Remember the art of let go
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO BE IN A STATE OF LET-GO?
Puja Kavina, the world needs workaholics. It needs people to be slaves, to be proletariats, to be laborers and function just like machines; hence all the so-called moralists and puritans have been teaching people that work has some intrinsic value. It has none.
It has some value, but of the lowest kind. It is a need; because people have stomachs they need bread and butter. They need clothes and a roof over their heads. This natural need has been exploited to the extreme. People are forced to work, but whatever they produce does not come to them; it goes to the people who don't work.
The society has been forever an exploitive society. It has been divided into the haves and the have- nots. The have-nots have to work just to survive, and the haves go on accumulating mountains of money. It is a very ugly situation - inhuman, primitive, insane. The people who work are poor, hungry, starving; they don't have time for literature, for music, for paintings. They can't even conceive that there are worlds of tremendous beauty, of art. They cannot even imagine that there is something like meditation. It is enough for them to get one meal a day.
Just the other day I was informed that Ethiopia is ready for another famine. Just a year ago millions of people died in Ethiopia and the whole world watched - not only watched, America destroyed billions of dollars worth of foodstuff, dumped it in the ocean. But it cannot be given to the poor who are starving. The countries of Europe destroyed even more, because they had so much surplus...
mountains of butter. And the new crops were coming so they needed the old crops to be taken out of their warehouses. They were short of warehouses and just nearby one thousand people in Ethiopia were dying every day, just out of hunger.
And the European countries spent two billion dollars just to destroy the surplus foodstuff. It is not known how much was the cost of the food that they destroyed in the ocean; two billion dollars is only the cost of destroying it.
And now, again, Ethiopia is facing another calamity. And the European countries have agreed with Ethiopia that they will give their surplus, but only on one condition.... Man seems to be one of the most useless things in the world. It seems man exists for all kinds of conditions and ideologies, not vice versa. The European countries had a condition, because in Ethiopia there is a Marxist government, and they made a condition: "We will give you food - we have surplus, there is no problem - but you will have to stop your Marxist plans absolutely."
The food was supposed to have reached by now, but it has not even moved from the warehouses in Europe. And the reason the European countries are not giving is, "You are still continuing your Marxist plans."
Can you see the insanity of it? They are more concerned with Marxist plans, which have nothing to do with them. They are not concerned with millions of people again dying. And it is not only a question of other countries - naturally nobody has the responsibility for other countries - in the same country...
For example, in America thirty million people are on the streets without food, without clothes, without shelter. And it is a strange, ironical coincidence that exactly the same number of Americans, thirty million, are dying in hospitals, in nursing homes, because they have stuffed their bodies with too much food, and they cannot stop. They will die because of eating too much, and a similar number of people will die because they don't have anything to eat.
These thirty million people are eating the share of the other thirty million who are on the streets.
They are ready to work, but there is no work. And when there is no work, nobody is interested in feeding the poor. The poor are fed only if they are needed for work.
Down through the ages the majority has been poor, and their survival was dependent on their utility as productive mechanisms. The moment they were not needed they were left to die in hunger and starvation. And they are the real owners of the whole wealth of the world, because they are the producers. But the cunning people have managed conspiracies with politicians, with priests, to keep the society divided into two different categories: those who are really human beings - the people who are rich, super-rich - and those who are just in name human beings, but are being used as commodities, as productive mechanisms.
Because of this situation the vested interests have been teaching down the ages only one thing: that is work, and work hard so that you can produce more, and the rich can become richer.
The value of work is only to produce enough for everybody. Perhaps four or five hours work a day would have been enough for the whole of humanity to live peacefully and comfortably. But this insane desire to be rich, this insane greed which knows no limits... without any understanding that the more money you have the less is the value of your money.
It is a simple law of economics: the law of diminishing returns. You have one house; it is valuable, you have to live in it, you need it. You have two houses, you have three houses, you have hundreds of houses... the value goes on diminishing as the number of houses goes on growing. There is a small class in the world which has absolutely valueless money.
For example, the richest man in the world is now a Japanese who has twenty-one billion dollars cash in his banks. What is he going to do with it? Can you eat it? And money attracts more money; just from sheer interest that man will go on becoming more and more rich. Beyond a certain limit money loses all value.
But greed is absolutely mad.
The whole human society has lived under a kind of insanity.
That's why it is so difficult, Kavina, to be in a state of let-go - because it has been always condemned as laziness. It was against the workaholic society. Let-go means you start living in a saner way. You are no longer madly after money, you don't go on working continuously; you work just for your material needs. But there are spiritual needs too! Work is a necessity for material needs. Let-go is necessary for spiritual needs. But the majority of humanity has been completely boycotted from any spiritual growth.
Let-go is one of the most beautiful spaces. You simply exist, doing nothing, sitting silently, and the grass grows by itself. You simply enjoy the songs of the birds, the greenness of the trees, the multidimensional, psychedelic colors of the flowers. You don't have to do anything to experience existence; you have to stop doing. You have to be in an absolutely unoccupied state, with no tensions, with no worries.
In this state of tranquility you come into a certain tuning with the music that surrounds us. You suddenly become aware of the beauty of the sun. There are millions of people who have never enjoyed a sunset, who have never enjoyed a sunrise. They cannot afford it. They are continuously working and producing - not for themselves, but for the cunning vested interests: those who are in power, those who are capable of manipulating human beings.
Naturally they teach you that work is something great - it is in their interest. And the conditioning has become so deep that even you don't know why you cannot relax.
Even on holidays people go on doing something or other. They cannot enjoy a holiday, just relaxing on the sea beach and enjoying the ocean and the very fresh and salty air. No, they will do any stupid thing. If they have nothing to do they may just take their refrigerator apart - which had been functioning perfectly well - or they may destroy an old grandfather clock, which had been functioning for centuries; they are trying to improve upon it. But basically they cannot sit silently; that is the problem. They have to do something, they have to go somewhere.
On every holiday people are rushing towards health resorts, sea beaches, not to rest there - they don't have time to rest, because millions of people are going there. Holidays are the best time to remain at home, because the whole city has gone to the sea beach. Bumper to bumper, cars are going... and by the time they reach the beach it is full of people; they cannot even find a small place to lie down. I have seen pictures of sea beaches. Even the ocean must be laughing at the stupidity of these people.
For a few minutes they will lie down, and then they need ice cream and they need Coca Cola. And they have brought their portable television sets and everybody is listening to his transistor. And then the time is over, because again there is the marathon race back towards home.
On holidays more accidents happen in the world than on any other days: more people are killed, more cars are crashed. It is strange! And for five days in the week - the working days - people are hoping, waiting with great longing for the holiday. And in those two days which are the weekend, they are simply waiting for their offices and their factories to open.
People have completely forgotten the language of relaxation. They have been made to forget it.
Every child is born with an inner capacity; you don't have to teach the child how to relax. You just watch a child - he is relaxed, he is in a let-go. But you won't allow him to enjoy this state of paradise.
You will soon civilize him.
Every child is primitive, uncivilized. And the parents and the teachers and everybody are after the children to civilize them, to make them part of the society. Nobody bothers that the society is absolutely insane. It will be good if the child remains as he is, is no longer initiated into the society and your so-called civilization.
But with all good wishes the parents cannot leave the child alone. They have to teach him to work, they have to teach him to be productive, they have to teach him to be competitive. They have to teach him, "Unless you are at the top you have failed us."
So everybody is running to be at the top.
How can you relax?
When, for the first time in India, railway lines were laid down... I have heard a beautiful story: The British engineer who was overseeing the work that was going on was amazed to see that every day a young Indian, a villager, would come and lie down under the shade of a big tree and watch the workers working and the engineers instructing them. The engineer became interested: a strange fellow; every day he comes. He brings his food with him, he takes his lunch and rests, sleeps in the afternoon under the shade of the tree.
Finally the engineer could not resist the temptation and he asked the villager, "Why don't you start working? You come anyway every day, and you waste your time just lying down watching."
The villager asked, "Working? But for what?"
The engineer said, "You will earn money!"
The villager asked, "But what will I do with the money?"
The engineer said, "You stupid, you don't know what can be done with the money? When you have money you can relax and enjoy!"
The poor villager said, "This is strange, because I am already relaxed and enjoying! This is going in such a roundabout way: working hard, earning money and then enjoying and relaxing. But I am doing it already!"
Children come with the intrinsic, intuitive quality of let-go. They are utterly relaxed. That's why all children are beautiful. Have you ever thought about it? All children, without exception, have a tremendous grace, aliveness and beauty. And these children are going to grow, and all their beauty and their grace will disappear.
It is very difficult to find a grown-up man with the same grace, with the same beauty, with the same aliveness. If you can find a man with childlike innocence and relaxation, you have found a sage.
That's how we have defined the sage in the East: he attains his childhood again. After experiencing all the ups and downs in life, finally he decides, out of experience - the decision comes by itself - that what he was in his childhood he has to be again before death comes.
I teach you let-go, because that's the only thing that can make you a sage. No church will help, no theology, no religion, because none of them teach you let-go. They all insist on work, on the dignity of labor. They use beautiful words to enslave you, to exploit you. They are in conspiracy with the parasites of the society.
I am not against work; work has its own utility - but only utility. It cannot become your life's all and all. It is an absolute necessity that you need food, that you need clothes, that you need a shelter.
Work, but don't become addicted to work. The moment you are out of work, you should know how to relax. And it does not need much wisdom to relax; it is a simple art. And it is very simple because you already knew it when you were born; it is already there, it just has to be made active from its dormant position. It has to be provoked.
All methods of meditation are nothing but methods to help you to remember the art of let-go. I say remember, because you knew it already. And you know it still, but that knowledge is being repressed by the society.
Simple principles have to be remembered: The body should be the beginning. Lying down on your bed - and you lie down on your bed every day, so nothing special is necessary - when you lie down on the bed, before sleep comes, start watching with closed eyes the energy from your feet. Move from there - just watch inside: Is there some tension somewhere? in the legs, in the thighs, in the stomach? Is there some strain, some tension? And if you find some tension somewhere, simply try to relax it. And don't move from that point unless you feel the relaxation has come.
Go through the hands - because your hands are your mind; they are connected with your mind. If your right hand is tense, the left side of your brain will be tense. If your left hand is tense, the right side of your brain will be tense. So first go through the hands - they are almost the branches of your mind - and then reach finally to the mind.
When the whole body is relaxed the mind is already ninety percent relaxed, because the body is nothing but extensions of the mind. Then the ten percent tension that is in your mind... simply watch it, and just by watching the clouds will disappear. It will take a few days for you; it is a knack. And it will revive your childhood experience, when you were so relaxed.
Have you ever watched? Children go on falling every day, but they don't get hurt, they don't get fractures. You try it; whenever the child falls you also fall.
One psychoanalyst was trying some experiment. He announced in the newspapers, "I will pay enough money if somebody is ready to come to my house and just follow my child for the whole day.
Whatever my child does, you have to do that."
A young wrestler turned up and he said, "I am ready; where is the child?"
But by the middle of the day the wrestler was flat on his back. He had already got two fractures, because everything that the child was doing he had to do. And the child got excited: This is strange!
So he would jump unnecessarily, and the wrestler had to jump; he would climb the tree, and the wrestler had to climb; and he would jump from the tree, and the wrestler had to jump. And this continued. The child completely forgot about food, about anything; he was enjoying so much the misery of the wrestler.
By the afternoon the wrestler simply refused. He said to the psychoanalyst, "Keep your money. This child of yours will kill me by the end of the day. I am already ready to go to the hospital. This child is dangerous. Don't do this experiment with anybody else."
Every child has so much energy, and still he is not tense. Have you watched a child sleeping? Have you watched a child just sucking his own thumb, enjoying it, dreaming beautiful dreams? His whole body is in a deep let-go.
It happens - it is a known fact - every day, all over the world, drunkards fall but they don't get fractures. Every morning they are found in some gutter and brought home. But it is a strange fact that they go on falling....
I have heard about a drunkard who was coming home and got hit on the head by an electric pole.
He looked at the pole and he saw at least eight poles. He said, "My God, how am I going to reach home?"
He tried this way and that way, but nothing helped. Every time the same electric pole would hit him hard. Finally he shouted for help. A policeman came and asked, "What is the matter?"
He said, "I am surrounded by electric poles and I cannot get out. And you know my wife! I have to reach home. It has been almost two hours that I have been struggling! Who has made this? - because in the day I saw that there was only one electric pole!"
The policeman took him out from those imaginary poles. He had been struggling for two hours, but he was not hurt, because a drunkard is relaxed.
I have known accidents in which only drunkards remained unhurt; everybody else was hurt.
Once a train fell from a bridge - that happens two, three times almost every year in India. Bridges simply collapse, particularly the newly built bridges, because there are so many people to be bribed before you can get the government permission to build the bridge, that finally the constructor, the builder, has to take money out of the bridge - he has spent so much. You have to bribe almost every person who is concerned.
Naturally he does not use cement, but only sand. So the first time the train comes on the bridge...
with the bridge the whole train goes into the river.
Just near my village, once it happened. I rushed to see: only one man had remained without being hurt, and that was the village drunkard. When I saw him he asked me, "What has happened? In fact, I don't know why I was traveling in this train. Some idiots put me in the train. I resisted, but before I could get out the train moved and then suddenly I found myself swimming in the river. I don't know what happened in the middle. The middle portion of the story is completely missing!"
I said, "You just come home with me, because everybody else has to go to the hospital." A few people were unconscious, a few had died, a few had many fractures, multiple fractures. Everybody was in a mess except that drunkard, who was asking me, "What has happened?"
I took him back home. He was asking me on the way, again and again..."You can tell me, I will not tell anybody."
I said, "I don't know. You were on the train."
He said, "That I know. I remember a few people had pushed me in the train. And I was absolutely reluctant, because I didn't want to go anywhere. I was going to my home! I thought perhaps the train is going towards my home. And then finally I found myself in the river. But in a way it is good, because for at least two, three months I have not taken a bath. And the cold water in the river has also made my senses come back. I am a little conscious."
The drunkard will not get hurt, because he does not know he is falling, so he does not become tense. He simply falls without becoming tense. It is the tenseness that gives you fractures. If you can fall relaxed you will not be hurt. Drunkards know it, children know it; how did you manage to forget, Kavina?
Start from your bed, every night, and within a few days you will be able to catch the knack. And once you have known the secret - nobody can teach it to you, you will have to search within your own body - then even in the day, at any time, you can relax. And to be a master of relaxation is one of the most beautiful experiences in the world. It is the beginning of a great journey towards spirituality, because when you are completely in a let-go, you are no longer a body.
Have you ever observed a simple fact: that you become aware of your body only when there is some tension, some strain, some pain? Have you ever become aware of your head without a headache?
If your whole body is relaxed, you simply forget that you are a body. And in that forgetfulness of the body is the remembering of a new phenomenon that is hidden inside the body: your spiritual being.
Let-go is the way to know that you are not the body, but something eternal, immortal.
There is no need of any other religion in the world. Just the simple art of let-go will turn every human being into a religious person. Religion is not believing in God, religion is not believing in the pope, religion is not believing in any ideological system.
Religion is knowing that which is eternal within you: satyam shivam sundram - that which is the truth of your existence, that which is your divinity, and that which is your beauty, your grace, your splendor.
The art of let-go is synonymous with experiencing the immaterial, the immeasurable: your authentic being.
There are a few moments when, without being aware, you are in a let-go. For example, when you are really laughing - a belly laughter, not just from the head, but from your belly - you are relaxed without your knowing, you are in a let-go. That's why laughter is so health-giving. There is no other medicine which can help you more in attaining well-being.
But laughter has been stopped by the same conspirators who have stopped your awareness of let-go. The whole of humanity has been turned into a serious, psychologically sick mess.
Have you heard the giggle of a small child? His whole body participates in it. And when you laugh, it is very rare that your whole body laughs - it is just an intellectual, heady thing.
My own understanding is that laughter is far more important than any prayer, because prayer will not relax you. On the contrary, it may make you more tense. In laughter you suddenly forget all the conditioning, all the training, all seriousness. Suddenly you are out of it, just for a moment. Next time you laugh, be alert about how relaxed you are. And find out other times when you are relaxed.
After making love you are relaxed... although the same company of conspirators does not allow you to be relaxed even after making love. The man simply turns to the other side and pretends to go to sleep, but deep down he is feeling guilty that he has committed a sin again. The woman is crying, because she feels she has been used. And it is absolutely natural to feel so, because she gets no nourishment from love. She never gets any orgasmic experience. Just fifty years ago there was not a single woman in the whole world who had experienced orgasm. In India it is extremely difficult to find a woman who knows what orgasm is.
There cannot be a greater conspiracy against humanity. The man wants to finish the whole thing as quick as possible. Inside him he is carrying THE BIBLE, the KORAN, SHRIMAD BHAGAVADGITA, and they are all against what he is doing. He is also convinced that he is doing something wrong.
So naturally, the quicker it is over the better. And afterwards he feels tremendously bad. How can he relax? He becomes more tense. And because he is so quick the woman never comes to her peak.
By the time she starts, he is finished. Naturally, the woman starts believing that man is something more like an animal.
In the churches, in the temples, you will find only women, old women particularly. And when the priest talks about sin, they know! It was absolutely sin, because they had gained no pleasure out of it; they were used like any commodity - sexual objects. Otherwise, if you are free of guilt, free of all inhibitions, love will give you a tremendous experience of let-go.
So you have to look into your life, where you can find some natural experience of let-go. Listening to me you can experience a let-go. It happens every day, but you are not aware. I can see your faces changing, I can see your silences deepening. I can see when you laugh that your laughter is no longer chained and handcuffed, that your laughter is now your freedom. I can observe every day:
you go on becoming more and more relaxed, as if you are not listening to a talk, but listening to soft music, not to words but to my silences.
If you cannot experience a let-go in my presence here, it will be very difficult for you to find it anywhere else. But there are moments when you are swimming. If you are really a swimmer you can manage just to float, not to swim, and you will find tremendous let-go - just going with the river, not even making any movement against the current, becoming part of the current.
You have to gather experiences of let-go from different sources, and soon you will have the whole secret in your hands. And it is one of the most fundamental things, particularly for my people. It will free you from the workaholic conditioning.
It does not mean that you will become lazy; on the contrary, the more relaxed you are, the more powerful you are, the more energy gathers when you are relaxed. Your work will start having a quality of creativity - not production. Whatever you will do, you will do with such totality, with such love. And you will have tremendous energy to do it.
So let-go is not against work. In fact, let-go transforms work into a creative experience.
A few jokes for you, Kavina, and for you all to have a total laughter. It takes away all tensions from your face, from your body, from your stomach, and you feel suddenly a totally different kind of energy within you; otherwise most people are continuously feeling knots in their stomachs.
Nathan Nussbaum went to consult a world-famous specialist about his medical problem.
"How much do I owe you?" asked Nat.
"My fee is five hundred dollars," replied the doctor.
"Five hundred dollars? That's impossible!" exclaimed Nathan.
"In your case," the specialist replied, "I suppose I could adjust my fee to three hundred dollars."
"Three hundred dollars for one visit? Ridiculous!" cried Nathan.
"Well then," asked the doctor, "can you afford one hundred and fifty dollars?"
"Who has so much money?" Nathan moaned.
"Listen," said the doctor, "just give me fifty dollars and be gone."
"I can give you twenty dollars," said Nathan. "Take it or leave it."
"I don't understand you," said the specialist. "Why did you come to the most expensive doctor in New York?"
"Listen, doctor," explained Nathan, "when it comes to my health, nothing is too expensive."
Paddy's friend, Joe, was taking a night course in adult education. "Who is Ronald Reagan?" he asked Paddy.
"I don't know," Paddy replied.
"He is the president of the United States," said Joe. "Now, do you know who Margaret Thatcher is?"
"No," said Paddy.
"She is the prime minister of Britain," said Joe. "You see, you should go to night school like I do."
"Now I have a question for you," said Paddy. "Do you know who Mick O'Sullivan is?"
"I don't," admitted Joe.
"Well," said Paddy, "he is the guy who is screwing your wife while you are at night school."
Jesus and Moses are out one Sunday afternoon for a round of golf. Moses drives first and the ball goes straight down the fairway. Jesus gets ready and on his first drive slices the ball into some tall grass.
"Holy Moses!" cries Jesus. But Moses, being a good fellow, offers Jesus the chance to place his ball on the fairway with no penalty. But Jesus is stubborn and turns down the offer. Moses then says, "Come on Jesus, you can't take a shot in such tall grass."
"If Arnold Palmer can do it," replies Jesus, "so can I." Jesus then takes a smash and knocks the ball, 'splash!' into a pond. Then Moses hits his second shot straight onto the green and returns to watch Jesus. Jesus is rolling up his jeans.
"Jesus, please!" cries Moses, "I implore you to just place your ball on the fairway. It will take a miracle to make such a shot!"
"If Arnold Palmer can do it," replies Jesus, "so can I," and he strides off across the top of the water.
A gardener, who has been watching the scene, approaches Moses and says, "Just who does that guy think he is, Jesus Christ?"
"No such luck," replies Moses. "He thinks he is Arnold Palmer!"
WHAT IS IT TO GIVE AND WHAT IS IT TO RECEIVE? I UNDERSTAND NOW THAT I AM ONLY JUST BEGINNING TO GLIMPSE THESE. RECEPTIVENESS FEELS LIKE DYING TO ME, AND AUTOMATICALLY EVERYTHING INSIDE GOES ON RED ALERT! HELP! EXISTENCE SEEMS SO HUGE.
Prem Dhiresha, I can understand what is troubling you. It is troubling almost everybody. It is good that you have recognized it because now, changing the situation is possible. Unfortunate are those who are suffering from the same problem but are not aware of it; because of their unawareness there is no possibility of any transformation.
You have taken courage to expose yourself. I am immensely glad about it. I want all my people to be courageous enough to expose themselves, howsoever ugly it seems.
The conditioning is to go on hiding the ugly and go on pretending about the beautiful. That creates a schizophrenic situation: you go on showing yourself, what you are not; and you go on repressing yourself, what you are. Your life becomes a continuous civil war. You are fighting with yourself, and any fight with yourself is going to destroy you. Nobody can win.
If my right hand and left hand start fighting, do you think any hand can win? I can manage sometimes to let the right hand feel good as a winner, and sometimes to change the situation and let the left hand feel it is the winner. But nobody can be really the winner, because they both are my hands.
Almost every human being is carrying a split personality. And the most significant fact is that he identifies himself with the false part and he denies his reality. In this situation you cannot hope to grow up as a spiritual being.
What Dhiresha is saying is tremendously important to understand. She is asking, "What is it to give?" Have you ever asked yourself what it is to give? You think you are already giving so much to your children, to your wife, to your girlfriend, to the society, to the Rotary Club, to the Lions Club...
you are giving so much. But the fact is, you don't know what it is to give.
Unless you give yourself you don't give at all.
You can give money, but you are not the money. Unless you give yourself, that means unless you give love, you don't know what giving is.
"... And what is it to receive?" Almost everybody thinks he knows what it is to receive. But Dhiresha is right in questioning and exposing herself that she does not know what it is to receive. Just as unless you give love you don't know what it is to give, the same is true about receiving: unless you are capable of receiving love, you don't know what it is to receive. You want to be loved, but you have not thought about it: are you capable of receiving love? There are so many hindrances which won't allow you to receive it.
The first is, you don't have any self-respect; hence when love comes towards you, you don't feel yourself adequate enough to receive it. But you are in such a mess that you cannot even see a simple fact: because you have never accepted yourself as you are, you have never loved yourself...
how can you manage to receive somebody else's love?
You know you are not worthy of it, but you don't want to accept and recognize this stupid idea that has been fed to you, that you are not worthy of it. So what do you do? You simply refuse love. And to refuse love you have to find excuses.
The first and the most prominent excuse is that "it is not love - that's why I cannot accept it." You cannot believe that somebody can love you. When you yourself cannot love you, when you have not seen yourself, your beauty and your grace and your grandeur, how can you believe it when somebody says, "You are beautiful. I can see in your eyes a depth, unfathomable, of tremendous grace. I can see in your heart a rhythm, in tune with the universe."
You cannot believe all this; it is too much. You are accustomed to being condemned, you are accustomed to being punished, you are accustomed to being rejected, you are accustomed to not being accepted as you are - these things you can take very easily.
Love will have a tremendous impact on you, because you will have to go through a great transformation before you can receive it. First you have to accept yourself without any guilt. You are not a sinner as the Christians and other religions go on teaching you.
You don't see the stupidity of the whole thing. Some guy far away in the past, one Adam, disobeyed God, which is not much of a sin. In fact, he was absolutely right to disobey him. If anybody had committed a sin it was God, by prohibiting his own son, his own daughter, from eating the fruit of knowledge and eating the fruit of eternal life. What kind of father? What kind of God? What kind of love?
Love demands that God should have told Adam and Eve, "Before you eat anything else, these two trees have to be remembered. Eat as much from the tree of wisdom and eat as much from the tree of eternal life as you like, so that you can also be in the same space of immortality in which I am."
That should be a simple thing for anyone who loves. But God prohibiting Adam from wisdom means he wants him to remain ignorant. Perhaps he is jealous, afraid, apprehensive that if Adam becomes wise, he will become equal to him. He wants to keep Adam in his ignorance so that he remains inferior. And if he eats the fruit of eternal life, then he will be a god himself.
This God who prevented Adam and Eve must have been very jealous, utterly ugly, inhuman, unloving. And if all these things are not sin, then what can sin be? But religions have been teaching you, Jews and Christians and Mohammedans, that you are still carrying the sin that Adam committed. There is a limit to stretching lies out so long. Even if Adam had committed a sin, you cannot carry it. You were created by God, according to these religions, and you are not carrying godliness, but you are carrying Adam's and Eve's disobedience.
This is the Western way to condemn you - you are a sinner. The Eastern way comes to the same conclusion, but from different premises. They say everybody is loaded with immense sin and evil deeds, committed in millions of past lives. In fact, the burden of a Christian or a Jew or a Mohammedan is far less. You are only carrying the sin that Adam and Eve committed. And it must have become very diluted... centuries upon centuries. You are not a direct inheritor of Adam and Eve's sins. It has passed through many millions of hands; by now the quantity must be almost homeopathic.
But the Eastern concept is even more dangerous. You are not carrying somebody else's sin.... In the first place you cannot carry somebody else's sin. Your father commits a crime - you cannot be sent to jail. Even ordinary human common sense will say that if the father has committed the sin or the crime, he has to suffer. The son or the grandson cannot be sent to the gallows because the grandfather committed a murder.
But the Eastern concept is much more dangerous and poisonous: it is your own sin that you are carrying, not that of Adam and Eve. And it is not a small quantity; it has been growing with each life!
And you have lived millions of lives before this life, and each life you have committed so many sins.
They are all accumulated on your chest. The burden is Himalayan; you are crushed under it.
This is a strange strategy to destroy your dignity, to reduce you into a subhuman being. How can you love yourself? You can hate, but you cannot love. How can you think that somebody may be able to love you? It is better to reject it, because sooner or later the person who is offering you his love is going to discover your reality, which is very ugly - just a long, long burden of sin. And then that person is going to reject you. To avoid rejection it is better to reject love. That's why people don't accept love.
They desire, they long for it. But when the moment comes and somebody is ready to shower you with love you shrink back. Your shrinking has a deep psychology. You are afraid: this is beautiful, but how long will it last? Sooner or later my reality will be revealed. It is better from the very beginning to be alert.
Love means intimacy, love means two persons coming closer, love means two bodies but one soul.
You are afraid: your soul? a sinner's soul, burdened with the evil deeds of millions of lives...? No, it is better to hide it; it is better not to come into a position where the person who wanted to love you rejects you. It is the fear of rejection that does not allow you to receive love.
You cannot give love because nobody has ever told you that you are born a loving being. They have told you, "You are born in sin!" You cannot love and you cannot receive love either. This has diminished all possibilities of your growth.
Dhiresha is saying, "I understand now that I am only just beginning to glimpse these."
You are fortunate, because there are millions of people in the world who have become completely blind to their own conditionings, the ugly burdens that the older generation has given them. It is hurting so much that it is better to forget all about it. But by forgetting it you cannot remove it.
By forgetting a cancer you cannot operate upon it. By not recognizing it, keeping it in the dark, you are taking the greatest unnecessary risk against yourself. It will go on growing. It needs darkness; it needs that you don't know about it. It will cover up your whole being sooner or later. And nobody else will be responsible for it except you.
So if, Dhiresha, you feel that you are having glimpses, a few windows are opening in you.
"Receptiveness feels like dying to me." Have you ever thought about it? Receptiveness feels like dying to you - it is true. Receptiveness feels like dying because receptiveness looks like humiliation.
To receive something, particularly love, means you are a beggar. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end because that makes you inferior to the giver.
"Receptiveness feels like dying to me and automatically everything inside goes on red alert." This red alert is implanted in you by the society which you have always respected, by the same people you have thought are your well-wishers. And I don't say that they are intentionally trying to harm you.
They have been harmed by others and they are simply transferring whatsoever they have received from their parents, from their teachers, from the older generation.
Each generation goes on giving its diseases to the new generation, and naturally the new generation becomes more and more burdened. You are the inheritor of all the superstitious, repressive concepts of the whole of history. What goes on red alert is not something that belongs to you, Dhiresha. It is your conditioning that goes on red alert.
And your last sentence is just an effort to find a rationalization for it. That is also one of the great dangers everybody has to be aware of.
Go to the very roots of every problem.
But don't find excuses, because if you find excuses you cannot remove those roots.
The last statement of Dhiresha's is a rationalization. Perhaps she has not been able to see its intrinsic quality. She says, "Help! Existence seems so huge."
Now she is thinking that she is afraid of receiving because existence is so huge, that she is afraid of giving because existence is so huge. What is the point of giving your small love, just like a dewdrop, to the ocean? The ocean will never know about it; hence there is no point in giving and there is no point in receiving either. Because the ocean is so huge, you will be drowned in it. Hence it looks like death. But this is your rationalization.
You don't know anything about existence; you don't know anything about yourself - which is the closest point of existence to you. Unless you start from your own being, you will never know existence. That is the starting point, and everything has to begin from the very beginning.
Knowing yourself, you will know your existence. But the taste and the fragrance of your existence will give you courage to go a little deeper into the existence of others. If your own existence has made you so blissful... it is a natural longing to enter into other mysteries that surround you: human mysteries, mysteries of the animals, mysteries of the trees, mysteries of the stars.
And once you have known your existence you are no longer afraid of death.
Death is a fiction; it does not happen, it only appears... It appears from the outside. Have you ever seen your own death? You have always seen somebody else dying. But have you seen yourself dying? Nobody has; otherwise even this minimum of life would become impossible. You see every day somebody dies, but it is always somebody else; it is never you.
The poet who wrote, "Never ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee," has a deeper understanding than you. He must have been a Christian, because when somebody dies in a Christian village the church bell rings to inform everybody - people who have gone to their farms, to their orchards, people who have gone to work somewhere. The church bell reminds them: somebody has died. So they all have to come back to give the last farewell.
But the poet has a tremendous insight when he says, "Never ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
But in your actual life it never rings for thee. One day it will ring, but then you will no longer be here to hear it. You never think of yourself at the threshold of death - and everybody is standing on the threshold. You always see somebody else dying - hence the experience is objective, not subjective.
The other is not really dying, but only changing houses. His life force is moving into a new form, into a new plane. Only the body is left without life energy - but the body never had it.
It is just like in a dark house a candle is burning and the whole house is lighted. Even from the outside you can see the light from the windows, from the doors, but the house does not have the light as an intrinsic part of it. The moment the candle finishes the house will be in darkness. In fact it has always been in darkness; it was the candle who was the light.
Your body is already dead. What gives you the impression that it is alive is your life force, your being, which radiates through the body, which fills the body with aliveness. All that you have seen when people die is that something has disappeared. You don't know where it has gone - whether it has gone anywhere, or simply ceased to be. So from the outside the fiction of death has been created.
Those who have known themselves know without any doubt that they are eternal beings. They have died many times, yet they are alive.
Death and birth are only small episodes in the great pilgrimage of the soul. Your fear of death will disappear immediately the moment you come in contact with yourself. And that opens a totally new sky to be explored. Once you know that there is no death, all fear disappears. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the dark... whatever the form, all fears disappear. You start for the first time being a real adventurer. You start moving into different mysteries that surround you.
Existence becomes for the first time your home.
There is nothing to be feared: it is your mother; you are part of it. It cannot drown you, it cannot destroy you.
The more you know it, the more you will feel nourished; the more you know it, the more you will feel blessed; the more you know it, the more you will be. Then you can give love because you have it.
And then you can receive love because there is no question of rejection.
Prem Dhiresha, your question will be helpful to all my people. I thank you for your question and for your courage to expose yourself. This courage is needed by everyone, because without this courage you cannot hope for any possibility of transformation - into a new world, into a new consciousness, into your authentic being, which is the door to ultimate reality and to ultimate benediction.