Time is very short but my methods are very quick
HOW DO YOU INTEND TO RAISE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE ENTIRE PLANET? DO WE HAVE ENOUGH TIME? DO WE HAVE A CHANCE?
I can only answer for myself. I cannot use the word "we."
That word is used by political leaders and religious priests. I am neither of them. I do not represent anybody in the world except myself.
The politician represents a certain crowd; hence his use of the word "we" has some meaning. He is no more than the total sum of the crowd. Withdraw the crowd and the politician disappears into a vacuum, into nothingness.
The same is true about a pope, a shankaracharya, or any other religious leader. The pope is simply the sum total of all the Catholics of the world. But remember, he is not a man but only a sum total - a number in arithmetic, but not an individual.
The individual can never use the word "we," he can only use the word "I" - and that too with a very specific condition. His "I" is not equivalent to the ego. His "I" is not to be written in capital letters, his "I" should be written in lower case letters. It is not something extraordinary: he is simple, an ordinary human being. I am using the word "i" in the same way. "We" is impossible for me because I don't belong to any crowd, any mob.
My commune is not a crowd.
It is a communion of individuals.
Yes, one can misunderstand it as a crowd. From far away you see a forest, but as you come close there are only trees, no forest. Exactly that is the case with my commune. Those who never come close to it will think of it as a cult, a creed, a certain society. But those who come close will find only trees, no forest - each individual so absolutely unique, alone. The question of "we" does not arise at all.
So when I am saying that I cannot use "we," I am also trying to help you understand that you cannot use "we" either. You will have to be very alert.
And the "I" that you have to be has not to be the "I" of the egoist. The egoist uses "I" in the sense that he is superior to you, that you are nothing compared to him. His "I" is big, and his whole effort in his whole life in only one: how to make the "I" bigger and bigger, higher and higher, so that it becomes an Everest; no other peak can ever come even close to it.
This is the way Muhammad Ali uses "I" - Muhammad Ali, the Greatest. This is the way Alexander used his "I" - Alexander the Great. Just Alexander won't do, "the Great" is needed to make him stand separate from thousands of other Alexanders.
I am suggesting to you to use "I" just in a utilitarian way - not to impose yourself on others, not to project yourself as bigger than others, but as an absolutely human necessity. You have to use some word. There have been people who have tried not to use the word "I" for the simple reason that it may be misunderstood as being used in the same way as everybody uses the "I." Or perhaps they were deep down afraid themselves that if they used the word "I" the ego would come following it; it would be standing just behind it. Perhaps that is the case.
I recall one person, one very important Hindu sage of this century, Swami Ramateertha. He has been to America; and he was an influence wherever he went; he was a man of charismatic personality. He never used the word "I." But that makes no difference at all - he had to use something else. If he was feeling thirsty, instead of saying, "I am thirsty," he would say, "Ramateertha is thirsty"
..., "Ramateertha wants to go to sleep."
New people who had no idea what he was talking about could not understand it. They looked here and there and they asked, "Were is Ramateertha who is thirsty?" And then he would have to point to himself: "This is Ramateertha who is feeling thirsty." But this seems to be such a stupid procedure.
Rather than catching your ear directly, you go around the head and make such weird gestures, and finally you catch the ear - nothing special.
I am a lazy man, I cannot do that. If I have to catch hold of my ear I will catch it directly, rather than moving my hand around my head and then catching hold of my ear - that looks ludicrous.
But Ramateertha made a great impression by this. People are foolish; if you try to see what things people get impressed with you will be surprised. That will show you what kind of humanity exists on the earth. They were very much impressed by Ramateertha: "Here is a man who is egoless."
He was not egoless. There is enough proof in his life to show that he was not egoless. When for the first time in India I said that, there was great anger amongst Hindus because they always believed that Ramateertha was one of the greatest souls born in this century. He was respected around the world, and nobody has said anything against him. But the problem was that the Ramateertha League - it is an international organization, its headquarters are in Lucknow, India - invited me to speak on Ramateertha.
Now, it was not my fault. I even inquired of them, "Are you sure you want me to speak on Ramateertha?" And they were not aware ... because nobody had spoken about him. He was a nice man, but to be nice is not enough. I went to speak at their annual conference, a world conference, and I said, "To me Ramateertha befooled himself and nobody else" - and I gave the instances from his own biography published by the league ... authoritative, approved by Ramateertha himself. I said, "I will simply be quoting, there is no need even to interpret. If you are just a little bit intelligent, you will see the point."
Ramateertha toured all over the world and then he came back to India. Everywhere, he was received with great honor as a sage from the Himalayas. First he went to Varanasi, the center of Hinduism for thousands of years. He was shocked because, naturally, deep down he must have been expecting .... The biography says he was shocked because there was no overwhelming reception. The same way, just a few days ago the pope was shocked in a Catholic country because there was no overwhelming reception.
But unless you are expecting something, I don't see the possibility of being shocked. Ramateertha must have been expecting an overwhelming reception, a welcome - the welcome that is given to a man who has conquered the whole world. He comes back to the citadel of Hinduism, and he has been talking about Hinduism around the world, praising Hinduism around the world, making Hinduism appear the highest religion in the world. Naturally, it is human - he must have been expecting ....
But out of eight shankaracharyas, the heads of Hinduism, not a single one was present to receive him. Forget about shankaracharyas, because they are the heads, and Ramateertha was still a monk, not a head of Hinduism; but there were no other monks either to receive him. A few people had come who looked more curious than receptive or welcoming.
And instead of Ramateertha having a red-carpet welcome, a letter was handed to him from the highest Hindu committee of pundits, scholars. The letter said, "Before you speak anywhere else, first you have to face the committee, the supreme committee of the scholars of Hinduism, because the way you have been talking about Hinduism is not orthodox, it is not traditional." More shocking!
He was almost court-marshaled. In front of the scholars he had to answer why he said this, why he said that. This he had never thought was going to be, but this is how it happened. He had to appear before the scholars - and there is the point that I wanted to make to the conference in Lucknow.
As he was just going to speak, one old Hindu scholar stood up and said, "First tell me, do you know Sanskrit?" Unfortunately Ramateertha did not know Sanskrit at all, for the simple reason that he was born near Lahore, which is now in Pakistan. In that part even Hindi was not spoken; Urdu, a Mohammedan language, was the spoken language. And those who wanted to become great scholars of course had to read Persian and Arabic. They had to go to the roots of Urdu; that is, Persian and Arabic. Sanskrit has nothing to do with Urdu.
Mohammedans or Hindus was not the question: the area where Ramateertha was born was Urdu- dominated; in schools, in colleges, in universities, Persian and Arabic were the exalted languages.
So he was a scholar of Persian, Arabic and Urdu, but he had never thought that religion had anything to do with language.
You can be a Hindu without knowing Sanskrit, you can be a great Hindu sage without knowing Sanskrit; Sanskrit is not something absolutely necessary. And that was one of the questions those scholars were asking him: "While speaking around the world you were not quoting the upanishads, the vedas, the shankaracharyas. You were quoting Sufi mystics - Jalaluddin Rumi, Farid, Sarmad.
You can befool in the West because people don't know what you are quoting, but these are not Hindus, these are not our people."
The truth is Ramateertha had quoted exactly rightly. It does not matter whom he was quoting, what matters is the meaning. He had no knowledge of Sanskrit but he understood. He had read the upanishads in Urdu, he had read the vedas in Urdu, and naturally he had the understanding of the essential message. And that message was so clearly expressed by Sufi mystics - Rumi, Al- Hillaj-Mansoor, Junnaid, Rabiya Al Adabiya; they have expressed the same thing. Of course their language was different. But here he found that he was being treated as a criminal.
Another scholar stood up and said, "Before you speak in front of us, first go and learn Sanskrit." And he was completely shattered. Now, only an ego can be shattered.
If I was in his place, in the first place I would not have expected any overwhelming reception. If they were not throwing stones at me, that would have been enough - a great reception. If they allowed me to enter Varanasi that would have been more than one could hope. And then I would not have gone to their scholars to be examined, interrogated. I should have torn up that letter then and there, and thrown it on the platform and said to them, "Tell all of them to go to hell! What business have I got to do with your scholars? If they want to do anything, they have to come to me.
"And I have not come here to be certified that I am really a Hindu sage. I myself say that I am not a Hindu, neither am I a sage. So what is the problem? How can you shatter me? - I don't have any claim. Can't you even accept me as a human being? If even that is difficult for you, then that is your problem, don't accept. But that is not going to shatter me either."
You are shattered only when you are living in a glass house. Then anybody can throw a stone and that's enough. But I am not living in a glass house. The ego is a glass house: it is continuously afraid of being shattered. Somebody does not say "Hello" to you on the road, and that's enough. He has not done anything, he has not even said "Hello" - but this man used to say "Hello" every day.
It pinches, it hurts: "What happened? Have I fallen in his eyes, or what?" He will disturb your sleep because he has not said "Hello" to you.
Expectations always lead to frustrations.
Expectations are the seeds, and frustration is the crop that sooner or later you will have to reap. It is your own doing.
So I asked the followers of Ramateertha, "What was shattered? If there was no ego there was nothing to be shattered. If you throw a stone into empty space, nothing will be shattered, only the stone will look silly - falling with a thud, no obstruction, no joy of destroying something, no excitement of shattering something; just falling with a thud on the ground like a fool.
"A man without an ego is like an empty house. You can throw stones from this side to that side, they will go across him without finding any obstruction. Nothing can be shattered."
So I said, "Note this point, but this is not the whole story. Ramateertha left Varanasi and went to the Himalayas. He had a follower and a friend who was a king of Gadhwal in the Himalayas, a small state. He went there and told his friend, the king of Gadhwal, 'I would like to learn Sanskrit, so please arrange for a scholar to teach me Sanskrit.'"
Now, is this the way of a sage? Who could not say to these fools in Varanasi, "Enlightenment does not come through a language. It comes when all languages are left behind. It comes when even thinking exists no more. There is no Arabic, no Hebrew, no Greek, no Sanskrit, no Latin. Only then that light shines within yourself."
Yes, when you start communicating of course you will have to use some language. And you will use the language which you know best. In Ramateertha's place I would have said, "I will continue to use Urdu, Persian, Arabic because those are the languages I know best, and I am not going to follow your dictation that I should start learning Sanskrit. For what? to get your recognition? to be certified by you that I am really a saint? Does sainthood need anybody's recognition?"
Who recognized Gautam Buddha, that he is enlightened? Who has recognized anybody in the whole world, in the whole of history? In fact it is impossible. The unenlightened people cannot recognize or certify an enlightened one; he has to declare himself, there is no other way. Whether you believe it or not, that does not matter, and that does not shatter him.
Nobody may believe it, not even a single human being. Do you think that makes any difference to the status of a man of enlightenment? He remains still the same, his enlightenment not even a little bit less because you have not recognized him.
Why did Ramateertha agree to learn Sanskrit?
And the story is really strange. He started learning Sanskrit - not only that, he dropped his orange robe and started using white clothes. Asked why, he said, "Because if Hindu scholars do not recognize me then I am not yet capable of using the traditional robe of a Hindu sannyasin."
When I decided to give my sannyasins the same robe, it was for one reason - to destroy this whole idea that anybody has a monopoly.
In India there is an organization of Hindu monks. It has been founded by one of the politicians who has been twice prime minister of India, for a few days only. His name is Guljarilal Nanda. Whenever a prime minister dies this man is put as acting prime minister. Before the second one comes, for a few days, a few weeks, he remains a prime minister. He has no support but he is a person who can be relied on not to create any trouble. And he is not even courageous enough to create any trouble - he is a weakling.
Sometimes your weakness proves of great help. When Jawaharlal died, Morarji was hoping to become immediately the acting prime minister, but he was not chosen because he is, although very mediocre, also very stubborn. If once he becomes acting prime minister then it will be difficult to recall him, to tell him to get down. He will not get down so easily once he gets up.
Some weakling has to be chosen for the interim period so you put him up like a puppet; and when you want him down, he comes down. The same man did it twice: when Jawaharlal died he became the prime minister, and when Lal Bahadur Shastri died he became the prime minister. Both times Morarji was hoping, and both times he was denied, because everybody was afraid that once he got up, he would not come down.
But this man was cowardly, weak; hence, naturally, he could not manage to be a great political force.
Guljarilal Nanda turned towards religion. Many weaklings turn towards religion, many cowardly people turn towards religion, because here you don't need much guts. He founded an organization of Hindu monks; he was the president of the organization.
When I started initiating people into sannyas, he told me, "You are creating trouble."
I said, "What trouble?"
He said, "You are giving them the same robe. Now it is going to be a very confusing thing: who is who?"
I said, "That is what I want to do. And I am going to fill your whole organization with my sannyasins, you cannot prevent it. And soon you will see, my sannyasins will be the president, the secretaries, in your organization."
They became freaked out so much! I was just joking - I was not interested; who bothers about these idiots and their organizations? They became so freaked out they immediately made a resolution that anybody wearing my mala should not be allowed in the organization as a member - "He is not really a Hindu sannyasin."
I said, "That's true, he is not. He is neither a Hindu sannyasin nor a Mohammedan sannyasin, nor a Christian sannyasin. He is just himself. The orange robe I have chosen is just to destroy this monopolistic idea."
But Ramateertha was subdued so much by those mere intellectuals that he dropped his orange robe. These are all ways of the ego. Now he would learn Sanskrit; he would prove to himself that he was a scholar in Sanskrit too - and with grace and honor he would receive the robe from them.
These are the ways of the ego. Who are they? On what authority ...? Just because they are crammed with rotten knowledge? So I said to his followers, "To me his saying that 'Ramateertha is hungry' rather than saying, 'I am hungry' does not change his ego; it simply makes it more complicated. And the greatest problem is, he may be deceived by it. If others are deceived, that is not much of a trouble; he himself may be deceived. He may himself start thinking that he has dropped the ego because now he never uses the word 'I'."
So the question is not of using the word. The question is of understanding how you are using it. Use it as a utility, don't make it a psychological trip.
Now you are asking me - how are we going to raise the consciousness of the world? Why should we raise the consciousness of the world? Are you nuts or something? Can't you let the world alone?
You just raise your consciousness.
No, but this is how the world is. Nobody is interested in raising his own consciousness. Everybody is interested in raising the world's consciousness - that seems to be easier, more fun. To raise one's own consciousness is arduous. To raise the consciousness of the world is just fun, no problem to you. Whether it is raised or not, you are not losing anything.
Yes, by trying to raise it suddenly you become a great sage, you become a great religious leader, you become world famous. You are raising the consciousness of the world - as if consciousness is just lying down there asleep and you just have to wake it up. Just pour cold water over it and consciousness rises up and says, "What is the matter? Who is troubling me?"
It is not so easy. Consciousness is not there in any collective sense, there is no world consciousness.
There are only trees, no forest. Forest is only a word - convenient, useful, but non-existential. If you go in search of a forest you will never find it. Standing in the middle of it still you will not find it. What you will find always is an individual tree, and of course an individual tree is not the forest.
This consciousness of the world, consciousness of humanity, is just a word. Don't fall into linguistic games.
Remember one thing:
Consciousness is always individual.
There is no way for consciousness to become collective. It is always "I," it is never "we."
Why this concern? And this is not only your concern - millions of people around the world are concerned with raising the consciousness of the world. And not only now; as far back as you can find any records they have been concerned with raising human consciousness, humanity, making the world divine, sacred. And the same problems ....
In Mesopotamia - where one of the oldest civilizations existed once and is no longer in existence, but ruins are there - a pillar has been found which is six thousand years old at least. That is the minimum, it cannot be more recent than that; it can be twelve thousand years old, but six thousand is the bottom line. With all the scientific observations they have concluded that it is at least six thousand years old, more perhaps.
What does it say? The pillar says: "Man has fallen to such a rotten state that we have to teach humanity again to become human. Sons are no longer listening to their fathers" - there is a generation gap - "wives are no longer faithful to their husbands. Husbands are doing all kinds of things, which make them disrespected and fathers are not fulfilling their duties." The whole pillar seems as if it is in some newspaper, just today's editorial.
In India the RIG VEDA is the oldest book. According to the Hindu scholar Lokmanya Tilak, a great scholar, it is ninety thousand years old. He has immense proof and evidence, and as yet he has not been challenged. It is almost sixty years or more since he proved that it is ninety thousand years old. In these sixty years nobody has been able to disprove his evidence; it is now either forgotten or accepted.
Whatsoever the case, the RIG VEDA is certainly the most ancient book in existence - but it raises the same problems that you face today, the same questions: Is it possible to change man's nature?
Is there time enough? Ninety thousand years before, they were worried: Is there time enough? And the time has not proved enough, that's certainly true, because the problems are still the same - perhaps worse.
You are asking me the same questions but I am a different kind of man, a little bit eccentric ...
otherwise, if you had asked the question to any mahatma, any great religious personality, he would have answered, "Yes, we can raise humanity's consciousness. Of course time is very short but my methods are very quick too."
That's what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi goes on telling people. Time is short, according to all the prophecies, all the astrologers; as this century closes there is every possibility that the earth will be finished. Time is really short. It is 1985 - only fifteen years more. Ninety thousand years have not proved enough. Fifteen years! But Maharishi Mahesh Yogi goes around the earth with jet speed. Of course he has to use the jet speed - time is short!
But he says his method is quick: just ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening you do transcendental meditation. And what is transcendental meditation? You repeat one word that is given to you. Of course you have to pay a fee for it, two hundred and fifty dollars. And what does he give? He asks you, "Are you a Christian?" You say, "Yes."
He says, "Catholic? Protestant?" - just to figure out who you are so he can give you a mantra suitable to your religion.
If you say, "I am a Catholic," he will say, "That's very good. You start the mantra, 'Ave Maria.' Repeat continuously: Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, anywhere, in any posture, just for ten minutes.
Between two Ave Marias don't leave any gap, go as fast as you can." One Ave Maria almost entering another Ave Maria, just as when sometimes there is an accident of a railway train, and compartments go over other compartments, and inside other compartments. All the buffers are broken and the train is for the first time in a real unity.
This is a very traditional method in India. It is nothing new, and it is used by everybody; in every village you can get it, very cheap .... If you are very rich then the price is eleven rupees, which is less than one dollar. If you are poor it can be reduced; for the very poor, a coconut.
And, in India, there are two types of coconuts - coconuts which people eat, and coconuts which people use religiously. They offer it to gods, to temples, to gurus. Those coconuts for centuries have the same price, their price has not changed. For one rupee you can get three - because they are the same coconuts! For centuries ....
In my village, just in front of my house there was a temple of Krishna, and by the side of the temple, a coconut shop. A coconut shop is always very close. If you find a temple, you can believe without any trouble that within a five-minute radius there must be a coconut shop; mostly it is just by the side of the temple.
You go on offering to the god, and the same coconuts go on getting back to the side shop. So the price remains the same because ... and they are all rotten. The coconut shell is so hard that what is inside nobody knows. These are religious coconuts. Nobody will purchase coconuts from a religious coconut shop for eating, or for anything, because inside you will find nothing. Their function is just to move from the shop to the temple, and from the back door again to the shop. In the morning they are again for sale - and this round goes on and on.
And the coconut is a strange fruit. You can work with it for centuries. Its consciousness remains the same, no change. In India it is so cheap - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi may not have been able to raise the consciousness of the people but he has raised the price of transcendental meditation from one coconut to two hundred and fifty dollars. I don't know how many coconuts that will be ... because for one rupee you can get three coconuts - religious coconuts, don't forget that. For one rupee, three religious coconuts; for one dollar you can have at least sixty religious coconuts; for two hundred and fifty dollars ... now you can work it out.
And now he is not only trying to raise the consciousness of people. He has been doing that for almost thirty years, and now people are fed up because nothing is raised. Simply their pocket becomes lighter, and nothing is raised. They are getting fed up. And how long can you cheat people?
So now these people have to go on inventing something new. His new thing is even more idiotic:
now he is trying to levitate people. First he was trying to levitate their consciousness, now he is trying to levitate people. The fees have also gone higher - of course, because he is raising your body too. Now he says he has found the secret. Joined with transcendental meditation your body will rise, float in the air; your head will touch the roof. And there are fools in the world who are ready to pay for this kind of nonsense.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has been asked again and again, "Give a public demonstration, at least one person." That he is not doing, because it is such a secret thing that you cannot do it in public. It can be done only in private. But strangely, if it is done only in privacy, how are the photographs appearing in his magazines? At least the photographers must be there. It is public; the person is not isolated.
The whole thing is, it is a simple photographic trick. It is not much of a thing; any person who understands a little photography can manage it. He just has to mix two negatives; in one negative you are sitting on the floor, and in the other negative it has to be managed that you are touching the roof. You can be put on a tall stool, with the same mattress on which you were sitting on the floor, in the same room. And there is no problem - you just have to arrange these two photographs together to show that this man's body has levitated.
Time is short, and people are trying to levitate bodies. For what purpose? Even if, for argument's sake, we accept that people can learn to levitate their bodies, and their heads start touching their roofs, how is it going to make humanity better?
If just touching the roof with your head is the thing, then simpler methods can be used. Just make a tall stool - ask Asheesh; he can make you a beautiful tall stool so your head touches the roof. A stool can be adjustable, so if you are short or tall the stool can be adjusted. You can adjust it yourself, so your head touches the roof. If that makes you a superman, then why bother about meditation and such long procedures? Time is very short.
But I am not interested either in raising people's consciousness, or in raising their bodies. In fact for decades I have not been interested in doing anything for the world, for humanity, because to me these are bogus words. I am interested only in a few chosen people.
The whole mass of humanity - whether it lives or disappears makes no difference.
I may look hard to you, but I am simply being factual. Just look at the past. Millions of people have lived and died - what does it matter? Where does it lead? Millions of people are living today - in what way are they enriching life? Just breathing, just vegetating; is that enough?
Just today I have received a news item: in Miami, a man's situation has become really terrible. He had a brain cancer, and to remove that cancer they had to use, for the first time, some poison without which it was not removable. That poison entered into his brain by mistake. The cancer was removed but the poison entered into his brain and killed his brain. Now the man is alive, the brain is dead.
He can live for years, there is no problem; you just have to take care of him. His brain is completely dead, so everything that his brain was doing, you will have to do. And it was your mistake.
But the doctor can also not be condemned. That poison was used for the first time, so there is no way to say that he used it wrongly because there is no precedent. He tried his best - just an unlucky man.
Now, between this man, I thought as I was reading the news, and the millions of masses, is there any difference? That was the question that came to me. Their brains are not dead, but their souls are dead - which is far worse. And nobody else is responsible - they themselves are responsible.
They are living, but do you call it life?
What is the point of their living?
What have they found out about it, what have they experienced?
Where have they arrived?
If they were not born, would you have missed them?
If they were not here, would existence be poorer because of that?
All these considerations have to be looked into before you start raising the consciousness of the world.
The greater masses of the world are not interested in consciousness.
They are more interested in unconsciousness.
You will be surprised because you may not have heard them saying that they are interested in unconsciousness, but you can see them drinking alcohol - all kinds of narcotics are being used, all kinds of drugs are being used. And there are other kinds of unconsciousnesses which are not produced by chemical drugs.
For example, in a movie, for three hours, for what are you searching? You are searching for three hours of unconsciousness. For three hours you become so involved in any idiotic story. And they have been almost the same for centuries: just two men, one woman; two women, one man. There are only two stories. I tried to find a third story - I have not succeeded. If any of you succeeds, please inform me, help me, because I have found only two stories. And there is not much difference in those stories: two women, one man; or two men, one woman. It is really one story. Only three persons are needed; put them in all kinds of situations, create all different details, but the story remains the same.
But it is helpful - you get involved in it. Millions of people seeing sports, millions of people participating in political rallies, shouting slogans, screaming ....
I used to know one man in Jabalpur. I liked that man, I was really impressed by him: he was something unique .... For one year I was living in a bungalow which was facing six roads, so all kinds of processions were passing by there. And it was near the high court, the collector's office, the commissioner's office. They were all just within a half-mile radius.
So every kind of procession - protests, either going to the chief justice, or going to the commissioner, or going to the collector .... I used to enjoy seeing them. The most exciting thing for me was one who was always in every protest, whether it was the communist party, socialist party, congress party, president's party - any party. And in India there are all kinds of parties.
Whether it was a religious protest - Christians protesting that something was being done against their religion, or Mohammedans, Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists - he was always, inevitably there. I could not believe it. That man was something! One day I caught hold of him and I said, "You have to come inside with me."
He said, "Right now I cannot come, I am going in the protest."
I said, "You can go later on - I will send you, I will drive you. But for five minutes you just come in - because now it is too much, I cannot bear it any more."
He said, "But what is the problem? What have I done to you?"
I said, "You have not done anything to me; I just want to know to which party you belong."
He laughed. He said, "As far as parties are concerned, I am a member of all the parties."
I said, "But ...?"
He said, "You will not understand, nobody understands. I enjoy shouting, screaming. Now, who is screaming against whom, that is not material. I simply enjoy - I shout, jump, have a flag. I don't care whose flag, I don't have any flag of my own. And I am not interested in what they are demanding, whether they get it or not, but I enjoy it."
Now this man has no political interest, no religious interest. What his interest is, is in finding unconsciousness in shouting, screaming, getting involved in something in which he has no ideological interest. But he has psychological involvement, he forgets himself. For the two, three hours that the protest continues, he forgets himself. Now, how can he miss if some other party is protesting? His psychological interest is the same.
He said, "It is not very costly." In India you can become a member for one fourth of a rupee; that is a one-year membership. And that too you don't have to pay, somebody will pay for you, you have just to vote for him.
So I asked him, "So many parties, so many religions and you must be paying so much money ...."
He said, "No, they pay it. And those idiots don't even ask, 'Are you a member of any other party?'
I have not yet been asked, so I have not yet been forced to lie. Nobody asks me. I say, 'I want to become a member of your party.' They say, 'Very good, you just become a member of the party, fill in the form.' I have filled in all the forms of all the parties. I go to all religious prayers, religious meetings. I believe in the unity of all."
I said, "That's very good."
But he was really getting juice. You try protesting, shouting, and soon you get involved in it. Your thinking disappears, your past, your present, disappear. You are suddenly herenow - but not in a conscious way - through an unconscious trick. You can do it by alcohol, you can do it by politics, you can do it by religion. You can do it in a church, you can do it in a movie house. You can do it in a thousand and one ways, and people are using all kinds of ways.
People are not interested in consciousness.
Consciousness is painful, because you will have to drop so much which you have carried your whole life thinking it very valuable.
You will have to uncover your wounds which you have covered and completely forgotten.
You will have to revive all worries and anguishes that somehow you have repressed.
You will have to face again your original face which you have lost far back. You have become somebody else. You have been somebody else so long, that now to face your original face is going to shatter you completely.
To be conscious not a game.
To be conscious is to go through a deep surgery.
And the problem is, you are the surgeon, and you are the patient.
Just think of some surgeon doing surgery on himself. I had one surgeon friend - and it was not much of a problem .... A certain disease, a very strange disease, started happening to me every year. First, one of my fingers started being painful in the first joint - immense pain. Sleep was not possible; no sleeping medicine would help, the pain was so shooting sharp. It continued for twenty-one days.
I asked my surgeon friend about it. He said, "This is a troublesome thing, but for one year there is no problem. Next year the second finger will be affected, and for twenty-one days at the utmost. But for ten years you will have to suffer; each year one finger will be affected."
I said, "I don't want that kind of business for ten years. Who knows? - if I die tomorrow then my nine fingers .... No, I cannot leave them just like that. You have to do something."
He said, "There is no medicine for it - only surgery can be done. I will have to cut the bone - which has grown a little - on the joint. That's how this whole thing is happening."
So I said, "There is no problem, you can cut it. But I can't wait for ten years."
He prepared everything, but I was so close to him that at the final time he had a nervous breakdown.
He said, "I cannot do it; on you I cannot do it - I cannot cut your finger. I will call another surgeon. I have kept him ready in case, because I knew it from the very beginning - last night I could not sleep, just the idea of cutting your finger ...."
I said, "What nonsense. My finger, anybody's finger - you should be able to cut your own finger too if the time comes. If there is no surgeon available, you should be able to cut your own finger."
He said, "I can cut my own finger, but I cannot cut your finger, because then I will repent my whole life that I did that nasty thing to you. No, I will not do it."
He simply freaked out; the other surgeon did it. That day I understood how difficult it must be to be the patient on the table and also the surgeon by the side - the same person cutting his own deepest layers of being.
Consciousness is self-surgery.
And don't ask me how can we raise ...? Nobody can do it for somebody else; you can only do it for yourself.
This is the fundamental of spiritual surgery: you can only be successful on yourself.
Howsoever painful it is ... but there is no other way. Yes, it pays tremendously if you can pass through the test.
If you can pass through the pain, if you can pass through all the misery, the suffering that you have repressed will rise again. It is like entering a house which nobody has entered for years. You will raise so much dust - and that dust is not simple dust, it covers your wounds. It has helped you to forget yourself. It has made you unconscious of yourself. It is not like taking off your clothes, it is more like peeling off your skin.
But once you succeed, then all the pain seems to be just nothing, because the bliss that descends on you is incomparable; the pain that you suffered looks so tiny and so meaningless. But that is in the end.
Gautam the Buddha used to say, "My path in the beginning is tremendous pain; in the end, tremendous blissfulness. But patience is needed."
I told you, in this surgery you are the patient and you are the surgeon both. Remember the English word "patient" comes from "patience." It is significant. Why is the sick person called a "patient?" He has to be patient, he has to wait. But when you are the patient yourself and also the surgeon, the difficulty is multiplied. But still it is nothing compared to the bliss.
All that you can do is to pass through this suffering, to pass through this dark night of the soul.
Reach to the dawn of your being.
Blossom. Let your blissfulness explode.
Perhaps somebody's sleeping soul may be triggered. Somebody's sleeping consciousness may have a shock and wake up.
But these are only "perhaps." One cannot be certain in these matters. The matters are so subtle you cannot be certain.
Hope for the best.
And wait for the worst.
And time certainly is short.