Suppose My Hand Were Always Like That?
MOKUSEN HIKI WAS LIVING IN A TEMPLE IN THE PROVINCE OF TAMBA. ONE OF HIS ADHERENTS COMPLAINED OF THE STINGINESS OF HIS WIFE.
MOKUSEN VISITED THE ADHERENT'S WIFE AND HELD HIS CLENCHED FIST BEFORE HER FACE.
'WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?' ASKED THE SURPRISED WOMAN. 'SUPPOSE MY HAND WERE ALWAYS LIKE THAT, WHAT WOULD YOU CALL IT?' 'DEFORMED,' REPLIED THE WOMAN.
THEN HE OPENED HIS HAND FLAT IN HER FACE AND ASKED: SUPPOSE IT WERE ALWAYS LIKE THAT - WHAT THEN? 'ANOTHER KIND OF DEFORMITY,' SAID THE WIFE.
'IF YOU UNDERSTAND THAT MUCH,' FINISHED MOKUSEN, 'YOU ARE A GOOD WIFE.' THEN HE LEFT.
AFTER HIS VISIT THIS WIFE HELPED HER HUSBAND TO DISTRIBUTE AS WELL AS TO SAVE.
The greatest art is to attain a balance, a balance between all opposites, a balance between all polarities. Imbalance is the disease and balance is health. Imbalance is neurosis, and balance is well-being.
I have heard: Mulla Nasrudin went to his psychiatrist, and he rambled upon his miseries, troubles, and finally he concluded: I am afraid. It seems that I am getting neurotic. The psychiatrist smiled and
said: Nasrudin, if that is true, then you must be happy and grateful that you are neurotic. Nasrudin, was shocked. He said: What? - happy that I am neurotic? Why? Said the psychiatrist: Because that is the only normal thing about you.
Neurosis is the only normal thing not only about Nasrudin, but about everybody else also. Mind has to be neurotic. Neurosis is not a disease; neurosis is mind itself, so neurosis cannot be cured. With mind remaining there, neurosis is bound to follow it like a shadow. Hence all psychiatry fails. At the most, it can make you normal, but to be normal is nothing but to be normally neurotic - neurotic like everybody else, not in your own way; just following the highway, not an individual path. People who are in madhouses have private neuroses. You have a mass neurosis. That's why you cannot be detected; you are just like everybody else. And people are in the madhouses who have tried to attain their own style of neurosis. They are individualists. That's the only difference. And this has to be so, because mind itself, the very functioning of the mind, is neurotic. Try to understand this.
Mind is never in the middle - cannot be. When you are in the middle, the mind simply disappears.
Mind is always at the extreme - either this or that. That's why mind divides the world into white and black, into life and death, into hate and love, into friend and foe. The world is neither white nor black - the world is some sort of grey. One pole is white, another pole is black; just in the middle where black and white merge and meet and become one, is the reality. But mind sees in polarities It says:
Either this is true or this is untrue. And I have not come across a truth which has not got some lie in it. Neither have I come across a lie which is not true in a certain sense.
Lies have fragments of truth in them - that's why they work. Otherwise, how can a lie work? Why are people such liars? - a lie has a fragment of truth in it. You cannot invent an absolute lie, impossible.
And you cannot talk about the Absolute Truth - that too is impossible. That's why a Lao Tzu goes on saying: If you speak, you have already entered into the world of lies. The Truth cannot be said.
The moment you say it, a fragment of it is bound to be a lie.
Existence is not divided into either-or, it has no duality. It is one energy flowing from this end to that.
Both banks of the river are joined together underneath - they are part of one land. They appear to you to be two because you have not entered the river and you have never gone to the very bottom.
The banks are not two, they belong to one land. But for the river to flow, they appear to be as two.
Existence is just like two banks meeting underneath, and mind is just looking at the surface. So mind says: I am at this bank, and you are at that. You are against me. If you are a friend, then you are on this bank with me; you are an enemy if you are on that bank. But both the wings belong to one earth. The mind cannot see so deeply. The mind is the phenomenon on the surface - hence dualities. Existence is one, it cannot be otherwise. There are not two existences, only one exists.
But because of the rhythm you are alive - you inhale and exhale. That inhalation and exhalation becomes like two banks for your river to flow, but you are neither.
The breath comes in, the breath goes out; it gives a rhythm - two banks. And that rhythm is beautiful if you are not stuck to some extreme. Even in breathing, the mind is always choosing. Rarely does it happen that you can see a person who exhales and inhales equally - rarely. If you come to a point where you can exhale and inhale and remain just in the middle, you will attain to Enlightenment.
As you are, you only inhale, you never exhale. The body exhales and forces the air out - you again inhale. Just watch your breathing - you pay more attention to inhalation, you go on inhaling.
Exhalation is just left to the body. The body throws air out, you inhale again, because deep down
you think that inhalation is life and exhalation is death. In a way it is true, because the first thing a child does after birth is to inhale.
Life starts functioning with inhalation. Hence, you identify life with inhalation. And the last thing a man who is going to die will do will be to exhale. You cannot die with inhalation, can you? So deep down, the unconscious feels that exhalation is death and inhalation is life. You cling to inhalation.
And if you cling to one pole, you will become a mind. Exhale, inhale - remain in the middle and don't choose. Don't choose. Don't choose between the opposites - remain in the middle. Because if you choose one opposite, you become unbalanced. Imbalance is neurosis.
Then you become addicted to one pole, and life is a rhythm - it needs the other. It is neither sound nor silence, it is both. Silence is one pole and sound is another pole, and life is just the rhythm between these two polarities. Don't choose!
If you choose sound, you will become addicted to sound, to noise, to the outside. You will become an extrovert, because sound is outside. Inside is silence. If you choose silence, you will become an introvert. Then you will close yourself completely towards the existence that exists without. You will move in and in, and that movement will not be a rhythm because you have denied the other pole.
Rather, this movement will be a dead stagnancy. You will be stuck with it, you cannot be ecstatic.
With silence and sound both, you simply move between these polarities because you are neither.
You are just in the middle - you are the rhythm. My left hand and my right hand are both me; sound and silence are both me; life and death are both me. Don't cling. Exhalation, inhalation - both are me.
If you cling to one, then your life will be a neurosis, because what will you do with the other? - it is there. And whether you choose to or not you have to move to the other. How can you stop exhalation? And if you stop exhaling, how will you be able to inhale? Look at the beauty: you exale - the moment you exhale, you have created a situation for a deep inhalation. When you inhale, you have created a situation for a deep exhalation. The opposite is really not the opposite. How can it be the opposite? Inhalation depends upon exhalation, exhalation depends on inhalation. How can they be enemies? How can there be any antagonism? They are friends, they are not foes. They are playing a game in which they appear to be opposites, but deep down they are one earth.
Don't choose love against hate because then, you will be in trouble - because then where will you put hate? Hate is there, as much part of you as love. Remain in the middle. Let hate have its own way. Let love have its own way. You simply watch from the middle, don't move to the extreme. If you move to one extreme, what will you do with the other? You will then become afraid of the other, and the other is going to come. Because that which you have chosen cannot remain alone - it depends on the other.
You fall in love with a man or a woman, then you become afraid of hate, anger and conflict. But what will you do? - they are bound to come. Your so-called love depends on them; it cannot exist alone, it is a rhythm. The opposite is needed.
Have you ever seen a river with one bank? Life is a river, and mind tries to flow with one bank - that is the neurosis. There are peaks and there are valleys. There are high moments and there are low moments. Don't get obsessed with any high peak, otherwise, what will happen to the valley? Have you seen a peak without a valley?
Go to the Himalayas - the higher the peak is, the deeper the valley will be. Near Everest, the deepest valley exists - it can only exist there. Only such a high peak can allow such a deep valley; and there is a balance. The valley has to be deep to the same extent as the peak has gone high. They balance each other. Watch a tall tree reaching to the sky. The roots are hidden, but the roots go deep down to the same extent: if the tree has grown one hundred feet, the roots have to grow one hundred feet deep down. Otherwise, what will support the tree?what will support this one hundred foot tree? And if the tree chooses just the height and tries to deny the roots, it will die. And this is what you have been doing. This is what the whole of humanity has been doing. That's why the whole of humanity has shrunk, caved-in. Everything has gone wrong because you want only high moments.
People come to me and they say: Yesterday I was ecstatic, and now I am low. You have to be. What will support the ecstasy? What will support the peak? The peak could not exist alone - this valley was bound to follow.
Watch the waves in the ocean. The higher the wave goes, the deeper is the wake that follows it. One moment you are the wave, another moment you are the hollow wake that follows. Enjoy both - don't get addicted to one. Don't say: I would always like to be on the peak. It is not possible. Simply see the fact: it is not possible. It has never happened and it will never happen. It is simply impossible - not in the nature of things. Then what to do?
Enjoy the peak while it lasts and then enjoy the valley when it comes. What is wrong with the valley?
What is wrong with being low? It is a relaxation, A peak is an excitement, and nobody can exist continuously in an excitement. You will go completely mad. That's why when you love a person, you have to hate the same person. But don't be afraid of hate, just accept it. If you love deeply, you will hate deeply. If you don't love much, you will not hate. The moment husbands and wives stop fighting, love disappears. If you see a couple absolutely okay it is a dead couple. The love has disappeared long before. They are fighting no more - then they are in love no more. Now there are no more valleys, so there are no more peaks.
Lovers fight - only lovers can fight; they depend on fighting. And they know that nothing is wrong, because when they fight they create a situation to move deeper into love. It is a rhythm. If you have been a lover, which is a rare thing, you know that just before making love, if you have been fighting and angry and trying to kill each other, and then you make love, then the orgasm has a high peak such as can never be attained ordinarily. Because when energies move farther away - hate means energy is moving farther away - there comes a point when you have moved as far from each other as you were before you fell in love. Just the same point has come again. You are two individuals, completely independent, all communication has dropped. You are again strangers, not knowing who the other is. This was the situation when you fell in love. If you don't escape, you will fall in love again - the whole romance, a new honeymoon. And if you cannot get the honeymoon again and again, love will become stale. It will be just a dead thing. You will have to carry it like a burden.
That's why marriage exists. Marriage has been invented by a cunning and clever people, mathematicians. In marriage, there is no peak, no valley. You simply move on plain ground. You never fall in love, there is no trouble. Marriage is security, not love. Marriage is an arithmetic, it is not romance. It has been invented by a cunning people. They simply stop all possibility of any fight, anger, hate. They simply stop all possibilities of dangerous situations, insecurities. Marriage is always an okay affair: never at the peak where you can dance, never at the valley where you will weep. But a person who has not known dance, who has not known weeping, is simply not alive.
One should laugh and one should weep also. Laughter and weeping are two banks - balance is needed. If you really laugh, you will also weep. And what is wrong with weeping? Tears are beautiful.
If you have laughed, if you have laughed deeply, tears become very, very beautiful. They carry...
they carry something of the laughter, because deep down the banks are one, they are not two. On one pole laughter, on another pole tears; one pole smiles, another pole cries, but deep down they are joined together. If you have laughed totally, you will weep totally, and both are beautiful. Totality is beautiful. But if you cling, then you can never be total. When you weep, you cling to the laughter; you try to smile, you try to force a smile because you don't want this weeping and crying. 'This is bad, this is ugly,' and you force a smile. Tears are in the eyes and you force a smile. This smile is false - this is neurosis. When the body wants to weep and you are smiling, this is schizophrenia.
This is how the split starts, how a person becomes two. Totality is lost. Then remember, when you laugh it can never be total.
If you cling to one pole, you become afraid of totality. You cannot weep totally, how can you laugh totally? That's why the belly laugh has simply disappeared from the world. You don't know what a belly laugh is - when you not only laugh, but the belly laughs. The whole body vibrates, not only you, but from head to toe everything laughs. That laughter is mad because you are totally in it.
Look at the absurdity of the world: only a madman can be total. You are afraid, because you know well that you have suppressed tears so if you laugh deeply, tears may come. And it happens. You may have noticed many times, if you start laughing deeply immediately you feel tears are coming.
You feel confused - why are tears coming? Tears are coming because you have been suppressing them, and you have never allowed a totality. And now you laugh totally: the suppressed needs expression, the suppressed flows, the suppressed seeks a moment; the door is open - it flows.
When you open the door, remember that the enemy will also enter with the friend. If you want that only the friend should enter, it is impossible. Then you will have to close the door so that the enemy may not enter. But then the friend cannot enter - it is closed. And if you see deeply that it is the same person who is the friend and the foe; if you deny the foe entry, the friend is also denied. If you say: I am not going to weep, you are saying: I am not going to laugh. If you say: I am not going to hate, you are saying: I am not going to love. If you say: I am not going to become low, depressed and sad, you are saying: I am not going to be blissful. Both are one, so you cannot choose. You can simply be aware and remain in the middle. When you are in the middle, you can see that both are your wings.
Think of this situation: if a bird flies with one wing,, what will happen to it? If I can move wholly, totally to my right side, I will be paralyzed. The left will simply be paralyzed. And if the left is paralyzed, do you think that the right can be alive? How can the right be alive if the left is paralyzed? They live in a mutual dependence - not even dependence, they live in oneness. Can you say where your right side ends and your left side begins? Where exactly is the demarcation? - no boundaries are there.
It is a circle: left goes into right, right goes into left. It is a circle.
That's why in China, they have made the yin-yang symbol. It is a moving circle and this circle exists in every dimension. A man is not man, he is also a woman. A woman is not only a woman, she is also a man. There are moments when a woman is man, there are moments when a man is woman.
And you become afraid: I should not be a woman. I am not effeminate, I am male, and I should never betray any feminine qualities. This has been taught for centuries all over the world. Even to
small boys you say: Don't be a sissy. What nonsense! You even start poisoning a small boy: You are a man. Behave like a man - don't be girlish. The right side is male and the left is female in the boy. The same is true in a girl. If the girl starts behaving like a tomboy, everybody is afraid. If she starts climbing a tree, then you say: What are you doing? You are a girl! Behave like a girl. Girls never do this. They only play with toys. and arrange marriage and make a house.
I was staying with a family. My friend and his wife had gone somewhere and three small children were playing. Two were playing in the room, and the smallest one was sitting just near the porch on the steps. So I asked him: Why are you not playing? He said: I am also playing, but I have been watching. said: You have been just sitting here, outside on the porch. He said: Yes, because I am the baby who is going to be born. They are playing mommy and daddy, and I am waiting for the right moment.
The girls play 'house'. Boys are not expected to do that. You create a division. You create the split from the very beginning. And then, neither is man total nor is woman total, because man, always half-paralyzed, cannot be a woman. That's why a man is not allowed to weep. Only women weep.
Man seems to be more clever than God. Why are there tear glands in the eyes? If man is not to weep, then God seems to be a fool. He goes on giving man tear glands in the eyes, and you never weep, you never use your tear glands. Then you also cannot laugh, because the half is paralyzed - you cannot move. And a woman is not supposed to laugh loudly, that doesn't look feminine, that doesn't look lady-like. Then half is paralyzed there also.
Remember, you are both! And remember this always: wherever you see an opposite polarity, you are both, and neither is to be chosen. You are both and you have to accept both and enjoy both. And nothing is wrong. If you are a man, nothing is wrong in moving to the other polarity sometimes and just being feminine. Just weep like a woman - it is so beautiful, so relaxing. It is such a benediction.
Just weep like a woman, cry like a woman, laugh like a man - it is such a great phenomenon.
Because the moment you move to the opposite, you become total. Psychoanalysis and psychiatry really can't help much because they go on accepting the division. Even a Freud is as much a suppressed personality as anybody else; sometimes even more - very uptight. Nobody seems to be relaxed. If you are relaxed, there is no need to meditate, because meditation is medicinal - it is medicine. If you are healthy there is no need for it. And I have not come across a single human being who is not in need of meditation. That means the whole of humanity is sick; the whole earth is a great hospital.
Try to look at it. And when I say try to look at it, look at it within yourself. Don't look to the right and to the left. I am talking to you; just see the whole point. And if you can see the whole point of your split being, nothing is to be done. Simply drop helping this split to continue. By and by, move from the extremes to the middle. Hence, Buddha called his path 'The Middle Way,' madhyam nikaya. Hence, Lao Tzu says his path is 'The Golden Mean.'
It is said of Confucius that he was passing through a village, and he asked a villager: Have you got any wise men in this town? The villager said: Yes, we have our own wise man. Confucious said:
What is the reason that you call him wise? Can you say something? The man said: Yes - he is a great thinker. Even coming out of his house, he stops and thinks three times about whether to come out or not. Confucius said: Three times? Three times is too much. Once is not enough, three times is too much. Twice will do.
You see the point? He said: Just the middle will do. Once is not enough, thrice is too much; you have moved to the other extreme. There are people who will not think once. These are the fools about whom it is said: Where angels fear to tread fools simply rush in. These are fools. But a person who thinks thrice has gone to the other extreme. Again the foolishness has entered from the other extreme, because to be extreme is to be foolish. He is again stupid. People may call him wise because they are the first type of fools, and this man is just the opposite. But opposite to a fool, you will be a fool. Fighting a fool, how can you be a wise man? This extreme, that extreme, both are foolish. So Confucious said: Just in the middle, twice will do. And this has to be remembered because this is the whole point of this Zen story. Try to understand it.
MOKUSEN HIKI WAS LIVING IN A TEMPLE IN THE PROVINCE OF TAMBA. ONE OF HIS ADHERENTS COMPLAINED OF THE STINGINESS OF HIS WIFE.
MOKUSEN VISITED THE ADHERENT'S WIFE AND HELD A CLENCHED FIST BEFORE HER FACE. 'WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?' ASKED THE SURPRISED WOMAN. 'SUPPOSE MY HAND WERE ALWAYS LIKE THAT, WHAT WOULD YOU CALL IT?'
- Always clenched, always a fist closed, what would you call it?
'DEFORMED,' REPLIED THE WOMAN. THEN HE OPENED HIS HAND FLAT IN HER FACE AND ASKED: SUPPOSE IT WERE ALWAYS LIKE THAT - WHAT THEN? 'ANOTHER KIND OF DEFORMITY,' SAID THE WIFE. IF YOU UNDERSTAND THAT MUCH,' FINISHED MOKUSEN, 'YOU ARE A GOOD WIFE.'
Then he left.
AFTER THIS VISIT, THIS WIFE HELPED HER HUSBAND TO DISTRIBUTE AS WELL AS TO SAVE.
Zen believes not in teaching, but in situations. This Mokusen Hiki could have talked, could have given a long sermon, but he didn't do anything like that. He simply went to the woman and held a clenched fist before her face. He created a situation.
A situation is an existential phenomenon. Just talking, teaching, won't do, because talking and teaching goes to the head. And even if the head is convinced, nothing happens out of it. You know this very well. You are convinced of many things, but you just go on doing the contrary. You are convinced that anger is poisonous, but does that make any difference to you? Whether you say anger is poisonous or not, you go on being angry. You have been repenting continuously - again and again the same phenomenon, you feel completely helpless. The head knows anger is wrong, but nothing happens through it.
You know very well what is wrong but that doesn't transform your life. You know very well what is right but that doesn't come into your being. It remains something in the mind - a conviction, an argument, a rationalization. It remains knowledge, but it never becomes understanding. Understanding means that you have learned it through your whole being; you have learned it through an existential situation. It has not been given only through words. All the Masters have been doing that - they create situations. In a situation, you have to act. In a situation, your totality is called in, challenged.
This woman must have been shocked. 'What is this Enlightened Master doing? What a foolish thing?' He didn't say a single word, he simply came to arouse. He showed a clenched fist in her
face, she must have been shocked. This was no way to behave when he had not said a single thing.
He had not given a single opportunity for the head to come in. The whole woman was challenged - she must have been ready to fight. Something was going to happen. 'This man seems to be mad.'
And then he asked a question: What would you call it if my hand continuously remained like this?
She said: Of course, deformed.
This was a perception; something dawned on her. The whole situation showed that this is deformed:
if you cannot open your hand, if it is always closed, this is a deformity.
And such a deformity has happened to you. You cannot exhale, you simply inhale: this is a deformity.
You cannot give, you can only possess: this is a deformity. You cannot share, you can only go on holding. You go on holding everything - you cannot share it. You have completely lost the language of sharing but this is a deformity. A miser is a deformed human being. He has completely lost something in him that can share. He holds, and holds, and holds, and this holding just becomes a grave.
Why are you holding if you cannot share? Why are you alive if you cannot love? What are you seeking if you cannot be ecstatic? And ecstasy comes through a balance: you simply possess a thing to share it, then possession is not ugly. Then you are simply waiting to share it.
It happened: Two monks were travelling. One monk believed in renunciation of everything, so he would not carry a single PAISE. He was against money, absolutely against - he would not touch it.
By the evening they came near a river, and they had to cross the river; the river was very vast. They had to ask the ferry-boatman to take them. He asked for money. The other monk was a hoarder; whatsoever he could get he would hoard. He was a miser. And there had always been an argument, a continuous argument between them about what is right. One would say: Money is useless. It is dirt - as all the ascetics have always said, which is nonsense. The other would say: Money? - money is life. Without money you cannot even live. It is not dirt. And there was no end to their argument. The ferryman asked for money. The money-hoarder, the miser said: Now, what will you do? I have money. I will go to the other shore, to the town, and you will have to stay here. This is a wild and dangerous area. Now what do you say? The other monk simply smiled and didn't say anything. Of course, the friend paid for him also.
When they had crossed, the man who had smiled, who has against money said: Now see what has happened. Because you gave the money to the ferry-boatman, that's why we could pass. If you had been miserly about it, we would have died on the other shore. You renounced money that's why we have come to this bank. Now we are safe. And I always say, money has to be renounced. Now you see! The argument again came to the same point. Who was right?
Both were wrong. And remember this, in argument both sides are always wrong. Because if there is not something wrong, an argument cannot continue forever and ever. The worldly people are wrong. The other-worldly people are exactly as wrong as the worldly people, otherwise the argument cannot continue for centuries and centuries. Miserly people are wrong, and people who renounce are wrong. People who possess are wrong, and people who renounce are wrong. Somewhere there is a mid-point where you simply see that money is necessary and to renounce the money is also necessary. To hoard money is necessary, and to share it is just as necessary. If you can create a balance between hoarding and sharing, then you have come to the point from where understanding becomes possible.
So don't be for or against, just try to understand. Wherever there are opposites, always remember not to choose one opposite against the other. You will be wrong. It doesn't make any difference which one you choose. For me, to be at the extreme is to be wrong. Both the monks were wrong, but I was not there. They must be arguing somewhere in other bodies - the same argument, because this type of argument cannot be concluded.
That's why people who say: There is God, have not proved anything. And people who say: There is no God, they also have not proved anything, because God both is and is not: life and death, positive and negative, presence and absence. That's why they have not been able to prove anything. Both parties have been continuously arguing. Millions of ages have passed and not a single conclusion has been reached through philosophical argumentation. You can go on and on. If you have a clever mind, you can go on and on. Mind never reaches to any conclusion - it cannot reach. It chooses one part and the other is involved in it - you cannot deny it.
People who say: God is not; if they really think that God is not, then why bother? But they bother even more: they continuously argue, they write big books, they devote their whole lives to prove that God is not. What foolishness! If God is not, why are you wasting your life proving it?
I know a man who for thirty years continuously has been writing against God. He came to see me, and he said: I would like to have a consultation with you. I told him: There is no possibility.
Whatsoever you say, I will say 'yes'. He said: Whatsoever I say? What do you mean? - for thirty years I have been trying to prove that God is not. I told him: Whether God is or is not, that is irrelevant, but why have you wasted your thirty years? Now who will give them back to you? There is no God, so you cannot even ask Him for another life. But why bother? This is an obsession. You are neurotic. If God is not, simply drop the idea. You just leave it. 'No,' he said, 'I have to prove it to convince others.' But if God is not, let others believe. Why are you worried? He was worried, terribly worried. God was an obsession from the negative pole.
And then there are people who go on proving that God is. They too waste their time. If God is, live Him! If God is not, then live His absence. Why be bothered?
But no, when mind chooses an extreme, it always feels that something is wrong - the imbalance.
You have to prove it. Why? - because you feel an imbalance. If God is, then the imbalance becomes more apparent, so you try to prove it. You are not trying to convince others, you are trying to convince yourself that there cannot be any imbalance, because there is no God. 'I am right' - you are trying to prove this. And what is the need? If you are right, what is the need to prove it? You are right, you are happy, you live happily - finished. God will take care of Himself.
But no, you cannot sleep because God is not. You are worried because God is not. There are people who worry that God must be, they go on making others believe - they try to convince. Who are they trying to convince? It is not a dialogue, it is a monologue. Whatsoever you try to prove is really of your inner imbalance. You would like it if the other didn't exist. Then, then you could feel a balance.
But the other is. The other is - it haunts you. Atheists, theists, for-against people - it haunts them.
You have to balance yourself, then it simply drops. All problems drop when you are balanced. We cannot solve any problem, remember. Problems simply disappear when we are balanced. Problems are just symbolic indications - they are not the real disease. The real disease is the imbalance.
There are people who live with a clenched fist; they hoard - they hoard everything. They don't know, because hoarding becomes their habit. They hoard everything, anything - rubbish. You may not be aware that they even become constipated because they hoard. You will always find a miser constipated. He cannot relax, he cannot give anything out of himself; he even hoards excreta. And then he seeks a remedy for constipation. There is no remedy for constipation. The remedy is to relax and share. When you share, the body relaxes totally because it is a total organic unity. A person who can love will never be constipated, impossible - because he shares all his energies.
And if he can share his heart, why should he hoard excreta? No, the hoarding is a closing. You go on shrinking within yourself - you cannot give anything. You have lost the very dimension of giving.
Go to the misers' houses. Just a few days ago there was news. In New York, two brothers lived.
For thirty years, they didn't allow anybody to enter their house. Nobody knew what they were doing within the house. They never married, because misers never want to fall in love. A woman can be dangerous. And when a woman enters, you never know what she will do with your money. She is bound to waste it. So they never married, they never fell in love. And they hoarded and hoarded things, every type of thing.
Just a few days ago, just two or three months ago, they both died from an electric shock. Something went wrong and they died. Then the police opened the house. They found millions of dollars worth of every sort of thing; it was impossible to enter into the house. There were fifty television sets, forty-nine never opened - just in their boxes - radios, frigidaires, many just unpacked - they had never used them.
They used to live on milk. One brother would go and bring the milk in the morning, that was all. He would bring milk and a newspaper. They would read the news. And what' were they doing inside? - arranging things. And they had made such a mess. It was a three storey building. All three storeys were filled with things; one had to creep because there was no space left.
It took many days for the police to bring the things out, to count how many things there were, and how many dollars they had left behind. They had never put any money in the bank, because nobody knows, banks can go bankrupt. And they lived like poor beggars. They could have lived rich lives, but a miser always lives a poor beggar's life. A miser is really a beggar, the ultimate in beggary. You cannot find a greater beggar than a miser. He has it and he cannot use it. Then there are other types of people. They are just the reverse image of a miser. They renounce everything - they escape.
It was said of Vinoba Bhave, that if you brought money to him he would simply close his eyes. He would not touch, he would not look at the money.
This seems to be another extreme. Why be so afraid of money? Why this fear? Why close your eyes? What is wrong with money? Nothing is wrong with money, but you are afraid. This is the reverse image of the miser, because the man is afraid that if he looks at the money then the desire for it will arise.
Remember, if you are afraid of looking at money, at a beautiful woman, if you are afraid to look, what does it show? It shows that a fear is there that if you look at a beautiful woman, the desire for her will arise. You are afraid of the desire and you have suppressed it. Then you cannot even look. This is the most obscene type of mind. If you cannot look at a beautiful woman, what are you doing? Your
whole sexuality has become cerebral. You cannot even use your eyes now. No, they are not eyes - they have become genital organs. You are afraid, because if you look then you don't know what will happen. You are afraid of yourself, that's why you cannot see. One can move from one extreme to another. One can hoard money or one can throw it to the dogs and escape from it to the Himalayas.
But both types are the same.
Twice is enough, once is not enough, thrice is too much. Why can't you remain in the middle?
Because in the middle, mind disappears. It is just like the pendulum; the pendulum goes on moving to the right and to the left. You know that if the pendulum is moving from right to left and from left to right the clock is functioning. If the pendulum is maintained in the middle, balanced, all movement gone - the clock stops. And when the pendulum goes to the left you only think it is going to the left, but it is gathering momentum to go to the right. So where is it going? When it goes to the left it is gathering momentum. This going to the left is nothing but a preparation to go to the right. It goes to the left, gathers the energy, the momentum, then it goes to the right. Left-right it moves. Those two extremes keep it moving.
Mind is a movement between extremes. It is a travel, a continuous movement between two. In the middle mind simply disappears, because movement disappears. When there is no movement, you are a being for the first time, you are in a state of being. Everything stops, time, space - everything has disappeared.
It doesn't mean that you stop functioning. It simply means that now, your headquarters have changed; they are in the middle. Now you will function from the middle. You will go to the left, you will go to the right. You can go to the left without any fear. You can go to the right and to the left, retaining yourself in the middle. That's why I call it the greatest art to be in the middle.
If you are a miser, it is very easy to simply get fed up with your miserliness. And then you move to the other extreme - you throw everything. You renounce everything and you become an ascetic. If you are a playboy, it is very easy to become a monk and move to a Catholic monastery, or to become a Jain, or to come to India and go to some ashram. If you are a playboy, it is very easy, because you have touched one extreme. Now with that you are frustrated, finished. You think it is finished but it is now following you to the other extreme. It is pushing you to the other extreme. One bank is finished, but that bank is throwing you to the other bank.
Both banks are the same; neither is the river. You have to be in the middle so that you can flow with the river. This bank or that, what is the difference? You were stuck on this bank, now this bank is throwing you to the other bank and you will be stuck there. And what is the difference? The other bank is 'other' only because you are on this bank. When you are on that bank, this bank will become the 'other'. And that's what happens to many people: they leave the world in search of the other world, then they are stuck with the other bank. This world looks at the other world and then the desire for it arises.
If you could open the heads of the monks, the ascetics, you would be surprised. If you could make a window in their heads and look into it, the whole world, THIS world goes on and on. A man who has escaped from women will think continuously of women and nothing else.
Mulla Nasrudin was telling me one day about his new girl friend, and he was bragging so much. He said: She is the most beautiful woman in the world, a regular mirage. I asked him: You may be right,
she may be the most beautiful woman in the world, but you are using a wrong word. Why a regular mirage? A mirage means you can see it, but you cannot touch it. Mulla Nasrudin said: Exactly.
That's my girl. You can see her but you cannot touch her - a regular mirage.
Look at your monks. They live in a regular mirage. Girls are there. They can see, but they cannot touch. That is the only difference. Your girls, you can touch also. They cannot touch, they live in their dreams. If you escape from something, that something will become a dream in you; it will haunt you. Never try to escape from anything. Fear cannot help. Escape is simply foolish. Situations help - escapes never. Just try to find the middle in every situation. And what is the middle? How can it be maintained?
I talked about a peak and a valley. You can find a mid-point; that will not be the middle I am talking about. You can make a hut just in the middle, neither in the valley nor on the peak. You can just measure the whole thing, come to a point which is the middle, and make your hut and live there.
But that is not the middle I am talking about. That's very easy. That too can be done. That too can be done; you can live just half-half: you hoard half, and half you share. That is not the mid- point, because a mid-point is not a fixed point; it changes with every situation. It changes with every situation, it is not a static thing - it is a dynamic awareness. And one never knows.
Mulla Nasrudin once said to his wife: I am going. I have arranged a great feast for a friend. And that friend is not only a friend, he is a great businessman, and there is a possibility that we will come to some understanding, and a new business can be started. And he was very, very hopeful. His wife was also happy. She said: It's okay. So he went and then he returned. The night had almost gone; it was two o'clock in the morning. His wife was waiting for him, and she asked: What happened? How was the deal? He said: Fifty-fifty. The wife asked: What do you mean by fifty-fifty? He said: Only I turned up there. My friend never came. Your fifty-fifty can be a deception. It is not a fixed point. You cannot measure it. It is a constantly changing flow of awareness. And in every moment, you have to regain the balance again. It is not something that you have always been. It is just like a tightrope walker: it is not that once he has attained the balance, finished - then he goes on. With every single step, the balance has to be attained again. Sometimes he feels that he is falling towards the left; immediately, he moves towards the right to gain balance. Then when he feels that the opposite is happening, that he has leaned too much to the right, he moves immediately to the left. With every single step, one has to attain balance. It is not something that you have attained and finished with.
It is a process.
Be more aware. Be more aware when you exhale, be more aware when you inhale. And don't cling to either of them. Earn money - share - be aware. Don't think of the quantity. Because there are people, particularly Mohammedans, who share a fixed quantity. They have to share one-fifth of their income. So they have been sharing, but that makes no difference, because it is not a question of a fixed amount, it is a question of awareness. Sometimes you have to give all; that is the mid-point.
Sometimes you have not to give anything, because that is the mid-point. One never moves - one moves. One is fully alert not to cling to any polarity. And one cannot plan. Mind always wants to plan, because once you plan there is no need to be aware. You can become an automata, a robot, and go on - you have a fixed discipline. That's why in all the monasteries, they have a fixed discipline; no need to be aware. 'Do this, this is. right. Don't do that, that is wrong' - finished. You need not be aware. You simply become a robot. You know what is right, you know what is wrong.
I tell you, the right becomes wrong and the wrong becomes right when situations change.
Sometimes, something is right, because the situation is totally different. Another time, the same thing is wrong. And nobody can say beforehand what is right and what is wrong. So no moral code can be given. All moral codes kill you, they poison you. All commandments are poisonous, because they give you a fixed thing: Do this. But situations change. And in changing situations, the same thing is immoral.
Morality and immorality are not commodities, things. They are not things, they are processes. And that is the subtlest point to be understood about life. People come to me, they say: We listen to you, but that is too difficult. You just give us a discipline; what to do, what not to do, so we will follow.
If you want moral codes, I cannot give you any because I know all codes are poisonous. And you ask for codes. That's your trick to escape from awareness, because without codes, you will have to be constantly aware and constantly feel: What is the situation? What is right NOW? What is wrong NOW? THIS MOMENT will decide. Nobody else can decide. Then you have to be very, very alert.'
To make you alert, I don't give you any code. I have no code. Awareness is the only discipline, the only commandment.
I have heard that this happened in a small class: The teacher asked: Who is the greatest man in the world? It happened in America, so one child said: Abraham Lincoln. The teacher was not satisfied.
She asked another child; the other child was Negro.' He said: Martin Luther King. Then a small child raised his hand. She asked: Who is the greatest man in the world? He said: Jesus. Of course, Jesus. The teacher was surprised. She said: Yes, your answer is right, but I am surprised, because you are a Jew. So the boy said: Yes. I know, you know, everybody knows that Moses is the greatest man in the world, but business is business.
Life is always changing. Nothing is static. And whatsoever you know will not be of much help.
You have to look at the situation, the whole situation. And if your response to it is with a perfect awareness, it is right. Then you'll never repent for it. And then you grow through it, then you become more aware.
Awareness has no past, awareness has no future, awareness has only this: here - now. sometimes you will act like a Christian, perfectly Christian, sometimes you will act like a perfect Buddhist, and sometimes you will act like a perfect Mohammedan. Nobody is. Sometimes the Koran, sometimes the Gita, and sometimes the Bible; then you never decide beforehand. You are never prepared for it. Anybody who is prepared is wrong.
In life, there are no rehearsals. You cannot rehearse a situation, you cannot be ready for it. You move unprepared. And when you realize this fact, that to move unprepared is to create the situation to be more aware, then the situation decides and you are not really the decider. The whole thing, you and the Total, meet in that moment and the thing happens. You are not the decider. You are not a victim. You acted as the organic unity of existence, and decided at that moment. You are also not responsible; you have not done anything, you have just been a vehicle - this is the mid-point. To be a witness, to be aware, to be alert, to act consciously, with mindfulness, is the mid-point.
So remember, don't try to find a fixed mid-point. It is nowhere to be found. And nobody else can decide for you. Not even you can decide for the future. These are all tricks of the mind which make you neurotic. Just move unprepared. This is the preparation - move unprepared. Move and
let things happen. You just be aware and let things decide themselves. And I tell you, when you are aware, everything fits. Suddenly everything falls into a cosmos - it is not a chaos. Out of that unknown happens what is right. If you decide, out of you happens what is wrong.
HE THEN OPENED HIS HAND FLAT IN HER FACE AND ASKED: SUPPOSE IT WAS ALWAYS LIKE THAT, WHAT THEN? 'ANOTHER KIND OF DEFORMITY,' SAID THE WIFE.
The situation was such that the wife came to an understanding. The woman could understand, and the Master said nothing else. He said: You understand that much; that is enough. You have understanding. Nothing else am I to say to you. You are a good wife. Then he left, and it transformed the woman; she could understand, she could FEEL. Whatsoever he did in that moment became a light. The clingingness disappeared, but it was not replaced by the opposite. She became able to share.
But how can you share if you don't have anything? That's why in India, you will find people who have renounced. They have nothing to share, nothing. They are simply unsharing, because they have moved from hoarding to the other extreme. Now they cannot even share, because they have nothing to share.
Don't move to the extreme; have something to share. And this is not only about things, this is about you. If you have yourself, only then can you share. If you have individuality, only then can you share.
If you have love within you, only then can you share. If you ARE, only then is there a possibility of sharing. And this is the mystery: you have to be there so that in some moments you can disappear, and not be there. You have to attain to a presence, then you can also be absent. If you become too present and you cannot be absent, then you are hoarding. If you become absolutely absent, you have no presence, then you have renounced.
But remember, neither is hoarding sharing, nor is renouncing sharing. Sharing is just in the middle.
You hoard a little - you share a little, and you always make a balance. You move in the middle. You sometimes go to this bank; you sometimes go to that bank. Sometimes you lean to the left and sometimes to the right; but you lean to the left just to be in the middle, you lean to the right just to be in the middle.
Become like a tightrope walker, for such is life - just a tightrope walk.