Be a light unto yourself
IS ZEN THE PATH OF SURRENDER? THEN HOW COME THE BASIC TEACHING OF BUDDHA IS 'BE A LIGHT UNTO YOURSELF'?
The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust -- so don't be misguided by the word.
Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust.
Let me explain. You swim in water -- you go to the river and swim. What do you do?
You trust water. A good swimmer trusts so much that he almost becomes one with the river. He is not fighting, he does not grab the water, he is not stiff and tense. If you are stiff and tense you will be drowned; if you are relaxed the river takes care. That's why whenever somebody dies, the dead body floats on the water. This is a miracle. Amazing!
The alive person died and was drowned by the river, and the dead person simply floats on the surface. What has happened? The dead person knows some secret about the river which the alive person did not know. The alive person was fighting. The river was the enemy. He was afraid, he could not trust. But the dead person, not being there, how could he fight? The dead person is totally relaxed with no tension -- suddenly the body surfaces.
The river takes care. No river can drown a dead person.
Trust means you are not fighting; surrender means you don't think of life as the enemy but as the friend. Once you trust the river, suddenly you start enjoying. Tremendous delight arises: splashing, swimming, or just floating, or diving deep. But you are not separate from the river, you merge, you become one.
Surrender means to live the same way in life as a good swimmer swims in the river. Life is a river. Either you can fight or you can float; either you can push the river and try to go against the c. or you can float with the river and go wherever the river leads you.
Surrender is not towards somebody; it is simply a way of life. A God is not needed to surrender to. There are religions which believe in God, there are religions which don't believe in God, but all religions believe in surrender. So surrender is the real God.
Even the concept of God can be discarded. Buddhism does not believe in any God, Jainism does not believe in any God -- but they are religions. Christianity believes in God, Islam believes in God, Sikhism believes in God -- they are also religions. The Christian teaches surrender to God; God is just an excuse to surrender. It is a help, because it will be difficult for you to surrender without any object. The object is just an excuse so that in the name of God you can surrender. Buddhism says simply surrender -- there is no God. You relax. It is not a question of some object, it is a question of your own subjectivity. Relax, don't fight. Accept.
The belief in God is not needed. In fact, the word 'belief' is ugly. It does not show trust, it does not show faith -- belief is almost the very opposite of faith. The word 'belief' comes from a root 'lief' -- 'lief' means to desire, to wish. Now let me explain it to you. You say, 'I believe in God the compassionate.' What exactly are you saying? You are saying, 'I wish there was a God who is compassionate.' Whenever you say, 'I believe,' you say, 'I intensely desire.' But you don't know.
If you know, there is no question of belief. Do you believe in the trees here? Do you believe in the sun which arises every morning? Do you believe in the stars? There is no question of belief. You know that the sun is there, that the trees are there. Nobody believes in the sun -- if he did, you would say he is mad. If somebody came and said, 'I believe in the sun,' and tried to convert you, you would say, 'You have gone mad!'
I have heard an anecdote.
A certain lady, Lady Lewis, was appointed ambassador to Italy by the United States of America. She was a recently converted Catholic, and, of course, when people become converted, they are very enthusiastic. And she was boring everybody. Whosoever she came into contact with, she would try and make him a Catholic.
The story goes that when she went to Italy as the ambassador, she went to see the Pope. A long discussion followed -- it went on and on. A press reporter slipped closer and closer, just to hear what was going on. The Pope had never given so much time to anybody, and the discussion seemed to be very heated and hot. Something was going on. When the Pope talks so long to the ambassador of the richest and the strongest nation in the world, there is going to be some news.
Just to overhear, he came closer and closer. He could hear only one sentence. The Pope was saying in a faltering English, 'Lady, you don't understand me. I am already a Catholic!'
She was trying to convert the Pope!
If somebody comes and says to you, 'Believe in the sun,' you will say, 'I am already a Catholic. I already believe. You don't be worried about it.' You know.
Somebody asked Shri Aurobindo, 'Do you believe in God?' He said, 'No.' Of course the questioner was very shocked. He had come from far away, from Germany, and he was a great seeker of God and he was hoping for much. Then this man simply says a flat no. He said, 'But I was thinking that you have known him.' Aurobindo said, 'Yes, I have known him, but I don't believe in him.'
Once you know, what is the point of belief? Belief is in ignorance. If you know, you know. And it is good that if you don't know, know that you don't know -- the belief can deceive you. The belief can create an atmosphere in your mind, where, without knowing, you start thinking that you know. Belief is not trust, and the more strongly you say that you believe totally, the more you are afraid of the doubt within you.
Trust knows no doubt. Belief is just repressing doubt; it is a desire. When you say, 'I believe in God,' you say, 'I cannot live without God. It will be too difficult to exist in this darkness, surrounded by death, without a concept of God.' That concept helps. One doesn't feel alone; one doesn't feel unprotected, insecure -- hence belief.
Martin Luther has written, 'My God is a great fortress.' These words cannot come from a man who trusts. 'My God is a great fortress'? Martin Luther seems to be on the defensive.
Even God is just a fortress to protect you, to make you feel secure? Then it is out of fear.
The thinking that 'God is my greatest fortress', is born out of fear, not out of love. It is not of trust. Deep down there is doubt and fear.
Trust is simple. It is just like a child trusts in his mother. It is not that he believes -- belief has not yet entered. You were a small child once. Did you believe in your mother or did you trust her? The doubt has not arisen so what is the question of belief? Belief comes only when the doubt has entered; doubt comes first. Later on, to suppress the doubt, you catch hold of a belief. Trust is when doubt disappears; trust is when doubt is not there.
For instance, you breathe. You take a breath in; then you exhale, you breathe out. Are you afraid of breathing out, because who knows, it may not come back? You trust. You trust it will come. Of course there is no reason to trust, what is the reason? Why should it come back? You can at the most say that in the past it has been happening so -- but that is not a guarantee. It may not happen in the future. If you become afraid of breathing out because it may not come back, then you will hold your breath in. That's what belief is -- clinging, holding. But if you hold your breath in, your face will go purple and you will feel suffocated. And if you go on doing that, you will die.
All beliefs suffocate and all beliefs help you not to be really alive. They deaden your being.
If you exhale, you trust in life. The Buddhist word 'nirvana' simply means exhaling, breathing out -- trusting. Trust is a very, very innocent phenomenon. Belief is of the head; trust is of the heart. One simply trusts life because you are out of life, you live in life, and you will go back again to the source. There is no fear. You are born, you live, you will die; there is no fear. You will be born again, you will live again, you will die. The same life that has given you life can always give you more life, so why be afraid? Why cling to beliefs? Beliefs are man-made; trust is God-made. Beliefs are philosophical; trust has nothing to do with philosophy. Trust simply shows that you know what love is. It is not a concept of God who is sitting somewhere in heaven and manipulating and managing.
Trust needs no God, the infinite life, this totality, is more than enough. Once you trust, you relax. That relaxation is surrender.
Now, IS ZEN THE PATH OF SURRENDER? Yes. Religion, as such, is surrendering, relaxing. Don't cling to anything. Clinging shows that you don't trust life.
Every evening, Mohammed used to distribute whatsoever he had collected in the day.
All! Not even a single pai would he save for the tomorrow because he said that the same source that had given today, would give to him tomorrow. If it has happened today, why be untrusting about tomorrow? Why save?
But when he was dying and he was very ill, his wife became worried. Even at midnight a physician may be needed, so that evening she saved five rupees, five dinars. She was afraid. 'Nobody knows -- he may become too ill in the night, and some medicine may be needed and in the middle of the night, where would I go? Or a doctor may be needed and the fee would have to be given.' Not saying anything to Mohammed, she'd saved five dinars.
Near about midnight, Mohammed opened his eyes and he said, 'I feel a certain distrust around me. It seems something has been saved.'
The wife became very much afraid and she said, 'Excuse me, but thinking that something may be needed in the night, I have saved just five dinars.'
Mohammed said, 'You go out and give it to somebody.'
She said, 'In the middle of the night who is going to be there?'
Mohammed said, 'You just listen and let me die peacefully, otherwise I will feel guilty, guilty against my God. And if he asks me. I will feel ashamed that at the last moment I died in deep distrust. You go out!'
The wife went out, unbelieving of course, but a beggar was standing there.
When she came back, Mohammed said, 'Look, he manages well, and if we need something, then a donor will be standing outside the door. Don't be worried.'
Then he pulled up his blanket and died immediately, relaxed totally.
Clinging to anything, anything whatsoever, shows distrust. If you love a woman or a man, and you cling, that simply shows that you don't trust. If you love a woman and you say, 'Tomorrow also, will you love me or not?' you don't trust. If you go to the court to get married, you don't trust. Then you trust more in the court, in the police, in the law, than in love. You are preparing for tomorrow. If this woman or this man tries to deceive you tomorrow or leaves you in the ditch, you can get support from the court and the police, and the law will be with you and the whole society will support you. You are making arrangements, afraid. But if you really love, love is enough, more than enough.
Who bothers about tomorrow? But deep down there is doubt. Even while you think you are in love, doubt continues.
It is reported that when Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion, the first person to see him back alive was Mary Magdalene. She had loved him tremendously. She ran towards him. In the New Testament it is said that Jesus said, 'Don't touch me.' I became a little suspicious because Jesus saying, 'Don't touch me,' does not look right. Something somewhere has gone wrong. Of course it is okay if a pope says, 'Don't touch me,' but a Jesus saying, 'Don't touch me.' Almost impossible. So I tried to find the original. In the original the Greek word can mean both touch or cling. Then I found the key. Jesus says, 'Don't cling to me,' not 'Don't touch me, but the translators have interpreted it as, 'Don't touch me.' The interpreter has entered his own mind in it. Jesus must have said, 'Don't cling to me,' because if there is trust, there is no clinging if there is love, there is no clinging. You simply share without any clinging; you share in deep relaxedness.
Surrendering means surrendering to life; surrendering to the source from where you come and to where one day you will go back again. You are just like a wave in the ocean: You come out of the ocean, you go back to the ocean. Surrendering means trusting in the ocean -- and of course, what can a wave do except that? The wave has to trust the ocean and whether you trust or not, you remain part of the ocean. Non-trusting, you will create anxiety -- that's all. Nothing will change. only you will become anxious. tense, desperate.
If you trust, you flower. you bloom. you celebrate. knowing well that deep down is your mother, the ocean. When tired, you will go back and rest in her being again. When rested, you will come back again to have a taste of the sky and the sunlight and the stars.
Surrendering is trusting and it has nothing to do with any concept of any God, any ideology of any God. It is an attitude.
Then you can understand the meaning of Buddha s last utterance. Be a light unto yourself. When he says. Be a light unto yourself. he means: if you have surrendered to life you have become a light unto yourself. Then life leads you. Then you always live in enlightenment. When he says. 'Be a light unto yourself, he is saying don t follow anybody, don't cling to anybody. Learn from everybody but don't cling to anybody. Be open, vulnerable, but remain on your own, because finally the religious experience cannot be a borrowed experience. It has to be existential; it has to be your own. Only then it is authentic. If I say something and you believe in it, it is not going to help. If I say something and you search, and you surrender, and you trust, and you also experience the same -- then it has become a light unto yourself. Otherwise my words will remain words; at the most they can become beliefs. Unless you experience the truth of them, they cannot become trust, they cannot become your own truth. My truth cannot become yours, otherwise it would have been very cheap. If my truth could be yours then there would be no problem.
That is the difference between a scientific truth and a religious truth. A scientific truth can be borrowed. A scientific truth, once known, becomes everybody else's property.
Albert Einstein discovered the theory of relativity. Now there is no need for everybody to discover it again and again and again. That would be foolish. Once discovered, it has become public. Now it is everybody's theory. Once discovered, once proved, now even a school child can learn it. Now no genius is needed -- you need not be an Albert Einstein.
Just a mediocre mind will do; just an ordinary mind will do. You can understand it and it is yours. Of course, Einstein had to work for years -- then he was able to discover it. You need not work. If you are ready to understand and put your mind to it, in just a few hours you will understand.
But the same is not true about religious truth. Buddha discovered, Christ discovered, Nanak and Kabir discovered, but their discovery cannot become your discovery. You will have to rediscover it again. You will have to move again from ABC; you cannot just believe in them. That won't help. But that is what humanity has been doing: mistaking religious truth for scientific truth. It is not scientific truth, it can never become a public property. Each individual has to come to it alone, each individual has to come to it again and again. It can never become available in the market. You will have to pass through the hardship; you will have to seek and search and follow the same path. A shortcut cannot even be made. You will have to pass through the same austerities as Buddha, the same difficulties as the Buddha; you will have to suffer the same calamities on the path as the Buddha and you will have to be in the same hazards as the Buddha. And one day, when the clouds disappear, you will dance and be as ecstatic as the Buddha.
Of course, when an Archimedes discovers something, he runs naked in the streets, 'Eureka! I have found it!' You can understand Archimedes within minutes, within seconds, but you will not be ecstatic -- otherwise every school child would run naked in the streets, crying, 'Eureka!' Nobody has done that since Archimedes did it. It happened only once. For Archimedes it was a discovery; since then it has become public property.
But it is good that the religious truth cannot be transferred to you otherwise you would never achieve the same ecstasy as Buddha or Jesus or Krishna. Never, because you would learn. it in a school textbook -- any fool could transfer it to you. Then the whole orgasmic experience will be lost.
It is good that religious experience has to be experienced individually. Nobody can lead you there. People can indicate the way but those indications are very subtle -- don't take them literally. Buddha said, 'Be a light unto yourself.' He is saying, 'Remember, my truth cannot be your truth; my light cannot be your light. Imbibe the spirit from me, become more thirsty from me, let your search be intense and be totally devoted to it, learn the devotion of a truth-seeker from me -- but the truth, the light, will burn within you. You will have to kindle it within you.' You cannot borrow truth, it cannot be transferred, it is not a property. It is such a subtle experience that it cannot even be expressed. It is inexpressible. One at the most tries to give a few hints.
The second question:
PLEASE EXPLAIN THE NATURE OF THE EXPERIENCES WE CALL BOREDOM AND RESTLESSNESS.
Boredom and restlessness are deeply related. Whenever you feel boredom, then you feel restlessness. Restlessness is a by-product of boredom.
Try to understand the mechanism. Whenever you feel bored you want to move away from that situation. If somebody is saying something and you are getting bored, you start becoming fidgety. This is a subtle indication that you want to move from this place, from this man, from this nonsense-talk. Your body starts moving. Of course, because of politeness you suppress it, but the body is already on the move -- because the body is more authentic than the mind, the body is more honest and sincere than the mind. The mind is trying to be polite, smiling. You say, 'How beautiful,' but inside you are saying, 'How horrible! I have listened to this story so many times and he is telling it again!'
I have heard about Albert Einstein's wife, Frau Einstein. A friend of Albert Einstein used to come many times and Einstein would tell some anecdotes, some jokes, and they would laugh. But the friend became curious about one thing: whenever he came, and whenever Einstein started telling jokes....
Einstein was a Jew, and Jews have the best jokes in the world. Because they have suffered so long they have lived by jokes. Their life has been so miserable that they had to tickle themselves -- hence they have the most beautiful jokes. No other country. no other race, can compete with them. In India we don't have good jokes at all because the country has lived very peacefully -- no need to tickle. Humor is needed when one is in constant danger; one needs to laugh at anything. Any excuse will do to laugh.
....Einstein would tell some joke, some anecdote, some story and they both would laugh.
But the friend became curious because whenever Einstein would start saying something, the wife would immediately start knitting or doing something.
So he asked, 'The moment Einstein starts telling some joke, why do you start knitting?'
The wife said, 'If I don't do anything, it will be tremendously difficult for me to tolerate because I have heard that joke a thousand and one times. You come sometimes -- I am always here. Whenever anybody comes he tells the same joke. If I didn't do something with my hands, I would become so fidgety that it will be almost impolite. So I have to do something so that I can move my restlessness into work and I can hide behind the work.'
Whenever you feel bored you will feel restless. Restlessness is an indication of the body; the body is saying, 'Move away from here. Go anywhere, but don't be here.' But the mind goes on smiling and the eyes go on sparkling, and you go on saying that you are listening and you have never heard such a beautiful thing. The mind is civilized; the body is still wild. The mind is human; the body is still animal. The mind is false; the body is true. The mind knows the rules and regulations -- how to behave and how to behave rightly -- so even if you meet a bore you say, 'I am so happy, so glad to see you!' And deep down, if you were allowed, you would kill this man. He tempts you to murder. Then you become fidgety, then you feel restlessness.
If you listen to the body and run away, the restlessness will disappear. Try it. Try it. If somebody is boring you simply start jumping and running around. See. Restlessness will disappear because restlessness simply shows that the energy does not want to be here.
The energy is already on the move; the energy has already left this place. Now you follow energy.
So the real thing is to understand boredom not restlessness. Boredom is a very, very significant phenomenon. Only man feels bored, no other animal. You cannot make a buffalo bored. Impossible. Only man gets bored because only man is conscious.
Consciousness is the cause. The more sensitive you are, the more alert you are, the more conscious you are, the more you will feel bored. In more situations you will feel bored. A mediocre mind does not feel so bored. He goes on; he accepts; whatsoever is, is okay; he is not so alert. The more alert you become, the more fresh, the more you will feel as if some situation is just a repetition, as if some situation is just getting hard on you, as if some situation is just stale. The more sensitive you are, the more bored you will become.
Boredom is an indication of sensitivity. Trees are not bored, animals are not bored, rocks are not bored -- because they are not sensitive enough. This has to be one of the basic understandings about your boredom -- that you are sensitive.
But Buddhas also are not bored. You cannot bore a Buddha. Animals are not bored and Buddhas are not bored, so boredom exists as a middle phenomenon between the animal and the Buddha. For boredom a little more sensitivity is needed than is given to the animal. And if you want to get beyond it then you have to become totally sensitive. Then again the boredom disappears. But in the middle the boredom is there. If you become animal-like, then boredom disappears. So you will find that people who live a very animalistic life are less bored. Eating, drinking, marrying -- they are not very bored, but they are not sensitive. They live at the minimum. They live only with that much consciousness as is needed for a day-to-day routine life. You will find that intellectuals, people who think too much, are more bored, because they think. And because of their thinking they can see that something is just repetition.
Your life is repetition. Every morning you get up almost the same way as you have been getting up all your life. You take your breakfast almost the same way. Then you go to the office -- the same office, the same people, the same work. Then you come home -- the same wife. If you get bored it is natural. It is very difficult for you to see any newness here; everything seems to be old, dust-covered.
I have heard an anecdote.
Mary Jane, the very good friend of a wealthy broker, opened the door cheerfully one day, and then quickly attempted to close it when she discovered the person on the threshold to be her lover's wife.
The wife leaned against the door and said, 'Oh, let me in, dear. I don't intend to make a scene, just to have a small friendly discussion.'
With considerable nervousness Mary Jane let her enter, then said cautiously, 'What do you want?'
'Nothing much' said the wife, looking about. 'I just want the answer to one question. Tell me dear, just between us, what do you see in that dumb jerk?'
The same husband every day becomes a dumb jerk; the same wife every day...you almost forget how she looks. If you are told to close your eyes and to remember your wife's face, you will find it impossible to remember. Many other women will come in your mind, the whole neighborhood, but not your wife. The whole relationship has become a continuous repetition. You make love, you hug your wife, you kiss your wife, but these are all empty gestures now. The glory and the glamour has disappeared long before. A marriage is almost finished by the time the honeymoon is over, then you go on pretending. But behind those pretensions a deep boredom accumulates. Watch people walking on the street and you will see them completely bored. Everybody is bored, bored to death. Look at their faces -- no aura of delight. Look at their eyes -- dust-covered, no glimmer of inner happiness. They move from the office to the home, from the home to the office, and by and by the whole life becomes a mechanical routine, a constant repetition. And one day they die... almost always people die without ever having been alive.
Bertrand Russell is reported to have said, 'When I remember, I cannot find more than a few moments in my life when I was really alive, aflame.' Can you remember? How many moments in your life were you really aflame? Rarely it happens. One dreams about those moments, one imagines those moments. one hopes for those moments -- but they never happen. Even if they happen, sooner or later they also become repetitive. When you fall in love with a woman or a man you feel a miracle, but by and by the miracle disappears and everything settles into a routine.
Boredom is the consciousness of repetition. Because animals cannot remember the past, they cannot feel bored. They cannot remember the past, so they cannot feel bored. They cannot remember the past, so they cannot feel the repetition. The buffalo goes on eating the same grass every day with the same delight. You cannot. How can you eat the same grass with the same delight? You get fed up.
Hence people try to change. They move into a new house, they bring a new car home, they divorce the old husband, they find a new love affair, but again that thing is going to become repetitive sooner or later. Changing places, changing persons,, changing partners, changing houses, is not going to do anything. And whenever a society becomes very bored, people start moving from one town to another. from one job to another, from one wife to another, but sooner or later they realize that this is all nonsense because the same thing is going to happen again and again with every woman, with every man, with every house, with every car.
What to do then? Become more conscious. It is not a question of changing situations; transform your being, become more conscious. If you become more conscious you will be able to see that each moment is new; but for that, very much energy, tremendous energy of consciousness is needed.
The wife is not the same -- remember. You are in an illusion. Go back home and look again at your wife -- she is not the same. Nobody can be the same. Just appearances deceive. These trees are not the same as they were yesterday. How can they be? They have grown. Many leaves have fallen, new leaves have come. Look at the almond tree.
How many new leaves have come! Every day the old are falling and the new are coming.
But you are not that much conscious.
Either have no consciousness -- then you cannot feel repetition -- or have so much consciousness that in each repetition you can see something new. These are the two ways to get out of boredom.
Changing outside things is not going to help. It is just like arranging the furniture in your room again and again. Whatsoever you do -- you can put it this way or that way -- is the same furniture. There are many housewives who continuously think about how to manage things, how to put things, where to put them, where not to put -- and they go on changing. But it is the same room, it is the same furniture. How long will you deceive in this way?
A brief television skit I once saw was of a caveman and a cavewomen who were kissing wildly and hysterically. They broke apart only to say, 'Gee, this is great!' then they turned to kissing again.
Finally the cavewoman pulled away to say, 'Listen. Do you suppose this wonderful thing we have discovered means that we are married?'
The caveman bent his small mind to the matter and finally said, 'Yes, I guess we are married. Now let us kiss some more.'
Whereupon the cavewoman put her hand to her head and said in sudden anguish, 'Oh, I have such a headache!'
Two persons meet, strangers -- everything is wonderful, beautiful. But sooner or later they become acquainted with each other. That's what marriage means. It means that now they are settling, now they would like to make it a repetition. Then the same kissing and the same hugging is no longer beautiful; it becomes almost a duty.
A man came home and found his friend kissing his wife. He took the friend into another room. The friend was trembling with fear. Now there is going to be something! The friendship will be broken.
The husband seemed to be very angry, but he was not. He closed the door and asked the friend, 'Just tell me one thing. I HAVE to -- but why were you kissing?'
'I HAVE to, but why were you kissing?' By and by everything settles, newness disappears, and you don't have that much consciousness or that quality of consciousness which can go on finding the new again and again. For a dull mind, everything is old; for a totally alive mind there is nothing old under the sun. Cannot be. Everything is in flux.
Every person is in flux, is river-like. Persons are not dead things. How can they be the same? Are you the same? Between when you came this morning to listen to me and when you went back home, a lot has happened. Some thoughts have disappeared from your mind, other thoughts have entered. You may have attained to a new insight. You cannot go the same as you had come. The river is continuously flowing; it looks the same but it is not the same. The old Heraclitus has said that you cannot step twice into the same river because the river is never the same.
One thing is that you are also not the same, and another thing is that everything is changing.... but then one has to live at the peak of consciousness. Either live like a Buddha or live like a buffalo, then you will not be bored. Now the choice is yours.
I have never seen anybody the same. You come to me -- how many times you have come to me -- but I never see the old. I'm always surprised by the newness that you bring every day. You may not be aware of it.
Remain capable of being surprised.
Let me tell you one anecdote.
A man entered a bar, deep in private thoughts of his own. He turned to a woman just passing and said, 'Pardon me, Miss, do you happen to have the time?'
In a strident voice she responded, 'How dare you make such a proposition to me!'
The man snapped to attention in surprise and was uncomfortably aware that every pair of eyes in the place had turned in their direction. He mumbled, 'I just asked the time, Miss.'
In a voice even louder the woman shrieked. 'I will call the police if you say another word!'
Grabbing his drink and embarrassed very nearly to death, the man hastened to the far end of the room and huddled at a table, holding his breath and wondering how soon he could sneak out the door.
No more than half a minute had passed when the woman joined him. In a quiet voice she said, 'I'm terribly sorry, sir, to have embarrassed you, but I am a psychology student at the University and I am writing a thesis on the reaction of human beings to sudden, shocking statements.'
The man stared at her for three seconds, then he leaned back and bellowed, 'You will do all that for me, all night, for just two dollars?'
And it is said that the woman fell down unconscious.
Maybe we don't allow our consciousness to rise higher because then life would be a constant surprise and you might not be able to manage it. That's why you have settled for a dull mind, there is some investment in it. You are not dull for no reason, you are dull for a certain purpose -- if you were really alive then everything would be surprising and shocking. If you remain dull then nothing surprises you, nothing is shocking. The more dull you are, the more life seems to be dull to you. If you become more aware, life will also become more alive, livelier, and there is going to be difficulty.
You always live with dead expectations. Every day you come home and you expect certain behavior from your wife. Now look how you create your own misery: you expect a certain fixed behavior from your wife and then you expect your wife to be new. You are asking the impossible. If you really want your wife to remain continuously new to you, don't expect. Come home always ready to be surprised and shocked, then the wife will be new. But she has to fulfill certain expectations. We never allow our total flux-like freshness to be known to the other. We go on hiding, we don't expose, because the other may not be able to understand it at all. And the wife also expects the husband to behave in a certain way, and, of course, they manage the roles. We are not living life, we are living roles. The husband comes home; he forces himself into a certain role. By the time he enters the house, he is no more an alive person -- he is just a husband.
A husband means a certain type of expected behavior. The woman there is a wife, and the man there is a husband. Now when these two persons meet there are really four persons:
the husband and wife, which are not real persons -- just personas, masks, false patterns expected behavior, duties, and all that -- and the real persons hiding behind the masks.
Those real persons feel bored.
But you have invested much in your persona, in your mask. If you really want a life which has no boredom in it, drop all masks, be true. Sometimes it will be difficult, I know, but it is worth it. Be true. If you feel like loving your wife, love her, otherwise say you don't feel like it. What is happening right now is that the husband goes on making love to the wife, and goes on thinking of some actress. In imagination he is not making love to this woman, in imagination he is making love to some other woman. And the same is true about the wife. Then things become boring because they are no more alive.
The intensity, the sharpness, is lost.
It happened on a railway platform. Mr. Johnson had weighed himself on one of those old- fashioned penny machines that delivered a card with a fortune printed on it.
The formidable Mrs. Johnson plucked it from her husband's fingers and said, 'Let me see that. Oh, it says you are firm and resolute, have a decisive personality, are a leader of men, and are attractive to women.'
Then she turned over the card, studied it for a moment and said, 'And they have got the weight wrong as well'
No woman can believe that her husband is attracted to other women. There is the whole point, the whole crux. If he is not attracted to other women, how can she expect that he will be attracted to herself? If he is attracted to other women only then can he be attracted to her, because she is also a woman. The wife wants him to be attracted to her and not attracted to anybody else. Now this is asking something absurd. It is as if you are saying, 'You are allowed to breathe only in my presence and when you go near somebody else, you are not allowed to breathe. How dare you breathe anywhere else?' Just breathe when the wife is there, just breathe when the husband is there, and don't breathe anywhere else.
Of course, if you do that you will be dead and you will not be able to breathe in front of your wife also.
Love has to be a way of life. You are to be loving. Only then can you love your wife and your husband. But the wife says, 'No, you should not look at anybody else with a loving eye.' Of course you manage because if you don't it creates such nuisance.... But by and by the glimmer in your eyes disappears. If you cannot look anywhere else with love, by and by you cannot look at your own wife with love -- it disappears. The same has happened to her. The same has happened to the whole of humanity. Then life is a boredom; then everybody is waiting for death; then there are people continuously thinking of committing suicide.
Marcel has said somewhere that the only metaphysical problem facing humanity is suicide. And it is so, because people are so bored. It is simply amazing why they don't commit suicide; how they go on living. Life doesn't seem to give anything, all meaning seems to be lost, but still people go on dragging somehow, hoping that some day some miracle will happen and everything will be put right. It never happens. You have to put it right; nobody else is going to put it right. No Messiah is to come. Don't wait for any Messiah. You have to be a light unto yourself.
Live more authentically. Drop the masks; they are a weight on your heart. Drop all falsities. Be exposed. Of course it is going to be troublesome but that trouble is worth it because only after that trouble will you grow and become mature. And then nothing is holding life. Each moment life reveals its newness. It is a constant miracle happening all around you only you are hiding behind dead habits.
Become a Buddha if you don't want to be bored. Live each moment as fully alert as possible, because only in full alertness will you be able to drop the mask. You have completely forgotten what your original face is. Even when you stand before the mirror in your bathroom and you are alone, nobody is there, even standing before the mirror you don't see your original face in the mirror. There too you go on deceiving.
Existence is available for those who are available to existence. And then I tell you, there is no boredom. Life is infinite delight.
The third question:
I FEEL SO MUCH RESISTANCE AGAINST MEDITATION AND I DON'T HAVE THIS DESIRE FOR GOD THAT YOU SPEAK ABOUT. IS THIS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR ME?
If you feel much resistance against meditation it simply shows that deep down you are alert that something is going to happen which will change your total life. You are afraid of being reborn. You have invested too much in your old habits, in the old personality, in the old identity.
Meditation is nothing but trying to clean your being. trying to become fresh and young, trying to become more alive and more alert. If you are afraid of meditation it means you are afraid of life, you are afraid of awareness, and the resistance comes because you know that if you move into meditation, something is bound to happen. If you are not resisting at all it may be because you don't take meditation very seriously. you don't take meditation very sincerely. Then you can play around. What is there to be afraid of?
It is exactly because you are resisting that this is the right place for you. This is precisely the right place for you. The resistance shows that something is going to happen. One never resists without any cause.
You must be living a very dead life. Now you are afraid that something is becoming alive, something is changing. You resist. Resistance is an indication, resistance is a very clear indication that you have suppressed much. Now in meditation that suppression will surface, it will be released. You would also like to be released of the burden but in that burden there are investments.
For example, you may be carrying pebbles in your hands but you think they are diamonds. And then I tell you, 'Clean yourself. Drop these pebbles. They have become a burden and you cannot move because of them.' You would like to be unburdened but then you are afraid that your diamonds will be lost. And they are not diamonds. Look again at your diamonds. If they were really diamonds, you should be happy. If they were really diamonds, you would not have come to me at ail. There is no need. If you have come, it shows that you are seeking. You may say that you are not interested in God -- I am also not interested in God -- but you are interested in yourself. Are you interested in yourself?
Forget all about God. If you are interested in yourself. then this is precisely the place for you. If you are interested in your own being, in your own wholeness and health; if you are interested in becoming a blossomed flower, then forget all about God -- because in that blossoming you will know what God is. When your fragrance is released then you will know what God is. God is your ultimate flowering, your final flowering; your destiny fulfilled is what God is all about.
A woman seeing Turner's pictures said once, 'Making a lot of fuss over him, are they not?
I never saw anything in him myself.'
And another woman said to Turner himself, 'But you know, Mr. Turner I never see sunsets like yours.'
She received the mild yet devastating reply, 'No. Don't you wish you could?'
When a Turner paints a sunset of course he sees a sunset in a totally different way to you.
He brings all his sensitivity, his whole being, to see it. In fact, you may not have ever seen a sunset the way a painter looks at it. Turner says rightly, 'Don't you wish you could?'
I'm here. I know you can't see what I am talking about, but don't you wish you could? I know that many things I am saying are almost nonsense to because to see them you will have to attain different eyes, you will have to clarify your being; to see them you will have to pacify your turmoil within. I know you cannot see the green that I am seeing in the trees. Your green is bound to be very dusty because your eyes are full of dust.
It happened once, that a man was staying with a friend at somebody's house. The host and the guest were standing near the window -- the window was closed -- and in the neighbor's house, clothes were hanging out to be dried.
The host said, 'These people are very dirty. Look at their clothes.'
The man looked, he came closer to the window and he said, 'Those clothes are not dirty.
Your window glass is covered with dust.'
They opened the windows and it was so. Those clothes were not dirty.
Life is tremendously beautiful. It is Divine. When we say 'Life is God' we simply say that life is so tremendously beautiful that one feels a reverence for it. That's all. Life is so tremendously beautiful that one feels like worshipping it. That's all we mean when we say 'Life is God.' When we say 'Life is God' we only mean, 'Don't see that life is ordinary.
It is extraordinary. There is tremendous potentiality. Just open your eyes.' I have never seen a person who is not interested in God -- although he may not know it -- because I have never seen a person who is not interested in happiness. If you are interested in happiness, you are interested in God; if you are interested in being blissful, you are interested in God.
Forget all about God. You just try to be blissful, and one day, when you are dancing in your inner bliss. when the inner juices are flowing, suddenly this life is no longer ordinary. Everywhere some unknown force is hiding and you will see God in the flowers and in the stones and in the stars. I talk to you just to plant a seed, a song, a star. If you can become happy, you become religious. A happy person is a religious person -- let that be the definition. A religious person is not one who goes to the church or the temple if he is unhappy, he cannot be religious. A religious person is happy. Wherever he is, he is in the temple. A happy person carries his temple around him. I know it because I have been carrying it. I need not go to any temple. Where I am is my temple. It is a climate. It is my own inner juice overflowing. God is nothing but you realized, reached, fulfilled.
Yes. I say to you, I have never seen a man who is not interested in God. There cannot be.
That man is not possible. Even people who say they don't believe in God, who are atheists, are not uninterested in God. They are interested. Their denying, their saying that they don't believe may be just a trick of the mind to protect themselves; because once you allow yourself to be possessed by God you disappear, only God remains. So people who are afraid of being, of disappearing, of moving into non-being, people who are too egoistic and cannot allow their drop to drop into the ocean, say there is no ocean. That is the trick of their mind so that they can protect themselves. They are fearful people, afraid, scared of life.
If you are interested in being happy, this is the place for you. And you are already here.
Nobody has brought you, nobody has forced you, you have come on your own. Some inner search that you may not be aware of has brought you here. Maybe something is in the heart and your head does not know anything about it. There are desires of which the head is completely unaware -- the head is concerned only with rubbish. The heart may have brought you here.
Break that resistance -- and when you are here, be really here. Don't miss this opportunity.
In the New Testament the Greek word for sin is 'antinomic' or 'anomeia'. It means to miss the point; or, as in archery, to miss the mark. The word 'sin' comes from a root which means to miss the point, to miss the mark. If you are here and you miss me, that will be a sin. If you are here then why waste time? Be totally here. Drop the resistance. Or if you cannot be totally here, then go away from here. But go totally away. Then never again remember me, otherwise that will be a sin.
The word 'sin' is beautiful. It has been badly corrupted by Christianity. It has nothing to do with guilt, nothing to do with something bad, evil. It has nothing to do with morality but it has something to do with consciousness. If you are here, be consciously and totally here; your unconscious heart has brought you here. Groping in the dark you have come to me, now don't miss this opportunity. Either be totally here, or go away. Turn your back against me and never remember me again; because going away, if you remember me, then you will not be totally there -- wherever you are going. Wherever you are, be totally there, that's the only way to open the secrets and mysteries of life.
And don't be worried about whether you are interested in the concept of God or not. In fact, people who are too interested in the concept of God will not be able to know him.
I have come across a very beautiful book, written somewhere in the Middle Ages by a certain man known as Dionysius Exegius. His book is 'Theologica Mystica'. He says in that book that the highest knowledge of God is through what he calls in Greek 'agnostos', which means unknowing. You must have heard the word 'agnostic', it comes from the same root, agnostos. Agnostos means unknowing. And this Dionysius says that God is known only by unknowing. No need to be worried about the concept; no need to ac- cumulate knowledge, theories, doctrines about God; forget all about the word and the theory. You be simply interested in your happiness, in your bliss, and one day you will find God has entered in you. It is another name for ultimate bliss.
The last question:
OSHO, I HAVE THIS IDEA THAT YOU DON'T REALLY EXIST. WHEN WE THINK THAT THERE IS SOMEONE WHO LIVES IN YOUR HOUSE AND WHO MAKES THINGS HAPPEN TO US, IT IS NOT REALLY YOU AT ALL.
COULD YOU TELL US WHAT THIS IS AND BY THE WAY, WHO IS GIVING THE DISCOURSE EVERY MORNING?
I don't know.