Conscience: a coffin for consciousness
IS THERE ANY POINT IN LIVING?
MAN has been brought up by all the traditions in a schizophrenic way.
It was helpful to divide man in every possible dimension, and create a conflict between the divisions.
This way man becomes weak, shaky, fearful, ready to submit, surrender; ready to be enslaved by the priests, by the politicians, by anybody.
This question also arises out of a schizophrenic mind. It will be a little difficult for you to understand because you may have never thought that the division between ends and means is a basic strategy of creating a split in man.
Has living any meaning, any point, any worth? The question is: Is there some goal to be achieved by life, by living? Is there some place where you will reach one day by living? Living is a means; the goal, the attainment, somewhere far away, is the end. And that end will make it meaningful. If there is no end, then certainly life is meaningless; a God is needed to make your life meaningful.
First create the division between ends and means.
That divides your mind.
Your mind is always asking why? For what? And anything that has no answer to the question, "For what?" slowly, slowly becomes of no value to you. That's how love has become valueless. What point is there in love? Where is it going to lead you? What is going to be the achievement out of it?
Will you attain to some utopia, some paradise?
Of course, love has no point in that way.
It is pointless.
What is the point of beauty?
You see a sunset - you are stunned, it is so beautiful, but any idiot can ask the question, "What is the meaning of it?" and you will be without any answer. And if there is no meaning then why unnecessarily are you bragging about beauty?
A beautiful flower, or a beautiful painting, or beautiful music, beautiful poetry - they don't have any point. They are not arguments to prove something, neither are they means to achieve any end.
And living consists only of those things which are pointless.
Let me repeat it: living consists only of those things which have no point at all, which have no meaning at all - meaning in the sense that they don't have any goal, that they don't lead you anywhere, that you don't get anything out of them.
In other words, living is significant in itself.
The means and ends are together, not separate.
And that is the strategy of all those who have been lustful for power, down the ages: that means are means. and ends are ends. Means are useful because they lead you to the end. If they don't lead to your end, they are meaningless. In this way, they have destroyed all that is really significant. And they have imposed things on you which are absolutely insignificant.
Money has a point. A political career has a point. To be religious has a point, because that is the means to heaven, to God. Business has a point because immediately you see the end result.
Business became important, politics became important, religion became important; poetry, music, dancing, love, friendliness, beauty, truth, all disappeared from your life.
A simple strategy, but it destroyed all that makes you significant, that gives ecstasy to your being.
But the schizophrenic mind will ask, "What is the point of ecstasy?"
People have asked me, hundreds of people, "What is the meaning of meditation? What will we gain out of it? First, it is very difficult to attain - and even if we attain it, what is going to be the end result?"
It is very difficult to explain to these people that meditation is an end in itself There is no end beyond it.
Anything that has an end beyond it is just for the mediocre mind. And anything which has its end in itself is for the really intelligent person.
But you will see the mediocre person becoming the president of a country, the prime minister of a country; becoming the richest man in the country, becoming the pope, becoming the head of a religion. But these are all mediocre people; their only qualification is their mediocrity. They are third rate and basically they are schizophrenic. They have divided their life in two parts: ends and means.
My approach is totally different:
To make you one single whole.
So I want you to live just for life's sake.
The poets have defined art as for its own sake, there is nothing else beyond it: art for art's sake. It will not appeal to the mediocre at all because he counts things in terms of money, position, power.
Is your poetry going to make you the prime minister of the country? - then it is meaningful. But in fact your poetry may make you just a beggar, because who is going to purchase your poetry?
I am acquainted with many kinds of geniuses who are living like beggars for the simple reason that they did not accept the mediocre way of life, and they did not allow themselves to become schizophrenic. They are living - of course they have a joy which no politician can ever know, they have a certain radiance which no billionaire is going to know. They have a certain rhythm to their heart of which these so-called religious people have no idea. But as far as their outside is concerned, they have been reduced by the society to live like beggars.
I would like you to remember one great, perhaps the greatest, Dutch painter: Vincent van Gogh. His father wanted him to become a religious minister, to live a life of respect - comfortable, convenient - and not only in this world, in the other world after death too. But Vincent van Gogh wanted to become a painter. His father said, "You are mad!"
He said, "That may be. To me, you are mad. I don't see any significance in becoming a minister because all I would be saying would be nothing but lies. I don't know God. I don't know whether there is any heaven or hell. I don't know whether man survives after death or not. I will be continually telling lies. Of course it is respectable, but that kind of respect is not for me; I will not be rejoicing in it. It will be a torture to my soul." The father threw him out.
He started painting - he is the first modern painter. You can draw a line at Vincent van Gogh: before him painting was ordinary. Even the greatest painters, like Michelangelo, are of minor importance compared to Vincent van Gogh, because what they were painting was ordinary. Their painting was for the marketplace.
Michelangelo was painting for the churches his whole life; painting on church walls and church ceilings. He broke his backbone painting church ceilings, because to paint a ceiling you have to lie down on a high stool while you paint. It is a very uncomfortable position, and for days together, months together.... But he was earning money, and he was earning respect. He was painting angels, Christ, God creating the world. His famous painting is God creating the world.
Vincent van Gogh starts a totally new dimension. He could not sell a single painting in his whole life. Now, who will say that his painting has any point? Not a single person could see that there was anything in his paintings. His younger brother used to send him money; enough so that he did not die of starvation, just enough for seven days' food every week - because if he gave him enough for a whole month he would finish it within two or three days, and the remaining days he would be starving. Every week he would send money to him.
And what Vincent van Gogh was doing was for four days he would eat, and for the three days in between those four days he was saving money for paints, canvasses. This is something totally different from Michelangelo, who earned enough money, who became a rich person. He sold all his paintings. They were made to be sold, it was business. Of course he was a great painter, so even paintings that were going to be sold came out beautifully. But if he had had the guts of a Vincent van Gogh, he would have enriched the whole world.
Three days starving, and van Gogh would purchase the paints and canvasses. His younger brother, hearing that not a single painting had sold, gave some money to a man - a friend of his not known to Vincent van Gogh - and told him to go and purchase at least one painting: "That will give him some satisfaction. The poor man is dying; the whole day he is painting, starving for painting but nobody is ready to purchase his painting - nobody sees anything in it." Because to see something in Vincent van Gogh's painting you need the eye of a painter of the caliber of van Gogh; less than that will not do. His paintings will seem strange to you.
His trees are painted so high that they go above the stars; stars are left far behind. Now, you will think that this man is mad... trees going up higher than the stars? Have you seen such trees anywhere? When Vincent van Gogh was asked, "Your trees always go beyond the stars...?" he said, "Yes, because I understand trees. I have felt always that trees are the ambition of the earth to reach the stars. Otherwise why? To touch the stars, to feel the stars, to go beyond the stars - this is the desire of the earth. The earth tries hard, but cannot fulfill the desire. I can do it. The earth will understand my paintings, and I don't care about you, whether you understand or not."
Now, this kind of paintings you cannot sell. The man his brother had sent came. Van Gogh was very happy: at last somebody had come to purchase. But soon his happiness turned into despair because the man looked around, picked one painting and gave the money.
Vincent van Gogh said, "But do you understand the painting? You have picked it up so casually, you have not looked; I have hundreds of paintings. You have not even bothered to look around; you have simply picked one that was accidentally in front of you. I suspect that you are sent by my brother.
Put the painting back, take your money. I will not sell the painting to a man who has no eyes for painting. And tell my brother never to do such a thing again."
The man was puzzled how he managed to figure it out. He said, "You don't know me, how did you figure it out?"
He said, "That's too simple. I know my brother wants me to feel some consolation. He must have manipulated you - and this money belongs to him - because I can see that you are blind as far as paintings are concerned. And I am not one to sell paintings to blind people; I cannot exploit a blind man and sell him a painting. What will he do with it? And tell my brother also that he also does not understand painting, otherwise he would not have sent you."
When the brother came to know, he came to apologize. He said, "Instead of giving you a little consolation, I have wounded you. I will never do such a thing again."
His whole life van Gogh was just giving his paintings to friends: to the hotel where he used to eat four days a week he would present a painting, or to a prostitute who had said once to him that he was not a beautiful man. To be absolutely factual, he was ugly. No woman ever fell in love with him, it was impossible.
This prostitute out of compassion - and sometimes prostitutes have more compassion than your so- called ladies, they understand men more - just out of compassion she said, "I like you very much."
He had never heard this. Love was a far away thing. Even liking....
He said, "Really, you like me? What do you like in me?" Now, the woman was at a loss.
She said, "I like your ears. Your ears are beautiful." And you will be surprised that van Gogh went home, cut off his ears with a razor, packed them beautifully, went to the prostitute and gave his ears to her. And blood was flowing....
She said, "What have you done?"
He said, "Nobody ever liked anything in me. And I am a poor man, how can I thank you? You liked my ears; I have presented them to you. If you had liked my eyes, I would have presented my eyes to you If you had liked me, I would have died for you."
The prostitute could not believe it. But for the first time, van Gogh was happy, smiling; somebody had liked at least a part of him. And that woman had just said jokingly - otherwise who bothers about your ears? If people like something, they like your eyes, they like your nose, your lips - you won't hear lovers talking about each other's ears, that they like them.
Only in ancient Hindu scriptures on sexology: the Kamasutras of Vatsayana.... That is the only book I have been able to find that can be connected to this incident five thousand years afterwards with Vincent van Gogh, because only Vatsayana says, "Very few people are aware that ear lobes are tremendously sexual and sensitive points in the body. And lovers should play with each other's ear lobes" - and this is a fact, although unknown.
If you start playing with the ear lobes of your lover, she or he may think that you are a little crazy - what are you doing? Because people have become fixed on certain ideas: kissing is okay....
But there are tribes where nobody has ever heard about kissing; they rub noses with each other, and that is thought to be the most loving gesture. Certainly it is more hygienic, far more medically supportable than the French kiss.
Those people who rub noses think of people giving French kisses to each other as just dirty, simply dirty.
But this prostitute perhaps was aware... because prostitutes become aware of many things which ordinary women and men don't become aware of, because they come in contact with so many people. Perhaps she was aware that ears have a sexual significance. They certainly have.
Vatsayana is one of the greatest experts. Freud and Havelock Ellis and other sexologists are just pygmies before Vatsayana. And when he says something, he means it.
Van Gogh lived his whole life in poverty. He died painting. Before dying he went mad, because for one year continually he was painting the sun: hundreds of paintings, but nothing was coming to the point he wanted. But the whole day standing in the hottest place in France, in Arles, with the sun on the head - because without the experience how can you paint? He painted the final painting, but he went mad. Just the heat, the hunger... but he was immensely happy; even in madness he was painting. And those paintings which he did in the madhouse are now worth millions.
He committed suicide for the simple reason that he had painted everything that he wanted to paint.
Now painting was finished; he had come to a dead end. There was nothing more to do. Now to go on living was occupying space, somebody's place; that was ugly to him.
That's what he wrote in his letters to his brother: "My work is done. I have lived tremendously - the way I wanted to live. I have painted what I wanted to paint. My last painting I have done today, and now I am taking a jump from this life into the unknown, whatever it is, because this life no longer contains anything for me."
Will you consider this man a genius? Will you consider this man intelligent, wise? No, ordinarily you would think he is simply mad. But I cannot say that. His living and his painting were not two things:
painting was his living, that was his life. So to the whole world it seems suicide - not to me. To me it simply seems a natural end. The painting is completed. Life is fulfilled. There was no other goal; whether he receives the Nobel prize, whether anybody appreciates his painting....
In his life nobody appreciated his work. In his life no art gallery accepted his paintings, even free.
After he died, slowly, slowly, because of his sacrifice, painting changed its whole flavor. There would have been no Picasso without Vincent van Gogh. All the painters that have come after Vincent van Gogh are indebted to him, incalculably, because that man changed the whole direction. Slowly, slowly, as the direction changed, his paintings were discovered. A great search was made.
People had thrown his paintings in their empty houses, or in their basements, thinking that they were useless. They rushed to their basements, discovered his paintings, cleaned them. Even faked paintings came onto the market as authentic van Gogh. Now there are only two hundred paintings; he must have painted thousands. But any art gallery that has a Vincent van Gogh is proud, because the man poured his whole life in his paintings. They were not painted by color, but by blood, by breath - his heartbeat is there.
Don't ask such a man, "Is there any meaning in your painting?" He is there in his painting, and you are asking, "Is there any meaning in your painting?" If you cannot see the meaning, you are responsible for it.
The higher a thing rises, the fewer the people who will recognize it.
When something reaches to the highest point, it is very difficult to find even a few people to recognize it.
At the ultimate omega point, only the person himself recognizes what has happened to him; he cannot find even a second man.
That's why a Buddha has to declare himself that he is enlightened. Nobody else can recognize it, because to recognize it, you will have to have some taste of it. Otherwise, how can you recognize it? No recognition is possible because the point is so high.
But what is the meaning of Buddhahood? What is the meaning of becoming enlightened? What is the point? If you ask about the point, there is none. It itself is enough. It needs nothing else to make it significant.
That's what I mean when I say that the really valuable things in life are not divided into ends and means. There is no division between ends and means. Ends are the means, means are the ends - perhaps two sides of the same coin inseparably joined together - in fact, they are a oneness, a wholeness.
You ask me, "Is there any point in life, in living?" I am afraid that if I say there is no point in living, you will think that means you have to commit suicide, because if there is no point in living, then what else to do? - commit suicide! I am not saying commit suicide, because in committing suicide also there is no point.
Living: live, and live totally.
Dying: die, and die totally.
And in that totality you will find significance.
I am consideredly not using the word meaning, and using the word significance because "meaning is contaminated. The word meaning - it always points somewhere else. You must have heard, you must have read in your childhood, many stories.... Why are they written for children? - perhaps the writers don't know, but it is part of the same exploitation c humanity.
The stories are like this: a man is there whose life is in a parrot. If you kill the parrot, the man will be killed, but you cannot kill the man directly. You can shoot, and nothing will happen. You can swing your sword and the sword will pass through his neck, but the neck will remain still joined to the body.
You cannot kill the man - first you have to find where his life is. So in those stories the life is always somewhere else. And when you find out you just kill the parrot and wherever the man is, he will die immediately Even when I was a child, I used to ask my teacher "This seems to be a very stupid kind of story because I don't see anyone whose life is in a parrot or in a dog or in something else, like a tree." It was the first time I heard that story, that type of story; then I came across many. They were written specially for children.
The man who was teaching me was a very nice and respectable gentleman. I asked him, "Can you tell me where your life is? Because I would like to try... "
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "I would like to kill that bird in which your life is. You are an intelligent man, wise, respected.
You must have put your life somewhere else so nobody can kill you. That's what the story says - that wise people keep their life somewhere else, so that you cannot kill them, so that nobody can kill them. An(' it is impossible to find where they have kept their life unless they tell the secret, nobody can figure it out This world is so big, and there are so many people and so many animals, and so many birds, and so man trees... nobody knows where that man has put his life.
"You are a wise man, respected, you must have kept it somewhere; you can just tell me in private. I will not kill the bird completely; just give him a few twists and turns, and see what happens to you."
He said, "You are a strange boy. I have been teaching this story my whole life, and you want to give me a twist and turn. This is only a story."
But I said, "What is the point of the story? Why do you go on teaching this story and this kind of things to children?"
He could not answer. I asked my father, "What can be the meaning of this story? Why should these things be taught, which are absolutely absurd?"
He said, "If your teacher cannot answer, then how can I answer? I don't know. He is far more educated and intelligent and wise. You harass him, rather than harassing me."
But now I know what the meaning of the stories is and why they are being taught to the children.
They enter in their unconscious and they start thinking life is always somewhere else - in heaven, in God, always somewhere else - it is not in you. You are empty, just an empty shell. You don't have meaning in your life herenow. Here you are only a means, a ladder. If you go up the ladder, perhaps someday you will find your life, your God, your goal, your meaning, whatever name you give to it.
But I say to you that you are the meaning, the significance, and living itself is intrinsically complete.
Life needs nothing else to be added to it.
All that life needs is that you live it to its totality.
If you live only partially, then you will not feel the thrill of being alive.
It is like any mechanism when just a part is functioning.... For example in a clock: if only the second hand is working but neither the hour hand nor the minute hand moves - only the second hand goes on moving - what purpose will it serve? There will be movement, a certain part is working, but unless the whole works and works in harmony, there cannot be a song out of it.
And this is the situation: everybody is living partially, a small part. So you make noise but you can't create a song. You move your hands and legs but no dance happens. The dance, the song, the significance comes into existence immediately your whole functions in harmony, in accord. Then you don't ask such questions as: Is there any point in living? - you know.
Living itself is the point. There is no other point.
But you have not been allowed to remain one and whole. You have been divided, cut into several parts. A few parts have been completely closed - so much so that you don't know even that they belong to you. Much of you has been thrown in the basement. Much of you has been so condemned that although you know it is there, you cannot dare to accept it, that it is part of you - you go on denying it; you go on repressing it.
You know only a very small fragment in you, which they call conscience, which is a social product, not a natural thing, which society creates inside you to control you from inside. The constable is outside, the court is outside controlling you. And the conscience is inside, which is far more powerful.
That's why even in a court, first they will give you the Bible. You take the oath on the Bible because the court also knows that if you are a Christian, putting your hand on the Bible and saying, "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," your conscience will force you to speak the truth, because now you have taken the oath in the name of God, and you have touched the Bible. If you speak a lie you will be thrown into hell.
Before, at the most, if you were caught you would be thrown into imprisonment for a few months, a few years. But now you will be thrown in hell for eternity. Even the court accepts that the Bible is more powerful, the Gita is more powerful, the Koran is more powerful than the court, than the military, than the army.
Conscience is one of the meanest inventions of humanity.
And from the very first day the child is born we start creating a conscience in him; a small part which goes on condemning anything that the society does not want in you, and goes on appreciating anything that the society wants in you. You are no more whole.
The conscience continuously goes on forcing you, so that you have to always look out - god is watching. Every act, every thought, God is watching, so beware!
Even in thoughts you are not allowed freedom: God is watching. What kind of peeping Tom is this God? In every bathroom He is looking through the keyhole; He won't leave you alone - even in your bathroom?
There are tribes in the world where even in your dream if you do something wrong, in the morning you have to go to the person.... For example you have insulted somebody in the dream - in the morning you have to go to apologize: "Forgive me, last night I insulted you in a dream; I am so sorry." Even dreams are controlled by the society. You are not allowed even in dream to be yourself They go on talking about freedom of thought - that's all nonsense because from the very beginning they put the base in every child for unfreedom of thought.
They want to control your thoughts.
They want to control your dreams.
They want to control everything in you. It's through a very clever device - conscience.
It pricks you. It goes on telling you, "This is not right, don't do it; you will suffer." It goes on forcing you: "Do this, this is the right thing to do; you will be rewarded for it."
This conscience will never allow you to be whole It won't allow you to live as if there is nothing prohibited, as if there are no boundaries, as if you are left totally independent to be whatsoever you can be. Then life has meaning, then living has meaning - not the meaning that is derived from ends, but the meaning that is derived from living itself Then whatever you do, in that very doing is your reward.
For example, I am speaking to you. I am enjoying it. For thirty-five years I have been continually speaking for no purpose. With this much speaking I could have become a president, a prime minister; there was no problem in it. With so much speaking I could have done anything. What have I gained?
But I was not out for gain in the first place - I enjoyed.
This was my painting, this was my song, this was my poetry.
Just those moments when I am speaking and I feel the communion happening, those moments when I see your eyes flare up, when I see that you have understood the point... they give me such tremendous joy that I cannot think anything can be added to it.
Action, any action done totally, with every fiber of your being in it.... For example, if you bind my hands I cannot speak, although there is no relationship be tween hands and speaking. I have tried.
One day, I told a friend who was staying with me, "Tie both my hands." He said, "What?"
I said, "Just tie them, and then ask a question."
He said, "I am always afraid to stay with you, you are crazy. And now if somebody sees that I have tied your hands... and now I am asking a question and you are answering it, what will they think?"
I said, "You forget all that. Close the door and do what I say."
He did, because he had to do it; otherwise I would have thrown him out, saying, "And being my guest, you cannot even do this simple thing for me? Then don't bother me at all, just get lost." So he tied both my hands to two pillars, and he asked me a question. I tried in every possible way, but my hands were tied; I could not say anything to him. I simply said, "Please untie my hands."
He said, "But I cannot understand what this is all about."
I said, "It is simply that I was trying to see whether I could speak without my hands. I cannot."
What to say about hands... if I put this leg on the other side, and the other leg on top of it - which is the way I sit in my room when I am not speaking.... If I have to put it under the other leg, then something goes wrong, then I am not at home. So the way I am sitting, the way my hands move, is a total involvement. It is not only speaking from a part of me; everything in me is involved in it. And only then can you find the intrinsic value of any act. Otherwise you have to live the life of tension, stretched between here and there, this and that faraway goal.
The pseudo-religions say, "Of course, this life is only a means so you cannot be involved in it totally; it is only a ladder you have to pass. It is not something valuable, just a stepping-stone. The real thing is there, far away." And so it always remains faraway. Wherever you will be, your real thing will be always faraway. So wherever you will be, you will be missing life.
I don't have a goal.
When I was in the university I used to go for a walk in the morning, evening, anytime.... Morning and evening absolutely, but if there was another time available, I would also go for a walk then, because the place and the trees and the road were so beautiful, and so covered with big trees from both sides that even in the hottest summer there was shadow on the road.
One of my professors who loved me very much used to watch me: that some days I would go on this road, some days on that road. There was a pentagon in front of the gate of the university, five roads going in five directions, and he lived just near there; his were the last quarters near the gate.
He asked me, "Sometimes you go on this road, sometimes on that road. Where do you go?"
I said, "I don't go anywhere. I just go for walking." If you are going somewhere then certainly you will go on the same road; but I was not going anywhere, so it was just whimsical. I just came to the pentagon and I just used to stand there for a little while. That was making him more puzzled: how I figure it out, what I figure out standing there?
I used to figure out where the wind was blowing. Whichever way the wind was blowing I would also go; that was my way. "So sometimes," he would say, "You have been going on the same road for a week continually; sometimes you go only one day, and the next day you change. What do you do there? And how do you decide?"
And I told him, "It is very simple. I stand there and I feel' which road is alive - where the wind is blowing. I go with the wind. And it is beautiful going with the wind. I jog, I run, whatsoever I want to do. And the wind is there, cool, available. So I just figure it out."
Life is not going somewhere.
It is just going for a morning walk.
Choose wherever your whole being is flowing, where the wind is blowing. Move on that path as far as it leads, and never expect to find anything.
Hence I have never been surprised, because I have never been expecting anything - so there is no question of surprise: everything is surprise. And there is no question of disappointment: everything is appointment.
If it happens, good; if it does not happen, even better.
Once you understand that moment-to-moment living is what religion is all about, then you will understand why I say drop this idea of God, heaven and hell, and all that crap.
Just drop it completely because this load of so many concepts is preventing you from living moment to moment.
Live life in an organic unity.
No act should be partial, you should be involved fully in it.
A Zen story. A very curious king, wanting to know about what these people go on doing in the monasteries, asked, "Who is the most famous Master?" Finding out that the most famous Master of those days was Nan-in, he went to his monastery. When he entered the monastery he found a woodcutter. He asked him, "The monastery is big, where can I find Master Nan-in?"
The man thought with closed eyes for a few moments, and he said, "Right now you cannot find him."
The king said, "Why can't I find him right now? Do you understand that I am the emperor?"
He said, "That is irrelevant. Whoever you are, that is your business, but I assure you you cannot find him right now."
"Is he out?" asked the king.
"No, he is in," replied the woodcutter.
The king said, "But is he involved in some work, in some ceremony, or in isolation? What is the matter The man said, "He is right now cutting wood in front of you. And when I am cutting wood, I am just a woodcutter. Right now where is Master Nan-in? I am just a woodcutter. You will have to wait."
The emperor thought, "This man is mad, simply mad. Master Nan-in cutting wood?" He went ahead, and left the woodcutter behind. Nan-in again continued to cut wood. The winter was coming close, and wood had to be stored. The emperor could wait, but winter wouldn't wait.
The emperor waited one hour, two hours - and then from the back door came Master Nan-in, in his Master's robe. The king looked at him. He looked like the woodcutter, but the king bowed down.
The Master sat there, and he asked, "Why have you taken so much trouble to come here?"
The king said, "There are many things, but those questions I will ask later on. First I want to know:
are you the same man who was cutting wood?"
He said, "Now I am Master Nan-in. I am not the same man; the total configuration has changed.
Now here I am sitting as Master Nan-in. You ask as a disciple, with humbleness, receptivity. Yes, a man very, very similar to me was cutting wood there, but that was a woodcutter. His name is also Nan-In."
The king got so puzzled that he left without asking the questions he had come to ask. When he went back to his court, his advisers asked what happened. He said, "What happened it is better to forget about. This Master Nan-In seems to be absolutely insane! He was cutting wood; he said, 'I am a woodcutter and Master Nan-In is not available right now.' Then the same man came in a Master's robe and I asked him, and he said, 'A similar man was cutting the wood, but he was the woodcutter; I am the Master.'"
One of the men in the court said, "You have missed the point of what he was trying to say to you - that when cutting wood he is totally involved in it. Nothing is left which can claim to be Master Nan-In; nothing is left out, he is just a woodcutter."
And in Zen language, which is difficult to translate, he was saying not exactly that "I am a woodcutter,"
he was saying, "Right now it is wood cutting not a woodcutter - because there is not even space for the cutter." It is simply wood being chopped, and he is so totally in it, it is only wood cutting: wood cutting is happening. And when he comes as a Master, of course, it is a different configuration. The same parts are now in a different accord. So with each action you are a different person, if you get totally involved in it.
Buddha used to say, "It is just as the flame of the candle looks the same, but is never the same even for two consecutive moments. The flame is continuously becoming smoke, new flame is coming up. The old flame is going out, the new flame is coming up. The candle that you had burned in the evening is not the same candle that you will blow out in the morning. This is not the same flame that you had started; that has gone far away, nobody knows where. It is just a similarity of the flame that gives you the illusion that it is the same flame."
The same is true about your being.
It is a flame.
It is a fire.
Each moment your being is changing, and if you get involved totally in anything then you will see the change happening in you - each moment a new being, and a new world, and a new experience.
Everything suddenly becomes so full of newness that you never see the same thing again.
Then naturally, life becomes a continuous mystery, a continuous surprise.
On each step a new world opens up, of tremendous meaning, of incredible ecstasy.
When death comes, death too is not seen as something separate from life. It is part of life, not an end of life. It is just like other happenings: love had happened, birth had happened. You were a child, and then childhood disappeared; you became a young man, and then the young man disappeared; you became an old man, and then the old man disappeared - how many things have been happening!
Why don't you allow death also to happen just like other incidents?
And actually the person who has lived moment to moment lives death too, and finds that all the moments of life can be put on one side and the one moment of death can be put on the other side, and still it weighs more. In every way it weighs more because it is the whole life condensed; and something more added to it, which was never available to you. A new door opening, with the whole life condensed: a new dimension opening.
Okay. You can ask your second question.
ON THE FACE OF AMERICAN MONEY IS THE PHRASE, "IN GOD WE TRUST." THE PRIESTS HAVE LIED AND SAID THAT THERE IS A GOD. THE POLITICIANS HAVE LIED AND SAID THAT THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION AND CIVIL RIGHTS WOULD ENSURE SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL. HOW CAN I NOW TRUST IN A RELIGIONLESS RELIGION?
I have never asked you to trust in a religionless religion. How can I ask you? - because that very asking has been religion up to now. To boycott it I am calling it religionless religion, using an obvious contradiction. But the reason is clear.
Calling it religionless means that I will not ask you for any faith, any belief, any trust.
If trust arises in you, that is a totally different thing.
The religions ask that you believe in one God, one messiah, one book. I do not ask you; but how can I prevent you if trust arises in you? Then trust is nothing but a kind of love. It is not belief, it is not faith, because belief has to be forced to repress doubts; faith has to be continually indoctrinated in you. You hear it so many times that slowly slowly you start forgetting that you have only heard it, that you don't know anything about it.
You have a tendency - and a comfortable tendency - to forget your ignorance and cling to your knowledge. Faith is conditioned knowledge given by others to you, forced upon you. But slowly, slowly, it goes so deep in your mind, it becomes part of you. You start thinking it is "my faith". Trust is neither.
Nobody can ask for trust, just as nobody can ask for love.
Can I ask anybody, "Love me"? The person will say, "But how?" If love arises, it arises; if it does not arise then what can be done? Yes, you can pretend, as the whole world is pretending. Trust can also be pretended if asked for. I am not asking. I want you to be completely saved from any kind of pretension, hypocrisy. But if trust arises I cannot help it, you cannot help it. Nobody can do anything about it if it arises. You suddenly feel a new heartbeat in you - what can you do?
In my religionless religion, trust is not required.
Trust is not demanded, not ordered, not commanded.
And we are all helpless about it; nothing can be done about it when it happens. It is so beautiful that who would like to miss it when it happens?
Yes, the politicians have deceived people, the religions have deceived people. And I have lived my whole life condemned by all the religions and all the politicians, for the simple reason that I was exposing them.
This is very strange. The question says that on the American dollar it says, "In God we trust.... My God! On the dollar you say, "In God we trust" - then what is this attorney general of Oregon doing?
He should declare America an illegal country! - because this is mixing state and religion.
If Rajneeshpuram is declared an illegal city... and we have not done anything like that: saying, "In God we trust" on the dollar, you are mixing God with money, mixing state with religion. This attorney general of Oregon can make history. He should declare the whole American nation illegal.
They use the Bible in the courts for taking the oath - that is mixing law with religion, state with religion - or they ask, "In the name of God...." All this mixing is happening, except in Rajneeshpuram where there is no mixing happening. In fact, we don't have any God to mix!
These people are strange, and it looks as if they don't think what they are doing, what they are saying. There seems to be no coordination in their mind; otherwise.... The president of America goes to a certain church; before he takes the oath of the president he goes to be blessed by his church priest. Now what business has a priest to bless the president, and why? The president should start from the very beginning mixing church and state?
Why does the president of America go to the Vatican to meet the pope? As president he should not go. He can go as Ronald Reagan, but then he should not have any facility that is provided for a president. But he goes as the president. And still we are blamed that we are mixing religion and state. We don't have anything that can be mixed with the state!
I am against politics. How can you mix what is here with politics? I condemn politics. My whole life I have been condemning the politicians. I see them as criminals who are clever enough not to be caught, clever enough to cheat people by giving them false hopes, phony utopias. We don't have any politics here. And we don't have any religion that they think is religion.
My religion is a way of life.
It is not a way of prayer, it is a way of living.
Can you mix love with state? How will you mix them? They are unmixable. And this phenomenon that is happening here is of the same quality as love. We love life, and we want to live it in its fullness.
Who cares about your politics and your state?
The mayor of Rajneeshpuram is not a politician. It is just because of your stupid categories, that a city should have a mayor, that we have a mayor. It you allow us to be a city without a mayor, we will be immensely happy; and our mayor will be immensely happy, because whenever I look at him, he feels ashamed, he looks downwards because the poor man has to be in the position of a politician - just a necessary evil. And it is just because of your constitution and your legal structure.
We can't change your constitution and your legal structure, so we decided: okay, let one sannyasin fall into the gutter. Let him become the mayor, what else to do? K.D. is suffering in the gutter, and we will pull him out. We will not leave him there forever, because he has not come here to become a mayor! Nor is anybody concerned in becoming the attorney general of Oregon or the governor of Oregon or the president of America. Nobody is interested at all.
We are interested simply in being left alone.
But these people are strange, they cannot leave us alone. They are afraid, they are worried. They are suspicious: what is happening, what is going on? They are not even courageous enough to come here and see; just on rumors, public opinion... and that public has also not come here. And these people go on deciding things!
The city of Rajneeshpuram the attorney general has declared illegal. This is a unique situation; in fact a unique city in the whole world, because there is no city in the whole world which is illegal, and there never has been before. Either a city is a city, or it is not a city. But an illegal city... that's something that is absolutely unique!
But leave all this nonsense to these people. They should also create a post in Oregon: the Idiot General of Oregon, and he should be given all these kinds of things to do. Then one can understand that it is just humor; one can laugh at it and enjoy it. But they are very serious people; they are not doing these things out of a sense of humor. And my religion has a basic quality: a sense of humor.
If out of sheer being with me, with my people, a trust is born in you... and it is not trust in God, it is not trust in somebody particular; it is just a quality, unaddressed.
There is no address on the envelope: "In God we trust." Who are you to trust in God? On what authority do you trust in God? - you don't know God. You are dragging God also to the same status as a dollar, making him a thing of the marketplace. And you cannot find anything more dirty than currency, because it moves in so many hands.
I have not touched any note for thirty-five years. It is the dirtiest thing. Not that I am against money but it is the most dirty thing. All kinds of people... somebody may have cancer, somebody may have tuberculosis, somebody may have AIDS... and who knows what he has been doing with his notes?
Anything is possible, because people are so perverted, they can do anything with the bank notes. I said, "I am not going to touch them" - and I stopped touching them. And on that note you write, "In God we trust"? Please forgive God and forget all about Him.
The trust that arises in my sannyasins is simply a quality of their heart; they just start trusting. It is not trust in something. They start trusting; even when they are deceived, they trust: knowing that this man has deceived them, they trust. It is not a question of whom, it is just their aroma.
In the university I had to live for a few days with a roommate. I had never lived with anybody but there was no space and the vice-chancellor said to me, "For a few days you manage and I will find some other place for you. I can understand that you will not like anybody to be in the room, and it is good for the other fellow also that he is not in your room, because you may drive him crazy. I will arrange it."
But before he arranged it, it took four, five months. And that man was a very good boy; he just had one problem - just one, so you cannot say that it was a big trouble - he was a kleptomaniac. Just for sheer joy he would steal my things. I had to search for my things in his suitcases, and I would find them, but I never said anything to him.
He was puzzled. He would use my clothes. When I was not in the room he would just take anything.
He would take my shawl and go for a walk, so when I came back the shawl would be gone. I would say, "It will come back, soon it will return." To save money from being taken by him I used to deposit it with him and say, "You keep this money, because if I keep it you will take it anyway. And then it will be difficult to know how much you have taken and how to ask you for it. It looks awkward. You just take it. It is this much: you take it!"
He said, "You are clever. This way I have to return the whole money whenever you need it."
But after four, five months... because whenever and wherever he was, with whomsoever he lived - his family or friends, or in the hostels - everybody was condemning him. But I never said anything to him - instead of looking into my suitcases I just looked into his. It was simple! It was not very different; my suitcases were in this corner, his suitcases were in that corner.
He said, "You are strange. I have been stealing your things and you never say anything."
I said, "It is a very small problem. It can't create distrust in me for a human being. And what trouble is there? Rather than going to my suitcase, I simply go to your suitcase, and in your suitcase I find whatsoever I need."
He said, "That's why I was wondering... that I go on stealing from you, you never say anything, and those things disappear from my suitcases again! So I was thinking that perhaps you also are a kleptomaniac."
I said, "That is perfectly okay. If you stop taking from my suitcases, I will stop taking from your suitcases. And remember, in this whole game you have been losing."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "I take a few things that are not mine" - because he was stealing from everywhere, other rooms, professors' houses; anywhere he would find any window open, he would jump in. And there was no intention of stealing, just the joy of it, just the challenge; an opportunity and challenge that nobody could catch hold of him.
I said, "I will never prevent you. You can go on moving my things, you can move my whole suitcase under your bed; it doesn't matter. In fact I am perfectly happy with you. I am worried now that soon the vice-chancellor is going to give me a single room. Where will I find a person like you? - because you provide so many things which I need. And I trust you perfectly!"