Until You Die 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - Until You Die by Osho.
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El Mahdi Abbassi announced that it was verifiable that whether people tried to help a man or not, something in him could frustrate this aim. Certain people having objected to this theory, El Mahdi promised a demonstration.
When everyone had forgotten the incident, El Mahdi ordered one man to lay a sack of gold in the middle of a bridge. Another man was asked to bring some unfortunate debtor to one end of the bridge and tell him to cross it.
Abbassi and his witnesses stood at the other end of the bridge.
When the man got to the other side, Abbassi asked him: “What did you see in the middle of the bridge?”
“Nothing,” said the man.
“How is that?” asked Abbassi.
The man replied, “As soon as I started to cross the bridge, the thought occurred to me that it might be amusing to cross with my eyes shut. And I did so.”
Man carries the seed of his misery or bliss, hell or heaven, within himself. Whatever happens to you, it happens because of you. Outside causes are secondary; inside causes are primary. Unless you understand this there is no possibility of transformation because the mind goes on deceiving you. The mind always points to the outside: the cause of your misery or your happiness is somewhere else. If the cause is outside you then there is no possibility of freedom, there is no possibility of any moksha, any liberated state. You are bound to be in bondage for ever and ever because how can you change the outside cause? And if you do change one, millions more follow.
This is the difference, the basic difference, between a religious mind and a nonreligious mind. Communists will think just the opposite. Marx will not be ready to approve what El Mahdi says in this story. Marx says the cause exists outside man. Man is in misery because there are causes outside which create misery. If the causes are changed, replaced, man will be happy. According to Marx, a revolution is needed in the outside world. According to Mohammed, Jesus, Mahavira, Krishna, this whole diagnosis is wrong. Causes are inside. Outside there are only excuses.
You can change the outside, but nothing will change if the inside remains the same. The inside will again and again create the same pattern, whatever the situation outside, because man lives from the inner to the outer.
It happened…

I used to know a man who married three times. He suffered much. The first time he married he chose a woman who was a sadist, who enjoyed torturing him. He would come to see me and he would relate his misery. Sometimes the woman would beat him and he would show me the marks. But I had the feeling that somehow, deep down, he relished it, he enjoyed it, because whenever he talked about his miseries his face would become radiant, not sad, and his eyes would sparkle. He would become more alive.
I continued to watch him minutely. Sometimes his wife would go to her parents’ home. Then he was never happy. When the wife was with him he was unhappy, when the wife was not with him he was unhappy but the unhappinesses had a distinction and difference. When the wife was there he was unhappy, but happy in his unhappiness; he enjoyed it, talked about it. And I had the feeling he was exaggerating; he was very poetic about it.
Then the misery became too much and the man divorced the wife. The day he divorced her I told him, “Now be very alert. I think you will fall in love with the same type of woman again because you remain the same. You will again find the same type of woman, so now be alert.”
He said, “Never again can I marry such a woman. I am finished forever.”
But within three months he again became a victim of the same type of woman. He got married, and again he started his sad stories that the woman was torturing him.
I told him, “I told you that this was possible because who chooses the woman? You choose the woman. You chose the first, you will choose the second, and you remain the same. You will always choose a sadistic woman because you are a masochist. You want to be tortured, want somebody to dominate you, somebody to crush you. You are a self-condemner. You don’t approve of yourself and you don’t love yourself. You need somebody to hate you and to kick you around.”
The second marriage also finished soon. The wife left. The last time I saw him he was again after a woman. I told him, “Now be alert. Something within you will again choose the same type of woman.”
He said, “Now no more. What do you think I am? Am I so stupid? I can’t forget the lesson.”
He has married once again. I have received a letter from him and again the same old tale of miseries.

This man can go on living for thousands of years, can move all over the earth but he will always choose the same type of woman because the chooser remains the same. The misery is not in the woman he chooses; the misery is in the very choice. You carry your heaven within you, and you carry your hell.
If you feel miserable, don’t try to find excuses in the outside world; they won’t help. In fact, they will become a deception. Whenever you are in misery, try to find something within you which frustrates. Be mindful of that. Otherwise, for many lives people go on moving in the same rut, the same vicious circle.

Mulla Nasruddin dreamed one night that he was in heaven. So beautiful all around – a silent valley, the sun rising and the birds singing, and he alone under a tree.
But soon he started to feel hungry, and there was nobody, apparently nobody, around. But still he asked, “Hey! Is somebody there?”
A very handsome man appeared and said, “I am at your service, sir. Whatever you say I will do.” So Mulla asked for food. And whatever he asked for was immediately supplied, not even a single moment was lost and the food was there. He ate to the full, slept well. And this continued, whatever he needed. If he needed a beautiful woman, the beautiful woman was there. Whatever he needed! He needed a bed in the night and the bed was there. This continued for a few days, but how long…?
He started getting fed up, bored. Everything was too good, really too much. He couldn’t tolerate it. He started looking for some misery because everything was so beautiful. He started looking for tensions because he had never lived without tensions, some anxiety, something to be sad about, depressed. And now everything was so blissful, unbearably blissful.
So he called the man and he said, “It is too much! I would like to have some work. Just sitting empty-handed, I am getting fed up.”
The man said, “I can do everything for you, but that is not possible. I cannot give you work. Here, that is not possible. Whatever else you need I am ready to give. And what is the need to seek after work. When everything is supplied immediately you don’t need to work.”
Mulla Nasruddin said, “I am fed up. If no work can be given, then it is better to be in hell.”
The man started laughing and said, “Where do you think you are?”
Through the laughter, Mulla woke up. His dream was shattered.
In the morning he came running to me and he said, “This dream is very symbolic. What is the meaning of it?”
I told him, “In the first place, you should not have waited so long. When you came to the point in the dream where you were in heaven, you should have immediately opened your eyes. How can you be in heaven? You and heaven! How could you believe it?”

Wherever you go, you will create your hell around you. In fact, heaven and hell are not geographical. They are not places, they don’t exist in space. They are attitudes, they are psychological. They exist in the inner space not in the outer space. You cannot go to heaven because how can you go to heaven? Where is heaven? And you cannot go to hell. You always carry your hell or your heaven with you.
It is just like a spider’s web. In the Upanishads it is said – one of the most beautiful symbols – that everybody is just like a spider carrying its own web inside. Wherever the spider goes, it spreads its web around – it brings it out of its own intestines – and whenever a spider wants to move, it swallows the web again and moves. You carry your heaven and hell just like a spider’s web and wherever you go you will create the pattern around you.
This has to be very deeply understood, as deeply as possible, because many things will depend on it; your whole transformation will depend on it. If you miss this point, you will go on missing.
A man has been coming to me for at least ten years. He starts meditating for a few days, at the most a few weeks, and he feels very good; he feels simply wonderful. When he is doing meditation, he comes to me and says, “Absolutely fine! Nothing else is needed. I am as happy as I have ever been.” Then one day he suddenly stops and disappears for a few months, forgets about me. Again he comes, miserable, sad, in deep anguish, and I again tell him to start meditating. I ask him, “Why did you stop? You were feeling so great, you were feeling so beautiful.”
He says, “When I am feeling beautiful and great something within me always says, ‘Now there is no need to meditate’ and I stop. Then I again fall into the valley, into the darkness, and the misery comes back. And then I again come to you.”
This time when he came I asked him, “How many times has it happened. Can’t you learn something from the experience? In ten years it must have happened at least thirty times.”
He said, “This time I am going to stick at it.”
But I know it is not possible because he has given me this promise many times before. His promise is not reliable; thirty times he has given me the same promise and broken it. And he is not aware at all of what he is doing. The moment he reaches near an explosion, the mind steps back and says, “What is the need? Now you are happy, so why bother about getting up early in the morning, why bother about doing meditation? Now everything is good, it is not needed. When the illness is not there one drops the medicine, so stop!” Again and again and again, and never coming to any understanding through it.
In the Mahabharata, the greatest epic in the world, there is a story, a very beautiful story.

The five Pandavas, the five brothers around whom the whole epic moves, have been thrown out of their kingdom and they are living as fugitives in a forest. One day they are feeling very thirsty, and one of the brothers, the youngest, goes to seek some water. He comes near a beautiful lake, but the moment he steps into the lake to fill his water pot he hears a voice. Some invisible voice says, “Wait! Unless you answer my questions you cannot take the water from this lake. That’s the only condition: you have to answer my three questions. And if you can’t answer them you will fall dead here and now. The first question is: ‘What is the most important thing about man, the most important thing about man?’”
The young Pandava couldn’t answer – he fell down dead.
Then another brother followed and the same thing happened. Then the eldest brother, Yudhisthira, went to the lake in search of water and in search of his brothers to see what had happened to them.
Four brothers were lying there on the bank, and the moment he stepped into the water he heard the same voice. “Answer these questions, otherwise you will also be dead. And if you can answer, not only will you be alive, you can also drink from the lake, and the same water will make your other brothers alive again. Just sprinkle the water on their faces. But first answer my questions. The first question is: ‘What is the most significant factor about man?’”
Yudhisthira said, “The most significant thing about man is that he never learns.”
He was allowed to drink the water and he was allowed to bring his brothers back to life.

In fact, this is one of the most important facts about man: man never learns. You may become very knowledgeable, but you never learn. Knowledge and learning are different. Knowledge is borrowed. It is parrot-like; you cram it, it fills your memory; your brain becomes a computer. Learning is totally different. Learning means learning through experience, never repeating the same mistake, becoming more and more mindful, alert, aware.
And this is the message of this Sufi story. Something in you continuously frustrates you, and unless you catch hold of it and destroy it, whatever you do will be futile. Whatever you do, you will do, and it will be futile. That factor within you which continuously frustrates has to be dropped, has to be destroyed completely, burned.
You must have observed that you continuously commit the same type of mistakes again and again. Maybe it was not a very keen, deep and penetrating observation – in a mist-like state of mind, vague, shadowy, with a smokescreen. But you must have made the observation. What a misfortune. You cannot even invent new mistakes. What an unoriginal, mediocre state of mind. You cannot even think of new mistakes to commit. You go on committing the same mistake. You are like a broken gramophone record that goes on repeating the same line again and again and again. It becomes a transcendental meditation: “Ram, Ram, Ram.” It goes on and on.
Your life is a TM, a broken gramophone record. Have you observed that you go on committing the same mistake? In your relationships, in your love, in your friendships, in your business, you go on committing the same mistake again and again. And you go on hoping that this time things will be different. They never will be because you are the same. How can things be different? You are hoping against hope. But the mind is stupid, it goes on hoping and knows well, deep down, that this is not possible because you will frustrate it.
You fall in love with a woman and everything is so romantic, so poetic. But this is not for the first time that it is happening, it has happened many times. Many times you have fallen in love and many times the world was poetic and romantic. The world became a dream and everything was beautiful – and then everything turned ugly. The same beauty turns ugly. The same dream becomes a nightmare, the same heaven becomes a hell. And it has been so, again and again. But you will fall in love again, and again you will forget, and the same thing will happen. You are a repetition, and unless you stop this repetitiveness there is no possibility of change.
How should one stop this repetitiveness? First, one has to realize that it is there. That is the basic step. One has to realize that this repetitiveness is there. You are working like an automaton, not like a man but just like a mechanism, repeating. Man arises in you only when you are not a machine. Man arises in you when you start moving in fresh ways, when you start moving on new paths, when you start moving into the unknown.
You always move into the known. You do again the same thing that you have already done – and you become more and more skilled in doing it. You become perfectly skilled in committing the same mistakes again and again; you become predictable. No man, if he is really a man, can be predictable. Jyotish, astrology, exists because of your mechanical life, otherwise nobody can predict the next moment. But it can be predicted: out of ten thousand people, nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine people are predictable.
There is a beautiful story…

Buddha became enlightened. He was passing from one village to another and it was hot, summer. He passed by a riverbank. The riverbank was wet, the sand was wet, and he left his footprints on the sand.
By chance it happened that a great astrologer, who had completed his studies in Kashi, the citadel of Indian, Hindu, learning, knowledge, was coming back to his home. He had completed his studies and had become perfect in predictions. When he was coming back he saw the footprints on the sand and he couldn’t believe it because in his scriptures these were the footprints of a great emperor who rules the whole world. “Why should an emperor, a chakravartin, who rules the whole earth, come on such a hot day to such a small poor village? And why should he walk with naked feet on the sand?”
All the symbols were there in the sand, so he thought, “Either my whole science is false… This man seems to be a beggar, but my science says he is the emperor, the greatest emperor in the world, so either my science is false or I will have to find this man. Maybe he is an emperor and by some accident or by chance he has passed through here.” So he followed the footprints.
Buddha was sitting under a tree. The astrologer reached Buddha, and looking at him he was more puzzled than ever. He looked like an emperor, but he was a beggar. His whole being was like an emperor. No emperor had ever been like that. But he was a beggar, in rags.
So he asked, “Please clarify my confusion, as you have confused me. For fifteen years I have been in Kashi, I have wasted fifteen years of my life learning the science of prediction. Now that I have completed it, have been examined, certified, you frustrate me completely. Just tell me if you are a beggar or if you are a chakravartin, a great emperor who rules the whole earth? On your answer my whole life will depend. If you say you are a beggar, I will throw these worthless scriptures that I am carrying into the river and go to my home as I have wasted my whole life unnecessarily. If you are a chakravartin, then tell me.”
Buddha opened his eyes and he said, “Your confusion is natural – but by chance you have come to the man who is one in ten thousand. About nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine, your scriptures will always be right, only about one will your scriptures be false. But you will not come across that one again, so don’t be bothered and don’t throw your scriptures into the river. It is almost impossible to come across this type of man again.”
The astrologer asked, “What is the secret? How did you become unpredictable?”
Buddha said, “By being mindful. I don’t commit the same mistake again; I don’t repeat the same pattern again. I have become a man, I am no longer a machine. You cannot predict me, the next moment is unknown, not only to you but to me also. It is absolutely unknown. It will grow. Nobody knows what will happen.”

A conscious being moves from the known to the unknown. An unconscious being moves from the known to the known. He moves in a circle.
So the first thing to realize is that you are a repetition. It will be very shattering to the ego because you always thought you were very original – you are not. The mind is never original, it is always mediocre because the very structure of the mind is accumulation of the known. The mind cannot know the unknown. The mind can move within the circle of the known. It can go on repeating the same things that it knows, but how can the mind know the unknown? There is no possibility.
To know the unknown the mind has to be dropped. Then suddenly you are amidst the unknown. The whole is unknown. Everything is unknown. Then the whole becomes a beauty. Known is dead, unknown is alive. The ultimate unknown is what religious people call God. By ultimate unknown is meant: whatever you know, it will remain unknown. However much you know, it will remain unknown; it is unknowable. You go on knowing.
So there are three movements. From the known to the known, that is mind; from the known to the unknown, that is consciousness; and from the unknown to the unknown, that is superconsciousness.
Then man becomes a sage. When he moves from the unknown to the unknown a man becomes a god himself. Then he has dropped the mind completely. Then there is no past, and when the past is not there, there is no future. Only this moment, this very moment, exists. Now and here everything culminates. In the herenow the whole exists, in its total beauty and nudity, in its total sacredness and wholeness.
Remember: the mind is repetitive, the mind is unoriginal, the mind is a mechanical thing, a computerlike thing, a biocomputer. One has to go beyond it. If you don’t, the mind will continuously frustrate you. It will give you the same pattern again and again. That’s why Hindus are fed up and they say, “God, when will the moment come when we will be freed from the wheel of life and death?” Why do they call it wheel? It’s because of the repetition: the wheel repeats. The same spoke comes again and again to the top, goes down, comes again to the top. A wheel moves, repeats itself; there is nothing more repetitive than a wheel. That’s why Hindus call the world the wheel. Their word for world is sansar. Sansar means the wheel which goes on moving. And their only urge has been one: how to get rid of this wheel.
This is very symbolic. How to get out of this repetition? How to move into the ever-fresh? How to move into the ever-alive? How to move out of death and out of this life? This life is nothing but a prolonged death, a gradual death. A child is born and the same moment he starts dying. He will be dead within seventy years. Slowly, slowly he will die. He will take seventy years to die. This life is nothing but a gradual death.
The wheel of life and death is what the mind is. The first step is to become aware of it. The second step is to be alert when the mind goes again into a rut. If you can be alert, you have introduced a new phenomenon into it. For example: you are again falling in love. Become alert. Nothing is wrong in falling in love, it is beautiful. Fall in love, but don’t repeat, be alert. Just by being alert you have introduced a new phenomenon which was not there before. And whatever you say to your woman or to your man, say it with full alertness.
It happened…

Mulla Nasruddin fell in love with a woman. And I had continuously been telling him to be alert, so when he said to the woman, “You are the most wonderful, the most beautiful woman in the world,” suddenly he remembered what I had said. So he said, “Wait! Excuse me; this is what I have been saying to many women, and I am not certain that I will not say it again to others after you.”

A new thing has entered. Suddenly he became aware that he has continuously been saying to many women, “You are the most wonderful woman in the world.” And women are very, very faithful. They trust, they simply believe. They know this is not true, but they believe. They are repeating their own frustrations, and the man goes on repeating his mechanism. Otherwise a woman would say, “Wait, no need to go so far! Love is good, but there is no need that a woman should be the most beautiful woman and then only love can exist; otherwise the love will not exist for long. Wait, there is no need to go so far.”
Why not love an ordinary woman? What is wrong in being ordinary and simple and homely? Why create dreams? When you create dreams they are bound to shatter someday because dreams cannot become real. They will frustrate. Then just holding onto those dreams and false promises and words will become too much of a burden on you. Then the same woman will look like a stone around your neck. Don’t do that, why not be natural? Why not simply say “I love you”? What is the use of bringing superlatives to it which will have to be withdrawn sooner or later? And when you withdraw them, everything will come down; the whole palace will fall. You were making it on a false foundation.
The second thing to remember is: whenever you are going to repeat an old habit, give a jerk to yourself, become mindful, and suddenly you will feel a change. You are getting angry again? Give yourself a jerk, slap your face, go to the tap and throw cold water into your eyes. And be mindful, become a little alert and see that you are again repeating the same pattern. The very alertness changes it.
Now physicists say a very surprising thing. They say that when you observe it even matter changes its behavior because in fact matter is also the mind. For example, you are taking a bath in your bathroom and then suddenly you become aware that a child is looking through the keyhole. Do you remain the same or does a change suddenly happen? Suddenly everything has changed. Somebody is near the keyhole and you are a different person. Just a minute before you were making faces in the mirror – now you are not making them. You were humming a song – now the song has stopped. Just a child, or anybody, looking, observing, and a new thing has entered. You are not alone, an observer has entered – and observation is a transformation.
This is not only with man. Now they say it even happens with trees. If you observe a tree, it changes its behavior immediately. When a friend passes nearby, the tree has a welcoming attitude, is happy. It dances a little, it calls to you, “Come nearer.” And there are enemies also: children, animals, the gardener, and they are coming with their clippers – Mukta! The tree is suddenly shocked, shaken to the very foundation, afraid, closed.
What I am saying are scientific findings. These are not poetic imaginations, or philosophers’ doctrines. Now scientists approve these things: even trees have minds. When you observe them with love, they are different. When you observe them indifferently, they are different. When you come to destroy them, they are different. Just by observation you change a tree, its behavior.
Physicists say that electrons change immediately when there is an observer. Electrons! We don’t think they have life, we don’t think they have minds – they have. Within these twenty years of scientific research, religion has been proved absolutely right. The whole is alive, a vast ocean of life and consciousness. Nothing is dead; even a rock is not dead. When an electron changes its orbit, behavior, attitude, what does it show? What tremendous energy is possible through observation.
When you observe your own self a new factor has entered, the greatest factor in life – the factor of observation. Suddenly things change, you cannot repeat the habit. A habit needs unconsciousness to be repeated. Consciousness enters, and the habit falls.
People come to me and they say, “We cannot drop smoking cigarettes,” or “We cannot drop drinking alcohol. What should we do?” I tell them, “Don’t try to drop it. Drink with awareness, smoke with awareness but don’t try to drop it. You have been trying that for years and that effort has also become a habit. Now nothing can be done out of it. Smoke with full consciousness, with meditative awareness. Smoke, and be there. Inhale, take the smoke inside, mindful that the smoke is coming in. Exhale the smoke, mindful that the smoke is going out. One day soon you will find the cigarette has fallen from your fingers, not that you have dropped it, it has fallen.”
With awareness, habits drop. Without awareness if you try to drop the habit it will be almost impossible. The only way to drop with unawareness is to create another habit, a substitute habit: that will do. You can drop cigarettes, then you start chewing gum. You can drop chewing gum, then you start chewing pan. You will do something stupid. It makes no difference whether you smoke or whether you chew gum. You have to do something stupid because you cannot allow your mouth to be relaxed. Deep down in the mouth and in the lips there is a tension, and that tension is creating the habit. You can change one habit for another, but the same pattern will be there. Chewing gum or smoking cigarettes, it makes no difference.
The best way is to suck your thumb which children do. But nobody will feel good… You will feel awkward if you suddenly start chewing and sucking your thumb. Chewing gum, cigarettes, are nothing but substitutes for grown-ups. Children enjoy their thumbs because they are not afraid of the society. When you are grown up, the same need is there somewhere in the mouth – something to be sucked. Maybe your mother didn’t give you as much breast as you wanted; the breast was taken away earlier than was needed. Or your mother was very reluctant to give you her breast. Even if she did give it, she used to give it with deep reluctance. That has remained there, deep down. The lips have not been relaxed. They carry a tension and then they create a habit.
You can change, but this won’t help unless you become aware. If you become aware, you will find a tension in the lips. If you become aware, you will find a constant activity in the mouth; the mouth wants to do something. Women smoke less, particularly in the East because in the West women are less women. Women smoke less because they chatter a lot. That is their substitute. They go on talking – the same activity – they go on talking. Through their lips the tension is released.
I have heard…

There was once a great competition in China: Who can say the most absurd and unbelievable thing? It was a great competition. Liars and deceivers and poets and gossip-makers and news reporters – all sorts of people gathered.
The man who got the prize said a very simple thing. He said, “Once I went to a park and I saw two women sitting silently on one bench – for five minutes!”
The judge said, “This is the most unbelievable thing.”
He got the prize, the first prize.

Something or other will have to be done, unless you become aware. You become aware, then you feel the tension. Don’t do anything. Just be aware of the tension in the mouth, and the very awareness relaxes it. No need to relax even. Once you become aware that there is tension, it is already relaxing because tension can exist only in unconscious darkness. It cannot exist in the light of awareness. So the second thing is to become more and more aware when you are repeating your old patterns.
And the third thing: whenever you find that there is some misery, always look within. The cause is there. Whenever you find you are feeling blissful, look within. The cause is there. If you look out, you will find a false cause which is not really a cause but a projection.
It is just like in a movie house: you sit and on the screen there are pictures. They are projected. The pictures are really behind, at your back; they are in the projector. But the projector is at the back and your eyes are focused on the screen. On the screen there is nothing. The screen is empty – just light and shadow playing, making forms.
You have got your projector inside, of bliss, of misery, of heaven and hell. You have got the Devil and God within you. Whenever you feel that somewhere you see the Devil, look within and you will find him there. Others are only just like screens. They reveal your reality to yourself. They are not the real causes.
Now look at this beautiful anecdote.
El Mahdi Abbassi
– one of the great Sufi masters –
announced that it was verifiable that whether people tried to help a man or not, something in the man could frustrate this aim. Certain people having objected to this theory, El Mahdi promised a demonstration.
It happened in a certain situation.
A man had come, he was very poor, a beggar, much in debt, and El Mahdi could have helped him because even the king used to come to this fakir, this Sufi master. Just a hint from El Mahdi, and the king would have supplied everything that this man needed. That’s why that man came to El Mahdi. And he was crying and weeping, and he was saying, “Help me! Just give a hint to the king and my misery will no longer be there. Otherwise, for my whole life, even if I go on working, I will remain a slave, and then too I will not be able to pay my debts; they are impossible. And I have children, and a wife and relatives, and we are suffering very much. We don’t even have enough to eat, no clothes.”
But El Mahdi said, “It is not possible. I cannot say anything to the king.”
This was the situation.
Certain people having objected to this theory… El Mahdi had said, “Even if this man is helped, the help will not reach him, something in him will frustrate it.” People like El Mahdi look deep; they don’t look at your surface, they look deeper into you. He must have penetrated this man. He must have seen that something in him will make him again and again poorer, poorer and poorer; he will remain poor. “He cannot be helped. The help will not be of any use because he carries something within him which will frustrate it.” So he said that whether people tried to help a man or not, something in the man could frustrate this aim. But certain people, kind-hearted, objected to this theory.
…El Mahdi promised a demonstration. He said, “I will give you a demonstration. Wait!”
When everyone had forgotten the incident, El Mahdi ordered one man to lay a sack of gold in the middle of a bridge. Another man was asked to bring some unfortunate debtor to one end of the bridge and tell him to cross it.
Abbassi and his witnesses stood at the other side of the bridge.
When the man got to the other side, Abbassi asked him: “What did you see in the middle of the bridge?”
A sack of gold had been put there. There was nobody else on the bridge, and the man crossed the bridge. He could have seen the sack of gold. He could have taken it, there was nobody to claim it, but he had not even seen it.
“What did you see in the middle of the bridge?” asked El Mahdi.
“Nothing,” said the man.
“How was that?” asked the master.
The man replied, “As soon as I started to cross the bridge, the thought occurred to me that it might be amusing to cross with my eyes shut. And I did so.”
Such thoughts occur to you also. And you also do so. I have seen many people reaching a point where something was immediately possible, and just then some thought occurs to them – sometimes so absurd you cannot believe why this thought should occur to them – and they immediately change their route, change their mind, and the happening that was going to happen is stopped.
Your mind is a very complex phenomenon. It continuously goes on projecting things. This man was poor, in debt; this gold sack would have been more than enough. But suddenly… He had crossed this bridge many, many times and never before had this thought occurred. Suddenly a thought came into his mind that it would be amusing to cross the bridge with closed eyes. You may also have sometimes walked on the path with closed eyes. Just one day, in the morning, there is nobody around and the thought occurs. When the thought occurs, look around – some sack of gold may be waiting for you!
A man used to come to me, a very, very intelligent man, a Supreme Court advocate. Whenever he promised that now, from tomorrow, he was going to come and start meditation, something or other would happen. The wife would be ill, suddenly there would be a case and he would have to go to New Delhi, or on the morning he was to come he would be feeling so lazy that he would postpone it until tomorrow. It happened many times when he promised: “I am coming, definitely coming for meditation tomorrow,” and something would happen. It continued.
I asked him once, “Have you ever looked back? Whenever you promise, something happens. Is there some inner relationship with the happening? Your child falling ill, your wife not feeling well, you yourself feeling lazy, low energy – is there something related to it? It has happened so many times that it cannot be just a coincidence.”
The man said, “How can it happen? – because I am coming to meditate, not my child, and he doesn’t know, he is not even aware that I am going to meditate, so how can it happen?”
But now, if you ask psychologists they have come to many discoveries. The mind is not individual; it is a collective phenomenon. Your mind and your child’s mind are not two minds, they are one; they meet somewhere. Now psychologists say that children are very, very perceptive because they are innocent. They are so receptive that they can receive the thought of somebody who is near to them. If the father wants to go to the club and the mother doesn’t want to go – of course, she has not said that, even she herself may not be aware that she doesn’t want to go – suddenly the child is ill, feeling nauseous. Now psychologists have stumbled upon the fact that the child is simply showing the unconscious of the mother. If the child is ill, then the mother will not be allowed to go.
By and by, as psychoanalysis penetrates the human mind, they have come to feel that you cannot treat a single person unless you treat the whole family because a single person is not ill; the whole family is ill. The person who is showing illness is just the weakest link, that’s all. If the family has four children, father and mother, six people in all, then the weakest in the family will fall ill; he will become neurotic. The whole family is neurotic, but the others are a little stronger; he is the weakest.
You can treat him. If you take him out of the family he will become okay. But if you send him back to the family he will again become ill. Now it is very difficult: what to do? The family has to be treated. But then things become more and more complex because the family exists in the society, in the community. The whole community must be ill. This family is only the weakest family in the community.
Then things become so vast. The community exists in a nation and the nation exists on this earth. And consciousness exists as an ocean. Then you cannot treat a single person. It becomes very difficult because many others are helping him to be ill.
In India every village has its own idiot, and that idiot helps the whole village to remain sane. In my childhood I stayed in many villages. With my grandparents I was in one village, then with my parents in another village. As I moved from one village to another I was surprised that every village has its own village idiot, has to, because he is the sanity of the whole village. He goes neurotic, he goes mad. He cries and weeps all over the village, runs from here to there and urchins follow him and throw stones at him. That helps the whole village to remain sane. If you remove that idiot, somebody else will immediately become the substitute.
In ancient India the villagers worshipped the idiots. They did well because he was doing such a great service. Idiots were worshipped as saints. They were called paramahansas – great ones who have achieved. It was good in a way because the idiot was serving the whole village. If you felt a little neurotic you could go and play with the idiot, and you could do everything to him; nobody would prevent you.
In India we have a festival: Holi. This Holi festival is just a catharsis for the whole country to throw out all its nonsense. It is good, it cleanses. More of these days are needed because more nonsense is there; one Holi is not enough. In fact, every month a Holi-day is needed so people can throw stones, rubbish at each other, throw colors, dirt, and can use four-letter words. It cleanses.
Remember always that consciousness is a vast oceanic phenomenon. It is in you and outside you. And consciousness is telepathic, it communicates. If you watch it well you will come to know that many times your consciousness throws barriers. Even if you are not throwing them, then somebody else’s unconsciousness throws barriers because you would like somebody else to throw them. The father wants to come to meditate, but deep down he doesn’t want to come. The child telepathically understands it. He is ill in the morning and the father cannot go. Now he has an excuse.
It happened…

A man came to Buddha when Buddha was dying. For thirty years Buddha had passed through his village – eight times in thirty years – and he never came to Buddha. He always postponed and postponed, as people do. You can understand.
There are many people in Pune. When I have left Pune, only then will they become aware that I was here. I was in Jabalpur for many years. When I left Jabalpur, people from Jabalpur started coming to Mumbai to see me, and they would feel very, very miserable that they weren’t aware that I had been there. They told me that the people of Mumbai were very, very fortunate.
I said, “Don’t be worried. When I leave Mumbai, then they will be in the same plight as you are.”
And I left Mumbai. Now they come here from Mumbai. In my audience, there are more people from Mumbai than from Pune. Only when I leave Pune, will I be in Pune. Never before.
Buddha passed through the same village eight times in thirty years. He remained in the village – once he remained there for four months, the whole rainy season – and the man couldn’t find time. Busybodies, busy without any business. He had a small shop to run and a small family to maintain, and always there was something or other: a guest came, or by the time he was closing the shop suddenly a customer came and he was so poor he could not afford to let the customer go to somebody else, so he had to open the shop again and by that time the sermon was finished. This happened for thirty years, many times something or other.
Then the day he heard that Buddha was dying he ran. He closed the shop and he ran outside the town to where Buddha was. There he started crying and weeping because Buddha had taken leave, he had said the last goodbye to his people. He had asked his disciples thrice, “Have you something to ask?” They were crying and weeping, and nobody asked. There was no need. For forty years he had answered everything they asked. They were filled with so much emotion and pain because Buddha was leaving.
They said, “No, we have nothing to ask. You have given everything to us.” Thrice he asked, then he retired behind a tree. He closed his eyes, and he started dying. A man such as Buddha doesn’t die like you; he dies voluntarily, he leaves the body. You are forced to leave the body. He started dying slowly; he left the body, shrank inside; he left the mind, shrank more inside.
At that moment the man came and he said, “No, don’t prevent me. Let me go to Buddha.”
Ananda said, “I know you. We have continuously passed through your village for thirty years, many, many times, at least eight times. Buddha has talked in your town – where were you then?”
He said, “What can I do? Sometimes my child was ill, sometimes my wife was pregnant, sometimes a customer came, and sometimes guests suddenly came. I couldn’t come. But now that I have come, don’t prevent me.”
Ananda, Buddha’s disciple, said, “Now it is too late. We cannot ask him to come back. He is already moving in.”
But listening to this Buddha came back. He came back to the body and said, “Ananda, don’t prevent him because otherwise it will always remain as a black dot on my compassion that I was still alive and a man knocked at the door. I was still alive and I couldn’t help him.”
Buddha is right in his compassion, and El Mahdi is also right. You cannot help a man against himself. Something in him will frustrate it.
Buddha asked him, “What do you need? What are your questions? What’s your search?”
The man asked many questions and Buddha helped him. But nobody has ever heard about that man and what happened.

He never became enlightened. He went back to the shop, to the same customers and the child and the wife and the same town. He became a little more knowledgeable, that’s all. Buddha’s compassion was not of much help. It was good that Buddha was compassionate, but you cannot help a man against himself – something in him will frustrate it. He was very happy that Buddha answered his questions, but that’s all. He could have gathered that knowledge from the scriptures or the disciples. Even such a great compassion, such a great blessing, was frustrated. He remained the same.
You can bypass a buddha. Something in you will frustrate. Remember this: The man replied, “As soon as I started to cross the bridge, the thought occurred to me that it might be amusing to cross with my eyes shut. And I did so.” Remember it and never do so.
You are here with me: much is possible. All that is possible, is possible. Just be watchful for something within that can frustrate it, and sometimes for such trivia that you yourself will laugh, and for trivia you can miss the opportunity. You know because you are in the same plight. Very small things.
You ask for an appointment today but it is not given for today, it is given for tomorrow. You feel so angry you can leave me. But what are you doing? And for what? It’s as if you were just finding an excuse to leave. And I know when you should see me better than you know. Whenever you are negative you want to see me immediately. And that is not the right moment because when you are negative you can get, at the most, my sympathy. When you are positive only then can you get my love because to a negative mind love cannot be given. A negative mind will not receive, and you always come when you are negative.
When you are feeling sad and depressed and low, immediately you seek me. When you are feeling high you forget me. When you are feeling good and happy, who needs me then? There is no question. Remember this: if I delay appointments, that is just because I know the depression will not remain forever. This is today; tomorrow it will not be there. Nobody can be depressed forever. Things come and go, moods come and pass, and I would like you to come to me only when you are positive; then something can be given to you.
This is the difference between religion and psychiatric treatment. You go to a psychiatrist when you are negative, ill, when you are not in the right shape. You go to the doctor when you are ill. He will bring you back to health. You go to a religious man when you are healthy so that he can give you greater health. You go to a religious man when you are absolutely positive, feeling happy and blissful. Now he can lead you to the higher realms.
Come to me not just for health but for more health than ordinary health. Come not just to be happy but to be blissful; not just for health but for being whole. And small things can frustrate.
A sannyasin came to me just a few days ago and she said she wants to leave. I asked, “What has happened?”
She said, “A beggar wanted to see you and he has been refused at the door. I cannot be here. Why has that beggar been refused?”
Now she is ready to leave. Is her leaving me going to help the beggar in any way? Or who is she to decide who should be allowed and who should not be allowed? It is for me to decide. A beggar comes to beg small things; those things he can get anywhere. I allow only great beggars to visit me who have come to ask for godliness – not less than that. But who are you to decide about these things? And you get angry, and in anger you can leave. The beggar will remain a beggar; he won’t be helped by your leaving me. But something in you has tried to deceive you, and something will frustrate you continuously everywhere, wherever you go. That something in you will always find excuses.
Always remember you are here for yourself, for nobody else. That is none of your concern. It is for me to decide who is to be allowed and when, and who is to be rejected and when. Sometimes it is needed that a man should be rejected; sometimes it is needed that a man should be rejected many times. But in your state of mind you cannot understand that. No need. But don’t find excuses; those excuses will be suicidal for you.
Enough for today.

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