It is Already the Best
The first question:
I AM FEELING HELPLESS. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO ANY MORE. IT IS AS IF EVERYTHING I DO WON'T CHANGE THIS, IT ONLY MAKES THINGS WORSE. BUT ALSO DOING NOTHING DOES NOT MAKE THINGS BETTER. YOU SAY THAT EMPTINESS IS BLISS.
FOR ME IT SEEMS TO BE DULL AND BORING; IT IS LIKE BEING DEAD. WHEN THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT SEE ANY BEAUTY IN IT. I AM FED UP WITH IT, I WANT TO GET OUT OUT.
PLEASE ANSWER ME, BUT PLEASE DON'T ANSWER ME LIKE THIS: THAT TAKING SANNYAS WOULD CHANGE EVERYTHING AND MAKE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL. THANK YOU.
THE FIRST THING is to understand that life remains the same whatsoever you do. It is already perfect; it cannot be improved upon. The very idea of improving it is egoistic; it is the cause of our misery. It is the way it is - there is no need to improve it. Enjoy it! Don't waste your time in improving it. If you try to improve it you will feel helpless, obviously, because you will be failing again and again, falling short. And your desire can never be fulfilled - it isn't in the very nature of things.
AIS DHAMMO SANANTANO, Gautam the Buddha has said: This is the way things are. Whenever people used to ask him, "How can we improve upon things?" he will always say, "AIS DHAMMO SANANTANO." There is no need to improve, there is no way to improve.
And in this Isa Upanishad we have come across this truth again and again: AUM. That is perfect, that is whole. This is perfect, this is whole. The whole comes from the whole, the perfect comes from the perfect. How it can be imperfect? The whole comes from the whole, yet the whole remains behind. Everything is as it should be.
Unless this is understood... Buddha calls it TATHATA, suchness. The rose is rose, the marigold is marigold. The effort to make a marigold a rose is doomed to fail. Then there is helplessness, misery, failure. The ego feels hurt, wounded.
This is the first thing: a deep, total acceptance of things as they are. Then life enters into a different dimension - the dimension of joy, celebration - because then the whole energy is available to dance, sing, to be.
Now the whole energy is engaged into improving, into changing, into making things better.
You say: I AM FEELING HELPLESS.
You are causing this helplessness yourself.
You say: I DON'T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO ANY MORE.
You have done already enough; that's why you are feeling helpless. Stop doing! And when I say stop doing it does not mean do nothing. That is the second thing to be understood: when I say stop doing, don't misunderstand me - I am not saying do nothing. "Stop doing" simply means stop pushing the river, flow with the river. It is already going towards the ocean. It will take you to your destiny, whatsoever it is - XYZ, it is unpredictable. Where the river will enter the ocean nobody knows, when and where, and it is good that nobody knows. It is good because life remains a mystery, a constant surprise. One feels wonder on every step; a great awe surrounds one.
But misunderstanding is always possible. Because I say, "Don't try to improve, doing nothing is the best." that does not mean that you become inactive. It simply means you don't make any effort to improve upon things, you relax. You will be still doing things, but now there will be no effort in your doing, there will be no doer in your doing; they will be simply happening.
When you will feel hungry you will eat; that is not doing. When you are not feeling hungry and you force yourself to eat, that is doing. Forcing is doing. When you feel sleepy you sleep; that is not doing. But when you are not feeling sleepy and you force yourself to go to sleep, that is doing. When you are feeling fast asleep, then trying to wake up is doing. When the sleep is over of its own accord and your eyes open up, that is not doing.
Eat when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when sleepy. Let go! Don't try to struggle, don't make life a conflict. Enjoy it! And then each moment is precious and you will never feel helpless and you will never feel that nothing is getting better, because you are not expecting it to get better.
It is already the best world that can be, the most perfect existence that ever can be. But your ego wants to improve upon things. You think you know better than existence itself? You are just a small part of it, you are just a small ripple in the infinite ocean - and you want to improve upon the ocean?
That is just being foolish! Relax! Dance in the sun while you are! Sing a song! It is beautiful to be and it is also beautiful not to be. When the wave rises, good. For a moment enjoy the sky, the air, the wind, the sun, the rain. And when the wave disappears, good; go into deep rest.
Nothing is ever born and nothing ever dies. Things only move between manifestation and unmanifestation. They become visible, they become invisible. To become invisible is a resting place. Just as after each day you need deep sleep in the night to rejuvenate you, to make you again young and fresh, in the same way after each life you need death. Death is a deeper sleep and nothing else. After each life your body is so tired, you need a new body, a new manifestation The old wave disappears, but the water in that wave remains in the ocean; it will come again in a new wave.
The old is continuously becoming new - allow it. You simply allow life and go with it in deep trust.
This is what I call religiousness - this trust. It is not a belief. Belief is always in dogmas, creeds, theories, philosophies, ideologies. This is not belief, this is simply trusting existence. We have come from it, it is our source. We are not outsiders, we are insiders. And we will go back to the source - it is our source. Coming out of it is good, going back into it is good. All is good! To feel it brings rejoicing - all is good. That's the meaning of trusting in God: that all is good.
You are unnecessarily getting into trouble; you are trying something absurd. You are trying to pull yourself by your own shoestrings. You will feel helpless - you cannot do it. You are like a dog chasing its own tail; it is not possible. The faster the dog will jump, the faster the tail will also move away. It will drive the dog crazy!
It is said that if you want a philosopher to remain engaged, just give him a piece of paper and on both the sides write P.T.O., so he will look on this side and then turn it over, and then P.T.O. again is there, so he will turn it over... and he will go crazy - but he will remain occupied!
You are being too much philosophical. You ask me:
YOU SAY THAT EMPTINESS IS BLISS...
I don't say - it is so! AIS DHAMMO SANANTANO. And what you are saying, you are saying. I am not saying, "Emptiness is bliss." What can I do? It is! It is my experience, and what you are saying is simply a statement without any experience. You have not experienced emptiness, but now see what a great problem you have made out of something which you have not experienced.
You say: FOR ME IT SEEMS TO BE DULL AND BORING.
As if you have experienced it! Think over the matter again. Have you ever experienced emptiness?
And in emptiness how can there be boredom? If there is boredom it is not empty - it is full of boredom! It there is dullness it is not empty; the mind is there feeling dull, feeling bored. Emptiness cannot be boring, it cannot be dull. Emptiness is simply empty - of everything. You cannot say anything about it. But you have not experienced it, you have just thought about it.
Yes, if you think about emptiness it will look boring, it will look dull, it will look dead. But the people who have experienced it - Buddha, Jesus, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Mahavira, Bodhidharma, Bahauddin, Nanak, Kabir - not a single person has said that it is boring. You are really an exception! If you have experienced it then you are denying all the awakened people - but you have not experienced it at all. I can say it because I know what emptiness is.
When I say emptiness is bliss I am not saying that emptiness is full of bliss - don't misunderstand me. "Emptiness is bliss" is simply making you aware of their synonymousness. You can call it empty or you can call it bliss; both the words are synonymous. Emptiness is bliss because there is nothing which can bore you, which can make you feel dull, which can create anxiety, which can make you afraid, which can create anguish. There is nothing at all! Because there is nothing, the whole mind has gone, that state is called bliss. One can call it emptiness, one can call it bliss; these are just two expressions for the same phenomenon.
And, Alexander, don't be a coward. You have such a great name - Alexander - don't be a coward!
But Alexander himself was a coward in this sense. He was told by Diogenes, one of the greatest mystics of his time that, "Stop this foolish effort to conquer the world. Look at me! Without conquering the world I have conquered!"
And Alexander looked at Diogenes and felt the beauty of the man, the grace of the man. He was lying naked on the bank of a small river, taking a morning sunbath. The place was absolutely silent, and Diogenes looked so beautiful that Alexander felt jealous for the first time in his life. Alexander had everything, he had almost conquered the whole world. Just India was left out, so he was coming towards India and was certain that he will conquer India too. But he felt jealous of Diogenes, a naked fakir with nothing, not even a begging bowl. Buddha at least used to carry a begging bowl, but Diogenes has thrown the begging bowl also because one day he saw a dog drinking water from the river, and he immediately threw the begging bowl in the river, saying to the dog, "Master, you have taught me a great lesson! If you can manage without a begging bowl, why cannot I?"
He had nothing, and yet he had something which was missing in Alexander. Alexander immediately said that, "If next time God will ask me to come back to the world, I would like to be Diogenes rather than Alexander." But, mind you, he said "next time" - postponing for the next life.
Alexander laughed because he has said something great. He thought Diogenes will appreciate - but Diogenes said, "Don't be a fool! Don't try to deceive me! What do you mean, 'next time'? If you are so much interested in being Diogenes, why not now? Now or never! And who is preventing you?
God is not preventing you. This bank is big enough for both of us. Throw the clothes in the river, lie down, take the sunbath! And you need not even bother about food, because I go to beg, and I will bring enough for you too. You simply rest here, forget all about the world. Be Diogenes right now!"
Alexander said, "That is difficult. Right now I cannot do it, but I will come one day. First I have to finish my conquest - I have to conquer the whole world!"
And Diogenes said, "Two things I have to say. One: remember, if you have conquered the whole world, then what you will do?" And Alexander was only thirty-two at that time. "What you will do when you have conquered the whole world? Do you know? There is no other world! You will be at a loss! At least right now you are occupied, busy, without business, but if you conquer the whole world then the real problem will arise: what to do next? - because there is no other world."
And it is said, Alexander felt sad even listening to the idea that there is no other world. He was shocked. He felt immediately a great sadness descend on him and he said, "Don't talk such sad things to me. First let me conquer this and then I will see. And I will come to see you when I have conquered the whole world."
Diogenes said, "Nobody comes back - you will not be able to come back. Don't be so certain about the future. One can be certain only about this moment."
And actually it happened that way: Alexander died on the way; he never reached back home. He was only thirty-three when he died, and he really died for the same reason that Diogenes has pointed to him. The moment he conquered India he became very much depressed, so much so that he became an alcoholic; he started drinking too much. What to do now? He died of too much drinking, he died as an alcoholic. He killed himself - it was suicide. Otherwise he was perfectly healthy, but he was continuously drinking day and night.
Your name is Alexander - be a little aware! Don't do the same foolishness again. You have come the next time, and still you don't want to become a sannyasin! And I am nobody else but Diogenes asking you: Take the jump, become a sannyasin! Nothing will change, but everything will become beautiful. Thank YOU!
Buddha insists on calling it emptiness, shunyata, and the Upanishads emphasize on calling it bliss - and they are talking about the same phenomenon. Buddha's insistence is far better because it is more applicable to you. You are bound to misunderstand the Upanishad because the Upanishad's way of telling is positive. It says it is bliss, and in you certainly it creates greed; you start searching for bliss. You are miserable and you want bliss, you desire bliss; you start making every effort to improve things so that you can be blissful. You go astray because of the word "bliss" and its positivity.
Buddha became aware of this phenomenon. Twenty-five centuries had passed between Buddha and Isa Upanishad. Isa Upanishad is perfectly right - it is bliss - but to say it to you is not right because you are bound to misunderstand it. Hence Buddha changed the whole expression; he said it is emptiness.
Calling it emptiness is of tremendous importance because nobody wants emptiness - Alexander does not want emptiness. It does not create greed in you. Who will be greedy for emptiness? The very negativity of it destroys greed, desire, ambition and ego.
And again and again Buddha was asked, "What happens when one becomes empty?" and he will remain silent. He will say, "Don't ask me. You become empty and SEE what happens." He will never say, "Bliss happens," for the simple reason because you will immediately jump upon the idea of bliss.
And to you bliss will mean only pleasure, at the most happiness - something of the mind, something of the body - but it will not be exactly what bliss is.
It is neither of the body nor of the mind. It is a transcendence - a transcendence of all that you know, of all that you have experienced, of all that you are. It is better to call it emptiness; it cuts you from the very roots.
But twenty-five centuries have passed since Buddha again, and people are so stupid that they will misunderstand everything. They misunderstood the Isa Upanishad which talks about bliss. Buddha tried to move to the other extreme, started calling the ultimate state emptiness, shunyata, just zero, pure zero and nothing. It worked for a time being, while he was alive. It always works when the Master is alive - it works. Any method becomes magical when the Master is alive, any word becomes significant when the Master is alive. It is the charisma, it is the presence of the Master that makes things work. It s his magic.
Once Buddha was gone, the same people who have misused the word "bliss" started misusing the word "emptiness". People like Alexander, they started thinking emptiness is boring, emptiness is dull, emptiness is nothing but death. What is the point of attaining emptiness? Without knowing anything about emptiness they start condemning it.
Buddhism was uprooted from India for the simple reason that Buddha has used total negative terms, and India has become accustomed of positive, affirmative terminology. Buddha seemed very strange, not belonging to the tradition, antagonistic to tradition. He was trying to help.
Now I am trying to do both the things together. I am saying bliss is emptiness - another effort.
Upanishads said it is bliss, Buddha said it is nothingness. You have escaped from both; I am trying to catch hold of you from both the sides. I say emptiness is bliss, bliss is emptiness.
You are saying things which you have not experienced at all. You say:
WHEN THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT SEE ANY BEAUTY IN IT.
When there is nothing, do you think you will be there? When there is nothing you will not be there!
There will be something which cannot be called "I", which cannot be identified with the ego. So who will be there to see beauty? There will not be beauty and there will not be beauty and there will not be the seer, there will be just silence: no I, no thou, no subject, no object - no duality... a pure oneness, an utter silence.
But you got caught, you got caught in your own words.
YOU SAY: I AM FED UP WITH IT.
As if you are living in it - you are fed up with it. You have not even tasted a single drop of nothingness, emptiness, and you are fed up with it. How tricky is the mind! How cunning is the mind! And how politically it finds ways to avoid certain things. How it rationalizes!
Just one month before one friend, Ajai Krishn Lakhanpal, has asked me - he had written a letter - "Osho, I am ready to take sannyas today. If you give me sannyas today I am willing, I am ready to surrender. But my own choice will be," he said, "that I would like to take sannyas after one month, on 25th October, because that is my birthday."
Seeing his "but"... because I don't like "buts". Otherwise, when somebody asks for sannyas I insist NOW. What can be said about tomorrow? You cannot be sure of tomorrow. Tomorrow may come, may not come. Even if it comes your mind is constantly changing. How can you be sure of tomorrow?
Tomorrow your mind may give you some other ideas.
Seeing his "but"... it was the first time I allowed him, the first person I have allowed - just for a change, to see what happens. I said, "Okay, 25th October, settled. You take sannyas 25th October."
Yesterday was 25th October. I told Sheela to call Ajai Krishn and ask him, "What happened? 25th has come!" Now he has found rationalizations. I was expecting; that "but" was enough to show me.
He has found rationalizations.
Now he says - he wrote a letter again - "I know that I had promised you to take sannyas on 25th..."
And that time he had written that, "It is because of my birthday. And secondly, I would like to ask my mother's permission. I know she will say yes, so there is no problem about that." And now he says, "My mother has said yes, but she says she will not be very happy about it. She says, 'Yes, if you want to take sannyas you can, but I will not be very happy about it.' And I don't want to hurt her feelings." And moreover, one of his gurus, Kammu Baba, had told him few years before - he is dead, he is no more alive - that "Never hurt the feelings of your parents." "... so I cannot hurt her feelings."
Mind goes on finding rationalizations. It never sees things directly; it tries to evade. Now if Kammu Baba is right then Buddha was wrong. He hurt very much the feelings of his parents, his wife, his child. Then Mahavira was wrong, then Jesus was wrong, then Nanak was wrong. Then except Kammu Baba... and I don't know whether Kammu Baba has said it to Ajai Krishn or he has invented it, or he has thought that he had said it. Then the whole spiritual tradition will be wrong.
Jesus says to his disciples, "Unless you hate your parents you cannot follow me." And that is nothing...
Once it happened that a great king, Presenjit, came to see Gautam Buddha. When he was sitting in front of Buddha, a man came, touched Buddha's feet - a very old man, one of his disciples, a sannyasin - and he said that, "I am going now on a long journey to spread your message. Bless me."
Buddha looked at Presenjit and said, "This man is the answer to your question."
Presenjit was asking that, "I would like to become a sannyasin, but my old mother may feel hurt - she is too old."
Buddha said, "Look at this man. He has killed his father and mother both!"
Presenjit was very much disturbed: Killed? Father and mother? And Buddha is appreciating the man! When the man left Presenjit said, "I don't understand! You praised that man and you said he has killed his father and mother!"
Buddha said, "Yes, psychologically. Not really, not physically, but deep inside he has dropped the clinging with the father and the mother?"
Ajai Krishn is forty-five years old and still clinging with the apron of the mother! Now when he is going to become mature? It is time. One should kill... not the mother on the outside, but the clinging in your inner world.
That's what Jesus means when he says, "Unless you hate your father and mother..." He does not mean that hate your father and mother: he means deep down you have to uproot the whole conditioning, the whole clinging, the whole attachment. Only then you can become mature, centered, grounded. Only then you can be an individual in your own right. But mind goes on finding subtle strategies to avoid reality.
Now, Alexander, you are saying that, "I AM FED UP WITH NOTHINGNESS, EMPTINESS. I WANT TO GET OUT OF IT."
And you must have believed what you are writing. You have no idea of nothingness and you are fed up with it, and you want to get out of it! The real thing is how to get into it!
And you ask me: PLEASE ANSWER ME, BUT PLEASE DON'T ANSWER ME LIKE THIS, THAT TAKING SANNYAS WOULD CHANGE EVERYTHING AND MAKE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL.
No, taking sannyas will not change anything hut it will certainly make everything beautiful! The world remains the same, just the vision, the attitude, the approach changes.
The second question:
POPE JOHN PAUL HAS STATED RECENTLY THAT IF A MAN LOOKED LUSTFULLY EVEN AT THE WOMAN WHO IS HIS WIFE HE COULD LIKEWISE COMMIT ADULTERY IN HIS HEART.
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT IT?
WHAT CAN BE said about it? A Polack is a Polack is a Polack! Pope or no pope, a Polack remains a Polack. Now this is the ultimate in stupidity, one cannot surpass it: even to look at your own wife with desire is adultery! Then why in the first place one should get married?Just to commit adultery?
In a way he has made a very difficult thing simple. One of Milan's newspapers seems to be far more wiser. The newspaper writes: "Life is hard for the adulterer - an endless round of cover-ups, tricks, juggling of the daily calendar and the need to buy useless and expensive presents for two women at once. Now the Pope has removed all these vows, because you can have infidelity in your own house!" This seems to be far more intelligent. It is really beautiful and juicy to have adultery with your own wife. A great idea!
But these repressed people are bound to do such things.
I have come to know that for the whole year, the whole past year, in his every weekly sermon he has been talking about sex - for the whole year condemning, condemning... Now why he should be so much concerned about sex, for one year continuously condemning? There must be something inside him, some wound which has not healed.
At the marriage counselor's the husband accused his wife of being frigid.
"That's not true!" she said. "I don't disapprove of sex relations." Then turning from her husband to the counselor she continued, "But this sex fiend expects it every month!"
The woman must have been a Catholic! The Catholics have done one of the greatest harms to humanity. Christianity has been one of the most repressive religions; what has happened out of this repressiveness is just the opposite of it. It was bound to happen, it was inevitable. The pendulum has moved to the other extreme in the West, and the responsibility wholly and solely rests on the shoulders of the church. People have become indulgent, people have become really too much obsessed with sex.
For two thousand years Christianity. particularly the Catholic Church, has been repressing, condemning. But now a point has come when the volcano has erupted. What you see now in the West is sheer indulgence, ugly.
Sex is beautiful, but it can become ugly in two ways: either you become repressive - it becomes ugly; or you become indulgent - it becomes ugly. Sex is beautiful if it is accepted naturally, as part of life. there is no need to condemn it, there is no need to praise it either. When humanity is going to accept things easily, in a relaxed way?
But these people have not learned any lesson, and they go on interpreting scriptures according to their own inner turmoil.
What the Polack Pope was doing was simply making a commentary on one of the statements of Jesus. The statement is totally different, but just a jugglery of words, just a little change, and the whole thing has gone wrong.
This is the original statement of Jesus. Jesus says: "You have heard it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Now the woman is one thing and wife is totally another. The Polack has read "wife" instead of "woman" - your own wife! And of course he can play with words. He can say, "Of course your wife is also a woman." True, but what is the meaning of her being your wife? why one gets married? To live a natural, untroubled sexual life. But to change the word "woman" into "wife" is really ugly; it is against Jesus, it is not true to his message. But you cannot expect anything better from the Polacks.
How do you recognize a Polack in a busy shoe store?
He is the one who tries to put on the shoe boxes.
Now trying to change woman into wife is exactly like that - trying to put on the shoe boxes instead of the shoes!
Two Polacks are driving a lorry which is three meters high. They drive past a road-sign indicating a tunnel up ahead two meters high. "Just ignore the sign, Sol. I know that at this time of the day the police are not going to be there!"
Wykowsky, the window washer, was called in by a homeowner to give an estimate. "How much to clean the windows on the ground floor?"
Wykowsky pulled out a pad, scribbled a minute and replied, "Two dollars a window."
"On the second floor?" asked the homeowner.
Again Wykowsky wrote on the pad and answered, "One dollar fifty cents a window."
"And the basement?"
"Five dollars a window,' said Wykowsky.
"Wait a minute!" said the homeowner. "How come two dollars for the windows on the first floor, a buck and a half for the second floor, and you want five dollars for each of the basement windows?"
"Mister," said the Polack, "don't you realize the size of the hole I have to dig to put the ladder in?"
At a Polish wedding:
The ceremony had taken place in the ballroom of the town hotel. The newly married husband came down from the bridal suite and said to a buddy, "My best friend he upstairs in bed with my wife!"
"What do you... what you going to do about it?" asked his pal.
"Nothing," replied the Polack. "He is so drunk he thinks he be me."
The Polack was on his honeymoon, but he was too inexperienced to know the difference between love and nymphomania, because he had just escaped from a Catholic monastery.
The first morning after the wedding he rose, walked over to the window of the hotel, and raised the shade. The day was dark and gloomy and the rain was falling in torrents. Disgusted, he lowered the shade and climbed back in bed.
The next morning the young man rose again and lifted the shade. It was still raining. Once more he lowered it and crawled back into bed.
The third morning he staggered out of bed, tottered over to raise the shade - and went up with it.
All that I can say: that one cannot expect anything better from the Pope - he is a pure Polack! What he has said is absolutely absurd - mental adultery with one's own wife? But in a way this is one of the oldest ideas in the Catholic Church. Sexual pleasure is suspect. In fact, ALL pleasure is suspect. These so-called religious people are afraid of pleasure, they are against all pleasure. They want your life to become so utterly depressed, gloomy, sad that you are bound to start looking for some other life - life beyond death. Their whole effort is to destroy your life herenow so totally that the only shelter for you is left is in the life after death. Then you become available to the priests to be exploited.
If you are happy, if you are enjoying life, if you are living each moment with pleasure, a dance in the heart and a song on the lips, if your life is a sheer festivity, you will not bother much about the churches and the temples. If your life is a ceremony, who cares about the life beyond? This very moment, if you are living totally, all concern for the future disappears.
And these churches, these priests, all depend on your desire for a future life. their whole strategy is to destroy your pleasure here so that you become interested in pleasure of heavenly life. And do you see? - what they deny here they supply there.
Here they say that to love a woman is sin. And in heaven? - you will be provided with beautiful women. In some religions even beautiful boys will be made available to you, so homosexuals need not be worried! Here they condemn wine and there streams of wine are flowing, in paradise. Here they insist for prohibition and there all that is denied and prohibited will be made available in a thousandfold way.
Hindus say that all the pleasures are wrong, but in heaven you will be sitting under wish-fulfilling trees - KALPAVRISHKAS - and whatsoever you wish will be immediately fulfilled, instantly, not even a single moment's distance between the desire and its fulfillment. Naturally they have to destroy all possibilities here so you become focused on the future. And then they can exploit you, because they have the keys of the future.
If you are a Catholic only then you can be saved; or if you are a Mohammedan only then you can be saved; or if you are a Hindu only then you can be saved. The strategy is the same, the trick is the same. All the priests have been using the same trade secret: destroy pleasure in people's life, make them as much miserable as possible - once they are miserable they are bound to fall unto your feet and ask for your advice and guidance.
There is nothing wrong in pleasure. Even in physical pleasure there is nothing wrong; it is a God's gift. If God was against the body he would not give you the body in the first place; if he was against sex he would not give you sexual energy, sexual desire and longing. If all these things are given by nature to you, they are natural. Yes, one thing is certain: don't remain clinging to the physical pleasure only because there are higher possibilities. greater potential in you.
So I say physical pleasure is beautiful in its own place, but that is not the end of life. You can have psychological pleasures; psychological pleasures are called happiness. Listening to beautiful music - Beethoven or Mozart or Ravi Shankar - listening to great poetry - Kalidas, Balbhuti Shakespeare, Milton - listening to the nature - the birds, the wind passing through the trees, the dance of the trees in the sun, or looking at the beautiful paintings, great sculpture, architecture - these are pleasures of the mind.
The physical pleasures are two: food and sex. Nothing is wrong in them, so don't repress them, because repression will bring indulgence. Accept them in a simple, innocent way, and then move ahead. That is not the end, that is only the beginning of the journey.
And even the pleasures of the mind are not the end; then there are joys of the spirit. Meditation, silence, prayer, these are the joys of meditation, joys of the soul. And still there is the ultimate, the turiya, the fourth - even to go beyond the self. That's what Buddha calls attaining the zero, nothingness: just being, without any idea of "I". That is inexpressible; it is called bliss.
These are the four planes: pleasure, happiness, joy. bliss. And the higher you go, richer you become.
But remember, the higher contains the lower. The ultimate, the fourth, is fourth only because it contains all the three. It is not against the three: those three are its foundations, steppingstones the ladder. The higher contains the lower; the lower does not contain the higher. Once this is understood, then the lower is good as far as it goes, although it does not go far enough.
So go as far as it goes, but don't stop there. There is still more to life. Explore! Move from the body to the mind, from the mind to the self, and from the self to no-self, anatta, nothingness. Then only you will know the ultimate unfoldment of your being. That is bliss, the one-thousand-petaled lotus blossoming.
And lastly: what the Polack Pope has said is male chauvinistic. He talks about men lusting after women but not the reverse. Women are not considered at all - they are not worth consideration.
Nobody bothers about them. He is talking about men, that man should not lust after women, but not about women. What about women? Nothing has to be said. They are not counted as human beings; they are commodities, far lower. They don't have any future, they don't belong to the spiritual world.
For centuries this male chauvinistic attitude has prevailed. In India the so-called saints go on saying that the woman is the door of hell, but they don't say the same thing about men. They go on condemning the women, but they never say anything about the men. If the woman infatuates man, then the man infatuates the woman.
But even your saints are not true sages - they are male chauvinistic pigs! Otherwise man and woman are two aspects of the same humanity; they require the same respect. But the whole past has been condemnatory about women. It only shows one thing, nothing else: that your saints were deep down afraid of women, hence they were creating all kinds of barriers around themselves, that "the woman is the door to hell." They were trying to convince themselves that the woman consists only of bones and blood and pus and mucus. And what they consist of? - gold, silver, diamonds?
It is very strange! Not a single saint says what he consists of - and he comes from the woman.
From the woman's womb he comes, brings all the blood and the bone and the pus and the mucus from the woman, and he condemns the woman. He is really afraid, afraid of his own sexuality; afraid because he has been told that sex is sin. And of course to him the woman symbolizes sex.
Nobody bothers about the woman, what is her situation. In fact, women are very non-aggressive as far as sexuality is concerned. NO woman can rape a man, only a man can rape a woman. Man's sexuality is aggressive, woman's sexuality is receptive. Woman can live without sex far more easily than man, hence nuns are far more true than the monks - the monks are hypocrites. But the poor woman is condemned continuously.
I would like to change this whole ugly tradition. I he woman will be respected only when sex is also respected, remember it. The woman will be accepted only when sex is also accepted as natural.
These popes, these shankaracharyas, these IMAMS, these so-called saints have created a very ugly situation. It has to be completely destroyed and a new beginning has to be made in which man and woman are no more separate, are no more thought separately, in which man and woman are considered equally because they are two aspects of the same sex, two sides of the same coin.
The third question:
IS THIS WORLD INSANE?
IT SEEMS SO. At least up to now it has been insane. Man is not born insane but is driven towards insanity by the priests, by the politicians, by the parents, by your whole educational system, by your morality, by all that is enforced upon you, by all the conditionings. You are driven insane.
Man need not be insane, but it has not been possible yet to accept man in his naturalness. We create a structure around him, we prune him, we go on and on giving a certain form and pattern to him, we don't allow him to be himself And that's my whole effort here: to accept humanity with deep respect, love, trust, so that man can regain his sanity. And the problem is that man is driven insane by your so-called well-wishers.
The people who are trying to help you are the people who are poisoning you. Great mischief is being done by public servants, missionaries, by the so-called saints. They are the most mischievous people in the world - not intentionally, not consciously, but that's the ultimate result of whatsoever they have been doing. they have been driven insane by other saints and they are driving you insane.
And if you don't follow them you feel guilty; if you follow them you become hypocrites. They don't leave you any other alternative, only two alternatives: either be insane like them or feel guilty. And both the alternatives are ill, sickening.
Siddhartha, watch life all around you and you will find in every possible way that man is insane.
When the seven-year-old started for school. his mother suggested softly, "Son, put a smile on your face and have a happy time!"
But when the lad returned home his face was a big frown.
"What happened?" his mother asked. "I thought you were going to smile and have a happy time at school."
"It didn't work, Mom," he said. "I tried to keep smiling, but the teacher thought I was up to something and was always giving me dirty looks!"
Nobody wants you to be happy. If you are happy, everybody will become suspicious of you: "YOU are up to something. Why you are looking so happy?" If you are sad you are accepted - you are part of the crowd. Everybody is sad and you are also sad; it fits. But if you are dancing and rejoicing then you are crazy, mad. Then you have to be put into a hospital, you have to be treated, given electric shocks or something, because how you can be happy? How you can be so blissful? When the whole humanity is suffering, you have to suffer.
And the crowd has always been against the people who were blissful. They crucified Jesus, they poisoned Socrates, they murdered Mansoor; and their only sin was that they were trying to be blissful, that they were not part of the mob, the sad, sick society. They were trying to be individuals.
The marriage counselor was asking a woman some questions about her disposition. "Did you wake up grumpy this morning?"
"No," she answered. "I let him sleep."
A woman driver passed a red light and collided with another car. Jumping out of her car, she snapped at the other driver, "Why don't you watch where you're going? You are the third car I hit this morning!"
When a customer was told he could no longer buy his favorite patent medicine, he angrily berated the druggist.
"But I tell you, it has now been banned," the druggist insisted. "Now you need a doctor's prescription because it is habit-forming."
"It is not habit-forming!" the customer cried. "I know it's not because I've been taking it every day for twenty years!"
A client was complaining to a marriage counselor that his wife's immaturity was causing his marriage to go on the rocks. "She is so immature," he charged, "that every time I take a bath she comes in and sinks my boats!"
The elderly millionaire emerged from his exclusive club feeling despondent and hopeless, and slowly climbed into his limousine.
"Where to, sir?" asked his chauffeur.
"Drive off a cliff, James," was the reply. "I am committing suicide!"
A leading sexologist interviewed on television was asked, "What do you think of the view that impotence is on the rise?"
"I think the question is self-contradictory!" he replied.
It is an insane world!
In old age Diogenes stopped a veteran and asked, "What were you in the last war?"
"Oh, I was only a private," replied the veteran.
Diogenes rocked as if about to fall. "Ye gods!" he gasped. "At last!" Then after catching his breath he blew out his lantern and went home.
You think over it - it is a little difficult.
And the last question:
YOU SURE MAKE A GREAT SIT-DOWN COMIC! WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU STOOD UP?