Knowledge is information; knowing is transformation
YOU SAID THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE. DON'T YOU REALLY? DO WE NEVER KNOW WHO WE ARE?
I know that I do not know who I am.
My knowing is not knowledge and my knowing is not ignorance. It is a little bit complex, but not difficult to understand.
Knowledge is always borrowed.
It is not your own; you are simply repeating like a parrot. You don't know what it means, you don't know all its implications; you don't know from where it arises, you don't know whether it is true or just fictitious.
I have heard that the wife of Mulla Nasruddin purchased a parrot. She was very interested in finding a really good parrot, and when she found one she was immensely delighted. But for some strange reason the pet shopkeeper was reluctant to sell the parrot to her. She was surprised. She said, "You have it for sale and whatsoever the price is I am ready to pay. Why are you reluctant?"
He said, "There are so many other beautiful parrots, even more knowledgeable than this. Why are you so particular about this parrot?"
She said, "That I don't know, but somehow, to me, he looks the most cute. He is beautiful, healthy, colorful - and the way he speaks! It is difficult to figure out whether it is a human voice or a parrot speaking."
Although the shopkeeper was reluctant, the woman was persistent, and finally she purchased the parrot. As she was departing he told her, "I should make you alert of the fact that the reason I was reluctant to sell him is that the parrot comes from a very bad place; he was owned by a prostitute.
He speaks vulgar language and he uses expressions which you may feel offended by."
She said, "Don't be worried. I need such a parrot for my husband. My husband uses such vulgar language, such bad expressions, that this is good: the parrot will be really the answer to him."
The shopkeeper could not say anything more. Nasruddin's wife went home and she covered the parrot with a cloth so that when Nasruddin came she could give him a surprise and a shock.
Nasruddin came home by evening; and it was really a surprise and a shock - not for Nasruddin but for Nasruddin's wife, because even from behind the cloth the parrot recognized Nasruddin immediately. He said, "Hello, Mulla Nasruddin. You are really great: every day new girls, new women!"
Now the parrot could not think of the implications, but the wife was immensely shocked that the parrot knew Nasruddin: that meant Nasruddin was going to the prostitute. The parrot was saying, "You are great! Every day new women, new girls. You know how to enjoy life!"
Knowledge is exactly like that. The Christian priest repeating the BIBLE has no understanding of what he is repeating.
Just the other day some information came to me: the attorney general of Oregon has declared Rajneeshpuram illegal. The reason that he has given is that here in Rajneeshpuram, religion and state are mixed.
Now, in the first place, our religion has nothing to do with any religion that has ever existed on the earth. It is just a legal necessity that we have to declare that we are a religion; otherwise, you cannot find such an irreligious commune in the whole world. What religion is there? - no God, no Holy Ghost, no Jesus Christ, no pope, no prayer, nobody concerned at all about death. Everybody is so much involved with life, who has time?
In fact, even if death comes to my people, she will have to wait. My people are so involved in living that even death will have to consider.... She can take people easily who have been dead for thirty, forty or fifty years. It is not a problem for death, there is no need to be concerned; they just have to be carried away. They have lived posthumous lives long enough. Perhaps death is too busy - must be. This planet and fifty thousand other planets have life; and no religion has said that there are even associates, deputies, of death. Death is alone. Poor death needs a great bureaucracy, and she is doing the whole job all alone. So of course many people die when they are nearabout thirty years of age, and then they have to wait for forty, fifty years or sixty years, when their number comes up.
What can death do? She has not yet cleaned out the old pending files, and you go on dying.
But with my people death will be surprised.
These are living people:
So involved in life that they have not even bothered about death. She will have second thoughts before she can take you. She may think, "It is better to let me first finish the pending job, which is unending. These people can be taken later on; let them live a little more."
What kind of religion is this?
I have called it a religionless religion.
I have called it religiousness.
But they don't have any category for religiousness; they don't have any category for a religionless religion because nothing like this has ever happened. But all governments and all bureaucracies go on clinging to old-fashioned ideas. It takes a long time for them to absorb anything new, and by the time they absorb it it is already out-of-date.
For my immigration there is only one category that can be applicable to me, and that is religion. I tried to explain that my religion is not a noun, it is a verb, but the officer was looking at me with vacant eyes. What was I saying? - that my religion is not a noun but a verb? Who has ever heard of that?
But I said, "You need not be puzzled or worried Just so as not to disturb you I will fit into the category But in fact if governments and bureaucracies were sensitive enough, aware enough of the latest developments, then you would have made a different category for me, for a man who is simply religious - neither Christian, nor Hindu, nor Mohammedan. And to be religious you need not believe in God, in afterlife; you need not believe at all. To be religious all that you need is to live life so abundantly that you can taste existence itself."
When I say "knowing," I mean tasting, smelling, hearing, feeling, living - but not knowledgeability.
Knowledgeability to me is a sin.
Knowing is the greatest ecstasy you can attain But the ultimate surprise of knowing comes when you turn in upon yourself.
You can be in a state of knowing with the sunrise, with the sunset, with stars, flowers, birds, animals, people. You can be in a state of knowing, and it is tremendously beautiful, immensely fulfilling.
But the ultimate point, the omega point arrives when you turn your knowing upon yourself.
Then you are moving in a direction you have never moved, you are traveling on a path you have never traveled.
Knowledge is divided into three parts: the knower, the known, and that which relates them - knowledge. Knowing also consists of three parts, but there is a difference: the knower, the known - but now the relationship is not of knowledge, it is of knowing. Knowledge was borrowed. The knower was a fact, the known was a fact, but knowledge was borrowed. Knowing is your own. So knowledge only gives you a feeling of relatedness.
It is like marriage - and marriage is a mirage.
Marriage simply gives you the illusory feeling that you are related. In fact, you are two intimate enemies living together - or better to say, fighting together, harassing each other, nagging, doing all kinds of things which are not friendly. It is a strange relationship. There is no love flowing. Who has ever heard of a husband loving his wife or a wife loving her husband? Yes, pretending, but loving?
It seems to be impossible between husband and wife.
Marriage is the death of love.
Knowledge is like marriage. You are not really related to the known, but only in a delusion.
It happened once that there was a certain painting hanging in the house of an old lady. She was very old, and when she died the house was sold. The new owners looked at the painting and could not figure out what it was: it looked almost stupid. It was a Picasso. If you don't have that intelligence then the painting will look stupid, as if made by some madman. So they took out the painting and threw it in the basement.
One day a friend came and he asked what happened to the Picasso. "I was in this house when the old lady was here. I was just passing, and I remembered the painting. The house is sold, but the painting was far costlier than the house. What happened to the painting?"
The owner did not answer. He rushed into the basement, brought the painting back, cleaned it, and said, "I am happy that you came. We thought this was something stupid. This is a Picasso?"
The man said, "This is more costly than the house that you have purchased."
Again the painting was put back on the wall. In fact, the man threw a big party for his friends to see the painting of Picasso. But one of his friends turned out to be an expert critic of paintings. He said, "This is not an original; you have been befooled. Yes, it is a copy of Picasso's painting, but it is not an original. The people who sold you the house were not fools: if it were authentic it would mean millions of dollars, and the painting would have been removed before the house was sold.
This painting is bogus."
The man threw the painting back in the basement. Now what kind of relationship was happening between this man and the painting? This I call knowledge. He has no relationship. Somebody says, "It is a Picasso": the painting is put up on the wall and a party is thrown. Somebody says, "It is a fake": the painting is thrown back into the basement. If some day Picasso comes and says, "It is not a fake" - and Picasso was capable of saying this - then the painting would be back again in its old, respectable place.
It is a known fact that once Picasso said of one of his own paintings, "It is a fake." It was sold for millions of dollars; and when the man who purchased it heard from Picasso that it was a fake....
Picasso's girlfriend - he never had any wife, he always had girlfriends, changing as life changes, as everything changes - the girlfriend said, aBut I have seen you painting this with my own eyes; I was present."
Picasso said, "That is right. You were present, I painted it in front of you, but it is a fake."
The owner said, "Are you mad or something? If you painted it, then how can it be fake?"
Picasso said, "Because I painted the same painting before. So what does it matter who painted it the second time? It is secondhand, it is not a true Picasso. I painted it before and it is already in the art gallery. This was just because somebody wanted to purchase something and I had no other painting and no other idea at that time. So I simply painted an old idea. I had the sketch. What does it matter whether I copy it or somebody else copies it?"
Vice versa has never happened, but I can guarantee - understanding Picasso the way I understand him - he may have said a fake painting was authentic if it was really great art. What does it matter who painted it? If a painting painted by Picasso himself can be fake, then why can't a painting painted by somebody else and signed "Picasso" be authentic, if it is really an original piece of work?
But what about this man? He was going crazy: somebody says the painting is authentic, somebody says it is fake; and each time his relationship with the painting changes.
What is your relationship with God?
It is knowledge.
An atheist comes and proves there is no God, and the relationship disappears. A theist comes with better logic - because it is not a question of whether God exists or not, the question is whose logic is better, who is more logical, more argumentative, more authoritative - and convinces you there is a God. Again there is a relationship. Are you going to depend on such a relationship?
Knowledge can be changed any moment by anybody:
lt has no roots in you.
Knowing, nobody can change, not even God.
In India there is a story about a very unique man, Eknath. He was a worshipper and devotee of Krishna. For twenty-four hours a day he had only one thing in his mind, and that was Krishna. He was a Maharashtrian. His name for Krishna is Vithoba; in Maharashtra the name for Krishna is Vithoba. It was not far away from our commune place in Poona, where Eknath lived - just a nearby village.
His mother was sick, old, almost on the verge of death, and he was massaging her feet. The story is.... It is a story, remember, I'm not talking about history; I am simply telling you a beautiful story.
Vithoba, that is, Krishna, was very concerned because his devotee was really in deep pain. He had lost his father, he had lost his brother, he had lost his sister. The only person left was his mother, and now her time had come. Vithoba thought, "Now I am his only relative; twenty-four hours a day he is thinking of me. It is time to go and console him and tell him, 'Don't be worried - I have come.
Your mother is going but your Vithoba is here.'"
So Vithoba came. The door was open because Eknath's house was so poor that there was no need to lock the doors, there was nothing that could be stolen. Vithoba entered, stood behind Eknath and said, "Eknath, won't you look at me? I am Vithoba. You have been continually praying and chanting and calling me. But now the time has come - I had to come."
There was not even a small mattress or a rug or a carpet or a chair to be given to Vithoba. Eknath had only one earthen brick, the type houses are made of in India; he used to keep his lamp on it.
He used that brick to keep the lamp a little higher so he could see his mother better. He was so absorbed in massaging his mother's feet that he took the lamp off the brick, pushed the brick towards Vithoba without turning back, and said to him, "Stand on the brick till I am finished with massaging my mother."
The story is really beautiful. The whole night passed: Vithoba turned into a stone - because he had been standing the whole night on a brick. A temple exists now in the place of Eknath's house.
The statue of Vithoba is still standing on a brick. That is the most important temple in the whole of Maharashtra. Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over Maharashtra travel to the temple of Vithoba.
But it has been a great problem for the scholars: "Why did Eknath treat his own god in this way?"
They don't have any answer. At least he could have looked at him, at least he could have said, "Please sit down on the brick." I have talked with many Maharashtrian scholars who are followers of Eknath; they don't have any answer. I said, "It is so simple. The story may be bogus, and I know that it is bogus. There is no Vithoba; nobody ever comes, whether you keep your door open or locked.
But one thing is certain: Eknath was really an authentic man. When he was doing one thing, he was doing it totally. When God comes he says, "Stand there, don't bother me till I am finished with my work."
To me this is the implication in my saying that if death comes to my sannyasins she will have to wait.
My sannyasins can say to her, "Wait, I am too busy living."
Your relationship with life or with anything should be of knowing, it should not be of knowledge - borrowed.
So when I say, "I know," my word "know" indicates knowing, not knowledge. And in the same statement I am contradicting it; I am saying, I know that I know not who I am." When knowing turns towards oneself the greatest problem arises, because now the knower and the known and the knowing all become one. You are the knower, you are the known, and you are the knowing.
If you say, "I know myself" it will not be right, because then you will be dividing the knower, the knowledge and the known; and it is an indivisible, organic phenomenon. So you cannot say, "I know myself" That's why I said, "When I say,'I do not know myself' I don't mean ignorance." It is not knowledge; is not ordinary knowing.
You know the beauty of a sunset, you know the beauty of a face, you know the beauty of music. Even though it is knowing, still those three are there; very deeply related, almost one, but only almost - not organically one.
When your awareness turns upon itself it is not knowledge, certainly.
It is not the ordinary knowing either.
It is not ignorance, certainly, because you know.
But it is such a unique knowing that in this knowing you become innocent:
Innocent of all idea of knowing, knowledge, ignorance.
All those words disappear.
You are simply there.
It is an experience, and such an experience that cannot be described by any word which has its opposite.
"Ignorance" cannot describe it, because knowledge its opposite. "Knowledge" cannot describe it, because ignorance is its opposite. "Knowing" cannot describe because unknowing is its opposite.
Then what can scribe it? Only a contradiction - I repeat, only a contradiction - can indicate it. You will have to use contradiction for the simple reason that the contradiction kills itself and leaves no trace behind. And hat's what I mean by innocence.
When I say I know that I know not, I am trying through language to help you have a little glimpse of what happens when contradictions meet. I am saying both I know and I know not. They will cross each other, kill each other, destroy each other. And what will remain? Just an innocent awareness.
Ignorance is not innocent. Ignorance feels inferiority; the ego hurts. Knowing is not innocent.
Knowing buttresses the ego; it gives you a feeling of superiority. I am putting superiority and inferiority together. They cancel each other, and the very cancelation of each other leaves you alone and innocent.
It is just like the child when he opens his eyes for the first time. He sees everything that is there: the painting on the wall, the clock on the wall, different colors around him. But do you think he knows that this is a painting, that this color is red; that this is a clock, that it shows time? He is seeing, but his seeing is absolutely innocent. He is seeing better than you, remember, because his eyes are so fresh.
The impact of colors on your eyes is not the same. For the child it is his original experience. If he sees your color of red.... He has never seen it before. He has no idea how to judge what it is - good, bad, beautiful, ugly. He cannot judge, he simply sees it. His eyes are unclouded by any prejudice.
His eyes have no dust, no layers of dust.
As you grow old your eyes start gathering dust, your mind starts gathering layers of dust. Everything becomes hidden behind so many layers of dust that you lose your original seeing, your original listening, your original taste, your original smell, your original touch. All are covered.
But the child, as he opens his eyes, knows - but he does not know that he knows. The same state happens again when your awareness turns upon yourself. You know, but now no word is enough to justify any expression about this knowing.
Socrates is right. I agree with that old man or many points. I also disagree with him, but on this point I agree one hundred percent. He says, "There is' knowledge which knows nothing, and there is an ignorance which knows all." I would not like to use the word ignorance because that has an association in our mind. The association is that ignorance means you do not know. If you can change the association the I can use the word ignorance. If you can understand by ignorance a new kind of knowing where the trinity disappears and there is one organic whole.... The knower, the known, the knowledge, all are one; hence there is nobody to declare anything.
Those who have known have always said that the know not.
It is only the idiots who say they know.
The really wise is innocent of all knowledge.
He has come to a point where knowledge is left far behind; and of course the ignorance which was the polar opposite of knowledge is also left far behind Now, what word to use? I could use the word innocence - "I am innocent of myself" - but it would be linguistically wrong. But I don't care about language anyway. I go on using language in my own way.
I am innocent of myself.
That means: I know that I do not know myself.
But don't ask the pandits of language. In a way this is bound to happen when you are describing experiences which are not usual. You have to us unusual ways. Silence would be the right answer it, but will you be able to understand silence? Hence, I have chosen something very close to silence and yet expressible - innocence.
Innocence transcends both knowledge and ignorance.
To make way for innocence I use knowledge and ignorance together in the same sentence so they can destroy each other and can leave you unscratched unburdened by any of them.
You ask me, will it ever be possible for you to know yourself? Only in the same way as it has been possible for me; in no other way. If you are ready to become innocent, if you are ready to drop your knowledge and your ignorance.... You will be surprised to know that to drop knowledge is very difficult, but to drop ignorance is even more difficult.
You may never have thought about it. Of course, to drop knowledge is difficult because that's all you have, that's all you can brag about; and I am saying to drop it, to erase all that you have accumulated.
You have been accumulating it as if it is a great treasure. And you have been told continually by everyone that the more you know, the more powerful you will be What is the secret of the priest?
Why is he powerful? - because he knows, or at least pretends to know, things which you are not courageous enough to pretend to know. He knows God, he knows all about heaven.
In Indian temples I have seen maps of heaven and hell, and where God lives - an aerial view! - and where tirthankaras live. These maps are hundreds of years old: the older they are, the more valuable. I have asked the Jaina monks, "Do you know where Timbuktu is?"
"Timbuktu? We have never heard of Timbuktu."
I have asked them, "Do you know Kustuntuniar?"that is Hindi for Constantinople.
"Kustuntunia? A very strange name. We have never heard of it."
I said, "You don't even know the geography of this small planet but you know where heaven is and you know where hell is and the exact location of God's house? - even the architecture of God's house. And the houses surrounding Him are all tirthankaras' houses. Where is Jesus Christ?
Hazrat Mohammed? Moses? Zarathustra?"
And they will say, "You ask strange questions! These people are not in heaven, they cannot be." And they have a map of hell. I have asked, from my very childhood, "Where is this hell?" and they all say - Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists - "Just under the earth." That's where we are sitting right now: in hell.
According to them, America is exactly the place where hell is. According to them the earth is not round, it is a flat thing like a chapati. On top is the earth and below the chapati is hell. But below the chapati is America, and at the very center, Oregon.
When Sheela started looking for a place to have this commune happen, and she phoned from Oregon, I really giggled. If my Jaina saints knew where I was going to end up! According to them, still, hell is under the earth. But it is a very strange world because it is round; so right now they are under us. It is very difficult to decide who is in hell. Now Sheela is in New Delhi. It is very difficult to decide whether her Master is in hell or the secretary is in hell, at this very moment.
These idiots have made maps; and of course for centuries it has been believed that they know about these things. They even know the details of the map: they know the roads, they know how many gates you have to pass.... This is exploiting your innocence, making you feel guilty of ignorance:
"You don't know - we are the knowers. You have to listen to us and follow us. We know the right path, the right god, the right heaven."
And all the religions are doing the same thing. I have looked into all these people's scriptures. They are all pretending absolute knowledge, and they are simply talking absolute lies, because they all cannot be right. Their descriptions are absolutely different. The heaven of the Christians is totally different from the heaven of the Hindus, so either there are many heavens, many hells, for different religious people different strategies of torturing and different ways of entertainment.... Because in heaven what will you do for eternity? Have you ever thought about it?
Just think: in the Christian heaven, what are the angels doing for eternity? Just playing on their guitars - "alleluia, alleluia, alleluia" - for eternity? Yes, in the afternoon for the drive - by it is okay, but for eternity! This is too much. And it is not entertainment, it is torture. I think people in hell may be enjoying more variety of things because really juicy people are all in hell. Only dry bones are in heaven.
Since I have experienced that there is no heaven and hell, I am freed from a nightmare. In my childhood I was more afraid of heaven than of hell. And my father used to say to me, "You are simply nuts! We are afraid of hell; you are afraid of heaven. And all the great sages have been fools, you think."
I said, "I don't know whether they were fools or not. One thing I know is that all juicy people are in hell; that you have to concede. The gamblers, the drunkards, the playboys, the call girls, all the circuses and carnivals - everything seems to be there in hell. Please just tell me what is in your heaven? Only those long faces, saints, completely dry of humor. Not even a newspaper is published because there is nothing happening - what to publish in the newspaper? There is no gossip, no restaurant...."
My father said, "Please keep these ideas to yourself because you are corrupting me." And finally I did corrupt him: I made him a sannyasin. But from the very childhood he was afraid that I would corrupt him, because he had no answers. He would go to the sages and the saints; they also didn't have any answer. They said, "This is a strange boy. These questions are never asked."
I said, "Whether they are asked or not, I am asking them. Please answer me. What entertainments are available? A football match, the Olympics? What is available there in heaven? And if nothing is available then what are your saints doing? And for eternity? They must be dying to be born again, but they cannot be: once you are enlightened, no entertainment again!"
I used to come to Bombay, before I settled in Bombay, almost two or three times per month because the headquarters were in Bombay, the whole work was there. There I had the greatest following; and the most intelligent people in India of course are in Bombay. Slowly thousands of people started knowing me. One day one of my sannyasins - at that time I had not started sannyas but now he is a sannyasin.... He used to drive me about, and just jokingly - he did not mean it, but he was not fully aware of me - just before a bistro he stopped the car and said, "Osho, would you like to come in and have an ice cream?"
Ice cream I used to love. To tell you the truth I still love it, although there is no way to find it anywhere.
I said, "That's a great idea!" Then he became afraid. He had been joking. He had said it thinking that a religious man would say no to going into a bistro, where an almost naked woman was doing a striptease dance. He said, "Are you sure?"
I said, "Absolutely! Just open the door - because this is my last life. After this life there is no bistro for me and no ice cream: I don't want to miss the last chance." He waited for a few seconds. I said, "For what are you waiting?"
He said, "But if somebody sees you there, and recognizes you there...."
I said, "That is my problem."
He said, "No, it is not your problem - they will kill me, they will say 'It is you who took him; otherwise how could he find that bistro? You were supposed to take him home from the meeting place, not to a bistro.'"
I said, "Don't be worried. I will protect you and say that I insisted, that seeing the signboard, 'Bistro,"
I said, 'What is this? - I want to know.'"
He said, "Then it is okay. But, Osho, you are creating a very troubled state for me."
I said, "Don't be worried - just come on."
I had to enter first, then he followed me; he had to follow. It was an air-conditioned place, but he was perspiring.
I said, "Harshad" - Harshad was his name - "your name means rejoice. What a fool - rejoice!"
And what he was afraid of happened. The manager of the bistro had heard me: he came and fell at my feet. Harshad was just going into a nervous breakdown. Everything stopped; even the striptease dancer stopped - everything was frozen. When the manager fell at my feet, other customers who had no idea who I was started coming to touch my feet and the striptease girl came down from the stage. I said, "Harshad, it seems even in this life it is not going to be possible." I told the manager, "At least bring my ice cream."
He said, "Will you accept one?"
I said, "Accept? I am ordering one: I like tutti-frutti." I was eating my ice cream and the whole crowd was standing around me. I said, "What are you doing? Do your business!" And Harshad was hiding behind the crowd because if the manager saw him....
As I finished my ice cream he came and just grabbed me. He told me, "Osho, out! I will never drive you again if you do such a thing."
I said, "But what have I done? I have not created any problem for anyone. You had asked me,'Would you like some ice cream?' so I ordered one. And in all this hullaballoo they have not asked for the bill. Go and pay it.
He said, "I am not going inside again. I cannot go alone; if you come ahead of me...."
I said, "Then don't bother, because nobody is thinking of the bill right now. We enjoyed them, they enjoyed us, and it is balanced. There is nothing much to be worried about. But where have you been hiding? I had to eat two long glasses full of ice cream because the manager had brought the best, the biggest glasses. Where were you? I had to eat two glasses, and two glasses that size are a little too much."
He continued to drive me, but whenever there was a bistro or anything, he would go so fast. I would say, "Harshad, a bistro!" and he would say, "Never again!"
People came to know somehow and he had a good beating from everybody. In Bombay, in those days there were many old people who were followers of mine, very respected people: somebody was an ex-mayor, somebody was ex-sheriff, somebody was a minister. I told everybody, "Nobody is to harass Harshad; he has been punished enough." He had perspired and begun trembling, but I simply enjoyed it; the whole scene was so fabulous. And for the striptease girl this was an absolutely new act. She may never have done it before and will never have to do it again.
In heaven there seems to be something worthwhile. But for centuries these people have been claiming knowledge about heaven and hell; and once you get trapped in their net of knowledge, you are finished. Then you are no more alive. Then their knowledge makes you feel ignorant, inferior, guilty, a sinner. Even eating ice cream you feel you are committing a sin. It is strange, because in no religious scripture is it written that ice cream is sin.
But the religions are against enjoying anything. So whether it is written or not.... Many things will be coming in the future which are not yet available. Of course these so-called omniscient saints and messiahs, they had no idea of even ice cream - what to say about atom bombs and nuclear weapons? But they have given a basic criterion: anything that can be enjoyed is sin, it is against God. To be happy is to be against God; to be blissful is really to be His arch-enemy.
I am a blissful man.
If there is a God - and I know there is nobody anywhere. If I have not found Him in meand I have looked into every nook and corner of my consciousness - then He is not anywhere else. He cannot be. He cannot be in any consciousness, because the nature of consciousness is the same. And consciousness is the highest flowering in existence; if He is not even in this highest flowering, where can He be? And there is nothing beyond consciousness.
The moment you know the unknowable, the mysterious, the innocent consciousness pure of all thought, ideas, scriptures, religions, you know nothing and you know all.
You know nothing because knowing is left far behind, it was a burden. You are unburdened - it was just dust gathered on the mirror of your being. The mirror is clean now, so clean and so alone that it does not mirror anything. It is simply there, not mirroring anything because there is nothing else.
Just think of a mirror in absolute aloneness. What will be the situation of the mirror? It will still be a mirror, but not reflecting anything. That's what happens when you turn upon yourself Consciousness is there, awareness is there; in fact for the first time it is there in its totality. And there is nothing to think, nothing to reflect, nothing to know. In this sense you have become innocent. But in another sense - because now nothing is left for you to know - you know all. The taste of your own consciousness is the taste of all consciousness, it is not different.
But the priesthood cannot live on my attitudes and approaches. The priesthood will die out. It needs to die out, it is absolutely unnecessary. They have filled you with knowledge, and with it has come the idea of ignorance. They have filled you with such strange ideals that if you follow them you are finished, if you don't follow them you are finished. The ideals that they have given you are unnatural.
If you try to follow them you have to go against your nature; you have to cripple yourself destroy yourself And if you follow your nature, you feel guilty, a sinner. And then great fear arises - hell is waiting for you. Don't be worried: there is no heaven, no hell.
All that is significant is your pure awareness.
Then wherever you are is paradise.
I can challenge God to throw me into hell, with no problem, with no fear, because I will manage to have a commune there. And it would be really a great' commune because such colorful people would be there.
But I have drifted far away.... I was telling you about this attorney general who says that we have mixed state and religion here. Just the other day I got the information that from the federal government of America two sermons, ready-made sermons, have been sent to thousands of Christian churches, institutions, schools, hospitals, orphanages - but only to Catholic Christians.
Those two sermons have been prepared by the federal government to indoctrinate people, particularly orphans. And in that they have even improved upon Jesus.
When I heard that, I felt a little sorry for Jesus, because what will his situation be? There are many statements in those sermons; one statement is really striking. It is for orphans, that they should pray to God: "We are blessed that you made us helpless orphans so that you are our only help and only hope." The whole message is: "Blessed are the orphans for they shall inherit the kingdom of God."
I was puzzled. Jesus had said, "Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God." Now there is going to be great trouble. Who is going to inherit the kingdom of God, the orphans or the poor? The American government has found even the poorest of the poor: the orphans. Now the poor people will look almost super-rich. They cannot pass through the needle's eye any longer. No, only orphans can enter.
Now what is Jesus going to do, because these people, in following Jesus' idea, have created trouble for him, competition. There are not a few orphans in the world; in a way, one day or other, everybody becomes an orphan. One day your father dies, one day your mother dies - you are an orphan. What else is an orphan? And there may be orphans who are billionaires.
I was really troubled about what poor Jesus is going to do, because anybody who has lost his parents is an orphan, and everybody is going to lose his parents sooner or later. It is only a question of when you are going to become an orphan; you are potentially an orphan, the whole world is an orphan. Then I started thinking, My God! If the whole world is going to inherit the kingdom of God, what about the poor? Who will listen to those poor? When the orphans are just marching ahead - "Blessed are the orphans" - the poor no longer have any chance.
Isn't this the state interfering in religion? If the attorney general has any of the dignity of a human being he should declare the whole of America illegal! What business is it of the government to write sermons for the priests to use to indoctrinate the minds of orphans? And it is very partial: it is sent only to the Catholic institutions. Jews are also living here, people of other religions are also living here - and most of all, the greatest majority, Rajneeshees, are living here. We have not been sent those sermons. This government, and the people who run such governments - are they in their right senses?
There was other news. A poisonous gas which was being prepared and preserved in millions of barrels for the third world war is out-of-date. Now a better killer, another poisonous gas, has been found, so all those millions of barrels have to be disposed of. Where to dispose of them?
Now they are being disposed of in America in deserted places, underground. But how long do you think you can go on doing that? Soon many of your atom bombs will be out-of-date; they are already out-of-date. Soon, many of your nuclear weapons will be out-of-date. Where are you going to dispose of all this that you have created? - either in the ocean or in the earth, but in both ways it is going to backfire. Perhaps there will be no need for a third world war: Russia will be in the same position; they will have to dispose of out-of-date weapons.
You cannot go on accumulating garbage which is of no use now because you have better things.
Russia has better, so you have to create better; then you create better and Russia has to dispose of its old stock. These governments are interfering in people's lives, in the whole of humanity's life - and yet they are legal.
Here there is no sermon. Certainly my talks cannot be called sermons. You can call them anti- sermons - no, ant-eye-sermons. What religion do they think is here which is interfering with the state? And what state is there? In the first place we are not a religion defined by any dictionary in the whole world. We will have to create our own dictionary, our own definitions.
And what state is there? Just a city council, which has to take care of the roads, of cleanliness, of the houses, of the hospital. How is religion going to interfere with the roads? I have tried hard but cannot figure it out: how to mix religion with roads? How to mix religion with houses? How to mix religion with hospitals, with medicines, with injections? They should give us some clue as to how they do it. No religious priest goes to the hospital to bore the patients there.
There is nobody orphaned here because we don't believe in the family. My people are the only people who are immune to orphanhood; they cannot become orphans. We don't believe in the family, we believe in the commune - and the commune never dies; you will always have your uncles and your aunts. People will be coming and going, but the commune.... And the commune is our family.
When the father dies, the Indian custom is that the eldest son should put fire to the body when it is placed on the funeral pyre. When my father died, I was asked - Laxmi asked me - "What to do? - because Indian sannyasins are saying that Osho has to put fire to the body."
I said, "But he was my disciple. A long time ago he used to be my father, I used to be his son; but that has changed. And in this commune nobody is father, nobody is mother; here are only uncles and aunts. We have dropped the idea, the whole idea of daddy and mummy!"
I proceed logically. I may look mad to you, but I have my methods. I dropped God because that is the great daddy. Now I will knock off the smaller daddies. I have to knock off somebody or other.
The great daddy is no longer there, the great mom is no longer there; now, finish with the smaller ones also.
The Jewish God says, "I am not nice, I am not your uncle. I am a very jealous and angry God." I have kept this sentence very close to my heart for the simple reason that it says, "I am not your uncle." I want to create a commune - and I am creating it - where only uncles and aunts exist. That finishes the very root of all religious nonsense. God is nothing but your dad magnified a millionfold.
There are religions who believe in the mother goddess: they have magnified the mother. But these are just enlargement photographs. You can burn them very easily; and when you burn them then you will have to come to your real dad, your real mom. I am not saying to burn them alive. I am saying that as far as your psychology is concerned, there should be no place for your dad or for your mom.
It is not being disrespectful towards them. Basically you hate them. There is no boy who has not hated his father, and if you dig deep you will find that hatred still. There is no girl who has not hated her mother.
Every boy has been in a love affair with his mother - of course, it was not actually possible. But every boy loves his mother and hates his father because he is the competitor. Every girl loves her father and hates her mother because she is a competitor and more powerful. The girl wants to monopolize the father, the boy wants to monopolize the mother.
One of my young sannyasins, who is just two-and-a-half years old, has been hearing my tapes, and his father and mother talking about them. He seems to be a really intelligent person. He is Dutch. He went to Sheela because he wanted an appointment with me; in Dutch he asked for an appointment and somebody translated it. Sheela said, "It is difficult."
He took up the phone angrily, not knowing how to phone, or whether I have a phone or not, or what my number is. He just said, "Osho!" and in Dutch he started to make an appointment. His mother wrote me a letter a few days ago: "What to do with your young sannyasin, because he says, 'I want to make love to you just as my father makes love to you."' They must be making love in front of him - and that's perfectly right, that's how it should be. That's how the child should learn one of the most significant things in life. He will not ever feel guilty, and he will not hide it as if he is doing something wrong. So they must be making love in front of the child.
And the child must have heard this idea so he said to his mother, "Osho says that every boy loves the mother. I love you, and I want to make love exactly as my father does." His mother sent me a letter: "What to do now? You are creating such troubles. First you suggested the idea that children should be allowed to be there when the parents are making love, so we allowed him. Now he wants to make love to me; and he is very persistent, and very stubborn!"
But whether any child says it or not, it is there in every child's mind. If the child is a boy, the mother is the object of love; if the child is a girl, the father is the object of love. And while this remains inside you, you will never be able to love somebody. No woman can be a replica of your mother. Existence does not create the same carbon copies again and again. Any woman that you meet is going to be different from your mother, and that is the trouble. Because she is different and you don't find your mother in her, trouble arises.
And from her side the woman finds you are not the person she really wants; you are not her father.
Something may have been similar to her father in you and something similar to your mother in her which attracted you, so you got together. But that something - very small - which was similar will soon be shattered with your whole personalities coming together.
Unless you are free from your mother and father.... It is not being against them; it is really becoming mature. One day the child leaves the mother's womb. That does not mean that he is disrespectful to the mother, that he has to remain in the womb for his whole life: he would kill the mother. Coming out of the womb does not mean disrespect. One day he stops drinking milk from her breast. That does not mean that he is turning his back on her, that he no longer cares about her. He is becoming independent. No, that's how it should be: these are outer bondages that he is breaking.
But inner bondages continue to the very last. Inner bondages have also to be broken. And the strangest experience is: the moment you are finished with your inner world, with mom and dad, for the first time you can respect them and love them as human beings. You can feel sad and sorry for them because they have missed everything. What have they got?
They came into life but they have not experienced life; and death is approaching or has already taken them. They died before they were born. They are dying before their birth seems to be possible. You may feel compassionate, you may feel loving, you may feel sad for them; you may do something to help them, but this is possible only when you are completely free.
I don't have any sermons to be sent to the orphans because I don't have orphans here. The word is ugly. When there are so many people to be loving to you, why should you be an orphan? The whole commune can father you and mother you - why should you be orphans?
A society which creates orphans is basically wrong because it is based on a very small unit, the family. The unit is so small that sooner or later everybody is going to become an orphan. The unit should be so big that whatsoever happens, nobody ever becomes an orphan.
I am taking your God away from you. I am taking your mothers and fathers away from you.
How can I mix religion?
I am taking all religion out of you - the religion that you have been acquainted with.
In courts you have to take the oath in the name of God, or by putting your hand on the BIBLE. And these courts are not mixing religion with law? Even courts - which are supposed to be protecting legality and law - are doing such illegal things, and the governments go on using every possible way to exploit religion.
This polack pope has been in office for just two years, but in two years he has had two dozen round- the-world tours. There is a joke now in the Vatican: "We have heard God is everywhere, but our pope has already been there before." One journalist, who has been accompanying him on all these tours, became so fed up with the whole strategy and exploitation in the name of religion that he has written an article against the pope going around the world so much. In two years the pope has been around the world twenty-four times; he is taking almost one round trip every month. He was just getting ready to go when the article appeared.
In his article the journalist says, "Jesus never went anywhere. The poor fellow simply went to Jerusalem and was crucified! That's how he was received by the powerful. And his representative, the pope, goes around the world and is received by the powerful everywhere, with red carpets and roses. There seems to be something strange: Jesus was received with crucifixion, and his salesman, the salesman's salesman, is being received with so much glamor. All these redcarpet welcomes! It is not in tune with Jesus." That's what the journalist wrote.
Because he wrote this article he has been dropped from the coming world tour of the pope; that journalist cannot go with the pope. On these twenty-four tours he was there, but now, because he has spoken the truth for the first time....
You speak the truth and you are in trouble.
Our whole trouble, our whole commune's trouble, is simple. Those people write on their dollar: We trust in God. On the dollar! Who is mixing religion with state? You are mixing religion even with the dirty dollar! In front of the Supreme Court it is written: We trust in God. If someday I happen to be in the Supreme Court - it is very possible, I may manage it - then I am going to ask them, "Where is God? And on what authority have you written this? And if at the very gate there is a lie, you cannot ask me to take the oath for truth. Rather, ask me to take the oath to only speak lies and not truth"
- because the greatest lie is there, just at the gate of the Supreme Court. On every dollar bill is the great lie: We trust in God.
These people go on mixing religion in every way; but they are legal, right. I don't have any way to mix my religion with anything, it is so unmixable. This is the only legal city in the whole world. If mixing religion makes a city illegal then all the cities of the world are illegal because everywhere religion is mixed. This is the only place where religion is not mixed at all.
Religion, in fact, does not exist here at all.
What exists is a totally different thing:
And that is a fragrance.
You cannot name it.
You cannot make a holy scripture out of it.
I know that I do not know myself but this is what is meant by "knowing thyself" This experience of coming to utter innocence is what Socrates means by "knowing thyself."
But all words are dangerous. You have to be very alert and careful when you are using words; hence, I used the words:
I am innocent of myself.