Sigmund Freud was interviewing one of his patients. He asked the man lying on the couch, "Look through the window - can you see the flagpole on the office building across the street?"
The old man said, "Of course. Do you think I am blind? I may be old but I can see the pole, the flag and everything. What kind of question is this? Am I paying you to ask such stupid questions?"
Freud said, "Just wait, this is how psychoanalysis works. Tell me what the pole reminds you of."
The old man started giggling. Freud was immensely happy. Very shyly the old man said, "It reminds me of sex."
Freud wanted everybody to approve his new theory, and this was a confirmation. He said, "I understand. The pole is nothing but a phallic symbol. You need not be worried, it is absolutely true."
The old man was still giggling, and then Freud asked him, "What does this couch remind you of?"
The old man started laughing and said, "This is some psychoanalysis! I have come for this? Have I paid you in advance for this?" Remember, Freud used to take his fee in advance, because when you are dealing with all kinds of crazy people you cannot depend on them to pay you later on. It has to be taken before the treatment begins.
In fact nobody in the whole world, including Sigmund Freud himself, is ever totally psychoanalyzed, for the simple reason that it cannot be done. You can just go on and on and on ad nauseam. Why?
- because it is nothing but thoughts, insubstantial. One thought leads to another, and so on and so forth; there is no end to it. Not a single psychoanalyst has existed ever who can claim to be
totally psychoanalyzed. Something always remains, and that something is far bigger than the small fragment that you have been playing with in the name of psychoanalysis.
The old man was getting a little angry too. Freud said, "Just this last question, so don't get angry.
Of course the couch reminds you of sex; it reminds everybody of sex, so there is no problem in it - don't feel angry. Just this last question: what do you think of when you see a camel?"
Now the old man was really in an uproar, laughing so loudly that he had to hold his stomach with his hands. He said, "My God! I had never thought psychoanalysis had anything to do with camels. But by a strange coincidence I went to the zoo just the other day, and for the first time in my life saw a camel, and here is this old guy asking me what a camel reminds me of. The camel reminds me of sex of course, you sonofabitch."
Now it was Freud's turn to be taken aback. Camel? - he could not figure out how a camel could remind anyone of sex... a camel? Even he, Sigmund Freud, had never thought that about a camel. It was just a question. He had been hoping the man would say, "It reminds me of nothing in particular.
It is simply a camel. Should it remind me of anything?"
Freud said, "You have shattered my whole joy. I was thinking that you were confirming my beloved theory, but I cannot figure out how a camel can remind you of sex."
The man laughed even more loudly, and said, "You fool! Don't you understand anything? Don't worry about that stupid camel. Everything reminds me of sex, even you! So what can I do? That is my problem. That's why I came here. It is my obsession."
I told you this story to explain what I mean by the word "obsession." And the whole world can be divided into two categories: people who are obsessed with sex, and the people who are obsessed with death. That is the real demarcation line between East and West. It is not a geographical division, but far more important than geography.
I told you that the English language goes on taking words from other languages. "Geography" is a word, like many others, borrowed from Arabic. In Arabic it is beautiful, it is jugrafia, not "geography."
But whether it is geography or jugrafia, it cannot be the dividing line. Something psychological has to be understood.
The East is obsessed with death; the West with sex. A materialist is bound to be obsessed with sex, and the spiritualist obsessed with death; and both are obsessions. And to live a life with any obsession, western or eastern, is to live almost without living... it is to miss the whole opportunity.
The East and West are two sides of the same coin, and so are death and sex. Sex is the energy, the beginning of life; and death is the culmination of life.
It is no coincidence that millions of people never know what real orgasm is. It is for the simple reason that unless you are ready to go into a sort of death, you cannot know what orgasm is. And nobody wants to die, everybody wants to live, to renew life again and again.
In the East science could not gain any foothold, because when people are trying to stop the wheel, who is ready to study science? Or ready to listen? Who bothers? For what? The wheel has to be
stopped. Yet that can be done by any fool, just by putting a rock in its path. You don't need much technology to stop a wheel, but to move it, you need science.
The most constant inquiry in science is to find the cause of the very movement of existence, or in other words to find some mechanism that moves perpetually on its own, without needing any fuel, without any gas - a perpetual, constant movement unsupported by any energy. Because every energy source sooner or later runs dry, and then the wheel will stop. Science is in search of a way to keep the wheel moving forever, to find a movement that is independent of any source of energy.
In the East science could never get started; the car never started. Nobody was interested in getting it started either; they were too worried about how to stop it, because it was rolling downhill. In the East a totally different thing happened, that certainly had not ever happened in the West - Tantra!
The East could explore the deepest core of sexual energy without any inhibition, without any fear. It was not at all worried about sex. In fact I don't think that the story I told you was true.
My own feeling is that Sigmund Freud must have been in his bathroom facing the mirror, talking to himself. That old man on the couch is no one but Sigmund Freud himself. If you look into his book you will be convinced of what I am saying. Freud's whole concern was sex; everything had to be reduced to sex. He was the most sex-obsessed person in the whole history of man, and unfortunately he dominated the so-called psychology, psychoanalysis, and many other kind of therapies. He has become a father-figure.
Strange, that a man like Sigmund Freud, who suffered all kinds of fears and phobias, could become the key figure for this whole century. He was so afraid - naturally. Remember, if you are obsessed with anything, whether sex or death - those are the two main categories.... There are thousands of things in the world, but they will fall into these categories. If you are obsessed with either of these two, you are utterly ignorant, and you will remain afraid - in fact, afraid of light, because in your darkness you have created your own imaginary world of theories, dogmas and all that. You will be afraid of light, of a man bringing a lamp... a man like Diogenes, entering naked with a lamp even in the full sunlight of day.
I sometimes think it would have been good, good for Sigmund Freud, if Diogenes had entered his so-called psychoanalyst's office, with his lamp still burning bright; of course naked, because he was always naked. The meeting would have produced something of immense value. People like Sigmund Freud are afraid of light; that's why Diogenes used to carry his lamp. Whenever anybody would ask why he carried the lamp in daylight, he would answer, "I am searching for a man, and I have not found him yet."
Just a moment before he died somebody asked him, "Diogenes, before you leave the body, please tell us: Have you found the man yet?"
Diogenes laughed and said, "I am sorry to say that I could not find him. But I must say one thing: I still have my lamp with me. Nobody has stolen it, and that is great."
Sigmund Freud was obsessed, but continues to represent the whole western attitude. That is why Carl Gustav Jung could not stay with him for long. The reason is simple; Jung's obsession was not sex but death. He needed a master in the East not the West. Yet such is the complexity of things
that he was very proud of the West, so much so that when he visited India somebody suggested he should go and see Maharshi Raman, who was still alive, but Jung did not go.
It was only one hour's flight away... and he went everywhere else. He was in India for months, but he had no time to go and see Maharshi Raman. Again, the reason is simple: it needs guts to face a man like Raman. He is a mirror. He will show you your real face. He will take away all your masks.
I really hate this man Jung. I may condemn Sigmund Freud, but I don't hate him. He may have been wrong but he was a genius. He was a genius, even though he was doing something which I cannot support because I know it is not right. But this man Jung was just a pygmy; compared to Freud he stands nowhere. Moreover he was also a Judas; he betrayed his master.
The master himself was wrong, but that is another matter. Wrong or right, Freud had chosen Jung to be his chief disciple, and still he proved to be just a Judas. He is not of the same caliber as Freud. The real reason why they had to part - and I have never seen it mentioned by any Freudian or Jungian, I am telling it for the first time - was that Jung's obsession was with death, and Freud's was with sex. They could not stay together for long, they had to part.
The East, for thousands of years, has been morbidly engaged in somehow getting rid of life. Yes, I call it morbid. I love to call a thing what it is. A spade is just a spade, neither more nor less; I want simply to state the fact. The East has suffered much just because of this morbidity, continuously thinking from the very moment of birth how to get rid of life. I think this is the oldest obsession in the world. Thousands of the same caliber as Sigmund Freud have lived under it, and strengthened it, and nourished it.
I don't recall a single man who stood against it. They all agreed, even though they disagreed about everything else: Mahavira, Manu, Kanada, Gautama, Shankara, Nagarjuna - the list is almost infinite. And they are all far superior to Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung or Adler, and the many bastards that they left behind.
But just to be a genius, even a great genius, does not necessarily mean that you are right.
Sometimes a simple farmer may be more right than a great scholar. A gardener may be more right than a professor. Life is really strange; it always visits the simplest, the loving. The East has missed, and the West is missing too. Both are lopsided.
I had to talk about it because this is one of my basic contributions, that man should not be worried about either sex or death. He should be free from both obsessions, only then does he know, and he knows that, strangely enough, they are not different. Each moment of deep love is also a moment of deep death. Each orgasm is also an end, a full stop. Something reaches to a height, touches a star, and will never be the same again whatsoever you do. In fact, the more you do, the farther away it is.
But man lives almost like a rat, hidden in his hole. You may call it western, eastern, Christian, Hindu; there are thousands of holes available for all kinds of rats. But to be in a hole, howsoever decorated, painted, almost like a cathedral, a beautiful temple, or a mosque, still it is a hole. And to live in it is to go on committing slow suicide because you are not meant to be a rat. Be a man. Be a woman.
Up till now everything has been happening unconsciously, by nature, but now nature cannot do anything any more. Can't you see it simply? Darwin says that man is born of the monkey - perhaps
he is right. I don't think so, that's why I said "perhaps he is right." But what happened then? Monkeys are not becoming men... you don't suddenly see a monkey turning into a man and proving Darwin's theory.
No monkey is interested in Charles Darwin. I don't think they have even read his very unpoetic books. In fact they are - they must be, I assume - angry, because Darwin thinks that man has evolved. No monkey can believe that man is more evolved than him. All monkeys - and believe me, I have been in touch with all kinds of people, monkeys included - believe that man is a fallen monkey... fallen from the trees. They cannot think it is evolution. You will have to agree with me on a new word: involution. Perhaps Darwin was right, but then what happened? Forget monkeys, we have nothing to do with them.
What happened to man? Millions of years have passed and man is still the same. Has evolution stopped? For what reason? I don't think that any Darwinian is capable of answering, and know well I have studied Darwin and his followers as deeply as possible. I say "possible" because there is not much depth. What can I do? But not a single Darwinian answers the basic question: "If evolution is the rule of existence, then why has man not evolved into superman? Or at least something better?"
Don't call it super; it sounds a little too grand a word to be attached to a man. Why is man not just a little better?
But there has been no change at all for centuries. As far as historians know, man has always been the same, as ugly as today. In fact, if anything can be said to have changed, he has become even uglier. Yes, I am saying what nobody seems to say. Politicians cannot say it because the votes belong to the monkeys. The so-called philosophers cannot say it because they are waiting for their Nobel prize, and the committee consists of monkeys. If you tell the truth you will be in the same trouble as I am. I have not known a single day without trouble since I became aware. Inside there is no trouble; all trouble had ceased. But outside there is trouble every moment. Even if you associate with me you will be in trouble.
Just the other day I had the message that one of our centers has been attacked. All the windows were broken in a crowd attack. People took away whatsoever they wanted. And just after that a whole center has been burned.
Now my people have not harmed anybody; they were just meeting there, meditating there. Even the policemen made the statement, "It is strange, because for two years we have been observing these people, and they are utterly innocent. They are neither political nor in any ideology - they just enjoy themselves. Why their houses should be burned is unexplainable." The police may not find the explanation, because the explanation is here, lying down in this dental chair.
I have not known a single day when there was not some trouble or other; and it is the strangest thing to comprehend, because we have been doing harm to nobody. I have not harmed anybody; my people have not harmed anybody... but perhaps that is their crime. The mafia is okay. I am not; you are not. This world, either obsessed with sex or obsessed with death, is going to remain morbid, sick. If we want to have a healthy, wholesome humanity, then we will have to think in totally different terms.
The first thing I want to say is: accept that which is already there. Sex is not your creation, thank God!
Otherwise everybody would be using a different kind of mechanism, and there would be tremendous
frustration because those mechanisms won't fit together at all. They don't even fit when they are exactly the same, when they are meant to be in harmony; they don't harmonize. If everybody was inventing his own sexuality then there would be real chaos. You cannot conceive of it. It is good that you came ready-equipped, already what you are potentially going to be.
And death too is such a natural thing. Just think for a moment: if you were to live forever, what would you do? Remember, you would not be able to commit suicide. I have always loved Alexander's search for the secret of eternal life.... He finally found it, in the desert in Arabia. What joy! What ecstasy! He must have danced. But just then the crow said, "Wait, wait just a moment before you drink the water. That water is not ordinary water. I drank of it - alas. Now I cannot die. I have tried all the methods but nothing works. Poison cannot kill me. I hit my head against a rock, but the rock broke and I am unhurt. Before you decide to drink that water, think twice." The story goes that Alexander ran away from the cave so he would not be tempted to drink the water.
Alexander's teacher was none other than the great Aristotle, the father of European philosophy and logic. In fact, Aristotle was the father of the whole of western thinking - a great father! Without him there would have been no science, and of course no Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Without Aristotle you could not conceive of the West. Aristotle was Alexander's teacher, and I have always found teachers to be very poor.
In my childhood I remember seeing in a book - I can't remember which - or perhaps it was in a film, in which Aristotle was teaching Alexander, and the boy said, "Right now I don't want to learn anything; I want to ride a horse. You become a horse for me." So poor Aristotle became a horse.
He got down on all fours while Alexander sat on his back and rode him. And this was the man who became the father of western philosophy! What kind of father?
Socrates is never called the "father of western philosophy." Socrates of course, was the master of Plato, and Plato was the master of Aristotle. But Socrates was poisoned because he wasn't palatable; not easy to digest. The West wanted to forget all about him. He may have created the synthesis I am talking about. If he had not been poisoned, and was listened to; if his inquiry into truth had become the very base, we would be living in a totally different world. Nor is Plato thought to be the father, because he was too closely associated with the dangerous Socrates. In fact we know nothing of Socrates except what Plato wrote about him.
Just as Devageet is taking notes, so Plato must have continuously been taking notes from his Master.
Plato is not accepted because he is only a shadow of Socrates. Aristotle is Plato's disciple, but a Judas. He was a disciple in the beginning, and learned what his master had to teach, and then he became a master in his own right. But what a poor master he was, salaried by the king as a tutor to his son. It is so ugly to know that he was ready to become a horse for Alexander! Who is teaching who? Who is really the master?
I was a teacher in university. I know that Alexander riding on Aristotle disproves that he was the father of western philosophy. If he is the father then the whole philosophy in the West is just an orphan, a child adopted by the Christian missionaries, perhaps by Mother Teresa of Calcutta - that great lady can do anything! I pity Aristotle. I cannot find any other word for him. I am ashamed because I was also a professor.
The first thing I used to say to my class each day was, "Remember, here I am the master. If you don't want to listen to me, simply get lost. If you want to listen to me, then just listen. I am ready to answer all your questions, but I will not tolerate any noise, even whispering. If you have a girlfriend here then get out immediately and I allow you to go with your girlfriend. When I am speaking, only I am speaking, and you are listening. If you want to say something then raise your hand, and keep it raised because it does not mean that when you want to ask I necessarily have to answer at that time. I am not here as your servant. I am not Aristotle. Even Alexander could not make a horse out of me."
This was my introduction every day, and I am happy that they understood it - they had to. That's why I sometimes get hard with you, Devageet, knowing perfectly well that you have to use your buttons, and the noise of them is bound to be there. What can you do? I know it perfectly well. It is just an old habit of mine.
I have never spoken except in utter silence. You know, for years you have heard me. You know the silence in Buddha Hall. Only in that silence... Your English phrase is meaningful: that the silence is so profound that you can hear even a needle drop on the floor. So I know, but I am just accustomed to silence.
The other day, when I left the room, you were not looking very happy. Later that day I felt bad, it really hurt me. I never wanted in any way to hurt you, it was just my old habit, and you cannot teach me new tricks any more. I have gone beyond the possibility of being taught.
In the old days I used to drive, and sitting with me in the car people would feel annoyed once in a while. I am not a driver, what to say of a good driver - so naturally I did everything that was wrong. Although they tried not to interfere, I could understand their difficulty. They kept control of themselves. I was driving and they were controlling themselves - that was a great scene. But still, once in a while they forgot and started saying something to me in which they were often right. About that I have nothing to say; but, right or wrong it does not matter - when I am driving, I am driving.
If I am going wrong then I am going wrong. How long could they control themselves? It was dangerous, and they were not concerned about their own life. They were concerned about my life, but what could I do? I could simply state the fact that if I was driving wrongly I would continue to do so. At that moment particularly I did not want to be taught. It was not any egoism.
I am simple in that way. You can always tell me where I am wrong, and I am open to listen. But when I am doing something, I hate interference. Even though the intention may be good, I don't want it even for my own good. I would rather die driving wrongly than be saved by somebody's advice.
That's the way I am and it is too late to change.
You will be surprised to know that it has always been too late. Even when I was only a child it was too late. I can only do a thing the way I want to do it; right and wrong are irrelevant. If it happens to be right, good; if it does not happen to be right, that is far out.
Sometimes I may be hard on you, but I don't want to be. It is just a long, long habit from more than thirty years of teaching in utter silence. I cannot forget it.
I was making only one point, and was going to discuss it tomorrow. The point is that I am not against getting rid of the wheel, but I am against being obsessed with stopping it. It stops by itself, but not by you stopping it. It can stop only by you doing something else - that something else I call meditation.