Just counting other people's cows
THE POPE AND HIS BISHOPS -- ARE THEY REALLY FULLY AWARE OF HOW THEY ARE CHEATING THEIR PEOPLE? I CAN'T IMAGINE THAT THEY ARE JUST A BIG HEAP OF CRIMINALS, WITHOUT ANY RESPECT FOR TRUTH.
The religious leaders are as asleep as the people they are leading. The only difference between the leaders and the led is theoretical. The leaders have a great store of theological knowledge, all borrowed; nothing in it is of their own experience, but it gives them great authority over the people who don't have even borrowed knowledge. And these leaders are consistently emphasizing the fact: "You are sinners, you are ignorant.
We are the saints, we are the knowers."
The poor masses cannot make a distinction between authentic knowing and borrowed knowledge. Even these leaders -- popes, bishops, shankaracharyas, ayatollahs -- even they are not alert of the distinction. They know only one kind of knowledge, and that is borrowed knowledge. They have no awareness of a different dimension of knowing, so whatever they are doing is done in deep sleep. They are not cheating people consciously.
You cannot cheat anybody consciously.
Consciousness will prevent you from doing anything as ugly as cheating, deceiving, pretending, being a hypocrite, condemning people as sinners and fulfilling your own egos as great saints. No, it is not done consciously.
I never suspect for a single moment their good intentions. Whatever these people are doing, they are doing with good intentions; but the questions is not of good intentions, the question is: what is the result?
You may murder me with good intentions, but your good intentions cannot justify my murder.
I have come into contact with almost all kinds of religious scholars, and on one point they are the same, whether Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jew. That point is that they are perfectly at ease, feeling very good, in whatever they are doing -- they are doing God's work, and they are spreading wisdom. They don't even know the meaning of wisdom.
They have never tasted anything like that; they have heard about it, they have read about it, they have crammed hundreds of scriptures.
I am reminded of an historical event... When Alexander the Great invaded India, his master was no one other than Aristotle, the father of logic in the western hemisphere.
And he had asked him, "When you come back, bring the four VEDAS of the Hindus. The rumors have been, for hundreds of years, that those four books contain all the knowledge that is in the world; if you know those four VEDAS, you know all. So bring those four VEDAS for me."
Alexander said, "That is very simple." But in those days the VEDAS were not printed.
Hindus resisted printing them for hundreds of years after the printing press was invented.
They never wanted their sources of wisdom to be printed and sold in the market.
Knowledge cannot be sold, and you cannot purchase wisdom. And purchasing the four VEDAS from a bookstall, you will be deceiving yourself -- those words are dead.
Alexander enquired because he was thinking he could get them easily, but it was difficult.
Very few prominent brahmin families had copies of the VEDAS, and that was their whole treasure. But finally he found one old brahmin... people said, "He has one of the most authentic copies of the VEDAS. And he is old; you can get them from him."
Alexander went to the old man. The old man said, "There is no problem, but traditionally we can give the VEDAS only when the sun is rising. You have come at the wrong time -- the sun is setting. Come tomorrow morning, just before sunrise, just as the sun is rising, and I will hand over all the four VEDAS to you."
Alexander said, "I was not thinking that it is going to be so simple. You don't ask anything in return?"
He said, "No, this is enough, that you will be taking the VEDAS into the wide world.
Come early in the morning." But that old man was really clever....
The whole night he and his four sons remained awake sitting around a fire. He told the sons, "Read one page of the book that I have given to you." He distributed the four VEDAS to the four sons, according to their age. The eldest got the RIGVEDA, the oldest scripture. "You read aloud one page so that I can hear that you are reading it rightly, and then remember it and drop it into the fire. By the morning all four VEDAS have to be burned, and by the morning all you four have to become my four VEDAS. I am going to present you to Alexander the Great."
In ancient India, memory was particularly trained. Still, all universities, and colleges'
educational systems depend on cultivating memory. They deceive you and themselves, thinking that this is intelligence. Memory is not intelligence, because memory can be part of a computer -- which has no consciousness, which has no intelligence. Your mind is also a natural bio-computer. Memory is simply remembering but not understanding; understanding is totally different. Memory needs a very mechanical mind, and understanding needs a very non-mechanical mind. In fact the ways are diametrically opposite.
In the morning when Alexander appeared he was stunned. All the four VEDAS were burned, and the old man said, "Now you can take my four sons. They have perfect memory. They will repeat the VEDAS exactly. I could not give you the VEDAS -- that is never done -- but I can give my sons to you. My whole life I have trained them in memorizing. You just have to repeat something one time and it remains in their memory, as if written on a stone."
Alexander was defeated by the old man. He could not take those four sons because they didn't know the meaning of what they were saying; they could not explain anything. The language was different, and they could not translate it -- they didn't know Greek. What purpose would be served by taking these people?
But all your religious scholars and leaders are nothing but memories, trained memories.
They don't know what they are saying, but they say it correctly. Their language is right, their grammar is right, their pronunciation is right, their accent is right, but all these are futile because they don't know the meaning, they have never lived it. That meaning comes through living, through experiencing. But they will remain in a deception, and they will spread the same deception to other people.
So I say again: the popes, the bishops, the shankaracharyas -- they are not doing intentionally any crime. They are fast asleep; they cannot do anything intentionally! They are living an unconscious life. Their words are beautiful -- they have collected them from beautiful sources -- but the words have not grown within their being. The words are not part of their life. They are as ignorant as the people they are teaching.
Socrates used to say that there is a knowledge which is ignorant, and there is an ignorance which is knowledge.
Borrowed knowledge is ignorance.
Experienced truth makes you not knowledgeable, but humble. The more you know it, the less you claim to know it. The day you know it perfectly, you can only say, "I am utter ignorance. I am just a child, collecting seashells on the beach. I know nothing."
"I do not know," can only be said by a man who knows perfectly.
The people who say, "We know," are utterly ignorant people -- but their memories are full. And those memories are dead, because they have not given birth to any experience of their own.
Gautam Buddha used to say, "I used to know a man -- he was my servant. Sitting by the door, he would count the cows that were going early in the morning to the pasture, to the river." He would count them -- it had become almost an automatic thing with him. His duty was to sit in front of the door of Gautam Buddha, in case he needs anything; otherwise he was sitting there the whole day. And by the time the cows returned... It is one of the most beautiful times. In Indian villages, which are still not modernized, the time when the sun is setting has got a special name, goadhooli. Goa means cow, and dhooli means dust: the cows are coming, raising dust. The sun is setting, the birds are returning to their trees -- it is a very peaceful moment.
So at the time of goadhooli he would count again the cows that were returning home.
And he would become very much worried if some cow was missing, if the count was not exactly as it should have been. Later, when Gautam Buddha became a great master, he used the story of that man and his habit to explain something immensely meaningful.
He said, "I used to ask that poor fellow, `Do you have a cow?' And he would say, `I am so poor, I don't have a cow.' And I would say to him, `Then why do you unnecessarily go on counting thousands of cows in the morning, then in the evening again -- thousands of cows? And if one cow is missing -- or perhaps you have miscounted -- then you are worried, you cannot sleep. And it is not your cow, it is not your concern!'" Buddha used to say to his disciples, "All knowledge that is not yours is not your concern.
You are counting other people's cows, unnecessarily wasting your time. It is better to have one cow of your own -- that will be nourishment."
But all your scholars are just counting other people's cows. And they are doing immense harm without knowing it, because they are helping people to become knowers without knowing. This is the greatest harm that can be done to man, to give him a sense that he knows -- and he knows nothing. You have destroyed his whole life. You have destroyed the opportunity in which he may have known, experienced, lived. You have taken all his opportunities, all his possibilities of growth.
I am against all these scholars, not because their intentions are bad but because the outcome of their very good intentions is disastrous. They have destroyed millions of people on the earth; they never allowed them to grow, they gave them a false notion that they know already. This is pure poison.
George Gurdjieff used to tell a story... there was a magician who had many sheep. And it was a trouble to get them home from the forest every night -- wild animals were there, and he was losing many of his sheep. Finally the idea came to him, "Why do I not use my expertise, my magic?"
He hypnotized all his sheep and told them different things. To one sheep he said, "You are a lion. You need not be afraid; you are the king amongst the animals." To another he said, "You are a tiger," to another, "You are a man." And he told to everybody, to all the sheep: "You are not going to be butchered because you are not sheep, so you need not be afraid to come back home. You should come early, before nightfall."
And from that day no sheep went missing. In fact, from that day no sheep was behaving like a sheep: somebody was roaring like a lion, somebody was behaving like a man, and nobody was afraid of being butchered, killed -- the very question was irrelevant. And the magician was butchering them every day for his food. They may have been roaring like lions -- that did not matter; they were sheep after all.
But he managed very beautifully. Giving one sheep the notion of being a lion, there was no need now to be bothered that he would try to escape, seeing that other sheep are being killed. Still sheep were being killed, but this sheep will know, "I am a lion, I am not a sheep. Sheep are bound to be killed!" When he is killed, others will be thinking, "He was just a sheep, we are men. And he was not only a sheep, but a foolish sheep who used to think that he is a lion, and never listened to us. We argued many times, `You are a sheep.
We are men, we know better. You stop roaring, that is not going to help.'" But the magician was in absolute control.
The story Gurdjieff was telling was about your religious leaders. They have managed to tell you things which you are not. They have managed to convince you that you know things which you know not. And this is the greatest crime that can be committed. But you cannot call them criminals, because they are not doing it to harm you. They are trying to serve you, they are trying to help you.
Just because all the religions have been doing the same thing, the whole world is under a certain hypnosis. And why have I created so many enemies? -- for the simple reason that I am telling you that your knowledge is not knowledge, that it is a cover-up. You are utterly ignorant. You know nothing, and you believe that you know. It hurts!
I am taking away your knowledge, I am taking away your virtue, I am taking away your morality. I am taking away everything that you used to think is a great treasure, everything that was cherished by you, nourished by you, protected by you, because you thought that you have got the real secrets of life, that you know the real mysteries of life.
And to take away these things from people is naturally going to create enemies.
It is a strange world. The enemies are popes, are archbishops, are shankaracharyas, are ayatollahs -- they are the respected people of the world, and the friend looks like the greatest enemy. The enemies appear to be friends, and the friends appear to be enemies.
Humanity has misbehaved with its friends and given all its respect to its enemies. And that is the reason why the whole world is in misery: you have listened to the enemies and you have destroyed your friends.
And the same story continues.
I have talked to so many wise people, and found that all their wisdom is just memory.
Not even a small bit is their own; all has come from others. And this is something fundamental to realize, that truth can only be your own experience. There is no other way to get it. Lies you can get in abundance. There are supermarkets all over the world, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mohammedan, Buddhist -- all kinds of lies, all colors, all shapes and sizes, whichever you prefer. They are available and suitable to you. You are not to fit with them, they fit with you. It is very easy. They are made for you, they are tailored for you.
Truth is a totally different matter.
You will have to fit with it.
Truth knows no compromise.
You will have to change according to it.
You will have to go through a transformation.
So I am creating enemies, not without any reason. The reason is clear. I am creating a few friends also, but those few friends have to go through a deep fire test. They have to drop their false personalities, their egos, their knowledge -- everything they have. They have to be ready to be utterly naked and empty. Only then are they at the right point of the journey, the journey towards truth.
Naked, empty, and alone....
But it is such a joy, and each moment is such a glory, such a paradise that once you have tasted a single moment on the way towards truth, you will never look back on all that you had to leave. It is a great unburdening, a freedom.
Now you can open your wings unto the sky.
The whole sky now is yours.
YOU WERE SAYING THAT THE NEW WILL BE VICTORIOUS. WILL IT REALLY BE THE NEW, OR WILL IT BE THE OLD POLISHED UP HERE AND THERE.
THERE ARE PUBLICATIONS NOW IN GERMANY THAT USE YOU. SOME MENTION YOU IN THE LIST OF LITERATURE AS THE SOURCE, BUT OTHERS USE YOU AND DON'T MENTION YOU -- OR THEY EVEN CONDEMN YOU. I AM REALLY AFRAID OF THOSE PEOPLE. WHAT IS THEIR INTENTION? CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE AWAY THAT FEAR?
There is no need to be afraid of those people. That is happening in every language all over the world. People are taking my statements and not mentioning my name. There is no harm in it, because my name is not important; what is important is the statement. Even if these people are stealing, there is no harm. That statement may start something in somebody which these people cannot fulfill. That statement may trigger a process in somebody who will have to come to the original source.
They are not mentioning my name for two reasons. One reason is, they would like to appear original. Secondly, they are afraid that if they mention my name they will be condemned -- then their book is not going to be praised, respected.
But don't be afraid of these people, whatever their reason. Anything taken from me is fire, and it does not matter in what way the fire reaches to somebody's heart. These people who are doing such things cannot be great writers, poets, creative thinkers; otherwise they would not do such an act of stealing. These people are third rate.
So if they have stolen something from me it is going to stand out in their whole book as separate, unrelated, out of context. Anybody who has a little intelligence, will see that this part has not come from the same man who has written the book, because the book has a third class flavor; there is no originality, there is no understanding of the deeper problems of life, and there is no courage to say the truth as it is. So anything that they have stolen to decorate their books, to make their books valuable, unknowingly that very part is going to destroy their whole book. They have stolen fire and put it into their book.
In India, one radio station was reading my statements every day, for ten minutes in the morning, without mentioning my name -- but passages from books, stories. Hundreds of letters came to me saying, "These people are stealing from your books."
I said, "Don't be worried. My name is not significant, my message is. They are cowards, or perhaps they love me but they are government servants."
In India radio is owned by the government, television is owned by the government. If they use my name, they may lose their jobs. And certainly during that series, which was continuing for six months, even ministers, cabinet ministers and the prime minister, were quoting from those statements, thinking that they have nothing to do with me. But the people who were listening knew that those statements were not coming from Indira Gandhi -- they could not be, they had no relevance with the person -- they were stolen.
And they started searching for the place from where the statements had been stolen.
Finally I met the person, the director of that radio station. He was a lover of me, and he said, "I have been condemned. Hundreds of letters are coming to me, saying, `You are stealing. You are not mentioning Osho's name. But if I mention your name then the series will be stopped that very day. I will continue as long as they don't discover...
`"And the moment it was discovered, immediately the series was stopped and the man was removed. He told me, "It happened because of that series. People started writing letters to the prime minister saying, `This man is stealing passages from Osho.'" The prime minister herself had been stealing. Her lectures have been sent to me, and word for word, long passages have been stolen from me. But I have always taken the standpoint: let the truth reach to people by any means, by anyone.
I have been thinking that if the great powerful governments of the world are so afraid that they will not allow me entry into their country -- just as a tourist for three or four weeks - - if they are so impotent with all their power that they will not even allow me an overnight stay at the airport, which is legally my right...
In England my jet plane was standing at the airport, and the pilots had to rest. According to the law, after a certain period they cannot fly, so only in the morning would they be able to fly. I had every right to stay in the lounge at the airport, but they refused -- as if with me there are different laws!
One of my friends who was traveling with me just happened to see the file of the man who was preventing me, because he went to the bathroom, leaving the file on the table.
And my friend just looked and was surprised, because there were government instructions.... I had just arrived, but the file was ready, saying that if I try to stay even overnight I should not be allowed to stay in the first class lounge, but I should be put in jail; I am a dangerous person.
In the airport lounge, from where I cannot get into the country... there is no way to get into the country from the lounge. Every instruction was there about how they had to treat me. In England we had to stay for one night in jail, without any crime -- just because the pilots could not fly overtime. And the government was ready beforehand. It was not a spontaneous decision, it was well-planned.
Now there are countries who have decided in their parliaments that I should not be allowed into their country. And they have a certain European parliament... Just the other day I was informed that now they are considering in the European parliament -- which is just a combined body of all the parliaments of Europe -- a decision that I should not be allowed even to land my plane at any airport in Europe.
Today they will be doing this in Europe -- America has done it already. Tomorrow they will be doing it in Asia, in Australia, in Africa. It is possible, very possible, that if they are so much afraid of me, they will start banning my books. And it may become necessary that my books go without my name, or with any name -- like Holy Ghost!
The name does not matter.
But the message has to reach.
It is unprecedented. The whole world against a single man -- a man who has no power, no nuclear weapons, who cannot do any harm to anybody. The whole world is at war with a single person. It simply shows that I am hitting at their very roots.
You need not be worried. If somebody has taken some passage, that passage will prove more important than his whole book. And I would like more and more writers, poets, film makers to steal as much as they can, because truth is not my property, I am not its owner.
Let it reach in any way, in anybody's name, in any form, but let it reach.
THESE WORDS "TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF," CONFUSE ME. I AM AN INDIVIDUALIST AND ENJOY BEING ON MY OWN. IF I DO WHAT FEELS GOOD TO SUPPORT MYSELF, IS IT NOT A WAY OF FEEDING MY EGO?
WHERE IS THE LIMIT BETWEEN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONESELF AND FEEDING THE EGO BY FULFILLING ITS TENDENCIES?
There is no limit for taking responsibility for yourself. And the question has arisen... and not only this question, many questions arise because you only think about them; they are not your existential experiences. If you take responsibility for yourself you cannot be an egoist, because to be an egoist simply means you are fast asleep and you cannot take any responsibility.
Responsibility comes with awareness, alertness.
You are asking an intellectual question like, "When we bring light into the room, what are we are going to do with the darkness? Where have we to throw it?" Intellectually it is perfectly right. There is darkness in the room and you say, "Bringing light into the room, the question arises, `Where then has the darkness to be pushed? Where has it to be thrown? In what way?' But it is not existential. Just try to bring light in and there will be no question about darkness. There will be no darkness!
Responsibility is awareness, alertness, consciousness.
Ego is just unconsciousness.
They cannot coexist.
As you grow more conscious you grow more towards light, and anything belonging to the world of darkness starts disappearing. Ego is nothing but darkness.
So remember one thing, try to ask questions which are existential. Intellectual questions may look logical, but are really absurd. You try responsibility, and by being responsible you will have to be conscious and alert.
Remaining responsible, you will create the light that automatically dispels the darkness of the ego.