Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen 03

Third Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
You say: “Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Do not be its slave.” But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed? Also, when I took sannyas the other night you said not to get hooked on you. I have to tell you that you are closing the stable door after this particular horse has already bolted.
Prem Lisa, the difference is so great that it is impossible to miss it. Repression happens through fighting with your mind. Discipline happens through being watchful, aware, alert. In discipline, there is no fight implied. In discipline, there is no condemnation, no evaluation. One simply looks at the mind silently, seeing the whole traffic, without saying what is right and what is wrong; what should be and what should not be. Just as standing by the side of the road, you watch people walking by – saints and sinners, beautiful people, ugly people, good people, bad people – but you are unconcerned. It has nothing to do with you; you are out of it.
That’s exactly the meaning of the English word ecstasy. Ecstasy means to be out of the mind. You are just looking, as one looks at the clouds moving in the sky or at the river flowing by – cool, detached. You are neither trying to cling to something nor are you trying to push something away from you.
This is pure awareness; you are only a mirror. And in just being a mirror, the miracle happens – the miracle of discipline. Slowly, slowly the traffic starts disappearing. Fewer and fewer thoughts are moving on the road; fewer and fewer pictures are appearing on the screen; fewer and fewer memories, fantasies. Gaps start appearing.

A mother was saying to her child, “Be very careful when you go to school because the traffic is dangerous in the rush hour.”
The child replied, “Don’t worry. I always wait at the side of the road. And when a gap comes, then I cross.”

“When a gap comes…” As you are looking at your mind you will be surprised that gaps come, intervals come, when there is nothing to be seen. The observer remains alone and because it is alone, it is no longer an observer either. You can’t call it an observer because there is nothing to observe. The mirror is there, but it is not reflecting anything. There is no duality of the seen and the seer. In these intervals discipline arises.
The word discipline is also beautiful. It is sometimes very significant to go to the roots of words. Discipline comes from a root which means learning. When you are looking at a gap, learning happens. Learning about what? Learning about yourself, because there is nothing else. You are full of awareness. You are just full of your own being, overflowing. This experience of just being yourself, overflowing, undistracted by anything, undisturbed by anything, is the greatest learning; the greatest possibility of knowing the truth. This is discipline.
From the same root comes the word disciple. Disciple means one who is becoming capable of being utterly silent in the presence of the master. The disciple is one who allows the interval to happen when he is with the master. With the master you are bridged only through silence; when there is nothing in your mind you are bridged. Something then transpires between the master and the disciple. A flame jumps from the master into the heart of the disciple. The unlit candle of the disciple suddenly becomes lit. All is joy and light and love; a great dance arises.
Lisa, discipline can never be misunderstood as repression. Repressions are totally different. In repression you have already decided what is wrong – a priori decisions. In fact, others have decided for you what is wrong and what is right. Now you are simply trying to impose the ideas and opinions of others upon yourself. You will have to repress your nature. You will have to force that which is wrong – or which you have been told is wrong – deep into the unconscious. There will be a fight, great turmoil. Instead of bringing silence to you, every method of repression brings more turmoil.
That’s why the so-called religious people are more restless, more worried. You are worried only about this world, they are even worried about the other. You are worried only about this life, they are worried about many, many past lives and future lives. Your worries are nothing compared to the worries of the so-called religious people. They are sitting on a volcano because whatever is repressed is there and is not destroyed. Repression never destroys anything; you are simply sitting on top of it. The danger is that you cannot sit on top of it for twenty-four hours a day; you have limitations. You will get tired, you will need some rest. And whenever you are tired and need rest, repressions will start arising in you.
Hence, even your greatest saints go on thinking, fantasizing, dreaming about all the things that they have repressed. Mahatma Gandhi has written in his autobiography: “I have been able to control my sexuality as far as my day is concerned, but in the night, in my dreams, it comes with a vengeance.” This, he was writing at the age of seventy… A whole life of repression!
Yes, in the day you can somehow manage, but in the night, in your dreams, that which you have repressed in the day is bound to take revenge. It will come back, it will explode in you.
Hence, down the ages your saints have been very afraid of sleep. They go on cutting it down – five, four, three, two hours. The less they sleep, more is the danger because all their repressions have to come in those two hours, and in a very condensed way. They are crowding in from everywhere. And people worship them! The less a saint sleeps, the more people worship him. They say, “Look how much he has sacrificed! What a great austerity he is doing – he is not even sleeping! Or he sleeps for only two hours or one hour.”
The reality is that he is afraid of sleep. And where is the fear coming from? The fear is coming from the fact that when you are awake you can control, but when you are asleep, who is there to control? The controller is asleep, in a relaxed state. He cannot sit on top of all the repressions, and they will assert…
So, Lisa, if you are fighting with anything, it is not discipline. I don’t teach how to fight. I teach awareness. It is useless to fight with darkness, utterly useless and stupid. Bring the light in. Why fight with darkness? How can you ever hope to win by fighting with darkness? Bring the light in and darkness is no longer found.
You are surrounded by many darknesses: greed, anger, jealousy, lust, ambition, ego. They are layers of darkness. If you start fighting with all the layers of darkness, you are not going to win because there is no way to fight directly with darkness. Darkness does not exist in the first place; it is only the absence of light. So if you want to do something with darkness, don’t try to do it directly. Do something with light. If you want darkness, put the light out. If you don’t want darkness, put the light on. But do something with the light, forget about the darkness.
If light is there, darkness is not there. If light is not there, you cannot avoid darkness. You can close your eyes, you can try to forget about it; you can become occupied somewhere else, you can take your mind far, far away from it, but it is there all the same. It will show in your acts, in your thoughts, in your behavior. It will come up again and again. You cannot hide it – it is impossible to hide it. The truth of your being, whatever it is, is bound to surface.
Lisa, become aware. I am not saying what is wrong and what is right. I am simply saying, be aware. Or, awareness is right and unawareness is wrong. When you are aware, things start changing of their own accord and the mind functions as a servant. It is a machine, a beautiful machine. For thousands of years, it has been one of the most complex machines invented by nature. Man has not yet been able to create anything comparable to it. Even the best computer is not yet so capable as the mind.
A single human mind can contain all the libraries of the world. It is almost infinite. Its capacity is great, its use is great, but it should be your servant, not your master. As a servant it is beautiful; as a master it is dangerous.
Let consciousness be your master and the mind your servant. It happens through awareness. I am not telling you to control it because all control is repression. I am not telling you to fight because all fight is a sheer waste of energy. You are fighting with your own servant – you are wasting your energy. You need not fight with your servant, you have simply to say, “I am the master”; that’s all. You have simply to be the master, that’s all, and the servant bows down. The servant immediately understands that the master has come in. How does the master come in? The moment you become awake, the master comes in.
You ask me, Lisa: “You say: go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Do not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed?”
It is very simple. Nobody can ever misunderstand the difference between the two, nobody can ever confuse the two. They are so different – just like light and darkness; just like love and hate; just like flowers and thorns; just like poison and nectar. They are so totally different. But if you think about them you may get confused. In thinking you cannot make the distinction. Don’t think about them – experiment, experience and the distinction will be absolutely clear.
You also say: “Osho… When I took sannyas the other night you said, ‘Not to get hooked on you.’ I have to tell you that you are closing the stable door after this particular horse has already bolted.”
Lisa, I am not only a horse doctor but a horse lover too. When I see a good horse, I immediately fall in love. I believe in love at first sight; because it saves time. The moment I saw you, Lisa, the moment I saw tears of joy, love, trust and surrender in your eyes, I accepted you deep down as part of the orange Mafia!
I say, “Don’t get hooked on me,” only when I know that you are absolutely hooked and there is no way to escape. I don’t say it to everybody. I say it only to those who are already in. They may not be aware of it and may become aware of it later on.
I have seen it. You are hooked, you are stoned on me. Now there is no going back. Now this is going to be your whole world. I am your home. I say it only when I am absolutely certain, categorically certain, that there is no possibility of your going away; when I see that you are melting and merging. Only then do I say this, just to be generous: “Don’t get hooked on me.” I can afford to say it when I know that Lisa is finished!

The second question:
What is the essence of Buddha Dharma – the religion of the Buddha?
Yoka says,
If you reach the Zen of Buddha, at that very moment you accomplish everything. In your dream there are many pathways. But when you wake up, they are reduced to nothing. Neither error, nor happiness, nor loss, nor gain. Do not try to find anything in the essence of your being. It is a long time since you wiped the dust from your mirror. Now it is time for you to see its brilliancy perfectly.

Who can not think, all is his…. If you practice charity in order to become Buddha. When will you succeed? Never – a thousand times never….

Drink and eat according to your true nature. All things in the universe are impermanent and therefore all existence is void. That is the whole understanding of Buddha.
This is the essence of Buddha Dharma, the religion of the Buddha. First: it is not a philosophy that you can understand intellectually. You have to become a buddha to know it. Hence, Yoka says:
If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of the Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.
Nothing is missing when you reach the ultimate state of awakening; all is fulfilled, you are utterly contented. For the first time, life is known as a great significance, as a great dance, a celebration. Life is known for the first time as absolutely perfect. There is no complaint, no desire, no hankering for things to be other than they are. One is simply contented, totally contented. All desiring disappears.
What is the state of buddha? What is this “Zen of Buddha” Yoka is talking about? – it is the state of no-mind. Hence, Yoka says:
Who can not think, all is his…
The greatest thing in life to experience, is a state of no-thought. The greatest art of life, is to be able to be without mind. Even if it happens for a single moment – just a glimpse – you have reached into the beyond and you have crossed the point of no return.
Don’t go on thinking about what it is. By thinking you will go on missing it. Thinking is the sure way of missing the Buddha Dharma; non-thinking is the way to achieve it. It is your own nature.
Buddha does not talk about great mysteries, hidden secrets, esoteric knowledge. He does not believe in mythology; he is not an occultist. He is a very simple man, very ordinary. He believes in ordinary existence. He says that your day-to-day life is all there is. If you can live it joyfully, silently, understandingly, watchfully, there is nothing else to be done. Your very ordinary life starts becoming extraordinary.
Drink and eat, Yoka says, according to your true nature.
Just remember not to distort your nature, remain true to your nature. Listen to your own nature and follow it. Don’t follow anybody else.
Buddha says: “Even if you meet me on the way, kill me immediately.” He is saying: “Don’t follow me, just take the hints. Try to understand, imbibe the spirit. Feel my presence and go on your way. Live according to your own light, howsoever small it is, but if it is yours and you live according to it, it will go on growing.”
Buddha says: “Be a light unto yourself.” That is his greatest message. Nobody else in the whole world, in the whole history of humanity, has been so respectful toward others as Gautam the Buddha. “Be a light unto yourself.”
Buddhas only point the way – fingers pointing to the moon. You have to follow, and you have to follow according to your nature. You have to be silent, quiet, so you can listen to the still small voice within you, and then follow it. Wherever it leads it is good. Go in deep trust, following your own voice. Be spontaneous, natural, ordinary. This is the way of being extraordinary. Be ordinary but aware, and the ordinary becomes the sacred.
All things in the universe are impermanent…
So don’t be worried. All things are impermanent: pleasure and pain, friendship and enmity, poverty and richness, success and failure, birth and death. All is in a flux, all is impermanent, so why be worried? Everything goes on changing. Don’t cling – clinging brings misery, clinging shows your misunderstanding. The moment you cling to something you are living with the idea that it can be permanent. Nothing can be permanent and nothing can be done about it. It is just the nature of things to be impermanent.
You are trying to catch hold of rainbows. They are beautiful, but you cannot catch hold of them. One moment they are there, another moment they are gone. So don’t cling to anything because everything is impermanent. And don’t desire anything because even if you get it, you will lose it. If you don’t get it, you will be frustrated. If you get it and lose it, you will be frustrated. Either way you will be in misery; you are inviting misery. So don’t desire anything and don’t cling to anything.
Whatever comes, accept it. Buddha calls it tathata, suchness. Just accept it; live through it silently, without being disturbed by it. Misery comes, it will go. Happiness comes, it will go. Everything passes away, nothing abides, so there is nothing to worry about.
Go on passing through all kinds of experiences and you will know that one can pass through the world uncontaminated, uncorrupted. One can live in the palaces without clinging, then one is a sannyasin. One can live in a hut and cling to it, then one is not a sannyasin.
That’s why I don’t tell you to renounce the world, I simply say: “Be watchful.” That is the essence of Buddha’s message.
People ask me, “But Buddha renounced the world. Why did he renounce it?” He renounced it when he was not a buddha. He renounced it when he was as ignorant as anybody else. He renounced it in ignorance.
When he attained the truth, when he experienced the truth and came back home, his wife asked him only one question: “Just tell me one thing. Whatever you have attained… I can see you are a transformed being. You have become luminous, you are no longer the same person. The old is gone, you are reborn. It is so clear to me – even a blind person like me can see it. But just answer me one question. Whatever you have attained, was it not possible to attain it living here with me in this palace?”
And the story is that Buddha remained silent, looking downward. She was right. He didn’t say anything.
In the East, not saying anything is thought to be a sign of agreement. Mounam sammati lakshanam: to be silent means I agree with you. It says more than Buddha saying yes. His silence says more, it is more pregnant with meaning.
He felt it immediately: “She is right.” Whatever he had attained could have been attained anywhere. There was no need to go into the jungle.
There is no need for you to go anywhere. Wherever you are, you can assert your buddhahood, you can become awakened.
The essence is to slip out of the mind, get out of the mind. The mind is the world. The mind is full of desires, full of clingings, attachments, longings. Get out of the mind! Create a little distance between you and the mind. Be a watcher, a watcher on the hills and you will be surprised. As you watch the mind, the distance becomes bigger and bigger. As you watch the mind, as you become more and more established in watching, the mind recedes farther and farther away. One day it happens and you cannot hear the chatter of the mind; it is no longer there. It is simply, absolutely silent. In that silence, truth descends in you. In that silence, you encounter yourself, you encounter your innermost core. And that is the innermost core of the whole existence. Your being is the being of all.
We are separate as minds, as bodies, but not as consciousness. In consciousness we meet, we are one. That consciousness is godliness. That meeting, that oneness where all differences dissolve; where we are no longer separate ice cubes; where we have melted and disappeared into the universal, Buddha calls nirvana. The word is beautiful; it means cessation of the ego. When the ego ceases you are godliness, you are a buddha, you are a christ. It is the ego that is giving you a limitation. It is the ego that is making you live in a prison. Get out of the ego! Nobody is preventing you – it is your own clinging, it is your own attachment. You have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your prison cell. You think it is your home, it is not. Come out of it. Wake up.
To be awake is to be a buddha. Yoka is right. He says: If you reach the Zen of Buddha – the state of Buddha – at that very moment you accomplish everything.

The third question:
When you speak of religions, you usually mention Christians, Mohammedans and Hindus, but not Jews. Is there a reason for it?
Veet Ateet, there is a reason: I am the only Jew in India!

Once, I was taken for a ride in a Cadillac. The owner wanted to sell it and I was interested. I have used all kinds of cars except the Cadillac. It was a beautiful car, specially made. I loved it.
He said to me, “What do you say? How did you feel in it?”
I said, “I felt just like a Jew! I will not purchase this car – this will show my identity. I am already in more trouble than a man can manage. Now to declare myself a Jew will be inviting even more trouble. Jews are experts at inviting trouble!”

An old Jew was praying to God for years and never asking for anything. God became fed up. If you ask for something, it can be done and he can get rid of you! But he was not asking for anything. He was just praying and praying and praying.
So one day God said, “Listen! What do you want? Why don’t you say exactly what you want? I am ready to fulfill it.”
The old Jew said, “Is it true that we are your chosen people?”
God said, “Yes, that’s true.”
The Jew said, “Now please choose somebody else. For three thousand years, just because of you, we have suffered so much. Enough is enough! Now choose somebody else!”

Veet Ateet, you must be also a Jew, otherwise why this question? Jews are always thinking, in every possible way, about Jews.

The Friends of the Elephant Society – a society created to help sick, old or homeless elephants – decided that although most people knew what an elephant was, there had never been any serious, definitive study conducted about the huge animal. They therefore decided to hold a competition with a prize of a thousand dollars to be given for the best book on the subject of the elephant.
An Englishman entered his book entitled: The History and Statistics of the Elephant.
A German entered a three-volume set entitled: The Anatomy and Physiology of the Elephant.
A Frenchman entered a slim, hundred-page volume entitled: The Amorous Affairs of the Elephant.
An Italian seriously considers the project for about five minutes, drops it and joins his friends for some spaghetti.
And a Jew entered an epic effort entitled: The Elephant and the Jewish Problem.

Now, Ateet, why does this question come to your mind? I don’t say much about Judaism because in India there are no Jews. There are Hindus, Christians, Mohammedans, Jainas, Buddhists; only the Jews are missing, so I don’t mention them much. Of course, Jews are not missing here. This must be the only place in the whole of India where you can find thousands of Jews – but they are no longer Jews.
Ateet, this must be a hangover with you. Do you know what your name means? Veet Ateet means going beyond the past. You still seem to have a hangover of being Jewish. And having thousands of Jews here, it is better not to talk about them because they are very argumentative people.

A Christian visiting the Holy Land struck up a conversation with an Israeli.
“I am really surprised that you and the Arabs can’t get together peacefully.”
“My dear man,” said the Israeli, “the Jews are a very argumentative people. The only thing you can get two Jews to agree upon is what a third Jew should give to charity.”

That is true.

Jimmy finally got Sadat and Begin together for a resumption of the Middle East peace talks.
Afterward Sadat said, “I’m glad we buried the hatchet. In the future I wish you everything you wish me.”
Begin answered, “See, you’re starting up again.”

That’s why, Ateet, I don’t mention Jews very much. It is dangerous! Surrounded by thousands of Jews it is better not to mention Jews at all. And, moreover, Judaism is a dead religion, just as Hinduism is. In fact, there have been only two source religions in the world: Hinduism and Judaism. Both are dead. Jainism and Buddhism are offshoots of Hinduism, but because the root is dead the branches are dead too. Christianity and Islam are branches of Judaism and because the root is dead the branches are dead too. These are dead phenomena. I am not concerned much with the past.
Yes, something beautiful has also happened in Judaism and that is Hasidism. I have talked about it a lot. Just as I love Zen people in the tradition of the Buddha, I love Hasids in the tradition of Moses and I love Sufis in the tradition of Mohammed. These three are still alive in some small way because these three have never become established religions. They have always been anti-establishment; they have always been alternatives to the established religion; they have always been rebellious.
Hasidism is worth talking about, not Judaism – and I have talked about Hasidism. I have been approaching Hasidism with my own experience. I have been bringing Hasidism up to date, trying to make it part of the twentieth century. Hasidism is the essence of Judaism, the very fragrance of it.
I have something of the Hasids in me, that’s why I sometimes call myself a Jew. The Hasids love life, they are life-affirmative. They don’t believe in renunciation, they believe in rejoicing. They believe in dancing, singing, celebrating – and that’s exactly my approach too.
My religion is something of a meeting of Zen, Sufism and Hasidism – and something more thrown in.

The fourth question:
Actually, I love to philosophize. What to do with that ability in a place like this?
Deva Anurati, philosophy is a sheer waste of your energy. The same energy can become your meditation, the same energy can become your awakening. Philosophy is like dreaming: you can dream beautiful dreams, but dreaming is dreaming. You can think of God, but to think of God is not to know God. To know about God is not to know God. The word about means around. You can go on around and around… You will be moving in a circle and you will never reach the target because the target is the center not the circumference.
Philosophy is circumferential, peripheral. It can deceive. It has deceived millions of people because it talks about love, about God, it even talks about meditation. It philosophizes about everything.
Philosophy means that your mind remains your master; it is mind that philosophizes. You have to go beyond mind, Anurati – and it is not going to happen through philosophy. It can happen only through meditation.
Now, you must be philosophizing about meditation: what it is, how to define it. There are thousands of definitions and you can be lost in the jungle of definitions.
I can understand your difficulty. You must be feeling a little out of place because here philosophy is debarred. I am creating a nonphilosophical atmosphere. The whole effort here is to help you go beyond the mind. I don’t want you to think about love, I want you to love. I don’t want you to think about existence, I want you to know existence, to be existence.
What is the point of thinking about water when you are thirsty? Even if you discover by your thinking that water consists of H2O, that is not going to quench your thirst. And that’s what philosophy is: H2O. You are thirsty and philosophy says, “Don’t be thirsty. Water is simply H2O. Just write H2O on the paper and eat the paper!”
Philosophers go on eating the paper. They eat great things: Upanishads, Vedas, Korans, Bibles. They have a great appetite for paper. That’s why there is such a shortage of paper in the world; there are so many paper-eaters. Crazy people!
Yes, once in a while philosophy may be good, just for a change.

Molly Landau was learning to drive a car. Regrettably, as it turned out, she thought she already knew how. So she dismissed her driving instructor and ventured forth upon the public highway, unaccompanied by either an experienced hand or a driver’s license.
As she wobbled in an uncertain course along Southern Boulevard in the Bronx, a milkman driving a well-behaved horse turned a corner. Mrs. Landau tried simultaneously to do several things: apply the brakes, avoid a collision, turn out, turn in, veer left, veer right, speed up, slow down, and who knows what else.
The “what else” was that she banged squarely into the side of the milk float, leaving it turned on its side in the middle of the street, with the horse and driver entangled in the wreckage.
The lady, at the same time as losing her head, lost control of the car. She sped away, swerved out of sight and circled the block on squealing tires. A minute later she reappeared at the scene of the accident, still wrestling with the steering wheel. The dairyman, who had managed to extricate himself from the mess, was cutting his struggling horse loose from the twisted harness, when he heard the clatter and roar of an approaching, wide-open engine. He looked up to see the same car and the same woman again bearing down on him. He jumped aside, just in time to save himself.
There was a second crash and once more the green motorist proceeded on her devastating way. But now the capsized wagon was a total loss. The milkman was a natural born philosopher. As he stood in the midst of the ruins, he shrugged his shoulders and remarked to the curious citizens who had gathered around, “About that lady’s driving, I can’t say she’s an expert. But you have to give her credit – she’s thorough!”

Yes, in such situations, a little philosophy is good; it helps you to keep cool. But more than that it is of no use, Anurati. You will have to learn a new way of being. If you are here – and you are here – stop philosophizing. Start experiencing because it is only through experience that one comes to know the truth.
Truth is not a conclusion arrived at by logical argumentation; truth is not arrived at through syllogism. Truth is an experience of a silent, still, consciousness. Learn to be more silent and still.
This is the first question from Anurati that I am answering. She must have asked hundreds of questions – I go on throwing them away. The moment I see Anurati’s name, the question goes into the wastepaper basket for the simple reason that I don’t want to nourish her philosophical mind. If I start talking about her philosophical problems she will get more and more into them.
She goes on asking me, “You answer everybody’s question. Why don’t you answer my question?” So today I decided that at least one question should be answered.
Philosophy is a disease – and I know it firsthand. I have been a professor of philosophy – you can trust me! I have suffered from it and I know it is chronic. Once it enters your system it is very difficult to throw it out. I have every sympathy for Anurati, but if the right effort is made you can get rid of it; it is not incurable. And because it never gives you anything… It promises much, but it never supplies any goods.
Just look back. What has it given you? It makes people great bullshitters, that’s all! They go on talking about great things they know nothing of. It may give you a very polished ego, but this is the problem that has to be solved, it is not the solution.
Anurati, wake up from your philosophical dream! However sweet it is, it is a dream. It is so useless that you can always find an argument for anything. Philosophy is a prostitute; it can go with anybody.
Meditate on Murphy’s maxim: To every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD.
You can argue for, you can argue against. Philosophy has no anchor. It is a game, like chess: it keeps you occupied and gives you a sense of doing something great. But remember, it is all dreaming.

One night Zorba the Greek dreamed that he had to leave his island. So he went down to the port and stepped aboard a boat.
The captain stopped him and said, “You’ll have to pay one hundred drachmas.”
“That’s sheer robbery!” exclaimed Zorba. “I won’t give you more than fifty drachmas.”
“One hundred or you will have to swim!”
“Is that so?” Zorba said. “You better take me for fifty drachmas or I’ll wake up and you’ll lose everything!”

Anurati, please wake up! But people are afraid to wake up. The fear is that they will lose everything because all that they have is nothing but dream stuff. Their philosophy is their dream; their religion is their dream; their knowledge is their dream; their ego is their dream. In their dream they have gathered many things, hence they are afraid to wake up because the moment they wake up all is lost.

One night Mulla Nasruddin dreamed that a man wanted to give him some money. He was very generous, but Mulla was insistent, “Give me a hundred rupees.”
And the man was saying, “Take ninety… Ninety-one… Ninety-two… Ninety-three.”
But Mulla was insistent on a hundred rupees because he could see that the man was so generous. He looked so kind that he might agree on a hundred rupees, so why settle for less?
The man said, “Listen. For the last time, take ninety-nine.
Mulla said, “One hundred!” But he said it so loudly that he woke up. He opened his eyes – the man had disappeared and the money had disappeared.
He immediately closed his eyes and said, “Okay, okay. Give me ninety-nine!” But now there was nobody there. He said, “Don’t be so angry. Ninety-eight… Ninety-seven…”

But there was nobody there at all. It was all a dream. You are dreaming beautiful dreams. Philosophy is a very clever dream.
Anurati, get out of it! This is not the place to philosophize; you can do that anywhere else. Such stupid things can be done anywhere. You need not come from America to India for such stupid things. Do something real, do something authentic. Do something that will transform your life, that will give you a new birth.
Unless you are born again you cannot enter my kingdom of God.

The fifth question:
I have traveled all over India, but I have never heard an ill word spoken of this town, Pune.
Perhaps it is because one should not speak ill of the dead!

The sixth question:
Why are you against the Greeks? Why do you call them the “Goddamned Greeks”?
The Greeks are great people – I love them. I love Socrates, I love Pythagoras, I love Heraclitus – and of course, I love Mukta. But they are “goddamned.”

A Russian can be cheated only by a gypsy, a gypsy by Jew, a Jew by a Greek, and a Greek only by the Devil.

The seventh question:
I am British. Anything I can do about it?
This time it is too late. Next time be a little more careful in choosing your parents!

The eighth question:
Can children understand the truth?
Children can understand the truth, but cannot understand that they understand it. They understand more clearly than you can understand because they are more clean, more innocent. They are so innocent that they cannot understand that they understand.
Hence, you need another childhood, a second childhood. First you have to lose your first childhood. That is the whole meaning of the biblical story of Adam and Eve losing paradise; that is losing the first childhood. It is a tremendously significant story. It has so many meanings, it is such a multidimensional parable, that I don’t think there exists any other parable comparable to it.
You can look at it from many aspects. It is losing the first childhood – that is inevitable. Adam and Eve are not committing a sin. In fact, the word sin comes from a root which means forgetting, and that is a beautiful meaning. They are simply forgetting something.
Every child has to forget his innocence. Every child has to get lost in the world. Every child has to go astray, has to make many, many mistakes. He has to suffer. He has to pass through pain, pleasure, and all kinds of dualities, so that one day he can start feeling a great longing to return home. Lost in the deserts of the world, one day a longing arises to go back home.
That longing is sannyas, that longing is religion. And one consciously comes back again to one’s childhood. This is the second childhood. Now one understands, and also understands that one understands. The first childhood is very innocent. It is bound to be lost because it is a natural gift, existence’s gift. The second childhood is never lost because it is your earning, you have become worthy of it. It is no longer a gift; you deserve it. It is growth, not a gift. It is your maturity.
Adam and Eve lose their first childhood; it is in people like Buddha, Jesus Christ, Zarathustra, Moses that the second childhood happens. In Christ, Adam starts moving back toward paradise. If Adam is the going away from paradise, Jesus is the coming back home.
If you watch children, you will see how clear they are about things – far clearer than you are. You are very confused; you have so many thoughts to confuse you. Children are not confused – they don’t have any thoughts to confuse them. Their flames are burning bright with no smoke. They are full of wonder and awe. The moment they see something they immediately understand, because there is no barrier.
If we can help children to be meditative we can change the whole world – its energy, its consciousness. But we teach them something else, never meditation – geography, history and all kinds of nonsense which is absolutely useless. Now, what does it matter where Timbuktu is? I don’t know. I simply love the name Timbuktu – wherever it is! But children are being taught about stupid kings – Genghis Khan, Nadir Shah and Tamerlane. For what? Why are you filling their heads with rubbish?
This is the moment to make them aware because they are naturally aware. If we help them to understand their awareness and their innocence, the first childhood can become a movement into the second childhood.

A French farmer’s son missed a day in school and explained to the teacher that he was absent because of important family business.
“I had to take the bull to the cows,” he explained.
“But couldn’t your father do that better?” the teacher wanted to know.
“I suppose my father is a pretty good lover,” the French lad said, “but in this case I think the bull does it better.”

They are clearer about things, more so than your so-called knowledgeable people.

California is full of crazies. Even the doctors are crazy. A troubled young lady went to consult an MD, complaining that she was having trouble with her menstrual cycle.
“No problem, chick,” said the medico. “Why don’t you just trade it in for a Honda?”

During a visit to the zoo a youngster asked his mother, “Mom, how do lions screw?”
She replied, “I really don’t know, dear, most of your father’s friends are Rotarians.”

“My new husband is a sex maniac,” complained the young lady to the judge. “Ever since our honeymoon he has been making nonstop love to me. I can’t get no rest day or night. I want a divorce.”
“All right,” said the judge, “but first you’ll have to file your application.”
“File my application!” exclaimed the lady indignantly. “Why, that poor thing is so sore, I can’t even bear to touch it!”

A schoolteacher bent too low over her desk to mark a paper and little Johnny in the front seat said, “Teacher, I see something.”
“That’s very rude, Johnny. Tomorrow don’t come to school,” the teacher admonished.
A week later, the teacher bent down to pick up a piece of chalk. Johnny, still in a ringside seat, got up and started to walk to the door. “Where are you going?” asked the teacher sternly.
“Teacher, my schooldays are over.”

Children see very clearly; their eyes are transparent. But soon they have to lose their innocence. We force them to lose it. We fill their heads with such rubbish that their eyes stop seeing. Every parent is trying, every society is trying, every church is trying to fill the child’s mind with stupid things before he starts becoming aware on his own; otherwise he will be a rebel. So by the time you are three or four years old, things have already started being poured into you. You are sent to church, you are taught religion – as if religion can be taught.
Religion cannot be taught, it can only be caught. You can catch it only when you are in the company of a man like Jesus or Buddha. When you are in the company of a man like Yoka, Rinzai, Bodhidharma, you can catch it; it is infectious. But it cannot be taught. A religion that is taught is rubbish. But, as soon as possible, we are very interested in making our children Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan.
In a better world, in a more human world, at least up to the age of twenty-one, children should not be taught any Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, no. Up to the age of twenty-one – when they become capable of voting – they should be left to inquire on their own. And I assure you that Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Mohammedanism, will all disappear from the world. Up to their twenty-first year, just leave children to themselves and then try to teach them Christianity! They will raise such questions that even you will start suspecting whether Christianity is of any worth. But you force poor children, three years of age… They cannot resist, they cannot protect… They depend on you for their survival, so you can do anything.
This is the greatest crime that can be done to children. Throughout the whole past, parents have been criminals. The greatest crime is that you condition your children’s minds and you don’t allow them the freedom to seek, search and inquire for themselves. Of course, parents have not done it knowingly. Their parents had conditioned them and they were simply repeating a pattern. They were thinking that they were doing it for your own good. In fact, the greatest crimes have been committed for your own good. Whenever somebody says, “I am doing it for your own good,” beware, because nobody needs to do anything for your own good.
Yes, parents need to feed you, to clothe you, to support you, to make you strong in body. They need to support you in your inquiry, in your questioning, and to give you every kind of support and protection so that you can freely inquire. The whole world will then be full of agnostics, inquirers, and that will be the beginning of a true religion on the earth. It has to happen from childhood because it is such a stupid waste of time to destroy their minds first. It then becomes very hard and very difficult to uncondition them. They start resisting because they start getting identified with their own minds.
Every day I receive questions – rude questions, ugly questions – because whenever somebody feels hurt, immediately his conditioned mind reacts and he writes something in anger.
I am trying to help you to be on your own, to be free; you get angry because you don’t want to be free. You have become accustomed to being slaves. But you don’t think it is slavery; you think it is knowledge. It is wisdom. You think you know the Bible, the Gita, the Koran. And when I go on destroying, negating, you become scared. If all your knowledge is taken away, what is left? You are very afraid of nothingness – and that is the true beginning; that is the beginning of a new birth.
Everybody has to become again a nothing, again a child, again innocent; only then will you be able to understand truth.
Children are capable of understanding it, but they are not capable of understanding that they understand it. For that you have to wait a little. But we can prepare the children. We can use their capacity to understand to make them more free, to make them more adventurous, to make them more courageous.
If you really love your children, you will help them to go on an adventure so that they can find God by themselves. It is beautiful to find truth; it is ugly to carry somebody else’s truth on your shoulders. It is simply a dead weight. It cripples, kills; it poisons you.

The last question:
There's no question about it, Sarjano is my LSD: a Latin-seducing-Don Juan. The ashram seems to be the right environment and I know you are guiding me through the trip, but what's the right dose to take him in?
Sarjano is a ladies’ man, so don’t waste your time in thinking about the right dose to take him in because tomorrow he may not be available. Eat him totally if you can! There is just one thing you have to be aware of: if you don’t like spaghetti, then eating him is going to be a torture – it will be all spaghetti!

What did the cannibal say after he ate the Italian? – “The meat’s a little on the greasy side.”

So eat him while he is available and don’t waste time in thinking about right proportions – how much to and how much not to. Sarjano is like the wind: he is here today, tomorrow somewhere else. And remember it perfectly well: eat him before he eats you because these Italians are really dangerous people!
Just the other day there was a question: “What is more dangerous than an Italian?” – of course, two Italians!
Enough for today.

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