Vedanta Seven Steps to Samadhi 15

Fifteenth Discourse from the series of 17 discourses - Vedanta Seven Steps to Samadhi by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on

I feel lost in you without reason or direction. Questions and desires fall in confusion before you. Overpowered by senseless faith and love, listlessly I wait, feeling like a fool. Are there differences between blind faith, love and surrender?
There is a state when you certainly feel like a fool, but this is the beginning of wisdom. Only fools think they are wise, and those who are wise become wise when they start thinking that they are fools. The moment you can feel that you are a fool wisdom has dawned upon you. Now you will change, now there will be transformation, now the possibilities open infinitely…because this is part of the foolish mind – not to realize the foolishness. And this is the beginning of a wise mind – to realize one’s ignorance, foolishness.
So this is good news that you realize that you are a fool, this is something worth attaining. The ego cannot exist now. The ego always exists with knowledgeability, one goes on feeling one knows without knowing.
It is reported that the oracle of Delphi declared Socrates the wisest man on the earth. So a few people, disciples of Socrates, came to him and said, “Socrates, be happy. The oracle has declared that you are the wisest man on the earth.”
Socrates laughed and said, “Go back. There must have been some mistake. How can I be the wisest man? – because I know only one thing, that I don’t know anything, I am ignorant. So there has been some mistake. You go back and tell the oracle.”
They went back to the oracle and said, “Socrates himself has denied it, so there must be something erroneous. He says he is not wise, he says he realizes only one thing – that he is absolutely ignorant, he knows nothing. He claims only this much knowledge, that he knows nothing.”
The oracle said, “That’s why I have declared that he is the wisest man, that is the reason – because only the wisest can say that he does not know anything.”
Fools always claim knowledge. Only then, only there through their claim, can they hide their stupidity. So be happy if you feel that you are a fool and you can see your foolishness. The one who can see his foolishness has become separate from it; now foolishness exists apart. It is there but you are separate; you can witness it, you are not identified with it now. Consciously alert, everybody will see that he is a fool.
Secondly, there is no difference between blind faith, love and surrender – be-cause all differences belong to the intellect, all distinctions belong to the intellect. The heart knows no distinctions. Whether you call it blind faith or you call it surrender or you call it love depends on your intellect. The heart doesn’t know any distinction, the heart knows only the feelings – the feeling is the same.
When do you call a faith blind? When? When the intellect says that this faith is wrong then the intellect calls it blind. When the intellect feels that some faith is justified by reason, then the intellect says that this faith is right. But does faith need any justification from reason? Is reason in any way the authority to know what is right and what is wrong in the world of feeling?
Always rationalists have said that the believers are blind – always. But have you known any believer who was not blind? People who were following Jesus were blind – everybody condemned them. Those who were following Buddha were blind, rationalists condemned them. Rationalists have always been saying that faith is blind. This is just a trick of logic to say that that faith is right which is not blind – but there is no such faith.
The very word faith means that where there are no grounds to believe, you believe. If there are grounds then there is no need for faith. For example, you don’t believe that the earth exists. Is it not a fact? There is no need for faith. The earth exists: this is a fact, justified, rational; faith is not needed. Faith comes only when the reason cannot justify but the heart feels it. And reason is not the totality, reason is not the total life and existence. There are things which go beyond reason, which reason cannot comprehend but which the heart feels.
There are only two ways: either you deny the heart or you deny reason. When reason and heart are in conflict, these are the two alternatives: either you follow reason and say to the heart that it is blind, and unless something is justified, proved, you are not going to believe…. But do you know, whenever something is rationalized, proved, there is no need to believe.
Marx, the founder of communism, used to say, “I will not believe in God unless God is proved in a scientific laboratory.” But he knew it well, so he added, “Don’t try to prove God in a scientific way, because once you prove God in a scientific way, in a scientific laboratory, there will be no need to believe.” Do you believe in chemistry or physics? There is no need. Only the unproved needs faith; the heart feels that it is there but reason cannot prove it.
I have loved very few sentences in my life – very few, rare, they can be counted on one’s fingers. One of these few sentences is one from Tertullian, one Christian mystic. He said, “I believe in God because God is absurd, because God cannot be believed, is impossible to prove. That’s why I believe.”…Because if it is possible to prove there is no need to believe, then there are facts. The heart can feel and lead you. The reason will say heart is blind because reason thinks that only he has eyes, but the heart has its own eyes. When you love a person, love is always blind. Have you seen any love with eyes? A person who goes on following reason will never be in love.
It happened to Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest German thinkers. He was a complete rationalist. One woman loved Immanuel Kant and proposed marriage to him. He said, “Wait, because first I will have to think pro and con – whether marriage can lead to happiness or not. And unless I decide rationally I cannot take any step.”
So he thought and thought and brooded and contemplated, and he wrote at least one thousand pages for and against. And then he concluded that both the sides seemed to be almost equal, and a decision was difficult. So he went to find the woman to tell her that a decision was difficult and she would have to wait a little longer, but when he went there he found that she was already married and the mother of three children. Immanuel Kant remained unmarried; such a man cannot be in love. And this is the rationalist mind, one of the keenest minds – logical, logical to the very extreme – but if you start deciding with the mind, love cannot happen.
To reason, love is blind and for the heart, reason is foolish. For the heart reason is foolish, stupid; it may be useful as far as the market is concerned, but is not useful as far as life is concerned. So those who live in reason live in the market and all that transcends the market, is greater than the market, is beyond them. They never realize it, they never have a glimpse; that rainbow never arises in their lives, it goes beyond. They live in the mundane, the trivial. No poetry ever happens to them, no singing ever descends in their hearts, no dance is possible for them – ecstasy is not for them.
So it doesn’t matter what you call it – blind faith, love or surrender – call it whatsoever you like. Remember only one thing: it should arise from your feeling, and it cannot arise from your mind. And don’t force your mind to be the leader, don’t force reason to be the leader, because through mind you may be-come more powerful but you will be less happy. Through mind you may attain much wealth but you will remain poor within. Through mind you may rule thousands of people but you will not be a master like Buddha or Jesus – inside you will remain a slave.
This has to be chosen: if you want more power, more money, more prestige, follow reason; if you want more happiness, more bliss, more silence, more peace, more God, more ecstasy, then don’t listen to reason, follow the heart. They are two different dimensions and don’t try to confuse them. Decide well, and then follow one path. Can you be satisfied just by reason? Can only logic make you happy? Logic is simply dead, dry; one cannot live by logic alone. As Jesus says one cannot live by bread alone, I say one cannot live by logic alone. But you can try, and in that effort you will lose all that is life, all that is of worth, and all that can be felt as a blessing and beatitude.
“Overpowered by senseless faith and love, listlessly I wait.” Nothing else can be done but there is no need to wait listlessly – you can wait ecstatically. This listlessness will come because reason goes on interfering. Reason goes on saying, “What foolishness are you doing? What are you doing here? Why are you waiting and wasting time?” That reason creates the listlessness, otherwise waiting can become a joy. The most joyous thing possible is waiting – hope throbbing, heart beating for the unknown, and you wait in silence with infinite patience.
If you can wait with joy there will not be much need to wait for long, if you cannot wait with joy you may have to wait for many lives – because the divine can happen to you only when your waiting is ecstatic, filled with joy. Just look at a woman waiting for her lover: she has faith, she has ecstasy – the eyes and the infinite patience and the happiness. Wait like a lover, only then is your waiting meaningful. Don’t wait listlessly, because if you are so listless your lover may come but will not find you worthy to be with. Only your joy can become the invitation. Wait blissfully, ecstatically, and then I say to you that you will not need more waiting. There will be no need, it can happen this very moment.
If your joy is total this very moment there is no need to wait. The divine will descend in you – you have fulfilled the condition. And this I call the condition: waiting with infinite patience, but ecstatically. This is the condition. Fulfill this and a single moment will not be lost.
It is said in old Egyptian books that whenever the disciple is ready the master appears. Whenever, wherever the disciple is ready the master appears. There is no need for the disciple to seek the master, it is always the master who seeks the disciple. Even if you go to the master, it is always the master who seeks you, who finds you.
The same is true for the divine happening: whenever you are ready it happens – God seeks you. He has always been seeking you. He has been following you, he has been waiting for you. Whenever you are ready the seed will sprout, the bud will become the flower. But getting ready means waiting – waiting is the only prayer you can do. But if you don’t believe you cannot wait. Only faith can wait. Reason always insists on things happening immediately. Heart can wait, there is no urgency for the heart.
Try to understand this: time exists only for reason. For the heart there is no time, heart exists in timelessness. Only for reason is there time. So mind goes on insisting on haste, hurry, urgency, and mind is always tense. Time is going, flowing, life is becoming less and less every moment. Things should happen instantly – that is the insistence of reason. But the heart knows no time, there are no clocks for the heart. Heart exists timelessly, that’s why the heart can wait – the heart can wait infinitely.
If you love, if you have faith, if you trust, then there is no hurry, and then there is no need to wait listlessly. Why not dance while waiting? Why waste this time in listlessness? Why not dance? It will be better when your lover comes if your lover finds you dancing. It will be a good meeting, it will be the right moment.

The second question:
If even fifty percent of all persons should become enlightened, does it mean that fifty percent will have to immediately become idiots? The polar opposite theory doesn't seem to give much hope to more than five percent.
You misunderstood – but that is always more possible than to understand. Your mind moves immediately to the wrong conclusion, and you cannot help it, that’s how you have trained your mind. In all these talks I have been telling you that enlightenment means going beyond the polar opposites. So there is no state against enlightenment, it means transcending the division. We have been saying again and again that mind is enlightened only when it transcends division.
If fifty percent of persons are intelligent, then fifty percent will be foolish; if five percent are geniuses, then five percent will be idiots. But a genius is not enlightened – he is as unenlightened as the idiot, there is no difference. He may be an Einstein, he may have won Nobel prizes, but that doesn’t make any difference. Just by winning a Nobel prize you don’t become enlightened. A genius is as far away from enlightenment as an idiot. An idiot can also jump into enlightenment just as a genius can jump into it.
Intelligence and stupidity are polar opposites. To enlightenment there is no polar opposite – it is transcendence of both. So there exists no state which is against enlightenment. Have you ever heard of anyone who is just the polar opposite to Buddha or Jesus? There is no one. The whole Vedanta, the whole of Upanishads’ teaching, the very doctrine is this: that when you transcend duality you attain a totally new dimension, nothing exists against it.
In Sanskrit we have three terms: dukkha which means pain, suffering, misery; sukkha which means happiness, pleasure, joy; and ananda which can be translated as bliss. Happiness is against misery, they are polar opposites. Bliss is not against anything, there is no state which is against bliss. If you are happy you will become miserable, if you are miserable you will become happy. You can move, this duality is there. But if you are blissful you cannot move anywhere – duality has disappeared. Against ananda, against bliss, there exists no state.
Enlightenment is not against ignorance, it is against ignorance and knowledge both. It is beyond, not against. So a person who knows more is not enlightened, and a person who knows less is not unenlightened because he knows less. Wherever you are you can take the jump into enlightenment. So sometimes very uneducated people have also jumped, not very intelligent people have also jumped. The jump is needed.
And sometimes it happens that a person who is not educated much is more courageous and can take the jump more easily than a person who knows too much. Just because he knows too much he becomes too afraid of taking risks, because he is so clever he becomes cunning also – cleverness creates cunningness. He becomes calculative, and on the path of the divine you cannot calculate. Only gamblers, only those who can jump without calculating, only those who can take risks, only they can enter.
So this question is just through your misunderstanding. In the world balance exists, but when you transcend the world you also transcend this polar balance. You go beyond the two, you become one.

The third question:
Does laughter belong to every stage?
This is worth considering, significant. The first thing to understand is that, except man, no animal is capable of laughter. Laughter shows a very high peak. If you go out on a street and you see a buffalo laughing you will be scared to death, and if you report it nobody is going to believe that it happened. It is impossible.
Why can’t animals laugh? Why can’t trees laugh? There is a very deep causality to the laughter; only that animal can laugh which can get bored. Animals and trees are not bored. Boredom and laughter – this is the polar duality, these are the polar opposites. Man is the only animal who is bored; boredom is the symbol of humanity. Look at dogs and cats – they are never bored. Man seems to be deep in boredom. Why are they not bored? Why does only man suffer boredom? And the higher your intelligence the more you will be bored, a lower intelligence is not bored so much. That’s why primitives are more happy.
You will find more happy people in a primitive society than in a civilized society; even a Bertrand Russell becomes jealous. When Bertrand Russell for the first time came in contact with some primitive tribes he started feeling jealous because they were so happy – not bored at all. Life was a blessing. They were poor, starved, almost naked; in every way they had nothing, but they were not bored with life. In Bombay, in New York, in London, everybody is bored – more intelligent, more civilized, more boredom.
So the secret can be understood: the more you can think, the more you will be bored, because through thinking you can compare – past, future, present. Through thinking you can hope, through thinking you can ask, “What is the meaning of it?” And the moment a person asks, “What is the meaning of it?” boredom will enter, because really there is no meaning in anything. If you ask the question, “What is the meaning of it?” you will feel meaninglessness. And when meaninglessness is felt you will be bored. Animals are not bored, trees are not bored, rocks are not bored. They never ask, “What is the meaning of life, what is the purpose of life?” They never ask so they never feel it is meaningless. As they are they accept it, as life is it is accepted. There is no boredom.
Man feels bored, laughter is the antidote. You cannot live without laughter, because you can kill your boredom only through laughter. You cannot find a single joke in primitive societies, they don’t have any jokes. Jews have the largest number of jokes, they are the most highly bored people on the earth. But they must be so, because they win more Nobel prizes than any other community. The whole last century almost all the great names are Jews: Freud, Einstein, Marx – Jews. And look at the list of Nobel prizewinners – almost half the Nobel prizes go to the Jews. They have the largest number of jokes.
And this may be the reason why all over the world Jews are hated – because everybody feels jealous of them. Wherever they are they will always win any type of competition, so everybody feels jealous of them, the whole world is united against them, feels hate for them. When you cannot compete with someone hate is the result. And they have the most beautiful jokes on the earth. Why? They must be feeling very bored; they have to create jokes – a joke is the antidote to feeling bored. Laughter is needed to exist, otherwise you will commit suicide.
Now try to understand the mechanism of laughter, how it happens. If I tell a joke, why do you laugh? What happens? What is the inner mechanism? If I tell a joke, expectation is created, you start expecting. Your mind starts searching for what the end is going to be, and you cannot conceive the end. A joke moves in two dimensions: first it moves in a logical dimension, you can conceive it. If the joke goes on being logical to the very end there will be no laughter. Suddenly the joke takes a turn and becomes illogical, something which you could not conceive. And when the joke takes a turn and the result becomes illogical, the expectation, the tension that was created in you, suddenly explodes. You relax, laughter comes out of you.
Laughter is a relaxation, but a tension is needed. A story creates expectation, tension. You start feeling that now the crescendo, now the crescendo will come, something is going to happen. Your backbone is straight like a yogi, you have no more thoughts in the mind; the whole being is just waiting, all the energy moving towards the conclusion. And all that you could conceive is not going to happen.
Suddenly something happens which the mind could not conceive; something absurd happens, something illogical, irrational. The end is such a turn that it was impossible for logic to think about it. You explode. The whole energy that has become a pillar inside suddenly relaxes. Laughter comes out of you through this relaxation. Man is bored, hence he needs laughter. The more bored he is, the more and more laughter he will need, otherwise he cannot exist.
Thirdly, it has also to be understood about laughter that it is of three types. One, when you laugh at someone. This is the meanest, the lowliest, very ordinary and vulgar – when you laugh at somebody else’s cost. This is violent, aggressive, insulting. Deep down there is a revenge.
Secondly, when you laugh at yourself. This is worth achieving, this is cultured, and the man who can laugh at himself is valuable. He has risen above vulgarity, he has risen above low instincts – hatred, aggression, violence.
And thirdly, the highest laughter, which is not about anybody – neither the other nor oneself. The third is just cosmic, you laugh at the whole situation as it is. The whole situation as it is, is absurd – no purpose in the future, no beginning in the beginning. The whole situation of existence is such that if you can see the whole – such a great vastness, an infinite vastness, moving to no fixed purpose, moving to no goal; so much going on without leading anywhere; nobody in the past to create it, nobody in the end to finish it; a whole cosmos, and moving so beautifully, so systematically, so rationally – if you can see this whole cosmos, then a laughter arises.

I have heard about three monks. No name is mentioned, because they never told their names to anybody, they never answered anything. So in China they are only known simply as “the three laughing monks.”
They did only one thing: they would enter a village, stand in the marketplace, and start laughing. Suddenly people would become aware and they would laugh with their whole being. Then others would also get the infection, and then a crowd would gather, and just looking at them the whole crowd would start laughing. What is happening? Then the whole town would get involved, and they would move to another town. They were loved very much. That was their only sermon, the only message – that laugh. And they would not teach, they would simply create the situation.
Then it happened they became famous all over the country – the three laughing monks. The whole of China loved them, respected them. Nobody had preached that way – that life must be just a laughter and nothing else. And they were not laughing at anybody in particular, but simply laughing as if they had understood the cosmic joke. They spread so much joy all over China without using a single word. People would ask their names but they would simply laugh, so that became their name, the three laughing monks.
Then they became old, and in one village one of the three monks died. The whole village was very expectant, filled with expectations, because now at least when one of them had died they must weep. This would be something worth seeing, because no one could even conceive of these people weeping.
The whole village gathered. The two monks were standing by the side of the corpse of the third and laughing such a belly laugh. So the villagers asked, “At least explain this!”
So for the first time they spoke, and they said, “We are laughing because this man has won. We were always wondering who would die first, and this man has defeated us. We are laughing at our defeat, at his victory. He lived with us for many years, and we laughed together and we enjoyed each other’s togetherness, presence. There can be no other way of giving him the last send-off, we can only laugh.”
The whole village was sad, but when the dead monk’s body was put on the funeral pyre, then the village realized that not only were these two joking – the third who was dead was also laughing…because the third man who was dead had told his companions, “Don’t change my dress!” It was conventional that when a man died they changed the dress and gave a bath to the body, so he had said, “Don’t give me a bath because I have never been unclean. So much laughter has been in my life that no impurity can accumulate near me, can even come to me. I have not gathered any dust, laughter is always young and fresh. So don’t give me a bath and don’t change my clothes.”
So just to pay him respect they had not changed his clothes. And when the body was put on the fire, suddenly they became aware that he had hidden many things under his clothes and those things started…Chinese fireworks! So the whole village laughed, and those two said, “You rascal! You have died, but again you have defeated us. Your laughter is the last.”

There is a cosmic laughter when the whole joke of this cosmos is understood. That is the highest, only a buddha can laugh like that. These three monks must have been three buddhas. But if you can laugh the second, that too is worth trying. Avoid the first – don’t laugh at anyone’s cost, that is ugly and violent. If you want to laugh, laugh at yourself.
That’s why Mulla Nasruddin in every one of his jokes and stories always proves himself the stupid man in it, never anybody else. He always laughs at himself and allows you to laugh at him. He never puts anybody else in the situation of being foolish. Sufis say that Mulla Nasruddin is the wise fool. Learn at least that much – the second laughter.
If you can learn the second, the third will not be far ahead, soon you will reach the third. Leave the first laughter, that is degrading. But almost ninety-nine percent of the time you laugh the first one. Much courage is needed to laugh at oneself, much confidence is needed to laugh at oneself. For the spiritual seeker, even laughter should become a part of sadhana. Remember not to laugh the first laughter, remember to laugh the second – and remember to reach the third.

The fourth question:
Can there be moments of effortlessness while a seeker is engaged in the first three stages? Is effort completely lacking in the second four stages? Does there come a point at which both effort and effortlessness must cease?
First, there can be moments of effortlessness even while making effort. If you are total in your effort there will be glimpses of effortlessness. Suddenly effort will have disappeared for a moment, there will be a gap. If you are aware and look deep in the gap you will see. Just doing meditation here, I feel many of you achieve for a single moment effortlessness. You may not be aware, but try to be aware. While doing, a moment comes when you feel you are not doing it – as if it is happening.
You may have started it as a doing. When you start taking deep, fast chaotic breaths, of course, it is a fact that you start it. But have you observed that sometimes the breathing takes you, the mastery has changed? Now the breathing is going by itself, it has taken over. When you start the second stage, in the beginning there is effort to allow madness; even sometimes to imitate, to force, to do something because everybody else is doing. But you can watch: a moment comes to many, to at least ninety percent of people here, when the madness has taken over. You are not doing it, rather it is doing you. You are not the doer, it is moving by itself – then it is effortless. And when it is moving by itself it is beautiful, only then is the catharsis happening. When you are doing it is not catharsis, you are only starting it. When the madness has taken over and is on its own and the movement is going automatically, then it is catharsis – now the repressed energies are working. You may have started laughter in catharsis. Then a point comes when you feel that laughter is going by itself. You can watch it, it will continue. No need to do it, it is happening.
Sometimes fear grips at that moment, because then you feel you have gone insane. Up to that moment you are making effort, you are the master and you are not afraid. You know that you can stop it, you know that it is within your control, you are doing it. Fear enters whenever you feel that it has become automatic. You get scared, because now you see it may not stop, it may continue. Then what are you going to do? And if you become afraid you again start doing. And that’s why you cannot watch effortless moments.
There is one day left (of the meditation camp); watch and don’t get afraid, because that is the right moment – when the catharsis is starting to happen, when you become scared. When things are coming out, immediately you close yourself and make all efforts again to do something. With the doing the mind is at ease; with the happening the mind is afraid, and effortlessness will mean happening. But don’t be afraid, because any happening can be stopped – if you have started it, it can be stopped. So don’t get afraid.
That’s why my insistence that when I say “Stop!” stop completely – because if you cannot stop when I say stop it can be dangerous. I don’t want you to be-come mad, rather I want you to become saner through throwing madness out. You must remain in control. But don’t try, there is no need. If you have started it, this is the law: if you have started, you are deep inside in control. Don’t get scared, allow it to happen. Any moment it can be stopped.
That’s why after the third stage I always insist that when I say stop, when you hear the word stop, you stop, because that will make you the master and you will remain the master. Even while catharsis is happening you know that at any time you can push the button off. Once you become aware that the button can be put on and off you will never be afraid.
Madness is there within everyone and the more you hide it the more you are vulnerable, the more you can go mad any moment. And if you go mad then you will not be the master. If you never started it then you cannot stop it. You can only stop that which you have started. If you have not started it you cannot stop it.
So don’t go on suppressing, because a quantity can be tolerated but there comes a moment when the quantity reaches the climax, the evaporating point –one hundred degrees. Then you start boiling and evaporating. Many persons who were just like you a day before are in madhouses now. You can be there any day. If you don’t allow catharsis you are all prone to go mad, because civilization is such, the situation is such, that everybody accumulates madness. You have to throw it every day to remain clean and pure, to retain the clarity of mind and vision.
But if you know the law that if you start a thing you can stop it, then you can start anything and you can stop. Be the master in the starting, you will be the master in the end also. But if a thing starts by itself then you cannot stop it, then you don’t know where the button is to turn on and off.
And secondly, “Is effort completely lacking in the second four stages?”
Yes. In the first three effort is there, in the last four there is no effort. And if you make effort you will not grow in them. As without effort you will not grow in the first three, with effort you will not grow in the last four. Effort is helpful in the first three, effort is a hindrance in the last four. So one has to learn effort and then one has to learn to drop effort, because there are things for which effort cannot be made.
For example, you sow some seeds, some flower seeds; effort is needed because the seeds are to be sown. You choose the soil, you give water, sunrays, fertilizers; you arrange everything, you do everything. Effort is needed. But then the seeds sprout, you need not pull them to make them grow faster. You need not pull them, if you pull them they will die. Effort is not needed.
And when buds come to your plant, don’t try to open them and make them flower. You will kill the whole thing. And if you open unripe buds those flowers will be ugly, there will be no fragrance and they will look artificial. You can do everything to help the plant but you need not make any positive effort to open the flowers. They will open by themselves. And when they open by themselves they will be ripe, they will be ready to express themselves. Their fragrance, their beauty, their ecstasy will come out.
The same is the case in spiritual discipline. The first three stages are just to make the ground ready – seeds sown, every condition prepared – and the four end ones are just the flowering stages, they come by themselves. Don’t interfere with them by your effort, and don’t do anything positively. You simply wait and you will see that your inner consciousness is growing every moment.
And thirdly, “Does there come a point at which both effort and effortlessness must cease?”
Yes. Effort is positive, effortlessness is negative. The first three stages are effort, the second three stages are effortless, and the seventh, the last, is neither. It is neither effort nor effortless, it is neither positive nor negative – it is the transcendence. The seventh is the transcendence. We will try to understand that tomorrow morning. The seventh is the transcendence. Nothing is needed – neither effort nor awareness not to make effort. Both have to be dropped.

The last question:
What is moment-to-moment understanding in relationship?
A difficult question – because unless you learn to live moment to moment you cannot understand it. As we live, we live out of the past. If someone insults you, you immediately react. That reaction comes from your past experiences. It is not from you, it is from the chain of your experiences.
If someone is loving towards you, you become loving – that loving may be from the past experiences. So living moment to moment and understanding moment to moment in relationship comes only if you become aware of the past chain and don’t allow it to function. And always respond in the present, not through the past.
For example, someone insults you. Many people have insulted you in the past; there has come a wound in your heart, through all the insults a wound is created. This insult will also hit the wound, and then you will react. That reaction will not be justified because this man is not creating the wound. And if the wound is touched, the pain is not created by his insult really. It has been created by many insults and the reaction is accumulated; it is not justified.
That’s why it happens that if you react the other always feels, “Why are you reacting so much? I have not said anything.” You also know it: you are not aware that you have said something to someone which has become a hurt in him and he reacts. And you say, “You have misunderstood me, because I have not said anything to insult you. Why are you reacting? Are you mad?” But you don’t know. He has a wound, and when you hit the wound the whole pain comes towards you. The wound may have been created by many people – unknown, known, not remembered – but the whole wound is poured on this person. This is not justified.
So what will it be to respond immediately? It will be first to put aside the past. Look at this man with alertness so that the past doesn’t cloud you. Look at whatsoever he has said, dissect it, analyze it, in the light of the present. And it will be better if you can wait a little and meditate on it.

It happened once, one woman wrote a letter to an American author, Dale Carnegie. Dale Carnegie had delivered a lecture on the radio on Abraham Lincoln, and he had mentioned many wrong dates in it. The woman was a lover of Abraham Lincoln, so she wrote a very angry letter saying, “If you don’t know the ABC of Abraham Lincoln’s life you should not go on the radio. And this is insulting. If you are not well informed, then first get informed and then start lecturing.”
Dale Carnegie was a man of fame, had written many bestsellers; he got offended, he was very angry. So he wrote a letter immediately in the same tone, the same anger, the same irritation. But it was late and the servant had gone, so he left the letter on the table. In the morning he would post it.
In the morning, when he was putting it in the envelope, he just looked once more at it. He felt, “This is too much. The woman has not written like this, she doesn’t deserve so much anger from me.” And in a way he felt she was right also. So he tore up the letter and wrote another which was totally different. There was no anger, no irritation in it, rather the attitude of thanking her for making him aware of some mistakes and he felt obliged. But then he thought, “If in twelve hours so much can change, there is no hurry. I can wait for a few more days.”
So he tried one experiment. He left the letter again on the table. By the evening he again read it and he wanted to change a few words again. For seven days he continued, and on the seventh day it became a love letter. And Dale Carnegie relates that that woman proved one of the best friends that he had ever had in his life. What would have happened if the servant had not gone and the letter had been posted? He would have created an enemy.

When Gurdjieff’s father was dying he told Gurdjieff, “Only one message I give to you – and remember it!” Gurdjieff was very small, just nine years of age, and the father said, “I am not rich so I have nothing to give to you, only one advice which my father gave to me when he was dying. And this is the message: that if you get angry, don’t answer immediately, wait twenty-four hours. Then do whatsoever you like. Even if you want to kill the man, go and kill – but after twenty-four hours.”
And Gurdjieff says, “In my whole life anger has not created any problem for me, because I have to wait twenty-four hours and then the whole thing seems foolish. And sometimes even the person who created anger seems to be right, so I go and thank him. Through anger I have not created a single enemy, and through anger there has been no complexity in my life.”
So alertness is needed in moment-to-moment relationship. Alertness is needed. Be alert! Don’t allow your past to come in between you and the person to whom you are relating. It will take time to become aware because the past is so swift, it enters so immediately, there is no time gap. Somebody says something and the past has entered, you have interpreted through the past. So move a little slowly. Look at the person, wait, absorb whatsoever has happened to you, meditate, and then respond in the present. Once you become efficient, once you know this key, you have one of the keys which can allow you to enter into the mystery, into the mysteries of other persons.
Every person is carrying such a mysterious being but the being is closed to you. Every person can become the door for the divine, any ordinary person is extraordinary. Just behind the surface the mysterious is hidden, but you need a key to open it. And that key is moment-to-moment alert response. Not reaction – response. Reaction is always dead; you do something because he has done something. Response is totally different.
I will tell you one anecdote.

Buddha was passing through a village. The people of that village were against him, against his philosophy, so they gathered around him to insult him. They used ugly words, vulgar words. Buddha listened. Ananda, Buddha’s disciple who was with him, got very angry, but he couldn’t say anything because Buddha was listening so silently, so patiently, rather as if he was enjoying the whole thing. Then even the crowd became a little frustrated because he was not getting irritated and it seemed he was enjoying.
Buddha said, “Now, if you are finished, I should move – because I have to reach the other village soon. They must be waiting just as you were waiting for me. If you have not told me all the things that you thought to tell me, I will be coming back within a few days, then you can finish it.”
Somebody from the crowd said, “But we have been insulting you, we have insulted you. Won’t you react? Won’t you say something?”
Buddha said, “That is difficult. If you want reaction from me, then you are too late. You should have come at least ten years ago, because then I used to react. But I am now no longer so foolish. I see that you are angry, that’s why you are insulting me. I see your anger, the fire burning in your mind. I feel compassion for you. This is my response – I feel compassion for you. Unnecessarily you are troubled.
“Even if I am wrong, why should you get so irritated? That is not your business. If I am wrong I am going to hell, you will not go with me. If I am wrong I will suffer for it, you will not suffer for it. But it seems you love me so much and you think about me and consider me so much that you are so angry, irritated. You have left your work in the fields and you have come just to say a few things to me. I am thankful.”
Just when he was leaving he said, “One thing more I would like to say to you. In the other village I left behind, a great crowd just like you had come there and they had brought many sweets just as a present for me, a gift from the village. But I told them that I don’t take sweets. They took the sweets back. I ask you, what will they do with those sweets?”
So somebody from the crowd said, “What will they do? It is easy, there is no need to answer. They will distribute them in the village and they will enjoy.”
So Buddha said, “Now what will you do? You have brought only insults and I say I don’t take them. What will you do? I feel so sorry for you. You can insult me, that is up to you. But I don’t take it, that is up to me – whether I take it or not.” Buddha said, “I don’t take unnecessary things, useless things. I don’t get unnecessarily burdened. I feel compassion for you.”

This is response. If a person is angry and you are present there, not with your past, you will feel always compassion. Reaction becomes anger, response always is compassion. You will see through the person. It will become transparent that he is angry, he is suffering, he is in misery, he is ill.
When someone is in fever you don’t start beating him and asking, “Why are you having a fever? Why is your body hot? Why have you got a temperature?” You serve the man, you help him to come out of it. And when somebody is angry he also is having a temperature, he is in a fever, he is feverish. Why get so angry about it? He is in a mental disease which is more dangerous than any bodily disease, more fatal. So if the wife is angry the husband will feel compassion, he will try in every way to help her to be out of it. This is just mad – that she is angry and you also get angry. This is just mad, insane. You will look at the person, you will feel the misery she is in or he is in, and you will help.
But if the past comes in then everything goes wrong. And it can happen only if you go deep in meditation, otherwise it cannot happen. Just intellectual understanding won’t help. If you go deep in meditation your wounds will be thrown, a catharsis will happen. You become more and more clear inside, clarity is attained, you become like a mirror. You don’t have any wounds really, so no one can hit them. Then you can look at the person, then you can respond.
Response is always good, reaction is always bad. Response is always beautiful, reaction is always ugly. Avoid reactions and allow responses. Reaction is from the past, response is here and now.

Spread the love