If you can accept your ignorance your life will have the quality of magic

Fri, 4 December 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Blessed Are the Ignorant
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Deva means divine, and agyana means ignorance; divine ignorance. And this has to be understood.

All knowledge is superfluous. Knowledge as such is superfluous. And all knowledge creates only an illusion that we know - we don't know. You can live with a man your whole life, and you can think that you know him - and you don't know him. You can give birth to a child, and you can think you know him - and you don't know him.

And whatsoever we think we know is very illusory.

Somebody asks, 'What is water', and you say, 'H2O' - you are simply playing a game. It is not known what water is, nor what H is nor what O is.

You are just labelling. Then somebody asks what this H is - this hydrogen - and you go to the molecules, to the atoms, to the electrons... but you are again giving names. The mystery is not finished - the mystery is only postponed. And at the last, there is tremendous ignorance. Nobody knows what the electron is.

In the beginning we did not know what the water is - now we don't know what the electron is, so we have not come to any knowledge. We have played a game of naming things, labelling things, categorising, but life remains a mystery.

Ignorance is so profound and so ultimate that it cannot be destroyed. And once you understand it, you can rest in it. It is so beautiful, it is so relaxing... because then there is nowhere to go. There is nothing to be known, because nothing can be known. Ignorance is ultimate. It is tremendous and vast.

All that we know is illusory. Somehow we manage the illusion that we know. Somebody introduces you to somebody else, tells them your name, your qualifications, your country, and it is thought that you have been introduced. You remain completely unintroduced, because your name is not you, neither is your country nor is your religion. You are that profound ignorance inside.

But when I use the word ignorance, I don't use it in any negative sense - I don't mean absence of knowledge. By ignorance I mean something very fundamental, very present, very positive. It is how we are. It is the very nature of god to remain mysterious. It is the very nature of things to remain mysterious. Everything is illusive, and that's why it is so beautiful. If man succeeds in knowing everything one day, there will not be anything left except to commit suicide.

We can go on knowing and knowing and knowing, and we never arrive - the ignorance remains untouched, undisturbed by it.

To come to an understanding of this ignorance is to become enlightened. Hence the socratic dictum:

'I know only one thing - that I don't know.' That's what enlightenment is all about. If you can accept your ignorance - welcome it, cherish it, enjoy, delight in it, because this is how things are: nothing is known, nothing can be known and everything is mysterious your life will have a quality of magic.

Logic will be gone, and your life will be more magical; a charm, a tremendous grace will be there, because now there are no boundaries - nothing is defined. This undefined is what god is. And I call this ignorance divine.

The very urge to know is an egoistic urge, because by knowledge we want to become powerful. Yes, bacon is right when he says, 'Knowledge is power.' And our search is really for power. We go via knowledge. We want to know because by knowing we can manipulate.

The word science means knowledge, and the word religion should really mean ignorance. It is the polar opposite.

Science is an effort to know about things, and religion is not any effort to know - rather, it is an effort to live whatsoever is... to relax into it and to celebrate it.

If one can rest in one's ignorance, there is no problem, no anxiety. The mind by and by disappears.

It makes ripples no more.

You must have heard the old proverb: Ignorance is bliss. It has some depth in it. And I always say, 'Blessed are the ignorant, for theirs is the kingdom of god.' And I don't say, 'Theirs will be the kingdom of god'; I say 'Theirs is the kingdom of god.'

So just have a taste of ignorance, and you will have a taste of me. I am not a man of knowledge. In fact I don't know anything - because nothing can be known; that is not possible. If somebody claims that he knows something, he is claiming the impossible. I don't know anything. But this not knowing is so blissful, who bothers to know?

So let this surround you more and more. Even your husband is not known to you - how can a mystery be known? If you live together, you love each other, you share each other's space, but the space is such that it can never be reduced to knowledge. The moment you feel that you know your husband or your child or your friend, your mother, your father, you have reduced them to things. A husband becomes a thing, a wife becomes a thing. Then they are no more persons, their glory is lost - and the agony begins.

If you can remain in this ignorance of 'How can I know?' then life is very alive, flowing. You are never stuck, and there is always much to explore. In fact there is everything to explore, and every day is a new beginning of a new exploration. You never feel that you have known this man for so long. You are never fed up... you are never bored.

Boredom comes out of knowledge. The fed-up feeling comes out of knowledge. The moment you say that you know this man, now the exploration has stopped. Now you are stuck together. Maybe you are together for some other reasons - security, finance, society, morality, religion, a thousand and one reasons - but now the exploration is no more there. And when there is no more exploration there is no more love.

My definition of love is: when you are exploring the other, you are in love.

Whenever you feel that now there is nothing to be explored - the territory is covered, completely mapped, measured - that man is finished, that woman is finished! But it is good that we can never know. You only create the illusion of knowing because you have lived with this man for ten years.

You have seen him eating, taking his bath, hugging you, talking to you, but these are very superficial things... just peripheral.

Deep inside there is a vast sky, and you have not explored it. Once you start feeling that you are ignorant, the doors open. And then you can go on and on and on. Each individual is an infinity.

Each flower is an infinity.

Looking at a flower, Tennyson is reported to have said, 'If I can know this flower - root and all - I will know the whole existence then nothing is left.'

Because to know a flower, root and all, means to know the whole existence. The flower is rooted in existence. Its colour is coming from the sun. Its vitality is coming from the earth. It is breathing the air. It has a past - millions of years... a whole heritage - and it has a future. It has already thrown its seed around. It may be gone in this form, but it will be there in another form. It has been always there and it will be always there. It is spread all over existence because it is rooted. But to know even a small flower root and all, is not possible. Even to know a small stone, root and all, is not possible.

Knowledge is impossible. And this realisation - that knowledge is impossible - is a radical realisation. Then you turn towards religion. Then there is a conversion, a hundred degree turn.

Then you move into another world - the world of mysteries, the world of magic, the world of love and of the heart. The head tries to know, the heart tries to enjoy. Knowledge creates boredom - enjoyment never! It is always new and always fresh.

I give you this name, agyana; it means profoundly ignorant. And keep this in mind. By and by forget the old name and get in tune with the new. You will see a tremendous change arising in you, very slowly. I started working on you from yesterday. I was waiting and I was hoping that you would be coming. You must have received my message. I was hoping you received it and you did. And I am happy!

Now change to orange, and next time you come for a little longer time. Much has to be done, agyana....

[Osho suggested to a sannyasin who is a black-belt karate teacher and who has just returned from japan, that he commence teaching in the ashram.... ]

Help people as much as you can. And by helping them, you will learn many things. The best way to learn is to teach. So really a teacher, a good teacher, remains a student his whole life, and a good teacher always feels very grateful to his students. The students learn - that's okay - but the teacher learns too. And each student brings something new - a new door opens.

Particularly these arts - like karate - are not sciences. They are arts. There is nowhere really to learn them - one has to imbibe the spirit. They cannot be taught - they can only be caught. So you simply start working with people, and forget... don't be self-conscious about it. If a teacher is self-conscious, that creates trouble. Forget about it. I am not interested in any sort of performance.

Whatsoever you are doing, if you love, it is perfect. Be devoted to it, be loving to it, and then you will find new things are happening on their own accord. You will be surprised every day that things are coming up in you that you were never aware could even exist in you.

When you are too self-conscious, you become narrow. When the self-consciousness is not there, your unconscious starts pouring. And your unconscious is not yours only - it is collective. All the karate teachers that have ever been, are, and will be, can all speak through your unconscious.

One great experiment was done in china a few years ago. They hypnotised a few art students who were learning painting. They told each student, in hypnosis that he was a particular master of the past - that he was a van gogh.

They put the idea deep into the unconscious, and immediately the next day the student's paintings started changing. He was an ordinary student, and within months he became rare - he started being very talented and a genius. Something of van gogh started penetrating in him... something of the van gogh touch, the same depth, the same vision - and he was not aware!

Every day he would go to the hypnotist and the hypnotist would hypnotise him and suggest to the student that he was van gogh, reincarnated; that his soul was that of van gogh. How did this unconscious idea work?... And it worked on many students.

They have worked in many dimensions. Somebody is learning music, and they will hypnotise him and say that he is a great composer - a wagner; somebody is a dancer and they will hypnotise him and say that he is a nijinsky, and immediately changes - very visible changes - start happening.

There is a possibility that some day in the future education will be using hypnosis very much, because if this is possible then one can hypnotise all the mathematical students and tell them that they are albert einstein, and their I.Q. will simply go upwards so fast... unbelievably fast.

My understanding is that whether you give a suggestion to it, or not, the unconscious is not personal, it is universal.

So when you are learning karate or teaching karate, all that has been done about it becomes available to your unconscious.

Just by learning karate or teaching karate, you are putting an idea inside your unconscious... without any hypnosis! This too is a hypnosis. That idea will function like a bait, and things will start pouring from your unconscious reservoir.

So one basic thing to be remembered is: never be a performer, otherwise you become very self- conscious. Performers never become first rate; they remain second rate. The very fear that you can fail, and the very desire to succeed, does not allow you to relax. So it is difficult to relax when you are learning, but when you are teaching it is very easy. So relax completely, and let the unconscious take over. And you will be surprised that great things are happening... great help is available.

And whenever you need me, or you feel stuck, just take the locket in your hand and remember me, and suddenly something will unlock.

That is the meaning of the locket. It is a secret key. Whenever you feel that you are stuck, and something is not coming to the perfection that you would like it to come, just take the locket in your hand, close your eyes, take two, three deep breaths, and leave it to me, and immediately you will see - the clarity has come, the clouds have disappeared, and you can move again.

Within a year you will see tremendous talents arising in you. So this is not going only to be a teaching for others. More than that, more important than that, it is going to be a teaching for you.

[A visitor asks: I see so many people who have ordinary sex and call it tantra. What is your feeling about this?]

In fact the idea arises in you because you think ordinary sex is something ordinary, and that tantra should be something special. That division is wrong. Ordinary sex is not ordinary either. In fact nothing ordinary exists. Either everything is ordinary - god included, nirvana too - or nothing is ordinary - even sex, even anger. The universe is made of one stuff, whatsoever you call it.

So the first thing to be understood is - never call anything ordinary. It carries a condemnation; you have already condemned it. Never condemn anything. If somebody enjoys calling his sex, tantra, who are we to prevent him? Good! If he is enjoying, he's enjoying, and enjoyment is good.

Tantra is something different than sex, but sex is included in it. It is something more - it is plus. It is not against sex - it is something plus, it is something more. But if somebody calls his sex, tantra, nobody has to take any offence. It is good! It is your sex. If you want to call it tantra, you call it tantra.

You want to call it divine, you call it divine. You want to call it god, you call it god! It is nobody else's business.

This is one of my fundamental approaches - that everybody should have the freedom to be himself.

But for centuries our minds have been conditioned to condemn and to interfere. So a condemnation arises for anything that doesn't fit with our ideas. Then there are fixed postures to make love. If you are making love in some other postures, you are perverted. Nonsense! If the two persons agree to make love in a novel posture, that is their business - nobody else's. And if they enjoy it, they enjoy it - who are you to condemn it?

Individual freedom is absolute, should be absolute. Nobody should interfere. And we can interfere even by our attitude. It is not that you should go and call the police and take the person to the court - no! Just your idea can be condemnatory... just your approach that this is ordinary sex and someone calls it tantra.

Let them call it tantra. One thing is certain - that they would like it to be tantra. They would like to lead their sexuality to some higher realm, to some higher altitude. So good! Nothing wrong in it.

The plus point has to be understood. When you are simply enjoying sex for no other growth purposes - it is a sheer delight - then it is simple sex. But when you are using this enjoyment as a stepping stone, it becomes tantra - that's the only difference. And it is very difficult to judge it from the outside, so don't judge it. Don't judge it, because that is something inner; nobody can say from the outside.

If two persons are making love, nobody can say from the outside whether they are using it for some higher growth or not. They may perform the whole ritual of whatsoever is written in tantra books, and still it may be just ordinary sex. They may do all the rituals. They may move very particularly about everything. Mm? they may consult the book, and follow every iota, and then too it may be just ordinary sex.

And two persons may not have even heard about tantra, may not have looked into the tantra manuals, may not know any rituals, but if they are using their delight like a wave to ride upon and to reach some meditative states, towards samadhi, then it is tantra. Whenever you enjoy your sexual enjoyment for some further explorations it is tantra.

Nothing to be condemned - and never condemn anybody. If you feel that you can say something to somebody, make it certain....

[The visitor says: It's always been so very closed.]

It has... it has been closed, not because it has to be closed. It has been closed because the so- called public is almost mad - it will kill you! For the first time it is possible that by and by tantra may become public because the world is more free. In the past it was a very very occult, esoteric, hidden thing.... Not because it has to be hidden - there is no intrinsic necessity for it to be hidden - but because of the foolish mass, the stupid world, the mediocre society that would have killed it.... It has killed!

Down the centuries tantrikas have been killed by the society. One instance is very historical. One king bhoja killed almost one hundred thousand tantrikas in india.

... Once it was such a great movement....

[The visitor, incredulous, asks: How can you kill a tantrika?]

Because they were public... they became public. They were very courageous people, and they could be recognised easily - their recognition was simple. The pair would move together, naked, in one dress. That was really unisex. One gown, and the pair inside. So you could find them anywhere!

There was no need to.... And they had a blue dress, mm? because in deep sex enjoyment, the aura becomes blue; you are surrounded by a blue light.

When you really move into deep sexuality and it becomes meditative, your body becomes luminous, and a blue aura surrounds you. Even photographs have been taken, and they show a blue aura. So they started using a blue robe. The man and woman together, in one robe, would walk around the town, move around the town. This bhoja killed all the couples.

And this has been done many times. The society was never ready. The society has been very stupid. The whole history is of stupidity.

Whatsoever you are reading in schools, in universities, is just absolutely absurd and stupid - but this is how things have been. So these things have to be kept hidden. But in the future, I don't see....

A better world is coming - and particularly in america, the freedom is going to touch such peaks that tantra will become public - it has to become public. It is such a great blessing that everybody should be able to enjoy it and know about it. It should become available. It is everybody's concern, because sex is everybody's concern.

Everybody is born out of sex, the body is made of sex cells; the mind is an instrument for your sex energy. In fact, if you ask the scientists they say that when you see a fruit like guava - or any fruit - you think that the tree is creating the fruit for you. No! The fruit is nothing but to protect the seed.

The tree is not concerned with the fruit at all. The tree is concerned with the seeds; those seeds are its sexuality.

To give them nourishment it creates the fruit. The seeds get nourishment and are protected from the world so they can become ripe. When they have become ripe, immediately the fruit falls down.

Then it is no more needed. The seeds are ripe, ready to go into the earth and create more trees.

Exactly the same is the case with your body: your whole body is nothing but a nourishment for your sex seeds, for your semen. Food is needed - your mind searches for food; shelter is needed - you find shelter... but basically deep-down your sexuality is at the centre.

When sexuality is so central, tantra should become part of the common heritage. It should be in every school, in every college, in every university, in every temple, in every church - it should be everywhere! And people should be taught how to use sex energy to move towards super- consciousness. But in the past it was very difficult - that's why it remained hidden.

My whole effort is to drop all that occult nonsense about it. It is a pure science! And by and by it is possible that by the end of this century, tantra will explode all over the world. For the first time humanity is ready to receive it. Up to now only a few adepts were ready to receive it. And this is going to happen in the west. It is not going to happen in the east, because the east is still in the past - at least one thousand years back. The problems are still the same there.

But don't condemn it - that it is private and should not become public. Anything valuable should become public... it should be for everybody to use. If every couple can have something of tantra in their life, the whole quality of human consciousness will be changed, and the new generation will be of a totally different calibre. Because if the father and mother were not only in sexual intercourse, but something deeper in their energies was moving - there was a communion of deeper energies - then a different quality of child will be born.

Ordinarily the child is the meeting of the two bodies. When two persons love tremendously, then the child is a meeting of the two bodies and two minds. When two persons are in a deep tantric affair, then the child is perfect. The child is ready for a real journey into life.

Ordinarily whatsoever is being produced is very ordinary - ordinary in the sense that it is out of two bodies meeting... almost accidental, not very conscious.

So teachings of tantra should reach to people. And there is no harm now - there was harm before.

Now there is no harm. And somebody has to take the risk.

I am making a big boat a big orange boat. You need not travel in your small boat!

[Sannyasins who had taken part in the tathata group were at darshan. One group member said she had been bored. Previously Osho had talked about the use of boredom as a device to drop the mind (see 'God is not for Sale', Thursday October 8th). Tonight he expanded on that, saying that a group devoted to boring people would have to be introduced into the ashram!... ]

Sometimes it can help tremendously, because being bored means that your mind is not getting any excitement - and the mind is always hankering for excitement, something new, some sensation.

When you say that you are feeling bored, you simply mean that your mind - which is constantly after new sensations - is feeling frustrated; nothing new is there. But if you can continue and remain in that boredom and accept that boredom, a moment comes when the mind stops completely, because the mind has nothing to do now.

The mind lives on excitement... the novel, novelty, something new. When there is nothing exciting, the mind disappears. It has no reason to function, and in that state, for the first time you have penetrated into meditation.

In the past, many more people attained to meditation because the ancient world was very boring.

The modern world is very exciting. Mm? just think of an old village in india. Even now it is boring, but three thousand years ago it was absolutely boring! Nothing ever happened. The same people, the same world, the same castes - the brahmin, the sudra - and the same divisions and everything was just mechanical.... The same poverty, the same illness, the same... everything the same.

The village never used to change. For centuries it would remain the same. Automatically the mind had nothing to function for. There were no newspapers, and no radios, and no TV. There was simply no reason for the mind to function, so the mind could rest. Meditation was very easy.

In the modern world it is becoming more and more difficult because things seem so fast.' And the whole world has almost become a small village. News arrives from everywhere: whatsoever happens in tehran, or timbucktu, next morning you know about it. And people are glued to their seats before their television sets, and everything is available in colour... very exciting. Each thing changes continuously.

Every year the car-producing companies change their models. There seems not to be much improvement. Sometimes even the new model may be worse than the old, but still there is excitement. People go on changing their jobs. The average length of a job in america now is three years.

In ancient india people were in the same job continuously - not only for one life, for many lives. A sudra was born again as a sudra, and a brahmin was born again as a brahmin. So it continued life after life after life, the same.

Now people are changing their spouses - nothing is settled. One person can marry many women in one life. One woman can have many husbands in one life.

There is so much excitement that the mind is always on the verge of going mad. Of course the modern world is not boring - one thing is certain. It is anything but boring. It is too exciting, too tiring... maddening! And this has become our habit. You don't want to eat the same food every day, you don't want to use the same dress every day, you don't want to do the same thing every day But this is my understanding - and the understanding of all those who have worked in the inner world of man - that if you settle with a few things, in the beginning it is monotonous, boring, but by and by the mind becomes settled. One day suddenly the mind is not there, and you can look at life without the mind - and that's what enlightenment is.

So you try it sometimes. For one week or two weeks, you can go to the hills to lonavala or anywhere and just be bored. Sitting in the same room, doing nothing - just be bored! Accept boredom, and out of boredom something very significant will happen to you. So boredom is not always a curse. It can be turned into a blessing.

I am thinking to create a few groups here... mm? One group will simply be sheer boredom! (laughter) So nothing happens in that group. People simply sit and look at each other for days together. No talk is allowed... no expression is allowed. You simply sit in your comer and look. And there is nothing to see - the same faces. It can be of tremendous value. It can give many people breakthroughs.

So you, (to the groupleader), think about a boring process, mm? It has to be really boring, and the boring has to be the central core of it. Mm? just plan for it. Soon we will start - and she will be your first disciple (a laughter).

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76). 1866 Galatz, Romania
77). 1919 Bavaria (foreign born Jews)
78). 1938-45 Nazi Controlled Areas
79). 1948 Arab Countries.