The psychology of the buddhas
WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE BUDDHAS? IT SOUNDS LIKE A SCIENCE ONLY FOR ENLIGHTENED BEINGS WHO NEED TO PULL, PUSH, SEDUCE, HIT OR KISS THEIR DISCIPLES AT THE RIGHT MOMENT, SO THAT THEY DON'T WOBBLE, GET STUCK OR FALL INTO TRAPS. CAN YOU PLEASE REVEAL SOME OF YOUR FINDINGS OF THE PAST THIRTY YEARS?
Tilo, the question you have asked is fundamentally unanswerable. But a few indications, a few hints can certainly be made available to you - with absolute certainty that you will not be able to get the point, but that is not my problem. I will try my best.
On your part, if you can be just a passive, silent mind, simply listening as if you are listening to the sound of the birds, not interpreting them, perhaps a certain door may open for you. It all depends on you. The process is not very difficult. It is just an old addiction - we cannot simply listen the way we listen to music; we immediately start reacting, interpreting, trying to find the meaning of it. We get lost into our own minds and the music passes by.
The first thing... I have used the term "the psychology of the buddhas" not to mean what it means.
The man of enlightenment has gone beyond mind. In fact, the mind has faded just like dreams fade away. All the psychologies in the West are concerned with figuring out the functioning of the mind, how it works, why it sometimes works right and sometimes wrong. They have accepted one basic hypothesis which is not true: the hypothesis is that you are no more than mind; you are a structure of body-mind. Naturally, physiology looks into your body and its functioning and psychology looks into your mind and its functioning.
The first point to be noted is about those who have come to know a different space in themselves which cannot be confined by the mind and which cannot be defined as part of the functioning of it.
That silent space with no thoughts, no ripples, is the beginning of the psychology of the buddhas.
The word 'psychology' is being used all over the world absolutely wrongly, but when something becomes conventional we forget. Even the very word psychology indicates not something about the mind but about the psyche. The root meaning of psychology is "the science of the soul." It is not the science of the mind. And if people are honest, they should change the name, because it is a wrong name and takes people on wrong paths. There exists no psychology in the world in the sense of a science of the soul.
You are, for arbitrary reasons - just to be able to understand - divided into three parts. But remember, the division is only arbitrary. You are an indivisible unit.
The body is your outer part. It is an immensely valuable instrument that existence has given to you.
You have never thanked existence for your body. You are not even aware what it goes on doing for you, for seventy years, eighty years, in some places one hundred and fifty years - and in a few faraway parts of the Soviet Union, even up to one hundred and eighty years. That leads me to make the statement that the ordinary conception that the body dies at the age of seventy is not a fact but a fiction that has become so prevalent that the body simply follows it.
It happened... before George Bernard Shaw reached the age of ninety years - his friends were very much puzzled - he started looking for a place outside London, where he had lived his whole life.
They asked, "What is the point? You have a beautiful house, all the facilities; why are you looking for a new place to live? And in a very strange way - a few people think you have gone senile." Because he would go around to the villages, not into the towns but into the cemeteries, and he would read what was written on the stones of the graves. Finally he decided to live in a village where he found a gravestone where it was written that "This man died a very untimely death - he was only one hundred and twelve."
He said to his friends, "As far as I am concerned, it is a worldwide hypnosis. Because the idea of seventy years has been insisted on for so many thousands of years, man's body simply follows it.
If there is a village where a man dies at a hundred and twelve and the villagers think he died 'very untimely,' that this was not the time for him to die..." He lived in that village during his last years, and he completed the century.
In Kashmir, the part that is being occupied by Pakistan, people live up to a hundred and fifty without any problem. It is just that the idea of seventy years has not poisoned their minds. In Azarbaydzhan, in Uzbekistan, faraway corners of the Soviet Union, people live at least one hundred and eighty years, and not just a few people - thousands of people have reached to that point and they are still young. They are still not retired, they are working in the fields, in the gardens.
I had told this to one of my professors - he did not believe me. He said, "I am a professor of philosophy and psychology, and I cannot agree with your idea that the whole humanity is dying because of a psychological conditioning."
I said, "I will show you."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "Just wait a few days, because no argument will prove it. You will need evidence."
One day... he used to live almost one mile away from the philosophy department in the university campus. He was perfectly healthy; he used to walk every day to the department and back to his home. I went to his wife and told her, "You have to do a favor to me. Next morning when Professor S.S. Roy wakes up you just say, 'What happened? Could you not sleep well? You look so pale, do you have some fever?'"
And he simply refused to listen. "What kind of nonsense are you talking? I am perfectly okay. There is no fever and I have slept well. I am feeling perfectly well." I had told his wife to write down exactly what he said in a note and later on I would collect those notes.
I told his gardener, "When he comes out you simply say, 'What has happened to you? You look so sick.' And remember to write down what he says." And to the gardener he said, "It seems that I could not sleep well in the night."
After his house was the post office, which he had to pass. The postmaster was a friend to him, and I told the postmaster, "You have to do this..."
He said, "But what are you trying to do?"
I said, "It is an argument between me and Professor S.S. Roy, and I am going to prove something to him. I will tell you later on, the whole story. You just do one thing: when Professor Roy passes the post office, you come out. Just hold him and tell him, 'You are bobbly, don't go to the university today. I will inform the vice-chancellor that you are not well.'"
And the professor said, "I was also thinking not to go. Something certainly seems to be wrong with the body."
And finally I had to persuade the peon of the philosophy department, because he used to sit in front of the department. It was very difficult to convince him, but he knew that Professor S.S. Roy loved me so much, I could not mean any harm. I told him, "The moment he comes, you simply jump up - take hold of him. Even if he resists, don't bother; make him lie down on the bench and tell him, 'This is not the time for you to walk a mile, you are absolutely sick.'"
He said, "But I am a peon, a poor man..."
I said, "You don't be worried. For that I give the guarantee that you will not be disturbed. Just remember to write what he says, and remember also whether he resists or not."
He did not resist. He simply followed the peon's idea, lay down on the bench and told the peon, "If you can bring the departmental car and tell the driver to take me home... because I don't think I will be able to manage walking one long mile again. I am utterly sick."
Then I collected all those notes. S.S. Roy was lying down on a couch like the ones psychoanalysts use for patients, looking as if he had been sick for months. Even his voice showed that he could only whisper. I told him, "You are certainly very sick, but how have you managed just in one night to be so sick that you look as if you have been sick for months? Just last evening when I left you, you were perfectly okay."
He said, "I am also puzzled."
I said, "There is no need to be puzzled, read these notes!"
Reading the notes - from the wife to the peon - he suddenly became perfectly okay. He said, "You are such a fellow that it is better not to get in an argument with you! You could have killed me. I was already thinking to make my will."
I said, "This is the answer to what I have been talking about with you a few days ago - that the body follows the ideas the mind gets."
Seventy years has become a fixed point, almost all over the world. But it is not the truth of the body.
It is a corruption of the body by the mind. And strangely enough, all the religions are against the body - and the body is your life, the body is your communion with existence.
It is the body that breathes, it is the body that keeps you alive, it is the body that does almost miracles. Do you have any idea how to change a loaf of bread into blood and sort it out into its different constituents and send those constituents where they are needed? How much oxygen your brain needs - have you any idea? Just in six minutes, if your brain does not get oxygen, you will fall into a coma. For such a long time the body continues to supply the exact amount of oxygen to your brain.
How do you explain the process of breathing? Certainly you are not breathing, it is the body that goes on breathing. If you were breathing, you would not have been here. There are so many worries, you could have forgotten to breathe, and particularly in the night - either you can breathe or you can sleep. And it is not a simple process, because the air the body takes in consists of many elements which are dangerous to you. It sorts out only those which are nourishing to life and breathes out all that is dangerous to you, particularly carbon dioxide.
The wisdom of the body has not been appreciated by any religion of the world. Your wisest people were no wiser than your body. Its functioning is so perfect - its understanding has been kept completely out of your control because your control could have been destructive.
So the first part of your life and being is your body. The body is real, authentic, sincere. There is no way to corrupt it, although all the religions have been trying to corrupt it - they teach you fasting which is against nature and against the needs of the body, and a man who can fast longer becomes a great saint. I will call him the greatest fool who has been dominated by the foolishness of the crowd.
The religions have been teaching you to be celibate, without understanding the mechanism of the body. You eat food, you drink water, you breathe oxygen. Just as blood is created in you, your sexual energy is also created - it is beyond you. There has not been a single celibate in the whole world.
And I challenge all the religions who pretend that their monks are celibates to have them examined by scientists. They will find that they have the same glands and they have the same energy as anybody else.
Celibacy is a crime - it creates perversions - just as fasting is a crime. Eating too much is a crime; not eating enough is also a crime. If you listen to the body and simply follow the body, you don't need Gautam Buddhas to teach you, or Mahaviras or Jesus Christs to teach you what you have to do with the body. The body has an inbuilt program, and that inbuilt program you cannot change. You can pervert it....
I have come across so many saints of different religions, but I have not come across a single saint who seems to be intelligent. He cannot be. His whole discipline destroys all intelligence.
There are thousands of people in this country - and now the disease is spreading to the outside world - who are standing on their heads. And they don't know that too much blood reaching the head destroys the very subtle nervous system that creates your intelligence. Hence you will not find a yogi intelligent - it is impossible. He has destroyed the very possibility.
Man became intelligent because he was not moving like other animals, horizontally. When the animal moves horizontally, as all the animals move, then the blood is circulated all over the body, including the head, in the same amount. If you stand on two feet, because of the gravitation of the earth the head is the last place where the blood will reach, fighting against gravitation. This is the reason why man became intelligent, started being poetic, creative... painters, dancers, mystics. But you are not aware of it. It has been kept outside of your control; otherwise there is every danger you will destroy yourself.
So I teach you, first, a deep respect, love and gratitude for your body. That will be the fundamental of the psychology of the buddhas, of the psychology of the awakened ones.
The second thing after the body is your mind. Mind is simply a fiction. It has been used, in fact used too much, by all kinds of parasites. These are the people who will teach you to be against the body and for the mind.
There is a mechanism called the brain. The brain is part of the body, but the brain has no inbuilt program. Nature is so compassionate - leaving your brain without any inbuilt program means existence is giving you freedom. Whatever you want to make of your brain, you can make. But what was compassionate on the part of nature has been exploited by your priests, your politicians, your so-called great men. They found a great opportunity to stuff the mind with all kinds of nonsense.
Mind is a clean slate - whatever you write on the mind becomes your theology, your religion, your political ideology. And every parent, every society is so alert not to leave your brain in your own hands, they immediately start writing the Holy Koran, the Holy Bible, Bhagavadgita - and by the time they call you adult, capable to participate in the affairs of the world, you are no more yourself.
This is so cunning, so criminal, that I am surprised that nobody has pointed it out. No parent has the right to force the child to be a Catholic or a Hindu or a Jaina. The children are born through you but they don't belong to you. You cannot be the possessors of living beings. You can love them, and if you really love them you will give them freedom to grow according to their own nature, without any persuasion, without any punishment, without any effort by anybody else.
The brain is perfectly right - it is the freedom given by nature to you, a space to grow. But the society, before you can grow that space, stuffs it with all kinds of nonsense.
There was a man I knew, Professor Rungar - he lived in Mahatma Gandhi's ashram. It is not much of an ashram, just a few widows and a few weirdos, and not more than twenty. But free food, free clothing, free shelter, and all they have to do are some stupid things. They call it worship, they call it prayer.
Professor Rungar was an educated man, but it does not matter. Before your education you are already contaminated, polluted. He went on eating cow dung for six months, drinking cow's urine - that was his whole food, and this made him a great saint. Even Mahatma Gandhi declared that he had attained enlightenment. If enlightenment is to be attained by eating cow dung, then better enlightenment will be attained by eating bullshit, obviously! And when Mahatma Gandhi says about him that he has become enlightened, the whole country simply believes it. I have not found a single man criticizing it.
I told Professor Rungar, "As far as I am concerned, you are the most stupid man in this country." It is a very difficult competition, but look at all your religions, what they have stuffed in your mind....
Every Hindu when he goes to urinate has a thread around his body... that thread ceremony is almost like Jews circumcising their children. And will you believe that I have come across a statement by a rabbi that the reason Jews are so intelligent is because of the circumcision. Mohammedans do the same but at a later age.
Jews have their own baptism. Hindus have their way of introducing the child into the Hindu society with a thread ceremony. Just a thread is put around his neck, and he is surrounded by people chanting from holy scriptures. And every Hindu is expected, when he goes to urinate, to take the thread out of his shirt and wrap the thread around his ear. I have seen professors, vice-chancellors doing the same stupid act.
One vice-chancellor, Dr. Tripathi... I caught him red-handed. I threatened him that, "Either you take this thread off your ear, or I will not allow you to urinate."
"But," he said, "it is my religion." And he was a well-educated man.
I said, "Can you give me any rationalization for it?"
He said, "Certainly. If you put the thread around your ear, it keeps you away from sexual ideas, sexual dreams. It protects your celibacy."
I said, "You are a man, perfectly educated in the West" - and he had been teaching in the West - "you will have to come with me to the medical center."
He said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "I want it to be confirmed by medical scientists that putting the thread around the ear protects a person from becoming sexual."
He said, "You always come with strange ideas."
The simple proof was that he had thirteen children. I said, "With this thread, you have produced thirteen children; without the thread you would have threatened the whole humanity! And still you have the nerve to say that it protects your celibacy?"
But the same kind of ideas everywhere you will find forced into the brain. I want it to be clearly understood: the brain is natural; mind is what is stuffed into the brain. So the brain is not Christian, but mind can be; the brain is not Hindu, but the mind can be.
The mind is the creation of the society, not a gift of nature. The first thing the psychology of the buddhas will do is to take away this whole junk that you call mind and leave your brain silent, pure, innocent, the way you were born.
Modern psychology all around the world is doing something stupid: analyzing the brain, analyzing all the thoughts which constitute your mind. In the East we have looked into the innermost parts of humanity and our understanding is, the mind needs no analysis. It is analyzing junk. It needs simply to be erased. The moment the mind is erased - and the method is meditation - you are left with a body which is absolutely beautiful, you are left with a silent brain with no noise. The moment the brain is freed from the mind, the innocence of the brain becomes aware of a new space which we have called the soul.
Once you have found your soul, you have found your home. You have found your love, you have found your inexhaustible ecstasy, you have found that the whole existence is ready for you to dance, to rejoice, to sing - to live intensely and die blissfully. These things happen on their own accord.
The mind is the barrier between your brain, your body and your soul. You can see the difference:
the psychology born in the West is concerned with the most non-essential part of you; it goes round and round analyzing the mind. The psychology of the buddhas, in a single hit, will drop the mind and accept only that which existence has given to you, not the society you were unfortunate to be born in.
But every society is unfortunate, every religion is unfortunate. This is the greatest calamity under which humanity has lived up to now. What is the difference between a Mohammedan and a Christian, except the mind? What is the difference between a communist and a spiritualist? - just the difference of the mind. Each has been cultivated differently.
So the first and the most basic thing is, the psychology of the buddhas has evolved methods of meditation which are really nothing but surgical methods so that the mind can be removed - it is the worst cancerous growth in you. Other than the mind, everything is absolutely beautiful. It is because only the mind is man-manufactured; everything else comes from the eternal sources of life.
You are asking, Tilo, "It sounds like a science only for enlightened beings who need to pull, push, seduce, hit or kiss their disciples at the right moment so that they don't wobble, get stuck or fall into traps."
It does not appear as a science to the enlightened person, but just like a spring cleaning. For the unenlightened it appears to be what you are describing: "To pull, to push, to seduce, to hit, to kiss their disciples in the right moment." This is how it appears from the outside. As far as the master is concerned, every moment is the right moment.
There are no wrong moments in the world.
And certainly it is not a science in the sense you understand, because science remains confined to the mind. It is more like an art. The master watches the disciple, goes on making every possible effort to wake the disciple. The moment the disciple is awake there is no difference between the master and the disciple - and he can use any kind of arbitrary method. But the methods are arbitrary, they are not scientific.
I will give you an example to show that science is a very much lower phenomenon....
One morning Chuang Tzu sat up in his bed - which was strange, because he used to get up and get out of his bed. Why is he sitting and looking so sad? He was not a man of sadness.
In fact I have not found anybody else in the whole world of literature who has written such beautiful absurd stories. They don't make any sense, but they are beautiful.
He was again creating a situation.
The disciples were worried; they came and they asked, "What is the matter?"
Chuang Tzu said, "I am in a very great fix: last night I slept, and I knew perfectly well that I was Chuang Tzu. But in the night I had a dream that I had become a butterfly."
The disciples laughed. He said, "Shut up! It is not a matter to laugh about, my whole life is at risk!"
They said, "Master, it was only a dream!"
He said, "First you should listen to the whole thing. Then in the morning I woke up and the idea arose in me that if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in dream, what is the guarantee that a butterfly cannot become Chuang Tzu in a dream? And now the question is, who am I? The butterfly dreaming, or...?"
Certainly the situation he has created is almost insoluble. Do you think there can be any rational solution to it? His question is very pertinent: if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in a dream, perhaps the butterfly has gone to sleep and has become Chuang Tzu. The problem is that Chuang Tzu is losing his identity. He told the disciples, "Meditate and find a solution. Unless you find a solution I am going to sit in my bed without eating, because it is a question of life and death."
They went out, they discussed it..."This is absolutely absurd! We have also dreamt, but this idea..."
But the idea is such that there is no way out of it!
Then came Lieh Tzu, Chuang Tzu's chief disciple, and all the disciples asked him what to do. He said, "Don't be worried," and rather than going to Chuang Tzu, he went to the water well. They said, "Where are you going?"
He said, "You just wait. I know my master." He pulled out a bucket of water - it was a cold winter morning - and he brought the bucket of water and poured it on Chuang Tzu!
Chuang Tzu laughed and he said, "If you had not come, my life was at risk. You saved me!"
Lieh Tzu said, "Just get out of the bed, or I am going to bring another bucket of water. All that you need is to be brought out of your dream. You are still dreaming."
He said, "No, I am going to get out!"
The masters cannot create a science, because science can only be objective. At the most you can call it an art, because the art has more flexibility, more different approaches....
Now what do you call Lieh Tzu's bringing a bucket of water? A scientific method? Just a clear insight, and out of that clear insight arises an arbitrary, artful, but intelligent method.
In fact, Chuang Tzu was waiting for some disciple to do something - it was not a question to be solved by sitting and pondering over it. It was a question that somebody has to do something and show by his act, his clarity. This was the moment Chuang Tzu declared Lieh Tzu to be his successor.
All the other disciples could not understand what had happened - what kind of solution is this?
The psychology of the buddhas is not a science, is not a philosophy. At the most we can call it a very flexible art. Hence, there are no fixed answers for anything.
I will give you another example.
One morning, it must have been such a beautiful morning, a man comes to Gautam Buddha and asks him, "Does God exist?" Everybody is curious to know what Buddha answers.
Buddha said to the man, "There is no God - not only now, there has never been. It is simply a fiction to exploit the fools." The man was very much shocked.
In the afternoon, another man came and he asked, "What do you think about the existence of God?"
Again the same question....
Buddha looked at the man and said, "Yes, there is a God and there has always been."
And in the evening, another man came and said, "I don't know anything about God. I am absolutely ignorant. Knowing that you are here, I have come to be enlightened about the subject."
Buddha looked at him and then closed his eyes. No answer - and strangely, the disciples saw that the other man also closed his eyes. One hour must have passed when the man opened his eyes, touched Gautam Buddha's feet and said, "You have answered it, and I am immensely grateful."
Ananda, who used to be the attendant of Gautam Buddha twenty-four hours a day, became very much confused. Anybody could have become confused - in the morning he says one thing, in the afternoon he says just the opposite, and in the evening he says nothing and the man gets the answer, touches his feet with tears of joy and leaves! When everybody was gone, Ananda said, "I cannot sleep tonight until you tell me which one is the true answer."
Gautam Buddha said, "The first thing you have to remember - none of the questions were yours.
Why should you be worried about the answers? You have been with me for forty years. If you had any question, you could have asked. Those were questions of three different people."
Ananda said, "I am sorry, it is true. None of them was my question, but I have ears and I heard. And all three questions and the three answers are so contradictory that it has become a turmoil in me."
Buddha said, "You don't understand another thing. The first man who had come to see me was a believer in God. He was a theist, and all he wanted was not an answer but a support to his belief.
I cannot support anybody's belief. My function is to destroy all beliefs, so that you yourself can see what is the truth. That's why I denied absolutely that there is any God and said there has never been any God.
"The man who came in the afternoon was just the opposite; he was an atheist. He did not believe in God and he had also come to be supported so that he could tell people that 'not only I am an atheist - Gautam Buddha himself is an atheist.' But this was also a belief, not an experience, because the experience never asks questions. It is always the belief that goes on creating questions."
Your mind is full of beliefs, with no experience at all. That's why Gautam Buddha said, "I had to be very strict with the fellow, and I told him there is a God and there has always been a God."
These are arbitrary methods to destroy different kinds of beliefs. But the basic purpose is to destroy belief so that you can find your own heart, your own trust.
"And the third man was a very innocent man because he accepted his ignorance, and he did not propose any belief. He had not come to be supported, he had come to be really helped. And there is a difference in being supported and being helped.
"Because he had no question, there was no need to answer. I closed my eyes, and he understood that he had also to close his eyes: perhaps this is the way Gautam Buddha is going to answer him.
And he was right - innocence is always right. In that one hour, my silence infiltrated his being. My presence surrounded his being. He was immensely fulfilled, contented.
"God is nobody's concern - certainly it was not the concern of that man. All he wanted was a certain communion with existence, whatever name is given to existence. I gave him the taste, I gave him the experience; I shared myself with him - that's why he was so grateful. You are puzzled that the man said, 'I have received the answer' although I had not answered in words. And in gratitude, he touched my feet, with tears of joy. But in each case I had to use a different, arbitrary method because those three persons had three different minds."
The psychology of the buddhas cannot be a science. Science is always objective, it is about the other. It is never about your own being. It is extrovert, it is never introvert.
But the man who has become awakened finds ways to shake you from your sleep, to wake you from your mind, which is your coma, which is your blindness. That's why different masters in different countries have used different methods. No method is scientific. It depends on the person who has to be operated upon. The surgery cannot be a definite science. As far as the psychology of the buddhas is concerned, it is going to be very flexible.
Yes, sometimes the master may hit you and sometimes the master may hug you. But it all depends on what kind of mind he is working on, and he is working on different kinds of minds. You don't have the same minds; otherwise the same method would have been enough.
Traditionally there are one hundred and eight methods of meditation. I have gone through all those methods - not just by reading them; I have tried every method. My search was to find what is the essential core of all those one hundred and eight methods, because there is bound to be something essential. And my experience is that the essential of all meditations is the art of witnessing.
And then I created my own methods because I had found the essential core. Those one hundred and eight methods have become, in a way, out of date. They were created by different masters for different kinds of people, to transform different minds. The contemporary mind did not yet exist; the contemporary mind needs new methods. The methods will differ only in non-essentials. The essential core, the very soul of the method, is going to be the same.
This silence is beautiful, but each laughter makes the silence go deeper. Have you observed it or not? After each laughter, there is a deeper layer of silence revealing itself to you. It is almost like being on a road, and a car passes with its headlights on. Suddenly there is light where there was darkness. But once the car has gone, the darkness becomes darker.
Something almost similar happens; hence I have started calling my jokes "the time for prayer."
Herman Levinsky is standing in front of the gorilla's cage in the zoo one day, when the wind blows a piece of grit into his eye.
As Herman pulls down his eyelid to remove the particle, the gorilla goes crazy, bends open the bars and beats the poor fellow senseless.
When Herman regains consciousness, he explains to the anxious zookeeper what happened. The zookeeper nods sagely and explains that in gorilla language, pulling down the eyelid means, "Fuck you!"
This explanation doesn't make Herman feel any better, and he swears revenge.
The next day, Herman arrives at the zoo with two large knives, two hats, two whistles and a large sausage. Putting the sausage in his pants, he hurries to the gorilla's cage, into which he throws a knife, a hat and a whistle.
Then Herman puts on his hat. The gorilla looks at him, looks at the hat, and puts it on.
Next, Herman picks up the whistle and blows it. The gorilla looks at him, looks at the whistle, and then picks it up and blows it.
Then Herman picks up the knife, whips the sausage out of his pants, and slices it neatly in two. The gorilla looks at the knife in his cage, looks at his prick, looks up, and pulls down his eyelid.
Yes, Beloved Master.