The Only Way to Fail Me is Not to Be Yourself

Fri, 21 November 1984 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
From Unconciousness to Consciousness
Chapter #:
pm in Lao Tzu Grove
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Question 1:



It is impossible to fail me. It is not in your hands. You can fail Moses, if you don't follow his ten commandments. I have not given you any commandments. You cannot go against me. You can fail Jesus very easily because whatsoever he is telling you, teaching you, is against human nature, and you are human beings trying to be superhuman. You are bound to fail.

I have not given you any superhuman ideas. I have never, in any way, persuaded you to go beyond your ordinariness. How can you fail me?

Jesus says, "Love your enemy, just the same as you love yourself." You may not be able to find the contradiction. First you accept somebody as your enemy. In that very acceptance, you have hated him. And now, Jesus is saying, "Love him." He is saying, "Love the person you hate." Translated directly, that's what his statement means: love the person you hate.

People have done it, but just the other way round. They have hated the person they have loved.

And at the moment Jesus says, "Love thy enemy," he is not aware of the fact that you cannot even love your friend without hating him, that hate and love are two sides of the same phenomenon.

Whomsoever you love, you hate too. Sometimes the hate comes up and love goes down, and sometimes the love comes up and the hate goes down. And in twenty-four hours you can watch the wheel of love and hate going up and down, towards the same person.

Jesus is talking about love but seems to know nothing about it, because the first thing to know is that love and hate are not two things. You cannot separate them. If you want to love, you have to accept hate too. Yes, your love can be so understanding that it absorbs the hate in itself, that you accept the hate as an essential part of it, that you don't hate hate, and you don't create a division in yourself.

You cannot fail me for the simple reason that I have never expected anything from you.

All these messiahs have been expecting things from you: you have to do this, and you have not to do that. Once you go against their idea of how you should be, you have failed. And you are going to fail them out of sheer necessity, because you cannot fulfill somebody else's idea.

You have a being of your own which needs fulfillment. You have no responsibility towards me, to fulfill my idea. My idea I have fulfilled. Now it is your idea, your being, your essence that has to be fulfilled.

Nobody else can give you the discipline. But down the ages people have ruled people in a thousand and one ways. They will rule you through money, they will rule you through power politics, they will rule you through knowledgeability. They will rule you by becoming a certain image that the society respects.

For example, I would like to say something about Mahatma Gandhi. It was an everyday affair in his ashram that some disciple failed him, because what he was asking of those poor people was so unnatural, so devoid of any reason and sense, that unless they were absolute idiots they were going to fail him. That was the only way to save themselves, otherwise they would be destroyed by him. In Mahatma Gandhi's ashram you could not drink tea. That was enough to fail him. Now, tea is such an innocent thing. Buddhist monks have used it for thousands of years as a help to meditation because it keeps you alert, awake. When you are feeling sleepy, just a cup of tea brings you a little awareness.

The story is that Bodhidharma was determined to remain awake for twenty-four hours. But the body is the body, the eyelids get tired, and when they get tired the eyes close. He became so angry that he cut off his eyelids and threw them in the grass. Then his eyes could not be closed. It is a symbolic story. It did not happen, it cannot happen - because I know Bodhidharma perfectly well....

He is the last person to do such a thing. But the story is significant, although it is just a story: those eyelids grew into a plant that became the tea plant. And because those were the eyelids of a man like Bodhidharma, the tea still carries the quality of awareness. That is the significance of the story.

In every Buddhist monastery, the first thing is the tea. But in Gandhi's ashram, if somebody was caught drinking tea it was a great sin: he has failed the master. And the master was a sado-masochist. All disciplinarians, whether they are mahatmas, sages, rabbis, saints, principals, teachers, headmasters - all disciplinarians are, deep down, dictatorial.

Discipline is a beautiful name for an ugly thing: dictatorship. But you cannot revolt against a disciplinarian. You can revolt against a dictator. You can revolt against Stalin, you can revolt against Mussolini, but you cannot revolt against Mahatma Gandhi, and there is the danger.

Why can't you revolt against Mahatma Gandhi? - because before he disciplines you, he tortures himself. He is a sado-masochist. Before he tortures you, he tortures himself more than he is asking you to. You cannot revolt. This man is not simply torturing you like Joseph Stalin. He has tortured himself, he has disciplined himself, far deeper than he is asking you. How can you revolt against him? You cannot find any excuse.

Gandhi had one ashram in South Africa, in the beginning of his career of mahatmahood. The ashram was called the Phoenix Ashram. There, he tortured his wife and his children so immensely that I wonder why nobody bothers and nobody thinks about it. And people like Richard Attenborough make films on Gandhi, and all that is essential, all that should be brought to the eyes of the people, is completely left out. Perhaps these people like Attenborough are blind completely - blinded by his mahatmahood.

What was he doing to his wife? First, she had to clean the toilet... and you don't know the Indian toilet. Don't compare it with the Western toilet. The Western toilet can be cleaned, there is no problem. There is nothing to clean, it is already clean. But the Indian toilet is really dirty. And Kasturba, Gandhi's wife, could not say no either, because Gandhi himself was cleaning. When the husband is cleaning... she knew that he was a mahatma. She knew that it was a dirty job and she did not feel like cleaning other people's dirt and carrying it out from the outhouse, way back, and throwing all the shit into a ditch - because Gandhi had this idea that the shit should not be misused.

Everything had to be used.

He was really a miser. There is no question about why he suffered from constipation - his whole life he was carrying the enema with him everywhere - it was his psychology. The shit had to be collected and thrown into a ditch behind the house, and then mud had to be thrown over it, so it becomes manure for the next year's crops.

Now, for Kasturba it was so difficult. And the way it has to be carried in India, you cannot believe.

But in India, they have reduced one fourth of the country to such a state that they are not allowed to do any other work. So only this work is available, they have to do it. They are born to do it; that is their destiny. So they collect the shit in buckets, and carry it on their heads for miles. In India, Kasturba had never thought that she would have to do this, because she belonged to a higher caste; she was not a sudra, an untouchable.

But Gandhi was carrying it himself, and he was the mahatma. And when he carries it he gets a subtle right over you. You have to understand the subtle power politics in such small things. Because he gets up at three o'clock in the morning, everybody has to get up at three o'clock in the morning. And when the old man is getting up at three o'clock: you are young, you will feel guilty if you don't get up. And if you are caught, then you have failed the master. And what is the master going to do? He will not punish you, he will punish himself - because he had this egoistic idea that if he is truly pure then nothing can go wrong around him, then everything is going to be right. If anything goes wrong, that simply means something is impure in him, so he has to purify himself by fasting.

So if you fail him, he will torture himself. That will create even more of a burden on you. First: guilt that you failed him. Second: guilt that now he is suffering because of your stupidity - you could have awakened at three o'clock, it was not such a big deal. And now for a few days, nobody knows...

because he would always start a "fast unto death." Although he never fasted unto death he would always start a fast unto death.

Then Gandhi had to be persuaded; then all the leaders of the country had to run to his ashram and say to him, "Just for one man's failure you cannot punish the whole country." Then after two or three days he would be ready to take food, and that one man would be condemned by the whole country.

He had been punished more than you could have imagined. Wherever he went, people would talk about him: "This is the man for whom Gandhi is fasting unto death." And if Gandhi died, they would have killed this man, they would not have left this man alive.

One night Gandhi threw Kasturba, who was pregnant, out of the house because she was reluctant to clean the latrine. A pregnant woman, a woman who does not know any other language, in a foreign country, absolutely dependent on him - he closed the door, threw her out, and said, "If you don't clean the latrine, then this is not your house, then you don't belong to me. If you cannot follow my discipline, if my own wife fails me, then who else is going to listen to me? In the cold winter Kasturba wept outside and finally decided that she should agree to clean the latrine. Only when she agreed to clean the latrine was she allowed in. Now, you can fail such a man very easily by anything, just by smoking a cigarette, drinking a cup of tea... anything.

He did not allow his children to be educated. He didn't send them to school. They wanted to go, their mother wanted it also. Naturally she wanted them to be educated, "otherwise who is going to feed them? And their whole life is ahead of them. You are educated, you are a barrister, you earn. And you are a mahatma - even if you don't earn, you have thousands of worshippers. But your children - don't you send them even to the primary school?"

He was against the education that is available in the schools, colleges and the universities. Why?

- because it creates doubt, it destroys people's faith; because it teaches people science and technology, which he was against: against things so simple and so essential that you will not be able to believe it - that in the twentieth century a man can be against the telephone!

Now, the telephone does not do any harm to anybody. One can be against nuclear weapons, I can understand - but the telephone?... railway lines?... trains?... airplanes? He was against anything except the spinning wheel - that was the only technology that he accepted. Beyond that, all technology was evil, all science was evil; so why send your children to learn the devilish ways of science, technology, logic, philosophy, and destroy their faith, their belief in God? No. He would not send them.

His eldest son, Haridas, escaped. Seeing the situation - "This man is going to destroy our lives completely" - he escaped, reached a relative's family and told the whole story, what was happening, and that "I want to go to school." Just see the situation: the boy has to escape from the home to get into school. Boys escape from school, not to go there... and Haridas had to leave his home and ask some uncle, some faraway relative, "Please help me. At least I would like to be a matriculate; then I will see later on. But up to matriculation, that much education is absolutely necessary."

Gandhi was very angry. The prophet of nonviolence was angry, violently angry. What he said was, "Now this home is closed for Haridas. He should not be allowed in and nobody from my family should meet with him. Even his mother, his brothers, his sisters - nobody should see him and meet him. If anybody meets with him, he also goes with him. He has failed me." You impose such stupid ideas.... Now, what Haridas was doing was perfectly right. This man had to be disobeyed. The other children did not escape; they were weaklings. Haridas had some guts. And he showed later on that he did have some guts.

Gandhi used to say, "All religions are one." That was also a political gimmick: "All religions are one - Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jaina, Buddhist, Sikh... all religions are one." But the basic politics was to capture all these people and their votes, and to keep the whole of India undivided, so that Gandhi's party ruled over the whole of India, not only a part of India.

In his prayer meetings every morning the Koran was recited, The Bible was read, and other holy books were also included. Just a few pieces read from The Bible, a few pieces read from the Torah, a few pieces read from the Koran.... And there too was great cunningness, because I have looked into those pieces that were read: they were the pieces which were synonymous with the Gita. Only those pieces were chosen from The Bible that were synonymous with Krishna, because Gandhi used to call the Gita his mother. He never called the Koran "my father" or The Bible "my uncle" at least... only the Gita his mother. And all these fragments that he had chosen were deceptive. They were simply translations, as if they were the same message so there was no problem. All that was against the Gita - or different from the Gita, not even against it - was not chosen.

So he was deceiving Mohammedans, he was deceiving Christians, he was deceiving Jainas, he was deceiving Buddhists, he was deceiving Sikhs, everybody. And they all thought that this man is a super-sage - that is the meaning of mahatma: the great soul. As if souls are also small or great!

Souls are simply souls, neither small nor great. But the great soul, mahatma, because he was so liberal, unprejudiced... and he was full of prejudice.

Haridas knew it. So what he did was, he converted himself to Mohammedanism. He did well. I appreciate him. The doors of the home were closed. Gandhi had abandoned him, declared, "He is no longer my son. I am no longer his father. He has utterly failed me. If he had died it would have been better." And what sin had he committed? He had gone to school! But he was really an intelligent boy. As he left the school, he turned to Mohammedanism. And Mohammedans rejoiced.

They enjoyed the idea that Gandhi's eldest son found shelter in Mohammedanism. They started calling him "Mahatma Abdullah Gandhi."

They kept 'Mahatma' and 'Gandhi' so people remembered who he was, and changed 'Haridas' into 'Abdullah' - which means literally 'Haridas'. abd'allah - servant of God, and that is exactly the meaning of haridas: servant of God. It is the Arabic translation of Haridas, so it was exactly the same.

But Gandhi was so shocked! You can imagine, if just his son's going to school was enough for Gandhi to abandon him as a son, now he has become a Mohammedan! Gandhi wept. Now, this is the man who says all the religions are the same. So what is the difference? Whether he is Hindu or Mohammedan - what difference does it make? And even his name was nothing but an Arabic translation of the Sanskrit name - an exact translation.

Just by coincidence, there was a meeting in Bombay. Just by coincidence, Gandhi was going into the same train from which Haridas was getting out. Kasturba, after all, was a mother; she wanted at least to have a look at her son. She knew that her husband wouldn't allow them to talk, but Gandhi didn't allow her even to see him. He said, "Remember, don't look at him. He is dead for us. He has slapped me on my face by becoming a Mohammedan." He forgot all that synthesis of all the religions... and still the prayer continued the same way every day.

You can fail this type of people very easily. You cannot fail me, it is impossible. There is no way to fail me; because I don't impose any discipline on you, how can you fail me? I don't give you any doctrine against which you can go. How can you go against me? All that I go on saying to you is:

be authentically yourself. Now, the only way to fail me is not to be yourself. How can you do it? And it is good that you cannot do it.

It is not because of your failing me that I have started speaking. It has nothing to do with you. I am just a man who lives moment to moment. One day I felt like going into silence. I went into silence.

Anybody in my place would not have gone into silence that way because so much was incomplete, so many things had to be done. But I couldn't care less. One day I will die, and things will be incomplete - have I to postpone my death too?

I live life as I will live death, moment to moment.

If things are incomplete, let them be incomplete. Perhaps that is their destiny. Perhaps somebody else will complete them. Who am I to be bothered?

So one day I stopped, because I felt like it. And one day I started speaking. I just told Sheela - that time also it was poor Sheela - I told her, "I'm going to stop speaking." She was shocked. What would happen to the whole movement? How would the sannyasins survive? They had become so accustomed to hearing me every day; it had become their nourishment, daily nourishment. But I never consider anything, I am very inconsiderate. Whatsoever I feel, I do, without thinking at all about the consequences. I am ready to accept any consequence happily.

Again it was poor Sheela. I told her, "I am going to speak today!"

She asked me, "But arrangements have to be made, and this and that.... Can't it be tomorrow?"

I said, "No. That is your business - arrangements and other things. I am going to speak today."

It has nothing to do with you. It is just my way of life, moment to moment, remaining spontaneous, remaining unpredictable. Not only to you or to the world at large - to myself I am unpredictable.

I don't know, tomorrow I may not speak, I may stop again. I cannot guarantee about tomorrow because tomorrow is not in my hands, it is open, undecided. We will see when it comes. We will see what it brings. And I have lived this way my whole life.

One day I left my family. They were all worried about me. They wanted me to go to a science college, and I simply refused. I said, "That is not my interest. I am going to study philosophy, religion, psychology.... That is my interest, because against philosophers, theologians, priests, psychologists, I am going to fight - my whole life."

My father said, "A strange interest - you are going to fight against these people?"

I said, "Yes, that's why I have to study them as deeply as possible. With science I have no conflict.

Science I am going to use, but the religions, the philosophers - these people I am going to fight."

My father said, "Will you ever come to your senses or not? I am not going to give you a single pai to study in any arts college."

I said, "I have not asked for a single pai. Even if you give me money, I will not accept it." He did not think that I was serious. He loved me so much. I left home without taking a single pai from my parents. I traveled without a ticket, eighty miles away to the nearest university. When my father saw that I had really gone, he rushed to the station. By the time he reached it, the train had left. He inquired, and people said, "Yes, we saw him; he has gone."

He followed me on the next train, got hold of me and said, "Don't take my words seriously. I was just trying to persuade you some way so that you go to a science college, become a doctor, become an engineer.... What are you going to gain out of art?"

I said, "That is not the point at all. I am not after gain. And I cannot conceive of myself being a doctor. I would rather commit suicide. Constructing bridges and houses - I cannot think of myself as an engineer. That is not anywhere in my being. I don't feel any synchronicity - no bell rings in me. Seeing a doctor, I say, 'Poor fellow. The whole life he will be just bothering about diseases, sicknesses, sick people, and he will completely forget that his whole life, his own life, is going down the drain every moment. He is thinking about other people's life and how to save them, and he has forgotten completely that he is not saved yet.'"

He said, "Forgive me. You go to the arts college. I will be sending you money."

I said, "I cannot accept it. You know me. You told me you will not give a pai. I said, 'Even if you give it, I will not accept it.' Now you are giving, and I am not accepting."

And I did not accept money from him. In the night I worked as a journalist on a daily newspaper, as an editor; and in the day I was going to the university. He was really very much troubled. Every month he would come, again and again. It took two years for him. Then one day when he came, I said, "Okay, I accept." He had not said a single word. I said, "Don't say a single word. If you say a single word, then I have told you that if you give me any money, I will reject it. So don't give it to me, and I will not reject it. Simply go on putting the money here on my table, whenever you feel I will need it. Neither you give, nor I accept."

And that's how it continued for six years. He used to put the money there. He would not say to me, "This is for you," because if he said that, there would be trouble. Nor would I talk about the money; money was not a thing to be discussed because we had settled long things long ago about it. Of course I had not said that if I find money on my table I will not use it....

I have lived without thinking of the past, without thinking of the future, and I have found that that is the only way to live; otherwise you only pretend to live, you don't live. You hope to live, but you don't live. You remember that you had lived, but you have not lived. Either it is memory or it is imagination, but it is never reality.

And I don't make anybody responsible to me. Try to understand my basic approach. All the religions have said that you are responsible towards God, towards Jesus, towards Buddha, towards your parents, towards your teachers, towards this, towards that. None of them has said that you are responsible only towards yourself.

And I say to you that you are not responsible to God, because God exists nowhere. You are not responsible to Jesus, because Jesus was not responsible to you. So what business have you to be responsible to Jesus? You are not responsible to your parents, because they had not asked you, "We are going to give birth to you, are you ready to come into the world or not?" You came to them just accidentally.

I say to you, you are responsible only to yourself. And the miracle of this statement is: if you are responsible to your own being, you will find many responsibilities are being fulfilled, without being considered at all.

I was never responsible to my parents, but I don't think anybody else could have fulfilled his responsibility to his parents better than I have done. But I have not done it, it is just a by-product of my responsibility to myself. The moment I was fulfilled, the moment I was blessed by truth, of course I wanted it to be shared; and it was natural that I would share it with my father, with my mother, with my brothers, with my sisters, whom I had known longer than anybody else. And I shared it.

I never asked them to become sannyasins - never. It was their decision to become sannyasins. If they wanted to become sannyasins, it was their decision. If you have become sannyasins, it is your decision. I do not convert people. I think of conversion as one of the dirtiest things one can do to you. Christian missionaries go on doing it to people, converting them. Who are you to convert anybody? You can open your heart. If you have some light there, you can share it with others. If they feel it, they will start searching within themselves. It will not be a conversion; it will be an inversion.

If you know me well, you will try to know yourself well. That's the only way. Knowing me well, you cannot feel responsible to me. You will feel responsible, utterly responsible, to yourself. So much life you have wasted and who knows how little is left? So each moment has to be lived intensely, totally, fully.

You can fail yourself - you cannot fail me. The person who could fail me is dead. It was I myself before I knew. That was the person who could have failed me. But instead of failing me, he died, because only in his death was my life. Only by dying was the space for my life to grow created. So I am thankful to the dead person that once I was. And I will remain thankful for eternity.

You cannot fail me because you are not responsible to me. You can either be fulfilled, then you will be grateful, thankful; or you can remain unfulfilled, then you will be angry with me - as if I have prevented your growth. Neither I can help your growth, nor can I prevent your growth. I can only share my growth, expose myself in utter nudity to you, so that you can see what happens when one comes home, when one arrives. And that glimpse may trigger the process of transformation; not of conversion, but of transformation.

Question 2:



The Christian way of being humble, modest, selfless, is basically wrong. The words they are using may sound exactly the same as I use, but they don't mean the same. When Jesus says, "Be humble,"

what does he mean? He means just the opposite of the ego: the ego is standing on its head, but the ego is there... upside down. When I say be ordinary, the ordinary is not against the ego; the ordinary man is not humble.

I am not a humble man. I am not an egoist. I am just exactly in the middle. The humble man is exactly opposite to the egoist.

I am reminded of a small story. There were three Christian monasteries, very close to each other, belonging to three different denominations. One day, just by chance, the chiefs of all the three monasteries met on a morning walk. They sat under a tree to rest for a while.

One of them said, "Your monasteries are also doing our lord's work" - carefully take note what he was saying: "Your monasteries are also doing our lord's work, but as far as scholarship is concerned, you cannot beat our monastery."

The second chief said, "I agree, I agree perfectly. Your monasteries are also doing our lord's work, but as far as service to the poor, to the sick, to the old, to the orphans is concerned, you cannot come even close to us. You are far behind."

The third monk said, "You are both right: your monasteries are doing our lord's work. And this is true: the first monastery has great scholars in it, the second monastery has great servants of the people, of the poor, of the sick. But as far as humbleness is concerned, we are the tops."

Humbleness is nothing but the ego standing upside down. A humble person is not egoless; he has repressed his ego, forced his ego to stand on its head. He is trying to be the humblest man in the whole world. But what is ego? Somebody is trying to be the richest man in the world - then it is ego.

And somebody is trying to be the humblest man in the world - then is it not ego? If the president thinks he is at the top, then it is ego. And when the saint starts saying that he is at the top as far as humbleness is concerned, everybody is below him, then is it not ego?

Jesus has to be analyzed very carefully. He says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God." On one hand to be meek... but why to be meek? The motive? The motive is given in the other part of the sentence: "to inherit the kingdom of God" - great meekness! Jesus also says, "If somebody hits you on one cheek, give him the other too." These statements look so beautiful because you have been conditioned to hear them again and again, and you have completely forgotten that they have to be analyzed, psychologically understood. Great research is needed, in depth. Research is needed into a statement like this.

When somebody hits you on one cheek, Jesus says, give him the other too. It looks like he is teaching nonviolence, he is teaching love, compassion. But what he is teaching is to behave like a superman, and reduce the other man to sub-humanity. Have you ever thought that if somebody hits you, and you give the other cheek, what you are doing to him? Are you not saying to him, "Look, I am a saint"? Yes, you are not saying it, but it is all over the place. It is quite loud, even though you are not saying it: that, "Look at my saintliness, my humbleness, my meekness; you hit me on one cheek, I give you the other."

When Jesus was teaching this message to his disciples, one of them had asked him, "And if he hits you on the other too?" Jesus may not have thought of the possibility of such a question. Yes, that is possible, because if you yourself are offering another cheek, it will be just ungrateful not to accept the offer. And if you enjoyed the first hit so much that you are welcoming another, he may give even a stronger one.

So the man asked, "Then what have we to do?"

Jesus said, "You have to forgive seven times."

He said, "Okay." From the way the man said "Okay," it was clear that he knew that seven times he could tolerate it, but let the eighth come, and in just one single hit, "I will show him that what he has not been able to do in seven, I can do in a single one." Looking at the man, the way he said, "Okay,"

Jesus said, "No! Seventy-seven times." But even seventy-seven times will be finished....

Jesus is not trying to solve the problem, he is simply postponing it. First he postponed it twice, then seven times. Now seeing the person, that it makes no difference - after seven times he will do exactly the same as he would have done the second time, the first time, in the first place.... But he is again postponing it, making it longer - seventy-seven times. But I say, even seventy-seven times will be finished; then will your humbleness be finished too? And then what are you going to do?

No, this is not the right way. You are not being humble. On the contrary, you are humiliating the other person. Jesus has told you to give him the other cheek. "Deep down he is saying: Humiliate him. He may not be conscious himself of what he is saying. He may be thinking that he is giving you a great teaching. I do not doubt his intention, but his intention is not in question at all. What is in question is the statement, the principle. What is the basic psychology in it? Somebody hits you and you give him your other cheek; you reduce him into a subhuman being, and deep down your ego is fulfilled - so pious. But the ego feeling pious is far more dangerous than the ego feeling wrong, ugly - because you can get rid of the ugly ego; you cannot get rid of the pious ego. The pious ego is a treasure to be saved, to be protected: that man has made you a saint.

That's what Jesus himself did on the cross. Even on the cross he is humiliating the people. He is asking God, "Forgive these people because they know not what they are doing." As if he knows! In fact, those people know perfectly well what they are doing. They know that they are crucifying him because of his claim that he is the messiah, and the scriptures say that the messiah will be crucified and the miracle will happen: he will be resurrected by God. And that will be the only proof of his being the true messiah; otherwise he is a false one.

They knew perfectly well what they were doing. But even hanging on the cross... the pious ego still has the last word: "God, father, forgive these poor people. They don't know what they are doing."

Only he knows, and nobody else there knows. And what does he know? Just a few moments before he himself was asking God, "Have you forsaken me?" There was doubt. He was shocked that the miracle was not happening, that nothing was happening, that the sky was absolutely silent, no response. All kinds of doubts must have arisen in his mind.

You can think of yourself on the cross, and you have been declaring... and he believed it. I never doubt his intention. It was not that he was befooling, or cheating. He was not a fraud, he was sincerely insane. He believed he was the messiah who had come to redeem the whole of humanity.

And he went to the crucifixion himself.

There is every possibility of a strange conspiracy. Only Gurdjieff used to talk about it; he was the first man to talk about it. Christians of course cannot talk about it. And Jews have never bothered about the crucifixion; they have not even mentioned anywhere that this carpenter's son was crucified.

They simply ignored it - just a mad guy - in their history books, their religious book. Nnowhere is crucifixion mentioned, other than in Christian books. That is the New Testament, which was written three hundred years after Jesus' crucifixion, so-called crucifixion.

Gurdjieff had a few very significant ideas. I can only call them ideas because they cannot be authenticated by any other source; but Gurdjieff was a man of penetrating mind. One idea was that the story of Jesus is not historical. It was a drama that was played year after year in olden times, just as Rama's story in India has been played year after year for five thousand years. Even today, every year in every village, every town, every city, even the smallest village has its own group of actors playing the story of Rama, Ramleela. The same time each year the story is played. There is a possibility that there has never been such a man as Rama; it has been only a story, but it has been played for five thousand years continually so that it has taken a historicalness about itself.

Gurdjieff said Jesus' crucifixion and the whole story of Jesus was a drama played every year; no historical event happened. I don't agree with this, because if it was so the Jews would have continued to play the story, just as Hindus have continued to play the story. Why were they stopped? What happened? The story is beautiful; why did Jews simply stop it? And no Jewish source mentions it, even as a story. And if it was being played for thousands of years, it is impossible that there was no other source where it was related. And why did it suddenly stop two thousand years ago? No, it cannot be just a drama. And a drama cannot create so much trouble in the world. A drama cannot create Christianity. A drama cannot create all that the Christians have done to humanity. No, no drama is so powerful.

His second idea is also very significant, and there are moments when I think perhaps he is right about the second idea. With the first idea, I simply disagree with him. But the second idea is that Judas did not betray Jesus - he was Jesus' closest disciple. It was Jesus who persuaded Judas to deliver him to the enemies. That too has no source anywhere. Gurdjieff was a strange man, but once in a while he used to stumble upon certain fragments of truth, certain aspects.

I can see some possibility of truth in this, because there was no need for Judas to betray. They had never been in a fight. There was no question about his being the successor, because he was the most literate, the most cultured, the most educated person amongst Jesus' apostles. All the others were just very ordinary people from the masses. He was the only one - he was far better educated, far more cultured than Jesus himself. It was absolutely certain that he was going to take over once Jesus was gone. There was nobody to compete with him. There was no conflict. There had been no fight, and it was not possible that he would sell his master for thirty silver pieces. And if he was really so much against Jesus, then why did he commit suicide after Jesus' crucifixion?

Christians don't talk about Judas' suicide, which is very significant. Perhaps Gurdjieff is right.

Perhaps Jesus persuaded Judas, ordered Judas, "Go and deliver me to them, and deliver me in such a way that they don't suspect that you are being sent by me - so if they offer some bribe, you accept." They offered thirty silver pieces. He accepted gratefully and he brought them to the place where Jesus was staying. Jesus was caught and the next day he was crucified. It seems Gurdjieff has a point there, because Jesus knew beforehand that he was going to be crucified the next day.

How did he know it? He knew that Judas was going to deliver him to the enemy. How did he know it?

The Christians will say, "He is all knowing, he is omniscient: he is the son of God." But what happens to the son of God on the cross? Suddenly God abandons the son?... forgets about him?... does not listen to his prayer? No, the possibility is he knows, because it is his own plan that he should be delivered to the high priest, and only Judas could do it because he was so obedient and he could be relied upon. The others were emotionally attached to Jesus; only Judas was intellectually attached to Jesus. The others were not reliable. They might say, "No, we cannot do this. How can we do this to you? What are you talking about?" And even if they were sent, they would have come back without telling anybody about Jesus. They were simple folk.

Only Judas was capable of some integrity. And if Jesus says, "This is the way we have to function.

You deliver me to the high priest and let them crucify me, and let God show the miracle of resurrection, so immediately we become recognized, and we can transform the whole world and redeem everybody from suffering." And Judas believed it. He was not against Jesus and he was not betraying Jesus; he was really obeying him, obeying to the very extreme. Only a very obedient disciple could do that. But he also believed that there was no problem in crucifixion. Crucifixion was just a game: he was the son of God.

You should put yourself in Judas' position, then you can understand that he was not betraying. He never thought for a single moment that this is a betrayal. He is simply fulfilling the plan and the master is giving him the order. And it is written in the scriptures, "The messiah will be betrayed by his own disciple." Everything is written in the scriptures. He knows the scriptures, he is the only person who can read. So a disciple has to play the role - it is just a role - because he believes totally that after the resurrection the world will be redeemed. And he is doing a great service to humanity.

He is not betraying Jesus, he is fulfilling his mission on the earth.

Gurdjieff's idea is a little outlandish, but worth consideration. Anyway, whether it is right or wrong, one thing is certain, that Jesus was very keen to be crucified, more keen than the chief priest of the great temple of the Jews. He rushes fast towards Jerusalem for the annual festival, because it is known all over the country that this time, if Jesus comes to the temple.... Last year he had created chaos in the temple, he had upturned the tables of the moneychangers, thrown them out, had beaten them, and declared, "This business cannot continue in my father's house. The temple is my father's house."

So there had been a rumor around for one year continually: "Next time, if he comes, the priests are ready. Last year they were not ready; it happened suddenly, they could not do anything. But this time they are getting ready, and they have persuaded the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, 'This man is dangerous religiously to us, and politically to you.'"

Jesus knew. All these rumors were reaching him through his disciples and people and travelers, but still he rushed to the festival. For what? He had a tendency to be a martyr. That is another name for the suicidal instinct - a good name. But he believed, madly believed, that nobody could harm him. When God is the savior, who can harm him? But on the cross his hopes disappeared. But still, the ego, the arrogance of the humble man - who always forgives, even if you crucify him - is there:

"These poor people should be forgiven."

And who were these poor people? Learned rabbis - their whole life they had wasted in learning the Torah - the high priest and hundreds of other rabbis... because the temple of the Jews was one of the biggest temples in the world. Hundreds of priests were functioning there, working there. And the chief priest, the high priest was in egoistic conflict with Jesus. Unless Jesus had that ego there, the conflict would not have arisen.

It was the rule that every year the centralmost shrine of the temple was opened; the only man who entered there was the high priest, and the door was closed. Only he was allowed to utter the name of God. That's why - you will be surprised - in Jewish books written in English, they don't write G-O-D - God - because that would be pronouncing the full name. The 'o' is dropped, leaving an empty space in place of 'o': 'g' - empty space for 'o' - and 'd'. You should not pronounce it, because unless you are pure enough you should not pronounce the name of God.

Only the high priest was entitled to pronounce the name of God; others were not entitled even to hear it. So the door was closed in the innermost shrine, completely closed - and there was only one door. Then he would call out, "God!" and pray and ask for the redemption of the Jews: "Send the messiah."

And this man Jesus entered into the temple the year before, disturbed the whole structure of the temple, the system of the temple, and declared himself the messiah. Not only that, he declared, "I am the only begotten son of God. This is my father's house, and what business is it that you are doing? I will not allow this kind of business here. Get out of the temple!"

Now, this was a sure challenge for the high priest that an even higher priest has arrived, the messiah has arrived, the prayer has been heard. Not only the messiah, God has sent his own son. Now this son has to be somehow finished with; otherwise the purpose, the function of the high priest and the thousand priests and the whole temple is lost.

Jesus rushed, got caught, was crucified; but even in crucifixion his arrogance was the same. He asked that these people should be forgiven, because they did not know what they were doing. If you enter deeply into such statements, you will be surprised that what appears on the surface is not the whole reality. So when the Christians say humble, they mean the ego has been repressed.

But it has come in from the back door, claiming that "I am the most humble person." When they say selfless, they tell you to practice selflessness, be humble.

Once a Christian monk came to see me. He was traveling all over India, and one of my Christian friends had given him a letter saying that if he passed through my city he must see me. He had written a letter to me saying that "Brother So-and-so is coming on these dates, and he is the humblest person you will ever come across - absolutely selfless. He is exactly what you teach. So I am telling him to meet you, and I implore you also to meet him. He is a man worth meeting."

Brother So-and-so appeared one morning. He was carrying a Bible, and was living just like a Hindu monk; he looked very simple, gentlemanly. But I didn't say to him to sit down.

He said, "Your friend has sent me."

I said, "I have received the letter. But why are you carrying that rubbish with you?"

He said, "Rubbish? This is The Holy Bible."

I said, "This is holy nonsense."

His eyes became fire and he said, "What kind of man are you? My friend was saying that I would be welcomed and received. You have not even asked me to sit down and you call my holy Bible 'holy nonsense,' rubbish. I cannot stay here anymore."

I said, "I don't want you to stay here anymore - because you are not the person whom he describes in this letter, the Brother So-and-so who is very humble, the humblest person you will ever come across. You are not a humble person. If you were, what is wrong in my calling your Bible rubbish?

You should have laughed. You should have said, 'Okay, that is your opinion.'

"And if I have not asked you to sit down, nor have I prevented you. The chair was there; why were you waiting for me to tell you to sit down? A humble person? You could have sat down; I have not prevented you. And just think of your anger - you are enraged!" I said, "Now I say, please sit down.

Put your holy Bible here on the table."

He said, "No. I cannot stay here a single moment more. You are a dangerous man. You disturbed my twenty years' humbleness."

I said, "A humbleness which has been practiced for twenty years and is disturbed within twenty seconds is not worth much."

You can repress the self, you can repress the ego, you can behave the way a humble man behaves.

You can discipline yourself in any way, but it is all a circus, disciplining. Deep down you will remain the same. Anybody who knows how to scratch your thin layer of discipline can bring your reality out within seconds.

When I say be without the ego, I am not saying repress the ego, I am saying try to understand the ego. I am not saying fight with it. I am saying become aware of it. And the more you become aware of the ego, the less it is. The day you are fully aware of the ego, it is not found. When the ego is not found, then a quality arises in you like a fragrance - which is humbleness, which I call ordinariness, just to make the difference from humbleness. That word humble has been so misused by religious people that I have to use the word ordinariness, because no religion has used that word. So I don't want to use the words humble, selfless. I would like you simply to understand that I am just ordinary as everybody else is ordinary. And this understanding comes by becoming aware of the ego, not by repressing it.

One woman has written a letter in which she says, "You are not a gentleman; not only that, you are not even a Christian." I started to think, "Is to be a Christian a necessary condition for being a gentleman? Then the whole world who is not Christian, is not gentlemanly. Only Christians are gentlemen." And my experience shows, and your experience shows, that this is not the case.

Christians, because of Jesus' egoistic claims, continue in the same egoistic stream - their pope is infallible.

I used to think that I have come to know all the kinds of idiots, but coming here to Oregon I came to know that that was not right. The Oregonian idiot is a special category in itself.

Okay Sheela?

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1957 Jewish rabbi attacks the Lord's Prayer in the schools.

(NJO, Feb. 8, 1957).