Positive thinking: philosophy for phonies

Fri, 28 December 1984 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
From Ignorance to Innocence
Chapter #:
pm in Lao Tzu Grove
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Question 1:



I am pleased that at least someone was listening, someone was awake, someone was not asleep.

This is what positive philosophy is: you are shocked and I am happy!

But I am not a believer in anything at all.

Belief as such is against my way of looking at things.

Belief is a blind man's groping in the dark. I do not believe in anything, I do not disbelieve in anything - because both are belief systems. Either I know or I don't know. I am absolutely clear about it You are saying that you are a "firm believer. What does it mean? A firm believer - why have you used the word "firm? There must be some infirmity hiding behind it. Is not just being a believer enough? You know it is not; hence you have to add something more, make it more solid, more strong. But whatever you do, a belief is a belief, and can never become knowing. Your firm believing simply proves that your doubting is very firm. A firm doubter needs a firm believing. An ordinary doubter simply believes.

Belief is to cover something. If the doubt is too big then you have to stretch the belief into a firm belief. You have to repress your doubt very strongly, because you know that if it is not repressed strongly it will throw off the cover of belief and you will be naked before your own eyes - hence the shock. The shock is not irrelevant.

If I criticize Mother Teresa, why should you be shocked? Either you see that what I am saying is right and there is no question of shock, or you see that what I am saying is wrong; then too there is no question of shock. From where comes the shock?

Shock needs two things: one part of you - the deeper part of you, the repressed part of you - sees the truth of what I am saying, and the repressor part of you does not want to see it. This conflict creates the shock.

You may be a firm believer in the philosophy of positive thinking, but I don't think you understand what the philosophy of positive thinking means.

First, the philosophy of positive thinking means being untruthful; it means being dishonest. It means seeing a certain thing and yet denying what you have seen; it means deceiving yourself and others.

Positive thinking is the only bullshit philosophy that America has contributed to human thought - nothing else. Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, and the Christian priest, Vincent Peale - all these people have filled the whole American mind with this absolutely absurd idea of a positive philosophy.

And it appeals particularly to mediocre minds.

Dale Carnegie's book, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, has been sold in numbers just next to the Christian Bible. No other book has been able to reach that popularity.

The Christian Bible should not be a competitor in fact, because it is more or less given free, forced on people. But Dale Carnegie's book people have been purchasing; it has not been given to you free. And it has created a certain kind of ideology which has given birth to many books of a similar kind. But to me it is nauseating.

The very idea that you want to influence people is the idea of a salesman, and that's what Dale Carnegie was - salesman turned philosopher. It has happened many times. Just recently Werner Erhard, the founder of EST.... He was a salesman of encyclopedias, dictionaries, but in trying to sell enclyclopedias and dictionaries he became aware of salesmanship. Then why bother about encyclopedias? Why not sell ideas directly? - which are a more invisible commodity.

People can't see an idea and yet they go on purchasing it. And once you have paid two hundred and fifty dollars for a certain idea which you can't see, you have to pretend that you have got it; otherwise people will think you are a fool. Two hundred and fifty dollars, and you have not "got it"...? It is very simple.

In the East there is an old story. A king caught his prime minister fooling around with his wife.

Naturally he was mad. In those days, this was a common punishment: he cut off the nose of the prime minister. And the nose was cut off only when somebody was caught fooling around with somebody else's wife, so that became a signboard. Wherever you went, your missing nose went ahead of you as a declaration.

But the man was a politician, he was a prime minister. He simply escaped from his kingdom to another kingdom and entered the other kingdom as a saint. Now, nobody can doubt a saint. The nose was certainly missing, but to doubt a saint is to commit a sin. But some curious people asked him, "What happened to your nose?"

And the saint smiled; he said, "That's a secret. It is a certain technique to attain to the ultimate truth.

But you have to lose your nose: the nose represents the ego." He is on the right lines: he is creating a philosophy - people's egos are written on their noses. The crowd thought that what he was saying was significant. The nose represents the ego, and the ego is the only barrier between God and man.

There must be some technique that if you remove the nose, the ego is removed and you meet the ultimate truth, you realize it.

One idiot immediately was ready. The politician-turned-saint called him in the night, alone, because it was an absolutely private matter. Before he cut off the nose of the man he said, "When I cut off your nose you keep your eyes closed. When the nose is removed I will say, 'Open your eyes,' and you will see God standing before you." The nose was cut off, and the saint said, "Now you can open your eyes: God is standing before you."

The man opened his eyes - there was nobody. He said, "But I don't see anybody."

The saint said, "Now it is your problem. If you don't see God, people will think you are an idiot. Do you think I see Him? I don't see Him either, but now try positive thinking. What is the gain in being proved an idiot? Say that you have got it."

Werner Erhard may think that he has created the philosophy of EST. That is not so. It was created thousands of years before by this politician who cut off the nose of that idiot. That was the first EST graduate.

The idiot thought it over and he said, "That seems to be the right thing; yes, I see it."

The saint said, "You have also become a saint. From tomorrow you start spreading the philosophy by word of mouth. It was just as Werner Erhard has been doing: no need to advertise in the newspapers and the magazines; no need - just by word of mouth. It is more impressive, more alive:

there is an eyewitness. An advertisement in a newspaper may be just not true, but the man with the nose missing, smiling, radiant with the realization of the ultimate truth....

The next day people saw there were two saints now. And the number started increasing by the same strategy. First your nose is cut off, then the alternative: either you prove yourself an idiot, or you become a saint. Now who is going to choose to be an idiot? Even an idiot cannot be that idiotic - when he can become a saint so easily. And now there is nothing left, he has to become a saint. It seems to be perfectly right - people are respectful, and the crowd around the saints is increasing, and the saints are increasing....

Even the king of that kingdom became interested. He asked his prime minister... the prime minister said, "You wait a little, because I know this man - he was the prime minister of the neighboring kingdom. I don't think that he has attained ultimate truth, he has simply lost his nose." Politicians understand the language of politicians easily. He said, "You wait. Let me enquire of the other king, and investigate the whole thing before you lose your nose and realize God. Give me just a little time."

He enquired of the other king. He said, "That man is really a nasty man. It is my fault because I cut off his nose. I should have cut off his head. I never thought that he would do such a thing as cutting the noses off thousands of people. Every night hundreds of people are turned into awakened souls, enlightened people, God-realized."

He got the whole information and then he said to his king, "This is the information I have got. Now I will invite the great saint to the palace and give him a good beating."

The saint was invited and of course he was very happy; and all the other saints also were very happy that now even the king was becoming interested in the positive philosophy. That's what he was saying: "This is simply positive philosophy. Now, bothering about the missing nose is a negative approach. It is gone; what is the point of all this crying over spilled milk? Why not make something positive out of it? And I am giving you the ultimate truth, just for the price of a nose.

They were all happy. They all went and waited outside the palace. The great sage entered - by now he had become a great sage. The prime minister closed the doors. He had two wrestlers, strong men, there, and they started beating the man. The sage said, "What are you doing?"

The prime minister said, "Now tell the truth, otherwise the beating will continue. We will not kill you, but we will not allow you to live either. We will keep you hanging between death and life. It is better that you say it quickly."

Seeing the situation he said, "Okay, the truth is that my king has cut off my nose because I was fooling around with his wife. Now what do you suggest? What should I have done? In this situation, with a nose missing, wherever I went I would have been condemned, boycotted. So I found this positive philosophy. In the same position, wouldn't you have done the same?"

The prime minister said, "Of course I would have done the same - but now it is time that you move from this kingdom, because even my king is becoming interested, and I don't want his nose to be removed by you and him to become a sage. You move from this country to another. The world is large; there are fools everywhere, and you will find them everywhere. Right now, already you have a great following."

When Werner Erhard or people like him found that they could sell encyclopedias, worthless encyclopedias which nobody is going to read, and nobody is going to look into.... Encyclopedias people simply keep for show, in their study or in their sitting room. They look beautiful. They are not to be read, they are to be looked at. If you can sell encyclopedias - and people are so foolish that they will purchase useless books, highly-praised but meaningless books, at a high cost - why not sell ideas? Once you know the simple technique of salesmanship you can sell anything.

Positive thinking is just deceiving people.

If influencing people and winning friends becomes your ideology, you will have to do two things. One is you will have to act, behave the way people like you to act and behave. That's the simple way to influence them, there is no other way.

The whole philosophy can be condensed into a simple sentence: if you want people to be influenced by you, just behave the way they think is the right way to behave. You prove to be their ideal, which they also want to be but have not been able to be yet. Of course, you cannot become anybody else's ideal, but you can pretend. You will become a hypocrite.

And if you are going to influence many people, then of course you will have to have many personalities, many masks, because each person is influenced by a different mask.

If you want to influence a Hindu, you have to have a different kind of personality than when you are trying to influence a Christian. To Christians, Jesus crucified on the cross is the symbol of the greatest sacrifice anybody can make to redeem humanity.

To the Hindus, crucifixion simply means this man must have committed a great sin in the past. Their philosophy is of karma and its consequence. You cannot be just crucified without any karma on your part. You must have acted in evil ways, and this is the outcome of that. The crucifixion of Jesus does not prove to the Hindu or the Jaina or the Buddhist that he is a messiah.

But to the Christian, Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu - nobody seems to be comparable to Jesus. In fact to a Christian mind they all look very selfish: they are just working for their own redemption while Jesus is working for the redemption of the whole of humanity. A man who is interested in his own ultimate realization is obviously the most selfish man in the world. What selfishness is possible which can go beyond this selfishness?

If he renounces the world that is selfish, because he simply wants his soul to be freed from the wheel of life and death. He wants to meet the universal spirit of God, or he wants to enter nirvana and disappear into the cosmos where there is no suffering, where there is only bliss, eternal bliss.

And this man does not bother about anybody else. You call him a saint?an incarnation of God? - a tirthankara? No, not to the Christian; that is not appealing.

If you want to influence many people you will have to have many personalities, many masks.

You will have to continuously pretend that which you are not, and you will have to hide that which you are.

Now this is what makes a man phony.

Dale Carnegie's whole philosophy is for phonies.

In fact, the word "phony" is also a contribution of America. Strangely, it exactly means what personality means. In Greek drama the actors used masks and they spoke through the mask.

Sona means sound, and sound coming from a mask is called persona in Greek - it is not the real man, but the mask. You don't know who is behind it; all that you hear is the sound, and you see a mask. The mask is a mask, it cannot speak. And the one who can speak you don't see; he is hiding.

From persona comes the English word "personality". And phony is exactly the same.

Since telephones came into existence, you can hear people's voices through the telephone, and you don't see the person. And of course the voice also is not exactly the same; coming through wires or by wireless much is changed. It is phony; "phony" comes from "phone". Strangely, "persona" and "phony" mean exactly the same. You don't see who is speaking, you only hear the voice. That too has gone through a change, through the mechanism; it is not exactly the same voice.

Dale Carnegie's philosophy creates phonies, but the real purpose is to influence people. Why? To win friends, but why? What is the need? Two things have to be understood. First, influencing people is only a means to win friends. The word win has to be underlined. It has the whole of politics in it.

The more people are under your influence, the more powerful you are. Your power depends on how many people are supportive of you, how many people you have influenced so much that they will be ready to do anything for you.

Hence, the politician speaks in a language which is always vague - you can interpret it the way you like - so that many people can be influenced. If he is very clear and what he says is absolutely scientific - without any vagueness, certain; if it has only one meaning, then perhaps he will succeed in annoying people.

That's what I have been doing my whole life - how to lose friends, how to create enemies.... If somebody wants to learn it, they can learn it from me. And the reason is that I don't want to influence anybody. The very idea is ugly, and against humanity. To influence means to interfere, to trespass, to drag you on a path which is not yours, to make you do things which you have never thought of before.

To influence a person is the most violent act in the world.

I have never tried to influence anybody.

It is another thing if somebody saw some truth in what I was saying or I was being, but it was not my effort to influence him. If, in spite of me, he was able to see something, then the whole responsibility is his.

Jesus says to his people, "On the judgment day I will sort out my sheep and tell God that these are my people - they have to be saved. For others I am not concerned." If there is something like a judgment day - there is none, but just for the argument's sake - if there is something like a judgment day, and if I am to do the sorting out, I will not be able to find a single sheep, because I have never influenced anybody. And when you influence somebody, certainly you become the shepherd and that person becomes just a sheep. You are reducing human beings to sheep; you are taking their humanity away. In the name of saving them you are destroying them.

Don't be influenced by anybody.

Don't be impressed by anybody.

Look, see, be aware - and choose.

But remember, the responsibility is yours.

You cannot say, "Lord, I followed you - now save me."

Never follow anybody, because that's how you go astray from yourself Dale Carnegie started this whole school of positive philosophy, positive thinking: Don't see the negative part, don't see the darker side. But by your not seeing it, do you think it disappears? You are just befooling yourself. You cannot change reality. The night will still be there; you can think that it is daytime for twenty-four hours, but by your thinking it, it is not going to be light twenty-four hours a day.

The negative is as much part of life as the positive.

They balance each other.

After Dale Carnegie, the great name in the tradition of this positive thinking is Napoleon Hill. THINK AND GROW RICH is his greatest contribution to the world - a beautifully written book, but all crap.

Think and grow rich... you don't have to do anything, you only have to think in absolutely positive terms and riches will start flowing towards you. If they don't come, that simply means that you have not been thinking absolutely positively.

So these are beautiful games in which you cannot defeat the man who is proposing the game. He has the key in his hands. If you succeed by chance, then he succeeds because his philosophy - think and grow rich - has succeeded. You have been thinking and thinking and thinking and positively thinking that dollars are showering on you - these are not snowflakes but dollars showering on you - and suddenly your uncle dies and leaves you a big inheritance. Naturally, positive thinking works!

But if you don't succeed... and ninety-nine percent of the time you are not going to succeed - you know perfectly well that your positive thinking is not absolutely positive; you know that there is doubt.

Once is a while you open your eyes to see whether they are dollars or just snowflakes. You see they are just snowflakes, and you again close your eyes and start thinking that dollars are showering.

But the doubt is there, that these really are snowflakes. Whom are you trying to befool? All these thoughts are going on: "This is just nonsense, I shouldn't waste my time, I could be earning some dollars; this way I am losing rather than gaining."

But Napoleon Hill writes beautifully and gives examples of how people have succeeded by positive thinking. And you can find people - this world is big enough. For everything you can find an example.

Why one? - you can find hundreds of examples if you just look around and try to find them. And all these people have been doing just that: they find examples, and they place the examples in beautiful poetic prose. And of course you want to be rich, so they exploit your ambition, your desire. They give you such a simple method - and they don't ask anything of you in return.

About Napoleon Hill I remember... he himself was a poor man. That would have been enough proof to disprove his whole philosophy. He became rich by selling the book, THINK AND GROW RICH.

But it was not positive thinking that was making him rich - it was fools around the world who were purchasing the book, it was his work, his labor, his effort. But in the very beginning days, when his book came out, he used to stand in bookstores to persuade people to purchase the book.

And it happened that Henry Ford came in his latest model car and went into the bookshop to find something light to read. And Napoleon Hill did not want to miss this chance. He went forwards with his book and he said, "A great book has just been published - you will be happy with it. And it is not only a book, it is a sure method of success."

Henry Ford looked at the man and said, "Are you the writer of the book?"

Napoleon Hill said proudly, "Yes, I am the writer of the book." And he can be proud: that book he has written is a piece of art. And to create a piece of art out of crap is real mastery.

Henry Ford, without touching the book, just asked one question, "Have you come in your own car or on the bus?"

Napoleon Hill could not understand what he meant. He said, "Of course, I came on the bus."

Henry Ford said, "Look outside. That is my private car, and I am Henry Ford. You are befooling others; you don't have even a private car and you write a book called THINK AND GROW RICH!

And I have grown rich without thinking, so I don't want to bother with it. You think and grow rich! - and when you grow rich then you come to me. That will be the proof. The book is not the proof"

And it is said that Napoleon Hill never could gather up the courage to meet this old man, Henry Ford, again, even though he became a little richer. But compared to Henry Ford he was always a poor man and was bound to remain a poor man, always. But Henry Ford's logic was clear.

Out of these people, one Christian priest, Norman Vincent Peale, has created a positive philosophy.

And he has tried to convert the whole Christian attitude - as if it is a philosophy of positive thinking.

And of course he could have quoted all the religions of the world, but he wants to spread Christianity, so he doesn't take account of any other religions.

And in Jesus you can find.... All the religions have been doing the same harm that Jesus did:

"Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of God" - now Mother Teresa is not saying anything different. Norman Vincent Peale has become a world-famous preacher. His whole standpoint is:

don't look at anything from the negative, critical attitude. Look from the positive, accepting, receptive attitude. And he says that if you do it, you transform the nature of the object - which is absolutely wrong.

Just by saying, "Blessed are the poor because theirs is the kingdom of God," you don't change poverty. Otherwise in two thousand years Christian priests would have made poverty disappear.

Poverty goes on growing, the blessed people go on growing.

In fact, there will be so many blessed people that in the kingdom of God, shared by all these blessed people, they will again be poor; they are not going to get much share in it. All these shareholders in the kingdom of God will make God also poor. It will be a company of poor shareholders and directors - the directors of course must be the beggars who are poorer than the poor.

Two thousand years of continuously teaching... has it changed the nature of poverty? No. It has done only one thing - it has killed the revolutionary spirit in the poor. Poverty remains in its own place and goes on growing in leaps and bounds.

But it has done one thing certainly: it has taken away the guts of the poor man. His rebellious spirit has been poisoned. And on one thing only I agree with Karl Marx - that religion is nothing but opium for the poor people. I have to agree with him because that's what all the religions in the world have done. They have given opium, a drug, so you can have beautiful dreams.

In India it is a common routine. In Indian villages poverty is such that if only the man goes to work, it is not enough; the wife also has to go. It is against the Indian idea which is that women should not go to work; their place is the home, and they have enough work there. But even if it goes against the Indian culture, the Indian civilization, the poverty is so great that just the man earning cannot feed the whole family - the woman has to go.

And the woman may be carrying a small child, because Indian women are constantly either pregnant or getting ready to be pregnant again; meanwhile they raise the other child. They have to carry the child to the place where they are working, maybe on the road, making the road, or in the field or in the garden, or in construction, anywhere. But what to do with the child? They will be continuously at work and the child will be Lying down by the side of the road.

So the routine method is that they give a little opium to the child. All over India that is done, even though opium is now illegal; but nothing can be done about it. And everybody understands that that is the only way. The child remains hungry but happy. Just a little opium and for six to eight hours he is floating in the lotus paradise. He will not cry, he will not weep; he will not disturb the mother.

Religions have done the same to the whole of humanity.

Be hungry, be uneducated, be sick, suffer every kind of misery possible - but take it positively.

No. I do not believe in any philosophy of positive thinking; nor do I believe in the opposite, in the philosophy of negative thinking - because both are there. The positive and the negative make one whole. My philosophy is holistic - neither positivist, nor negativist, but holistic, realistic. You see the whole in its totality, whatever it is. Good and bad, day and night, life and death, they both are there.

My approach is to see exactly what is the case.

There is no need to project any philosophy on it.

Mother Teresa says to these people in Bhopal, - "Take it positively." Two thousand people dead!certainly through some mistake of some lazy Indian. And it has been happening in many places all over India; it is not a singular case. Bridges fall down after millions of rupees have been put into years of construction. The first day the train passes by... and with the bridge, the train and the passengers all go down into the river - but take it positively.

Dams continually go on flooding thousands of miles because they break. India goes on borrowing money from all over the world, from the world bank and from other sources, to make new dams.

And with all the engineers and all that expertise, what happens? It does not happen anywhere else in the world, it happens only in India! India is a very positive country because the people who are responsible are not punished; otherwise it would stop.

The contractor should be punished when a bridge kills thousands of people and destroys the labor of thousands of people and makes the country borrow more and more - which India will never be able to repay. That is absolutely clear, because how are you going to pay it back? Slowly slowly, you are becoming slaves again - economic slaves.

Political slavery is gone; now economic slavery is coming from the back door. If you cannot pay money, then you will have to substitute it by something. If you owe to America, or if you owe to the Soviet Union, then you will have to give them bases for their military forces. You have to, because there is no other way to pay them back. And why do these countries go on giving to these poor countries, knowing perfectly well that they cannot get it back? In fact they don't want to get it back!

This is a new form of slavery.

People don't understand that forms go on changing but things remain the same. Political slavery became costly, very costly. To those who were the masters, it became more costly to have a slave country than not to be bothered with slave countries. That was more economically profitable. Leave these poor countries politically free - but what are they going to do with their economy? They will beg from you, and then you can exploit them economically. And in fact that is the real exploitation.

Political slavery was useful because you were powerful enough to exploit them economically.

All such exploitation is economic - if you were politically powerful then of course you could exploit them economically. By the end of the second world war it became clear that it was no longer feasible, no longer economically useful to have political slavery in the world. But the real thing was economic exploitation. Drop the political slavery, influence people, make friends - and go on exploiting them economically the way you were doing before. Now you will do even better because you are friends, you are helping in every possible way... but for what reason are you helping?

Russia goes on pouring money into India. In Russia itself there is poverty; they are not too worried about that poverty, they are more concerned to create factories in India, steel plants in India. Go on giving as much money and expertise as India asks, because soon they will be so much in debt that while politically they can remain free, it will make no difference - your armies, your military bases will be inside their country; they will have to give in to you. Their political freedom will be just paper freedom: underneath they will be slaves again.

In India nobody is punished for all these things which go on happening. In India there are really miracles that happen. They have five-year plans just like Russia used to have five-year plans. In those five-year plans so many dams have to be made, so many roads, so many bridges, and the country is given a great hope that within five years everything will be changed: poverty will be gone, every village will have a school, a hospital, and everything.

And on paper these things do happen. You can see the road has been made, on the map. The contract has been signed, the contractor has taken the money, the engineers have been working, the laborers have been paid, the machines have been purchased. Five years of work and the road is ready. The road is even inaugurated by a great leader - and there is no road!

You see the picture of the leader in the newspaper, inaugurating the road. They have made just a small piece for the inauguration, so that a small piece of road is shown in the picture. And the leader is inaugurating it, cutting a ribbon with the scissors, and people are clapping all around. And it is a miracle! If you go just one furlong ahead, there is no road - and the road was going to be one hundred miles in length. It is non-existent.

Great miracles! But take it positively, and don't complain against anybody, otherwise everybody will be caught: the leader who inaugurated the road will be caught and asked, "What road have you inaugurated? Where is it?"

The minister who gave the contract must have been bribed. The contractor must have taken the major portion of the money that was going to make the bridge, and everything else is fictitious.

Engineers have been paid, workers have been paid; for years the work goes on, and reports go on coming into the files that the work is going well, and the road is coming along, and it will be ready even before the time set for it.

It can be ready any day; the way it is going it can be ready any day. And then the great leader comes to inaugurate it, and people are clapping because they believe in positive philosophy. They know the road goes only one furlong, but still they are clapping because a great leader has come, and they have all been given money to clap Praise the leader, wave flags to welcome him. And these pictures will be the proof. All these people have to be punished.

And Mother Teresa says to those poor people, "Don't complain." Whom is she going to save? The criminals?

Yes, I use the word "criminals", because I don't know anything worse than that. Sinners I cannot call them, because I don't believe in sin. But they are criminals. If it is the carelessness of one person who did not lock the plant correctly, and it kills two thousand people....

And this is a government report of two thousand people killed. Whenever there is a government report, particularly from India, multiply it by five and you will be almost right. If they say two thousand people have died, that means at least ten thousand people have died. If they say one hundred thousand people have been seriously injured, don't believe their numbers - at least five hundred thousand people must have been injured. Who is going to count? The government officials reduce it as much as possible so that there is no negativity in people, and positive philosophy goes on living.

And then they call in these people like Mother Teresa who say, "Don't complain." Why?

Then what about Adolf Hitler's gas chambers? Take it positively - and yes, if you want to take it positively, it can be argued in a very positive way: those millions of Jews that evaporated in the chambers, the gas chambers of Adolf Hitler.... Now think positively. If they had lived they may have been poor. They may have suffered any kind of disease, tuberculosis. cancer. And they were all Jews, so you can understand they would have suffered from AIDS, because Jews are the oldest homosexuals in the world. And it is not that I am saying it, I am simply quoting the Old Testament.

Even God could not take it positively! He had to destroy two cities, Gomorrah and Sodom, in the Old Testament. It is not written by me. God had to destroy both the cities completely! Why? Sodom became so famous that now we have the word "sodomy" because of Sodom. People were making love to animals - that's what sodomy is. Now sodomy means making love to animals, but it comes from the name of the city, Sodom. People were making love to all kinds of animals.

And Gomorrah - just the sound of the name is enough to give you an idea what else must have been happening there - homosexuality, sodomy, other kinds of perversions. I have always wondered why people have missed on this name Gomorrah; it is so phonetically connected with some sexual perversion. God had to destroy both cities completely.

God could not take it positively God has never taken anything positively, otherwise why is there hell?

If God takes things positively then criminals He will just hug and kiss and say, "Come on, boys! I was just waiting for you. This paradise is yours because I take things positively. I have read the books of Norman Vincent Peale." But he goes on throwing people in hell. Mother Teresa seems to be very anti-God. But all these religions are in a contradiction.

Here they go on saying one thing, and there they go on saying, "You will be punished. Each sin will be counted, calculated. And you cannot hide anything from God; He will read you just like an open book - there is no way to hide - and accordingly you will be judged." So Christians have judgment day... if God believes in the philosophy of positive thinking, then what is the need of a judgment day?

All are to be forgiven, and whatsoever they have done has to be looked at positively. Then what is the need of a day of judgment? Saints and sinners will be the same, they will receive the same welcome - but that creates trouble.

That is why nobody has raised this question: What about God and His philosophy? If you say that God is going to forgive everybody, then sainthood loses all charm. Then who is going to suffer all the austerities and fasts and prayers, and renounce all the pleasures of life - knowing perfectly well that those who are having all the pleasures here on earth will again have the same pleasures that you will have in heaven? So you are a loser!

And perhaps because your whole life you denied yourself pleasures, you may not be able to enjoy them, because you will be so inhibited that when beautiful girls in the Hindu paradise appear dancing before you.... The saints are certainly bound to close their eyes, just out of habit of millions of lives - for Hindus it is a question of millions of lives.

Gandhi used to have three monkeys just by his side on the table. They were presented to him by a Japanese saint; in fact, four were presented, but the fourth has been missing from all the pictures.

When I went to Gandhi's ashram I asked his son Ramdas, "Where is the fourth monkey?"

He said, "How did you come to know about the fourth monkey? - because when they came, all four were joined together, they were not separate, and immediately the fourth was separated and destroyed. How did you come to know? - because this thing happened long ago."

I said, "I am really an explorer of strange things. Tell me about the fourth."

"But," he said, "it has been completely destroyed. How did you...? Who told you?" - because except Gandhi, Ramdas, his son, and Ba, his mother, nobody knew about it. "We opened the parcel, and we destroyed the fourth."

I said, "That's okay. I was also present."

He said, "You must be joking."

And nowhere is it mentioned that there were four monkeys... but I know because originally those four monkeys were Chinese. They are very traditional, Taoist monkeys, at least three thousand years old, so I knew the fourth was bound to be there. From Taoism they traveled to Japan, and they had never been three. But his whole life he kept those three monkeys by his side; they are still preserved in the Gandhi memorial museum in Delhi. But it is a lie, because the fourth is missing.

One monkey has his hands over his eyes, closing them. "Don't see anything evil" is the message.

The second one has his hands over his ears: "Don't hear anything evil." The third monkey had his hands over his mouth - not to throw a kiss at you, but: "Don't say anything evil." What was the fourth doing so that they destroyed him? The fourth was keeping both his hands over his sexual organ:

"Remain celibate, don't do anything evil." Now, Gandhi was worried that this monkey would create trouble. "Anybody coming will ask what he is doing. And just sitting by my side.... Destroy this one; these three are okay."

All the religions have been teaching these saints to practise austerity but when they are in paradise and have freedom, it is going to be difficult for them, really difficult. The sinners will enjoy paradise; the saints will hide just at the sight of an approaching apsara - that is a young woman that is made available to all in paradise - and there are thousands of beautiful apsaras. You can call them divine call girls... I don't know how to translate that word because in the Christian heaven apsaras don't exist.

What the saints will do is start shaking and feeling nervous and perspiring, and they will close their eyes immediately because that is what they have been doing their whole life.

To make clear the distinction between saint and sinner all the religions had to be "realistic, the way I am telling you to be realistic - to see the wholeness of a thing, the positive and negative.

Now this woman, Mother Teresa, is a bigger criminal than those people who created the calamity of Bhopal, because she is not only trying to cover their laziness, their mistake, their error; she is giving the idea that wherever such a thing happens you just cover it up.

So I say that when millions of Jews are evaporated, Hitler must be doing great, positive work:

perhaps with a smaller population there will be less poverty. And these Jews were the richest people in Germany, so let their money and their riches be distributed. And anyway they are going to die sooner or later, so why not sooner? What could they have done by living? So why make so much fuss? They may have died from a very terrible disease - AlDS, cancer, or something - and Hitler has given them the simplest and the quickest death, a painless death. Look at it positively!

But Mother Teresa will not have the guts to say, "Look at it positively," because the Jews in America who go on giving respect to her will be immediately enemies. She cannot say that.

Why not take communism positively? Stalin killing millions of people - has she ever said to take that positively? It is good: those millions of people are freed from life's miseries, sufferings, troubles. But she will not say that. Communism cannot be taken positively - her master, pope the polack, has just declared that the very idea of class war is a sin. Now, is that taking things positively? Then class war is not a sin but a virtue, if you take it positively.

But why do such an ugly thing to the poor Indians? And your purposes are dear. Your purpose is political: to keep the government happy. Because in India it is a problem.... Many missionaries have been deported from India, and there is constant pressure from the Hindu population that missionaries should be deported from India because they are exploiting poverty and converting people to Christianity - not by argument, because as far as argument is concerned Christianity has nothing compared to eastern religions. They cannot win in any argument; Christianity has no argument at all.

India has had ten thousand years of continual argumentation and nothing else! As far as argument is concerned, nobody can come close to the Indians because they have done only that one thing for ten thousand years - nothing else. They have tried to split hairs, and they have succeeded.

There are books which cannot be translated even today because scholars find that it is impossible to find any western words equivalent to them. For example, Indian logic is impossible to translate - Aristotle is just a pygmy. Indian logic has gone so deep in splitting hairs continually and has created such words because it needed them.

Words are created only when you need them. For example, here you have "snow", "ice", and perhaps one more word I don't know. But ask the Eskimo; he has a dozen words for snow. No other language has a dozen words, but the Eskimo has. And the reason is, he knows those twelve different qualities. He has lived for thousands of years with snow. He is acquaint ed with it. He can make differentiations which nobody else can.

Now, after ten thousand years of continually arguing, India has come to words that no other language in the world can translate. Even to understand them is as difficult as to understand Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, perhaps more difficult.

So India is continually deporting missionaries; the pressure goes on becoming bigger and bigger The reason.... Hindus are not worried about argument. If you want to argue they are ready, the Jainas are ready, the Buddhists are ready. About argument there is no problem; your Christian missionaries will not have any chance of winning. But they can convert people by giving bread, by giving medicine, by opening a hospital, by making a school, a college, by creating institutions for the orphans, for the widows.

All these things Indians cannot do; they have never done them, they have never bothered about them. In fact. they have reasons, explanations, arguments why: if somebody is an orphan, it means in his past life he has done something wrong. Now let him suffer, don't interfere; otherwise he will have to be an orphan again in the next life, and you will be simply prolonging his suffering. Let him be finished with it and the accounts be closed, so that in the next life he comes fresh and is not an orphan. Widows - it is their fate; if their husbands have died, it is nobody else's business. According to Hindus these women must have done immense wrong in their past lives... so they are suffering.

So nobody is going to do anything about any real problem. Christian missionaries tackle the real problems. And naturally, when they feed, give medicines, serve the poor with their doctors, their nurses, their hospitals, their schools, their teachers - those people become impressed: "No Hindu ever cared, nobody bothered about us. If we were dying they just left us dying. You care for us - certainly you are really religious." And if they start getting more and more involved with Christianity, it is simple. But they are not converted the way conversion should happen. It is smuggling them through the back door.

They don't know about their own religions, because nobody has taught them. But Christians are teaching them about Christianity; that is their only knowledge. And they see these people and their service, their compassion, their sympathy, and naturally they think this is the religion you should belong to. And if these missionaries are doing so much, what about Jesus, the messiah? If he says that he will redeem the world, he means it. These people are his representatives.

But Hindus are pressuring the government that these people should be thrown out because they are misguiding people, taking advantage of their poverty, of their sickness, of their old age. But nobody can dare to say, "Deport Mother Teresa," because she is continually protecting the government. This is a political strategy: protecting the officers, protecting the rich, and underground doing the real work of converting people to Christianity.

I am not against anybody being converted to Christianity. If with understanding, with feeling a person moves towards Christianity, it is perfectly good; nobody has the right to prevent him. But if he is in some way bribed, seduced, then this should be prevented. Whether he was going to become a Mohammedan or a Hindu or a Christian or a Buddhist, it does not matter: nobody should be allowed to cunningly change a person's life, his vision, his thinking. He should be left alone. All missionaries - it makes no difference to which religion they are connected - all missionaries are against humanity.

But people like Mother Teresa do their work in a very sophisticated way, a very polished way.

You ask me: Am I against positive philosophy? Yes, because I am also against negative philosophy.

I have to be against both because both choose only half the fact, and both try to ignore the other half.

And remember: a half-truth is far more dangerous than a whole lie, because the whole lie will be discovered by you sooner or later. How long can it remain undiscovered by you? A lie, of course, is a lie; it is just a palace made of playing cards - a little breeze and the whole palace disappears.

But the half-truth is dangerous. You may never discover it, you may continue to think it is the whole truth. So the real problem is not the whole lie, the real problem is the half-truth pretending to be the whole truth; and that is what these people are doing.

The philosophy of positive thinking says: "Take everything positively. The negative should not have any space in your approach, there should be no negative part." This is making a part, the positive part, almost the whole.

The same is true about negative people, although there are none who preach the philosophy of negative thinking, because who is going to listen to them? They will say, "If somebody is smiling, look out - there must be something he is hiding behind the smile. In fact, he must want to cry or weep. Look out - don't be deceived by his smiling; find out the negative. If he is looking very happy, that means certainly there is something that he is trying to hide behind his happiness."

People are so miserable, who is going to listen to such a philosopher? They will say, "We are already so miserable, and you are teaching us to search for more misery! Even if a false smile is there, at least it is there. Please forgive us, we can't go on digging and finding the tears. We have enough tears a!ready. And just a smile - although it may be just a mannerism, a formality, just a civilized way of meeting somebody...."

When you meet somebody and ask, "How are you?" - he says, "I am perfectly well." Now, if you are a negative philosopher you have to find out what this man is hiding: "How can he be perfectly well?

Have you ever heard of anybody in the world being perfectly well? He is Lying!" But nobody will listen to a negative philosopher. You also say, "I am perfectly well. You are perfectly well? - good."

And you depart in good spirits. What is the point of showing one's wounds to each other and making each other more miserable than before?

So there is no school of negative philosophers. But there are more people who believe in negative philosophy without knowing it than there are people who believe in positive philosophy.

In fact, all these believers in positive philosophy are basically negative. To hide that negativity they believe firmly in the positive philosophy.

I am not in support of either side. I am in favor of taking the whole truth, and that's what I would like you to do too: take the whole truth, because the negative is as essential as the positive.

You cannot create electricity with only the positive pole; you will need the negative pole too. Only with both the negative and the positive pole can you create electricity. Is the negative absolutely negative? It is complementary, so it is not against the positive.

If I had been in Bhopal I would have told them, "Find out the people who are responsible for this calamity; it is manmade." Of course we cannot find God when there are natural calamities. If we could then I would be in favor of catching hold of God and punishing Him, because this is not even a human way - what to say about a divine way! But we cannot catch hold of God because He is non-existent - so we are helpless.

But when manmade calamities are there, please don't say such stupid things to people as, "Take it positively. Don't complain." No, find out who the criminals are and let them be punished as heavily as possible. You punish a single man if he kills somebody, and perhaps a single man was behind the whole explosion which has killed thousands of people, crippled thousands of people. But he will be left completely free to do it again, and people like him will also not feel any necessity to be more alert, to be more careful.

If India has become a country of lazy and lousy people, the reason is simple and clear: nobody has bothered to deal with the sources from where this laziness and lousiness arises. And everybody is lazy and lousy.

When I joined the university I was puzzled because the whole years course was not enough for more than two months; in two months it could be finished. I used to finish it in two months. My professors, senior professors, the head of the department, the dean, they all told me, "This is not the way. You simply finish in two months a course which has to be finished in ten months... that makes us all feel guilty."

I said, "That is your business. If you don't want to feel guilty, finish your course also in two months, or change the syllabus - make the syllabus in such a way that the course is really for ten months.

This is lousy, absolute laziness, and I cannot be part of it."

It is because of this that I used to travel so much. My students were not at a loss at all. I would finish their course quickly and then would say, "Now unnecessarily you will be bothering and I will be bothering... what is the point? Once in a while, whenever I am here, I will come. If you have any questions you can ask them, otherwise I will see you when the examinations come round."

And my professors, my department, my head, they were not courageous enough to report me because they knew that if they reported me, then I was going to expose the whole thing: that these people were lousy. And my students would have been my witnesses that I had finished my course - now for what did they want me here too?

I was moving around the country. Everybody knew because the newspapers were publishing that I was in Calcutta addressing the university, I was in Benares... and they knew that I was supposed to be there in Jabalpur. My principal once asked me for dinner, and at his home he said, "Do at least one thing: Go wherever you want, but don't let it be published in the newspapers because then it becomes a problem. People start asking us, 'If he is in Madras... but we don't have any application for leave. He never informs us when he goes or when comes back.'"

I said, "I cannot do anything about that. How can I prevent the journalists reporting? What can I do?

I don't know who is reporting; I simply speak and move on, and whatsoever they want to do, they do.

But if you have any problems, if anybody reports to you, you can call me. I can put that man right, there and then."

For nine years I managed this way. The whole university was just in a state of shock. They could not believe that nobody raised any question against me. I got the whole salary, and I was rarely seen.

But the reason was that my department was afraid to report me, for the simple reason that I had said that I would expose the whole thing.

The country has become lazy. I told the vice-chancellor, "All your courses are not enough for the whole year. What you teach in six years can be taught very easily in two years; four years you are wasting. In those four years you could teach so much that the degrees of no other country could be compared to your degrees. Right now no country even accepts your degrees."

He said, "Perhaps you are right, but no professor will agree because they are happy with the way things are going; they have always done it this way. So I don't want to take the responsibility on myself."

Doctor Radhakrishnan, who became president of India, was basically a professor of philosophy. First he was professor of philosophy, then he became vice-chancellor of the Hindu university in Varanasi, and then he managed and manipulated to become the president of India. When he became the president of India, he declared his birthday as "teachers' day".

That is a very cunning strategy that is being done in India. Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday is "children's day", because once Jawaharlal was dead people would soon forget about him. But children's day will continue because children are not going to disappear from the world, and on children's day Jawaharlal will be remembered.

So Doctor Radhakrishnan created a teachers' day. On the first teachers' day in my university, I asked the vice-chancellor, who was presiding over the meeting, "I want to enquire about a simple thing: why do you call it teachers' day?"

He said, "You don't know? It is so simple. A teacher has become president of the country."

I said, "Who is being respected, a teacher or the president of the country? I will call it a teachers' day if a president drops his presidency and becomes a teacher. Then it will be a teachers' day, putting teaching higher than the presidency of the country. Let him resign from the presidency and become a teacher.

"This is my challenge to Doctor Radhakrishnan: resign from your post, become a teacher, and we will celebrate the teachers' day. Right now this is absolutely absurd. Tomorrow a shoemaker becomes a president and so then a 'shoemakers' day'; someday, somebody else is a cloth merchant, then 'cloth merchants' day'. But in all these days you are respecting the post of the president. So simply call all these days 'president's day'. Why drag the poor teacher into it?"

My vice-chancellor said, "Will you please keep it to yourself! Soon the media will be here, and if they hear your challenge or anything, then I at least am in difficulty because it is because of Radhakrishnan that I have been appointed vice-chancellor here in this university. I am his student, and what you are saying is perfectly right, but - forgive me - don't say it in front of people."

I said, "Everybody goes on:'Be truthful, be honest, be authentic,' and whenever I try to be truthful, honest and authentic, immediately I am stopped."

I am certainly against people like Mother Teresa... because I count them as criminals, not as saints.

And I will not take them positively because they are doing certain harm - and so subtle a harm to humanity that it cannot be forgiven.

It may have shocked you. Think about your shock and look at both the sides of the shock, the negative and the positive, so that you can understand why the whole phenomenon happened to you.

And this is going to be my approach to everything.

Look holistically. Be a realist and you will be surprised, amazed. When you look at both sides they fit together, they complement each other. They are just like the Chinese symbol of yin and yang.

Have you seen the Chinese symbol of yin and yang? - two fish in a circle, one fish in one half-circle, the other fish in the other half-circle; but both fish fitting together, making it a whole. Yin means the feminine; yang means the masculine.

This is applicable to all polarities, positive and negative; they are just like two fish moving in such a way, so closely, that they make a circle.

Then you look at existence with the eyes of a religious man.

Then there is no saint, no sinner; they are all complementary to each other. They both are needed in some way.

Yes, better ways can be found so that they can complement each other more lucidly, more gracefully, more beautifully.

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