Beyond Enlightenment is only beyondness

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, 3 October 1986 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Beyond Enlightenment
Chapter #:
1
Location:
pm in
Archive Code:
8610035
Short Title:
ENLIGH01
Audio Available:
Yes
Video Available:
Yes
Length:
123 mins

Question 1:

BELOVED OSHO,

WHAT IS BEYOND ENLIGHTENMENT?

Maneesha, beyond enlightenment is only beyondness. Enlightenment is the last host.

Beyond it, all boundaries disappear, all experiences disappear. Experience comes to its utmost in enlightenment; it is the very peak of all that is beautiful, of all that is immortal, of all that is blissful -- but it is an experience. Beyond enlightenment there is no experience at all, because the experiencer has disappeared. Enlightenment is not only the peak of experience, it is also the finest definition of your being. Beyond it, there is only nothingness; you will not come again to a point which has to be transcended.

Experience, the experiencer, enlightenment -- all have been left behind. You are part of the tremendous nothingness that is infinite. This is the nothingness out of which the whole existence comes, the womb; and this is the nothingness in which all the existence disappears.

Science has something parallel; there is bound to be something parallel. The spiritual experience is of the interior world, and science is the exploration of the exterior. But both are wings of the same existence -- the inwardness and the outwardness -- they always have similar points.

Scientists have come to a strange conclusion in this century, that a few stars suddenly disappear... and stars are not small things; they are not so small as they look to you. They look small because they are so far away, millions of light years away, but they are huge.

Our sun is a star, but of a mediocre size, medium size. In comparison to the earth it is vast, but in comparison to other stars it is a small, medium-sized star. There are stars which are a thousand times bigger than the sun.

And in this century, for the first time we had the instruments of observation and we were very much puzzled: suddenly a star disappears, not even leaving a trace behind of where it has gone. Such a huge phenomenon, and not even footprints -- in what direction has it gone? It has just moved simply into nothingness. This was happening continually.

It took almost twenty years to figure out this new phenomenon: that in existence there are black holes. You cannot see them, but they have tremendous gravitation. Even the biggest star, if it comes within their radius of magnetism, will be pulled in. And once it is pulled into a black hole, it disappears. It is the ultimate death. We can only see the effect; we cannot see the black hole, we only see that one star is disappearing.

After the black hole was almost an established theory, scientists started thinking that there must be something like a white hole -- there has to be. If it is possible that in a certain gravitation, magnetic force, a big star simply disappears out of existence.... We have been aware that every day stars are born. From where are they coming? -- nobody has asked it before.

In fact, birth we always take for granted; nobody asks from where the babies are coming.

Death we never accept, because we are so much afraid of it.

There is not a single philosophy in the whole history of man which thinks about where the babies come from, but there are philosophies and philosophies thinking about what is dead, where people go on disappearing to, what happens after death.

In my whole life I have come across millions of people, and not a single person has asked what happens before birth -- and thousands have asked what happens after death. I have always been thinking, why is birth taken without any question? Why is death not taken in the same way?

We were aware for centuries, almost three centuries, that stars are being born every day -- big stars, huge stars -- and nobody raised the question, "From where are these stars coming?" But when we came to know about the black holes and we saw the stars disappearing, then the second question became almost an absolute necessity. If black holes can take stars into nothingness, then there must be something like white holes where things... stars come out of nothingness.

I am reminded.... Mulla Nasruddin had applied for a post on a ship. He was interviewed.

The captain and the high officials of the ship were sitting in a room. Mulla entered. The captain asked, "If the seas are in a turmoil, winds are strong, waves are huge and mountainous, what are you going to do to save the ship? It is tossed from here to there...."

Mulla Nasruddin said, "It is not much of a problem: I will just drop a huge anchor to keep the ship stable against the winds, against the waves. It is not much of a problem."

The captain again said, "Suppose another mountainous wave comes and the ship is going to be drowned; what are you going to do?"

He said, "Nothing -- another huge anchor."

The captain looked at him and asked a third time, "Suppose it is a great typhoon and it is impossible to save the ship. What are you going to do?"

He said, "Nothing, the same -- a huge anchor."

The captain said, "From where are you getting these huge anchors?"

He said, "From the same place. From where are you getting these great, mountainous waves, strong winds? -- from the same place. You go on getting them, I will go on getting bigger and bigger anchors."

If there are holes in existence where things simply disappear into non-existence, then there must be holes from where things appear from nothingness -- and just a little imagination is needed. Scientists have not worked on it yet.

My suggestion is that a black hole is like a door: from one side it is a black door, a black hole -- things go into it and disappear into nothingness. And from the other side of the tunnel -- it is the same door, just from the other side -- it is a white hole; things are born again, renewed. It is the same womb.

Beyond enlightenment you enter into nothingness.

Experience disappears, experiencer disappears.

Just pure nothingness remains, utter silence.

Perhaps this is the destiny of every human being, sooner or later to be achieved.

We don't know yet whether there is a white hole or not -- there must be.

Just as you enter beyond enlightenment into nothingness, there must be a possibility of coming out of nothingness back into form, back into existence -- renewed, refreshed, luminous -- on a totally different plane. Because nothing is destroyed, things can only go into a dormant state; things can go only into deep sleep. Then in the morning they wake up again. This is how the existence goes on.

In the West, this idea has never happened in the two thousand years' history of philosophy. They only think of this creation: "Who created this?" and they get into troubles because whatever the answer is, it is going to create more questions.

In the East we have a conception of circles of existence and non-existence, just like day and night. Creation is followed by de-creation, everything goes into nothingness, just as day is followed by night and everything goes into darkness. And the period is going to be the same: as long as the creation is, so is the resting period going to be; and again there will be a creation of a higher order.

And this will go on from eternity to eternity -- creation, de-creation, creation, again de- creation -- but each time the morning is more beautiful. Each dawn is more colorful, more alive; the birds are singing better, the flowers are bigger, with more fragrance.

And the East has a tremendous courage of accepting the idea that this will go on forever and forever. There has never been any beginning, and there will be no end.

After enlightenment, you have to disappear. The world is left behind, the body is left behind, the mind is left behind; just your consciousness, as individuality, is still there.

To go beyond enlightenment is to go beyond individuality and to become universal. This way, each individual will go on moving into nothingness. And one day, the whole existence moves into nothingness and a great peace, a great night, a deep, dark womb, a great awaiting for the dawn.... And it has been happening always, and each time you are always born on a higher level of consciousness.

Enlightenment is the goal of human beings. But those who are enlightened cannot remain static; they will have to move, they will have to change. And now they have only one thing to lose -- themselves.

They have enjoyed everything. They have enjoyed the purity of individuality; now they have to enjoy the disappearing of individuality. They have seen the beauty of individuality; now they have to see the disappearance and its beauty, and the silence that follows, that abysmal serenity that follows.

Question 2:

BELOVED OSHO,

THE OTHER NIGHT WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT THE EGO AND HOW, WITH AWARENESS, ONE CAN SEE THAT IT DOES NOT EXIST, I REALIZED THAT I NEVER PUT MUCH EMPHASIS ON AWARENESS. FOR ME, BEING WITH YOU ALWAYS MEANT LOVING YOU AS MUCH AS I CAN, LONGING FOR YOU AND TRYING TO BE AS CLOSE TO YOU AS POSSIBLE.

BELOVED OSHO, CAN YOU PLEASE SHOW THE WAY FOR A FEMALE GERMAN LOVER TO BECOME MORE AWARE?

Latifa, love is enough unto itself.

If your love is not the ordinary, biological instinctive love, if it is not part of your ego, if it is not a power trip to dominate someone; if your love is just a pure joy, rejoicing in the being of the other for no reason at all, a sheer joy, awareness will follow this pure love just like a shadow. You need not worry about awareness.

There are only two ways: either you become aware, then love follows as a shadow; or you become so loving that awareness comes on its own accord. They are two sides of the same coin. You need not bother about the other side; just keep one side, the other side cannot escape. The other side is bound to come.

And the path of love is easier, rosier, innocent, simple.

The path of awareness is a little arduous.

Those who cannot love, for them I suggest the path of awareness. There are people who cannot love -- their hearts have become stones. Their upbringing, their culture, their society has killed the very capacity to love -- because this whole world is not run by love, it is run by cunningness. To succeed in this world you don't need love, you need a hard heart and a sharp mind. In fact, you don't need the heart at all.

I have heard about one great politician who was in the hospital and who had some great complications with his heart. So they put him on a plastic heart and took out his real heart, because it was going to take hours to clean it. And certainly a politician's heart -- even if you can clean it in hours, it is too soon. The surgeons were working in the other room -- it was a disgusting job -- and the politician was lying down.

A man came into the room and shook the politician; he opened his eyes and the man said, "What are you doing here? You have been chosen the prime minister of the country."

He jumped out of the bed. The doctors looked from the other room, "What is happening?" The politician was going out. They said, "Wait! Your heart, we are cleaning it."

The politician said, "Now, at least for five years I won't need it. You can clean it as much as you want. Take your time. What does a prime minister need a heart for? But keep it safe in case something goes wrong; then I will come back. But if things go well, I may perhaps never need it."

In this world the heart is not needed. The people of the heart are crushed, exploited, oppressed. This world is run by the cunning, by the clever, by the heartless and the cruel.

So the whole society is managed in such a way that every child starts losing his heart, and his energy starts moving directly towards the head. The heart is ignored.

I have heard an ancient parable from Tibet, that in the beginning of time the heart used to be exactly in the middle part of the body. But because of continuously being pushed aside, out of the way, now it is no more in the middle of the body. The poor fellow waits by the side of the road: "If some day you need, I am here" -- but it gets no nourishment, no encouragement. It gets all kinds of condemnation.

If you do something and you say, "I did it because I felt like doing it," everybody is going to laugh: "Felt? Have you lost your head? Give your reason, logic. Feeling is no logic."

Even if you fall in love, you have to find reasons why you have fallen in love -- because the woman's nose is very beautiful, her eyes have such depth, her body is so proportionate. These are not the reasons. You have never calculated all these reasons on your calculator and then found that this woman seems to be worthy of falling in love with: "Fall in love with this woman -- exactly the right length of nose, the right kind of hair, the right color, the right proportion of the body. What more do you want?"

But this is not the way that anybody ever falls in love. You fall in love. Then just to satisfy the idiots around you that you are not a fool, you have calculated everything and only then you have taken the step. It is a reasonable, rational, logical step.

Nobody hears the heart.

And the mind is so chattering, so continuously chattering -- yakkety-yak, yakkety-yak -- that even if the heart sometimes says something, it never reaches to you. It cannot reach.

The bazaar in your head is buzzing so much that it is impossible, absolutely impossible for the heart.

Slowly slowly, the heart stops saying anything. Not heard again and again, ignored again and again, it falls silent.

The head runs the show in the society; otherwise, we would have lived in a totally different world -- more loving, less hate, less war, no possibility of nuclear weapons. The heart will never give support for any destructive methods to be evolved. The heart will never be in the service of death. It is life -- it throbs for life, it beats for life.

Because of the whole conditioning of the society, the method of awareness has to be chosen, because awareness appears to be very logical, rational.

But if you can love, then there is no need to go on a long, arduous route unnecessarily.

Love is the most shortcut way, the most natural -- so easy that it is possible even for a small child. It needs no training. You are born with the quality of it, if it is not corrupted by others.

But love should be pure. It should not be impure.

You will be surprised to know that the English word `love' comes from a very ugly root in Sanskrit. It comes from lobh. Lobh means greed.

And as far as ordinary love is concerned, it is a kind of greed.

That's why there are people who love money, there are people who love houses, there are people who love this, who love that. Even if they love a woman or a man, it is simply their greed; they want to possess everything beautiful.

It is a power trip. Hence, you will find lovers continuously fighting, fighting about such trivia that they both feel ashamed, "About what things we go on fighting!" In their silent moments when they are alone, they feel, "Do I become possessed by some evil spirit? -- such trivia, so meaningless." But it is not a question of trivia; it is a question of who has power, who is more dominant, whose voice is heard.

Love cannot exist in such circumstances.

I have heard a story.... In the life of one of the great emperors of India, Akbar, there is a small story. He was very much interested in all kinds of talented people, and from all over India he had collected nine people, the most talented geniuses, who were known as the "nine jewels of Akbar's court."

One day, just gossiping with his vice-councillors, he said, "Last night I was discussing with my wife. She is very insistent that every husband is henpecked. I tried hard, but she says, `I know many families, but I have never found any husband who is not henpecked.'

What do you think?" he asked the councillors.

One of the councillors, Birbal said, "Perhaps she is right, because you could not prove it.

You yourself are a henpecked husband; otherwise, you could have given her a good beating, then and there proving that, `Look, here is a husband!'" He said, "That I cannot do, because I have to live with her. It is easy to advise somebody else to beat his wife. Can you beat your wife?"

Birbal said, "No, I cannot. I simply accept that I am a henpecked husband, and your wife is right."

But Akbar said, "It has to be found.... In the capital there must be at least one husband who is not henpecked. There is no rule in the world which has no exception, and this is not a rule at all."

So he said to Birbal, "You take my two beautiful Arabian horses" -- one was black, one was white -- "and go around the capital. And if you can find a man who is not henpecked, you can give him the choice: whichever horse he wants is a present from me." They were valuable. In those days horses were very valuable, and those were the most beautiful horses.

Birbal said, "It is useless, but if you say, I will go."

He went, and everybody was found to be henpecked. It was very ordinary: He would just call the person and call his wife, and ask, "Are you henpecked or not?"

The man would look at the wife and say, "You should have asked when I was alone. This is not right. You will create unnecessary trouble. Just for a horse I am not going to destroy my life. You take your horses, I don't want any."

But one man was sitting in front of his house and two persons were massaging him. He was a wrestler, a champion wrestler, a very strong man. Birbal thought, "Perhaps this man... he can kill anybody without any weapons. If he can hold your neck, you are finished!" Birbal said, "Can I ask you a question?"

He said, "Question? What question?"

Birbal said, "Are you henpecked?"

That man said, "First, let us greet each other, a handshake." And he crushed Birbal's hand and said, "Unless you start crying and tears start coming from your eyes, I will not leave your hand. Your hand is finished. You dared to ask me such a question?"

And Birbal was dying -- he was almost a man of steel -- and tears started coming, and he said, "Just leave me. You are not henpecked. I have just come to a wrong place. But where is your wife?"

He said, "Look, she is there, cooking my breakfast." A very small woman was cooking his breakfast.

The woman was so small and the man was so big that Birbal said, "There is a possibility that perhaps this man is not henpecked. He will kill this woman."

So he said, "Now there is no need to go further into investigation. You can choose either horse from these two, black and white, a reward from the king for the one who is not henpecked.

And at that time that small woman said, "Don't choose the black! Otherwise I will make your life a hell!"

The man said, "No, no, I will choose the white. You just keep quiet."

Birbal said, "You don't get either, neither white nor black. It is all finished, you lost the game. You are a henpecked husband."

There is a continuous fight for domination. Love cannot blossom in such an atmosphere.

The man is fighting in the world for all kinds of ambitions. The woman is fighting the man because she is afraid: he is out of the house the whole day -- "Who knows? He may be having affairs with other women." She is jealous, suspicious; she wants to be sure that this man remains controlled. So in the house he is fighting with the wife, in the outside he is fighting with the world. Where do you think the flower of love can blossom?

Latifa, the flower of love can blossom only when there is no ego, when there is no effort to dominate, when one is humble, when one is trying not to be somebody but is ready to be nobody.

Naturally, in the ordinary world it cannot happen, but with a master it is a possibility. The love for the master is not biological. Biology has nothing to do with masters and disciples. The love for the master has nothing to do with domination.

The flower can blossom because love is pure of ego.

You are simply rejoicing in the presence, in the fulfillment of the master, in the contentment of the master. You are rejoicing as if it is your contentment, it is your fulfillment. In the radiation of the master you are feeling it is your radiation. You are part of the master; you have become so harmonious with him that his heart and your heart are no more two.

Awareness will come on its own accord, and this is the most beautiful way, the most innocent way -- a path full of flowers, a path that passes through beautiful lakes, rivers, groves, greenery.

The path of awareness is the path that passes through a desert. It is only for those who cannot manage to get back into their hearts.

If you can easily be heartful, forget all about awareness; it will come on its own accord.

Each step of love will bring its own awareness. This love will not be falling in love; I call it rising in love.

Question 3:

BELOVED OSHO,

THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO PARTS IN ME RELATED TO YOU. ONE PART OF ME HAS THE DRIVE TO WORK, RUN AROUND, ORGANIZE, JUMP UP AND DOWN, FIGHT, TALK TO PRESS AND POLITICIANS, JUST SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. THE OTHER PART, WHICH HAS BECOME SO MUCH STRONGER OVER THE LAST YEARS, JUST WANTS TO SIT AT YOUR SIDE AND ABSORB EVERYTHING -- YOU, YOUR SILENCE AND YOUR WORDS.

WAS IT THAT I HAD TO BE SO ACTIVE JUST TO BE ABLE TO SIT SILENTLY NOW?

OSHO, PLEASE CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR OUTER AND YOUR INNER WORK?

There is no split in you.

If a part fights in the outer world for my message to be spread to all nooks and corners, and the other part simply wants to sit close to me, drinking my silence, my presence, my peace, rejoicing in my blissfulness, being ecstatic just without doing anything....

Ordinarily it may seem that these two parts are against each other. They are not. The more you shout from the housetops, the more you will be able to sit silently, close to me; and the more you can sit silently, close to me, the more you will have something to share with the world, something to fight for.

Man is both the inner and the outer, and it has been a fallacy, a very ancient fallacy, to condemn one in favor of the other.

In the East, people renounce the outer in favor of the inner. They escape from the world into the caves in the Himalayas so that they can devote their whole life and their whole time and their whole energy to the inner journey -- but they don't understand the dialectics of life.

In the West, just the opposite has been done. They have renounced the inner so that they can put their whole energy into the outer world and the conquest of the outer world.

Both have been wrong, and both have been right.

Both have been wrong because both remained halves; one part grew bigger and bigger, and the other part remained retarded. You can see it.

In the East there is so much poverty, so much disease, so much sickness, so much death.

Still, there is a certain contentment. With all this, there seems to be no revolutionary approach that "We should change the whole world. We cannot go on living in this poverty, and we have lived in this poverty for centuries, in slavery for centuries. And we have accepted everything -- poverty, slavery, disease, death -- without any resistance, because these are outer things. Our whole effort has been inner."

In the West they have destroyed poverty, they have destroyed much disease, they have made man's life longer. They have made man's body more beautiful, they have made man's existence more comfortable, but the man himself -- for whom all these comforts, all these conquests of science and technology have been done -- is missing. They have completely forgotten for whom it was done. The inside is hollow. Everything is there, all around, and in the middle there is a retarded consciousness, almost non-existential.

So both have succeeded in what they were doing, and both have failed -- because they have chosen only half of man's life.

My attitude is that of accepting man in his totality, in his wholeness.

And it has to be understood that once you accept the totality of man, you have to understand the law of dialectics.

For example, the whole day you work hard -- in the fields, in the garden -- you perspire.

In the night you will have a beautiful sleep. Don't think that because the whole day you have been working so hard, how can you sleep in the night? -- it is so against your whole day's work. It is not against. The whole day's hard work has prepared you to relax; the night will be deep relaxation.

Beggars sleep the best. Emperors cannot sleep because the emperor has forgotten the dialectics of life. You need two legs to walk, you need two hands, you need two hemispheres in your brain.

It has now become an accepted psychological truth that you can do hard mathematical work -- because it is done by one part of the mind -- and then you can do the same hard work on your musical instrument, and because it is done by another part of the mind, it is not continuous labor. In fact, when you are working hard on mathematics, the musical part of your mind is resting; and when you are working hard on the musical part, your mathematical mind is resting.

In the universities, in the colleges all over the world, we change the class period every forty minutes because it has been found that after each forty minutes, the part that you have been working with gets tired. Just change the subject; that part goes into rest.

Sitting with me, fill your cup with as much juice as possible. Feel silence to its uttermost depth, so that you can shout from the housetops.

And there is no contradiction: your shouting from the housetops is simply part of a dialectical process. Your silence and your shouting are just like two hands, your two legs, your day and night, your work and rest period. Don't divide them as antagonistic to each other; that's how the whole world has suffered.

The East has created great geniuses, but we are still living in the bullock cart age because our geniuses simply meditated. Their meditation never came into action. If they had meditated for a few hours and used their silence and peace and meditativeness for scientific research, this country would have been the richest in the world -- outer and inner, both.

The same is true about the West: they created great geniuses, but they were all involved with things, objects. They forgot themselves completely. Once in a while a genius remembered, but it was too late.

Albert Einstein, at the time of death, said his last words -- and remember, the last words are the most important a person has ever spoken in his life, because they are a conclusion, the essential experience. His last words were, "If there is another life, I would like to be a plumber. I don't want to be a physicist. I want to be something very simple -- a plumber."

A tired brain, a burned brain... and what was his achievement? -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This man was capable of becoming a Gautam Buddha. If he had looked inwards, he had such an insight that perhaps he would have gone deeper than any Gautam Buddha, because he looked towards the stars and went further than any astronomer has ever done.

It is the same power; it is only a question of direction.

But why get fixed? Why not keep yourself available to both dimensions? What is the need of getting fixed? -- "I can only see outwardly, I cannot see inwardly, or vice-versa."

One should only learn how to see deeply, and then use that insight in both dimensions.

Then he can give better science and better technology to the world and he can give better human beings, a better humanity, at the same time.

And remember, only in a better human being's hands is a better technology right; otherwise, it is dangerous.

The East is dying with poverty. The West is dying with power. Strange.... They have created so much power that they can only kill. They don't know anything about life because they have never looked in.

The East knows everything about life, but without food you cannot meditate. When you are hungry and you close your eyes, you can see only chappattis just floating all around.

It has happened in the life of a poet, Heinrich Heine. He was lost in a jungle for three days, hungry, tired. Out of fear, he could not sleep; wild animals were staying in the tops of the trees in the night. And for three days continuously he did not come across a single human being to ask whether he was moving right or wrong, where he was going or if he was moving in a roundabout. Three days continuously... and then came the full moon night.

Hungry, tired, hanging onto a tree, he looked at the full moon. He was a great poet, and he was surprised, he could not believe it. He himself had written about the moon, he had read about the moon. So much is written about the moon -- so much poetry, so much painting, so much art is around the moon. But Heinrich Heine had a revelation: before, he used to see his beloved's face in the moon; today he saw only a bread floating in the sky.

He tried hard, but the beloved's face did not appear.

It is perfectly good to be dialectical. And always remember to try the opposites as complementaries. Use all the opposites as complementaries and your life will be fuller, your life will be whole.

To me, this is the only holy life: a whole life is the only holy life.

Question 4:

BELOVED OSHO,

TODAY I OBSERVED A TIGHTROPE WALKER AND HOW HE TRAINED A YOUNG GIRL PARTNER TO WALK ON THE ROPE. HE WAS SOMETIMES HITTING HER, SOMETIMES PERSUADING HER, BUT IT SEEMED TO ME THAT SHE WAS MAINLY ENCOURAGED TO TRY IT AGAIN AND AGAIN BECAUSE SHE FELT HIS TRUST IN HER POTENTIAL TO BE ABLE TO WALK THE ROPE ALONE.

CAN YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE MASTER'S TRUST IN THE DISCIPLE?

The very fact that the master accepts a disciple shows his trust in the potential of the disciple. Otherwise, he would not have been accepted.

Every man has the potential, but the right time, the right place, the right experience make all the difference. Otherwise, every human being is capable of being enlightened, will be enlightened, but when, at what time -- whether in this life or in another life -- depends on many things: how much your experience is, your experience of being frustrated in the world, how much you are in misery.

Are you still hoping that tomorrow things will be better, or have you lost all hope? Is your despair ultimate, or only momentary? Have you come to the master because you have fought with your wife today, but after fifteen minutes things will be different -- anger will be gone?

I used to live on a university campus. The first day, I entered into my bungalow. I was alone, and the attached bungalow was occupied by a Bengali professor. And the walls were so thin that even if you plugged your ears, still you would be able to hear what was going on on the other side of the wall.

Because the husband and wife were fighting so badly, I thought that there was going to be some blood. I could not sleep. It was one o'clock in the night and they were fighting and fighting and fighting. And I could not understand what they were saying either, but things must have been serious because finally the professor said, "I am going to commit suicide" -- that he said in English.

I said, "This is something good; at least I can understand this much." So I came out of my house to prevent him -- "Just wait. In the middle of the night, where will you go to commit suicide? In the morning it will be better" -- but by the time I was out he was gone, fast.

I asked his wife -- who had not come out even to say goodbye! I said, "What am I supposed to do? Should I go to the police station? Somebody has to be informed by phone? What has to be done?"

She said, "Nothing has to be done. Do you see his umbrella is here? Without his umbrella he cannot go anywhere. He will be coming soon -- the moment he remembers the umbrella. In anger, he has forgotten the umbrella. A Bengali without an umbrella?"

I said, "But suicide is such a serious matter, and an umbrella is not needed at all."

She said, "You just wait. You sit here. I will make coffee for you because you have been... I knew that you must be hearing all this."

And within fifteen minutes he was back.

And I said, "What happened?"

He said, "What happened? I forgot my umbrella! And now it must be at least two o'clock in the morning."

I said, "That's the right thing to do. In the morning, take your umbrella and go out, find a right place." But who goes in the morning?

In the morning I reminded him, "You are still here? The sun has risen. You should go now and search for the right place."

He said, "I was thinking to go, but when I opened the umbrella it was not repaired because the rains have not come."

I said, "I see you with that umbrella every day, going to the university."

He said, "That is just habitual. Because there are no rains, nothing, so there is no question of opening it; one just carries it. Now I tried and opened it -- it is not repaired. And I have been telling my wife that my umbrella should be kept repaired in case some emergency arises. Now I wanted to commit suicide and the umbrella is not ready."

I thought, "This is really great of you, and every person who commits suicide should learn something from you."

One day, it must have been afternoon, three o'clock or something, I again heard that he is going to commit suicide. But this time I was not so much excited, because I thought that this is the usual business. Still, I came out to say goodbye.

He looked at me with a very strange face. He said, "What do you mean by goodbye?"

I said, "You are going to commit suicide, and I don't think that we will be meeting again so I am saying goodbye. But what are you carrying?" He was carrying a tiffin.

I said, "Where are you taking the tiffin?"

He said, "You know these Indian railway trains -- sometimes they are ten hours late, twelve hours late. And I cannot tolerate hunger at all, so I will lie down by the line and wait for the train. If it comes, good; otherwise, I am taking my supper with me."

I said, "You are a clever and intelligent person -- anybody looking at you would think you are going on some picnic."

And when he was gone, his wife came. She said, "Has he gone?"

I said, "He has gone."

She said, "He will be coming soon. This idiot," she said, "whenever he wants to go for a picnic.... But he is such a miser that he will not take even me with him, so he says that he is going to commit suicide. He must be eating just near the railway station; you can go and see right now."

The railway station was not very far away, so I went and I saw him. He was enjoying all Bengali sweets and things.

I said, "Chatterji, the train is standing on the platform. Leave your tiffin, run! Just lie down ahead of the train!"

He said, "It is too late. First I have to finish everything that I brought, and today I have missed. And the train comes to this station only once in twenty-four hours" -- because it was not a big station, it was a small station, and the train used to stop only once for the university because the university was outside the city. So he said, "Today it is finished."

But I said, "You were first saying, `I am going to wait.' And this is not suppertime; it is only three o'clock."

He said, "When you have such sweets in your hand, you cannot wait. And I am just coming back home with you."

There are people who would like to become sannyasins, who would like to become disciples. It may be just an emotional, sentimental, temporal thing, and within two minutes it has come and it is gone. They had the potential, but it was not the right time.

Even if they take sannyas, even if they become disciples -- because no master is so unkind as to say no to somebody who wants to become a disciple -- they are going to betray. They are going to leave sooner or later because it was not something very deep, coming from their very heart. It was something very superficial, something so superficial that if they had waited for a few minutes more, they would have changed their minds. It was a mind thing, and mind is never stable, it is continuously changing.

You cannot stay with one thought in the mind even for a few seconds. Sometimes, try:

just one thought, and you try to stay with it, and you will be surprised that in not more than thirty seconds you have forgotten about it and your mind has moved somewhere else. And then suddenly you remember that you were trying to stay with one thought, and you could remain only thirty seconds.

Gurdjieff used to give this experiment to everyone who had come to become a disciple.

He would give him his own pocket watch and tell him, "Keep it in front of you, watch the second hand and choose any word -- your name. Keep just that name in your mind, and just tell me how long you can keep it" -- fifteen seconds, thirty seconds, at the most, forty seconds, not even one whole minute.

Mind is in a flux.

So those who want to become disciples because of some mind thing are not going to stay.

There is no need to say no to them, they will be going themselves.

But the master knows perfectly well when somebody comes with an urge from the heart, with an urge that he can stake his whole life for but he will not turn back. Only these few people attain to the fulfillment.

Everybody has the potential, but everybody is not ripe at this moment -- perhaps at some other time, in some other life, with some other master.

But one day is going to come in everybody's life that becomes a turning point, a 180 degree turn, and then disciplehood is a beautiful growth.

Then the whole energy is moving in one direction, with one intention, with no diversions.

Then the distance from the goal is less.

The more intense is your urge, the smaller is the distance. If your intention is total, then there is no distance at all.

Then you need not go to the goal, the goal comes to you.

Beyond Enlightenment

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Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin, the new deputy undersecretary
of Offense for intelligence, is a much-decorated and twice-wounded
veteran of covert military operations.

Discussing the battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, Boykin told
another audience, "I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my
God was a real God and his was an idol."

"We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been
raised for such a time as this," Boykin said last year.

On at least one occasion, in Sandy, Ore., in June, Boykin said of
President Bush:

"He's in the White House because God put him there."