Drink to the full and dance
The first question:
WOULD YOU PLEASE SPEAK MORE ABOUT THE NEW PHASE OF YOUR WORK? SRI RAMAKRISHNA, SRI RAMAN, AND EVEN J. KRISHNAMURTI, APPEAR ONE-DIMENSIONAL.
DID GURDJIEFF ATTEMPT A MULTIDIMENSIONAL APPROACH? WAS IT THE CAUSE OF HIS BEING SO GREATLY MISUNDERSTOOD?
Ajit Saraswati, it is but natural to be misunderstood if you really want to help people. If you don't want to help them, you will never be misunderstood - they will worship you, they will praise you. If you only talk, if you only philosophize, then they are not afraid of you. Then you don't touch their lives.
And it is beautiful to know complex theories, systems of thought. It helps their egos, it nourishes their egos - they become more knowledgeable. And everybody likes to be more knowledgeable. It is the subtlest nourishment for the ego.
But if you REALLY want to help them, then the problem arises. Then you start changing their lives, then you start trespassing on their egos; then you start interfering with their centuries and centuries old habits and mechanisms. Then you create antagonism: they are afraid of you, they are inimical towards you. And they will try in every possible way to misunderstand you, to misrepresent you.
One-dimensional people are beautiful flowers, but not of much use. Krishnamurti has been talking for forty or more years, and people listen. The same people have been listening to him for forty years...and not an iota of change in their consciousness.
Certainly they have become very knowledgeable, argumentative, logical. If you discuss with them - they are the best people to discuss anything with - they go into the most subtle, delicate worlds of thought. They can analyze everything: awareness, meditation, consciousness.... They have become very efficient, very clever, but they remain as mediocre as ever, as stupid as ever, with only one difference: now their stupidity is garbed behind their so-called knowledge that they have gathered from J. Krishnamurti.
Krishnamurti has remained just an intellectual phenomenon, because he never took the trouble to enter into people's lives. It is dangerous to enter into people's lives - you are playing with fire.
Sri Raman is perfectly okay: sitting silently in his temple, people can come, offer flowers, worship, and he will simply watch. And of course he has a beauty and a grace, but it is one-dimensional, it does not affect life in its totality. At the most, people can be moved by it emotionally. Just as J. Krishnamurti moves people intellectually, Sri Raman moves people emotionally.
And the same was the case with Ramakrishna. Many people's emotions were touched, and they would cry tears of joy. But it is not going to transform you. Those tears of joy are momentary; back home you will be the same.
Gurdjieff certainly is a pioneer. With Gurdjieff begins a totally new concept of spiritual life. He has actually called his way "the fourth way" - just as I call my way "the fourth way" he also calls his way "the fourth way." He was immensely misunderstood, because he was not interested in imparting knowledge to you, he was not interested in consoling you. He was not interested in giving you beautiful theories, visions, hallucinations. He was not interested in your tears, in your emotions and sentiments.
He was not interested in being worshipped by you, he was interested in transforming you.
And to transform a person means you have to take a hammer in your hands, because many chunks of that person's being have to be cut. The person is so topsy-turvy that everything is wrong as it is, and it has to be put right. And he has invested so much in his wrong way of life that anybody who wants to change his style of life - not only the circumference but the center too - he becomes afraid of, he is scared of. Only a few courageous people can enter into the world of a man like Gurdjieff. Tremendous courage is needed, a courage to die, because only then is one reborn.
Gurdjieff was a midwife. He was not a teacher, he was a master. Krishnamurti remained a teacher. Raman remained a beautiful individual - enlightened, but just a faraway, distant star. You could watch and you could appreciate and you could write poetry about it, but that's all. It remained a distant phenomenon. You could never hope to reach him, the distance was vast. And there was no effort from his side to bridge it.
And what could you do? How could YOU bridge it? If you had been capable of bridging yourself with a man like Raman, there would have been no need to make the bridge. A man of that capacity would be able to transform himself on his own; he would not need a master. Unless Raman tried to make the bridge, the bridge was not possible.
And he was aloof, distant, cool. He was not involved. He knew all misery is false. And, certainly, it is so - but not for those who are in misery. The man who is awake knows that the person who is crying and weeping in his sleep is seeing a dream, true. As far as the man who is awake is concerned, it's perfectly true. But even though it is a dream, a nightmare, for the person who is fast asleep it is a truth. And the man who is fast asleep cannot make any effort to connect himself with the awakened man. Obviously, it is impossible. He cannot even be aware that somebody is awake; he is so much engrossed in his nightmare. Only the awakened can make the effort. But to disturb somebody's sleep, even though he is in a nightmare, is dangerous. Nobody wants to be disturbed, nobody wants to be interfered with.
People have strange ideas - sleepy people, idiotic people, but they have strange ideas of freedom. They have no freedom; they can't have. They can't afford it in their sleep. How can a sleepy man have any freedom? But they have ideas, great ideas of freedom, and a man like Gurdjieff interferes. His compassion is far greater than the compassion of J.
Krishnamurti, Raman, and Ramakrishna.
Ramakrishna is beautiful - singing the praise of God, praying, worshipping, dancing.
He is something of the beyond. He reminds you that much more is possible in life than is happening to you - but that's all. Through him just a little remembrance can reach you. But your life is such that that remembrance is not going to create any mutation; it will be forgotten. You will enjoy it. Again and again you would like to go to the man and see him dancing and singing and praying...and you will feel good.
This is what Buddha calls "counting the sheep of others." He is a beautiful flower, but by looking at a rose you cannot become the rose; neither can you become a Ramakrishna by looking at Ramakrishna. Great effort is needed. You have to climb the mountain against all hazards.
Unless a master tries to approach you in your deep sleep, unless he stirs your being, holds you hard and takes you out of your ignorance, it is impossible, it is almost impossible. But you will be angry at this man - who wants to be disturbed? One has become accustomed to a certain way of life; mind always likes the old, the known, the familiar. Even though it is miserable, still the mind is afraid of the new, because with the new you have to learn again how to behave, how to be. And who wants to learn?
You are so efficient with the old, your ego is so satisfied with the old - why bother?
And when you come across a man like Gurdjieff, he shatters all the nonsense that you have gathered. He shatters mercilessly! Sometimes he has to say things which are not really true, but just to shatter your ideas he has to say them.
A friend has asked, "How was it possible that a man like Gurdjieff, a man of such great understanding, did not understand the idea of kundalini energy?"
He called it kundabuffer. He was very much against the idea of kundalini. He used to say that the worst thing that could happen to a person in life is the arousal of kundalini.
The questioner, naturally, is bewildered.
But you don't understand the real meaning of Gurdjieff. He called it kundabuffer because of the nonsense that theosophists have created in the world. They talked so much about kundalini, the serpent power, and it was all gibberish; they knew nothing about it. They were just fabricating, they were just inventing theories and ideas. It was all guesswork.
In fact, out of a hundred books that are written about kundalini, ninety-nine are absolute nonsense. And the people who had gathered around Gurdjieff had come through theosophical philosophy, hypotheses, doctrines. He was shattering their knowledge; he was not saying anything against kundalini. How could he say that? He knew far better than Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Alcott, Leadbeater - he knew far better than these people. These people were only experts in creating doctrines, and really they were great experts. They had created almost a world movement - about auras and colors and kundalini...new words from the ancient spiritual lore. And they created worlds, imaginary worlds, around those words.
Gurdjieff is right to call it kundabuffer. And Gurdjieff is right in saying that the worst thing that can happen to a man is the arousal of kundalini. But remember always that he was talking to his disciples, in a particular context. He was shattering the knowledge of his disciples about kundalini power - because the first step of a master is to destroy your knowledge, because your knowledge is basically false, borrowed.
Before you can be made familiar with the truth, the untrue has to be taken away.
Sometimes the master has to be very merciless, and sometimes the master has to say things which are not really so. Kundalini is not a wrong idea, but for ninety-nine percent of people, Gurdjieff is right.
Now there are again people like Gopi Krishna, who are writing books on kundalini and the serpent power, and the great genius that comes through it. It has not even happened to Gopi Krishna! What kind of genius has he? At the most, the only proof that he has given of his genius is some absolutely worthless poetry, just like the poetry schoolchildren write. He has been a clerk his whole life. His poetry smells of his whole life's clerkship - it stinks! It has no beauty, it has no grandeur - it has nothing of the superb.
And now he is propounding around the world that when kundalini arises your latent power of genius becomes manifest. How many yogis have won the Nobel Prize? And how many yogis have contributed to the world's scientific knowledge, art, poetry, painting, sculpture? How many of your people whose so-called kundalini has arisen have contributed in any way to the world's richness?
What Gopi Krishna is talking about is not kundalini but kundabuffer. Gurdjieff would have put him right with a single blow. But he attracts people. People are very much attracted by mystical nonsense, by occult stupidity, by esoteric gibberish. Just start talking with people about chakras, centers of energy, and kundalini passing through them, and they are all-attentive. You just try it! There is no need to know anything about it - just invent...because Jaina mystics have not talked about kundalini, Buddhist mystics have not talked about kundalini, Christian mystics have never known anything about it, Sufis are absolutely unaware of this energy called kundalini. Only Hindu yoga talks about it.
There IS something in it, but not exactly the way it is told to people. The knowledge that is floating around about kundalini is all nonsense, and Gurdjieff was right to condemn it. He was condemning the whole theosophical movement. Theosophists were very much against Gurdjieff. They knew nothing, but they created a great movement. They were more or less political people, scholars, logic-choppers, but not in any way realized souls.
Gurdjieff shattered many beliefs. He shattered one of the most fundamental beliefs of the whole of humanity. He said, "There is no soul. You are not born with a soul - the soul has to be created by great effort. And only very rare people have been able to create it. The millions of people walking on the earth are all soulless."
Now, can you create a greater shock? - just telling people, "You are soulless. There is nothing inside you - hollow, nobody inside you. You are not yet born; you are just a body, a mechanism. Yes, you have a possibility, a potentiality to become a soul, but then you have to do much work for it, great work for it, and only then is it possible to have a soul. It is the ultimate luxury to have a soul."
Now, down the ages priests have been telling you that you are born with a soul. That has created a very wrong state of affairs. Because everybody has been told he is born with a soul, he thinks, "Then why bother? I am already a soul. I am immortal. The body will die but I am going to live." Gurdjieff said, "You are nothing but the body, and when the body dies YOU will die. Only once in a while does a person survive - one who has created soul in his life survives death - not all. A Buddha survives, a Jesus survives, but not you! You will simply die, not even a trace will be left."
What was Gurdjieff trying to do? He was shocking you to the very roots; he was trying to take away all your consolations and foolish theories which go on helping you to postpone work upon yourself. Now, to tell people, "You don't have any souls, you are just vegetables, just a cabbage or maybe a cauliflower" - a cauliflower is a cabbage with a college education - "but nothing more than that." He was really a master par excellence. He was taking the very earth away from underneath your feet. He was giving you such a shock that you had to think over the whole situation: are you going to remain a cabbage? He was creating a situation around you in which you would have to seek and search for the soul, because who wants to die?
And the idea that the soul is immortal has helped people to console themselves that they are not going to die, that death is just an appearance, just a long sleep, a restful sleep, and you will be born again. Gurdjieff says, "All nonsense. This is all nonsense!
Dead, you are dead forever - unless you have created the soul...."
Now see the difference: you have been told you are already a soul, and Gurdjieff changes it totally. He says, "You are not already a soul, but only an opportunity. You can use it, you can miss it."
And I would like to tell you that Gurdjieff was just using a device. It is not true.
Everybody is born with a soul. But what to do with people who have been using truths as consolations? A great master sometimes has to lie - and only a great master has the right to lie - just to pull you out of your sleep.
For example, you are fast asleep and I shake you and shake you and you don't budge.
And then I start shouting, "Fire! Fire!" and you start running out of the house. Outside we will settle the matter. I will say that there is no fire...but this was the only way to wake you up.
Once you have known the soul, Gurdjieff will whisper in your ear, "Now don't be worried. Forget all about what I was telling you. But it was needed. It was a device. I had to shout 'Fire!' otherwise you were not going to get out of your sleep."
But these people are bound to be misunderstood. To understand a man like Gurdjieff is an almost impossible job. You can understand him only if you go with him, if you go along with him. And the work that Gurdjieff did was a very secret work - it can't be otherwise. Real work can be done only in a mystery school. It is hidden, it is underground. It is not public and it cannot be public.
In the Middle Ages the mystics disappeared behind the garb of alchemy; they had to disappear because of the Christians. The Christians were destroying all kinds of sources which were in any way in conflict with Christian ideology. They were not allowing anybody to practice anything else; even to talk about anything else was not permitted:
"Christianity and only Christianity is the way."
The mystics had to disappear. They created a beautiful deception, they created the idea of alchemy. They started saying, "We are alchemists; we have nothing to do with spirituality. All that is rot. We are seeking and searching for the secret of immortal life, of eternal youth. We are trying to find ways and means to transform base metals into gold." And just to deceive the public they made chemistry labs. If you had entered into an alchemist's world, you would have encountered jars and medicines and herbs and test-tubes...and you would have seen a kind of lab where much chemical work was going on. But this was only a facade; this was not the real work - the real work was happening somewhere else deep down in the school.
The real work was to create integral, crystallized human beings, to create wakefulness.
The real work was meditation. But Christianity does not allow meditation. It says prayer is enough. It does not allow inward search. It says worshipping God is enough, going every Sunday to the church is enough, reading the Bible is enough. It has given you toys - and that's how it has happened in other countries too.
In India too the mystics have lived in disguise.
Just the other day I was reading a Sufi story - and Gurdjieff is basically rooted in the Sufi tradition. He is a Sufi. He learned his secrets from the Sufis.
I was reading a Sufi story:
A disciple came to the master and said, "I am in trouble. The trouble is that the richest man of the town is going on a pilgrimage. He has a beautiful daughter, and I have a great reputation because of all the discipline that I have gone through and the character that I have cultivated. I have such a reputation in the town that he wants me to take care of his beautiful daughter while he is on his pilgrimage. And I am afraid - I know my temptations. And the girl is really beautiful; in fact I have always been infatuated with her. I have been avoiding...! This is too much: for six months or nine months she will be living with me. I cannot trust myself. What should I do?"
The master said, "I know a man who knows the secret. You go to him."
And he told him to go to another village where a madman lived. He said, "But what can that madman do? I know about that madman, I have heard much about that madman.
He is utterly mad! How can he help me?"
The master said, "You just go, but go very watchfully. Watch everything that is happening there."
He went to the madman. A very beautiful young boy was pouring wine and the madman was drinking.
Now, Mohammedan countries have been, down the ages, homosexual, very much - so much so that it is only the Mohammedan paradise which is gay. It is far more advanced than any other paradise. In the Hindu paradise there is no place for a gay person. In the Christian paradise, no, not at all. Even the Jewish God is very much against homosexuality, very angry. But the Mohammedan God is very lenient. Not only are beautiful women provided for the virtuous, but beautiful boys too.
This beautiful young boy pouring wine and the madman drinking - this man felt great hatred, condemnation. But because the master had said, "Watch and go and ask him for advice..." he forgot all about his problem. First he asked, "Please tell me what is happening. What are you doing?"
The madman laughed and he said, "This boy is my son. And come close - my glass contains only water. What he is pouring is not wine."
The man asked, "Then why are you pretending that you are drinking wine? Nobody sips water the way you are sipping. The flask from which he is pouring water is not used for keeping water - then why?"
The madman laughed and said, "So that nobody entrusts his beautiful daughter to me when he goes on a pilgrimage. This is a device!"
He must have read the thought, he must have been telepathic. He must have seen this man through and through. "...So that nobody entrusts his beautiful daughter to me, so nobody bothers. So that I am left alone. But please don't tell my secret to anybody; otherwise I will have to move from this town to another town. My madness is a rumor created by me. My characterlessness is a rumor created by me. And if YOU really want to work on yourself," said the madman, "you should do likewise. Go back. Start behaving foolishly, stupidly, madly, immorally - at least pretend! - and nobody will bother you."
Gurdjieff lived a life which was very mysterious; it was not public. His school was a hidden school. What was happening there, people were simply guessing.
And that's what is going to happen in the new phase of my work. My commune will become hidden, underground. It will have a facade on the outside: the weavers and the carpenters and the potters...that will be the facade. People who will come as visitors, we will have a beautiful showroom for them; they can purchase things. They can see the creativity of the sannyasins: paintings, books, woodwork.... They can be shown around - a beautiful lake, swimming pools, a five-star hotel for them - but they will not know what is really happening. That which will be happening will be almost all underground. It has to be underground, otherwise it cannot happen.
I have a few secrets to impart to you, and I would not like to die before I have imparted them to you - because I don't know anybody else now alive in the world who can do that work. I have secrets from Taoism, secrets from tantra, secrets from yoga, secrets from Sufis, secrets from Zen people. I have lived in almost all the traditions of the world; I have been a wanderer in many lives. I have gathered much honey from many flowers.
And the time, sooner or later, will come when I will have to depart - and I will not be able to enter again in the body. This is going to be my last life. All the honey that I have gathered I would like to share with you, so that you can share it with others, so that it does not disappear from the earth.
This is going to be a very secret work; hence, Ajit Saraswati, I cannot speak about it. I think I have already spoken too much! I should not have said even this. The work will be only for those who are utterly devoted.
Right now, we have a big press office to make as many people as possible aware of the phenomenon that is happening here. But in the new commune the real work will simply disappear from the world's eyes. The press office will function - it will function for other purposes. People will go on coming, because from the visitors we have to choose; we have to invite people who can be participants, who can dissolve in the commune. But the real work is going to be absolutely secret. It is going to be only between me and you.
And there will not be much talk between me and you either. More and more I will become silent, because the real communion is through energy, not through words. As you will be getting ready to receive the energy in silence, I will become more and more silent. But I am keeping a great treasure for you. Be receptive....
And as my work goes underground and becomes more secret and more mysterious, more and more rumors and gossip are bound to spread all over the world. People become very suspicious of anything secret, and because they cannot find any clue, they start inventing their own ideas about what is happening there. So be ready for that too.
But don't be worried about it. It is going to be a mystery school. Such schools existed when Zarathustra was alive; he created such a school. Many such schools existed in Egypt, India, Tibet. When Pythagoras came and visited this country he noted the fact of the mystery schools. He was initiated into many mystery schools in Egypt and in India.
Jesus was trained by the Essenes, a very secret mystery school.
All that is beautiful and all that is great in human history has happened only through a few people who put their energies together for the inner exploration. My commune is going to be a mystery school for inner exploration. It is the greatest adventure there is, and the greatest dance too.
The second question:
WHAT IS THE KEY TO THIS PUZZLE? THE BUDDHA SAYS, SPEAK LESS: AND SILENCE FEELS BEAUTIFUL, FOR WHAT HAVE I TO SAY?
TALES OF THE PAST, DREAMS OF THE FUTURE, GIDDY GOSSIP OR REASONED ARGUMENT, ALL TASTE PHONY TO THE TONGUE.
SILENCE IS BEAUTIFUL, AND YET....
THE SOUND OF MERRY CHATTER OVER TEACUPS ECHOES THE CAREFREE CHIRPING OF THE BIRDS - ENERGY FLOWING IN A JOYOUS COSMOS.
BELOVED MASTER, TELL ME, WHAT IS THE KEY TO THIS PUZZLE?
Nirgun, don't take Gautama the Buddha too seriously. Silence IS beautiful, certainly it is beautiful. But who has told you that gossiping is not beautiful? In fact, the more you enjoy gossiping, the deeper will be your silence.
These are polar opposites and they balance each other. If you work hard in the day, you will sleep a deep sleep in the night. Polar opposites: hard work brings a deep sleep.
Illogical! The logical thing would have been that you rested the whole day, practiced rest the whole day, and then you sleep a deep, deep sleep in the night. That would have been logical - but God is illogical.
That seems to be perfectly right: the whole day you practiced rest - naturally you should have more rest in the night than anybody else who has not practiced it! And the man who has been doing just the opposite - hard work, tilling the ground, digging in the earth, working in the garden, chopping wood, carrying water from the well - the whole day he was perspiring, working hard, a tiring work, by the evening he is utterly tired. Logically he should not be able to sleep at all because he practiced the opposite.
But this is not how life functions.
Life functions through the polar opposites. Life is not logical, life is dialectical. It is a dialectics: thesis, antithesis, and they both balance and become synthesis. Then synthesis functions again as a thesis and creates its antithesis...and so on and so forth.
Life is not Aristotelian but Hegelian.
It is perfectly good to gossip. And when you gossip, gossip totally - let it be a meditation! Knowing perfectly well that it is gossip, still it can be enjoyed. In fact, it can be enjoyed more because it is just gossip! And then fall silent.
The chirping of the birds is beautiful, but have you watched that when suddenly it stops there is a great silence? The silence is deepened by the songs of the birds. The silence that follows the storm is the deepest, the most profound.
Nirgun, don't take Buddha too seriously. He can be taken too seriously - he is a one- dimensional man. What I am saying...if you had asked the same question of Buddha, he would not have said the same thing. He would have said, "Nirgun, you are coming to the right point. Stop gossiping and stop talking. Say only the minimum, the absolutely necessary." He would have suggested being very telegraphic. If it can be done in ten words, then don't do it in eleven words. If you can cut words more and more, so much the better.
But my own experience is that if you cut all your gossiping, all your talking, your silence will be superficial, your silence will be just a kind of sadness. It will not have depth. From where will it get depth? It can get depth only from its polar opposite.
If you really want to rest, first dance - dance to abandon. Let every fiber of your body and being dance, and then follows a relaxation, a rest, which is total. You need not do it, it happens on its own.
I am not saying that gossiping should be done to harm somebody. Then it is no longer gossip, it is violence; then it is no longer gossip, it is something else camouflaged as gossip. Gossip should be a pure art, with no motivation - joking for joking's sake, gossiping for gossiping's sake. And then it will keep you cheerful. And when it stops...and how long can you gossip? There is a natural limit to everything. "The sound of merry chatter over teacups" cannot continue forever. Soon the teacups will be empty and the chatter will disappear...and then there is a profound silence.
It is good that the birds have not heard Buddha, that the trees have not heard Buddha.
Nirgun, I would not like you to become a Buddhist. I know Buddhist monks: they become very serious, too serious, so that their seriousness is a kind of disease. They cannot laugh, they cannot joke. In fact, if they read my discourses on Buddha and they come across juicy jokes, they will just close their eyes. They will not even be capable of reading them. Their whole being will withdraw, they will shrink away. They will not be able to forgive me.
Don't be too serious at all. My message is that of rejoicing. That's where I am different from Buddha. Buddha is a serious person; not a single statue exists in which he is shown laughing, or even smiling. Yes, there are Chinese and Japanese statues of Buddha in which he is shown smiling and laughing sometimes - sometimes even a belly laughter, his belly shaking. But those are Chinese and Japanese buddhas.
In fact, if you see a Chinese statue of Buddha and an Indian statue of Buddha you will not be able to conceive of any relationship between the two; they are so totally different.
The Indian Buddha is very serious. His body is athletic: he has a big chest and a very very shrunken belly - no belly at all. And if you see the Chinese Buddha it is just the opposite. You will not find the big chest at all, it is completely lost because the belly is so big. And you can see even in marble statues that the belly is shaking with laughter.
His face is totally different, it is round and gives you the sense of a child. The Indian Buddha's face is very Roman - it was made after Alexander had visited India - it is Greek and Roman. The features are not Indian. Look again at an Indian statue of Buddha, the features are not Indian. Alexander and his beauty impressed people so much that they imposed Alexander's face on Buddha's body.
And he is very serious, utterly serious. You cannot conceive of him ever laughing. But when Buddhism reached China it met a very profound philosophy - the polar opposite.
The dialectics happened there. Buddhism became the thesis and Taoism became the antithesis: the meeting of Buddha and Lao Tzu. The Chinese statue of Buddha is a cross, it is half Gautam Buddha and half Lao Tzu - they are mingled into each other. That belly belongs to Lao Tzu, that laughter belongs to Lao Tzu, and the silence belongs to Buddha. It has been the greatest meeting that has ever happened in the world. Out of it is born the most profound, the most significant phenomenon in all history: Zen.
Zen is neither Buddhist nor Taoist, or it is both together. It is a strange meeting. In fact, Lao Tzu and Buddha, if they had met physically, would not have agreed on ANY point.
Lao Tzu was a man of laughter. He used to move from one village to another sitting on his buffalo - must have looked like a clown. And he was almost always laughing, rolling on the ground - at the whole ridiculousness of existence, at the absurdity of life.
Buddha and Lao Tzu are polar opposites. Maybe that's why both these philosophies became attracted to each other. Both were incomplete - the meeting made them more complete. Neither will Lao Tzu agree with Zen nor will Buddha agree with Zen.
I have heard a story:
In heaven, in a cafe, Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tzu, all the three are sitting, chitchatting. And the woman, the owner of the cafe, a beautiful woman, comes. She brings the juice of life. Buddha immediately closes his eyes. He says, "I cannot look at it!
It is not worth looking at - life is misery. Birth is misery, life is misery, death is misery.
Remove it from my sight; otherwise I cannot open my eyes!"
Confucius opens his eyes half-way - he believes in the golden mean, the middle way, just the half - looks with half open eyes and says, "I cannot deny it without tasting it."
He is a man of more scientific leanings. "How can you say anything unless you experiment? You should not declare such things offhand. So," he says, "just give me a sip." He tastes it and he says, "Buddha is right: it is bitter, it is miserable, and I completely agree and I am a witness to Buddha. But I will again say that Buddha is wrong - without tasting it, nothing should be said. Although he is right - I can approve him, on MY witnessing he is right - but on his own he is not right."
Lao Tzu takes the whole flask and before the owner woman can say anything, he takes it down in a gulp. He drinks the whole flask and he becomes so drunk that he starts dancing. He does not say a word - bitter or sweet, misery or bliss. When he comes a little bit to his senses, Buddha and Confucius ask him, "What do you say?"
He says, "There is nothing to say. Life should be drunk to its totality, then only does one know. And when one knows, there is nothing to say. It cannot be put in any category.
Misery or bliss are categories - life is beyond all categories. But one should know it in its wholeness, and only I know it in its wholeness. You have not even tasted it.
Confucius has only tasted it, but one should not decide by the part about the whole.
Only I can say what it is, but I am not going to say because it is not sayable. If you really want to know, I can order another flask. Drink it to the full and dance - that is the only way!"
That is the only way to know anything.
The meeting of Buddhism and Taoism is the strangest phenomenon in the world. But it was bound to happen; there is a certain inevitability in it because such polar opposites attract each other, just as negative and positive poles of magnetism or negative and positive electricity attract each other.
Buddhism traveled from India to China. Taoism never traveled to India, because Taoism was so utterly drunk with ecstasy, with joy - who cares? Buddhism traveled, had to travel. The seriousness became very very heavy. Once Buddha was gone, once the light was gone, then it was just like a rock on the chest of the followers - it became too heavy. They had to move to find something nonserious to balance it.
Nirgun, don't be serious about it. Enjoy your gossiping, enjoy the small things of life, the small joys of life. They all contribute to the enrichment of your being. And always remember: nonseriousness is one of the most fundamental qualities of a really religious person.
A sincere young man went to an understanding old rabbi for advice. "The problem is my sexual appetite. When I shake hands with a woman it is aroused - even when I pass a pretty woman on the street it is aroused. It disturbs me because I love my wife very much."
"Don't worry, son," said the rabbi. "It doesn't matter where you work up an appetite as long as you dine at home."
This rabbi is a wise man, nonserious, taking life playfully. My sannyasins have to take life very playfully - then you can have both the worlds together. You can have the cake and eat it too. And that is a real art. This world and that, sound and silence, love and meditation, being with people, relating, and being alone. All these things have to be lived together in a kind of simultaneity; only then will you know the uttermost depth of your being and the uttermost height of your being.
The third question:
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THE FAMOUS STATEMENT OF FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE THAT GOD IS DEAD?
Neeraj, Friedrich Nietzsche says God is dead - that means he was alive before. As far as I know, he has never been alive. How can God be dead if he has never been alive? God is not a person, so he cannot be alive and he cannot be dead. To me, God is life itself!
God is synonymous with existence; hence you cannot say God is alive or God is dead.
God is life! And life is forever...it is a continuum, it is eternal, no beginning, no end.
Nietzsche was really saying that the God that people had worshipped up to then had become irrelevant. But he was very much accustomed to making dramatic statements.
Rather than saying: "The God that people have worshipped up to now is no longer relevant," he said: "God is dead." And in a way, dramatic statements penetrate people's consciousness more. If he had said it in a philosophical way it may have missed the target, but it became the most important statement made in these hundred years. No other statement has had such significance, or has had such an impact on human thinking, behavior, life.
The Christian God is dead, the Jewish God is dead - that's what Nietzsche was saying.
But there have been so many gods and all have gone down the drain. If you make a list you will be surprised how many gods have been worshipped. One man has made a list.
I was reading the list - not even a single name that he mentions is known. Nearabout fifty gods he mentions. The Egyptian gods are no longer there - not even in Egypt does anybody know about them. There was a time when for those gods even human beings were sacrificed, wars were fought, crusades, murders, rapes; villages were burned in the name of those gods. Now even the names are not known. I read the whole list; out of the fifty not a single name is known. There have been many gods invented by people, and when those people become tired of those gods, they invent new toys and they throw the old ones.
These gods go on being born and dying, but these are not the true God. 'True God'
simply means life - AES DHAMMO SANANTANO - the inexhaustible law of existence. How can it die? There is no way. Forms change....
It seems God visited the New York subways recently. Someone had scrawled on the wall: "God is dead - signed Nietzsche," and underneath it was written: "Nietzsche is dead - signed God."
That seems to be far truer. But an even better message for you:
A London subway has this cheerful message: "God is dead, but don't worry - Mary is pregnant again!"
The last question:
CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING ABOUT GUILT AND FEAR?
Latifa, fear is natural, guilt is a creation of the priests. Guilt is man-made. Fear is in-built, and it is very essential. Without fear you will not be able to survive at all. Fear is normal. It is because of fear that you will not put your hand in the fire. It is because of fear that you will walk to the right or to the left, whatsoever is the law of the country. It is because of fear that you will avoid poison. It is because of fear that when the truck driver sounds his horn, you run out of the way.
If the child has no fear there is no possibility that he will ever survive. His fear is a life- protective measure. But because of this natural tendency to protect oneself...and nothing is wrong in it - you have the right to protect yourself. You have such a precious life to protect, and fear simply helps you. Fear is intelligence. Only idiots don't have fear, imbeciles don't have fear; hence you have to protect the idiots, otherwise they will burn themselves or they will jump out of a building, or they will go into the sea without knowing how to swim or they can eat a snake...or anything they can do!
Fear is intelligence - so when you see a snake crossing the path, you jump out of the way. It is not cowardly, it is simply intelligent. But there are two possibilities....
Fear can become abnormal, it can become pathological. Then you are afraid of things of which there is no need to be afraid - although you can find arguments even for your abnormal fear. For example, somebody is afraid of going inside a house. Logically you cannot prove that he is wrong. He says, "What is the guarantee that the house will not fall?" Now, houses are known to fall so this house can also fall. People have been crushed by houses falling. Nobody can give an absolute guarantee that this house is not going to fall - an earthquake can happen...anything is possible! Another man is afraid - he cannot travel because there are train accidents. Somebody else is afraid - he cannot go into a car, there are car accidents. And somebody else is afraid of an airplane....
If you become afraid in this way, this is not intelligent. Then you should be afraid of your bed too, because almost ninety-seven percent of people die in their beds - so that is the MOST dangerous place to be in. Logically you should remain as far away from the bed as possible, never go close to it. But then you will make your life impossible.
Fear can become abnormal, then it is pathology. And because of this possibility, priests have used it, politicians have used it. All kinds of oppressors have used it. They make it pathological, and then it becomes very simple to exploit you. The priest makes you afraid of hell. Just look in the scriptures - with what joy they depict all the tortures, with really great relish. Scriptures describe in detail, in great detail, each and every torture.
Adolf Hitler must have been reading these scriptures; he must have found great ideas from these scriptures describing hell. He himself was not such a creative genius as to invent the concentration camps and all kinds of tortures. He must have found them in religious scriptures - they are already there, priests have already done the work. He only practiced what priests have been preaching. He was really a religious man!
Priests have only been talking about a hell that is waiting for you after death. He said, "Why wait so long? I will create a hell here and now. You can have a taste of it."
I have heard that once a man died, reached hell, knocked on the door. The Devil looked at him - he looked German - he asked him, "From where are you coming?"
The man said, "From Germany."
He said, "Then there is no need to come here - you have already lived it! Now you can go to heaven. And you will find our place very boring because you had a far more improved edition of hell. We are still living in the bullock-cart age - old tortures. You know far more sophisticated instruments, ways, means."
Gas chambers are still not known in hell. In a single gas chamber, ten thousand people, within seconds, can become smoke. And you will be surprised to know that although we are living in the twentieth century, man is still an animal. Thousands of people used to go to see. Glass was fitted, fixed in, one-way. You could see what was happening inside, but the insiders could not see who was looking in from the outside.
Thousands of people would stand outside watching through the glass: people disappearing in smoke - simply disappearing in smoke - thousands of people dying within seconds. And the people who were enjoying outside, can you call them human beings? But remember, it has nothing to do with Germany, this is so all over the world.
Man is exactly the same everywhere.
The priests became aware very early that the fear instinct in man can be exploited. He can be made so much afraid that he will fall at the feet of the priests and will tell them, "Save us! Only you can save us." And the priest will concede to save them if they follow the priest; if they follow the rituals prescribed by the priest, the priest will save them.
And out of fear people have been following the priests, and all kinds of stupidities, superstitions.
The politician also became aware soon that people can be made very much afraid. And if you make them afraid, you can dominate them. It is out of fear that nations exist. The fear of America keeps Russians slaves to the communists, and the fear of Russia keeps Americans slaves to the government. Fear of each other...the Indians are afraid of the Pakistanis, and the Pakistanis are afraid of the Indians. It is such a stupid world! We are afraid of each other, and because of our fear the politician becomes important. He says, "We will save you here, in this world," and the priest says, "We will save you in the other world." And they conspire together.
It is fear that creates guilt - but not fear itself. Fear creates guilt via the priests and politicians. The priests and the politicians create in you a pathology, a trembling. And, naturally, man is so delicate and so fragile, he becomes afraid. And then you can tell him to do anything and he will do it - knowing perfectly well that it is stupid, knowing perfectly well deep down that it is all nonsense, but who knows...? Out of fear, man can be forced to do anything.
A young woman who can't prevent herself from coughing and sneezing at the theater asks a doctor for a remedy before going to a first night. "Here, drink this," he says, offering her a glass. She drinks it, mouth awry, and asks what it was, imagining some type of bad-tasting cough medicine.
"That's a double dose of Pluto water," he answers. "Now you won't dare sneeze or cough."
...You don't get it. You have never tasted Pluto water - try, and neither you will dare to sneeze or cough. Do an experiment: you can ask Ajit Saraswati for Pluto water, only then will you understand the joke. It is very existential. Because you didn't get it I will have to tell another:
One morning, a big she-bear raided Joe's cabin, scattered everything, ate everything, tore up everything, and ambled away.
Joe trailed her, shot her, and then noticing how much she resembled a woman, he satisfied his passion with her carcass. Just then he noticed another hunter cowering in the branches of a nearby tree. Realizing his deed had been observed, Joe pointed his gun at the man, made him climb down and said, "Have you ever made love to a bear?"
And the hunter said, "No, but I am getting ready to try."
Man can be forced to do anything - just to save himself. And because the pathology that the priests have created in you is unnatural, your nature rebels against it, and once in a while you do something which goes against it - you do something natural - then guilt arises.
Latifa, guilt means you have an unnatural idea in your mind about how life should be, what should be done, and then one day you find yourself following nature and you do the natural thing. You go against the ideology. Because you go against the ideology, guilt arises, you are ashamed. You feel yourself very inferior, unworthy.
But by giving people unnatural ideas you cannot transform them. Hence, priests have been able to exploit people, but they have not been able to transform them. They are not interested in transforming you either; their whole idea is to keep you always enslaved.
They create a conscience in you. Your conscience is not really YOUR conscience - it is created by the priests. They say, "This is wrong." You may know from the deepest core of your being that there seems to be nothing wrong in it, but they say it is wrong. And they go on hypnotizing you from your very childhood. The hypnosis goes deep, seeps deep in you, sinks deep in you, becomes almost part of your being. It holds you back.
They have told you sex is wrong - but sex is such a natural phenomenon that you are attracted towards it. And nothing is wrong in being attracted towards a woman or a man. It is just part of nature. But your conscience says, "This is wrong." So you hold yourself back. Half of you goes towards the woman, half of you is pulling you back.
You can't make any decision; you are always divided, split. If you decide to go with the woman, your conscience will torture you: "You have committed a sin." If you don't go with the woman, your nature will torture you: "You are starving me."
Now you are in a double bind. Whatsoever you do you will suffer. And that's what the priest has always wanted - for you to suffer, because the more you suffer, the more you go to him for his advice. The more you suffer, the more you seek salvation.
Bertrand Russell is absolutely right that if a man is given total, natural freedom - freedom from this so-called conscience and morality - and if man is helped to become an integrated, natural being - intelligent, understanding, living his life according to his own light, not according to somebody else's advice - the so-called religions will disappear from the world.
I perfectly agree with him. The so-called religions will certainly disappear from the world if people are not in suffering; they won't seek salvation. But Bertrand Russell goes on and he says religion itself will disappear from the earth. There I don't agree with him. The so-called religions WILL disappear, and because the so-called religions will disappear there will be, for the first time in the world, an opportunity for religion to exist. Christians will not be there, Hindus will not be there, Mohammedans will not be there - only then will a new kind of religiousness spread over the earth. People will be living according to their own consciousness. There will be no guilt, no repentance, because these things never change people. People remain the same; they just go on changing their outer garb, their form. Substantially, nothing changes through guilt, through fear, through heaven, through hell. All these ideas have utterly failed.
Now it is time to recognize that all the old religions have failed. Yes, they have created a few beautiful people - a Buddha here and a Jesus there - but out of millions and millions of human beings, once in a while somebody has bloomed. It is an exception, it cannot be counted. It should not be taken into account. Buddhas can be counted on the fingers.
If a gardener plants ten thousand trees and only one tree blooms in the spring, will you call him a gardener? What about the other nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine trees? If this tree has bloomed, it must have bloomed in spite of the gardener. The credit cannot go to him - he must have somehow missed it.
We have lived in a very wrong kind of world; we have created a wrong kind of situation. People only go on changing superficially - the Hindu becomes a Christian, the Christian becomes a Hindu, and nothing ever changes. All remains the same.
The reformed prostitute is giving testimony with the Salvation Army on a street-corner on a Saturday night, punctuating her discourse by beating on a big brass drum.
"I used to be a sinner!" she shouts (boom!) "Used to be a bad woman (boom!) I used to drink! (boom!) Gamble! (boom!) Whore! (boom! boom!) Used to go out Saturday nights and raise hell! (boom! boom! boom!) Now what do I do Saturday nights? I stand on this street corner, beating on this mother-fucking drum!"
Enough for today.