IS THERE ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GNOSTICISM AND ANARCHY?
The word 'anarchism' has tremendous implications.
It means that the people are so inwardly disciplined that they don't need any government. They are so deeply in order within themselves that no order outside is needed.
Anarchism is basically the transformation of the individual in such a way that the government becomes superfluous. He lives in the light of his consciousness, fully aware of what he is doing, fully aware of its consequences, aware that it is not his right to interfere with any individual's life, or to trespass - even in very subtle matters like conversion. Making an effort to convert somebody to your ideology is a trespass of that individual's consciousness. Unless he invites you, it is aggression.
So individuals have to be so conscious that no aggressive activity on any level - bodily, mental, emotional - is possible for them. Then the government is absolutely useless, a burden. And certainly the idea is that, if people can live without a government, then only are they people. If they need a government that means they are still coming out of animality. They have not yet become human.
They need masters, governors, they are not capable of being on their own. They are basically asking to be slaves. The existence of a government of any kind means that the people are asking for slavery; and to ask for slavery and then to ask for democracy, freedom, freedom of expression, and individuality, becomes contradictory.
So the governments go on promising all these things but in the very existence of the government they are denied. Hence all governments are frauds. They can only promise but they cannot perform.
It is existentially impossible. If they can perform then they are not needed. If they cannot perform that is why they are needed. So every government is more or less symbolic of the fact that human beings have not grown up to their full height, to their full potential.
You are asking, "Are gnosticism and anarchy in some way related?" They are... because gnosticism means knowledge of your own. There are two kinds of knowledge. One is borrowed, either from books or from teachers, or from parents, or from the environment, the society in which you live.
Unconsciously you go on absorbing so many things.
This is not knowledge in the sense of gnosticism. This is a false substitute for true knowledge, and it is a hindrance. True knowledge is the discovery of truth, of love, of compassion, of all that is great in human life - by yourself.
Every Buddhist scripture begins: "I have heard Gautam the Buddha say...." It is a hearsay, it is not knowledge. You may have heard Gautam the Buddha say something - that does not mean that you have come to know it. It may become part of your memory, you may be able to repeat it like a parrot.... That's all that your priests, your pundits, are doing all over the world - simply repeating exactly the way the parrot repeats, without knowing what he is saying.
The pundits don't know what they are saying. They have heard, they have memorized; their memory is good, but their intelligence does not exist.
True knowledge means your own experience, your own search - and when you know yourself there is no need to believe in anything. Every belief is poisonous because every belief will hinder you in searching for the truth.
Now the whole world believes in something or other. You ask anybody about God - either he believes that God exists... and there are a few who believe that God does not exist; but both are beliefs. The communist believes that God does not exist, but he has not explored, he has not gone into his own consciousness - what to say about the whole existence? He has not explored his own small being.
And there are millions who say, "We believe in the existence of God." But your belief cannot create a God - if he does not exist your belief makes no difference. And if you believe in a God, naturally your seeking stops. Why should one seek and search when he believes? That's why all the religions emphasize faith, so that they can stop your search.
Faith is a block.
Search means you are still doubting, you are still not certain. Faith means you are absolutely certain that God exists. Now there is no question of enquiring. And if man goes on believing in such things which imply many absurdities....
For example. Galileo was told by the pope, "In your book you have to change the statement that the earth moves around the sun, because it goes against THE BIBLE". THE BIBLE says that the sun goes around the earth, and that's everybody's experience too. Certainly it appears so. In the morning it rises, in the evening it goes down - it looks as if it is going around the earth.
Galileo was seventy-five years old - he was almost dragged from his deathbed to the court to give an apology, because anything that is said in THE BIBLE cannot be disbelieved. It is the word of God; no enquiry is possible.
Galileo said, "Such a small thing which has nothing to do with religion at all.... What does it matter whether the sun moves around the earth or the earth moves around the sun? It has no religious significance."
The pope said, "It is not a question of religious significance. The question is that if one thing is wrong in THE BIBLE, then the faith is shaken - perhaps other things may be also wrong. If God has some stupid idea, then what is the guarantee that other things that are said are not of the same quality?
So not a single word can be questioned."
Galileo must have been a man with a great sense of humor. He said, "To me it makes no difference.
I will change it in the book, I will write that the sun moves around the earth, but my statement will not make any difference at all. The earth will go on moving around the sun, in spite of my statement.
How can my statement make any difference to the earth?"
And that's what he did. He changed his statement and in a note, a footnote, he wrote: "It makes no difference to the earth or to the sun - they go on their way. I am changing it because I don't want to be unnecessarily harassed in my old age."
And it has been so continuously since Galileo: everything that science comes to discover goes against THE BIBLE. Again and again the same problem arises. Because science has been progressing in the West, the struggle has been between science and Christianity.
But if we look, the same question is valid about every religion. Hinduism believes that the earth is flat, not round. But no Hindu makes a point of saying that the idea should be discarded, it goes against our researches. In the Hindu scriptures it says that the sun is smaller than the earth, which is absolutely nonsense - the sun is sixty thousand times bigger than the earth. But no Hindu even bothers.
And most fundamentally, in the first place these things should not be in the religious scriptures, because religion has nothing to do with the size of the sun or the size of the earth. We should take out everything that is not religious from the religious scriptures.
Religious scriptures will need, every ten years, a new edition, because science will go on progressing, enquiring. And the way science enquires and progresses is exactly the way of man's inner search. He also doubts, questions, is skeptical, tries to find the truth himself. He becomes a lab unto himself.
Gautam Buddha could not find any God within himself. He searched to the very ultimate core of his being and he found no God. And if God is not existent in human consciousness, then God cannot be existent in the mountains, in the trees, which are far lower.
And the people who have come to the idea of God and have been preaching it, how have they found it? Where have they found it, and what is their method of finding it? Nothing is said about it in any scripture - you simply have faith. But why should one have faith in anybody else, who may be lying, who may be disillusioned himself, who may be insane?
I cannot conceive that Moses encountered God, because God is not a person. So if anything happened, it must have been an illusion, it must have been a projection. And projections are very easy. Just go on a three-week fast, and your mind starts losing the capacity to ask questions. Your mind starts coming to a point where you cannot divide what is dream and what is real.
It is just as it happens to small children. They were dreaming of a beautiful toy and they wake up:
the toy is not there and they are crying - "Where is my toy?" And you cannot convince them, "You were dreaming, and this is reality. You have changed the whole dimension. That was your fiction, your idea, your mind and your imagination, and this is reality. It has nothing to do with your mind and your imagination."
All the religions have been teaching fasting. Nobody has bothered to ask why all the religions are agreed on fasting. My own understanding is that the reason is that after a certain time of fasting....
Your intelligence needs protein continuously to remain functioning. After three weeks the reservoir of protein in your brain is exhausted - then you are again in the state of a child. You don't know what is dream and what is real.
It is those moments when people have realized Jesus Christ, Krishna, Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, or whatever has been always conditioned in their mind; it becomes projected. And they don't now have intelligence enough to feel the distinction between the real and the unreal.
The people like Moses or Jesus who have said that they have encountered God face to face must have been in such a state - which can be experimentally created. And things are very clear: a Christian never comes to see Krishna; a Hindu never comes to see Christ because a Hindu mind is not being continuously conditioned to Christ - he sees Krishna. The Buddhist never sees Krishna, the Jaina never sees Krishna.
You will be surprised that according to Jaina scriptures, Krishna is suffering in the seventh hell because he was the cause of the greatest war this country has suffered, of the whole violence. And in fact there is some truth in it.
Arjuna was not willing to fight. He wanted to retire from fighting; he wanted to go to the Himalayas to meditate. He said, "It is better - the others can keep the throne. Anyway they are my brothers.
And what is the point of killing all these people?" - because it was a family struggle and both parties were connected in many ways.
Arjuna's own master, who had made him the best archer in the world, was on the other side because he was also the master of his brothers.
Krishna was fighting on the side of Arjuna, and his own army was fighting on the other side because both parties had approached Krishna to join them.
He said, "Now this is difficult. I am alone - how can I join two parties? You are both friends so you can choose: I will fight from one side and my army will fight from the other side."
It was a very strange war in which everybody was related. The grandfather of Arjuna, whom he loved and respected, was on the other side. The people with whom he was fighting were his cousin- brothers - whom he had played and grown up with. Millions of people would be killed.
And his argument was absolutely valid: "After killing all these people, sitting on the throne on all these corpses is absolutely meaningless. I will not be happy, I will be miserable my whole life. What will I gain? I won't even have people to celebrate with. Killing my own people with my own hands does not seem worthwhile. It gives me a clear idea that it is better to go to the mountains and to meditate and to forget all about this."
But Krishna persisted. When he could not continue to argue he brought in the last argument: "It is God's will. Now you cannot disbelieve in God's will, and it is God's will that you should fight."
Now this has been the strategy of all the priests all over the world - "God's will." But I am surprised that a man of the intelligence of Arjuna did not ask, "If you know God's will, why is he not speaking directly to me? If it is God's will, you fight. But as far as I am concerned, I feel this is God's will - that I drop out of this chariot and go to the mountains."
In his place, that's what I would have done. "Then that's perfectly good: if that is God's will for you...
to me this is God's will. And if I have to choose I will choose my own rather than choosing yours."
But it has been used to simply destroy your arguments, your intelligence, and create fear. If you don't believe in God then there is hell. If you believe, then you have paradise and all the pleasures.
The Christian goes on seeing Christ, the Hindu goes on seeing Krishna, the Buddhist goes on seeing Buddha. And to see these people, simple psychological methods have been used: you should continuously pray. That makes you gullible.
A man waking up in the morning starts praying to Krishna the first thing - or to Christ; goes to the church, listens to the priest, reads THE BIBLE or the GITA, which all preach, "Have faith." And it is repeated thousands of times his whole life.
There are people who become monks and move to a monastery - they are the most prone to experience God because twenty-four hours a day they have nothing else to do except go on repeating a certain mantra, a certain name. They become hypnotized with the name, with the figure.
And all the religions teach that fasting purifies you. I don't understand how hunger can purify. If hunger purifies people then why should we try to destroy poverty? We are destroying pure people, spiritual people! We should make everybody hungry!
Hunger cannot purify. And look deeply into it: while you are hungry you think that you are not eating, but your body is absorbing your own flesh. That's why you go on losing weight; otherwise where does your weight go?
I have been condemned by Jainas because I said, at their conferences, "To fast is almost equal to meat-eating - and you pretend to be nonviolent people, vegetarians. But fasting means non- vegetarianism - you are eating yourself."
A very healthy man can live through a fast of three months; but after three months he will be just a skeleton, and then death is certain because now he has no more reserve to absorb. He cannot absorb bones.
But all these people have stopped their following from thinking. I said, "My challenge is, that it is a simple fact that you lose weight - I simply ask where your weight disappears. You absorb it.
"Your body needs some energy every day. Working, walking, sitting - whatever you are doing, your body needs energy, and food is simply fuel. If you are not giving it fuel, then the body starts eating itself - it has a dual system just for emergency purposes. There may be a time when food is not available, you may be lost in a forest; the body accumulates some flesh for such times." But you cannot raise such questions.
And secondly, if you fast you are depriving your intelligence.
There is a hierarchy - just as in every household there is a certain division; that if you are hungry you won't purchase a television, you will purchase food which is a more basic necessity. But if you have enough food you are not going to go on purchasing food. You will start thinking of purchasing something else - better furniture, a better house, a television, or radio or literature or music. You will start, but if suddenly your money is gone then the first things to go will be the higher things. The television will go first, the radio will go. You will retain your basic needs to the very last.
And that's how it happens when you fast. The first attack is on intelligence because that is the highest in you, and not a basic factor - for life can exist without it; all the animals exist without it. So your intelligence starts disappearing.
If you remain hungry your love, which you have always thought such a great quality, will start disappearing. A hungry man cannot be loving. To a hungry man you cannot give beautiful literature to read, or beautiful music to listen to. That will simply be an ugly joke. He needs food.
So if you fast for three weeks - I have fasted, and I talk only about things which I have tried - after three weeks it becomes difficult to figure out whether you are dreaming or whether it is a reality. You just cannot make the distinction. The faculty that used to make the distinction is no longer there.
That is the reason that all the religions insist on fasting. They disagree on everything else, but they don't disagree on basic elements - fasting, praying, continuous chanting, going to the church or the temple or the mosque, remaining absolutely faithful to the holy book - it may be the KORAN, it may be the GITA, it may be THE BIBLE, it does not matter. But if you see, then the basic things are similar and their function is similar.
Gnosticism is a very revolutionary concept, and it never became a mass phenomenon. It always remained a very small stream of chosen people who had dropped all the nonsense the masses had been following, and who had tried on their own to reach into the inner core of their being.
Faith does not change you, you remain the same, but a gnostic experience transforms you. And that is the only criterion to be used - whether your knowledge is true or your knowledge is borrowed, whether it changes you or it simply becomes accumulated in your memory. You can become a good teacher, a good priest, a good leader, but you cannot become a good man.
It happened that just in the last part of the last century, Rani Rasmani built a temple in Calcutta, in Dakshineshwar on the bank of the Ganges. But Rani Rasmani was not a high-caste Hindu, she was a sudra, she was untouchable. So no brahmin was ready to worship in her temple, although she was immensely rich and she was ready to give as much money as you wanted. And she explained to the brahmins, "I have not even entered the temple; I simply go up to the steps and bow down from there. I have not entered the inner shrine; I have not even seen the statue of Krishna that is inside the temple. It is made with my money, but money cannot be sudra because money is continuously changing hands from sudra to brahmin, from brahmin to chhatriya. So you cannot call the temple a sudra temple." But no brahmin was ready to be a priest in her temple - all over Bengal she searched.
Ramakrishna agreed. He was uneducated. There are only two classes of Bengali, and he was very poor. The whole village tried to prevent him but they all knew he was a little eccentric: if he decides, then he decides.
They talked much about it, that it was built by a sudra. He said, "All the temples are made by sudras because the labor, the craftsmen - they all belong to the sudra. Every temple is made by sudras.
Can you show me a temple which is made by brahmins?" Not only are they made by sudras, but the most beautiful parts are made by Mohammedans because they have a traditional craftsmanship in marble. What they can do nobody else can do.
So Ramakrishna said, "All temples are made by sudras, there is no question about it. And money does not matter - money goes on moving. And I cannot refuse her because it is a question of Krishna being there, unworshipped. You have made Krishna also a sudra, an untouchable. The rani herself cannot enter. I am going."
He went. The rani was happy but alerted because the man looked a little eccentric. But someone was better than no one, so she accepted Ramakrishna. And then complaints started coming about Ramakrishna.
The complaints were that sometimes he fights with Krishna. Rather than worshipping him, he shouts at him, fights with him. He uses vulgar language before him - he came from a village. Sometimes just to punish him he does not give Krishna food. And sometimes he dances the whole day from morning to evening, praying to Krishna.
The rani asked Ramakrishna, "What is going on?"
He said, "Everything is going well. When he is good to me I am good to him, and when he is nasty to me I am nasty to him. Sometimes I am praying for hours and he does not appear; then I punish him the next day: I don't give him food. That brings him to his senses. Certainly I also don't eat that day. I cry the whole day because I have not given food to him, I have not even opened the door - I have let it remain locked."
One experience of Ramakrishna will show you how illusions can be created. In the beginning - it was the birthday of Krishna - he told him, "You have to appear today. It is no ordinary day, it is your birthday. I will dance and sing the whole day and the whole night. And if you don't appear" - a sword used to hang there in the temple - he said, "I will take the sword and cut off my head."
He danced the whole day; the evening came, the night came. It was in the middle of the night - everything was silent. The temple is in a lonely place on the Ganges. Hungry the whole day, dancing the whole day, tired, utterly tired, he was continuously singing and praying, "Appear to me!" Then he pulled out the sword and was going to cut off his head when, at that moment, Krishna appeared.
The sword fell from Ramakrishna's hand when he saw Krishna.
Now, it is so simple - a psychological matter. If you do such things you lose the balance of your mind.
And Ramakrishna was childish in his behavior, in his living. He was praised as a saint because he was childlike, but because he was childlike he was experiencing Krishna face to face.
One of the great masters was passing through India.... There is a tradition of many masters: they go around the Ganges, all the way to the source, and then back along the other bank to where it falls into the ocean. One master was simply passing by and he came to know about Ramakrishna - that he sees Krishna. He laughed. He said, "The man must be innocent but gullible. He must be innocent but childlike."
He remained in the temple; he talked to Ramakrishna. He explained to him what was happening:
"What you are doing is all your creation. It is your imagination. Rama does not appear to you, Vishnu does not appear to you, Shiva does not appear to you. There is no question of Christ and Moses and others. Why does only Krishna appear to you? It is your imagination. And if you put so much pressure on your mind that you are going to cut off your head, naturally the mind is going to do anything to save your life."
Ramakrishna said, "Then you help me to get rid of this illusion."
The master said, "I can help, but the real thing has to be done by you. You sit silently, close your eyes, and when Krishna appears before your eyes, just cut him into two pieces and he will fall apart.
There is nothing in it."
Ramakrishna asked, "From where do I bring a sword to cut him?"
And the master said, "From wherever you have brought this Krishna! If you can bring Krishna, from the same imagination you can bring a sword and cut him in two."
Ramakrishna tried three or four times, but the moment he saw Krishna he would start swaying and he would forget the sword and the cutting and the master and all his teaching.
The master said, "You are impossible! I am wasting my time. When you see Krishna appear in your mind you don't cut him; rather you start swaying. And I can see on your face that you are enjoying the experience."
Ramakrishna said, "I know that I am wasting your time, but what am I to do, because when he appears I simply forget myself."
So the master said, "I will bring a piece of glass, and when I see that you have started swaying and your face is looking ecstatic, I will cut exactly in the middle of your forehead with the glass to remind you that this is the time. You do the same: take the sword and cut Krishna in two."
He actually cut the forehead of Ramakrishna, and Ramakrishna gathered courage and cut Krishna inside. He remained for six hours in absolute silence, and when he opened his eyes, his first words were, "The last barrier has fallen... the last barrier has fallen."
Our own imagination is our last barrier. Once we are without imagination then reality is there face to face. It is not Christian, it is not Hindu, it is not Mohammedan.
Gnosticism simply says this much: Each individual should follow his own inner being, dropping thoughts, imagination, emotions, sentiments - anything that comes in the way. It is not you. The simple principle of gnosticism is that anything that you can see as an object is not you. You are the seer, so you cannot be the seen. "I can see the furniture, then I am not the furniture. Whatever I can see, I am not it."
So go on dropping all that you can see inside yourself until you come to a space where you cannot see anything. Just the seer remains in its utter purity, innocence. And that is the moment of a great revolution - perhaps the only revolution there is, because the seer cannot see anything, there is nothing to obstruct it.
That is the meaning of the word "object." Object means "that which obstructs you." There is no object there - all is empty. It can go as far as... but there is nothing. Then it turns upon itself, then it becomes its own object.
When the subject itself becomes its own object - in other words when the observer is the observed too, when the knower is the known too - you have arrived home. And that is the meaning of gnosticism.
There is a certain relationship between anarchism and gnosticism because both depend on the individual. And anarchism will be impossible without gnosticism, because only gnosticism can transform people and can bring such quality and energy in them that they don't need any government at all.
A man of awareness does not need anybody else to tell him what to do, what not to do. He does not need the moral teacher, the priest, the policeman, the judge. They all become meaningless.
And it will become one of the greatest days in the history of man when government becomes useless and is to be dropped. That means man has transcended all animality in him - violence, anger, hatred - all that needs a government to control people; otherwise there will be so many rapes, and there will be so many murders. There will be so many thefts, and nobody will be safe.
The government is simply an agreement of the society. "We are not capable of controlling ourselves - we need a central control, powerful enough so that individuals cannot dare... or if they dare to do something, then they can be punished." Even with the government crime goes on growing, the jails go on growing, the judges go on growing, the criminals go on growing, the laws go on growing.
So if you simply remove the government, there will be chaos, and all that is repressed in man out of fear... because both government and religion, the two powerful institutions, use fear and greed to repress your animal. They don't change it. If you are caught the government will send you to jail to be punished. If you are not caught, then the religions will send you to hell to suffer.
It is a basic agreement that if your action is found out, it becomes a crime; if it is not found out, it remains a sin. But on both bases the fear is there that you will have to suffer. And on the other hand, if you remain good the government has rewards. You become padam shree, you become bharat bhushan, you have a Nobel Prize, and so many awards around the world for people who have proved... who have repressed everything that can be objectionable - they are rewarded. And if they are not rewarded here, they will be rewarded in paradise with all the pleasures of the world.
But this is only a strategy to keep man's animality somehow repressed. It does not bring any change.
Gnosticism means a change in your very being.
Then you don't need any fear; you don't need any hell, and you don't need any awards. You don't need any heaven, because to transcend your animality is the greatest reward possible. It is so blissful and so ecstatic to become really human that there is no need for anything else to be added to it. So gnosticism has no God, has no heaven, no hell - those are religious types of government.
So I can see a relationship between anarchism and gnosticism. But gnosticism is more fundamental, has to happen first; only then can anarchism have a chance. Up to now it has remained a utopia.
To single individuals it has happened, but it has to happen to the whole of humanity. And when it happens to single individuals, it is very strange: the governments are not happy. And now you can understand why they are not happy.
The very happening of the transformation of the human being so that he has no animality in him, creates a fear in government and in the religious hierarchy because that man shows that it can happen to all. And the moment it happens to all, governments and religions both will be useless, discarded. And nobody who has so much power would like to be discarded. No government wants to be discarded, no religion wants to be discarded.
So a very strange thing - they go on teaching people to be good, but deep down they want you to remain the same because their whole existence is dependent on your being they way you are.
I have been talking to politicians, to religious leaders, and I have pointed it out: "Are you really interested in man becoming absolutely good? Then the saint will not be a saint, because everybody will be so good. What is the point of somebody being a saint?
"We remember Gautam Buddha as a great saint because the whole society was not good. So he stands out. But if the whole society was good he would be lost in the crowd - there would be no need to remember him. Why do we go on remembering only a few names in the whole of history?
For the simple reason that they stood out.
"Everybody has the capacity to stand in the same position as Gautam Buddha. The governments, the politicians, want people the way they are. They may talk about change, but nobody wants any change because change in the people means change in the vested interests.
"Now, if nobody commits a crime what will happen to all your courts? What will happen to all your jails and your police and all your law-enforcement agencies? They will simply be out of employment.
"And if people are good and nobody wants to fight, nobody wants to kill anybody - if people refuse, and say, 'Why should we kill any Pakistani or any Chinese?'... Or a Pakistani refuses to kill, and says, 'Why should we kill a Hindustani? There is no reason, because this man has done nothing to me. He has children and he has a wife and he may have an old mother, a father to look after. I am not going to kill him. There is no reason for me to kill.'
"What will happen to your governments, your armies?"
They are all against me because I have been saying things like this which can cut them from their very roots. They have no arguments against me - then the only way is to create any lies, any allegations and anything they want to say about me. But nobody answers the question.
So it is a very strange state. The government exists to keep people good - but that is not true. It exists to keep people as they are, not to allow them to go through a revolution.
A better kind of people will need a better kind of government, a better kind of religion. And if people are really perfect they don't need any government, they don't need any religion. They are their own government and they are their own religion.
So the perfect man is continuously being killed.
You killed Socrates because he was a perfect man. That was his only crime. He has not done anything wrong in his whole life, and he asked the court, "Why are you going to kill me? What crime have I committed except that I have not committed any crime?"
But he was dangerous. A simple man, a very perfect man, is looked on as dangerous by the society, by the religious people, by the government, by all the authorities, because he creates a situation in which every man can think, "If it can happen to Socrates, why can't it happen to me?" He can become an example. He can trigger a certain consciousness in the whole of humanity.
He has to be destroyed before he becomes a wildfire and people start being just like him.
Socrates was blamed by the court; they said, "You have been corrupting human beings" - a strange allegation. "Corrupting human beings, particularly the youth." To teach the youth to become perfect human beings is seen by the authorities to be corrupting them, because it means death to the authorities; whether they are religious or secular, it does not matter.
So on the one hand these people go on trying to make a show that they are trying to create a better society. On the other hand they go on killing the examples of perfection.