Let it soak within your heart
RECENTLY I HEARD YOU SAY THAT TRANSCENDENCE OF LIFE'S MISERY AND CONFUSION CAN OCCUR BY EITHER A LET-GO OF LIFE OR BY FIGHT -- AS LONG AS EITHER IS DONE WITH TOTALITY. MAHAVIRA'S WAY WAS FIGHT, AND YOURS IS LET-GO. COULD YOU SAY MORE ABOUT LET-GO AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO INTELLIGENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY? I DON'T HAVE THIS UNDERSTANDING, AND MY LIFE SEEMS TO BE AN ODD MIXTURE OF LET-GO AND FIGHT. LET-GO SEEMS MORE NATURAL, AND FIGHT SEEMS MORE RESPONSIBLE.
It is not only your question, it is everybody's question -- a mixture of let-go and fight. But your let-go is not my let-go; your let-go is simply a defeatist attitude. Basically you want to fight, but there are situations where you cannot fight, or perhaps you have come to the very end of your energy for fighting. Then, to cover up your defeat, you start thinking of let-go. Your let-go is not true, it is phony.
Real let-go is not against fight.
Real let-go is absence of fighting.
And you cannot mix real let-go with fighting attitudes, for the simple reason that the presence of let-go means the absence of a fighting attitude. How can you mix something which is present with something which is absent? Just as you cannot mix light and darkness, however great an artist you may be -- you cannot mix light and darkness for the simple reason that darkness is only an absence of light. You cannot bring them together; only one can be present.
So the first thing to remember is that the basic attitude of every human being is to fight.
So don't think of it particularly as your problem. It will help you immensely to understand that it is a human problem. Then you can stand aloof and watch it, observe it, understand it.
Fighting is a basic attitude because it feeds the ego. The more you fight, the more your ego becomes stronger. If you become victorious the ego has great joy. You are giving life to ego by your victories. But on the other hand, as the ego becomes stronger, your being is receding farther and farther away from you.
As your ego becomes stronger you are losing yourself. You may be fighting and being victorious, not knowing at all that it is not a gain but a loss. Each child is taught to fight in different ways. Competition is a fight, to come first in your class is a fight, to win a trophy in a game is a fight. These are preparations for your life. Then fight in the elections, fight for money, fight for prestige. This whole society is based on fighting, competition, struggle, putting each individual against the whole.
So it is almost everybody's situation. And then you listen to me about let-go.
Let-go means no competition, no struggle, no fight... just relaxing with existence, wherever it leads. Not trying to control your future, not trying to control consequences, but allowing them to happen... not even thinking about them. Let-go is in the present; consequences are tomorrow. And let-go is such a delightful experience, a total relaxation, a deep synchronicity with existence.
I am reminded of a parable. I call it a parable because it is so good it cannot be true. In the East, the name of Majnu is very famous. It is a Sufi story -- perhaps nobody of that name existed, but it is irrelevant whether he existed or not. He has become the symbolic lover.
Majnu was a poor young man, with tremendous love and a great heart, and he fell in love with the richest man's daughter. The marriage was not possible; even meetings were not possible. He could only see once in a while, from far away, his beloved, Laila. But the rumor about his love started spreading, and the rich man, the father of Laila, was afraid that it will contaminate the family's name and he will not be able to find the right man for his daughter. So he left the village to go to a faraway country, where nobody will know anything about Majnu.
The day they were going, a great caravan... because he had so much money and so many things to take, hundreds of camels carrying things. Majnu was standing by the road, by the side of a tree, hiding himself in the foliage of the tree -- because the father was so mad he even could shoot him, although he had not done anything. He had not even spoken to Laila.
He was standing there just to see her for the last time. It was enough for him that she was happy and healthy -- and he would wait. If his love has any power, she will come back.
There was tremendous trust in him. He had seen the love, the same flame that was burning in his heart, in the eyes of Laila too. Laila was also searching and looking all around from the camel she was riding. She knew Majnu must be waiting somewhere on the way, and then she saw him hiding under a tree in its thick foliage. For a moment, without a single word or gesture, they were one; and then the caravan passed.
But for Majnu time stopped then and there. He remained standing by the side of the tree waiting and waiting. It is said years passed. Laila came, but came a little late. She enquired; people said, "We have never heard about him. Since you left he has not come to the town again."
She rushed to the tree where she had left him. He was still there, but a strange thing had happened -- he had become one with the tree. That's why I say it is a parable: it is too good to be true. He relaxed so utterly because there was nothing else to do but to wait. He relaxed with the tree, and slowly, slowly they started merging with each other. The tree became his nourishment; they were no longer separate, they became one. Branches grew out of his body. He was no longer hiding under the foliage; the foliage was on his body -- beautiful leaves and beautiful, fragrant flowers.
Laila could not recognize him. But the whole tree was saying only one thing, "Laila...
Laila!" She was getting mad, and asking, "Where are you hiding?" And the tree said, "I am not hiding. Waiting so long, doing nothing, and just being relaxed, I have become one with the tree. You came a little late.
"What was going to happen between us has happened between me and the tree. We were going to become one -- that was not acceptable to destiny perhaps. But I was ready to relax in the moment, without thinking of any consequences. And I am happy that you are alive, still young, and more beautiful. But I am gone, far away. I am immensely happy...
alone, relaxed, in a let-go."
To me, let-go means you are not fighting for anything in life, but giving everything to life to take care of. You say "let-go seems to be natural." It only `seems'... because your whole conditioning is against it. You have been brought up for millions of years to fight.
Fighting, either you can be defeated -- which will create a wound, which will create revenge -- or you can be victorious; which will again create another kind of wound. That is the ego. In either case you are a loser. Defeated you lose, victorious you lose. In either case you are going farther away from yourself.
Let-go has not been taught to people because it will go against the whole structure of the society -- which is based on competition and fighting, where everybody is your enemy.
Even your friend is your enemy, even your wife is your enemy, even your children are your enemies, because everybody is trying to snatch as much from you as possible.
And the same thing you are trying to do. The world of misery is created because everybody is snatching things from everybody else. It is not a peaceful, silent, loving existence; we are still barbarous and animalistic.
Let-go is totally a different approach. Its first step is dropping the ego, remembering that you are not separate from existence: with whom are you fighting? You are not separate from people: with whom are you fighting? With yourself... and that's the root cause of misery. With whomsoever you are fighting, you are fighting with yourself -- because there is nobody else.
Let-go is a deep understanding of the phenomenon that we are part of one existence. We cannot afford to have separate egos; we are one with all. And the all is vast, immense.
Your understanding will help you to go with the whole, wherever it is going. You don't have a goal separate from the whole, and the whole has no goal. It is not going anywhere.
It is being simply here.
The understanding of let-go helps you to be simply here, without any goals, without any idea of achievement, without any conflict, struggle, fight, knowing that it is fighting with yourself -- which is simply foolish.
Let-go is a deep understanding.
It is not an act that you have to do.
Every act is part of the world of fight. That which you have to do is going to be a fight.
Let-go is simply understanding.
And then a silent relaxation, flowing with the river, unconcerned where it is going, unworried that you can get lost... no anxiety, no anguish, because you are not separate from the totality, so whatever is going to happen is going to be good.
With this understanding you will find there is no mixing: understanding cannot mix with ignorance; insight into existence cannot mix with blindness; consciousness cannot mix with unconsciousness.
And let-go cannot mix with different kinds of struggles -- that is an impossibility.
Just let it sink within your heart, and you will find a new dimension opening up, in which each moment is a joy, in which each moment is an eternity unto itself.
I HAVE HEARD YOU SAY, IN CONNECTION WITH MARTIN HEIDEGGER, THAT THE WORK OF A PHILOSOPHER IS TO GUIDE THE LEADERS OF THE NATIONS, NOT TO FOLLOW THEM. YOUR WORK AT THIS TIME SEEMS TO BE MOVING IN THAT DIRECTION. YOUR WORK IS MORE GLOBAL, INVOLVING WHOLE NATIONS AND THEIR PEOPLE, AND EVEN TRANSCENDING NATIONS. DIOGENES STOOD NAKED -- AND LARGELY UNKNOWN -- HOLDING A LAMP IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, AND REPEATED THE STATEMENT, "I AM LOOKING FOR A MAN." IS YOUR WORK REALLY DIFFERENT FROM DIOGENES' OR DOES IT ONLY APPEAR SO? ARE YOU ALSO LOOKING FOR A MAN?
Diogenes is one of the most loved human beings, as far as I am concerned. As far as the world is concerned, he is one of those who are destined to be condemned for their behavior, for their ideas. And Diogenes particularly, because he is so unique.
His ways would have been understood in the far East, in Japan; he would have become a great Zen master. In Greece he was simply condemned. He was not in the right place.
First, he was naked -- for a certain reason: naked we have come into the world, and all the animals are naked, why should man hide his wild body behind clothes?
And the strange insight was that it is not weather, cold or heat, that has prompted man to use clothes -- because if all the animals can exist without clothes, there is no reason. And your face is naked, but it becomes immune. That's how the whole animal world lives.
Small birds are more powerful than you: they are immune to cold and to heat. They don't need any clothes. Why did man need clothes? Not to protect his body but to hide it, because he is the only animal who has not been natural, and his body has become ugly.
Now, Diogenes has a strange insight.
I agree with him, that clothes help you immensely to hide your body. Man has lost his natural beauty, agility, and that's why he had to discover clothes. It is very strange: if your naked body is brought before you, or just a photograph of your naked body is brought before you, you will not be able to recognize that it is your body. People are recognizable only by their faces; the whole body is ignored. And through clothes you can create the illusion of beauty. You can hide the ugly parts and you can expose the beautiful parts; you can emphasize the beautiful parts.
Diogenes was disgusted with the whole idea. This is exhibitionism, not what Sigmund Freud thinks is exhibitionism. I agree with Diogenes and not with Sigmund Freud.
Sigmund Freud calls a man exhibitionist if he tries to show his naked body to somebody.
Diogenes calls all people who have been forced by your so-called civilization to wear clothes, exhibitionists. This is a beginning of deception, hypocrisy. And my feeling is that one day man will return back to being naked, because only then he will regain his health again -- for the simple reason that then he will have to be healthy, otherwise he will feel embarrassed. Then he will have to exercise, then he will have to go to some gymnasium and maintain his body and his beauty, because now it is not only his face that is his identity; now his whole body is his identity. And he will not be ashamed of it; it is his body and nature has given it to him. He will be proud of it.
Diogenes was as beautiful a man as Mahavira -- both lived naked -- so proportionate, so beautiful. In India Mahavira's nakedness became spiritual; in Greece Diogenes became a madman. He used to carry a lamp with him, and whomsoever he met -- even in the full daylight -- he would raise his lamp and look at the man. And people would ask, "What are you doing? It is full daylight, the sun is shining; why are you carrying a lamp? And why do you go on looking in people's faces?"
He used to say, "I am looking for a real, authentic man."
My search is, in a way, similar: I am also looking for a real, authentic man. But the real, authentic man cannot be searched for with a lamp.
Diogenes' lamp is only symbolic. It simply says that he is putting his whole lighted being as a beam on the person, as an X-ray, to see whether there is anything left or everything is hypocrisy. The day he died he had his lamp by his side, still in his hand. One man, just to joke, asked Diogenes, "Now you are dying. Before you die, please answer one question.
Your whole life you have been searching for the authentic, real man, with your lamp.
Have you found him or not?"
Diogenes was really a beautiful man. He laughed and said, "I have not found him, but I am grateful to the whole of humanity that nobody stole my lamp, because I found all kinds of thieves all around. An authentic man I have not been able to come across, but even this is enough, that they have left my lamp with me; otherwise when I looked at these people they were criminals, murderers, thieves, and I was worried about my lamp -- that's the only thing I possess. So one thing I can say before I die -- one good thing about humanity -- is that my lamp was not stolen."
At the moment of death also he could laugh and joke. In Greece he was not understood at all. He belongs to the category of people like Bodhidharma, Chuang Tzu, Hotei. That was his category, but he was with the wrong people. Aristotle had defined man -- Diogenes was a contemporary of Aristotle -- as "a two-legged animal without feathers." That shows the depth of logic, and the insight of Aristotle. When Diogenes heard it, he caught hold of an animal with two legs, took away all the feathers, and sent it as a present to Aristotle, saying, "This is your man: a two-legged animal without feathers."
Aristotle was very angry: "It is not a joke, and this Diogenes is never serious!" But I say to you, he was serious. He was saying to Aristotle, "This is not the way to define man -- two-legged, without feathers. You are degrading man to animals, just a little different variety -- without feathers. That's the only difference: there are many animals with two legs."
He was not just joking -- he was serious. And he was serious in his search for the authentic man. It is not a question of defining it; it is a question of finding it. You can define it only after you have found it.
The man that exists is not authentic.
Yes, my work is similar in a way: I am also searching for the authentic man, destroying all that is not authentic in you, at the risk of being condemned all over the world. But I am not carrying a lamp in my hand because I know that was only a gesture.
I am really working with each individual who has come in contact with me to help him to drop all unnecessary conditionings and to have a communion with nature.
To be natural you will be authentic.
To be natural you will be human.
And to be natural you will be a being full of rejoicings.
It is your unnaturalness that is creating the whole misery, and just as money brings more money, misery brings more misery. Whatever you have attracts its own kind. If you have a little joy, you will attract much joy; if you have a little silence, then even from the faraway stars you will be attracting silence, then even in a crowd, in the marketplace you will be attracting silence.
It depends what you have within you; that becomes the gravitation, and it attracts its own kind. Just a little experience and then there is no need to push you; you will go in that direction on your own.
My whole effort is to give you just a glimpse, just to open a window so you can see the sky with all its colors and sunset. And I know you will come out of the hole to see the whole sky, to see the birds returning home, to see the trees going to sleep, preparing their beds. But right now you have only misery, and that misery goes on attracting more misery.
My work is somehow to create a small gap in your miserable existence... just a little window.
DOES A NATURAL DEATH ALSO TRANSCEND NATURE?
Nothing transcends nature.
Everything goes on becoming more and more natural -- deeper and deeper nature, higher and higher nature -- but nothing transcends nature, because there is nothing else but nature.
You have to drop the old categories -- that there is nature and then there is supernature.
What has been called supernature is nothing but the highest peak of being natural. Why create categories -- when nature alone is capable of containing all?
The lowest and the highest point of life are both natural. The murderer and the enlightened man, both are natural. The murderer is at the lowest point, the enlightened man is at the highest point. But as man they are part of the same nature, and being natural, they are similar. And this opens a new possibility: the murderer can become enlightened. We are not preventing him, we are not putting him in a separate category.
He can become enlightened, because he is part of nature. Perhaps he was upside down, he just has to change his posture.
But nature is profound. It contains everything -- the good, the bad, the evil, the divine -- and I want them all to be part of nature, so transformation is not impossible. Old religions have created categories, and created such gaps that it is impossible...
For example, Christianity believes in eternal hell -- which is absolutely absurd. You cannot commit so many sins in a small life of seventy years. One third of it is lost in sleep; much of it is lost in childhood, in sickness, in earning the bread, in quarreling with your husbands, with your wives, with your neighbors. You don't have much time to commit sin. And even if you continuously commit sin, from your very birth to the last breath, without any coffee break -- just sinning and sinning -- then too eternal hell is not justified. Then at least seventy years in hell will do. But eternal hell, unending, forever and forever... Christianity does not leave any possibility for the sinner to change. It cuts all his future.
My approach is simple: the worst and the best are both part of the same nature. One may be at the lowest, one may be at the highest, but they belong to the same nature, and hence have the possibility of transformation. The lowest person can start climbing to the highest peak -- and it has happened many times.
There is a Hindu story in India... The oldest book on the life of Rama is written by Balmik. Balmik was a robber, thief, murderer -- everything that you can conceive of he had done. That was his only profession. Uneducated but a tremendously powerful man, just on the highway he would be waiting for people, and anybody who was caught had to give everything; otherwise he was finished. Balmik's family was living in luxury -- he was bringing so much every day.
One day it happened that one beautiful saint, Nardar, who was always carrying his ektara -- a simple musical instrument, with only one string, that had become his symbol -- singing and playing on his ektara he was passing, and Balmik caught hold of him. But he was still singing and playing on his ektara.
Balmik said, "Are you mad or something? Can't you see me, can't you see my sword?
Give me everything that you have!"
Nardar said, "You have caught a beggar; I have only this ektara. And that too I am not going to give easily, because what will you do with this? But if you want it, I can give it to you. If you want my life I can give that too. But before I give you anything, I want to ask one question to you."
Balmik said, "Question? What question?"
Nardar said, "You go home, ask your wife: you have been killing people, robbing people -- is she ready to share the responsibility of it. Ask your father, your mother, your son, your daughter. Are they willing to share the responsibility of what you are doing?"
Balmik had never thought about such a thing; he was an uneducated man. He said, "I have never thought about it. They must share the responsibility. I am doing it for them."
Narda said, "I will be here. Don't be worried, you can just tie me to the tree so I cannot escape." He was tied to the tree and Balmik rushed to his home and asked his wife. His wife said, "I have nothing to do with your responsibilities. It is your responsibility to feed your wife; how you do it I have no concern for." And the same was the response of everybody.
Even the mother said, "It is your responsibility to take care of your old father and mother.
Now how you are doing it -- that you have to work out. We have not told you to kill people and rob people; you are doing it on your own. We are simply not responsible for any of your acts."
Not a single man in his house was ready to share responsibility. He was shocked! He went back, untied Nardar, touched his feet and said, "I have been my whole life a wrong person. Is there any possibility for me to get rid of all that I have done?"
Nardar said, "There is no problem. You stop doing it, because the people you are doing it for are not even ready to take responsibility for it! And I will teach you my song. My song is very simple; I simply repeat the name of Rama. It is so simple, no education is needed. You sit under the tree and repeat, `Rama, Rama...' as long as you can, and you will be transformed -- because intrinsically your innermost core always remains pure. It is only the layers on it which can be dropped."
After a few months Nardar came back and he was surprised: Balmik was sitting there under the tree. Nardar had been his whole life repeating the name of Rama, the Hindu God, but nothing like this had happened to him. Balmik was surrounded by an aura of light. Just going close to him you felt a tremendous silence, a great rejoicing.
He said, "My god, I have been repeating the name of God my whole life. And this man is a murderer, a robber, he has done every sin possible, and he is my student -- I have taught him to repeat the name of Rama -- and he seems to be transformed, transmuted!"
Nardar had to wait. He did not dare to touch him or to disturb him; his presence was so sacred. When Balmik opened his eyes, he touched the feet of Nardar. Nardar said, "You need not touch my feet -- I have to touch your feet. What has happened? Within a few months you are a new man! Have you found something more than I have given to you?
because I have been using that mantra, `Rama, Rama...' my whole life. And now I feel like a fool; within a few months... You must have got something else!"
He said, "My god, is it Ram? I forgot." Because repeating it continuously... if you repeat, "Rama, Rama Rama...." And he was uneducated, a robber, murderer; he had never done any such thing. "Rama" repeated continuously without any gaps... he forgot, and started repeating, "Mara, Mara..." Instead of "Rama," two "Ramas" became joined and he forgot what it was, so he started, "Mara, Mara..." mara means dead.
Balmik says, "This is another miracle!" You have been repeating, `Mara' which means `dead'; it is not the name of God. But your sincerity, your innocence, your totality has changed it. You are far away from me. Never touch my feet again!"
The lowest can change to the highest.
There is no barrier, there is no wall.
And nature is all that is there.
So even a natural death does not transcend nature; it simply fulfills nature in its totality.
OSHO, WE'VE RUN OUT OF QUESTIONS.
You don't have any more?
Anando, some question about poor Avesh? No? Okay!