The Virtuous Circle
The first question
OSHO, IS MY NAME AN ESSENTIAL OR SOMETHING NON-ESSENTIAL?
Existence is nameless. We are all nameless, but the name has a certain utility; without it life will be impossible. When the child is born he comes as a nobody, as pure nothingness - that's the beauty of a child - but it is a necessity that he should be given a name. Once the name is given, slowly slowly the child becomes autohypnotized by his own name; it becomes almost a reality to him. In fact, he can even sacrifice himself for the name. That's what millions of people are doing all over the world: sacrificing themselves for name, for me - sacrificing the essential for the non-essential.
A name is not an essential, but it has certain purposes; without it life will be very difficult. Hence we have even to invent names for God. God cannot have any name, but God has to be addressed.
There are moments when you would like to shout to God out of sheer joy - some name is needed.
That's why I give you new names. Why new names? The new is as non-essential as the old, but the new will give you some insight. First it will make you aware that you are not the name, because the name can be easily changed and you remain the same. When the first name was given you were a small child, absolutely unconscious, unaware of what was happening to you. Now you are no more a child. A new name is given to you, it has significance, and that significance is essential. The name is non-essential, but the change of the name is of the essential.
Once you change the name you know that the name is just utilitarian; to know it is very essential.
And now it will be more difficult for you to get identified with it.
Secondly: the name that your parents give to you is almost meaningless. Any name that comes to their minds is given to you, any name they feel they like. But the name I give to you is given for certain reasons - those reasons belong to the world of the essential.
For example, I have called you Premananda. It consists of two words: prem and ananda. Prem means love, ananda means bliss. For thousands of years man has tried to live either in the world of love or in the world of bliss; it has been an either/or, a choice. But to be total it has not to be either/or, it has not to be a choice, it has to be both together.
My sannyas is a synthesis, and that synthesis belongs to the essential. So keep on remembering, something non-essential may become an indicator of the essential; something non-essential can be used in a very essential way. The fool can use the essential in a non-essential way; the wise man can use the non-essential in an essential way. It all depends on you.
So don't be so much concerned about what is essential and what is non-essential. It is not a quality of things that we can put into two different categories - this is essential and this is non-essential rather, it is the use that you make of a certain thing which decides to what category it should belong.
When I give you a name it indicates towards the essential.
Man has lived only a partial life up to now. The worldly man lived a partial life: the worldly man lived the life of love. He was trying to figure out: "What is this phenomenon, love, all about? - with the wife, with the children, with the parents, with the friends, with the society, in every possible way he was trying to know what love is.
Consciously or unconsciously, his whole effort was devoted to one thing: to know the joy that can happen between two persons in deep harmony.
Love is a harmony between two persons, two universes beating in the same rhythm, dancing hand in hand, melting, merging, become almost an organic unity. It is the way of the drunkard. You become drunk with the wine of the other; the other also becomes drunk with the wine of you. But it is only half the truth of your life. You start knowing more about the other and you completely forget yourself; love requires you to forget yourself and remember the other. The other becomes the focus; you fade away into deep darkness, you become secondary.
The people who live in this partial way sooner or later are bound to be frustrated, because no partial life can ever be a fulfillment. When they become frustrated... and the more intelligent someone is, the sooner he becomes frustrated because he can see that something is missing, something very essential is missing. You are missing. You are groping for the other not knowing at all who you are. And how can you find the other when you have not even found yourself! Hence you go on only stumbling with the other. You may call it love, but it is just groping. There is no insight, no clarity, no light; it is all dark.
And you are afraid of being alone so you seek the company of the other. It is out of fear that your so-called love arises - and love can never arise out of fear. It is pseudo. The partial is always pseudo; only the whole is true. Only the whole has meaning, never the part. The part has meaning only in the context of the whole, but never separately.
So many intelligent people became frustrated; then they decided to move to the opposite extreme.
That is the way of the mind. If you fail in one thing, the mind immediately suggests the polar opposite to you. And it appeals, it looks logical. If love has failed, if you have not been able to rejoice and dance and celebrate with the other, then the logical conclusion is that it is better to move into solitude, to become a monk.
The word "monk" literally means to be lone. It comes from the same root which words like "monotony," "monogamy," "monopoly," "monastery" come from.
A monastery is a place where many people are trying to live a life of aloneness. This was the way of the monk, the other-worldly. And he has also failed in the same way; he was bound to fail. He chose the other half, but now he will miss something. He will learn how to be alone - he will learn the way of bliss, he will be blissful, but his bliss will miss something: it will miss sharing. And a bliss that cannot be shared starts dying, becomes our, goes bitter. Even nectar can turn into poison if it stops its flow.
The monk is really far more blissful than the worldly people, but his bliss is not a river. It is not moving, not reaching to the other. He becomes just a pool, not a river but a pond - in a certain bondage, afraid of the other.
Just see the point: the world is afraid of his aloneness, hence he tries to reach the other; in the darkness he shouts for the other. And the monk is afraid of the other because the other may disturb his solitude; he may start interfering with his space, he may start encroaching upon his space, his territory, which he has found with such difficulty. He lives in fear; he lives in a dark, walled, self- imposed imprisonment. He makes walls between himself and others. He avoids all possibilities where love can grow. Then his bliss slowly slowly becomes a dead pool with no flow, and he also starts missing; he starts getting fed up with himself. Rather than being alone he starts feeling lonely.
And if a monk is intelligent, now a higher kind of intelligence is needed. The ordinary intelligence will again take him to the other pole. Now Catholic monks are revolting against the church and getting married. For what?
For hundreds of years they have tried to live alone - nuns have lived separately, monks have lived separately. There are Christian monasteries like those where for one thousand years no woman has ever entered. For one thousand years continuously the doors of the monastery have remained closed to women. Not even nuns, not even a small, six-year-old girl or six-months-old-child is allowed in. Such fear! One wonders whether monks are living inside or monsters! If you are even afraid of a six-month-old baby girl, what kind of people are living there? There is fear, great fear, trembling.
The monks don't come out of the monastery. Once you enter Athos you enter forever; the world is finished.
There have been thousands of Hindu monks living in the Himalayan caves, never coming back to the world. But these people lose something, something very essential: sharing. Life is sharing, and only in sharing do you become fulfilled.
Just think of a sun which keeps itself enclosed, with no rays going out. Or think of a lotus which keeps its petals closed so no fragrance can reach anybody. Think of a bird which is afraid of singing - somebody may hear it - then this whole existence will be dead.
That's what these monks have become: dead people, living in their graves, whatsoever they call those graves - caves, monasteries. Whatsoever they call them it does not matter, they are graves, and they are living on almost dead life.
Premananda, I have given you this name, prem and ANANDA - love and bliss both. That is the message for all my sannyasins: that you have to learn both. You have to be fluid, you have to be flowing. You have to know how to be alone and you have to know how to be together. You have to be meditative and loving both, simultaneously; then only will you be whole.
And to me, to be whole is to be holy. Man has not been holy up to now because he has not been whole - how can he be holy? Yes, once in a while a person may have attained - a Lao Tzu, a Zarathustra. Once in a while a person may have attained to wholeness, but the more I look I feel even Buddha's wholeness can be enriched a little more, even Lao Tzu's wholeness can become a little more than it is; something can be added to it. Even Jesus' wholeness can have a few more dimensions to it.
My effort here is to give you a multi-dimensional existence; all the dimensions that are possible for human beings should be available to you. You should be capable of love and you should be capable of bliss. And my own experience is and my observation is that the man who is blissful is the only man who is capable of love, and the man who is capable of love is the only man who is capable of bliss. They enhance each other.
You have heard about the vicious circle: that one thing leads to another, then the other thing leads to the first, and there is a vicious circle. But you have not heard about the virtuous circle. I call this the virtuous circle - it is not vicious, it is virtuous - because one thing leads to another and you go higher, moving on higher altitudes. More and more plenitudes are yours. The highest that I can conceive of is love and bliss in deep harmony, not interfering with each other but enriching each other But the Desiderata is going to create such questions. I was aware that you would become very much puzzled about what is essential and what is non-essential. And your mind Is very cunning; it can find ways, it can start thinking, "Then why not drop the new name, why not drop sannyas? - why not do this, because these are non-essential things? The essential thing is inner, and these are outer things." And this will be sheer cunningness and nothing else. You have not understood the message: the non-essential can also be used as essential.
But Premananda is an American, and for an American to be sane is difficult! And he is not only an American, he comes from Californialand!
Benson returned to Naples where, as a youngster during the war, he had befriended a native named Capitini. When the Italian saw Benson, he simply could not do enough for him and insisted that he meet his sister.
"Is she pretty?" asked Benson.
"Ah, bella, bella!" cried the friend.
"Is she young?" continued Benson.
"And is she pure?" asked Benson.
The Italian shrugged and exclaimed, "You Americans are all crazy!"
In Chicago a couple came before a justice of the peace to be married. The young man handed him the marriage license.
"Join hands," said his Honor.
Then he looked at the document, which authorized him to unite in the bonds of matrimony Wlodzimierz Lineandowski and Nehrebecka Zozislawsieka.
"Ahem," he said, clearing his throat. "Wlod-hm-h-m-ski, do you take this woman...?" and so forth.
"Yes, sir," responded the young man.
"Nehre-hm-hm-hm-sieka, do you take this man to be...?" and so forth.
"Then I pronounce you husband and wife," said the Justice, "and I congratulate you both on having reduced two names to one!"
A few days after the new Pope had been elected, Cardinal Sicola had dinner with an old friend, Rabbi Finkalari. They chatted about many things and the Rabbi noticed that Cardinal Sicola seemed rather dejected.
"Dear friend," said the Rabbi, "you seem disturbed. Is it anything you care to discuss with me?"
"You know, I did not labor under any illusion that I might be elected. I just never dreamt I was so unpopular as not to have received even one vote!"
"My dear Cardinal!" consoled the Rabbi. "Dismiss such thoughts from your mind. You are held in very high esteem by your colleagues. I know what must have been on their minds. Each one undoubtedly figured that if you were elected, it would sound demeaning to call you Pope Sicola!"
The second question Osho,
IF A MASTER'S TEACHINGS ARE PERFECT, WHY ARE THEY CORRUPTED IN TIME?
IT IS SOMETHING very essential to understand, because it has always happened and it is going to happen always in the future too. There is not going to be any change. Every teaching is bound to be corrupted; it is in the very nature of things. Just as every child is to become old one day and everyone who is born is going to die one day, each teaching is out of necessity bound to be corrupted. It cannot be avoided. It is not that the great Masters have not tried; they have tried their best, but you cannot go against the laws of nature. Nobody can go against the laws of nature.
There are seven things to be taken note of.
The first is the experience of the Master himself. When he experiences the truth there is no mind at all. It is a state of no-mind, or as Dionysius will call it, a state of agnosia - absolute innocence; not even a single thought moves in the mind. Hence the memory system is not functioning; the mind is in a complete state of non-functioning. It is frozen, it is absolutely still.
This is the moment when the teaching is perfect, but nothing has been taught. The teaching has not yet become teaching. Nothing has been said, nothing has been heard. In fact, even the Master is not yet aware of what has happened. Something has happened, but he is simply so lost in it that there is no possibility of him becoming aware of it. To be aware of something means division, the observer and the observed; the experience has become split. When the experience happens it is indivisible. There is no knower and no known, no subject, no object. All is silent. This is the most perfect teaching.
The second stage is when the Master becomes aware of what has happened - corruption has begun, even inside the Master. He has not said a single word, but a vague awareness has started arising in him. The experience is no more undivided, it is divided, it has gone from one to two. It is no more the same, it is not the whole. Part of it has become subjectivity - the knower, the observer, the awareness - and the other part has become the object, the known, the experienced. This is the first corruption, and it happens inside the Master.
The third is: the Master formulates his experience; he starts making it more clear, more expressible.
Now there are not only two but three things. The one is divided into three: the subject, the object and the mind, because without the mind nothing can be made articulate. The mind is the expert.
Language has to be used, logic has to be used. The mind has to be awakened from its deep sleep; the mind has to be called forth. Just as one day the Master had struggled hard to put the mind into a deep-frozen state, now he struggles hard to unfreeze it, because without it there is no possibility of being absolutely clear about what has happened. It has to be conceptualized.
Now, the moment the ultimate experience becomes conceptualized a great corruption happens, because the wordless is being forced into the word. And words are small things, and the experience is as vast as the sky - even the sky is not its limit. The unlimited has to be brought within limits.
Naturally much will be lost. First it was the whole sky with all the stars, with all its infinity and eternity.
Now it is only a small window with a frame, a man-made frame. Now you are looking through the window: it is no more the whole sky but just a small piece of it.
And the fourth thing to be understood is the expression. Out of great compassion, out of love, the Master would like to share with others what has happened, because he can see millions of people groping in the dark in the same way as he was groping one day. He can see everybody groping in the same darkness, with the same confusion, with the same misery, and now he is in a state where he can help. At least he can indicate the way, at least he can show something of the beyond. He can make something transpire, he can trigger some process.
He has to use the art of synchronicity. He has to sing the song so your song which is in the seed starts moving, becomes alert, comes out of its dormant state, starts reaching towards the sky - so that your seed is broken, so that your song also starts having a longing. Your heart has to be touched.
The Master speaks, but the moment he speaks even more is lost, because to conceptualize within yourself is one thing; to communicate it to somebody else is totally different. Now you have to look at the other person, at what he can understand; only that can be said. You have to come to the lowest possibility because that's where people exist. You have to use language which they can understand.
The Buddha cannot use the language which only other Buddhas can understand. He has reached the sunlit peak, but he has to come back; he has to descend back into the darkness of the valley.
He has to use your language, your expressions, your ways of saying things. And naturally, almost ninety-nine percent is lost; only one percent is expressed, and that too needs a very skillful Master.
Not all the Masters have been able to express even the one percent; many have remained silent seeing that they have no skill.
When I decided to become a teacher in the university, a few of my friends who were aware of what had happened to me asked me, "What are you going to do?"
I said, "It will be good if I can be a teacher for a few years, it will help me tremendously: it will give me the skill. Now I have something to express, I have something to share, but the skill is needed.
The best teacher is one who can help the last person hearing him, the lowest in intelligence, to understand. Of course the best ones will understand easily, but you have to keep aware of those who are not that intelligent."
And humanity, the greater part of humanity, is not intelligent at all. It lives in a very stupid way; it lives in mediocrity. Its consciousness is so much covered with dust and rust that its mirroring quality is completely lost. It cannot reflect anything, it cannot echo anything. Great skill is needed; only then can one percent of the experience be expressed.
And the fifth thing is the hearing of the experience. Now that the Master has spoken he is no more the master of what he has spoken. Now the person who has heard becomes the master of it; now it is his possession. Up to now the corruption was happening inside the Master, because he was bringing it to the level of the mind. Once he has spoken then it enters into a mind which has never experienced anything of the unknown, anything of the beyond. In the very entry, out of that one percent almost ninety percent is lost. It is bound to be so because everybody understands things in his own way, according to his own conditioning, his past experiences, his philosophy, his religion, his ideology.
Nobody hears in silence. If you hear in silence, then there is a possibility you may be able to get hold of the one percent, and that is enough for you to be transformed. Once a small flame enters into you, the whole forest will be afire soon. That one percent is enough. It is pure fire! It Will make you afire.
But even that one percent never enters. It enters only into those who are devotees, who are totally devoted to the Master, who have no conditions, no barriers, who are almost like shadows, who have effaced themselves completely. Otherwise, ordinarily the sixth thing is bound to happen: the interpretation. The person who hears is going to interpret it. The moment your mind comes across any word it immediately interprets it; it cannot allow it to remain as it is.
Looking at a roseflower your mind immediately says, "A beautiful flower!" You cannot resist the temptation of saying it. You may not say it to anybody, but deep inside you have said it to yourself:
"What a beautiful flower!" You could not remain silent with this beauty. Interpretation is bound to happen.
Now you are here - Christians, Jews, Mohammedans, Jainas, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs - all kinds of ideologies, all kinds of philosophies are there in your minds. Whenever you hear something you will give it your color. Then not even point one percent is left. What to say about one percent? - not even point one percent is left. It has become so diluted, so contaminated that it is almost something else.
And there is the seventh possibility: the moment the hearer starts telling it to others, what he has heard... All the Buddhist sutras begin with: "I have heard the Blessed One say this...." Buddha never wrote a book, neither did Christ nor Lao Tzu; they all depended on the spoken word. There is a reason for it: because while I am speaking, the word is one thing, but the pauses are far more pregnant, the silences are far more meaningful; my gestures may touch your heart more easily than my words. My words are bound to go into your memory system; they will revolve there. But my presence, my eyes can penetrate you far more deeply.
Hence all the great Masters have used the spoken word. Nobody has ever written a book, and I don't think they are ever going to write a book. The moment you write something it becomes dead.
The moment you say something it is not only a word: behind it is standing an alive being, full of joy, full of the experience, so full that he is overflowing. His words can take many many things towards you, crossing all the barriers; there is a possibility of reaching.
But when the person who has heard it from somebody else goes on telling it to others, he is just repeating like a parrot.
That's why, Anand Ravi, all the great teachings, all the teachings which were perfect become corrupted in time. They become corrupted even in the presence of the Master.
These are the seven steps of corruption. And if you keep alert then something can be saved - only something, but that something is enough. If you can save even a seed that will do, because out of that seed the whole earth can be made green.
The last question Osho,
I AM A POLACK. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE THINK THAT POLACKS DON'T HAVE ANY INTELLIGENCE.
I ALSO WONDER why people think that Polacks don't have intelligence. They have a different kind of intelligence, that is true - so different, a unique kind of intelligence. Nobody else in the world has that.
I have heard about the Polack Pope:
He was aboard a plane and the pilot said, "It is unfortunate that out of the four engines one has stopped working, but there is no need to worry. Three engines are more than enough to take us to our destination. The only thing is we will be three hours late."
After fifteen minutes he said, "Sorry to interrupt you again: the second engine has stopped, but no need to worry. Two engines are still more than enough and we will complete our journey, but now we will be six hours late."
And after half an hour he announced again, "Ladies and gentlemen, sorry to announce that the third engine has also failed, but still there is no need to panic. One engine is enough to take us to the destination, but now we will be nine hours late."
And after just five minutes he said, "If you want to say your prayers you can say them, because the last engine has stopped?"
And there was great panic and chaos, but the Polack Pope was sitting silently. The lady sitting by his side ying and weeping and screaming He said "What is the matter? Why are you so worried? At the most we will be twelve hours late!"
This is pure intelligence! It is mathematics, nothing else! Who says Polacks don't have intelligence?
I have read Bertrand Russell's Principia Mathematica - that's nothing compared to the Pope's mathematics!
Watkins walked into a Hollywood talent agent's office. He placed his suitcase on the agent's desk, opened it, and thirty mice scampered out, carrying little musical instruments.
In seconds, they were positioned as an orchestra and with a snap of Watkins' fingers, the mice began playing exactly like Benny Goodman. Watkins snapped his fingers and this time they sounded like Guy Lombardo. Watkins snapped his fingers again, and the rodents played a medly of Paul Anka tunes.
"Well," asked Watkins, "what do you think?"
"Can't use them," replied the agent.
"What do you mean, you can't use them? What's the matter with this act?"
"To tell you the truth," said the agent, "they don't play half bad, but the drummer looks too Polish!"
There are people who don't understand the Polacks and they go on spreading rumors that they have no intelligence. I am not anti-Polack. I love them, I enjoy them! I can see their intelligence is totally different!
Kyacki's son had been acting a little strange lately, so Kyacki took him to a psychiatrist.
"Tell me, son," questioned the shrink, "how many wheels does an auto have?"
"Very good," said the doctor. "Now what is it a cow has four of that a woman has two?"
"And what does your father have that your mother likes most?"
The psychiatrist turned to Kyacki and said, "You don't have to worry about him - he's smart!"
"He sure is!" said the Polack. "I missed the last two questions myself!"
Just a matter of different intelligence! Who says they don't have any intelligence? Vedam, don't be worried. Enjoy the intelligence that God has given to you!
Banducci, Sullivan and Piwalski, traveling together in Mexico, got drunk and killed a Mexican. All three were sentenced to the electric chair.
First they sat Banducci down and asked him if he had any last words. "I am a dentist," said the Italian, "and I will care for everyone in the village for twenty-five years if you will let me go."
The authorities refused and the executioner proceeded to carry out the sentence. He pulled the switch and nothing happened.
"By law," said the executioner, "the Italian is a free man, because the electric chair did not work."
Then the Irishman sat down. The same question was asked. "I am a doctor," said Sullivan, "and I would care for the villagers for twenty-five years in exchange for my freedom." Again the answer was no. The switch was pulled and nothing happened. He went free.
Then Piwalski sat down. He was asked if he had any last words.
"I am a graduate in electrical engineering from Texas A & M," said the Polack, "and if you put that white wire in that hole, and the red wire in that hole..."
And who says that Polacks don't have intelligence?! Just sheer nonsense! They have intelligence - in fact, only they have intelligence!
In Poland, disorder - or what is known as the Polish mess - is referred to by Poles as Polski balagan.
It is said that Jimmy Carter, Leonid Brezhnev, and Polish party chief Edward Gierek met God. He allowed them one question each.
"Is it true," asked Jimmy Carter, "America will go communist? "
"Yes," answered the Lord, "but not in your lifetime."
"Will the Chinese take over Moscow?" asked Brezhnev.
"Yes," replied the Almighty, "but not in your lifetime."
"Will disciplined labor ever replace Polski balagan?" asked Gierek.
"Yes," answered God, "but not in my lifetime!"