I Teach You Reverence For Life
MOSES GAVE US TEN COMMANDMENTS, BUT YOU HAVE SPOKEN ONLY ABOUT SIX REQUESTS; WILL YOU PLEASE COMPLETE THE LIST TO MAKE IT TEN?
It seems I will never be able to learn arithmetic. Perhaps it is too late to. I was thinking I had given you only five requests, but if I have given six then certainly I have to complete the list to make it ten. Why does ten appear to be complete? There is a reason behind it. Man started to count on his fingers, and because he has ten fingers, ten gives a sense of completion. Five would have been better; not as complete as ten, but not as incomplete as six.
The sixth request. All the religions of the world, without exception, have given man ideals which are superhuman. They satisfy the ego. You would like to be a superhuman being, but you are meant only to be a human being. Even if the rose wants to become a lotus, the desire is going to be a tremendous frustration, because the potential of the rose is to be a rose. How can it be a lotus?
But all the religions, in every possible way, have been giving you ideals far above humanity. The only result is that trying to be superhuman, you miss being human. Rather than reaching the superhuman level, making that stupid effort you fall below the human level itself - you become subhuman.
It will be significant to remember Friedrich Nietzsche, and his idea of superman. Adolf Hitler got the idea from Friedrich Nietzsche, and he was trying, in his own way, to create a whole race of supermen. And what he created was just the opposite. He created the lowest kind of human beings - but in the name of superman. Friedrich Nietzsche is far more responsible than anybody else for bringing humanity to such a crisis. Adolf Hitler and people like him are just pygmies; but Nietzsche is a giant. His whole life he was propagating the idea of superman.
He has the support of Charles Darwin, and his logic looks simple, accurate, appealing. He says, "Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution proves that one day a small bunch of monkeys turned into human beings. The mass of course are still monkeys, but a small group became man." This must have happened millions of years ago - if it happened at all. There is no certainty about it.
Scientists are no longer agreeing with Charles Darwin any more, because if a few monkeys turned into human beings, why, for millions of years, are other monkeys not turning into human beings? At least a few of them, once in a while, should turn into human beings. But monkeys are monkeys.
We have found ancient skeletons of monkeys; they are the same as the modern monkey - there is no evolution. The same is true about man. The ancientmost skeletons found in Peking, China, are almost exactly the same as you are - nothing much has changed. There seems to be no evolution.
Perhaps we have more things, more technology, a much more advanced standard of living, but man himself - he may be flying in the airplane or in a rocket - the human being is just the same as he was when he was driving a bullock cart.
Perhaps, rather than evolving, he has lost many qualities, because when man was a hunter he had tremendous strength. He needed it. He was fighting without any weapons, wrestling with tigers and lions, naked. The modern man is no comparison to him. His life was a tremendous struggle. We could not survive that life. We have lost that strength, the muscles, perhaps even the will. If such a situation arises again many of us would rather commit suicide than live naked in the jungles and fight with animals. And you will find you are the weakest animal on the whole earth. Even a dog can prove the fact, and the dog is no longer part of jungle life. He is a tamed animal. He has weakened with you... otherwise he is a cousin of wolves. He cannot fight with the wolves, but with a man... he can easily kill you without any difficulty.
In fact, why did man have to invent swords and guns and bayonets? It is just to substitute for the strength that is naturally missing. What the lion can do with his teeth, you cannot do. What the lion can do with his nails, you cannot do. You have to find substitutes which are stronger than the lion's nails, his teeth. And you would love to fight from a distance - hence man invented arrows, bullets.
These are ways to fight from a distance, because to be close, even with the bayonet in your hand you may become nervous. Just seeing the lion and hearing a lion's roar, you may forget all about the bayonet - you may be no more yourself. From a distance, sitting on the top of a tree, absolutely protected - the lion cannot reach there - you can shoot the lion.
What evolution has happened? But Friedrich Nietzsche has based his whole idea on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He said, "The most beautiful scene in my life happened one day when I was sitting in my garden and a battalion of soldiers passed by on the street: the sound of their boots falling in harmony, their bayonets shining in the morning sun...." Nietzsche said, "I have never seen such a beautiful thing in my whole life." He does not talk about the sunset, nor about the sunrise, nor about the flowers, nor about a bird on the wing - but soldiers. The sound of their boots is far more musical than any Beethoven or Mozart. The shining of their bayonets in the morning sun is more glorious to him than the sun itself. The morning may have been full of flowers and birds, but that has no appeal to him. The soldier is going to be the superman.
This idea gets into the idiotic mind of Adolf Hitler. It is very difficult to put ideas into idiots' minds, but once you put them in you cannot take them out. That is impossible. They will just do it; and he did it - the second world war was the result. You may not have thought on these lines, that it was a by-product of the philosophy of superman.
George Bernard Shaw was continuously describing the superman, as if just to be human is something ugly, something obnoxious, something that we should be ashamed of. But Bernard Shaw was not in any way original in this philosophy. All the religions have been doing this for centuries, telling you that you have to go beyond yourself. As you are, you are bound towards hell. Unless you transcend yourself there is no possibility of your being redeemed, saved.
Shri Aurobindo, one of the great philosophers of contemporary India, was also full of the same bullshit - superman! "The time has come for superman to arrive." And he was preparing the ground for the superman to arrive. Aurobindo has died; the superman has not arrived. The superman is never going to arrive, it is a fiction. It is a fiction created by the priest who wants to condemn you. A comparison is needed, otherwise condemnation is impossible. Something higher, superior, has to be invented, so that you can be compared against it - and reduced to ashes.
I would like you to remember my seventh request: Accept with great joy your being human.
Destroy all the ideals that have been created to condemn you. Before they destroy you, you destroy them. They have already done enough harm to humanity. Millions of people have lived under the burden of those ideals, crushed, feeling guilty, like worms.
Jainas say that the superman has certain qualities - their tirthankaras, their twenty-four supermen, had already achieved that state. I say to you, nobody has achieved it, because those qualities cannot be fulfilled by any human being. When you hear those qualities you will understand why I am so certain.... "The superman does not perspire." It is impossible for any human being not to perspire unless he is made of plastic; only plastic does not perspire.
But a real human body has a specific purpose for perspiration; it is not for nothing. It is a natural way of giving your body a constant temperature. So when you move in the heat, and it is hot, your body starts perspiring. It is a natural method of air conditioning. The body starts oozing its stored water so that the heat is used, not against your body, but in evaporating the water that the body has released, and your body remains intact, keeps its temperature the same.
That perspiration was absolutely necessary. If you had not perspired you would have had a great fever immediately. And the line between your temperature and the temperature where your body stops living is not very big; it is only twelve degrees. If ninety-eight degrees is your natural temperature, at a hundred and ten you are gone. The distance is not very great; death is always close at hand. Perspiring, you prevent your body getting hotter, because the heat starts functioning on the water that you are releasing, starts evaporating it. It gets involved in some other work, leaving your body intact. It is a natural system.
The Jainas say their supermen, their tirthankaras, do not defecate, do not urinate. Because these are ordinary human things, animal-like, how can a man like Mahavira...? You cannot imagine Mahavira sitting on the toilet. At least Jainas cannot imagine it - perhaps you can. Being with me you are almost spoiled; but Jainas cannot imagine Mahavira sitting on the toilet seat. Impossible!
What will he sit there for? These are all stupid ideas, but for twenty-five centuries Jainas have been carrying these ideas.
Jesus is a superman. He walks on water. I heard of one American Christian who was visiting the holy land. He went to see Lake Galilee where it is thought that Jesus supposedly walked on water.
Seeing an American, the boatman was very happy. He asked the American, "Would you like to have a tour around the lake? This is the lake where our lord Jesus Christ used to walk on water."
The American, being an American, said, "First things first. How much is it going to cost?"
The boatman said, "Not much, just twenty-five dollars, the whole trip."
The American said, "Now I know why our lord used to walk. I am not interested in this round trip.
But one thing is now clear to me: why he used to walk on water. Even I cannot afford twenty-five dollars for this small lake, how would that poor man have been able to afford it?"
Jesus transforms stones into bread, transforms water into wine, raises the dead back to life. These are the qualities of a superman, and all these things are simply fictitious. None of them has ever happened. Jesus has neither walked on water, nor has he transformed the stones into bread, nor the water into wine, nor has he raised the dead back to life. If he had done all these things, then it is the responsibility of the pope to do a few things just as an example. There is no need to transform a big rock, just a small rock... and you represent him, and he will take care of you. Your failure is his failure.
But nobody thinks that if he was capable of transforming stones into bread, then why has the whole Middle East lived in such poverty? That one man was enough: he would have transformed everything. If bread is possible out of a stone, then what was the difficulty in transforming the stone into a diamond? If water can become wine, then why not make the whole ocean wine? If you know the secret of how to transform even a single drop of water into wine, you know the whole secret of transforming all the water of the whole earth into wine.
And if he was able to raise dead people, then why only Lazarus? So many people must have died while he was here. The story with Lazarus seems to be tricky. That man seems to be pretending to be dead. He is not dead; it is just a made-up miracle. It can be done very easily; in India it is done so many times that we know how it is done. Just one man has to pretend that he is dead, and that needs only a little training of keeping your breath neither out nor in.
When you take the breath in, then the body naturally wants to throw it out when it is used, so that fresh air can enter. When you have taken its oxygen, absorbed it, that breath is useless; not only useless, it is dangerous because now only carbon dioxide is left. You have to throw it out quickly.
So it is not something against you - that the breath is trying to struggle to get out - it is for you. It is your bodily mechanism. Your whole chemistry depends on it; once oxygen has been taken by your blood cells, the air has to be thrown out immediately, as quickly as possible, and when you throw the air out.... Your need for oxygen is constant.
You are not aware of it, but your need for oxygen is constant. You are not only taking oxygen from your nose, you are taking it from every small hole in your skin, all over the body. If your whole body is painted so thickly that all the holes are closed and only your nose is left open, you will die within three hours. More than that you cannot survive.
Then you will know that the whole body was continuously taking oxygen on its own. It is breathing.
Those holes in your skin are not just for nothing. When it is needed they throw the water out:
that is perspiration. Otherwise they are constantly absorbing the air. So when you breathe out, the immediate need of the body is to breathe in again, because your blood cells are continuously running around the body, sending oxygen wherever it is needed, and they are coming back empty to the heart, where they want to be refilled. To refill them you have to take in fresh air.
Now, the only way to keep your breath in an unmoving state needs a certain yoga exercise in which you learn exactly the middle point, when the breath is neither in nor out - or half in, half out. At that exact point there is a certain equilibrium attained, and for a few minutes you can remain alive without breathing. Jesus had been to India. He had been traveling in Egypt, in India, In Ladakh, and perhaps in Tibet too. He must have learned the simple technique somewhere. There are people still in India who can do it, not only for hours, but for days - in small villages, you need not go to the Himalayas to find them.
In my own village, in my childhood, I have seen, three times, three different people going into a grave and being covered by mud completely - a six foot deep grave. It is impossible to conceive that six feet under the earth they will be able to breathe. For seven days, for fifteen days, and the last time I saw it, for twenty-one days.... After twenty-one days you take away the mud. The man is found almost white, as if dead, not breathing.
I was there. I had taken a mirror with me, because you may not be able to detect the breath just with your hand, but if you put the mirror near the nose, if any breath is going in and out the mirror will immediately give you the indication. But there was no pulse. Even doctors were present - there was no pulse, there was no breath. And the man had said, "When you take me out, do this procedure exactly: put me into a certain position, and don't do anything on your own - just put me into a certain position." So he had to be put in a certain position, and within five, seven minutes he was breathing.
Slowly his paleness disappeared, his pulse was back, his heart was beating.
This Lazarus was not dead. And he was a close friend and disciple of Jesus. It was a simple game, because the Jews were asking, "Can you raise the dead? If you can raise the dead, then you are a messiah, then you are a superman." This is all managed. And remember, no Jewish source mentions it. It is such a big event - a dead man coming back to life - do you think it is not news?
Not a single Jewish source mentions it even, that something like that is told about Jesus. They don't mention even the name of Jesus.
These stories either have been invented later on or were being managed just to prove that he was a superman. First you put certain requirements for who is a superman, then people start proving that they are one. So either you get charlatans, deceivers, cheats, or if they are sincere, honest people, they start feeling that they are so low they are not even worthy to call themselves human; they are sinners. Their guilt is so heavy because they cannot do anything that a superman is supposed to do.
About Gautam Buddha it is said that whenever he would pass through a forest, the trees would start suddenly growing green leaves - even if it was not the season for them. Flowers would bloom - even if it was not the season for them. Buddhists say that is the sign of a superman. Even trees...
just his vibe, and even trees forget their natural law, that it is not time to blossom. It may be fall, but because Buddha comes it turns into spring. Wherever Buddha goes it is spring. Wherever he is, trees are blossoming. This is not true. This is absurd, because no Jaina sources, which are contemporary sources, mention it, and it would have been such a great event. Buddha walked for forty years, passed through forests thousands of times; the whole country must have been agog, that this man... but no Jaina sources even mention it, no Hindu sources even mention it.
Buddhist sources cannot be believed. They were written by Buddhists, and that too after Buddha's death. Three hundred years had passed when the first congregation met to write down everything, so that in future people would know and remember that there had been a man like Gautama the Buddha. They were trying their best to prove him the superman - but their idea of superman. He does not walk on water, he perspires - those are not Buddhist criteria, so there is no problem. And even if he could transform water into wine, I don't think Buddha would do that; he would do just the opposite, would turn the wine into water - that would be the miracle.
But everybody has his idea of superman. And all the religions have been imposing this idea of superman. And they all have been telling you that if you are virtuous, if you do whatsoever is prescribed by the scriptures, if you follow faithfully, this is going to happen to you too. They have given you an ideal which you cannot fulfill, hence you will be guilty. You will feel unworthy, good for nothing, and your whole energy, which could have helped you to become an authentic human being, will be wasted in these foolish things.
So my seventh request is: Be just an authentic human being.
In existence there is no hierarchy.
The smallest blade of grass has an equal value to the greatest star in the sky.
In existence there is no hierarchy, nobody is lower, nobody is higher. Everybody is just himself.
Some tree is tall, some tree is not tall. That does not mean that the tall tree is greater, superior, and the small tree is not greater, not superior. No, in nature there is no hierarchy. The small tree has the potential of being a small tree. It has brought its potential to its completion; it is happy, blissful. It is not comparing itself with the tall tree. And the tall tree is not looking downwards with the eyes of a president looking at the ordinary people or a prime minister looking at the ordinary people. The tall tree is just a tall tree. It has fulfilled its potential. Both have done exactly the same; whatsoever was their potential, they have brought it to fulfillment... and fulfillment is bliss. What you fulfill does not matter.
Fulfillment of your potential is bliss.
So remember, there is no hierarchy; there is nobody above you, there is nobody below you. A dog is a dog, authentically a dog. Yes, you can distort the dog. People have been doing that. To the tamed animals they have been doing the same as their so-called saints are doing to them.
You are tamed animals to your saints. So they are trying to cut you according to their image - lengthen you somewhere, stretch your hands and cut your legs. They have a certain idea; you have to fit into the idea. The idea is not for you, you are for the idea. And the same you go on doing with dogs, cats and other animals - poor animals who somehow are caught in your traps. So whatsoever you say they have to do it. Of course the training needs torture. You see in the circus an elephant dancing. Now, for an elephant to dance... just to raise his leg is so heavy. You need a crane to raise one leg, one crane to raise another leg, another crane... the cranes will have to create the dance.
But how do they manage in the circuses? Torture - simple torture.
They put hot, burning hot, iron plates and force the elephant to walk on them. One plate is hot, one is cool. Naturally on the hot plate he raises his leg; on the cool one he keeps it down. On the next step it is reversed - this side is cool, that side is hot, so he puts this leg down and raises that leg.
It takes tears. Each plate has a different color; and elephants are wise people, very wise, so they start learning that the red tile, or the red plate is hot, the green plate is cool. Once they get the idea and the association, then you simply use red and green plates. Nothing is hot, both are cool, but the elephant has become conditioned: on the red he will raise his leg without even bothering about whether now the plate or the tile is hot or not - it doesn't matter. And they teach them to sit on stools.
An elephant sitting on a stool.... But you only see the outcome of a long, torturous training. It is the same as you do with dogs, with cats, and in the circus they do with all other animals. Your so-called religions have been doing the same with you.
They have made the whole of humanity into a circus... all kinds of things. The motivation is that you will become superhuman. And the superman does not die. Once you get beyond your humanity...
which, according to the Christians, is sin; to be human is sin, to be born as a human is sin.
I wonder many times... because I am a little crazy so I wonder about strange things which nobody else wonders about. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden, but all these animals, birds, millions of species, how did they come out of the garden of Eden? It is okay that Adam and Eve disobeyed, followed the idea of the devil; they committed the original sin. But what about the whole animal kingdom? Have they also committed the original sin? Has the devil managed to provoke them to revolt too? It's strange that no Jew, no Christian philosopher, theologian, scholar has even asked, "From where have all these animals come? And why?" Man is born in sin. Certainly animals are not born in sin; so if anybody is higher, animals are higher than you. This much mathematics I can manage.
So the seventh request, remember: Accept your humanity with joy, as a gift of existence - not that you are expelled from the garden of Eden, not that it is a punishment, not that you have to repent.
Jesus goes on saying, "Repent! Repent!" For what? Because Adam and Eve ate an apple? And we have to repent for it? Now, my doctor, Devaraj, does not allow me, otherwise my whole life I have been eating apples - not one, at least six per day. That was my main diet. If anybody has committed the original sin, I am here. That poor Adam and Eve... just one apple. And they must have eaten half and half; perhaps the serpent also had some share in it. I don't know, because the people who create these stories don't give any clue. Just a small fragment and they think it is enough.
We are still in the garden of Eden. That's what I want you to understand. This existence is the garden of Eden, there is no other garden of Eden. We are already in it. And how can one be expelled from existence? Just look at the absurdity of the idea. Even if God wants to, he cannot expel anybody from existence. Where will he expel him to? Wherever he expels him to, it will be existence still - and his creation still. And whatsoever God creates must be holy - or does he also create unholy things? So if he expels you, you will still be walking on the holy earth, the holy planet.
There is no point in the story. It is just to keep you tethered to the idea that unless you undo what Adam has done, you will never rise above your humanity. And what has Adam done? He has disobeyed. Rather than listening to God, he listened to the devil. Of course, the devil was more logical, more appealing, more convincing.
This God, the God of this story, seems to have no guts. If the devil had convinced them, he could have argued with them. That would have been far more gentlemanly than driving them out in a Ford car. Why insult them? And it must have been a T-model Ford car, the ancientmost, which had no reverse gear. So Adam and Eve go on and on, but they cannot reverse. The idea of the reverse gear came later on. When Ford tried to go back home and found that it took so long - you had to go around the whole town, and then go back home; if you had missed by just one step, again you had to go around the whole town - that gave him the idea of the reverse gear. But the model that God used, it was before this idea that Ford got; it had no reverse gear.
Why was he angry? And if he was angry, he should have been angry at the serpent, at the devil - not at these innocent people. But in the story the serpent still lives in the garden of Eden. The story says nothing about the serpent. What happened? He still lives there. And he must be seducing other people to eat the apple. It seems he is an agent of God.
To implant the idea that you are born in original sin, different methods have been used by different religions, but they have to make it certain that you are born in sin. That's why Jesus is born out of a virgin girl, because to be born out of sex is to be born out of sin. Sex is sin.
Now, I again go on wondering how the holy ghost made the virgin Mary pregnant. I don't think he used artificial insemination. In what way did the poor woman become pregnant? But the Christians have to make poor Jesus a bastard, just to keep him away from the sin of sex. Everybody else is born out of sex, is born out of sin - only Jesus is not born that way. Jesus is special.
Strange ways these people have been using. In different religions different methods are used. For example, how was Buddha born? His mother was pregnant, nine months pregnant. Any day, today or tomorrow she was going to give birth, and she said she would like to visit her mother's palace.
She was a daughter of a neighboring king, and the queen of another king, Gautam Siddartha's father.
Now, it is still a custom in India, in the villages, that if a pregnant woman asks for something, she should not be refused. And I can see its psychology. It is solid wisdom. She should not be put into a negative mood, she should remain in a positive mood. She asked to go and see her mother and father. Shudhodhana, the father of Buddha, was worried because this was not the right time for her to travel, but her wish could not be denied. So immediately a chariot was called, and immediately she was sent.
And just on the way, when she was resting under a saal tree.... It is a beautiful tree with very thick shade. Even in the hot sun, under a saal tree it is cool. To avoid the hot sun which was just overhead, she waited under the saal tree. And the story is: while she was walking towards the saal tree, standing, she gave birth to Gautam Buddha. Perhaps no woman ever has given birth standing.
That is a strange posture. A woman is in such pain that to be standing....
But that is nothing; the story, the real story is coming now. Buddha was born standing! Ordinarily, the head comes first out of the mother's womb. It is very rare, a very few idiots try the other way, they bring their legs first. Very few idiots... otherwise the natural way is to bring the head first. But Buddha was born with his legs first - standing! The mother was standing, Buddha was standing - but wait... he walked seven steps! Gautam Buddha walked seven steps. The first thing he did, he walked seven steps; and the second thing he did, he declared, "I am the suprememost buddha in the world." Superman! Now how can you manage it? You can't, for the simple reason that you are already born. Only in the next life can you try, but that too depends on the woman, whether she goes to her mother's palace, stops by a saal tree or not....
Why these foolish stories? Just to make the person special, different from you. It is just to humiliate you. It is disgusting! How humanity has been insulted by all the religions! It is time that people say, "Stop all this nonsense. There is no superman, and there has never been one - we are all human beings. And these stories are all imaginary hocus pocus."
The eighth request.... All the religions have been teaching you to fight against nature. Whatsoever is natural is condemned. The religions say that you have to manage to do something unnatural, only then can you get out of the imprisonment of biology, physiology, psychology, all the walls that surround you. But if you go on in harmony with your body, with your mind, with your heart, then the religions say you will never be able to go beyond you. That's where I oppose all the religions. They have put a poisonous seed in your being, so you live in the body, but you don't love your body.
The body serves you for seventy, eighty, ninety, even a hundred years, and there is no other mechanism that science has been able to invent which can be compared to the body. Its complexities, its miracles that it goes on doing for you... and you don't even say thank you. You treat your body as your enemy, and your body is your friend.
It takes care of you in every possible way, while you are awake, while you are asleep. Even in sleep it goes on taking care of you. When you are asleep and a spider starts moving on your leg, your leg throws it away without bothering you. The leg has a small brain of its own. So for small matters there is no need to go to the central system, to go to the brain - that much the leg can do. A mosquito is biting you, your hands move it or kill it, and your sleep is not disturbed. Even while you are asleep your body is continuously protecting you, and doing things which are not generally supposed. The hand is not supposed to have a brain, but certainly it has something which can only be called a very small brain. Perhaps every cell of your body has a small brain in it. And there are millions of cells in your body, millions of small brains, moving around, continuously taking care.
You go on eating all kinds of things without bothering what happens when you swallow them. You don't ask the body whether its mechanism, its chemistry, will be able to digest what you are eating.
But somehow your inner chemistry goes on working for almost a century. It has an automatic system of replacing parts which have gone wrong. It goes on throwing them out, creating new parts; and you have to do nothing about it, it goes on happening on its own. The body has a certain wisdom of its own.
And the religions say the body is your enemy, you have to starve it, you have to hit it hard, because unless you starve it, torture it, how are you going to be free of it? The only way to be free of it is to cut all attachments to it. They teach you hatred for your body, and this is something so dangerous.
The very idea turns your greatest friend into your greatest enemy.
These religions go on saying to you, "You have to be always fighting, you have to move against the current. Don't listen to the body - whatever it says, do just the opposite." Jainism says, "The body is hungry, let it be hungry. You starve it, it needs that treatment." It simply serves you without any payment from your side, no salary, no facilities, and Jainism says go against it. When it wants to fall asleep, try to remain awake.
Gurdjieff was doing the same thing in this twentieth century. It certainly gives you a great ego power.
When the body wants food, you say no. "No" has great power in it. You are the master. You reduce the body to a slave - not only to a slave, you force the body to keep its mouth shut: "Whatsoever I decide is going to be done; you are not to interfere." Gurdjieff used to do just the opposite of what Jainism does. Jainism starves you - but the method is the same and the result is the same; Gurdjieff used to force his disciples to go on eating. When the body was saying no, he would say, "Go on...."
Every night, that was the peak point for Gurdjieff's disciples.
He was a great cook, and as far as exotic foods are concerned he was incomparable, but that does not make him a religious man. He used to cook strange foods which you have never eaten, your body is absolutely unacquainted with how to absorb them, what kind of ingredients he is putting in those foods! And then he used to stand there, forcing everybody; nobody could say no to the master.
The body was in revolt but he would go on forcing them to eat, and then the drinking would begin.
Then he would force you to drink. Soon, by the middle of the night.... The ritual used to continue from three to six hours, it was not a small affair. In the middle of the night, in that whole place only Gurdjieff was awake. All the others were unconscious, vomiting, everybody falling, in every kind of posture. It was a dead place, ugly.
What was the purpose? The purpose was the same: to teach you how to fight the body. The old disciples would slowly start getting accustomed to it. They would not vomit, although they had eaten so much that it was coming to their throats, but they would not vomit. Now they had controlled it enough. The disciples that had followed him from Russia were the oldest group. They would drink as much wine as he wanted and they would not fall unconscious. That gave great power - that you are no longer a slave of the body, you are a master of the body. It is the same power that the Jaina monks get from fasting for months together. The same ego is satisfied.
My eighth request to you is: Do not fight with your body.
It is not your foe, it is your friend. It is a gift of nature to you. It is part of nature. It is joined with nature in every possible way. You are bridged not only with breathing; with sunrays you are bridged, with the fragrance of flowers you are bridged, with the moonlight you are bridged. You are bridged from everywhere; you are not a separate island. Drop that idea. You are part of this whole continent, and yet... it has given you an individuality. This is what I call a miracle.
You are part and parcel of existence, yet you have an individuality. Existence has done a miracle, has made possible something impossible.
So being in harmony with your body, you will be in harmony with nature, with existence. So instead of going against the current, go with the current. Be in a letgo. Allow life to happen. Don't force anything, in any good name. For the sake of some holy book, for the sake of some holy ideal, don't disturb your harmony.
Nothing is more valuable than to be harmonious, in accord with the whole.
My ninth request....
All the religions are agreed upon one point - that real life begins after death. This life is only a rehearsal, not the real drama. The real drama will happen after death. Here, you are only preparing for the drama. So sacrifice everything to get ready for the drama that is going to happen after death.
They teach sacrifice. Sacrifice love, sacrifice life, sacrifice joy, sacrifice everything. The more you sacrifice, the more you will be capable of participating in the drama, the great drama, after death.
They have tried to focus your mind on life after death.
One man was asking me - I was in Calcutta, and he was one of the richest men of India, Sahu Shanti Prasad; he had the greatest palace in Calcutta. We were walking in his big garden... because he has, in the middle of Calcutta, at least a hundred acre green garden. The palace once used to belong to the viceroy of India, when Calcutta was the capital. When the capital shifted to New Delhi, the palace was sold. Now the president of India lives in the same kind of palace in New Delhi, with a one hundred acre garden.
So we both were walking and he asked me, "I always wanted to ask you what happens after death."
I said, "Are you alive or not?"
He said, "What kind of question is this? I am alive."
I said, "You are alive. Do you know what life is?"
He said, "That I cannot answer. Honestly, I don't know."
I said, "When you are alive, even then you don't know what life is. How can you know death when you are not dead yet? So wait. While you are alive, try to know life; and soon you will be dead, then in your grave contemplate about death. Nobody will be bothering you. But why are you concerned what happens after death? Why are you not concerned what happens before death? That should be the real concern. When death comes we will face it, we will see it, we will see what it is. I am not dead so how can I say? You will have to ask somebody who is dead what happens. I am alive. I can tell you what life is, and I can tell you how to know what life is."
"But," he said, "all the religious teachers I go to listen to talk about death; nobody talks about life."
They are not interested in life, in fact; they want you all not to be interested in life. Their business depends on your interest in death. And about death, the most beautiful thing is that you can create any kind of fiction and nobody can argue against it. Neither you can prove it, nor can anybody disprove it. And if you are a believer, then of course all your scriptures are in support of the priest, the monk, the rabbi, and he can quote those scriptures.
I would like you to remember: Live, and try to know what life is.
Don't be bothered about death, heaven and hell, and this goddammed God. You simply remain with the life that is dancing in you, breathing in you, alive in you. You have to come closer to yourself to know it. Perhaps you are standing too far away from yourself. Your concerns have taken you far away. You have to come back home.
So remember that while you are alive it is so precious - don't miss a single moment. Squeeze the whole juice of it, and that juice will give you the taste of the existential, and that will be a revelation of all that is hidden from you and will remain hidden from you.
Respect life, revere life. There is nothing more holy than life, nothing more divine than life. And life does not consist of big things. Those religious fools have been telling you, "Do big things," and life consists of small things. The strategy is clear. They tell you, "Do big things, something great, something that your name will be remembered for afterwards. Do something great." And of course it appeals to the ego. The ego is the agent of the priest. All the churches and all the synagogues and all the temples have only one agent, and that is the ego. They don't use different agencies.
There are not other agencies. There is only one agency, and that is the ego - do something great, something big.
I want to tell you, there is nothing big, nothing great. Life consists of very small things. So if you become interested in so-called big things, you will be missing life.
Life consists of sipping a cup of tea, of gossiping with a friend; going for a morning walk, not going anywhere in particular, just for a walk, no goal, no end, from any point you can turn back; cooking food for someone you love; cooking food for yourself, because you love your body too; washing your clothes, cleaning the floor, watering the garden... these small things, very small things... saying hello to a stranger, which was not needed at all because there was no question of any business with the stranger.
The man who can say hello to a stranger can also say hello to a flower, can also say hello to the tree, can sing a song to the birds. They sing every day and you have not bothered at all that some day you should return the call. Just small things, very small things....
And I am not talking about going to the synagogue - that is a big thing; going to the church - that is a big thing. Leave all that to fools. There are many. And they also need some kind of engagement, occupation; those synagogues, and churches and temples provide it. But to you, existence, nothing but existence, is the only temple.
Nothing but life is the only God I teach you.
Respect your life. Out of that respect you will start respecting life in others.
Many times I am asked why our commune is vegetarian. Just for a simple reason.... There is no motivation as in Jainism. Their motivation is that if you are vegetarian you will go to heaven; if you are not you will fall into hell. My people are vegetarian not for any motivation. They are not going to cash in on it somewhere after death. They are not putting it in their bank balance in the other life. It is just that if you respect life, you will start finding it difficult even to pluck a flower. You will enjoy the flower, you will love the flower, you can touch the flower, you can kiss the flower - but plucking it up, you are destroying it and you are hurting the plant, which is as alive as you are.
Respect for life, reverence for life, makes my commune vegetarian - otherwise there is no problem.
How can you eat meat? Just for your taste you can go on destroying life? Just the idea is nauseous.
How many, Sheela...?
"I think I made a mistake yesterday. I counted it wrong."
Okay, that's great, so let us go on.
Ninth: Be creative.
Only a creative person can know what bliss is. Paint, play music, compose poetry, do anything, not for any other purpose, just for your joy, for no other reason. If you can compose poetry just for your own joy, or a few friends may share it; if you can make a beautiful garden, just for the sheer joy of making it, and anybody who passes by may stand for a while and have a look - that's enough reward.
But this is my experience, that only creative people know what bliss is. Those who are not creative cannot know bliss.
They can know happiness, and I will have to make the difference clear to you. Happiness is always caused by something: you get a Nobel prize, you are happy; you are rewarded, you are happy; you become the champion of something and you are happy. Something causes it, but it depends on others. The Nobel prize will be decided by the Nobel committee. The gold medal will be decided by the gold medal committee, the university. It depends on others. And if you have been working for this motive - that you want to attain the Nobel prize and you are writing poetry, novels, just in order to get the Nobel prize - while you are working, it will be just a drag. There will be no bliss, because your happiness is there, far away, in the hands of the Nobel prize committee. And even if you get the Nobel prize, it is going to be just a momentary thing. How long can you go on bragging about it?
George Bernard Shaw got the Nobel prize. He was a very clever man. He used the happiness of getting the Nobel prize the most up to now; he defeated all the Nobel prize winners. First he got the Nobel prize - the news was all over the world. Then he refused the Nobel prize. Now it was an insult to the country, to the king who heads the Nobel prize committee, to the committee, to the people who have proposed his name. Never before had anybody refused; he started this thing.
From all over the world, pressure came upon him. For three days he kept the whole world buzzing:
what is going to happen? Every king, every prime minister, every president from every country was wiring and sending messages: "This is not good. This is not gentlemanly. You please accept it, then you can donate it - but first accept it. Rejecting it is an insult." The third day he relaxed and he accepted it. Again he was even bigger news - that he had accepted it. Two or three days he waited.
As the news was cooling down, he donated it. Again the news became hot, because it is not only a prize, it has money with it too, big money. I think right now it is nearabout two hundred thousand dollars.
Again he exploded all over the news media, and after two, three days, when everything was cooling down, he managed to leak out that he had donated it to his own society, the Fabian society. He was the president and he was the only member! And when he was asked, "What is all this?" he said, "Why not use it as much as you can? - otherwise just for one day you are in the news, and then finished. I carried it on for one month." But it depends on others. Even if you can carry it on for one month, it is going to be finished - one minute or one month, it doesn't matter.
Bliss is something totally different. It is not dependent on anybody. It is the joy of creating something; whether anybody appreciates it or not is irrelevant. You enjoyed it while you were making it - that's enough, more than enough.
And the last, whatsoever the number because now I cannot bother about the numbers. I myself have forgotten, but I have to say the last, so it is complete. Numbers, you can figure out.
The last is my most precious request to you, and that is: In existence the most extraordinary thing is to be ordinary.
Everybody wants to be extraordinary, that is very ordinary. But to be ordinary and just relax in being ordinary, that is superbly extraordinary. One who can accept his ordinariness without any grudge, any grumbling - with joy, because this is how the whole existence is - then nobody can destroy his bliss. Nobody can steal it, nobody can take it away. Then wherever you are you will be in bliss.
I was in New Delhi, and after I had spoken a man stood up and asked me, "What do you think about yourself? Will you be going to heaven or hell?"
I said, "As far as I know, there are no such things. But if by chance they are there, I can only hope for hell."
He said, "What!"
I said, "In hell you will find all the colorful people - ordinary people, but all colorful. In heaven you will find great scholars, theologians, saints, philosophers - but all serious, all quarreling, all against each other, disputing continuously. It must be a quarrelsome place, where you cannot find a moment of silence. As far as I understand, if God has any intelligence he must have escaped to hell, because that is the only place where nobody is going to argue about stupid, silly things, where people will be simply enjoying, dancing, singing, eating, sleeping, working."
I said to him, "To me, the ordinary is the most extraordinary phenomenon in existence."