “nowhere.” The camel can understand only a certain visible source. He lives in the visible. He can understand the book, he cannot understand the heart. He can understand the theories about God, but he cannot understand God himself.
He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome which was kept in a place of honor in his room.
The sage would allow nobody to open the volume.
Naturally, because there was nothing in it, it was empty. It was kept very mysterious, nobody was allowed. It was guarded.
When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as his heirs, ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained.
Look at the camels – the live source was there, but they were not as interested in the live source as they were in the book. There are millions of camels like that, who are interested in the book. They carry their Bible, they carry their Gita. They memorize their Gita. They go on repeating the same Gita again and again, they go on reading the same Gita every day. They believe in the book. Even Krishna may be there, but they will go on reading their book. They will tell Krishna, “Don’t disturb us.” If Christ comes while you are reading the Bible, you will say, “Keep quiet. I am reading my book, come later on. This is not the time, I am praying.”
And don’t laugh; this is the situation. People believe in the book too much. The book becomes more important, the word becomes more important than the truth. The word God has become more important than God himself.
So when the master died: …those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as his heirs… They were not; camels can’t be heirs. Only at the third stage, when you are a child, can you be an heir to a master, not before that. Camels go on saying yes, so they think that they can become heirs because they are so obedient. They cannot because they have not yet learned the no.
There is a famous story…

A rabbi once heard that one of his disciples had been speaking cynically about the existence of God and his teachings. He called him for an interview and asked, “Tell me, did you study all twenty-four books of the Bible thoroughly?”
The honest answer was, “No, not all of them, and certainly not thoroughly.”
“How about the Talmud?” was the next question. “Have you gone through all sixty volumes?”
“N-no,” was the more frightened answer.
“Then let me tell you, my son,” concluded the rabbi, “you did not study enough to have the privilege of doubting!”

Doubt is a privilege. Unless you have been assimilating, you will not be able to become the lion. To say no, to doubt, is a privilege. It is a higher stage than belief because any coward can go with belief. For saying no and for creating doubt, courage is needed. It is almost always so: the so-called theists are on a lesser, lower spiritual plane than the atheist. The atheist is on a slightly higher plane, although he denies. He is the lion.
These people must have followed the master to the letter, and obviously they were thinking they were the true heirs. They ran to open the book. The master had been there for many years with them, and they had never run to open him, they had never looked into his heart. They had never understood him, they had never drunk out of his source. But now that the master was dead, their first curiosity was to go to the book and see what was written there. Just see how people remain attached to the insignificant and the nonessential.
They ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained. The camels are camels. They are more interested in possessing knowledge than becoming knowledge, they are more interested in the containers than in the content. The content has gone, the flame is no longer in the lamp, the flame has disappeared – but they were not interested in the flame. They are interested in the lamp, and they will go on worshipping the lamp forever. No light will ever be coming out of the lamp. The light was there. They have missed the master because their whole idea of knowledge was of possession. Knowledge is not something to be possessed; you cannot possess knowledge, and if you possess it, it will be only knowledgeability. Unless you become a knower, you don’t have knowledge. You can only pretend to have it.
They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page.
The camels are always interested in quantity, not in quality. They would have been very, very happy if the whole book had been written in, if on all the pages there had been writing. They would have enjoyed that. But there was writing on only one page, and that too only in one corner of the page, and the whole book was empty.
They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page. Remember, the concern of the camel is quantity, the concern of the lion is quality, and the child goes beyond duality. He is not concerned with either quality or quantity. He transcends all dualities.
They became even more bewildered and then annoyed when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase which met their eyes.
And there was only a little writing, just a single line.
It was: When you realize the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.
Just think of yourself waiting for years, curious for years to look into the book, and then you come across this. You would have been annoyed too – that this master was a cheat, that he had been saying “All my wisdom comes from this book” and there was nothing in it, just this small sentence.
But this sentence is a seed. If you understand it, you will understand all the scriptures of the world. This is a condensed thing. All the scriptures are condensed in it: all the Korans, all the Vedas, all the Bibles are condensed in a single sentence, a tremendously powerful sentence. Meditate over it. When you realize the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.
The camels are interested only in the container; the container is all. They don’t think of the content. The lions are interested only in the content; they are very much against the container. The child accepts both and goes beyond both because the child comes to know that the content cannot exist without the container and the container cannot exist without the content. The container is a container only because it has content, and they both go together. Matter and mind exist together, God and the world exist together; they cannot be separated.
The camel thinks the container is all. That is a half vision. Angry with the camel, the lion moves to the other extreme and says, “The content is enough, and I will not bother about the container. Throw the container.” But if you throw the container, you will be throwing the content also because they can’t be separated. If you throw the flower, you will be throwing the fragrance too because they are together just like body and soul. The camel believes in the corpse; there is no soul, he has no idea of the soul. The lion believes in the ghost; he is very much against the body.
But when you have transcended both, when you are no longer a yea-sayer or a no-sayer – when you are no longer obsessed with theism or atheism, when you are neither traditional nor antitraditional, when you are simply innocent of all these ideas, when your mirror is completely clean, no dust on it, when you don’t feel any identity with the camel or the lion – you are neither a reactionary nor a revolutionary. When you are simply there, a silent mirror, then you come to know that the container and the content are together. Although the container is not the content and the content is not the container, they are together. Seeing them together and yet separate, knowledge arises. One comes to know. When you realize the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.
The last thing: because there are millions of camels, many masters have spoken in the language of the camels – Mohammed, Moses, and people like that. They have spoken in the language of the camels so the camels can understand. There is compassion in it, but there is danger too – that the camels remain camels. A few masters have chosen to speak the language of the lion – Christ, Buddha. As far as the expression is concerned, it is better than that of Moses and Mohammed; but it will not be understood by the masses. That’s a problem; the camels will not be able to absorb it.
Jesus was killed because the camels were very angry. He was speaking a different language, utterly unintelligible. It looked like nonsense to them: this man was mad. Just think, in a world full of camels, a lion comes and starts talking. No camel will understand. When Jesus was killed, the disciples that he had, those twelve apostles, were camels. He was a child talking in the language of the lion, they were camels. They created Christianity, and once the camels created Christianity, it became a world religion.
The child has no language of its own. Innocence is wordless. Hence, the child has to speak the language of a lion out of necessity. That is the closest that he can come to expressing himself.
It happened in Buddha’s time. Buddha talked in the language of the lions. The country was in such a state that there were many lions available. It was at a climax, at a peak. It was not a dark valley, it was a very sunlit peak. For thousands of years in the past, India had been searching and working on truth and what it is and how to attain it. Many people understood Buddha; Buddha’s disciples were not camels, they were lions. Jesus’ disciples were camels, Jesus was a child talking in the language of the lion. When Buddha died, his followers were very, very stubborn. They wouldn’t compromise with the camels. They were bribed, they were persuaded, but they wouldn’t compromise. They continued to roar. Buddhism was uprooted from India: the camels finally destroyed it.
When the Buddhists escaped from India, they learned a lesson: if you want to exist as a religion, you will have to speak the language of the camel. In China they dropped Buddha’s roar. In Japan, in Korea, in Ceylon, in Burma, they started speaking the language of the camel. Mahayana is the lion’s roar. Hinayana is a translation, in the camel’s language, of the lion’s roar. Then Buddhism spread all over Asia. A strange thing happened: Buddhism was born in India but disappeared from there, and the whole of Asia became Buddhist.
There are a few who have spoken in the language of the child. They never gather many disciples; they cannot. You can gather great masses around you, if you speak the language of the camel. You can gather intelligentsia around you, if you speak in the language of the lion. Krishnamurti gathers intelligentsia around himself – he speaks the language of the lion. Lao Tzu or Ramana, they speak the language of the child. Nobody understands them, but they are not killed, remember; they are not crucified. Nobody understands them, nobody follows them, nobody bothers about them. They are thought to be good people, poets, a little eccentric, crazy. People can sometimes go to them, it is beautiful to be around them, but they don’t create any stir in the world. Lao Tzu comes and disappears, leaves no trace. Ramana came and disappeared, left no trace behind.
These are the three languages. I speak all the languages, so you will find camels and lions and children, all kinds of people, around me. Hence I look very contradictory. I can’t be consistent: when I talk to a camel I talk his language, when I talk to a lion I roar, and when a child comes to me, I laugh, smile, and sit silently with him.
This experiment has never been done before; nobody has spoken all three languages because it is troublesome. One language is good because one remains consistent. With me you can never be certain, you will always remain confused. But I also use confusion as a device. If the camel is confused he will start growing into a lion because unless he is utterly confused he will never grow. If the lion is confused he will start growing into a child because you grow only when you are very confused. When you see no point in being where you are, you start growing higher and you start looking for higher peaks. Maybe from there a greater vision, a bigger vision is available. I confuse you as a device. I will confuse the camels, I will confuse the lions, and children cannot be confused, they will understand. They will be able to understand that my contradictions are not contradictions at all because I am speaking three languages. That’s why they only appear to be contradictions.
Meditate over this story. Here, being with me, don’t think of words. My message is not in my words, but in the pauses in between. My message is not in what I say, but in what I am. My message is not reducible to theories and systems. Either you can live it with me, or you miss it. It is an alive phenomenon. Once I am gone you will start looking into books, and you will be annoyed, and you will be angry with me because you will feel you have missed.
While I am here, be nourished by me, get drunk with me, be absorbed. Abandon yourself to this mystery that is being revealed to you, and then there will be the possibility that you will not die as a larva, that you will become a caterpillar, and finally you will be metamorphosed into a butterfly.
Grow wings; dream great dreams of growing wings. You have the potential, you are the seed. A great, great phenomenon is possible through you, and only when you have bloomed will you know what God is, what truth is.
Enough for today.

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