Escape to Reality

Fri, 7 January 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Philosophia Perennis, Vol 2
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
Audio Available:
Video Available:
104 mins

The first question

Question 1:


Peter Jenkins,

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE IS NOT A movement: it is a mutation. It has no concern with the society: its whole concern is with the individual. It is a revolution in the true sense of the word.

There is no idea of changing the society or the world, because there is no society at all.

Only individuals exist - society is an illusion. And because we believe in society, all the revolutions have failed. The belief that the society exists has sabotaged all efforts to change man - because the belief is rooted in illusion.

Ask the scientist: he says there is no matter but only electrons. Matter is an illusion. In exactly the same way, those who understand human consciousness will say that society is an illusion like matter. Electrons are true, so are individuals.

The individual needs a mutation. And what we are doing here is utterly individualistic; it is not socialistic at all. It may look as if it is an escape - but the word 'escape' in itself has nothing wrong in it. If the house is on fire and you escape from it, nobody calls you an escapist. You are simply intelligent, that's all.

We are not escaping, we are simply trying to understand what the case is. We are not avoiding problems - in fact, just the contrary. We are facing all the problems that the society has avoided. We are trying to encounter all the problems that the so-called society has been teaching you to repress.

Man need not have ANY unconscious. It is because of repression that man has become divided between conscious and unconscious. It is the great work of your so-called society. It is a conspiracy against man. Once man is divided he starts becoming a weakling, because he starts fighting within himself. He is split, he becomes schizophrenic. And the man who is split can never be a master of himself.

And that's what your so-called society wants everybody to be: never to be a master but always to be a slave. The society needs slaves. And by 'the society' I mean the conspiracy of the priests, the politicians, the power-hungry people. Society is a conspiracy of the power-obsessed people, and their basic strategy is to divide man from the very beginning.

And how have they divided man? They have told you not to accept yourself in your totality. They have told you that much is wrong in you - in fact the major part of your being, of your wholeness, is wrong. That wrong part has to be denied expression, that wrong part has to be repressed. And once you start repressing anything in yourself, a rift is created. Then you go on repressing all the problems and you go on sitting on the volcano - thinking everything is okay, believing everything is okay, and knowing all the time that nothing is okay. Deep down, there is fire and it is going to erupt any moment.

Then people become neurotic, psychotic. Then people suffer millions of diseases - unnecessarily. But it serves the vested interests. It serves the capitalist society, it serves the communist society; it serves the Catholic church, it serves the Hindu, the Mohammedan priesthood. It serves all those who are in power.

Man remains shaky, trembling, weak, divided. And man cannot assert himself, cannot stand on his own. He needs somebody to depend upon. He seeks and searches for tyrants - without tyrants he cannot live. He cannot live without governments and he cannot live without the leaders.

And look what your leaders and your governments, your churches and your priests have done. Just look at history and you will see that the whole history of man up to now has been utterly ugly. It has not been human at all.

My effort here is not to change the society but to transform the individual - to help the individual to become whole, to help the individual to drop this rift between the conscious and the unconscious; to help the individual not to repress any more but to accept himself, not to condemn but to love himself.

You can call it a 'self-regarding cult' - because I teach self-love. And you have been told that there is something wrong with self-love. You have been told, "Love others, but never love yourself." But how can you love others if you cannot even love yourself?

Meditate on the great statement of Jesus: "Love thy neighbour as thou lovest thyself." But the fundamental is loving thyself.

You cannot love anybody else - because love has to well up within you first. And you are the closest to yourself: if you hate yourself, you will hate your neighbour. Whatsoever the priests and the leaders go on saying, it will not make any difference. You will hate your neighbour, you will hate humanity, you will hate the earth - because you will hate yourself.

Love yourself, and out of that love grows love for others.

I teach you to be selfish, because only out of true selfishness is altruism born. A really selfish person cannot be against anybody, a really selfish person cannot hurt anybody - because hurting somebody you have to hurt yourself first. You cannot create suffering for others without creating suffering for yourself. Before you are angry with someone, you have to be angry within yourself. Before you are violent with somebody, you have to go through many nightmares.

The person who really loves himself, who is in tremendous love with himself, cannot do any harm to anybody - because he cannot do any harm to himself.

So in a way we are escapists, because whatsoever you call real life is not real - it is a distortion of life; it is something else in the name of life. And we are certainly self- regarding, because out of that regard, regard for the other is born.

If the individual can be helped, if the individual can be enlightened, if the individual can be persuaded to celebrate life, to enjoy life, only then will we be able to change the climate around the earth. But that is not our purpose, that is not our goal - that is going to be just a consequence.


It simply signifies that the society is rotten, that the society is ill, that there is no possibility of reforming the society. Because if this society is reformed it will be simply a modified form of the same rottenness - maybe a little bit better decorated, better painted, but it will be the same disease. In five thousand years' history, many times society has been reformed. And nothing basically ever changes; it remains the same in every form. It is the same illness, the same ugliness, the same sickness that continues.

Enough is enough!

Those who are intelligent have become aware that all revolutions have failed - all social revolutions have failed. And we have not listened yet to Buddhas who have been telling of a totally different revolution: the revolution in the heart of the individual - because the individual is substantial, real. Society is only a relationship.

For example, we are sitting here, two thousand people. You can think of it as a society, as a community. But what is society? What is community? There are two thousand individuals sitting here. You will never come across society anywhere; you will never meet the community. Whenever you come across anything, you will come across the real individual.

Society is only a word - and a very dangerous word. And man is very very efficient at inventing dangerous words. For example, 'humanity'. Now, I have never seen humanity; I have only seen human beings. Humanity is just an abstraction. But there are people who love humanity. You cannot hug humanity, you cannot kiss humanity. But that becomes a very very subtle camouflage. In the name of humanity you can go on hating human beings - because you love humanity; there is no need to love human beings because you love humanity.

And if the need arises, you can sacrifice all human beings for your love of humanity. That has been done again and again: people love nations, and people kill people in the name of 'the nation'. In the name of 'motherland', 'fatherland' - stupid words - but in the name of 'motherland' thousands of people can be killed very easily.

The real is sacrificed on the altar of the abstract. This is your whole history. In the name of God, in the name of religion, in the name of love, in the name of peace, in the name of democracy, in the name of communism - ALL abstractions - we go on butchering real human beings.

These words are dangerous words. Drop these words; love human beings. If you have to sacrifice the motherland, sacrifice it - it is nothing. If you have to sacrifice religion, sacrifice it - it is nothing. If you have to sacrifice humanity, kill it without a single thought - because there is no humanity and you will not be killing anything. But love the real: avoid the abstract. It is the abstract that has been the greatest calamity.

I assert the real against the abstract. And this has been the way of all the Buddhas, but they have never been tried. Politicians have been tried and all the political experiments have failed, but Buddhas have never been tried. We have listened to them, we have worshipped them, but we have never tried them. We have never given a chance to them.

Now the time has come that if Buddhas are not tried, then there is no future. Man is doomed - because man has invented, slowly slowly, so many violent forces, man has discovered such dangerous weapons, the next war will not be the third, it will be the last.

The next war will be the total war. It will destroy all life - not only human life but all life, life as such.

Before it happens, please give one opportunity to those who have been saying again and again - Krishna, Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Zarathustra - that the individual has to be transformed. And once the individual is transformed, society automatically changes; that is a consequence.

So we are not proposing here any social revolution. I am not at all concerned with the society: my whole concern is the real individual.


IN A SENSE IT IS ESCAPIST because we are escaping from all illusions. In a sense it is not escapist, because we are escaping into reality. Escaping from illusions and escaping into reality: hence it is not escapist.

And it is not self-regarding in the sense that we are against others, that we don't teach any altruism, that we don't care for morality, that we don't care at all for others. No. We know how to care for others. But to care for others, the basic fundamental, the basic requirement is to care for yourself.

A Christian mother was telling her child, "Serve others: service is religion. God has made you to serve others."

The little boy asked the mother, "I can understand it, that God created me to serve others, but a question arises: why did God create others? To serve me?"

That looks very unscientific: "I am here to serve others and others are here to serve me.

Why can't I serve myself and you serve yourself? Because I will be able to take care of myself in a better way than anybody else can take care of me, and you will be able to take care of yourself better than I can ever take care of you."

I teach self-service. And then, as a consequence, a totally different vision arises. The person who serves himself, enjoys himself, loves himself, respects himself, is BOUND to respect others. Because, slowly slowly, he becomes aware that the same life exists in others - the same life. The more you love yourself, the more you become aware that you are not separate.

Only in love is union felt. The more you love yourself~ the more you merge and melt into your own being, the more you become orgasmic in your inner world, the more you see that all definitions are false, all demarcations are arbitrary, that you are not separate, that the universe is one.

That's why we call it 'universe' - 'uni' means one. We don't call it 'multiverse'. It is one, it is one whole. We are part of each other - no man is an island. We belong to an invisible but infinite continent. Boundless is our existence.

But those experiences happen only to people who are self-actualizing, who are in such tremendous love with themselves that they can close their eyes and be alone and be utterly blissful. That's what meditation is all about.

Meditation means being ecstatic in your aloneness. But when you become ecstatic in your aloneness, soon the ecstasy is so much that you cannot contain it. It starts overflowing you. And when it starts overflowing you it becomes love. Meditation allows love to happen. And the people who have not known meditation will never know love. They may pretend that they love but they cannot. They will only pretend - because they don't have anything to give, they are not overflowing.

Love is a sharing. But before you can share, you have to have it! Meditation should be the first thing. Meditation is the center, love is the circumference of it. Meditation is the flame, love is the radiation of it. Meditation is the flower, love is the fragrance of it.

I teach meditation, because that is the only way to allow love to happen in your being.

And when you start overflowing, you start relating with others, caring for others - service comes in your life as a shadow of meditation. It is not to be imposed upon you, it has not to be a duty.

'Duty' is a four-letter, dirty word. Whenever you do something AS a duty, it is imposed, cultivated, phony. It is pseudo, it makes you a hypocrite.

A totally different quality arises in your being when you are overflowing and you cannot contain yourself. You HAVE to love, you have to share. And the beauty of sharing is that the more you give, the more you get. The more you empty yourself into love, the more you feel full.


I don't propose it. That's how it can happen - the ONLY way it can happen. But that is not our goal.

When you kindle a light, darkness disappears of its own accord. You need not look for darkness with the light - to find out where it is and to force it to go out of the room - you need not do anything like that. If the light is there, darkness is not there.

If man is transformed, he becomes a light - unto himself first, and then for others too.

That's a natural consequence.

We live in the present, we live in meditation, we allow ourselves to be full of love so that it starts overflowing. But this whole thing is non-utopian. We are not searching for a utopia, we are not searching for a golden age to come in the world. Although the golden age can come only this way - there is no other way. All other ways have failed.

Either meditation or suicide: these are the only alternatives left for human beings. Within these next twenty-five years, the last part of this century, either man has to become meditative, and out of meditation loving, or man has to commit universal suicide.

The second question

Question 2:


IT'S NATURAL. Psychoanalysts commit suicide more than any other profession. The proportion is almost double. And psychoanalysts go mad more than any other profession - again the proportion is double. And the reason is that the psychoanalyst is not trained in meditation at all.

He is a so-called normal human being, as others are. And when he starts psychoanalyzing people he has to encounter not only the craziness of the other, the nonsense of the other, but the same nonsense in himself. The other provokes it, the presence of the other. And the rubbish that he pours out, the psychoanalyst has to listen to it. That whole nonsense goes into him, provokes his own nonsense, creates much fear in him, starts driving him crazy.

There is an ancient story:

A great king in Egypt went mad. All kinds of treatment were done, but everything failed.

Physicians came from faraway places, but the king was slipping downhill more and more.

Then somebody suggested, "Forget about physicians and doctors - we should ask the advice of some sage." So they went in search, found an ancient sage in a cave and asked him what to do.

The sage said, "Just tell me a few things about the king - about his hobbies, the way he lives, the things that he eats...." And they told him. The sage said, "Now it is enough.

This will do."

They had told him that the king was a great lover of chess, so the sage said, "You find the greatest chess-player in the country and pay him whatsoever he asks, but he has to play chess with the mad king. And come after one year."

The greatest chess-player was found. He was not very willing to play chess with a madman - chess in itself is very madden-ing, and then to play with a madman.... He asked too much money - he was hoping that that much money would not be given - but the people from the king immediately agreed, so there was no way to escape. The chess- player HAD to play chess with the mad king.

After one year, the same people went back to the cave. The sage asked, "How are things?"

They said, "You did a miracle! The king is perfectly sane now. " The sage said, "That's okay. Anything else?"

They said, "Yes, there is one thing more: the chess-player has gone mad!"

It is bound to happen - unless the psychoanalyst is rooted in deep meditation. That's where psychoanalysis is missing something very important, absolutely important.

Psychoanalysis should be based in deep meditation. Every psychoanalyst, before he is certified, should go through long meditations, because the meditation will make you able to listen rightly. The meditation will help you to be so silent and quiet and cool and collected that you can listen to the madman and you can be helpful to him, yet he will not be able to disturb you. Otherwise, this is bound to happen. And the only way, experience, psychoanalysts know is...

I have heard:

A young man, a young psychoanalyst, asked one old colleague, "You always look so happy, so cheerful. The whole day's work, and such ugly work... I start getting tired with the second patient, and by the evening I am dead tired. But you never look tired. It is a nightmare to listen to others' nightmares continuously."

The old man laughed and he said, "Who listens?"

This seems to be the only protection if you don't know how to meditate. Then the psychoanalyst only pretends that he is listening.

Freud was very diplomatic about it. He managed the whole thing in such a way that the patient used to lie on the couch, and Freud would sit at the back so the patient could not see him - whether he was listening or not, had fallen asleep, or was dreaming or doing something else. The patient was Lying down and going through gibberish called 'free association'.

In fact, Freud was very much afraid of looking into people's eyes; he was very phobic about it. He himself was a very ill person. He himself was not aware of anything like meditation or prayer; he had known nothing of deep communion with existence. He was constantly afraid - he was afraid to come close to the patient. He didn't allow any intimacy between the therapist and the patient, no intimacy. Everything had to be just a professional relationship - which is not a relationship at all.

But now Freudian barriers are slowly slowly breaking. Psychoanalysts are becoming more and more courageous; they are facing the patient, encountering the patient, looking into his eyes... and that is dangerous. Unless you start getting a deep-rootedness, a deep centering in your being, this is going to be dangerous. Looking into the eyes of a madman may be together but they cannot become one. But if you pour water into water, it becomes one.

At this highest peak where all the seven centers meet, persons disappear, only energies remain, a play of energy, a play of consciousness. And the joy is constant, it is orgasmic.

It is a spiritual communion. No meditation is needed for such a couple - because for such a couple love is meditation enough. It is a mystic phenomenon, it is transcendental. But it is very rare. Amongst millions and millions of people, once it will happen. It will be almost a chance meeting.

Below it, there is another meeting: six centers meeting. That too is rare. If the first is one percent, the second is only two percent. It is union, not unity. It is not a cosmic, mystical union, but still something very close to it - an aesthetic union, an artistic phenomenon, a poetic experience.

The first can be understood only by those who have known samadhi, satori. The second can be understood by poets, painters, dancers, musicians.

The third, lower than that, is the meeting of five centers. It is three percent possible. It is not even a union; it is duality. Two persons remain two, but still there is great harmony.

The two function in harmony - as if two musical instruments are playing in harmony.

The two remain two. There is no union, there is no unity. They are separate.

This is what Kahlil Gibran has described: "Lovers should be like two pillars of a temple supporting the same roof, yet apart and separate." This is a little lower than the aesthetic, artistic, musical experience. It is a moral experience - chaste, still beautiful.

The fourth is four centers meeting. It has a four percent possibility. Duality. Harmony has disappeared but there is great understanding still - great understanding about each... for example, Carl Gustav Jung, was so much afraid of death that if you talked about death, just talked about death, he would almost go into a tantrum. He wanted to see the mummies of old Egyptian kings and queens. Remember always: whenever you are afraid of something, you are also attracted towards it. Fear and attraction are two aspects of the same coin. But whenever he arranged, he planned, to go for a visit to Egypt, he would fall ill.

It happened SO many times that he simply became aware that he must be creating the illness. And the moment he cancelled the trip, the illness would disappear. The last time, he even WENT to the airport, but just at the airport he started vomiting, had to cancel the trip. And then he had to drop the whole idea forever.

Freud was very much afraid - he was even afraid of psychoanalysis. It is said that once he was travelling together with Carl Gustav Jung. Having nothing to do, Jung started psychoanalyzing Freud. Then there came a point when Jung was very close to touching the root neurosis of Freud, and Freud said, "Just stop - no more talking about it!" He became so frightened; Jung said, "What is the matter with you? Can't you expose yourself?"

And Freud said, "No, I cannot expose more than this. If I expose more, I will lose all of my authority."

For a moment Jung was silent, and then he said, "You have lost it already. If you are so much afraid of being psychoanalyzed yourself, what kind of psychoanalyst are you?"

And he was the father of psychoanalysis. He himself was never psychoanalyzed; he never allowed anybody to come that close. He was afraid really that if he came to know about his own unconscious he might never be the same man again.

That's why we go on avoiding. But a psychoanalyst cannot avoid; hence your problem.

You will have to learn to be so silent that rather than the neurotic assertions of the patient affecting you, your silence starts affecting the patient. You have to be more potential, you have to be more full of love and grace. And in fact, if you are full of love, that is therapy.

that is healing. Love is a healing force.

The psychotherapist, the psychoanalyst, or other kinds of therapists of other persuasions - - existential therapists, or the people who follow Assagioli, psychosynthesis, or the people who follow group therapies - all the people who are involved in some way or other with the patient have to learn many things. Psychoanalysis is still in its very early childhood; it has to learn many things.

And the East can supply many things to the West, because the East has pondered over the mysteries of the mind for thousands of years. What Freud started in the West is a very ancient understanding in the East. From the very very ancient days of the Vedas we have been encountering the inner reality, we have been exploring the interiority of man, and some basic truths we have learnt.

One: that if you want to help the other you have to be in a higher state of consciousness, otherwise you will not be able to help the other. People who belong to the same level of consciousness cannot be of much help. And the danger is that rather than helping the other, the other may affect you so much, may disturb you so much, that you will lose your own balance. That is the difference between a guru and a psychotherapist.

A psychotherapist exists on the same level of consciousness as the patient; the guru, the Master, exists on a higher plane. He can pull you up from the mess you are drowning in.

But he HAS to be on a higher plane, otherwise there is every possibility you may pull him into the same mess you are drowning in.

Once it happened:

I was sitting by the side of a river; a man started drowning. The moment I saw, I ran, but before I could reach and before I could jump into the river, another man jumped. And the man who jumped had forgotten completely that he knew nothing of swimming. Just seeing some man drowning, he forgot completely that he was not a swimmer. So I had to save two persons!

I told the man, "You created more trouble rather than being a help. I had to save you first!"

He said, "I completely forgot."


DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SWIM? Otherwise, instead of one man being in trouble, there will be two men in trouble. You will have to learn to be so utterly quiet, so still, that your silence creates a milieu around you. That the moment the patient enters your silence, HE starts falling into a silence himself.

That is real therapy - and that is the meaning of the Eastern word 'satsang': communion with the Master. Just sitting by the side of the Master, things start happening. Nothing has to be said; just being in touch with a higher consciousness, your consciousness starts taking the challenge, starts rising to the occasion. Something is triggered in you.

The modern psychotherapist himself is ill. He is a professional; he knows all about illnesses, all about cures, but his consciousness belongs to the same realm as the patient's consciousness. He is not a Master. In fact, the ancient meaning of the word 'patient' is not really an ill person but a student. It comes from 'patience'.

Patience is required to learn. The patient, particularly the mental patient, has really to be a student. He has to learn the ways of being whole. He does not know how to live a whole life - that is his illness. But how can you teach him if you are not living a whole life yourself? You have to be a Master, ONLY then will the patient be transformed into a student.

And then there are three stages of studentship. The first is the student, the second is the disciple, the third is the devotee.

The student learns only intellectually, he relates only on the plane of intellect - but that is the beginning. If he can relate with you intellectually, he will start feeling a trust in you.

Then he can relate emotionally; that will make him a disciple. And when he can relate emotionally, then only will communion start happening.

The first is communication. When he is a student, he thinks of you as a teacher. When he becomes a disciple, he thinks of you as a Master. Now communion has started happening; now on the emotional level a relationship arises, a kind of love.

And Freud was very much afraid of this kind of love arising between the therapist and the patient. He was so much afraid of it that he would not allow any intimacy; the relationship had to be utterly formal. The therapist had to keep himself very aloof, detached, far away. He had NOT to function as a human being; he had to function only as an expert. He had not to expose himself.

Then you will not be able to help much - only on the intellectual plane you may settle a few things; a few misunderstandings may be removed. But the real problem is emotional - information is not needed - the real problem is somewhere in the feelings. The patient needs a new way to feel, a new way to see, a new way to perceive. And that can happen only when the therapist allows himself to relate emotionally.

That is possible only if you are on such a high plane that you can relate emotionally and yet not get disturbed; otherwise your disturbance will disturb the patients rather than helping.

And the third and the highest state is that of a devotee. In that state the Master and the disciple are no more separate: union happens - not only communion but union, a kind of unity. That has been our way in the East. The seeker comes as a student, falls in love with the Master, becomes a disciple; and one day the love has matured, the Master and the disciple have met, really met. In that meeting, the devotee is born.

Then the Master is no more a human being: the Master is thought to be a God. That's why we have called Buddha 'Bhagwan'. It is not in the Christian sense of the word 'God'. It is in the sense that the devotee has come to a point where he can see that his Master only lives in the body but is not the body. Now he can see the transcendental energy of the Master. The Master represents God on the earth. The Master is a penetration of the beyond, of the unknown, into the known.

Psychotherapy will have to move on these lines. Unless psychotherapy becomes religion, this problem will remain.

Dick felt that he needed help with his problems and decided to go to a psychoanalyst. On the first appointment, the analyst told him to lie down on the couch and talk about whatever was bothering him. After a short while, the analyst told him he should go on talking and the tape-recorder would take it all down.

The analyst returned towards the end of the session and another appointment was made upon which the same scene was repeated. On the third session when the analyst departed, Dick, out of curiosity, looked out of the window and saw the analyst walking into the bar across the road.

At the next session, Dick appeared with a cassette and handed it to the analyst and said, "I recorded my session at home, and now we can both go and have a drink."

The psychoanalyst has not only to be a professional person: he has to learn psychoanalysis not as a profession but as a vocation. It has to be his love, his creativity, his prayer. It has to be his offering to God, only then will he not be driven crazy by his patients. Otherwise, it is bound to happen, it is natural.

But remember one fundamental law: just as illnesses are infectious, so is health. If you live with ill people too long, you will become ill. Unless you have such health, such wholeness such integrity, that it is beyond all infections, that you are immune to infections, then only will you be able to help, and you will be able not to be disturbed by the patients.

This is possible. This is what we are trying to do here. My effort here is to transform therapists into Masters. Less than that won't do.

The third question

Question 3:



WHAT MORE PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE CAN YOU SUFFER? You have suffered it already. That work has already been done. You cannot be more ill than you are; you cannot fall more than you have fallen - the society has done it already. We cannot damage you; it is impossible now.

The damage has been done.

What we are trying to do here is to undo it. You have been conditioned - as a Hindu, as a Mohammedan, as a Jaina, as a Buddhist - this is the damage. You have been conditioned as an Indian, as a German, as an Italian - this is the damage. You have been forced to believe in things; you have been given all kinds of prejudices, superstitions. You have already been made schizophrenic; you have been cut into fragments. You have already been given the fever of ambition. You have been told that life is competition, conflict, violence, that the only joy in life is success, that the only bliss in life is to have as much money as you can have, that you will be fulfilled only if you become a president of a country or a prime minister. What more damage...? All this is bullshit. And you are full of it - just look into yourself and you will see.

Each child is born as a pure mirror, with no conditionings, TABULA RASA, clean, like a sky without clouds, a mirror without dust. But we jump upon him - all the vested interests jump upon him. The priest immediately comes in to baptize the child. We cannot allow the child to grow as he is; we cannot give him freedom. We start manipulating him, distorting him. We start giving him ideas - which are UTTERLY neurotic. And he is so helpless that he accepts them, he has to accept them.

By the time he becomes a little aware, the damage will have been done so totally that he will not even be able to imagine how he can get out of it. By that time he will have become so identified with it that he will think, "This is what I am." If somebody asks you, "Who are you?" what is the answer? Ask yourself "Who am I?" and what is the answer?

And whatsoever answer comes will be the damage: "I am a Hindu, I am a Mohammedan, I am an Indian, I am a brahmin, I am a communist, I am this, I am that...." You have been told all those things!

You are nothing of all those things. You are simply a pure witness, a consciousness, and nothing else. You come into the world as pure consciousness, but people start throwing rubbish, much rubbish, in you, and soon consciousness is lost and you become the content. That is the fall, the original sin: the change of the gestalt from consciousness to content.

What we are doing here is reversing the process: changing the gestalt from content to consciousness. That's my whole work. That's what sannyas is all about. How can this damage?

Snow White went to the doctor. "Doctor," she said, "could you examine me and tell me if I am still a virgin?"

So she lay on the couch and the good doctor examined her. When he had finished, she said again, "Well, doctor, am I still a virgin?"

"Well," replied the doctor, "it is very strange: you are technically still VIRGO INTACTO, but I can just detect seven small dents in it."

Only technically are you human beings - only technically - otherwise there are seven million dents. Your parents, your so-called society, your politicians, your priests, they have done a great job of messing you up.

Here, Subhuti, no psychological damage is possible, because we are not conditioning people - we are simply unconditioning them. We are not even reconditioning them; we are simply unconditioning them. We are trying to help them to be utterly nude, psychologically nude. We are not giving them any ideology; we are taking away all the ideologies. We are trying to help them to be without any ideology - to live without any idea of how to live. To live! totally, but with no idea of how life should be lived.

I am not giving you a philosophy of life - I am taking all philosophies of life from you.

And then pure life asserts itself. I am not giving you a goal that you have to achieve; I am taking away all the goals so that you need not think of the future, so that you can live in the present. I am NOT giving you any concept of perfection; I am not telling you that you have to be perfect - I am declaring that you ARE perfect. Everybody is born perfect.

Imperfection is a learned thing.

God is perfect, and out of God imperfection is not possible. We come perfect, we come with the signature of God. Out of perfection perfection comes. And then we are manipulated, pushed, pulled by human beings who have been pushed, pulled, manipulated by other human beings. And immediately our open sky starts closing, our windows, our doors are closed - we are no more available to existence. We become windowless.

And that is our misery.

The perfectionist is a neurotic. Anybody who wants to be perfect in any way will become neurotic. Neurosis is based in the idea of perfection - because you can never be perfect.

Why can you never be perfect? Because you already are it, so how can you ever be? If you start searching for something that you already have, you will never find it. If you are looking for your specs and the specs are on your nose, and you are looking through those same specs and searching, you will never find them, there is no possibility.

Perfection is our nature. That is my fundamental declaration to you: perfect we are. So we need not be in search of perfection. What I teach is: live your perfection as you are.

How can I damage you? Ideals damage. Goals damage. The very philosophy of perfection damages. I am taking away ALL those things from you.

I am teaching you to live simply. To live with an idea is a very complicated living, it is cunning. To live simply, just like trees and birds....

Somebody asked Jesus, "How should we live?"

And he looked in the eyes of the man and said, "Don't ask me - go and ask the trees, flowers, fish, fowl."

What does he mean by this? He is saying: Look around! The rose is a rose, and the lotus is a lotus, and the peacock is a peacock, and the dove is a dove. The peacock is not trying to become the lion, and the lion is not trying to become an elephant, and the rose is not trying to become a lotus, and the lotus is not trying to become a rose... otherwise all would have been on the psychoanalyst's couch. Nobody is trying to become anybody else - and that's where our misery lies. You are trying to become somebody else.

Somebody is trying to become a Buddha, somebody is trying to become a Christ... now you will never be yourself. You will always remain in misery, in hell.

Be just yourself, in your pure ordinariness. Don't try to become extraordinary. Just be a radiant ordinariness, and you will find extraordinary happenings happening. You will find your ordinariness transforming itself into such euphoria, into such ecstasy.

You are not to become extraordinary - you are! You are not to become worthy - you are! You are not to become a saint... the whole existence is full of God. It is ALL godliness!

You have just to live naturally, spontaneously, consciously, moment-to-moment, without sacrificing the present for the future, without sacrificing today for tomorrow - because the tomorrow never comes.

And that is what has been damaging you - the tomorrow, the future, the idea that you have to be like Jesus or like Buddha. You cannot be! because God never repeats. He creates only unique individuals. He does not produce carbon copies; he produces only originals.

Thousands of years have passed, we have not seen another Krishna, another Buddha, another Christ - why? God never repeats. He is a REAL creator, he is creativity. It will be ugly to repeat. That will mean he has become exhausted. God is inexhaustible creativity. And he has created you - he has shown such respect towards you, he has loved you. In creating you he has already loved you. Love yourself! The idea of becoming somebody else is based in self-hatred, in self-condemnation.

Subhuti, this may be the only place on the earth where you cannot suffer any psychological damage.

The fourth question

Question 4:







Richard Mitchley,

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO UNDERSTAND IN LIFE IS that life IS a paradox; life exists through being paradoxical. Life is NOT logical: it is paradoxical. It exists between birth and death, it exists between night and day, it exists between hate and love, it exists between man and woman. It exists between the positive electricity and the negative electricity, it exists between yin and yang, between Shiva and Shakti.

Just look around, look in, look out, and you will find the paradox everywhere.

If life was logical, then there would have been no paradox. But life is not logical and cannot be logical. Just think of a world where only love exists and no hate - then love will not be possible; it will disappear with hate. Think of a world where only darkness exists and no light, or light exists and no darkness... it is impossible. Where only birth exists and no death - it would have been very logical, but it would have been very boring too.

Life is dialectical, not logical. It is a movement between polarities. Those polarities are not really opposite, although they look opposite - they are complementaries also. Hate and love are not two things; in fact it is one thing: lovehate; it is one thing: birthdeath; it is one thing: daynight; it is one thing: manwoman. It is like the peaks of the Himalayas and the valleys: the peaks cannot exist without the valleys, and the valleys cannot exist without the peaks - they are both together.

And this paradox will be found on every plane, everywhere.


I am not telling you that you have to choose a cold, detached life. I am telling you:

passionate love and cool aloofness is the paradox. The same paradox that exists between birth and death, love and hate - it is the same paradox. Only the passionately involved man knows what cool aloofness is. You will be surprised, because you have been told just the opposite up to now.

You have been told that Buddha is cool, detached, far away, that the worldly man is passionate and the saintly is dispassionate, that the worldly man lives a hot life and the monk moves into a monastery and lives a cold life. That has been so up to now - but both have remained lopsided. The worldly man knows only one part of the polarity. That is HIS misery. He knows only heat; he does not know the soothing coolness of being a Buddha. And the monk knows only coldness and he does not know the euphoria, the ecstasy, the excitement, the tremendous celebration, of being in hot passion.

There is Zorba the Greek who knows what hot passion is, and there is our idea of the Buddha - I call it 'OUR idea of the Buddha' - who knows only cool silence. We have divided the polarity, and because of this division the worldly man is not rich - because he is only half. And because of this, the religious man is not whole either, and without being whole he can never be holy, he knows only the other polarity. Both are miserable.

Go into the marketplace and see, and go into a monastery and see. You will find in the monastery immense misery, dullness, deadness, and you will see in the eyes of your monks stupidity and nothing else, because when you live on one pole you lose sharpness, you lose variety, you lose richness.

My way of looking at things is: there is no need to choose. Remain choiceless and you will see the play of polarities. Both are your poles, both have to be lived. Yes, you have to be as deeply, intensely, authentically passionate as you have to become cool, silent, quiet. You have to love and you have to meditate. Meditation and love should not be divided; they should be like the valley and the peak - together.

The peak has beauties, the sunlit peak and the virgin snow, and in the morning it is all gold, and in the full moon it is all silver, and the purity of the air, and the closeness of the stars - you can almost whisper to them. But the valley is also beautiful - the darkness and its velvety texture, darkness and its infinity, darkness and its mystery, and the shade of the trees, and the sound of running water. Both are beautiful.

I teach you not to choose but to accept both, and both will help each other to become more and more sharp. On one side is Zorba the Greek, on the other side is Gautam the Buddha - I teach you Zorba the Buddha. That's why Zorbas are against me, because they cannot think of the Buddha. Communists, materialists, are against me because they ask why I bring God in. And the so-called religious shankaracharyas and the popes, they are against me because they ask how I manage to bring love into the life of a religious man, how I dare to bring the body and its joys. Both are angry with me, because I say the path is from sex to superconsciousness. One would like that I should stop at sex; the other would like that I should not talk about sex - only about superconsciousness. But I accept life in its whole spectrum. I accept life in its totality. You can accept only when you accept in totality; if you reject something that means you are trying to be wiser than God himself. He has not rejected it. Your mahatmas are trying to be wiser than God himself.

Life exists in polar opposites and exists beautifully.

If you love, you will be surprised that soon a great desire to be alone arises - out of love.

Each lover feels it. And if you have not felt it then you have not loved, then your love is very lukewarm; it has not been really passionate. If it has been passionate, a great desire will arise to be alone to have one's own space, to move inwards, to fall in, to disappear in - because love, when too passionate, tires, exhausts, empties you. And it is beautiful to empty yourself, but then you start feeling that you need nourishment. And from where will you get nourishment? You simply move inwards, you escape in, you close your eyes to the world, you simply forget all about others.... In those moments of inwardness energies accumulate, you are again feeling full and then too full, and out of that too- fullness, overflowing arises and you have to seek and search for somebody who is ready to share your energy, who is ready to share your song, who is ready to dance with you.

Out of aloneness, a great desire arises to be together. This is the rhythm.

I am not telling you to become cold, I am not telling you to choose aloofness and a detached life. I am telling you these are two parts. If you want to live your life in its multi-dimensionality - as matter, as spirit, as body, as soul, as love, as meditation, as outward exploration and inward journey - if you want to live life in its totality - the ingoing breath and the outgoing breath - you need not choose. If you choose you will die.

That's why in the marketplace you will find people who are dead, and in the monasteries people who are dead. Because a few have chosen only to exhale, and a few have chosen only to inhale. The breath needs both; the breath becomes a perfect circle when you exhale deeply and out of that exhalation comes a deep inhalation; and when you inhale deeply, out of that inhalation comes a deep exhalation.

And remember: if your exhalation is not deep, your inhalation cannot be deep. If your inhalation is poor, your exhalation will be poor. They keep balancing each other. The deeper you go out, the deeper you will go in - and vice versa. I teach this unity.

Mitchley, you need not be worried. But you became worried because you thought that sometimes I am teaching love, and that feels good to you.... But let me tell you, let me be frank with you: you have not really known love yet. If you had known love, you would have understood the other pole also. By your own experience you would have understood that love creates a great need to be alone, and aloneness creates a great need to be together.

This is a truth which has to be taught to everybody. Lovers don't know it so they feel guilty if they want to be alone. And if one wants to be alone, the other feels rejected. This is an utter misunderstanding. If the husband says, "Leave me alone tonight," the wife feels rejected, she feels angry. It seems as if she is no more needed. That is not the case - they are misunderstanding the whole thing. And if one day the wife says, "Leave me alone," the husband is hurt very much; his male ego is hurt very much.

The moment you say to your lover or beloved, "I want to be alone for a few days, I would like to go to the mountains for a a few weeks, alone," the other cannot understand, because they have never been told the fundamental fact that love creates the desire to be alone. And if you don't go into aloneness, your love will become flat; slowly slowly, it will be only a phony thing, it will lose all authenticity.

Accept life in its totality. To be in hot passion is good, and to be in cool compassion is also good. And let them both be your wings; don't cut one wing, otherwise you will never be able to go on that eternal flight - the flight from the alone to the alone. That's what Plotinus has called it - the flight of the individual to the universal soul. You will need both the wings.

I teach you love, I teach you meditation - and I teach you a tremendous synthesis of both. And it is not that you HAVE to create the synthesis: the synthesis is natural; you have only not to disrupt it. Watch your own experiences, and whatsoever I am saying will be proved valid, because I am not talking ideology here, I am simply talking about facts.

A much-decorated Russian hero returned from duty on the Finnish front where he had performed valorous service. He had been up in the mountains for months on end in the dead of winter. This was his first furlough in a full year.

A reporter came to see him. With a twinkle in his eye, the reporter asked, "Tell me, Captain Ivan Petrovich, what was the SECOND thing you did after being away from your wife for a full year?"

Ivan answered without hesitation, "The SECOND thing? Why, the second thing I did was take off my skis."

If you have been too long in the mountains, how can you take your skis off first?

A ship was coming into harbour after six months at sea. The women of the town had all come down to the quayside to welcome their returning husbands. One woman was waving to her husband perched forward in the bows of the ship and shouting to him, "E.F! E.F!"

He was shouting, "F.F! F.F!"

"E.F! E.F!"

"F.F! F.F!"

A bystander turned to the woman and asked, "What is all this E.F. F.F. business?"

She replied, "I am saying we should eat first."

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