I CAN FEEL THERE IS AN ANSWER, BUT I CAN'T POINT IT OUT. CAN YOU?
Anand Suresh, IT IS NOT THAT I LOVE CONTRADICTIONS: life is contradictory. Existence itself is possible only through contradictions. It is the mind that has been trained in Aristotelian logic that becomes disturbed because of contradictions. The Aristotelian logic gives you a linear mind, a one-dimensional mind. It says: A can only be A and can never be B, and B can only be B and can never be A, and for two thousand years our minds have been conditioned by this logic.
This logic never had any sway over the mystics, and now even scientists are escaping from the Aristotelian prison. If you want to be true to life you cannot be a follower of Aristotle; to be true to life you will have to say things as they are. If you want to be true to Aristotle then you will have to repress a few things of life, deny, at least avoid, not look at them, choose only what fits with your logic.
The whole world has existed up to now according to one-dimensional logic -- and existence is multi-dimensional, it is rooted in contradictions. In fact, to call it a contradiction is again to use a word from Aristotle.
The mystics use the word 'paradox', not 'contradiction'. In the very word 'contradiction'
there is condemnation: something is wrong, something has to be put right. But a paradox is a totally different phenomenon: nothing has to be put right. A paradox is a mystery, elusive, inexplicable.
Existence is a mystery. Mathematics is incapable of understanding it; mind is utterly impotent in understanding it, because mind knows only one way. The Aristotelian way is the mind's way. And anybody who knows life knows that Aristotle has been a calamity, the greatest that has ever existed in the world. And he is the father of modern philosophy, the father of modern science! But there are revolts against him. Mystics have always been revolting, now physicists are revolting.
According to Aristotle there is no mystery: everything is explainable in logical terms -- that is his fundamental tenet. And my fundamental tenet is: nothing is explainable in terms of logic. If you try to explain life in terms of logic you destroy life.
It is as if to explain the beauty of a rose you take the rose to the chemist to dissect it, to analyze it, and to find out where the beauty is. The chemist is capable of analyzing the rose, but he will find only chemicals, not beauty. Beauty will evaporate. Beauty was in the paradox of the rose. It should NOT be according to logic -- hence logic is very blind.
Your problem, Suresh, is that you suffer from Aristotelitis. It is one of the most deep- rooted diseases.
You say: I KNOW THAT YOU LOVE CONTRADICTIONS.
It is not so that I love contradictions. What can I do? Contradictions are there! If I have to be true to the totality of existence I have to love them, otherwise something will have to be denied. And the moment you deny something you miss something immensely valuable, and the denial will never allow you to know the whole. And only the whole is true; the parts are only parts. They have some meaning only in the context of the whole; in themselves they are meaningless.
That's why science has created great meaninglessness in the world. It was bound to happen; it is a by-product of scientific methodology. Science tries to explain everything cleanly, with no vagueness; it wants to reduce everything to clear-cut categories. And it has succeeded, but in its success man and his spirit has failed.
The success of science is rooted in Aristotle, but man's failure -- the failure of his joy, the failure of his love, the failure of his capacity to sing, dance and celebrate -- is also rooted in Aristotle. But there are clear-cut signs of revolt, particularly within these last thirty, forty years -- many great scientists have revolted against Aristotle. The first one to revolt was Albert Einstein.
Aristotle is very absolutistic: A is absolutely A and never B, man is absolutely man and never a woman. He believes in the absolutes, and Einstein brought the idea of relativity.
He said absolutes don't exist; there are only relative things. A man is relatively more a man than a woman and a woman is relatively more a woman than a man, but the question is not one of absolute distinction -- they overlap. And you may be a man in the morning and you may not be a man by the evening; you may be a woman in the evening and you may not be a woman by the morning. You are not one-sided, you have many sides.
Have you not seen a woman in anger? Then she is more masculine than any male. And have you not seen a man when he is in love? -- his tenderness, his feminineness. He is MORE feminine than any woman can ever be. When a woman is in anger, enraged, her whole denied part starts functioning, and the denied part is very vital and alive because it has never been used.
I have heard a future story:
A man went into a hospital to purchase a brain; because his own was not functioning well he wanted to replace it. The surgeon took him around; there were many brains available.
He showed him the brain of a scientist, the price only a hundred rupees; the brain of a great, famous, well-known mathematician, and the price only two hundred rupees; and the brain of a great general, and the price only three hundred rupees -- so on and so forth.
And then he came to the brain of a great political leader, and the price- was ten thousand rupees!
The customer was a little puzzled. He said, "What do you mean? Do you mean that the politician has a greater brain than a great, Nobel prize-winning scientist?"
The surgeon said, "Please don't misunderstand us. It is not that the politician has a greater brain than the scientist or the general or the mathematician or the poet, but this is a brain which has never been used. It is brand new, hence the price!"
Whatsoever is not used and denied in you remains very vital. Hence a woman enraged is far more dangerous than a man; and if you have been in relationship with a woman you know it perfectly well -- she can drive you crazy! because that is the denied part, the unused part. When it is used it has vitality, newness. And when a man is tender, loving, he is more tender and loving than a woman. He can be more womanly because that is his denied part.
Carl Gustav Jung accepted that man is bi-sexual: no man is simply man and no woman is simply woman. Man has a woman part, a very intrinsic part, and woman has a man inside her, very intrinsic. Now this is a totally different world: old categories lose meaning, old absolutes disappear.
And then came the theory of uncertainty -- because up to now science was aware only of the superficial world of matter. It has not penetrated into the mysteries of matter as mystics have done in the inner world; they have penetrated into the mysteries of consciousness. And when they penetrated the mysteries of consciousness they became aware that it is not Aristotelian at all. Sometimes A is A and sometimes A is B; and not only that -- that sometimes A is B -- there are times when A is both A and not A simultaneously.
Mahavira said that; his philosophy is known as SAPTABHANGI -- sevenfold. He must have appeared a very strange man. You asked one question and he would always answer your one question with seven answers, because his philosophy was sevenfold. He said, "I have come to see the seven aspects of the inner world." You asked him, "Does God exist?" and he would say, "First: perhaps he exists. Second: perhaps he does not. Third:
perhaps he exists and yet does not exist. And fourth: perhaps he neither exists nor does not exist." And so on and so forth. He would give you seven answers. You would leave him more confused than you had come. That's why he could not influence many people.
His religion remained one of the smallest although it had the potential of becoming one of the greatest religions of the world.
But now the days of Mahavira are coming: Albert Einstein has made the way for it. As the physicist entered deeper into the mysteries of matter he was very much puzzled -- Aristotle works no more, helps no more. On the contrary, if you remain hung up with Aristotle you have to deny a few things which you cannot deny -- they are there!
For example: matter does not exist at the deepest level of matter; matter is only apparent, it is MAYA. Shankara said it thousands of years ago: it is illusion. By 'illusion' he does not mean that it does not exist; by 'illusion' he simply means it APPEARS to exist -- something ELSE exists. Don't be deceived by the appearance. And the scientist found himself entering more into the world of Shankara than into the world of Aristotle. Matter disappears, there is only energy -- energy moving so fast that you cannot see its movement and it gives you the idea of solid matter.
Nothing is solid, everything is liquid. And when there is nothing solid, what meaning can the word 'liquid' have? Then a new problem arises: if there is nothing solid, what do you mean by 'liquid'? Liquidity had meaning only in reference to solidity; the moment solidity disappears, liquidity disappears...and you are dumb, in awe.
Only energy is, and the ways of energy are very paradoxical, very mystic. One particle of energy jumps from its place to another place; it is continuously lumping. It IS taking quantum leaps. The term 'quantum leap' comes from QUANTA. 'Quanta' means the ultimate particle of energy, and 'quantum leap' means a very different leap from what you understand by the word 'leap'.
When the ultimate particle of energy jumps from place A to B the phenomenon is very mysterious: it simply disappears from A and appears at B and you cannot find it anywhere in between. You come from your place to me; you will be found in between.
How can you just jump from your place to my place? Even if you jump, you will have to pass through. Even if you take the fastest plane, still you will be in between. But the ultimate particle of matter simply disappears from one place and appears at another place and you cannot find it in between at all. Now what to make out of it? It should not be so, but it is so.
First scientists figured, "We must be missing it -- maybe we don't have sophisticated enough instruments. How can it be?" The old Aristotle was haunting them: "It MUST be somewhere in between." But now we have more sophisticated instruments -- it simply disappears. It becomes unmanifest in one place and becomes manifest again in another place. What happens in between nothing can be known about, because it becomes unmanifest; it simply disappears from existence. It moves into a totally different dimension which is not known at all and may never be known at all, because it is the unknowable.
And it was thought always, according to Aristotle and Euclid, that a point can never be a line. It was found by the physicists that the point can be both together: it can be a particle and a wave, it can be a point and a line. Euclidean geometry used to say -- you must have read it at school -- that two parallel lines never meet. Now there is something like non- Euclidean geometry which says they meet. What to make out of it? Euclidean geometry says you can draw a straight line: a straight line is the shortest distance between two points -- a well-known definition, every schoolboy knows about it. But non-Euclidean geometry has come with great force and is changing the whole course of scientific thinking.
Non-Euclidean geometry says you CANNOT draw a straight line at all; it is impossible to draw a straight line. Why? -- because you are sitting on an earth which is round. So whatsoever you draw, it appears straight because you don't know that you are sitting on a round globe. Go on drawing the line, go on drawing the line, and soon you will see that it becomes a circle, because it will cover the whole earth. And a straight line cannot be a part of a circle, obviously; if it is a part of a circle it is not straight. No straight line can create a circle, but every straight line that you know, if drawn to its ultimate, will become part of a circle. Then it is an are, not a straight line.
And the whole universe is circular. The whole universe, all the movement, is circular; everything is a circle. Straight lines are not possible; they are imaginary lines.
Mystics have always talked in paradoxes; now physicists are talking in paradoxes. And the reason is the same: mystics entered reality through their being and came across the mystery; physicists are coming across the same reality from another door -- the outward door.
I am not in love with contradictions -- they can't be helped. Existence is a paradox.
You say: A LOT OF IT I CAN ACCEPT NOW AS TWO SIDES OF ONE COIN.
That is again a hangover from Aristotle. I have to say to you many times, just not to disturb you too much too early, that these are two aspects of the same coin. Then it becomes a little acceptable to you. You can accept that one coin can have two aspects and they must be facing in opposite directions. You can accept the negative and the positive, you can accept the dark night and the bright day, you can accept life and death, as two sides of one coin. But when I am using the simile of the coin I am not really being true to the reality; I am compromising -- compromising with your Aristotelian mind.
Sooner or later, when you become more accustomed, when you start seeing the paradoxicalness, I will not say to you that they are two aspects, two sides of one coin.
The negative is the positive and the positive is the negative. Life and death are not two sides of one coin -- life IS death. But that will be a little more difficult to accept, although the truth is so. The day you were born you started dying. The process may be completed in seventy years, that is another thing -- that it takes time -- but time matters not. The day you were born you started dying -- IMMEDIATELY. It is not the other side of the coin, it is the same side of the coin. Life is death, and day is night, and love is hate, and friendship is enmity. Then it becomes more difficult.
But if I look at your difficulty, then I cannot take you into the world of truth. I have to persuade you slowly slowly, so first I say, "These are two aspects of the same coin." The day I feel that now you are ready to accept the paradox without questioning I will say, "Life is death." I will not say that God and the Devil are two aspects of one energy, I will say God IS the Devil -- two names of the SAME energy, not two aspects.
You say: A LOT OF IT I CAN ACCEPT NOW AS TWO SIDES OF ONE COIN.
That is not understanding, just acceptance. Listening to me again and again you start figuring out that it must be that each phenomenon has two sides. It is not a question of sides. And each phenomenon has many dimensions, not only two sides.
BUT TODAY, you say, AFTER LECTURE SOME QUESTIONS STILL AROSE. ON THE ONE SIDE YOU SAY THE GOOD AND THE BAD ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN AND BOTH HAVE TO BE AND THE ONE CAN'T BE WITHOUT THE OTHER. ON THE OTHER SIDE YOU WANT TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD WITH YOUR SANNYASINS.
Certainly! A better world will be a world where good and bad are absolutely accepted and absorbed. I don't mean by using the word 'better' that it will be a good world against the bad. My concept of a better world is a world which will be multi-dimensional, a world which will accept the earth and the sky so totally that the sky is not higher and the earth is not lower; which will accept the body and the soul so wholly that there is no question of who should be the master.
I have said to you many times, "Let consciousness be the master of the body and mind."
That is just to persuade you towards a quantum leap. I know you cannot take that leap immediately; you will have to be seduced into it.
The better world will be where the duality of body and spirit is dissolved: the body becomes the manifest spirit and the spirit becomes the unmanifest body, they are both one. How can one of these two be the master? The very idea of twoness is wrong, so there cannot be anybody who is the master and anybody else who is the slave. You are one entity.
I talk to you in terms of 'from sex to super-consciousness' because you cannot understand right now unless some hierarchy is brought to you. 'From sex to superconsciousness' -- even that becomes very difficult for rotten, old minds, orthodox, conventional people to understand why I say 'from sex to superconsciousness'. But please don't tell others: sex is superconsciousness! Not 'from sex to superconsciousness', but sex is superconsciousness.
There is no higher, no lower, there is no 'from' and no 'to'; there is no journey, you are already there as you are.
But to assert such pregnant truths I have to prepare you.
My vision of a better world is not the vision of a good world, where people are virtuous, have good character, don't cheat each other, don't lie, are very compassionate towards each other, very loving, great servants of humanity. That is not my vision of a better world. That has been the vision for centuries, and it has not been fulfilled because it cannot be fulfilled in the very nature of things. It is not possible -- you have been denying the bad part.
For me, a real sannyasin will neither be good nor bad in the old sense of the words. He will simply be. And whatsoever he is in a certain moment, he will be totally in it. If he is angry his anger will be total; if he is loving his love will be total.
The old idea of a good man was that he would never be angry. That brought repression into the world -- and once you are repressed you go on and on living with your repressed part. The repressed part remains a burden because it has not been absorbed. Once absorbed it releases great energy in you. It makes you vital, it makes you passionate, it makes you throbbing with infinite life. Repressed you are divided in two, you are cut into two; you live, but your life is only so-so.
Sisters Maria Theresa and Mary Elizabeth were walking down a street when they were grabbed by two men, dragged into an alley and raped. Twenty minutes later the nuns continued their stroll.
"What is Father going to say," said Sister Maria Theresa, "when we tell him we have been raped twice?"
"What do you mean, twice ?" asked her companion.
"Well, we are coming back this way, aren't we?"
Repress something and it will come by the back door. It will find its way: it will control you from the unconscious. You cannot get rid of it so easily, in fact there is no way to get rid of it. It is PART of you, such an organic part that you cannot be alive if you cut it off.
That's why your saints look so dead, and the deadlier they are, the more you respect them.
Just a few days ago a man came to me and he was talking about a saint, Devraha Baba, who is known in the North of India as the ageless saint, because at least this much is certain, that he is a hundred and fifty years old, maybe more. Now that is his only great quality, nothing else! The man was very much impressed. He said, "I am a disciple of Devraha Baba."
I asked him, "What is great in it, to live a hundred and fifty years? Many animals live that long, many trees live for thousands of years. There are trees four thousand years old.
There are animals who easily live a hundred years, a hundred and fifty, two hundred years."
And I told the man about an experiment. Scientists have discovered about rats.... First they work on rats because they have found one thing: that men and rats behave similarly.
They are the most ancient companions: wherever man is found, rats are found, and wherever rats are found, man is found. Their companionship seems to be eternal. Only two are man's eternal companions: rats and cockroaches! Wherever man is, these two things are always there. And rats behave very similarly.
Many experiments have been done on rats. If you give them half their normal food they live double. If you give them double their normal food they live only half the span of their life.
Now these people like Devraha Baba, Jaina monks, they are living on half their normal food. They eat only once, and that too in a very miserly way, yet they can live double.
How does it happen? -- because when you don't get enough food your life flame burns low; instead of gaining intensity it starts gaining length. In colder countries people live longer than in the hotter countries, because in colder countries you cannot live so passionately so intensely; the cold prevents you. In hotter countries you are more passionate.
Hence it is not strange that the first book on sexology was written in India: the KAMA SUTRA of Vatsyayana, and it is not strange that the most strange sexual stories have been written in the very hot countries like Arabia. The reason is: when the sun is hot you also live in a hot way. When there is no sun and it is all cloudy, your life also burns low.
Food is fuel: if you eat less you will be thin, if you eat less you will have less sexual desire, if you eat less you will have less possibility of being angry, if you eat less you will live at a very minimum level of life. You can live long, but this is not life. Then why not get frozen in a deep freeze? Then you can live forever!
And that was one of the reasons why the escapist monks found it a great attraction to go to the Himalayan caves; it is a natural way of living a frozen life. And not only did they escape to the Himalayas, they also tried to live without clothes, naked or almost naked. If your body remains too cold your blood is nothing but frozen; then you can live long, but length has no value. time has no value, and length is in time. Depth has value, and depth is a totally different matter.
When I say 'a better world' I don't mean people will be living for two hundred years, three hundred years, because they will be great saints. I simply mean people WILL be living passionately, totally, wholly. Even if they live a very short life their life will be a fulfillment.
My idea of a better world is not your idea of a better world, Suresh. Listening to me always remember: my words have MY meaning, and become capable of separating your meaning from my meaning.
You say: ON THE ONE SIDE YOU TELL US NOT TO THINK IN TERMS OF THE FUTURE. ON THE OTHER SIDE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE COMING THIRD WORLD WAR.
For me there is no future, no past; all is present. To you I say, "Don't think of the future," because if you think of the future you will miss the present. I am SO rooted in the present that it is only the present that extends into the past and into the future.
It is like you are hiding in your room and looking from the keyhole at what is happening outside. You see a man suddenly appearing from nowhere, because just a moment before he was not there because he was not in front of your keyhole -- he was in the future. Now suddenly he appears before the keyhole; you can see him for a moment and then he is gone again. Now he is in the past.
But I am outside the room. When for you he was in the future, for me he was in the present; when for you he has again become in the past, he is still for me in the present.
Once you have known how to live in the present then all is present. So if I sometimes talk about past or about future, don't misunderstand me. For me there is no past and no future but only the present. I live in the present.
For you the third world war is in the future; for me it is already there, it has arrived. It may take a little time to come before you can see it, before it comes in front of your keyhole, but then it will be too late, then nothing can be done about it.
And you say: ON THE ONE SIDE YOU TELL US NOT TO WISH FOR ANYTHING.
ON THE OTHER SIDE IT SEEMS YOU WANT TO AVOID THE THIRD WORLD WAR.
I don't want to avoid anything, not even the third world war, but I want to become a help to you so that you can be aware of it. And the third world war can be used as a device for your awareness. If you become alert that this earth is going to die, your life will be transformed.
Jesus used to say again and again: "Watch, beware! The Day of Judgment is very close by. In your life, this very life you will see it happening!" It has not happened up to now, but it was a device Jesus was creating a situation in which people could become aware that the time is very short and much has to be done, and we should not go on playing with stupid games -- money, power, prestige.
It happened in the life of a great mystic, Eknath: A man used to come to him for years, must have been a man of a very philosophic bent. He would ask Eknath again and again, "I cannot believe that a man can be so innocent as you, so saintly, so holy. Sometimes great doubts arise in me -- maybe you are holy only on the surface; maybe deep inside your mind you still desire things that we desire, you are still ambitious. Maybe your ambition is very subtle and we cannot see it; maybe deep down in your dreams you still commit sin. Help me to get rid of this doubt, because this has become a barrier between me and you."
Eknath would laugh and would never answer.
One day early in the morning the man came and he said, "I could not sleep the whole night. Now it is too much -- it is becoming a nightmare! Seeing you I see such beauty, such grace, that I cannot believe it is possible in a human body. Seeing you I believe God is, but the moment I go home doubt starts sprouting, mushrooming: 'How can it be? After all he is also made of body and mind. Maybe there is still some sexual desire hidden in his unconscious.'" That day Eknath did not laugh. On the contrary, he looked very serious and sad. He said, "Friend, today I have to impart something very essential, urgent, to you. And before I discuss your question I would like to say what I have to give to you, because I may forget. If I go on discussing with you I may not remember."
The man said, "What is it? What is that which is so urgent?"
Eknath said, "Just the other day by chance I looked at your hand, and your life line is finished. Just a little fragment is left, seven days at the most. Today is Sunday -- I don't think you will be able to survive next Sunday.
By next Sunday evening you will be gone. Now you can ask your question."
The man stood up. He said, "What question? I will come again."
Eknath said, "Wait! Why is there so much hurry? It is enough time -- seven days."
The man said, "You say it is enough time? -- seven days? I can't waste it on stupid doubts! And what am I to do about you? Whether you suffer from sexuality or sin, that is your business. I am going home!"
Eknath tried to hold him but he escaped. He said, "I have no time for philosophical matters any more!"
Just a moment before when he had come he was so strong, so young -- and just a moment afterwards when he was going down the steps of the temple of Eknath he was shaking and trembling. He had to take the support of the wall.
He went home, he gathered his family, and he said, "Only seven days are left and I am going to die. Tell all my friends and all my enemies to come -- I would like to forgive and be forgiven. Only seven days are there, so what is the point of quarreling with people and fighting and competing? Finished, the game is finished!"
He laid himself on the bed. He became so weak that he could not get up from the bed. He was fed on the bed and continuously he was chanting, "Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama," remembering God for the first time in his life. And every day he was asking, "How many days are still left?" And as the seventh day started coming closer and closer he became more and more oblivious of the world. He started looking at people indifferently, he started forgetting people's names, their faces. He stopped recognizing people: he stopped recognizing his own wife and children, his own father and mother!
And the seventh day came and he was crying, and he was chanting the whole day and asking again and again, "How far is the sunset? -- because Eknath has said, 'The moment the sun sets, you are finished!' Exactly at sunset I am going to die."
And the sun was coming down every moment, coming closer and closer to the western horizon. Just a few minutes more...and Eknath arrived. The whole family started crying and weeping. Eknath said, 'Wait! Let me see the person!"
Eknath went there, shook the man. It was very difficult for the man to recognize even Eknath -- and he used to call him his Master, and for at least twenty years he had been sitting in SATSANG with him, in communion with him. And he could not recognize him!
Eknath said, "Can't you recognize me? I am Eknath, your Master!"
Then a little recognition arose and he said, "Yes, vaguely. I am in a very cloudy state.
How far is the sun from the western horizon?"
Eknath said, "Forget all this nonsense! I have come to ask you one question: in these seven days what was going on inside you? Sex, greed, anger, jealousy? What was going on inside you? I have come to ask that question."
The man said, "I am dying and you are talking philosophy! Death was so close to me that I could only remember God. I don't remember even for a single moment that sex was there, greed was there, enmity was there, anger was there. No, they had all disappeared."
Eknath said, "You are not going to die -- get up! This was just an answer to your question. The day I became aware that death is, since that day my inner being has changed. How does it matter whether death is to come in seven days or seventy years?
Once you become aware that this life is going to slip out of your hands, it has already slipped! Then you have to prepare for the other shore, then you have to prepare for something beyond."
The third world war is coming closer, but I am not interested in avoiding it or bringing it.
Who cares? My whole interest is in you, and I want you to become aware that this earth is not going to live for long. If this becomes an awareness in you it will be a transforming force. And if millions of people are transformed in this way, this earth may be saved -- but that will be just a payoff, a consequence.
I am not desiring that the world should be saved. It is such a stupid world, it is such a stupid humanity -- if it is gone it is good! I am not very much interested in saving this stupid lot -- they have lived here for millions of years and they have proved only a burden and a corruption, they have polluted everything.
But I am certainly interested in using this as a device, which is far more potential than Jesus' statement that the Day of Judgment is close, because that is an abstraction. But the third world war IS coming closer every day, because Russia is preparing, America is preparing; they go on piling up atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, death bombs, and they go on inventing new ways for killing humanity instantly. So it is a very very real danger.
Why not use it as a device? It can shake you up, it can wake you up. And if millions of people become meditators, there is a possibility the world war may not happen. But that is not my interest. My interest is to save people -- people who are worth saving.
And the last thing you ask: ON THE ONE SIDE YOU SAY THINGS ARE OKAY AS THEY ARE, THERE IS NO GOAL, NOTHING TO ACHIEVE, TO CHANGE. ON THE OTHER SIDE: WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?
Just explaining this to you: that there is no goal, that there is nothing to achieve, that everything is good as it is.
I will tell you a Sufi story:
There is a story told by Sufis about a man who read that certain dervishes, on the orders of their Master, never touched meat and did not smoke. Since this tends to fit in with certain well-established beliefs, especially in the West, this man made his way to the ZAWIA -- assembly place -- of the illuminated ones, to sit at their feet. They were all over ninety years old.
Sure enough, there they were, not a spot of nicotine or shred of animal protein among them, and our hero gasped with delight as he sat drinking in the unpolluted air and tasting the bean-curd soup which they provided. He hoped that he would at least live to a hundred.
Suddenly one of them whispered, "Here comes the great Master!" And all stood up as the venerable sage came in. He smiled benignly and went into the house, heading for his quarters. He did not look a day over fifty.
"How old is he, and what does he eat?" asked the enraptured visitor.
"He is one hundred and fifty years old, and I don't suppose any of us will reach that venerable age and station," wheezed one of the ancients. "But, of course, he is allowed twenty cigars and three steaks a day, since he is now beyond being affected by frivolities and temptations!"
It is a beautiful story. There comes a moment when a man goes beyond all duality -- then he is allowed everything.
I can talk about the future because I live in the present -- it is allowed! And I can talk about saving the world from the third world war because I have no desires left -- it is allowed. I can go on teaching you day in, day out, year in, year out, saying continuously, hammering continuously: "There is no goal, no purpose, nothing to achieve." Still it is allowed to me to teach you.
Why is it allowed to me to teach you? -- because I am not a teacher any more. And I am not giving you a doctrine, and I am not giving you a character, and I am not giving you a discipline. I am simply imparting my joy that has happened to me. With me all is okay -- third world war or no world war. If the third world war happens I will be the same, if it doesn't happen I am the same.
If the third world war happens, if you are alive and I am alive, I will continue the morning discourse, the evening darshan...everything will continue. The third world war will go on destroying the earth and I will go on doing my own thing, not being bothered by it at all. It does not matter.
Suresh, drop the Aristotelian mind. Only then will you be able to understand me well, to understand me at all.
The second question
CATHOLIC OR COMMUNIST, Mohammedan or Maoist, Jaina or Jew, it makes no difference, it is all the same. Of course, Catholics do it more systematically than Hindus, more scientifically. They have developed a great expertise for how to condition people.
But all the religions are doing it more or less, all the societies are doing it in their own way: everybody is conditioned.
The moment you are born, conditioning starts, from your very first breath; it cannot be avoided. The parents will condition you, the children you play with will condition you, the neighborhood will condition you, the school, the church, the state. And consciously not much conditioning is being done, but unconsciously the child goes on and on accumulating it. The child learns by imitating.
So don't be worried. This is the normal situation in the world: everybody is conditioned.
And everybody has to come out of the conditioning. It is difficult. It is not like undressing -- it is like peeling your skin. It is hard, it is arduous, because we have become identified with our conditioning. We know ourselves only as Catholics, communists, Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians. And the greatest fear of dropping the conditioning is the fear that you may fall into an identity crisis. Hence sannyas.
Sannyas is just a device to help you so that you don't start feeling that you are falling into an abyss, a bottomless abyss. I take away your conditionings -- you will feel very empty - - I have to give you something to play with for the time being. Sannyas is that toy to play with for the time being. But sannyas is given to you in such a way that it never becomes a conditioning; it remains fun, it remains sport -- involved yet you remain a witness to it.
Maria, it is difficult to drop the conditioning, because that is your whole past, your mind, your ego, all that you are. But if you are ready, if you are courageous, if you have guts enough to come along with me it is possible, it is not impossible.
The local procurer in Mexico grabbed the distraught tourist stepping down the gangplank.
"I got a nice young girl for you -- twelve years old, a virgin."
When the tourist refused the procurer said, "Then I got a nice young boy for you, twelve years old, a virg -- " "Look!" roared the tourist, "I don't want a young girl, I don't want a young boy... I just want the American consul!"
"Hmmm!" murmured the procurer, "A little difficult, but I try."
It is a little difficult, but I try. Maria, give me a chance to try! It has happened to so many people. I have so many Marias! Become part of this happening, don't remain a spectator.
Join the dance! My invitation is for all, my invitation is unconditional.
Whatever conditioning you have got can be dropped, because it has been forced on you from the outside -- and because it has been forced on you from the outside it can be taken away from you from the outside.
I cannot give you God, I cannot give you truth, I cannot give you your inner core, but I can take all the rubbish that has been heaped upon you. And once that rubbish is removed, God starts becoming alive in you. Once all the obstacles are removed, the spring of your life starts flowing, the innocence is regained. Innocence regained is paradise regained; you enter again into the Garden of Eden.
And one thing is certain, Maria, that you are not contented with being a Catholic. How can anybody who has any intelligence be contented with being a Catholic or a Hindu or a Jaina or a Buddhist? All these sects are dead! It was beautiful when Jesus walked on the earth; to have followed a few steps with him would have been a tremendous transformation. Those few people were fortunate who broke bread with him, drank wine with him -- must have laughed, danced, sung, celebrated. Those few people were real Christians.
How can you be a Christian if Christ is missing? And how can you be a Buddhist if Buddha is not present?
A Master is absolutely necessary for the disciple to go through the mutation. I am available, my heart is open for you. Please come in! And all the junk that you are carrying will be dropped. Difficult it is always, but not impossible. I can save at least the essential core and that is the real thing. If I can save your very center, then let the circumference remain Catholic, communist, Hindu or Mohammedan -- it cannot affect you.
There was this King Edward potato who one night decided that he fancied a night out on the town. So he jumped in the tub and had a scrub, put on his best red jacket and went up West.
Sitting in a bar he spied this luscious young tomato, so he thought to himself, "I fancy that -- I will chat it up!"
In the corner of the pub was a bunch of punk carrots -- green hair, everything. One of them turns to the other and says, "Hey, yon potato is chatting up your tomato!"
The other says, "I am not having that. We will get him at chucking out time!"
So come closing time they get this potato outside. What a mess! They kick in his eyes, rip up his jacket -- totally mash him up!
When he wakes up in the hospital the surgeon says, "I have got good news and bad news for you."
So the potato says, "Well, let me have the good first."
The surgeon says, "We managed to save your eyes.
"And what is the bad?"
"You will be a cabbage for the rest of your life!"
I can save your eyes, and that's what matters. Then you can be a cabbage or a Catholic, whatsoever you want. On the circumference you can be anything, but at the center become consciousness, become a witness. Your being a Catholic or Hindu or Mohammedan is a content of your consciousness. Don't get identified with the content; remember that you are the watcher. There is Catholic upbringing, there is Mohammedan conditioning, there is Hindu hypnosis -- watch! They are separate from you. You are a pure consciousness, a mirror, reflecting all that has been put upon you from the outside.
Once you know that you are separate you are free from all conditioning, and then you can use your conditioning. I am not saying to become unnecessarily a nuisance in your society; I am not saying to get into unnecessary trouble for yourself and others. You can go on acting being a Catholic -- it is beautiful! You can go to the church every Sunday and enjoy it, but remember that you are not a Catholic -- the Catholic upbringing is just on the circumference. You are only a witness.
Be a witness in the church, be a witness in the temple, be a witness while you are reading the Gita and be a witness while you are reading the Bible -- and this witnessing will become the foundation of your liberation.
The third question Sarjano,
YOU ARE COMING CLOSER TO THE POINT, to the target of understanding, but you have not come exactly to the point yet; you are missing only by inches.
You say: ONCE I THOUGHT ABOUT ENERGY AS IF ENERGY WAS MINE AND I LIKED TO THINK THAT I HAD A LOT OF ENERGY. NOW I HAVE REALIZED...
Still that 'I' continues; before it was identified with energy, now it is identified with realization.
NOW I HAVE REALIZED, you say, THAT I AM ONLY A PASSAGE, A MEDIUM, A VEHICLE FOR THE ENERGY OF THE DIVINE.
To be a passage means you are no more. You cannot realize that "I am only a passage," otherwise you are still there -- and if you are there you cannot be a passage. You have to disappear completely. Nobody remains there to realize that "I am a passage" -- then you are a passage.
That's why this problem is arising. Sometimes you are less and sometimes you are more:
when you are less, more energy is flowing; when you are more, the flow stops. When you are a little more there as a realizer, as a spiritual being who has understood the flow of energy, when you are there identified with this new idea of being a passage and a medium, energy disappears because you obstruct it. Sometimes when you are not there -- not even as a realizer, not even as a medium, when simply you are not there -- the energy starts flowing.
You ask: SO HOW COME THAT SOMETIMES I AM SO FULL OF ENERGY...?
Whenever you are not, you are full of energy; whenever you are, energy disappears. God can exist only in your absence; you cannot coexist with God. But you are still there in a subtle way.
You ask: HOW COME THAT SOMETIMES I AM SO FULL OF ENERGY...?
Who is this 'I am'? You are enjoying this: "I am so full of energy." Energy comes when you are not, and immediately you jump in and you say, "I am so full of energy," and energy starts disappearing.
You say:...OVERFLOWING FROM EACH PORE, FEELING THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTAIN THAT MUCH...?
Who is there to contain? Who is there to count how much it is? Who is there to weigh? In a subtle way you are hiding by the side or looking from the corner of your eye.
A guest had come to Mulla Nasruddin's house. Mulla Nasruddin was giving him food.
The guest was saying, "Now it is enough -- I have taken five PURIS, now no more."
Nasruddin said, "Five? You have taken eleven, but who is counting?"
This is also counting! Who is there to contain? You jump in -- it always happens. Not only with you, Sarjano, it happens with everybody. Whenever those rare moments come when you are not, energy flows, suddenly the mind recoils, comes back, feels great: "So much energy, impossible to contain!" And immediately you fall to the opposite polarity.
You say:...AND AFTER A FEW HOURS I AM EMPTY, WITH NO ENERGY EVEN TO SAY THAT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE ENERGY? IS THERE NO WAY TO KEEP THE FLOW OF ENERGY CONSTANT?
Who wants to keep the flow of energy constant? Just see the point: it is you. The old habit goes on coming back in new ways.
Rosenfeld, a New York men's clothing manufacturer, was returning to America after a business trip to Israel. On the way back he decided to stop off in Rome and take in the sights.
Two weeks later he finally arrived home. "How was the trip?" asked his sales manager.
"Fantastic!" replied Rosenfeld. "In Israel I sold a thousand more suits than any of us expected. Then I stopped off in Rome and saw all the historical sights. I got in with a sightseeing group and we had an audience with the Pope."
"The Pope himself? You don't say!" exclaimed the sales manager. "What does he look like?"
"Oh," said Rosenfeld, "I would say about a forty-four short."
A tailor is a tailor, a businessman is a businessman. Even if he goes to see a Buddha he will come with this information -- a forty-four short.
They say that a shoemaker never looks at people's faces, he goes on looking at their shoes. In fact, that is his only way to judge about people. Seeing the shoe he knows whether you have money in your pocket or not. He knows how things are going in your life, whether you are happy or unhappy. In fact, a good shoemaker can predict everything about you just by looking at your shoes; the psychoanalysis of the shoe will show everything about you.
Old habits, Sarjano, and it is so with everybody....The 'I' is the most ancient habit; for millions of lives we have carried it, so I comes again and again. You will have to be a little more watchful, a little more alert. Who wants to keep the flow of energy constant? -- Exactly the same entity that wants the flow to remain constant is the cause of it not being constant. Be a little more alert.
Mrs Hatton wanted to scare her husband out of his terrible drinking habit. One night she dressed up like the Devil and waited for him in an alley.
Soon the bar closed for the night and Hatton staggered towards home. Mrs. Hatton jumped out at him and yelled, "Yah! I am the Devil! " Hatton held out his hand and said, "How da ya do? I married your sister!"
This is awareness -- even drunk!
Learn a little more awareness, be aware. The 'I' will come in many forms, shapes, disguises. It can become spiritual, it can become holy, it can become saintly, godly. It can try every possible way to save itself.
When you are feeling full of energy you are not, hence great love arises. The ego poisons love; you start hugging people, trees. People have complained to me and trees too, because they may not be in the same energy space as you are, Sarjano. Be a little watchful!
But I know, when the energy flows one is constantly in a sharing state; one would like to share with everybody, even with trees and rocks. But when it disappears you will feel very very empty, so empty that you would like to commit suicide. This happens only when you reach a peak of energy, and then coming back to the valley is very disturbing.
People who live in the valley and never go to the peak never think of suicide.
That's why in poor countries suicide is rare, in primitive countries absolutely non- existent. Animals don't commit suicide -- they never go to the peak. Because they don't know anything about the peak they never feel the ugliness, the darkness of the valley.
Because they have never smelt the fragrance of the divine they can never smell the stinking existence that they are living.
So this is going to happen to every sannyasin: you will reach peaks of joy and then when you fall from the peaks the only desire will be to be finished with it all. But the fall is not happening on its own -- you are the cause of it, it can be stopped.
And the only way to stop it is: when you are on the peak, enjoy the peak, enjoy the sunlit peak, the pure air, the whispering of the clouds, the closeness of the stars, enjoy that; and when you fall into the valley, enjoy the darkness of the valley, the dangers of the valley -- and don't bring yourself in -- both are good. In fact, the valley will allow you a little rest so that you can again be ready to go to the peak. The valley is a kind of sleep; it is needed after a day's hard work. Tomorrow morning you will be again rejuvenated, you can again track your path towards the peak.
Enjoy both -- and you can enjoy both if the 'I' disappears. And if the 'I' disappears -- I would like to give you the real mystic statement about it -- if the 'I' disappears there is no peak, no valley; everything is the same. Wherever you are, God is flowing through you; wherever you are, you are in a state of blessedness. Wherever you are, not only are YOU blessed, you bless the whole existence too.
The last question
A thousand and one thanks for the compliment!
Be Still and Know