Just be a little saner

Fri, 16 January 1988 00:00:00 GMT
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Om Mani Padme Hum
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pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
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Question 1:




Peter Heidegger, the question you have asked is immensely interesting. Even if you had not said that you are a German guy, the question would have revealed it - the question is authentically German!

I am going to analyze it, because that is the only way a German can understand.

You have done only one Primal group and you have taken conclusions for your whole life. Do you see the stupidity of it? Do you see the impatience of coming to conclusions from a small Primal group - which is just a cathartic group, it is not meditation. It is not even the beginning of meditation.

It is only preparing the ground, taking out the weeds and the grass roots before seeds can be sown.

Just this small group and you jump to conclusions, far-reaching, without being aware of what you are asking. You don't know even the meaning of the words you are using.

You say, "After doing a Primal group I know pretty well that I don't want to accept any other father or mother than me." Do you see the implication of it? Primal therapy, and other therapies also, want you to be freed from your childhood fixations. You have been brought up by a man and a woman; naturally, you have become fixated on father, on mother, and these fixations affect your whole life, your whole lifestyle. And because your father is not going to live forever, you find yourself in a great trouble: without the father what will you do? Without the mother what will you do? You have become so dependent in your psychology.

It is out of this dependence that "God the Father" was created, that there are "Mother Goddesses."

These have not come out of the blue; they are projections of your psychology. You need them. They are tremendous consolations: your father may die, may abandon you, but the great father in the sky is going to protect you forever.

Even Jesus, a man who has created the biggest gang of criminals in the world, was tremendously father-fixated. All his prayers, hands raised towards the sky, are simply foolish, because in the sky there is nobody to answer your prayers. And he was so fixated that he denied his father Joseph; he insulted his mother Mary. A small incident will explain it to you....

He is preaching in his usual way in the marketplace, where you can always find a few bums who have nothing to do, a few urchins, a small crowd. And then somebody shouted from the crowd, "Jesus, your mother is waiting outside the crowd. She has not seen you for many, many days. She wants to see you."

And the way Jesus treated his mother is so ugly that just this incident would have been enough to condemn this man forever. He said, "Tell that woman that my father is above the clouds in the sky.

Here on the earth, there is nobody who is my mother and there is nobody who is my father."

A poor woman... but from where does this insult come? A deep fixation upon an eternal father, that "I am the only begotten son of God," gives him this stupid idea to insult a poor woman who has just come to see her son. She had not seen him for many days. But he did not allow her into the crowd, and he did not go out of the crowd to meet her. He just shouted these words; that was the whole conversation. And Mary, with tears, went back home.

The implications of these fixations have many dimensions. People call their language the "mother tongue," their country the "motherland." Except Germany - Germany is rare in that it calls its country the "fatherland." That shows a more male chauvinistic idea.

But why do people call their languages their mother tongues? I have heard one man explaining to me that the reason why the language is called mother tongue is because the child never hears the father; it is always the mother who speaks. The moment the father enters in the house he is silent; then the whole conversation is a monologue. Perhaps this may be the reason.

But deep down, we want to be surrounded by "mother earth" as a protection, as our nourishment.

We are so much consoled by the idea that the sky is our father and the earth is our mother, and we are perfectly protected between the two.

All therapies will destroy these fixations, because these fixations are the roots of other stupid ideologies that you go on clinging to: the father race, the mother race, your superiority.

I have heard about two generals, one German, one English, talking to each other after the second world war about what has happened. The German was saying, "We had all the power in the world, more than any country ever had. We went on winning continuously for five years. Then suddenly, everything collapsed. What went wrong? What made you victorious?"

The English general laughed. He said, "You don't understand. It is not just power that determines everything, it is God's blessing. Before every attack, our armies went into prayer. Without prayer, we never attacked; that is the reason for our victory."

The German said, "But we also did the same; we also prayed before every movement of the army, so this cannot be the cause."

The English general insisted: "This is the cause. In what language were you praying?"

The German said, "Obviously, we were praying in German." And the English general said, "Who has ever heard that God understands German?"

These kinds of stupid ideas are all over the world. In India, people think that the Sanskrit language is the only language God understands. That's why he has written the Vedas in Sanskrit, because that is the only language he can write. But the same kind of idea Moses gave to the Jews: "You are the chosen people of God, and your scripture is the holy book. It is written by God himself." Certainly he understands only one language, Hebrew. And you can go on asking around the world: everybody has this idea.

There is no God, and there is nobody to understand what you are talking about. But it certainly gives a consolation - in depression, in suffering, in misery, just opening your heart and praying to God certainly gives peace. It is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of, it is nothing valuable.

But man has lived on dreams, on hopes, on imagination: if God has not heard today, tomorrow he will hear.

For the first time in the world all these therapies have come with the idea that man's psychological troubles are rooted in his fixation on the mother, on the father. This fixation has to be cut completely; with it will disappear your gods, your mother goddesses. With this will disappear many fictions, prayers, many hopes, many dreams. You will be cleaner, more unburdened, more clear, more perceptive.

But you have come to a wrong conclusion. You say, "I have done the Primal group. I know pretty well that I don't want to accept any other father." The Primal group was not saying to you that you have to accept any other father. That's what religions have been doing - instead of a Hindu god accept a Christian god. That is changing your father, your fixation.

I was staying in faraway central India, with a small aboriginal tribe. One of my professor friends used to go; he was an anthropologist and he was studying the aboriginals, their civilization, their mannerisms. And he told me, "The place is so beautiful in the deep forest, so virgin." He showed me a few photographs of a cave which goes miles underground, and a small river flows in the cave. He had been through the whole cave with torches, taking photographs. I became interested and I went.

The first night we were resting, and after the night, in the morning, we were going to explore that tremendously beautiful cave. But in the night, something happened that I want to tell you.

A missionary had come into the village, and the whole village gathered in the clearing in the middle of their small huts, just a little ground for meetings. They all gathered. They were very much interested in what this missionary was going to say.

The missionary said to them, "You have been in misery, in suffering, because you have not yet found the right god."

One of the old men of the tribe asked, "How to find the right god?"

He said, "I will show you the way." But he continued to look at me, although I was sitting behind the crowd. Without disturbing anything, I wanted to see what he was trying to do. And he was afraid, because he could see me and my friend, and the car behind.

But still he went on; he brought from his suitcase two statues. One was of Rama, who is being worshipped by the aboriginals of central India as god, and one was of Jesus Christ. And he had a bucket full of water and he said, "You can see for yourself how to find the right god. You can see your god, Rama, and my god, Jesus Christ. Now I will drop them into the bucket and you will see:

whoever drowns is wrong, whoever floats is right."

They were painted exactly alike, but the statue of Rama was made of brass and the statue of Jesus was made of very soft wood, very lightweight wood. Naturally, Jesus was victorious... and the whole crowd of the aboriginals looked at each other. They said, "Now, there is no way. We have to change.

We have been worshipping a fellow who cannot save himself. How can he save us?"

At that moment I thought, "Now it is too much." I went into the crowd and I told the missionary, "Before anything else happens I want to ask a few questions to the crowd."

He said, "I have no objection."

I asked the crowd, "Have you ever, in the whole history of your race, heard of anything like a water test?"

They said, "We have never heard; we have heard only about the fire test." The missionary became afraid....

I said, "Make a bonfire here and then we will see who is the right god."

And they jumped and they enjoyed the idea, that "In the first place that idiot is using a wrong method.

'Water test'! Who has ever heard of it? A fire test is a well-known thing."

The fire was built and I told the people, "Don't let this missionary escape; he will try." So four or five young men surrounded the missionary and I said, "This is your duty, because after the test about the gods we will test the missionary!"

The gods were tested and of course Jesus burned immediately. Rama came out without any problem. I asked the crowd, "Now what do you want? Should we test this missionary also?"

They said, "That's the right thing to do, because he was trying to deceive us." And the missionary was almost in tears, nervous, trembling and he said, "You are an educated man - don't kill me! I have nothing to do with Jesus Christ or anybody, I am just a missionary; I just get a salary for it."

I told the people, "Let the poor fellow go..."

Who is telling you to change the father or mother? All the religions have been doing that, arguing with each other - "Our god is better, superior, more powerful than your god." That's the whole idea of conversion.

There have been only two religions, Judaism and Hinduism, which are non-converting religions. But not for the right reasons - they don't convert anybody because anybody who is not born a Jew is an inferior being; anybody who is not born a Hindu cannot be converted to Hinduism because by conversion you cannot purify him. He will have to go through a whole process of disciplining himself so that in the next life he is born as a Hindu; conversion is not possible right now. It is a long process of transformation.

But these are the oldest religions of the world, Judaism and Hinduism, and they never came in conflict because they were in separate parts of the world. New religions, out of necessity, had to depend on conversion. Otherwise from where are you going to get Christians, if you don't convert?

From where are you going to get new converts other than from older religions? That makes the Christian the most fanatic, most fundamentalist, most fascist, because he has to be very aggressive in his attempt to convert people to Christianity. And they have succeeded; almost half of humanity is Christian.

From where have these Christians come? They have come from older religions which don't convert.

But the whole game is the politics of numbers. The more people you have under your wing, the more powerful you are. There is no other priest in the world except the Catholic pope who is also a sovereign king of an independent country, the Vatican. Obviously he has the greatest number of people around the world; as Catholics they are his power.

These people have been trying to change you, but the new therapies are not trying to change your father fixation into a new fixation. Therapies are trying to help you drop the whole idea of father and mother. Be an individual, without any bondage, free, authentic and sincere.

But instead of that you are saying, "I don't want to accept any other father or mother THAN ME." So you are going to be your own father? You are going to be your own mother? You are going to be in a tremendous confusion! I cannot figure out how you will manage your life. Inside you there will be a conflict; your father and mother will go on fighting. You will become a nervous wreck.

You gained great insight out of your primal therapy! At least the father was far away in the sky. Now it is within you; the danger has come even closer. And not only the father - mother is also there!

Just be a little saner.

And then you say, "I like your teaching." Have you ever thought what is my teaching? The question of liking or not liking does not arise - there is no teaching at all! Neither is there a teaching nor is there a teacher. I am not preaching a certain doctrine to you, a certain system of beliefs, a philosophy or theology. I am not a teacher and I don't have any teaching, because I don't have any belief: no God, no heaven, no hell. Just this universe, which is not a belief - which is your experience, my experience, everybody's experience.

So don't get this wrong idea that you like my teaching. No such thing exists.

And then you go on being more and more stupid: "... your destroying my old conditioning, very much." You like my destroying your old conditioning very much - and still you are a "German guy"!

Your being a German is simply a conditioning. If you have understood me you cannot be a part of any nation and you cannot be a part of any religion and you cannot be a part of any kind of doctrinaire philosophical system. You can be only a silent human being, in tune with the universe.

And you go on saying great things: "But why should I change my name?" Why not? It will help you to forget that you are a German; that's why. The changing of the name simply means you are dropping the whole old personality that was indicated by the old name, that you are beginning afresh with a new name. It is symbolic. You were not born with a name. The name was given by your father, by your mother, by your people. Now you have dropped all conditionings, why not drop the name those conditionings gave to you?

You can choose your name yourself; anything will do. It is not necessary for a name to mean something, it is only symbolic so that you can be recognized in the crowd and called. You can make up your name yourself, but change you must! Your insistence on not changing shows your inner idea: "On the surface, play the game that I have dropped all conditionings." And you are not even ready to drop a bogus name.

I have no interest in changing your name. It is just out of compassion that I am saying, "Start a new life with a new symbol, so that you can be discontinuous with your past."

And then, "Why should I change my name, be a sannyasin..." Do you understand the meaning of sannyasin? It simply means a seeker of truth.

You don't want to be a seeker of truth?

Then what the hell are you doing here?

And further, "Why should I change my name, be a sannyasin and accept a master who says that there is no need for any authority?"

Two things: first, the master accepts the disciple, not the other way around. So you need not be worried about that. The disciple has to wait for that blissful moment when he can be accepted. Who has given you this idea that it is in your hands to accept a master or not?

I will tell you a small story about Junnaid, a Sufi mystic who used to tell his disciples that "I had such a beautiful master that there is no way for me to explain to you his beauty, his grace. But I will tell a few stories that happened between me and my master."

And he never named his master; that was disrespectful. So nobody knows who Junnaid's master was, because Junnaid never mentioned his name. He always called him simply "my master."

He was asked again and again: "Please tell his name." He said, "How can I say his name? That will be against gratefulness, against respect, against my love. Don't ask his name. Just the word 'master' is enough."

"I lived with my master," he used to say, "for twelve years. As I entered into the palace where he used to live he simply gestured with his hand, indicating to me, 'Sit down.' And for three years afterwards he did not even look towards me. Every day I would come in the morning, sit down by the side.

And other disciples would come - their questions, their problems, their difficulties on the path, their experiences, realizations. And by the evening I would leave.

"After three years, for the first time he looked at me. And just that look went like an arrow into my heart. That very moment I knew I had been accepted. It took three years of waiting, but I was determined: even if it takes my whole life to wait, I am going to wait. Because I have seen every day more and more grace, more and more of the master's beauty, more and more the feel of his presence. I had already forgotten how many days had passed. When he looked at me THEN I remembered: three years I had been waiting.

"And then for three years again he never looked at me. After six years of waiting, he smiled at me.

And in his smile I knew I had been embraced, he had taken me into his heart. The first time he had looked I knew he had reached my heart; after six years I knew he had taken me into his own heart.

And not a single word!

"Three more years passed and he hugged me, kissed my forehead and told me, 'Junnaid, now you are ready. You can go.'

"Not a single word of teaching, but initiation happened just by a look, and a deeper mystery opened just by a smile. A hug from the master became the certificate, and he has sent me into the world to teach. He has not said a single word to me about what to teach. So whatever he used to do, I am doing."

This was Junnaid's whole life, and he transformed hundreds of people. And all that he knew was:

Sit down - first, a gesture. Then after three years of waiting it becomes a growing intensity; waiting becomes almost your whole life. And then, suddenly he looks at you and your whole life is filled with a new light. You are bathed, you are purified. You have passed through the test; you have been accepted.

And Junnaid continued to do the same, because he said, "This is all that I have learned from my master," and he created great people. The greatest of them was al-Hillaj Mansoor, of the same category as Gautam Buddha or Chuang Tzu or Basho or Bodhidharma.

But he has nothing to say. He has something to convey - words are not necessary.

The seeker of truth has to show his credentials, his ability to wait, his capacity to be patient, because the journey is long and the path is very narrow. A master accepts a disciple only when he can see the sincerity of the heart, the risk, the danger of going into aloneness... when the master is convinced that the person is capable of all these, he is accepted as a disciple.

You don't have to be worried: it is not so easy to be accepted by a master. And if you don't want to be a sannyasin... perhaps you thought that sannyasins are also a kind of religion; perhaps this is also a new movement, enrolling people. It is not. If you are searching truth, whether you know it or not you are a sannyasin. If you are ready to drop all your conditioning, you are a sannyasin. If you meditate and raise your consciousness to its highest potential, you are a sannyasin. It does not matter whether you know the meaning of the word 'sannyasin' or not.

The ancient meaning of the word was, one who leaves the world in search of truth. My own meaning is, one who lives in the world and yet goes on searching for truth. Because where can you go?

Everywhere is the world.

I cannot understand where those people were going, leaving the world. To the Himalayas? It is also part of the world, part of our geography. Where are those people going to find a place outside the world?

There is nothing outside the world. Everything is inside the world, and there is no way to get out of it. The only way is to go into yourself, and you are out of it. If the world is not inside you - no desire, no longing, no will to power - if all this nonsense has disappeared from your inner world and it is utterly pure emptiness, you are out of the world. That is the only place which is not in the world.

But as far as your body is concerned it will be in the world. I have always wondered where those people used to go. Wherever they go, they will find some kind of world.

An old master was dying, and he called his successor: "My last message to you is, never, never allow a cat in your house." And the old fellow died.

The successor said, "My god, what has it to do with the search for truth? And now I am going to be on guard continuously that no cat enters into the house? What kind of thing has he left me with and died? Now I cannot even ask, 'What do you mean?'"

But an old man who was there said, "Don't be worried, I know the whole story. I will tell you what he means. I have known him for many, many years..."

When he had become a sannyasin, he left the world and went out into the forest. But you need food, you need milk, you need some clothing, you need some kind of roof. But he had left everything, according to the ancient formula; he had brought with himself only two Indian-type underwear. I emphasize the word 'Indian-type' because that kind does not exist anywhere else in the whole world. It is just a single strip of cloth, long enough so you can wrap it around yourself. You are becoming acquainted in the West with mini-underwear, which show much and hide less - that has been done by the Indian sannyasins for centuries. It is nothing new.

So, two of these underwear he took, and left. But there was trouble. He managed to make a small hut with bamboos and grass, but those two underwear were creating trouble because rats would come and eat the underwear. He was in great difficulty. Again and again he had to go to the village to ask for new underwear.

Finally, the village got tired. They said, "You have left the world. If you had said that you would come again and again for the underwear, we would have stopped you: Don't go. What is the point? You had everything, now you are a torture."

He said, "What can I do? There are so many rats." The people suggested, "Then do one thing. We will give you a cat."

He said, "What will the cat do?"

People suggested, "The cat will kill the rats and will protect your underwear." It was perfectly logical.

So he took a cat with him. But now a new problem: the cat needs milk, the cat needs food. She certainly finished all the rats, but now he has to go to the town to ask for some milk for the cat.

The people said, "You are a constant nuisance. We were thinking that we had got rid of you. We have given you the cat, and now you have started coming for milk. Rather than giving you milk every day, we will give you a cow. You take a cow as a contribution from the whole village. But don't torture us any more. This cow will help in many ways. It will give enough milk for the cat and it will give enough milk for you, too. So you need not come for your food either."

He said, "The idea is good," and took the cow. New problems.... Every solution brings new problems.

So those who are really men of understanding never solve anything. Look at me. I have never solved anything. I don't have any problem. Just... I simply saw the thing clearly, that the moment you have a solution, a problem comes.

Now the cow needs grass. From where to get so much grass every day? Finally, he had to go to the village again. He said, "You give me solutions and they create new problems! Now I go on searching through the whole forest for the grass. I have gone into sannyas to meditate, but since I have been in sannyas - rats, cat, cow, grass... I was never in so much business when I was in the world. Now show me a way..."

They said, "Don't be worried, every problem has a solution. There is a widow in the village. She is very poor. And she, we hope, will be willing to go with you and live with you. She can take care of the cow, and we will come and clear some ground so you can grow grass. You can also grow some wheat. And sometimes you may be sick, sometimes you may be not feeling well... that woman will take care of you, too."

He said, "My god, it seems the whole thing is... that's what I had escaped in the very beginning! A house, a woman, a cow... I had all these things. Everything is coming again from the back door."

But there was no other alternative, so he took the widow. And for many, many days he had been involved in such complicated problems that he had not thought about women. But now he saw the widow - she was really beautiful. Deep down, dreams started arising - "This is great. Together alone in the forest..."

And what had to happen, happened. Then children, then searching for a school....

The old man explained to the young successor, "That's why your master finally told you to never, never allow a cat in the house. Because it was the cat that destroyed his whole life."

But where will you go? I don't think there is any place anywhere, where you will not need essential things. And those essential things will bring you back again and again. Instead of becoming a sannyasin, you will become a beggar. Instead of becoming a creator, you will become just a burden on the society.

That has happened in the East, to the extent that in Thailand, the proportion has grown so much that out of every four men, one is a Buddhist bhikku who has renounced the world. Thailand is a poor country. It cannot manage so many people who do nothing except ask always for clothes, for food, for milk, for medicine. Finally, just a few years ago, the parliament of Thailand passed a law that unless somebody takes the permission of the government, he cannot renounce the world. This is the strangest law you could have in any country. But in any other country the situation will be the same. There is a limit - how long can you tolerate these people who do nothing, and are ready to ask for everything?

The old sannyasin, the old concept of a sannyasin, is basically wrong. I don't teach you to leave the world, I teach you to live in the world but don't let the world live in you. Be a lotus leaf in the water - but the water cannot touch it. That's the only possibility, if we want the whole world to taste something of meditation; otherwise... the old sannyas cannot survive. And it is meaningless, because it makes you dependent on people. You were independent, you had your own time; you worked for a few hours and then you had your own time. But these poor people who have left the world, their whole time is wasted in asking for small things, being rejected, being insulted, being told, "Go away, go somewhere else." These people were in search of dignity, and what they have found is utter indignity.

And the second thing: you don't understand - perhaps millions of people in the world don't understand - the difference between authority and authoritarianism. They both originate from the same root; in dictionaries they have the same meaning. But in experience, they are not only different but diametrically opposite. An Adolf Hitler is authoritarian, but he is not an authority. Authoritarian means he has power to dominate. He has power to order you, to command you.

Authority simply means that whatever you are saying is your own experience. You are not dependent on any other source. You are not repeating the holy Bible or the holy Gita or the holy Koran. You are saying what you have experienced within your own self. This gives you a deep authority.

But it not the same authority as a commander has over the army, or the politician has over the country. It is not power over others, it is simply an experience arising, with absolute clarity, with no hesitation, without any doubts. It is your own experience. You don't depend on any scriptures. So these two things are totally different.

Jesus is authoritarian because his authority is derived from the God whom he claims is his father.

The source of authority is the father. Moses is authoritarian; so is Mohammed, so is Krishna, so is Rama, because they all derive their authority from outer sources. If those outer sources are proved to be fictitious - as they are - then the whole authority of Jesus and Mohammed and Krishna falls, collapses. If their God is proved to be non-existent, then they don't have any authority.

But my authority cannot collapse, because it is not dependent on anyone. Even my death cannot destroy it - it is my own experience. Only authority makes the master. And only with a man of his own experience can you learn something. You can imbibe his spirit. You can be overwhelmed by his love, by his presence. If you are receptive, you can be completely transformed.

And that's the meaning of the word 'disciple'. It comes from the same root as 'discipline'. A disciple is one who is ready to learn, who is ready to discipline himself into receptivity, into alertness, into awareness, into patience.

Peter Heidegger, be here; let the atmosphere enter in you a little deeper. Do a few more groups, do meditations. Sit here, just for the joy of sitting. Questions you can ask later on. Right now, your questions will be absurd.

Become well acquainted with this caravan of seekers; imbibe their spirit, merge and melt, and perhaps you may be able to find an authentic question that helps you in your search for yourself. But this question is too early.

There are a few more strange questions, but you will have to wait for them until tomorrow. Right now is the time to have a little fun.

Paddy and Maureen go fishing together in a boat. "Do you mind if I fish off the right side of the boat?" asks Maureen. Paddy agrees and starts fishing from the left side. He catches nothing all day, but Maureen keeps pulling up fish, one after the other.

The next week, they go fishing again, and this time, Maureen asks to fish from the left side of the boat. Paddy fishes from the right side and catches nothing, but again Maureen almost fills the boat with the fish she catches from the left side. At the end of the day, Paddy is really puzzled.

"Maureen," he asks, "how do you know which side of the boat the fish are going to be on?"

"Well," replies Maureen, "when I wake up in the morning I have a look at your prick. If it is hanging on the left side, I fish on the left side of the boat. And if it is on the right side, then I fish on the right side of the boat."

"That's amazing," says Paddy, "and what if my prick is right in the middle?"

"Well, Paddy," says Maureen mischievously, "on a day like that, who cares about fishing?"

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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