Life can be lived in two ways: either as a continuous fall... then you are pulled by the unconscious forces of gravitation; you need not make any effort. You are not trying to reach to the peaks, you are simply a rock rolling downwards. Naturally it appears easy, comfortable, convenient. If you conform with the society, if you live according to the tradition, if you follow the stupid crowds, life is easy, but at a very great cost: you don't grow. You miss the whole point, because life is significant only when it is a continuous growth.
Man is the only animal in existence who has the capacity to evolve. Charles Darwin says that monkeys have evolved and become men. I don't agree with him, I can't agree with him. Not that I have anything against the monkeys - they are good people! - but if what he says is true, then why have not all the monkeys become men? For millions of years monkeys have remained monkeys. Why are they not growing? They should have taken at least a few preliminary steps by now, but they are exactly the same as they have always been.
You can find proofs for Charles Darwin's theory only if you watch the politicians. Then one suspects he may be right - otherwise not! Otherwise, monkeys have remained monkeys. And the people who have been following Darwin and trying to prove his theory have been coming across great, unbridgeable gaps. The greatest is, they have not yet found the missing link - because between monkey and man there must have been a few links. There is a great distance between monkey and man. Where are the missing steps? Not even a single proof has been found yet... except Idi Amin of Uganda!
In fact, Darwin's whole theory is only a guess; it is not yet scientifically valid. And spiritually it is never going to be valid, because those who have known man's spiritual growth have come decisively to this conclusion: that man is a different being altogether from any other being on the earth. He is an evolving animal. No other animal evolves; they remain the same. They are very conformist: they don't go beyond their heredity.
They never cross the limit of what is allowed by their instincts; they never do anything beyond the instinctive, beyond the unconscious.
It is only man who has been able to produce a Buddha, a Lao Tzu, a Jesus, a Bahauddin.
It is because of the buddhas that we can say man has the capacity to be a god. It is in the buddhas that we have found the link between man and God. Darwin and his followers have not been able to find the link between monkeys and man, but we have found in the buddhas the link between man and God. Man has an infinite potential.
But then you cannot live an easy life. You cannot just be a Rotarian or a Lion. You can't be just a Hindu or a Mohammedan. You can't go on following the crowds. Crowds behave instinctively; they don't know anything of the beyond. Their life is easy. If you are part of them your life will also be easy, but there will be no growth. And growth is all that matters.
The only thing that matters in life is growth. Unless you are moving to the ultimate peak of becoming a god you are wasting a tremendously pregnant opportunity.
LIFE IS EASY FOR THE MAN WHO IS WITHOUT SHAME.
This Buddhist idea of shame has to be understood in contrast with the Christian idea of guilt. In the dictionaries they seem to be synonymous; they are not. Shame is a totally different phenomenon.
Guilt is imposed by others on you. It is a strategy of the priests to exploit. It is a conspiracy between the priest and the politician to keep humanity in deep slavery forever. They create guilt in you, they create great fear of sin. They condemn you, they make you afraid, they poison your very roots with the idea of guilt. They destroy all possibilities of laughter, joy, celebration. Their condemnation is such that to laugh seems to be a sin, to be joyous means you are worldly.
Christians say Jesus never laughed. What a lie! And they have been lying for centuries and with such theological acumen, with great scholarship. They have been lying very piously, very religiously. Have you ever come across a picture of Jesus or a statue in which he looks happy, blissful, joyous? Impossible! You can't conceive of a joyful Jesus - - after two thousand years of Christian propaganda the whole figure of Jesus has become distorted.
He was a man of great joy. He was a man who knew how to laugh and how to love and how to live festively. He loved eating and drinking. He must have danced, he must have joked with his friends, with his disciples. I cannot conceive of him not having a sense of humor, because it is impossible for me to conceive of a man being spiritual and without a sense of humor. A sense of humor is one of the most fundamental qualities of a religious man.
But the picture that Christians have depicted of Jesus is ugly. He is always sad, in deep sorrow - carrying the whole burden of the original sin committed by Adam and Eve.
He has been depicted by the Christians as doing a great service to humanity. He is the savior - and how can the savior laugh? Laughter seems to be such an earthly quality.
He has to be very serious, long-faced. They have destroyed the beauty of Jesus.
Jesus has to be resurrected. He was killed twice. First he was killed by the Jews and the Romans, and then he has been killed by the Christian priests. He got away from his first murder, but from the second he has not yet been able to escape. He is still a captive of the Vatican; he has to be freed from the Vatican.
These people who have made Jesus look so serious, so sad, so sorrowful - who have made him a martyr - have also created great guilt in humanity. Whenever you laugh you feel as if you are doing something wrong. Whenever you are happy you start looking guilty. How can you be happy? How can you laugh? How can you dance? How can you sing? The whole world is in such a suffering, and you are singing, and you are dancing? It seems that you must be cruel.
Krishna seems to be cruel to Christian eyes: playing on his flute, dancing, singing, celebrating. He seems to be a hedonist, a Zorba the Greek! Christians can't conceive Krishna to be spiritual. And in fact, the word 'christ' is a derivation of the word 'krishna'. Jesus must have the same qualities as Krishna; hence he has been called Christ. 'Christ' comes from 'krishna', and Krishna-consciousness simply means ecstatic consciousness.
But why does the priest go on creating guilt in man? There is a secret behind it. If you can make humanity feel guilty you remain powerful. The guilty person is always ready to serve those who are powerful. He is always ready to serve those who are puritans.
He is always ready to be a slave to the priests. The guilty person cannot have courage enough to be a rebel - that is the secret. Only a blissful person can be rebellious. The priests must have found this secret long ago, because they have been practicing it for centuries and they have destroyed all the beauty of the human soul.
Remember, when Buddha says "shame" he does not mean guilt. Shame is a totally different phenomenon. Guilt is imposed by others; shame is your own experience.
Shame is interior, guilt is from the outside. Shame is not because of others but because of your own understanding: "What am I doing to my own self? What am I doing to my life? How am I wasting it?" It has nothing to do with the priests, Christian, Hindu or Mohammedan. It has something to do with your awareness. It has nothing to do with the moral codes of a society. It has something to do with your consciousness, not with your conscience.
Guilt is part of conscience, and conscience is created by others. You have a Hindu conscience and a Mohammedan conscience and a Jaina conscience, but consciousness is simply consciousness. There is nothing like a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness.
Consciousness makes you aware of what you are doing to yourself. And when you see that you are destroying tremendously pregnant opportunities for growth, shame arises in you. You start feeling a deep anguish, and that anguish is helpful for growth, that pain is helpful to growth. It brings you, for the first time, a vision of the possible, a glimpse of the peaks.
Guilt simply says that you are a sinner. And the feeling of shame simply shows you that you need not be a sinner, that you are meant to be a saint. If you are a sinner it is only because of your unconsciousness; you are not a sinner because the society follows a certain morality and you are not following it.
All moralities are not moral, and something which is moral in one country is not moral in another country. Something moral in one religion is not moral in another religion.
Something is moral today and was not moral yesterday. Morals change, morals are just arbitrary. But consciousness is eternal, it never changes. It is simply the absolute - the truth.
Once you have become a little more aware you start feeling what you have done to yourself and to others. That experience brings shame, and shame is good and guilt is bad. With guilt, deep down you know that it is all nonsense.
For example, in the Jaina religion to eat in the night is a sin. If you are born a Jaina and sometimes you eat at night, you will feel very guilty; knowing perfectly well - if you are intelligent enough you will know it - that this is foolish, there can't be any sin in eating at night. But still your conscience will prick you, because the conscience is manipulated by the priest, by the outside powers who are dominating you.
Hence guilt creates a dual personality in you: on the surface you are one person and deep down you are another - because you can see the futility of it, the nonsense of it.
You become split - guilt creates schizophrenia. And the whole of humanity suffers from schizophrenia for the simple reason that we have created guilt, so much and so deeply that we have divided every man in two.
One part of him is social, formal. He goes to the church and follows the rules as far as they are feasible. He maintains a certain front, a certain face, and from the back door he goes on living a totally different life - just the opposite of what he goes on preaching, just the opposite of what he goes on praising.
The idea of shame never creates any conflict within you, it never creates any split. It creates a challenge, it challenges you, it challenges your guts. It says to you, "Rise above - because that is your birthright. Reach to the peaks, they are yours. Those sunlit peaks are your real home, and what are you doing in these dark valleys, crawling like animals? You can fly - you have wings!"
Guilt condemns that which is wrong in you. The idea of shame makes you aware of that which is possible. Guilt goes on bringing in your past again and again - burdens you with the past. And the idea of shame brings the future to you, it releases your energies.
They are totally different.
Buddha says: LIFE IS EASY FOR THE MAN WHO IS WITHOUT SHAME...
IMPUDENT AS A CROW....
Cunning! And people think that to be cunning is to be clever. It is not so - only mediocre people are cunning. A really intelligent person need not be cunning. He is intelligent and that's more than enough. Cunningness is a poor substitute, a plastic substitute for intelligence. The mediocre person tries to look intelligent; in that very effort he becomes cunning.
And the greatest cunningness is to be a hypocrite: to be one thing and to show something else. But then life will be easy. Buddha makes it clear: you will fit with other cunning people, they will understand your language.
What was the fault of Jesus? The only fault was that he was not cunning. What was the fault of Socrates? The only fault was that he was a really intelligent person, utterly innocent, full of intelligence but with no cunningness.
Cunningness is cowardice, intelligence is courage. And the greatest courage in the world is to be exactly what your consciousness says to you to be. And the greatest cowardice in the world is to follow others, to imitate others. Then you remain artificial.
Then you are never a real rose, just a plastic rose which looks like a rose but is not a rose. It will not have any fragrance and it will not have any aliveness, and it will not dance in the wind and sing in the sun. It will be dead! IMPUDENT AS A CROW....
A VICIOUS GOSSIP....
Why do people gossip? What must be the reason behind it? Why do they go on biting each other's backs? This is the way of cunningness. They are not sincere people, they are not authentic people. They don't say what they want to say to you, but they have to say it; otherwise they will remain burdened with it. Hence gossiping. They can't say the truth to your face, they have to say it behind your back. And they say it with a vengeance, naturally.
They have to repress themselves in front of you, they have to smile and show a false face; and they feel that they are being insincere, they feel they are being ugly, they feel that they are being cowardly. They will take revenge. And this is their way of taking revenge: they will gossip about you, they will say things about you, they will invent things about you. And they will invent things about themselves too; what they are not, they will pretend to be. They will magnify your faults and they will magnify their glories.
Sokolow, aged seventy-five, rushed into a doctor's office. "You gotta give me a shot so I can be young again," he pleaded. "I got a date with a young chicken tonight!"
"Just a minute," said the physician. "You are seventy-five years old. There is nothing I can do for you."
"But Doctor," exclaimed the old man, "my friend, Rosen, is eighty-five, and he says he has sex three times a week!"
"Alright," advised the doctor, "so you say it too!"
What you cannot do, you can at least say you do. Who is preventing you from saying it?
... VAIN, MEDDLESOME, DISSOLUTE.
These people are vain, empty, utterly empty, hollow, full of straw and nothing else. But they go on bragging about themselves, they go on declaring themselves to be great - they find ways and means. And the easiest way to declare yourself great is to declare that others are nothing, to reduce them as much as possible. That helps you feel that you are somebody special. And these people are bound to be meddlesome, querulous, always ready to fight for trivia.
Just watch yourself and watch others. What are people doing? Ninety percent of their energies are being wasted in being cunning, hypocrites, gossips, vain, meddlesome, dissolute. And, of course, when you waste so much of your energy in such stupid activities you cannot have any decisiveness in your life, you cannot be committed, you cannot become involved in anything. And your old habits will always come in to destroy all your commitments, your involvements. You will be just driftwood, you will be dissolute.
Many people ask me... they want to take sannyas, but they cannot decide. Who else can decide for you? My suggestion is: Decide this way or that, but never remain in indecisiveness. If you cannot decide for sannyas, decide against it - at least decide something! But be decisive, because being decisive is of great importance.
What you decide is not so important; much more important is that you are capable of making a decision. And once you decide, then let the commitment be one hundred percent. That's the only way to become integrated; otherwise you will remain fragmentary. You will remain a crowd, you will never become a single individual. In fact, that's exactly the meaning of the word 'individual': it means indivisible. If you are fragmentary you are not an individual. The whole process of individuation is the process of commitment, involvement.
Sannyas is a great commitment, the greatest in life, because you are moving into a world of which you cannot be certain at all beforehand. You are moving into such an uncharted sea that you don't know what is going to happen; there is no guarantee whether you will be able to reach to the other shore, whether you will be able to come back to the old shore again - there is no guarantee. And the ocean is vast and it is always stormy... and the boat is so small! But just the courage to take a small boat and go into the uncharted....
The very phenomenon of risking your life makes you alive. The very risk gives you a new birth.
Buddha says: But then life will be difficult.
BUT LIFE IS HARD FOR THE MAN WHO QUIETLY UNDERTAKES THE WAY OF PERFECTION, WITH PURITY, DETACHMENT AND VIGOR.
HE SEES LIGHT.
If you want to see light - that is Buddha's word for God - if you want to see truth and if you want to be liberated by truth, if you want to get beyond all this stupid misery that you have been living in for centuries, if you want to have wings to soar above the clouds into the vastness of the sky, if you want to whisper with the stars and dance with the whole cosmos... then life is going to be hard, because growth is painful, growth is arduous. It is going uphill, it is going against gravitation. It is going against the crowd, it is going against tradition, it is going against convention. It is becoming free from all that keeps you in bondage.
But when you live in a prison you have many securities. For example, in a prison nobody can murder you; you are always guarded, more guarded than any king. Kings have been murdered, but prisoners cannot be murdered. Your bread and butter is safe.
In a prison you need not be worried about employment, and everything will be supplied to you. You need not think about tomorrow, it is not your responsibility.
At breakfast time you will get your breakfast, at lunchtime you will get your lunch. It is not going to be much of a lunch but at least it is certain! And supper is going to be supper and never a dinner, but so what? People feel better in a secure situation, even though the security is poor. Insecurity creates great turmoil and anxiety in your mind.
This is the experience: that people who have lived in prisons for a few years don't want to get out, and if they have to come out, sooner or later they find ways to get in again.
They are called jailbirds... because the outside life is too much trouble. Then you have to think about everything: where to live, where to find your work, search for work, for food. And everything seems to be too much of an unnecessary harassment. When you are in a jail, everything is supplied for you. You live like a king!
And that's why millions of people have decided to live in the jails called Hinduism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, communism, India, Pakistan, China, Japan... all kinds of jails, political, spiritual, ideological. It seems to be very convenient to be a slave.
Hence Buddha is right: BUT LIFE IS HARD FOR THE MAN WHO QUIETLY UNDERTAKES THE WAY OF PERFECTION. If you want to grow towards the heights, if you want to be perfect, if you want to be total and whole, if you want to know what it is all about, then you will have to risk many securities, many safeties, many comforts.
You will have to go into the unknown, into the dark night - and sometimes without even a candle.
... WITH PURITY, DETACHMENT AND VIGOR. HE SEES LIGHT. You will have to learn the ways of purity. By purity Buddha always means innocence, the unburdened consciousness - unburdened of knowledge, unburdened of scholarship, Vedas, Bibles, Korans. They all burden you, they give you a false sense of knowing; and the false sense of knowing becomes the barrier in knowing. If you really want to become a knower you will have to drop all knowledge, you will first have to become ignorant. That is purity: a mind without any content, a mind like a child's, a pure mind.
And detachment.... By detachment Buddha means, don't think of yourself as the body.
If you think yourself to be the body you cannot undertake this adventure of finding yourself, because you have already become identified with your body. Don't be identified with the mind either. If you think that you know already, then you will remain confined to whatsoever you are.
Remain open: that is detachment. Don't say that "I am the body, I am the mind." Say that "I know nothing. The body is there, the mind is there, but I don't know who I am.
And certainly I am not my body."
As you go deeper into innocence you will be able to see that if your hand is cut off, your consciousness is not reduced that much - it remains the same. Your leg can be cut off; your body is no longer the same, but your consciousness remains the same, it is not reduced. If your mind changes - and mind continuously changes - your consciousness does not change with your mind; it is an unchanging phenomenon. It is the only unchanging factor in existence; everything else is a flux. Only the witness remains permanent, absolutely permanent. It is eternal. Mind is time and you are timelessness.
But for that you will have to learn the ways of detachment and you will have to release great vigor, great enthusiasm and great energy. Ordinarily your energy is being wasted in unnecessary pursuits. You will have to cut your unnecessary pursuits. That is true sannyas.
Sannyas does not mean renouncing life but renouncing the unnecessary life. Just look, take note, watch, analyze, observe, and conclude how many things you are doing which are unnecessary - how many things you go on doing because you have become accustomed to doing them. You have never thought about them, whether they are necessary or not. How much do you talk with people? Is it all necessary?
If you start watching you will be surprised: you will become more telegraphic, in words, in actions, in your pursuits. You will become very choosy. And you will be surprised that almost ninety percent of your activity was futile; its only function was to keep you occupied. Its only function was a slow suicide. It was poisoning you.
When this ninety percent of your unnecessary activity is reduced, great energy becomes available to you. And only with such energy, such detachment and such purity can you create the right space in which light is seen.
Fenton's wife was going to have a baby and he could not get a doctor. The snow outside was eight feet deep, the telephone lines were down, and it was still snowing. He decided to go out and look for an M.D. He fought his way through the storm and saw a light which turned out to be a bar. He went in and began drinking heavily.
"What's the matter?" said Hymowitz, sitting on a nearby stool.
"My wife is going to have a baby," cried Fenton, "and I can't find a doctor...."
"I can help you," said the Jewish man.
"Are you a doctor?"
"I am a veterinarian. But you give me your address. I will go and get my satchel, and I will come over and do the job for you."
Fenton rushed home and soon Hymowitz arrived carrying his satchel. "Now don't worry about a thing," he said. "Get blankets and plenty of hot water." He went into the bedroom.
Twenty minutes later, Hymowitz came out, sweat pouring from his brow and said, "You got a hammer?"
"A hammer!" roared Fenton. "What do you want it for?"
"Don't ask no questions, get me a hammer."
Fenton brought him the tool and Hymowitz said, "Don't worry about nothing. Get plenty of hot water, lots of blankets!" He ran back into the bedroom.
Thirty minutes later he came out, stripped to the waist, perspiration pouring from his body. He said, "Hey, you got a chisel?"
"My God!" screamed Fenton. "First you want a hammer, now it's a chisel. What are you doing to my wife?"
"What do you mean, your wife? First I gotta open the satchel!"
The real work has not yet started - even the satchel is not opened! And that's how your life is: you are born, but the real work has not yet started.
My function here is to supply you with hammers and chisels and a few vets too - my therapists. The satchel has to be opened first. And it is hard work because you have learned how to remain closed; that has become your way of life. And to be open seems to be just impossible.
Yes, once in a while you open up, in a certain situation - maybe in a therapy group, in a meditation, in a Sufi dance, in music - once in a while, in a certain space, you allow yourself to open up. And then you see the beauty of life and the great joy pouring out of you. But then you become afraid, guilt arises. Suddenly you close again.
Almost every day I receive letters from sannyasins saying, "I am feeling very good, a great well-being is arising in me, but simultaneously I am also feeling guilty. Why?"
Somebody writes, "I am feeling very blissful, but also, side by side, a shadow is following my bliss. I am feeling guilty."
Why does this guilt arise? That guilt is the strategy of your old mind. The old mind is saying, "What are you doing, man? This is not your way of life. Close up! You are going beyond your limits. And I am giving you a warning - then later on don't say to me that you were not warned."
So you take one or two steps beyond yourself and then rush back and close the doors.
You have become so afraid of the fresh air. It has to be learned - howsoever hard it is, but it has to be learned - because that is the only way to be reborn, the only way to celebrate, the only way to know bliss and benediction.
IF YOU KILL, LIE OR STEAL, COMMIT ADULTERY OR DRINK, YOU DIG UP YOUR OWN ROOTS.
But that's what people are doing continuously. We are all destructive. That's what he means when he says: IF YOU KILL.... Don't take it literally - you are not murderers, but you are all killers. If you are destructive you are a killer. And the closed person is always destructive, he is never creative.
You can only be either destructive or creative. If your energies are not released into creativity they are bound to become sour, bitter, poisonous; and they will make you angry, full of hatred and violence. Then there are two ways for that violence to go: one is to be violent with others, and the other is to be violent with yourself. Buddha is against both, so am I.
The politician is violent with others. Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao - these people are violent with others; they destroyed millions of lives. Mahatma Gandhi is totally different, he has not killed anybody - he is the apostle of nonviolence - but he is continuously destructive towards himself. His violence has turned upon himself. That's how your saints are created, your mahatmas are created. The politicians are sadists and the saints are masochists; both are psychologically ill.
IF YOU KILL, LIE.... And everybody is lying. If you are not being your true self, whatsoever the cost, howsoever hard it is - if you are not being your true self you are lying. You may not be literally lying, you may not even be aware that you are lying, but if you are a hypocrite - you smile when you are not feeling like smiling, you say hello to somebody when there is no heart in it - it is a lie. When you say to somebody "I love you," just formally, you are lying.
That's why Buddha says: It is hard to be authentic, because even your own people will feel offended. Your wife will feel offended because you will not be continuously saying, "I love you, I love you." Once in a while you will say, "I hate you, I hate you more than I hate anybody else!" And your wife is not going to be sweet to you all the time. Once in a while she will throw things at you, destroy the crockery, nag you.
But if you live an authentic life you accept all this, in you and in others; you don't reject it. This is part of the life situation, this is how we grow. All sweetness and all politeness is phony, it is bourgeois. An authentic person is sweet and bitter; he loves, he hates.
When you accept both the polarities of your being you become authentic. Then you are not lying.
OR STEAL.... Very few people are thieves in the ordinary sense of the word; otherwise everybody is stealing. If you are pretending to be wise on borrowed knowledge it is stealing, it is a theft - subtle, but it is theft.
COMMIT ADULTERY.... The meaning - the ordinary meaning - of the word 'adultery'
is: making love to a woman you are not married to. But the real meaning of adultery is making love while you are not in love. She may be your own wife, but if you are not in love, then making love to her is adultery.
And man is a complex phenomenon: today you may be in love with your wife - yes, even with your wife! I know it is difficult, it is hard, and it is very rare too, but it happens. Today you may be in love with your own wife, and then making love to her is prayer, is worship, it is communion with God. And this communion can happen even with some other woman to whom you are not married. If love is there then it is not adultery, and if love is not there, then even with your wife whatsoever you are doing is adultery.
OR DRINK.... Remember, all the buddhas are against any chemical drug that can make you unconscious, for the simple reason that you are already so unconscious.
Just the other day somebody had asked a question: "Jesus used to drink alcohol. What do you say about it?"
I can allow Jesus! He was so conscious that he could afford to drink once in a while. But I cannot allow you. You are already so unconscious, you are already so burdened; now, making you more unconscious will be dragging you towards hell.
In the East, particularly in India, there has existed a tremendously beautiful esoteric school of tantrikas. One of their very secret methods is that whenever a master thinks that a disciple is ready, he allows him to drink alcohol or take some other drug in small portions, in small quantities, slowly. As his meditation deepens he is allowed to drink bigger amounts. The only condition to be fulfilled is that he should remain conscious.
Even under the influence of the drug he should remain conscious - that is the only condition to be fulfilled. This is a rare experiment!
And a moment comes when a real meditator can drink as much... he can drink alcohol just like water and he will remain as centered as ever, as conscious as ever. That is the crucial test. That day the master says, "Now there is no need to drink at all. You passed through the test."
Buddha is talking about you. He is not giving these sutras to tantrikas, he is talking to the common man. Hence he says: IF YOU KILL, LIE OR STEAL, COMMIT ADULTERY OR DRINK, YOU DIG UP YOUR OWN ROOTS. He is not telling you to repress. He is simply saying, become more aware. Buddha was never in favor of repression.
Repression is an unconscious effort; it never transforms you. It keeps you the same but repressed.
"Sinners!" shouted the evangelist, accusingly, at the tent full of true believers. "You are all sinners. Every one of you has something on his conscience, and one sin is just as bad as another. Stealing is as bad as lying. Ain't that so, Brother William?"
Brother William nodded his agreement.
"And adultery is just as bad as murder. Ain't that right, Sister Rose?"
"Can't rightly say, Preacher," replied Sister Rose. "I never killed nobody."
Young Maureen knelt in the confessional and whispered to the priest, "Ah, Father, I have sinned grievously. On Monday night I slept with Seamus. Tuesday night I slept with Timothy. On Wednesday night I slept with Dennis. Ah, Father, what shall I do?"
"My child," replied the priest, "go home and squeeze the juice from a whole lemon and drink it."
"Ah, Father, will this purge me of my sin?" she asked.
"No, child, but it will take the smile off your face."
Repression will do only that: it will take the smile off your face; otherwise, everything will remain the same.
Buddha is not for repression. He says: Become more conscious of your lying, of your destructiveness, of your stealing, of your adultery, of your becoming constantly unconscious and finding new ways of becoming unconscious. Beware, because you are digging up your own roots.
AND IF YOU CANNOT MASTER YOURSELF, THE HARM YOU DO TURNS AGAINST YOU GRIEVOUSLY.
These are the ways that destroy the possibility of your ever becoming a master of your own being. And the man who is not a master of himself - whatsoever he is doing to others is destructive, and ultimately all that destruction rebounds on himself. Harming others he is harming himself, because he is sowing seeds which he will have to reap.
YOU MAY GIVE IN THE SPIRIT OF LIGHT OR AS YOU PLEASE, BUT IF YOU CARE HOW ANOTHER MAN GIVES OR HOW HE WITHHOLDS, YOU TROUBLE YOUR QUIETNESS ENDLESSLY.
Share whatsoever you have, but share for the sheer joy of sharing; don't think of others.
People, even in being religious, even in practicing spirituality, are always comparing and competing with others. Somebody is fasting for one day and you fast for two days, just to show him that you are higher, holier.
In a small town they had just erected a fine new church. All it needed was a set of chimes. So Father McLain went around collecting donations for the chimes.
Deegan, the blacksmith, donated fifty dollars; Dugan, the contractor, came across with seventy-five; Donnelly, the undertaker, gave his check for one hundred.
When the priest got to Brennan's Bar and Grill, the owner did not like the idea of contributing two hundred dollars.
"But Brennan," said the priest, "just think - Deegan, Dugan and Donelly gladly contributed to the chimes, and you should be represented with a donation."
"Well, Father, it is an awful lot of money."
"But think how proud you will feel, along with Deegan, Dugan and Donelly, when the chimes ring out."
The saloonkeeper finally agreed and when the chimes were installed, the reverend met Brennan on the street. He said, "Brennan, did you hear the chimes?"
"I heard them."
"What is the matter? Don't you like them?"
"Well, I hear them ring out Deegan, Dugan, Donelly; Deegan, Dugan, Donelly... but doggone it, I never hear anything that sounds like Brennan!"
People are so stupid that even when they are trying to be spiritual they continue their old ways of competition, of jealousy, of envy.
Buddha says: YOU MAY GIVE IN THE SPIRIT OF LIGHT OR AS YOU PLEASE, BUT IF YOU CARE HOW ANOTHER MAN GIVES OR HOW HE WITHHOLDS, YOU TROUBLE YOUR QUIETNESS ENDLESSLY. Never think of the other in the world of spiritual growth - just think of yourself. Be utterly selfish in that way. Don't compare, otherwise you will never be able to attain to stillness and silence; you will be continuously disturbed.
THESE ENVYING ROOTS! Buddha says, DESTROY THEM AND ENJOY A LASTING QUIETNESS.
If you can destroy jealousy, envy, competitiveness, you enter into a world of lasting quietness.
THERE IS NO FIRE LIKE PASSION, THERE ARE NO CHAINS LIKE HATE.
ILLUSION IS A NET, DESIRE A RUSHING RIVER.
Beware of lust, unconscious sexuality. When sex becomes conscious it has a totally different flavor. It becomes tantra, it is no longer sex. When sex becomes conscious it is love, it is no longer lust. Love brings freedom, and lust simply creates prisons for you.
THERE IS NO FIRE LIKE PASSION, THERE ARE NO CHAINS LIKE HATE.
ILLUSION IS A NET, DESIRE A RUSHING RIVER. Beware of desire, because it is going to drown you. It has drowned so many many people, and it has drowned you many many times in the past. This time be alert. Don't allow desire to drown you and don't allow unnecessary wastage of energies. Because this is my observation: that the weaker you are spiritually, the more desires will be powerful in you. The stronger you are spiritually, the more energy you have spiritually, the less is the power of desire able to drag you, to drown you. And illusions and illusions... that's all desires are. That's what your mind is. It is never satisfied; it only goes on creating newer and newer nets for you to be caught in. It goes on postponing the moment of your becoming free - it goes on alluring you for the tomorrow.
Becky's greatest dream was to make love with Mick Jagger. After spending the night with a man, her best friend Jane would ask her about the experience, and the reply was always the same: "It was good, but it was not Mick Jagger."
Finally Becky's dream came true and she got a chance to sleep with Mick Jagger.
The next day her friend Jane was eager to hear the report, but when she asked Becky how it was, Becky replied, "It was good, but it was not Mick Jagger."
Nothing is ever going to satisfy you. Even Mick Jagger will not be Mick Jagger! It is your illusion that you project on Mick Jagger. The real Mick Jagger is just as ordinary as any Harry, Tom, Dick... or is it Tom, Dick, Harry? I always get confused between these three people!
HOW EASY IT IS TO SEE YOUR BROTHER'S FAULTS, HOW HARD TO FACE YOUR OWN.
YOU WINNOW HIS IN THE WIND LIKE CHAFF, BUT YOURS YOU HIDE, LIKE A CHEAT COVERING UP AN UNLUCKY THROW.
DWELLING ON YOUR BROTHER'S FAULTS MULTIPLIES YOUR OWN.
YOU ARE FAR FROM THE END OF YOUR JOURNEY.
Because the reason - the basic reason - of dwelling on your brother's faults is to make your own faults look smaller. You magnify others' faults so that you can say, "I am far better than them," so that you can feel, "There is nothing much to be changed in me.
Look at people, how ugly they are!"
When everybody is so ugly, you start feeling beautiful. When everybody is so materialist, you start feeling spiritual. It is a trick, a strategy, to hide yourself from your own eyes. And remember, while you are hiding your faults, they are growing inside of you like cancer.
Just do the opposite. Don't bother about others' faults, that's not your business at all.
Just look at your own faults, watch them, observe them - because observing them you will be able to be free of them. In fact, the deeper the observation, the more is the possibility of those faults disappearing from you on their own accord, just as dewdrops disappear in the early morning sun.
THE WAY IS NOT IN THE SKY.
THE WAY IS IN THE HEART.
Don't look upwards! When you pray you look upwards, as if God is there. Buddha says:
Look inwards, because God is there.
SEE HOW YOU LOVE WHATEVER KEEPS YOU FROM YOUR JOURNEY.
A very important indication for the seeker: See how you love your own chains, see how you love your own faults. See how you protect and defend your own misery. SEE HOW YOU LOVE WHATEVER KEEPS YOU FROM YOUR JOURNEY.
Jealousy.... You say, "How can I live without jealousy?"
Just the other day, somebody had asked, "You teach us not to be jealous, but then without competition what will life be? Without competition there will be no progress!"
Now he is trying to hide his competitiveness and his jealousy behind the great word 'progress'. And not only are YOU jealous, even animals are. In fact, jealousy is a very animal desire.
The rutting season had begun and the veterinary surgeon was on the farm giving the cows artificial insemination. By the time he got to the last cow he had no sperm left so he began to pack away his equipment.
The cow slowly turned her head towards him and with big, mournful eyes, said, "Not even a kiss, Doctor?"
Watch yourself! SEE HOW YOU LOVE WHATEVER KEEPS YOU FROM YOUR JOURNEY.
BUT THE TATHAGATAS, "THEY WHO HAVE GONE BEYOND," HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD.
THEY ARE FREE.
The buddhas, the TATHAGATAS, those who have gone beyond the world - listen to what they say. They say: Real progress is in being nonambitious. Real growth is in being without envy. The moment your jealousies disappear totally, you have arrived home.
THE WAY IS NOT IN THE SKY. THE WAY IS IN THE HEART. Look within. Watch how many jealousies, how many angers, how many lustful desires are boiling there.
Just watch them!
And this is the greatest contribution of Buddha - that he has said, and proved beyond doubt because it has worked for thousands of people - that a deep observation of anything that is wrong in you is enough; you need not do anything else. Just be aware of it and it disappears. It disappears just as you bring light into a room and the darkness disappears.
ALL THINGS ARISE AND PASS AWAY.
BUT THE AWAKENED AWAKE FOREVER.
Become aware, awake. Then you will see that everything comes and goes, all things come and pass. Life is a flux. Your consciousness is the only thing that is immovable, that is eternal. To attain it is freedom. To attain it is the goal of life. If you miss it you have missed your life and you have missed a tremendously great gift, a great opportunity.
Enough for today.
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 7