Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen 06

Sixth 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:
Why do I want to wake up when, as you say, “Awakening only happens when I am not?” This seems very paradoxical.
The ego is not your real self; the ego is a false entity, arbitrary. It is the ego that is your sleep, that surrounds you like a darkness, like a cloud. Hidden behind this darkness is your real self, your real being; which wants to wake up; which wants to get out of all this smoke, out of all this darkness; which wants to get out of the prison of the ego.
There is really no paradox, it only appears so. It appears paradoxical. Your question seems relevant… But you have two selves. One is the real: the one that you were born with; the one that was even before your birth; the one that will be there even when death has happened; the one that is running underneath like a hidden current. The other is created by you, by your family, by your church, by your society, by your state, by the crowd.
This false one is a pretender; it pretends to be the real self. The real self wants to come out of this unreal one surrounding it. It is a constant suffering for the real self because the real is being suffocated by the unreal; the real feels imprisoned in a dark cell. The real self is vast and has become confined in a very small space. It is crippling and paralyzing.
So when I say that awakening happens only when you are not, I mean when your false ego is no more. That is the only “I” you are aware of right now – that is the “I” you are identified with. Hence, I say that whatever you know of yourself will not be there when awakening happens. That does not mean you will not be there. You will be there, but that “you” will be so new, so utterly discontinuous with this “you” that you are living right now, that it is better not to mention it at all.
Hence, Buddha is silent about it. Not only that, if you insist, he calls your real self anatta, a no-self. He calls it thus for the simple reason that to call it also a self may be confusing. The false is known as the self; if the real is also called a self, you may get confused. You are already very confused. Buddha calls it a no-self.
But don’t lose heart. Don’t be worried and don’t be afraid that you will die completely. As you are, you will not be there, but you will be there as you should be. Your natural, spontaneous being will be there.
Buddha is also right in calling it a no-self because when the real self is there you don’t have any idea of “I.” The “I” is also a thought. The real self has no idea of “I”; the real self is one with the universal self. It is not separate from existence, it is not an island. The unreal self is separate and creates separation, hence, the unreal self creates misery. To be separate from the whole is to be miserable. To be one with the whole is bliss. The paradox is only apparent; there is no paradox in reality.

One Sunday morning at the parish of St. Mary’s, Little Wakefield, the signboard announcing the subject of the day’s sermon read: “And forgive us our trespasses.”
A few yards away, stuck into the grass, was another sign which read: “Trespassers will be prosecuted.”

Just like that, there is no real contradiction, but it appears to be there. On the one hand, a sign says: “And forgive us our trespasses,” and on the other hand another sign says: “Trespassers will be prosecuted.” But they are not concerned with the same object; their meaning is totally different.
When I say that you will not be there, I am talking about the artificial self – the one which you are not, but which you have come to believe that you are. Your real self will be there – the one which you are but which you have forgotten completely.

The second question:
Please comment on these words of Yoka:

By zazen we can obtain directly to the ultimate truth. The scholars like to teach others but have no deep convictions themselves. Once you have revealed your prejudices you can see your true self. How can you wander off into external struggles?
Yoka’s words are always tremendously beautiful. He is one of the greatest Zen masters. There have been many Zen mystics, but there is a difference between a master and a mystic.
A mystic is one who has known the truth, but is absolutely incapable of relating it to others. He has no means, he cannot devise methods, he has no skills. He cannot paint it, sing it, dance it, and he cannot say it. He is utterly dumb. The experience leaves him almost drunk – utterly drunk. You can see that something has happened, something of tremendous import. You can feel a certain vibe around him. You can try to understand what has happened. But from his side there is no effort to communicate, to commune. He is so dazed by what he has seen, he is in such an awe that he has forgotten language. He has entered into no-mind and he has forgotten the way to the old mind. First, he used to live in the mind, then he tried hard to find the way toward no-mind. Now he is in no-mind, but he has forgotten the way to the mind. He cannot use the mind – he has lost his mind. He is almost, to all practical purposes, mad – absolutely joyous, overflowing with bliss, beauty, grace; something worth seeing, something of the beyond, but of no practical use.
The master is one who has reached the ultimate, but is capable of coming back down to the world where you are. The master is one who has reached the Everest of consciousness, but is able to come down back to the dark valley where millions of people are still living. To communicate to them something about the incommunicable, to make a few gestures toward the highest peak. Maybe one in a million will be able to look at the moon where his fingers are pointing, but even that is more than enough.
The master is something, plus. The mystic knows, but cannot help you to know. The master knows and can help you to know.
Yoka is a master, a master of great skill. Hence, his words have to be meditated upon – his each word is significant. He says:
By zazen we can obtain directly to the ultimate truth.
First: By zazenZazen means just sitting and doing nothing. That is the most unique phenomenon in Zen; nowhere else has it happened. No other religion has been able to create this device of just sitting. Every religion provides you with something to do: chant a mantra, say a prayer, repeat certain words from the holy scriptures or go through a ritual, but do something. Physical exercises, yoga, or some mental exercises: visualization, concentration, contemplation. But one thing is certain: all the religions have provided you with something to do.
Zen says – and there is great insight in it – that if you go on doing something, the mind will go on living; you will never be able to transcend it. You may be able to control it, but control is not transcendence. You may be able to make it more virtuous, but to be virtuous is not to know the unknowable. To be virtuous is a choice and whenever you choose you are choosing bondage. All choices lead to bondage.
Somebody becomes a sinner – he has chosen iron chains; somebody becomes a saint – he has chosen golden chains, beautiful chains, valuable chains. But chains are chains; whether they are made of gold or of iron makes no difference. In fact, golden chains are far more dangerous because with the iron chains sooner or later you will get fed up, you would like to get out of them – they are humiliating. With the golden chains you may feel that they are not chains at all, they are ornaments. You may start loving them, you may start clinging to them – they are so valuable! You will be happy that you have them. You will look on others who don’t have them as poor people, unfortunate people.
Your saints look on sinners as unfortunate. They feel sorry for them because they think that the sinners are bound for hell and they are going to heaven. Both are in hell. Hell is divided in two parts – let me tell you the truth. In one part saints live, in the other part, sinners. Sinners live a little more of an uncomfortable life – a third-class prison you can call it. In India there used to be class divisions during the British Raj: third class for the criminals and first class for the political leaders – for Mahatma Gandhi and Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, etcetera. Just like that, in hell there are two divisions: one is for sinners, the other is for saints.
Saints are provided with a little comfort. They have already suffered too much in being saintly, hence they have to be compensated. The sinners have enjoyed too much, hence a little suffering will bring balance, but there is not much difference. Whenever you choose you are in a bondage.
Zen teaches choiceless awareness: neither this nor that, neti-neti. It teaches you absolute negation. That is the meaning of zazen: doing nothing, neither singing a song from a film nor saying a prayer; just sitting silently, doing nothing.
The moment you do something, the mind becomes powerful because the mind is the doer. The moment you are a doer, the ego comes back. The ego is a doer. When you are in a state of non-doing, the mind has to cease, the ego has to disappear.
Non-doing is the death of the mind and the ego; that is the meaning of zazen.
Yoka says: By zazen we can obtain directly to the ultimate truth. There is no need to wait, there is no need to grow gradually. One can know the truth directly. Nothing else is needed; one can know the ultimate truth immediately. It is a quantum leap from the mind to the no-mind.
Learn the art of just sitting silently, doing nothing. The spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
Zen is a method of sudden enlightenment, not of gradual enlightenment. There is no question of gradual enlightenment, there is no question of degrees. Either you have it or you don’t have it. Zen says: “Take the jump, be courageous, and have it in its totality. It is possible right now. It is possible only now. Either now or never.”
The scholars like to teach others but have no deep convictions themselves.
Avoid the scholars – they don’t know themselves. They have learned from the scriptures; they have not experienced it directly, they have not seen it directly. They have not realized it. It is not their own experience. Avoid the scholars.
Once you have revealed your prejudices you can see your true self.
All that is needed is to drop your prejudices. Your mind consists of your prejudices: of being Indian, Japanese, Italian, German; of being Hindu, Jewish, Mohammedan.
That’s why I go on hitting the Italians, the Germans, the British, and the Indians. Now I am getting so many requests from Spanish sannyasins who are writing letters: “Osho, why are you leaving us out?” And Australian sannyasins are writing: “Have you completely forgotten about Australia?” Wait! One by one, I am going to hit everybody! I am not going to leave anybody out.
All your prejudices have to be destroyed, demolished. Only then will you be able to come to your reality.
Yoka says:
How can you wander off into external struggles?
Once you have dropped all your prejudices – your mind – all your extroversion disappears, all your ambitions disappear. Then there is nothing to achieve. You have already found the treasure of treasures: the kingdom of God.

The third question:
Why can I take almost everything lightly except my husband, Pravasi? Why do I fight him so? Why do I always try to change him?
It is one of the most ancient stories. It has nothing to do with you or Pravasi in particular. The institution of marriage is an ugly institution – the ugliest, in fact. All other ugly institutions are based on the institution of marriage.
The day marriage disappears from the world, states will disappear, nations will disappear because they all need the family as a base. Churches will disappear, religions will disappear. The whole past is rooted in the family and the family is rooted in the invention of marriage.
Marriage is ugly because it destroys the freedom of two persons. Freedom is the ultimate value for me. Anything that destroys freedom is against human nature. When your freedom is destroyed you are angry, you are in a rage. And on whom are you going to throw all your rage? The wife finds the husband, the husband finds the wife. They are close, available and bound together in such a way that escape is not easy. The society has made it in every way difficult or almost impossible.
Marriage has an entrance, but no exit. Or, even if the exit has become possible in a few countries, it is not really respected. It is condemned, a subtle condemnation. Marriage is praised. The priests go on saying, “Marriages are made in heaven,” and “This is something sacred.” The whole establishment depends on the sacredness of marriage. But it is not sacred, it is really very ugly. It has destroyed the whole of humanity.
And you cannot take revenge on the priest because he is not directly there; he functions in a very indirect way. You cannot take revenge on the politician; he is very diplomatic. All that you can find is the other person – the wife, the husband – tangibly, physically present, so your anger starts pouring out on the other.
Husbands and wives are continuously quarreling, fighting, as if they were enemies. It is very rare to find a couple which is friendly. They show friendliness when they are with others; when guests come, immediately they start smiling. They wear masks before their children, they avoid clashes. They don’t fight on the streets, but they are fighting twenty-four hours a day. Their fight takes so many forms; it is multidimensional. It dissipates their energy. And they have to live together, so somehow they have to make it up.
Sex just becomes a method for making things smooth, for making up. First fight, then, because you have to live with the other person, use sex to show love and tenderness – so that for the time being there is peace. But that peace does not last long; it is just a cold war, not peace. Again the war will erupt. In the morning, the same story will be repeated. And unless we become aware that something very stupid has been propounded in the name of marriage, this is going to continue.
My sannyasins, at least, should become aware: your husband hasn’t done anything wrong to you; your wife hasn’t done anything wrong to you. If anything is wrong, it is the very bondage, the very feeling of bondage that is wrong. Drop that bondage. Give each other more freedom. Respect freedom more than anything else because freedom is the ultimate value – even higher than love. If your love brings freedom, it is good. If your love does not bring freedom, it is not good – it is not love either.
Your love brings jealousy, possessiveness; it never brings freedom. It destroys all possibilities of freedom. And it started from the very beginning…
Forget what your rabbi told you! What does he know about romance? Here’s the way it really happened:

“Adam, baby,” said Eve as she presented him with a bouquet of forget-me-nots she had picked in the Garden of Eden, “do you absolutely and truly love me?”
“Sure,” said Adam. “Who else?”

Your story started then!

I have heard that every day when Adam returned from his day’s adventures, in the night, Eve would count his ribs!
It is a very ancient story. In the very beginning, something went wrong. You may know, you may not know that Eve was not the first woman. God first created Adam and Lilith. The first night, the honeymoon night – the first honeymoon – a quarrel started because there was only one bed. And in those days double beds were not available. This is the story of the beginning; there was just a single bed. So who should sleep on the bed and who should sleep on the floor?
Of course, Adam was as much a male chauvinist pig as anybody! He was muscular, more powerful, so he possessed the bed. But Lilith was not willing to agree. She said, “We are equal, we are made equal.” She was the founder of the Lib Movement, the real founder!
They fought so much. I don’t know whether clothes were thrown at each other or not, but if there were clothes, they must have been thrown. In the middle of the night they knocked on God’s door and Lilith said, “This cannot go on. Either I have to be accepted as an equal or I am finished with this man.” So the marriage was not consummated.
And God, being himself a man, of course favored Adam. So he dissolved Lilith and by taking out a rib from Adam’s body, he created Eve. To make sure that Eve was always going to be secondary, he took just a part of Adam’s body, not more than that, so that she could not claim equality. She would have to sleep on the floor!

Now what kind of foolishness is this? Just a double bed was needed! Our Asheesh could have done it – it was so simple. But God was very miserly.
You are simply repeating an old story, an old pattern. Get out of this old pattern. Being a sannyasin, that should be the first thing.
There is no need to take your husband Pravasi seriously. Why that poor man? What has he done to you? If you can take everything else lightly, why take your husband seriously? Seriousness is a disease. When you take somebody seriously, sooner or later you will take revenge because you cannot remain serious for long. One wants to be happy and take things in fun.
But you alone are not at fault. Pravasi must also be making sure that he is being taken seriously. Every husband has been doing that for thousands of years: he should be taken seriously – he is no ordinary person, he is your husband!
In India, husbands have taught the women: “Your husband is your god.” Husbands teaching the wives! And they have forced the poor women to accept them as their gods. But they take revenge – they are bound to take revenge. They cannot accept it. No being can accept such indignity.
But the woman’s way is more subtle. The man’s way is gross; he imposes his superiority by beating his wife. The wife imposes her superiority by torturing him in very subtle ways – in such subtle ways that he cannot even defend himself.
When somebody is fighting with you, attacking you in a gross way, there is a possibility of defending yourself. You can learn karate – Satchidananda can help you – you can give him a few good kicks. Every woman should learn karate because enough is enough. So when your husband tries: “Take me seriously,” you can give him some good karate kicks. You should learn karate shouts too, so that the whole neighborhood knows what is happening.
Life has to be light. Neither the wife has to be taken seriously nor has the husband to be taken seriously. Seriousness is not a good thing. Between two persons, seriousness creates a wall; it destroys intimacy. But if you are bent upon dominating each other, naturally you have to be serious. You cannot dominate playfully. If you become playful and take things in fun, you cannot be dominant, you cannot have any ego trip. The ego functions only in the climate of seriousness.

“Dear,” asked the husband, “what exactly is hypnotism?”
“Hypnotism,” replied his wife, “is getting a man into your power and making him do whatever you want him to do.”
Snorted the husband, “That’s not hypnotism – that’s marriage!

Husbands are trying to force their wives to be just shadows to them. And the wives are trying to force the husbands to be just shadows to them. The whole idea is inhuman, irreligious, insane, neurotic.
If you really want to celebrate life, don’t make such demands on life. Take things nonseriously. Remember, how long has it been since you laughed with your husband? How long has it been since you danced with your husband informally? Not in a formal setting, not at some marriage, or in some Rotarians’ meeting or Lions’ meeting and not in some formal setting, but just out of sheer joy. How long has it been since you sat silently together listening to music, not arguing, not talking, not nagging; not doing all that nonsense that goes on in the name of marriage?
A wall is created between the wife and the husband. The society perpetuates the wall. And you are so stupid that you go on helping the society to destroy your relationships, to destroy the beauty of your relationships.

Walking down M.G. Road, the middle-aged guy said to his wife, “Hey, did you see that pretty girl smiling at me?”
“That’s nothing,” said the wife, “the first time I saw you I laughed out loud!”

A Frenchman came home early one day and found his best friend in bed with his wife.
Shaking his head in disbelief, he said, “You know I have to, Pierre – but you?”

Mr. Schmendrick came home earlier than expected and found his wife in bed with a strange man.
“What are you two doing?” he bellowed.
“See what I mean?” said the wife to her lover. “A schnook!”

The Bravermans married off their last daughter and decided to sell their house and move into a furnished apartment.
Mr. Braverman showed his wife the apartment he had rented.
“I don’t like it,” said Mrs. Braverman.
“Why not?” asked Mr. Braverman.
“There are no curtains in the bathroom. Every time I take a bath the neighbors will be able to see me in the nude!”
“Don’t worry,” said her husband, “when the neighbors see you in the nude, they’ll buy the curtains!”

“Ah, yes, my late wife was a most remarkable woman,” the mild old Englishman told one of his cronies on a park bench in London. “A very religious woman,” he continued. “Never missed a day in church and at home it was prayers and psalm-singing from morning to night.”
“How did she come to die?” the friend inquired.
“I strangled her.”

You say: “Why do I always try to change him?” Stop! Otherwise, if he strangles you, it will be difficult to save you. Every wife goes on trying to change the husband; that is a subtle strategy to dominate. It is a condemnation: “You are wrong and you have to be put right.” And husbands can’t defend themselves because they do a few things which they themselves think are bad, so they can’t defend themselves.
For example, they smoke and admit that it is wrong, so the wife goes on nagging them, “Stop smoking!” In fact, the more she nags, the more the husband has to smoke because he becomes more nervous. And when he is nervous, there is no other escape than smoking. If he does not smoke, he will strangle the wife! So he strangles a cigarette, or he starts chewing gum; otherwise he will chew on the wife! He has to do something just to keep himself engaged, so that this moment of anger passes by.
The wife has a good point there; she is just doing it for your sake – for your health, for you to live a long life. And the husband wants to die as soon as possible. With this woman… To live a long life! He goes on smoking more in the hope that smoking really does kill!
He drinks and you are against it – and he is against himself because the whole atmosphere is that he has been told it is wrong and he has accepted the idea. So he cannot say that he is right – he has no guts to say that he is right. He has to accept that the wife is right. And wives don’t smoke, they don’t drink, they don’t gamble, they don’t do anything wrong. They are so saintly! That is one good thing about being saintly – you can torture everybody! In fact, if you cannot torture everybody you will not be a saint at all – the whole joy is lost.
Wives are very holy and very religious for the simple reason that they can torture their husbands, they can torture their children, they can torture everybody. They are so holy; in comparison to them, everybody is a sinner.
The husband comes home shaking, trembling. He knows that he is doing wrong things. And there is nothing wrong in smoking. There is nothing wrong if you drink once in a while; it is absolutely human. Have you ever seen any animal smoking? That makes you distinct! Otherwise, what is distinctive about you? Have you seen any animal drinking, going to the pub, carrying bottles of beer? That makes you human; nothing wrong in it!
Just the other day I received a letter. A woman from Vinoba Bhave’s ashram had come to see our ashram. She could not see anything else. She writes that she had no time to come and listen to the lecture, no time to participate in the meditations, but she had enough time to go to the Blue Diamond and to other hotels to see what sannyasins were eating. She writes: “I have found out that not all sannyasins are vegetarians and they drink. And, Osho, you should stop them from doing this because if they are religious, if they are meditators, how can they be nonvegetarians and how can they drink?”
I don’t see that there is any problem. Jesus used to drink and he was religious – as religious as Buddha – in fact, a little more religious, because Buddha must have been a little afraid that if he drank, his religiousness might be lost. Jesus must have been absolutely certain about his religiousness; that a little drink here and there did not make much difference. And, as far as alcohol is concerned, it is absolutely vegetarian – nothing wrong in it.
But the woman took note of these things. In the first place, a woman; in the second place, coming from a Gandhian ashram… So, doubly wrong! That was all that she could find.
Mohammed was not a vegetarian, neither was Ramakrishna. I don’t think that Krishna was a vegetarian, nor Rama, nor the seers of the Upanishads, nor the rishis of the Vedas. They were not vegetarians. Still they attained to the ultimate. So just what you eat and what you drink can’t make much difference.
I am not telling you to eat meat. I am simply telling you that if it is possible, it is cleaner not to eat meat. But it has nothing spiritual about it. It is aesthetic not to eat meat, it is poetic not to eat meat, but it has nothing religious about it. I am not telling you to become drunkards, but I cannot say that it is unspiritual; once in a while, getting a little ecstatic from a little drink is perfectly okay and human.
My whole approach is human. I don’t want you to become sad and serious holy people. We are tired of all these saints!
Please don’t try to change him. Love means acceptance, accepting the other as he is. These are the ways of hate. Trying to change someone is not love. And don’t be after him. He has not done anything wrong in getting married to you. Don’t make him suffer too much. He has not done anything wrong, so why punish him so much? Give him freedom. In giving freedom you will find your freedom too, because we can get freedom only if we give freedom.
When two persons give freedom to each other, only then can love grow. In absolute freedom, absolute love grows. And when love and freedom are together, their beauty is immense.
My sannyasins have to live freedom, love, meditation, bliss. Drop all these wrong patterns of creating misery for each other.

The fourth question:
Why are you so against knowledge?
Knowledge is destructive of something immensely valuable in you; it destroys your wonder. It is through wonder that one becomes aware of godliness, not through knowledge. You need wondering eyes like small children. You need the capacity to feel awe before the sunrise, before the sky full of stars, before a roaring ocean. If you cannot feel awe you cannot feel godliness because godliness is a mystery. It is available only to those who are capable of feeling awe, who are capable of being mystified.
Knowledge destroys wonder, destroys the capacity to feel awe. It makes you capable of explaining away everything. It takes away all poetry from life. It takes away all meaning from life. The knowledgeable person is never surprised by anything. He has explanations for everything – why should he be surprised? In fact, no explanation is true. Explanations don’t explain anything at all. The mystery remains. The mystery is infinite.
But the knowledgeable person becomes so burdened by his knowledge that he loses the mirrorlike quality of reflecting the beauty, the benediction, the dance, the ecstasy of existence.
Hence, I am against knowledge because I am in favor of knowing. Knowing is a totally different phenomenon. Knowing means innocence; knowledge means cleverness, knowledge is cunning. Knowing is simply a heart phenomenon, knowledge is a head thing. Knowledge means you have a lot of information, means you have gathered much information in your memory; your memory has become a bank. Your memory is nothing but a biocomputer. It does not make you wise – no, not at all; you can repeat only that which has been put into your memory in the first place. Memory can never give you any original experience, any original insight. It takes away many things and gives you nothing – except that you feel more egoistic because you think you know.

Strolling through the card room of a business club, Stimson was surprised to see three men and an Airedale terrier playing poker. Pausing to watch, he commented on the extraordinary performance of the dog.
“He’s not so smart,” said the Airedale’s owner. “Every time he gets a good hand he wags his tail!”

Perkins dropped over to visit Nelson, a new neighbor. They were sitting in the den talking, when a dog came in and asked if anyone had seen the Sunday Times. He was handed the newspaper and left.
“That’s remarkable,” exclaimed Perkins. “A dog that reads!”
“Oh, don’t let him fool you,” said Nelson. “He just looks at the comics.”

Dixon, seated in a movie theater, noticed that the man in front of him had his arm around the neck of a huge Afghan hound that occupied the seat next to him.
The dog was watching the picture with obvious understanding for he snarled softly when the villain spoke and yelped joyously at the funny lines.
Dixon leaned over and tapped the man in front of him on the shoulder. “Excuse me, but I can’t get over your dog’s behavior.”
“Yeah, I’m surprised too,” said the man. “He hated the book.”

The knowledgeable person becomes absolutely incapable of experiencing surprise, of experiencing the mysterious, the miraculous. Even if God stands in front of him he will say, “So what?” Nothing can surprise him, hence nothing delights him.
Jesus says, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter into the kingdom of God.”
Knowledge has to be put aside, so that you can reclaim again those beautiful moments of your childhood when you were running after butterflies, collecting seashells and colored stones on the seashore; thinking that you had found a treasure. Those colored stones were far more significant to you than Kohinoors. You have to regain that fairyland. You have to look again with those eyes at the world; it is full of godliness. The birds singing, a distant call of the cuckoo, the flowers… Everything is so wonderful that wherever you look, wherever you move, you would like to give thanks, you will feel grateful. You would like to kneel down on the earth and pray. You will not need to go to any church or to any temple; there is no need. The whole existence becomes the temple – it is the temple.
I am against knowledge because knowledge hinders your wisdom. Unless you put knowledge aside, your nature cannot explode into intelligence. Put knowledge aside and you will be in for a great surprise – you start behaving in a different way, in a spontaneous way.
Knowledge is ready-made; it keeps you tethered to the past. Hence, all your responses are out of date, never to the point; always falling short, and are never adequate, can never be adequate. Life goes on changing every moment, it is always new. And your response is not a response, it is a reaction; it comes from the past. You have a ready-made answer. You have not even looked at the situation and you have repeated the ready-made answer like a gramophone record.
Hence you lag behind life. And if you lag behind life you can’t have blissfulness in your being. You will always feel that you are missing, you will always feel that something is missing. What is that something? You are not in step with life. You will always dream that you are rushing and running toward a station; by the time you reach it, the train is moving away from the platform. That dream is symbolic; it simply shows that you are never alive to the moment, you are always late. It is because of your past and because you think you already know the answers. Hence you never listen to the questions, you never listen to the situation that is confronting you.
A Zen story…

Two temples were traditionally antagonistic to each other. Both priests had a small boy to run errands and both priests told the boys, “Don’t talk to the boy from the other temple. We are enemies!” They were afraid that boys being, after all, boys they may start becoming friendly with other. If the priests had not said anything they may not have thought about it, but when they insisted that they should not talk to each other, of course, the temptation was too great.
So one day, one boy asked the other boy when they met on the road, “Where are you going?”
The other boy said, “Wherever the wind takes me.”
Listening to philosophical discussions and discourses, he had also become philosophical.
The other boy was almost dumb. He could not think of what to say now. And then he thought, “My master is right – these people are dangerous! I am asking a simple question, ‘Where are you going?’ and he is talking metaphysics!”
He went back. He told the master, “I am sorry that I didn’t obey you, but this has happened.”
The master said, “This is very bad – we have to defeat him! It has never been so. We have always been victorious in every argument with the other temple. So tomorrow you ask him again, ‘Where are you going?’ and when he says, ‘Wherever the wind takes me,’ ask him, ‘And if the wind is not blowing at all, then?’”
The boy was very happy! He arrived a little earlier, stood there, waited and repeated many times what he was going to say in order to become perfectly clear about it.
The other boy came and he asked, “Where are you going?”
And the other boy said, “Wherever my feet take me.”
Now the answer was irrelevant; whatever he had prepared was meaningless. He was again at a loss. He asked the master again.
The master said, “Those people are cunning and crafty! Now, whenever he says, ‘Wherever my feet take me,’ you ask him, ‘If you were born paralyzed, then what?’”
Again the boy came. He asked, “Where are you going?”
The boy said, “I am going to fetch vegetables.”

Life is like that. You come with a prepared question and it changes, it says, “I am going to fetch vegetables.” No prepared answer is going to help. Knowledge is not going to help as far as life is concerned. The knowledgeable person is almost a dead person; he lives in his grave.
Come out of your graves. Live more spontaneously, more responsibly. Respond to the moment. Listen to the moment and act accordingly. Then your act will be total because it will arise out of the present; it will reflect the actual situation. It will be really meaningful, significant, satisfying, fulfilling. And you will find that you are no longer missing. You are in step with life, you are in harmony with life.
Innocence is always in harmony with life. To be harmonious is to be enlightened. To be harmonious is the only way to know the ultimate truth.

The fifth question:
Why do the Jaina monks live naked?
They suffer from clothestrophobia!

The sixth question:
Whenever I get off on the jokes you crack, underneath my laughter I get run over by a bulldozer and end up feeling like a mashed potato! How long can an over-and-over-mashed potato survive?
Have you survived yet? Are you still there?

The distraught woman went to hospital and said, “It is my husband – he was run over by a steam roller. Could you tell me which ward he’s in?”
The nurse said, “Ah, he must be the one who is in wards four, five and six!”

Here you see that all are mashed potatoes! It is very difficult to know who is who – just orange potatoes!
Your question is coming a little too late. You are finished already. Now nothing can be done. You can’t put a mashed potato back together again. That is impossible!

The last question:
I work for the Osho Ashram, Pune, India. Please… Tell me a joke!
Why a joke? I am not miserly! I will tell you three jokes!
The first:

The Italian bride and groom went into the honeymoon suite. The bride, eager to go but still a trifle bashful, insisted that they turn off the light and undress in the dark.
She made it into bed in seconds and lay there sighing deeply. “Oh, my darling,” she said, “I just can’t believe I’m really married.”
She heard a scuffling sound in the darkness and repeated, “Oh, my darling, I can’t believe that I’m really married!”
From out of the darkness, the bridegroom’s voice said furiously, “If I ever manage to get this zipper unjammed you will!”

The second:

An old philosopher goes to see the doctor and says, “Doc, I’ve got a question you can probably help me with. When I was a young man in my twenties I used to get an erection once in a while and I’d grab it with both hands; I couldn’t bend it. Then later on in my forties I would get a hard-on and I’d grab it with both hands and I couldn’t bend it. Now, doc, I’m in my seventies and you know – the other day I was surprised! I got a hard-on and I grabbed it with both hands and I could bend it. Now, doc, does this mean I’m getting stronger?”

And the third:

An American tourist’s pretty wife said she didn’t feel well and went to consult a well-known French doctor. Worried, the American followed her to the doctor’s office to make sure everything was all right. To his anger and dismay, when he got there, he found her in bed with the doctor.
“What in hell do you think you’re doing?” he raged.
Said the foxy Frenchman, “Do not excite yourself, my friend. I am merely taking the lady’s temperature.”
“Okay, doc,” said the burly American, doubling his big fists. “But that thing better have numbers on it when you take it out!”

Enough for today.

Spread the love