Just now I was thinking of a story. I don't know who created the story or why, and I don't agree with his conclusions either, but I still love it.
The story is simple. You may have heard it, but perhaps not understood it because it is so simple. Everybody thinks he understands simplicity. It's a strange world. People try to understand complexity, yet they ignore simplicity thinking it's not worth paying attention to. Perhaps you may not have paid attention to the story, but when I tell it, it is bound to come back to you.
Stories are strange creatures; they never die. They are never born either, they are as old as man; that's why I love them. If a truth is not contained in a story, it is not a story. Then it may be philosophy, theosophy, anthroposophy; and no matter how many "sophies" there are, they are all nonsense - write nonsense, without a hyphen - pure nonsense. Because ordinarily the word is written with a hyphen, dividing "non" from "sense." I don't see any point in the hyphen. At least remove it from my words except when I say that Zen is non-sense, then of course the hyphen needs to be there.
I had first told this story to Masto, who must have heard it before, but not in the way I distort things, or create them.
The story is - and I am telling it to Masto - "God created the world, Masto."
Masto said, "Great. You have always been against philosophy and religion; what happened? This is the very first enigma all religions begin with."
I said, "Wait, before you conclude. Don't be foolish in concluding without having heard the whole story."
Masto said, "I know the story."
I said, "You cannot know it."
He looked amazed and said, "This is something. I can repeat it if you want me to."
I said, "You can repeat it, but that does not mean that you know it. Is repetition knowing? Is the parrot repeating the sutras of Buddha, a buddha or at least a BODHISATTVA?"
He looked really thoughtful. I waited, but then I said, "Before you start thinking, listen to the story.
What you know cannot be the same as I know, because we are not the same.
"God created the world. Naturally, the question arises, and the VEDAS ask it exactly: Why did He create the world? The VEDAS, in that sense, are just great. They say, 'Perhaps even He does not know why' - and by 'He' they meant God."
And I can see the beauty of it. Perhaps it all came out of innocence, not knowledge. Perhaps He was not creating; perhaps He was just playing, like a child making houses in the sand. Do children know for whom the houses are being made? Do they know the ant who will crawl in during the night and will feel warm?
In Hindi, ants are always "she" - I don't know why. They are never thought to be male. The truth is that only one ant, the queen, is female, all other ants are male. It is strange, perhaps not so strange, but to hide the truth they call the ant "she." Perhaps because the ant is so small, to call it "he" would be against the male ego. They call the elephant he. They call the lion he. If they specifically want to indicate the female elephant they call it a she-elephant, or a female lion a she-lion, but otherwise the term in general use is the male. But the poor ant... and unfortunately I have chosen it for the story.
He, or she, whoever the ant is, philosophizes - perhaps the ant cannot be a "she," otherwise where will the philosophy come from? - I have never come across a woman who philosophizes.
I have known many women professors of philosophy, but strangely, even these professors talk only of clothes and pictures. If somebody is present then they praise her; if she is absent, then they condemn her. Philosophy is the last thing they think of. How they manage to become professors is not strange to me, although you may have thought it should have been. No, they can teach because it needs no thinking; in fact, that is its most basic requirement. If you think, you cannot teach.
One of my professors was the strangest man I ever came across in the university world. For years not a single student enrolled in his class, the simple reason being that he would always start his lectures on time, but nobody ever knew when he was going to end.
At the very beginning he would say, "Please don't expect the end, because nothing in the world ends. If you want to leave, you can, because in the world many leave, and the world still continues.
Just don't disturb me. Do not ask me, 'Can I leave, sir?' - nobody asks that, even when one has to die, so why should you ask a poor professor of philosophy? Dear one, can I ask you why you came in the first place? You can leave whenever you want. And I will speak for as long as I feel the words are coming."
When I reached university everybody told me, "Avoid that man, Doctor Dasgupta, he is just mad."
I said, "That means I have to meet him first. I have come in search of really mad men. Is he really mad?"
They said, "Really mad. He is absolutely mad, and we are not joking."
I said, "It gives me great ecstasy to know that you are not joking. I can do that for myself. Whenever I need to, I just tell myself beautiful jokes and laugh hilariously saying, 'Great! Never heard that one before.'"
They said, "This guy seems to be mad himself."
I said, "Absolutely right. Now tell me where Doctor Dasgupta lives."
I went to his house and knocked on the door. There was not even a servant. He lived like a god: no wife, no servant, no children, just alone. He said to me, "You must have knocked on the wrong door.
Do you know I am Doctor Dasgupta?"
I said, "I know. Do you know who I am?"
He was an old man, and he just looked at me through his thick glasses and then said, "How can I know you?"
I said, "I have come to find out."
He said, "Do you mean that you don't know either?"
I said, "No."
He said, "My God! Two madmen in one house! And you are far madder than I am. Come in, sir, and be seated."
He was really respectful. Without joking he said, "In this university nobody has turned up for my classes for three years. In fact, I have stopped going myself. What is the point? I deliver my lectures in this room, exactly where you are sitting."
I said, "That's really beautiful, but to whom?"
He said, "That's the point. Once in a while I also ask, 'to whom?'"
I said, "I will enroll in your class, and you still need not bother to come to the classroom. It is almost one mile from your house. I can come here."
He said, "No, no, I will come - that is part of my duty. Just one thing, forgive me, but although I can start my lecture on time - if it is eleven, I can start at eleven - I cannot guarantee that I can finish when the bell rings forty minutes later."
I said, "I can understand that. How can the poor man who rings the bell every forty minutes understand what you are doing? And not only you, what are all the professors in the whole university
doing? If they stop, then they are stupid. The bell does not know; the man who rings the bell does not know, so why should you stop? If you make it a point that you will not stop, then listen, I will also make it a point, man to man, that if you stop I will hit you so hard you may not survive."
He said, "What? You will hit me?" He was a Bengali man.
I said, "I simply meant metaphorically. I will touch your head slightly, just to remind you that you need not bother about the bell."
He said, "Then it is okay. You need not go to the hostel, you can live in my house. It is very big, and I am alone."
That day I thought of Masto. He would have enjoyed that house, and that man with his contemplative eyes. That day too, I remembered this story. I will tell it again so that you can follow:
God created the world. He finished it in six days. The last thing He created was the woman.
Naturally, the question arises, Why? Why did He create the woman last? Of course, the feminists will say, "Because woman is the most perfect creation of God." Obviously He created her after His experience of creating man. Man is a little older model. Naturally God refined it, and made it better.
But the male chauvinists have another reply. They say God created man as the last of His creations, but then man started asking questions such as, "Why did you create the world?" and, "Why did you create me?" And God became so puzzled that He created woman to puzzle man. Since then God has heard nothing from man.
Man comes home tail between his legs, goes out to purchase bananas, and by and by he has become a banana: Mr. Banana, Ph.D., M.A., D.Litt., and whatnot. But basically Mr. Banana is utterly rotten. Please don't eat it. Don't even look inside the skin, otherwise you will repent, and immediately start saying, "Stop the wheel!" - the wheel of birth and death - because who wants to be a banana? But bananas may be well-dressed, with beautiful clothes, perhaps made in Paris. Mr.
Banana can do anything. He wears a beautiful tie, so that he cannot even breathe... shoes so tight that if you see Mr. Banana's feet you would never look at his face.
I have never liked shoes, but everybody insisted that I wear them. I said, "Whatsoever happens I am not going to use shoes."
What I use are called chappals in India. They are not really shoes, not even sandals, they are the least possible covering. And I have chosen the ultimate chappal; you could not reduce it any more.
My chappal-maker, Arpita, knows that there is no way to make them more perfectly. Even just a little less and my feet would be nude. It is just the most minimal; just a strap somehow holding my feet in the chappal. You could not cut it down any more.
Why do I hate shoes? For the simple reason that they make you into a banana. Of course Mr. Banana, Doctor Banana, Professor Banana, all kinds of bananas; lady bananas, gentleman bananas... you can find all varieties, but they always start from the shoes.
Have you ever seen Victorian ladies with their high heels? - so high that any tightrope walker would fall off if he tried to walk in them. Why were they chosen? They were chosen by a very religious
society, for a very irreligious reason - pornographic - because when the heels are high, the buttocks stand out.
Now, nobody bothers about the reason; even ladies go on doing it, and thinking they are being ladylike. It is very un-ladylike. They are simply parading their buttocks around for free, and enjoying it. And with their tight clothes, obviously they look better than they ever could naked, because the skin is, after all, just skin. If you are thirty years old, the skin is thirty years old. It has seen thirty years go by, and it cannot be as tight as a newly-bought dress. And now the manufacturers are doing miracles: they are making women look so tempting that God Himself would have eaten the apple!
Do you recognize what I am saying? It may take you a little time. Even Ashu has not laughed. It will take a little time for it to sink in. Yes, a snake would not have been needed, just a clothes salesman would have done. Just a tight dress for Mrs. Eve, and God Himself would have eaten the apple, and driven out with Mrs. Eve - for the evening, I mean.
Why did God create woman after man? The male chauvinist says man is the perfect creation. You must have seen men in Greek and Roman sculpture, but you rarely come across a woman's naked body sculpted, just men. Strange. What was the matter with those people? Could they not see any beauty in women?
They were male chauvinists, so much so that they praised homosexuality more than heterosexuality.
It will sound very strange because almost twenty-five centuries have passed since Socrates, but Socrates himself was in love with men, not women. Perhaps his wife Xanthippe created so much trouble for him that he over-reacted and forgot all about women, and started loving men. Perhaps there were other reasons.
If some day I have to go into the psychoanalysis of Socrates, then I may uncover things which no one else would even think to uncover. But the male chauvinist says God created man, and just because man was alone, and needed company, God created Eve.
This is not the original story. The original woman's name was not Eve, her name was Lilith. God created Lilith, but Lilith created, from the very first moment, the problem.
It started like this: Night was coming on, the sun was setting, and they had only one bed, this was the problem. They were not as fortunate as me in having Asheesh, otherwise he would have prepared - even though he may have been suffering from a migraine - still he would have created a perfect bed. But Asheesh was not there, in fact no other human being was there....
My watch has stopped, and just the other day I was talking about it, and it stopped. You know watches are temperamental. It stopped exactly at that same moment. And I was talking about another watch, a metaphorical watch, but who is going to explain to this watch that I was not talking about her? During the night I tell her many times again and again, "Listen, you need not stop. I was not talking about you - you are such a beautiful watch..." but she won't listen.
What was I saying?
"You were talking about Eve not having a bed... or Lilith not having a bed, Osho."
Yes. The fight started even before going to bed. Lilith was certainly the originator of the Woman's Liberation Movement, whether they know it or not. She fought. She threw Adam out of bed. What a great woman! Adam tried again and again to throw her out, but what was the point? Even if he succeeded, she was back again, throwing him out.
She said, "Only one can sleep in this bed. It is not meant for two." Of course it was not made for two by God; it was not a double bed.
They fought the whole night, and in the morning Adam said to God, "I was perfectly happy..." although he was not, but the whole night's unhappiness had helped him to see his past as very happy. He said, "I was so happy before this woman came."
And Lilith said, "I was also happy. I don't want to exist." She must have been the originator of many things. Perhaps she was the first real Zen patriarch, because she said, "I don't want to exist. One night is enough for one life, because I know it is going to be almost the same every night, again and again. And even if you give me a double bed, what difference does it make? We are still going to fight because the question is, 'Who is the master?' I cannot allow this brute to be my master."
God said, "Okay." In those days - and they were the days just at the very beginning; in fact it was the first day after the creation. It must have been a Sunday, according to the Christians. God must have been in a Sunday mood, because He said, "Okay, I will make you disappear." Lilith disappeared, and then God created Eve from Adam's rib.
It was the first operation, Devaraj, please take note. God was the first surgeon, whether the royal society recognizes Him or not does not matter. He did a great job. No other surgeon has been able to do the same since then. From just a rib, He created woman. But it is insulting, and I hate the story. It is not the way God should behave. Just a rib...!
And then there is the rest of the story. Every night, Eve counts Adam's ribs before she goes to sleep, to be certain that all the other ribs are still there and that there is no other woman in the world, then she can sleep well.
Strange... if other women are there, why can't she sleep well? But I don't like that ending to the story. In the first place it is male chauvinistic; in the second place, very ungodly; in the third place, very unimaginative and too factual. Things should only be indicated.
Masto asked me, "What is your conclusion?"
I then said, "My conclusion is that God created man first because He did not want any interference while He was creating." This is a well-known saying in the East. It has nothing to do with me, but I loved it so much that I can almost claim that it is mine. If love can make anything one's own, then it is mine. I don't know who said it in the first place, and I don't need to know either.
I also told Masto,"Since then, nothing has been heard of God. Have you any news about the poor old man? Has He retired? Has He forgotten His creation? Has He no love and compassion for those whom He has made?"
Masto said, "You always create such strange questions out of such absurd stories, and then you make them sound sensible. I wonder if one day you will become a story writer."
I said, "Never. Far more talented people are engaged in that work. I am needed somewhere else where nobody else seems to be interested, because I am thinking to be interested only in God."
Masto was shocked! He said, "In God? I thought you don't believe in Him."
I said, "I don't believe, because I know, and I know so deeply that even if you cut off my head I will still say, 'I know.' I may not be... once before I was not.... He was, and He will be."
In fact, to say "He" is not right. In the East we say "It," and that sounds perfect. IT written in capital letters gives a real meaning to Buddha's words, Lao Tzu's sayings, Jesus' prayers. "He" is again male-oriented, and "He" is not "She" either.
I have heard... you may not have heard yet, because it belongs to the future. It's a future story.
The polack pope dies, and goes to heaven, of course. He rushes in to see God, and as fast as he goes in, he comes out even faster - crying and weeping. Saints Peter, Paul, Thomas, and all the other saints gather and say, "Don't cry, don't weep. You are a good man, and we understand your feelings."
The pope shouted, "What do you understand? Did you know that in the first place He is not even a white man, He is a nigger? And in the second place, even worse: He is not even a He, He is a She!"
God is neither He nor She - but polacks are polacks. You can make them popes, but that does not make any difference. God created the world, not according to the male chauvinists' or the feminists' points of view. Their views are just opposite.
He created woman as the perfect model, and certainly every artist believes she is the perfect model.
If you see their paintings, you will also believe that she is the perfect model. But please stop there.
Don't touch a real woman. Paintings are okay, statues too, but a real woman is as imperfect as she should be.
I don't mean anything derogatory by that. Imperfection is life's very law. Only dead things are perfect.
Life is, necessarily, imperfect. Women are imperfect, men are imperfect; and when two imperfections meet, you can imagine what the outcome will be.
"That's what my conclusions are," I told Masto; "that God created man, and man started asking philosophical questions. God created woman to keep man occupied. Since then man has been purchasing bananas, and by the time he reaches home he is so tired that although his wife wants to discuss great things, he just wants to hide himself behind THE TIMES or any other newspaper. He is kept continuously on the run by the woman: 'Do this, do that.'
"It is strange that women are given the job of teacher, although they are not allowed many other jobs. Perhaps there is a logic in it. It is good to catch hold of the poor boys before it is too late, and after that they are always trembling before the woman, continuously afraid. Since then God has been enjoying looking at the whole nonsense going on in the world He created in six days."
Buddhas are trying, in some way, to give you a glimpse of that world of relaxation that existed before the world and all its troubles began. Even now it is possible to just step aside. In stepping outside the stream you suddenly start laughing; God or no God, it was just a story. I told Masto, "Unless somebody steps outside the mundane stream of life...."
I wanted to say goodbye to this man, but it is good that I could not. So many things are still related to him, and any thing may reflect many other things. Life is always simple and complex, both. Simple as a dewdrop, and as complex also as a dewdrop, because the dewdrop can reflect the whole sky, and it contains all the oceans. And certainly it is not going to be there forever... maybe just a few minutes, and then gone forever. I emphasize forever. Then there is no way to get it back, with all those stars and oceans.
So much is involved with Masto....
Whenever I wanted to cry I would ask Masto to play his veena. It was easy, no explanation needed; nobody asks why you are crying. The veena is such that it simply stirs your depths. But it was his stubbornness that made me tell you that story, because he used to say to me, "Unless you tell me a story I will not play." I have told him the story, and now is the time for him to play... but only I can hear. It is better that still only I can hear.
Just ten minutes for me to hear it. I am enjoying it in the sense that Adam must have.
How many minutes have we been in this ancient bullock cart procedure? Can anyone figure it out?
Then just one minute, and you can stop.
This is good. One should never want to continue anything so beautiful; one should be capable of ending it too. I know that you can continue, but no - my doctor prohibits me from eating too much of anything. He wants me to reduce my weight, and if I eat your diet, then Jesus...!
You can end it now.