Jump into life's deepest waters
WHY SUCH AN ENORMOUS FEAR OF ALLOWING MYSELF TO BE REALLY ALIVE?
Veet Vishada, the fear of allowing oneself to be really alive is not the fear of life; it is a very camouflaged fear of death. If you are alive, you will die. Death is the culmination of life. The fear of life is not basically fear of life; it is basically fear of what life will bring ultimately to you, and that is death.
But mind is very clever at camouflaging things and giving you directions which are not right. They take you away from the actuality of your inner subjective experience. How can one be afraid of life?
All that we have got is life: all the music, all the dance and all the songs and all the beauty and all the search for truth belong to a man who is fully alive. What fear can there be about life?
Life has to be lived so totally and so intensely that you can squeeze each minute's juice without leaving a single drop behind. Only such a life is authentic, great; only such a life does not come to an end in death, but comes at the moment of death to the door of the divine.
Death is a complex experience, just as life is - perhaps more complex, because life is spread over seventy or eighty years and death is condensed in a single moment, a split second. Because of its condensedness... it is a miracle. Those who have not lived only experience death. And those who have lived fully experience an eternal release into the universal consciousness; for them death becomes a friend.
But begin with life, because life is the beginning and death is the end. If you are afraid from the very beginning you will not give nourishment to the rosebush, you will not give water, you will not care about it. You will not come close to it, you will not shower your love on it. The rosebush is going to shrink, is going to die without roses, without ever having experienced any beautiful moment of blissfulness or ecstasy. It will simply shrink; it will never know that it had the possibility of tremendous beauty and the fragrance of roses. Naturally the state of such a rosebush is very depressive. It will die in anguish without knowing what life was. It will know only death.
This is a simple logic to be remembered: if you don't live life fully, you will have to experience death.
And death is just a fiction, but you will feel it almost more than your actual life, because you have never lived life - it has been just a faint, faraway echo; at the most it consisted of the same stuff as dreams are made of. But you have never lived actually, you have never loved actually, you have never danced actually. You have always stayed away from wherever there was a life source to rejuvenate you; you did not allow yourself the rejuvenation, you did not allow life to visit you and to be your guest.
Although you seemed to be alive, that life was only medical. You were breathing, you were talking, you were sleeping, you were waking up, you were working - these are the symptoms for medical science of a man who is alive.
But the mystics know much, much more than medical science. They know that these are only symptoms, but they are not life, and that life can exist without the symptoms or the symptoms can exist without life.
I am reminded of one Indian mystic, Brahma Yogi. For almost thirty years he was learning a single thing, because he wanted to prove to medical science - he himself was a doctor - that your symptoms are not synonymous with life. It is a strange world. He exhibited it in Oxford, in Cambridge, in Harvard, in Tokyo, in Calcutta.
This is what he used to do. He would sit in deep meditation and slowly his breathing would stop, the pulse would go away, the heartbeat would not be there and the doctors would check - the best doctors of those universities - and a dozen doctors would write a death certificate for him. All the symptoms that medical science thinks of as death were totally fulfilled in the man; there was no possibility of his being alive.
His condition was that when they found him dead they should immediately sign the death certificate.
After ten minutes, slowly he would start breathing again, the pulse would come back, the heartbeat would come back, and slowly he would open his eyes and smile at the doctors. He collected these death certificates so many times, in so many medical colleges, in so many universities, that it became a great puzzle. The doctors could not believe it; all the symptoms had been absolutely clear. What was his secret?
His secret has been known for centuries in the East. I don't want you to waste thirty years just to prove it - that is useless - but on a smaller basis you can experience it while you meditate. As meditation deepens, your breathing becomes slower, silent.
You know perfectly well that when you are angry, humiliated, your breathing becomes faster, your heartbeat becomes faster. When suddenly you hear some good news, that you have won a lottery, your heart beats so loudly that even the neighbors can hear it.
You know your heartbeat, your breathing change with your emotions. In meditation you are going beyond emotions, beyond thoughts. Naturally, breathing becomes so silent that unless you try to hear it very closely, it is very difficult.
In Zen, when a meditator goes very deep, the only way to find whether he is alive or dead is to bring a mirror in front of his nose. You cannot hear his breathing, but on the mirror the breathing leaves a little vapor. That remains the only sign that he is alive.
The heart starts going into a subtler rhythm, the pulse becomes so slow, almost invisible. Before quartz watches with batteries came into existence, I was in a difficulty. Automatic watches function perfectly, but they depend on your pulse. Your pulse goes on giving them movement, and the movement of your hands. The moment you put them away, within two or three hours they stop.
I have tried almost all the best watches in the world which are automatic, but on my hand they don't go even for three hours. From the moment I put them on my hand, within five or ten minutes they stop, because everything is so silent. And unless I have to move my hands... and that is only when I am speaking to you; otherwise my hands are in complete relaxation with my body.
Finally they said that no automatic watch is going to work on me so I have to use either the winding watch, which is an older version, or a quartz watch which runs on a battery.
Brahma Yogi proved beyond doubt to almost all the experts of the world that symptoms of life are only outer. The life source can remain so still inside that you don't have any way to find it from the outside. Only the person who is alive knows its beauty, its luminosity, its blissfulness. But those are not the things that any stethoscope will be able to catch - blessings, blissfulness, ecstasy. There is no instrument to find them.
If life can be dissociated from symptoms - Brahma Yogi never said this, I am saying it - then the other possibility also becomes a reality. It may be that millions of people are only suffering from symptoms of life; inside there is nothing. Just like a robot, they have a physiology, a biology, a chemistry, a brain which has an inbuilt program to go on running for seventy years. It will go on running.
You will be surprised to know that even in the grave, hair goes on growing, nails go on growing, because their inbuilt process is such that it does not need life at all. If you dig up a grave, you are going to be amazed; the man's hair has become very long, his nails have become very long. You may freak out, "Is this man really dead or has he befooled us?"
But the world is full of corpses all around - corpses because they are afraid of life. And why are they afraid of life? They are afraid because if they enter the stream of life, finally they will have to face death. But their logic is absolutely absurd.
The experience of all those in the whole history of mankind who have lived totally and intensely, who have burned their life's torch from both the ends together, is that they never came across death.
They were so alive that a great transformation happened at the moment of death. They don't die, they don't become unconscious; they simply move either in a new form of life, or if they have become so awakened that there is no need for any other form, they move into the formless universe. The whole universe becomes their body and their being. That is the ultimate peak that you are capable of. But if you are afraid of life, then it is very difficult.
In India there is a plant, a very beautiful plant. Its name is also very beautiful; its name is chhuimui.
It means "very touchy." You just touch one leaf of the plant and the whole plant immediately closes; all its leaves close, the whole plant looks as if it is completely dead. It has few leaves, just two leaves, and if you touch one leaf they both will close and the whole plant will immediately go into an emergency situation. Some danger... and it takes at least fifteen minutes for it to wait and see whether the danger is gone. Then slowly, slowly it opens its leaves again.
If you are chhuimui - so touchy that the moment life comes close to you, you immediately close up - then for what are you living? You are already dead. People are dead in different degrees: a few are a hundred percent dead, a few are fifty percent, a few are thirty percent. The more religious, the more virtuous, the more moralist, the more puritan - they don't have more than five percent, or even less. The great saints have even shrunk more; they live only one percent, because they can still breathe. Except for that, there is no sign of life.
The fear of death takes you away from life.
But the reality is that unless you live a hundred percent - or if you can manage it, a little more too - then death is not going to happen to you. You will never experience any death, but only a change of house. Everybody will know that you are dead, but what have you to do with everybody else? You will know that you are alive, and more alive than you were ever, because the body is a hindrance, a cage, an imprisonment.
Mind is so heavy and loaded with garbage. You don't see that your consciousness is carrying almost a Himalayan load of thousands of years; its back is bent. The moment your consciousness is freed from the body, it comes into the open, into the clear, under the sky, under the stars. And this freedom is the freedom from all past, because all past is carried in the body, in the brain.
Consciousness is always new.
But because you are identified with the body, you think that some time you are young, and then you are old and then one day you die. It is your identification with the body that is creating the trouble.
Veet Vishada, you will have to learn from ABC about life, love, laughter. You have got such a small timespan; don't waste it in fear. Jump into life's deepest waters. Only life can redeem you from death. What ordinarily seems to be the end of life is not the end of life for those who are awakened.
It is the beginning of a totally new life, far greater, far bigger, far more luminous.
You start falling in love; at least you may become ten percent alive. Start enjoying food; you will become a little more alive. Start enjoying the beauty that surrounds the world, and you become more alive.
Keep yourself free from all bondages such as marriage, because I don't know anything else which comes so very close to death as marriage. Two persons, both are alive, and both are sitting by each other's side, dead - completely dead. I can say from far away, seeing a couple walking, whether they are husband and wife. If you see their faces, long, saintly, they are husbands and wife. If you see them laughing, enjoying, joking, then the wife belongs to someone else - or it may be vice versa:
the husband belongs to somebody else.
If you really want to be more and more alive, then come closer in every area of life with intensity and totality.
Life is a blessing, it is not a sin.
Life is a gift, it is not guilt.
Life is the greatest thing that existence has given to you, for nothing. Just because you have not paid for it, you don't recognize its value. Don't lose a single moment; when there is a chance to dance, don't sit in the corner and be just an onlooker. Participate. When people are laughing, don't participate just not to look stupid; laugh with your whole heart. Don't be worried whether anybody else is laughing or not.
You should always look at my sannyasin, Sardar. He does not care whether anybody else is laughing or not; when he feels like laughing, he laughs. He is always the first; then others follow, slowly, slowly, thinking that everybody is laughing so it is okay, there is nothing wrong here.
Meditation will help you to come closer to life. Love will help to bring you closer to life. Creativity will bring you closer to life. Enjoying small things which have been condemned by your stupid so-called saints will bring you closer to life.
In Mahatma Gandhi's ashram, even tea was banned. Now, tea is not much of a sin; there is just a little caffeine in it, but no sin at all. No religious scripture says that tea is a sin. And to destroy people's taste, he has invented a new chutney, a new sauce. You have seen the neem trees here?
- just taste one of the leaves and you will never forget it. It is the bitterest tree in the world. He used to make everybody in the ashram... He used to sit with everybody to eat, and he checked whether the neem chutney was given to everybody or not. That was a strategy to destroy your taste.
One American writer was preparing to write his biography, and he was allowed to stay in Mahatma Gandhi's ashram for a few weeks. He remembers that the most difficult thing was that neem chutney, twice a day. "The first day I could not believe it - am I being poisoned or what? Then he explained to me the greatness of this chutney." In ayurveda, neem is thought to be the most valuable plant in the world; it has great qualities, it purifies the blood. It is just that its taste is hell.
So when Mahatma Gandhi explained it to him, being a newcomer he took a small taste and said, "My God!" He thought it was better not to destroy the whole meal; he should gulp it all at one time and drink water so that he could enjoy the food.
When he gulped it, Gandhi called the cook and said, "I told you he would love it. Bring him another chutney!"
The biographer said, "My God, so now I cannot even gulp it."
Neem chutney was virtuous because one of the fundamentals in his ashram was taken from Jainism; that is, tastelessness. Now these are the people who are against life. You should not taste food, you should not enjoy beautiful clothes, you should not enjoy the ordinary things of life - a good comfortable bed, a small beautiful house with a beautiful garden and flowers.
Do you know that in Gandhi's ashram all flowerpots used to grow only wheat; he was against roses.
Roses are very luxurious and they represent the capitalists, and what India needs is wheat. How much wheat will his two or three pots give to nine hundred million people?
But it was symbolic of his mind and it was symbolic of the mind of all so-called saints. Self torture...
and the only way to torture yourself is to deprive yourself of anything living, loving, beautiful.
Just try to understand that my whole approach is life-affirmative. To me, anything that denies life is irreligious; and up to now all the religions have been irreligious in that sense. They were denying life any affirmation, and naturally, the more you shrink away from life, the more you feel already dead. You drag yourself from your cradle to the grave. The only thing that you can enjoy is the ego fulfillment that people think you are a saint.
Farmer Giles decided to write his will. He called his three sons and gave each one a duck, with the instructions that whoever sold their duck for the most would inherit the farm.
The first son went to market and sold his duck for ten dollars.
The second son sold his duck to the neighboring farmer for fifteen dollars.
The third son, who was a bit of a dreamer, was carrying his duck to town when a village girl approached him and offered to make love with him if he gave her the duck.
It turned out that they had such a good time together, she wanted to give him back the duck if he would make love with her again.
Weak at the knees from his experience, and wandering along the country lane with his duck, the young man was knocked over by a car and the duck was killed.
The motorist jumped from his car and pushed a twenty dollar note into the young man's hand, apologizing all the while for his careless driving.
The young man dusted himself off and arrived home, tired and tattered. Farmer Giles asked him how he had got on.
"Well," said the boy, "I got fucked for a duck, I got a duck for a fuck, and I got twenty dollars for a fucked up duck."
Just look at the lighter side of life and enjoy it to its fullest, and all fear will disappear. Only experience of life and love and laughter will dispel the darkness of fear.
I have offered to the Jews in Israel... They have been deceived by the American and British politicians who gave them the land of Israel. Perhaps it was the most cunning thing that has happened in this century. The Jews thought it was great, but they could not understand the conspiracy.
American and British politicians happened after the second world war to possess the land. It should have been given to Palestine - which has been for centuries a Mohammedan country - but because they had great armies there and the land was occupied, they gave the land to the Jews. This is the ugliest thing that anybody could have done.
The conspiracy was that the Jews are surrounded - Israel is a small place - on all sides by Mohammedans, bloodthirsty Mohammedans, and the land that is now Israel had been in their hands for centuries. The Mohammedans had lived there and they could accept the idea that their land should go back to the Jews, who had lost it centuries before.
For centuries the Jews have been homeless, with no land. They could not see that with an ocean of Mohammedans all around they would be tortured continuously, terrorized, bombed. Their life was not going to be a life, but a continuous struggle to survive, and finally they would have either to disappear or to leave Israel again.
And when I say this... Both England and America are Christian countries; if their intentions were really good, then the Vatican pope should have given recognition to Israel. But he has not given recognition to Israel; for him Israel does not exist as a sovereign country. That shows the reality of the Christian mind.
The Jews have been tortured for two thousand years because they crucified Jesus, and now this is a crucifixion for all the Jews - Israel. They have poured their money into it, they have come from faraway lands, they have been working hard, because it is a desert; and besides there is continuous harassment from the Mohammedans who are not going to accept that Israel is not theirs. On their maps they still show Palestine, not Israel.
The trouble has increased more and more just now, in a way in which the Jews were not even aware would happen. There are outside enemies all around, and now there are inside enemies. Firstly, the Mohammedans who have been living for centuries in the land are still there; they function as informers to the Mohammedans, because their devotion is to Mohammedanism.
And now something new, inconceivable is happening... because some Jews have come from Europe, and a few Jews have been living in Palestine for centuries. They are the most orthodox; because they have not seen the world, they don't know what is contemporary. The Jews from Europe are far more advanced - and then the Jews from America are almost not Jews. Now they are fighting; now these three sections of Jews are fighting continuously because the orthodox want to rule over all the Jews. The Americans have enjoyed freedom; they don't follow the old orthodox concepts. And the same to a lesser degree is true about the European Jews - so now they are killing each other.
I said that since America has illegally and criminally taken over the commune land, I offer it to the Jews of Jerusalem to make it a new Jerusalem, a new Israel. And ask the American government - if they are so helpful, then why not give them the whole state of Oregon? Anyway, half the land of Oregon belongs to the federal government of America; it is very easy to give Oregon as a beginning.
As a token of my love and my understanding, I give my commune's land where we have wasted three hundred million dollars.
It is not a small place; it is one hundred and twenty-six square miles. My idea was to make the commune at least one hundred thousand sannyasins - and they would not have been crowded, it was so big, vast.
Just now I have received the latest joke about Jews moving to Rancho Rajneesh.
Finally, the very last Jew moved with all his belongings to the former Rancho Rajneesh.
With all their energy the new inhabitants threw themselves into working on the fields and the creeks, on reopening the shops and hotel, and on making a kosher kitchen from the former Magdalena.
Since they had to leave their mourning wall in Jerusalem... They have a long ancient wall in Jerusalem, just to mourn, cry, weep. The louder you cry, the more tears come from your eyes, the more religious you are. Every day you can see this circus - hundreds of people standing by the old wall, crying, weeping. I cannot conceive what kind of religiousness this is.
So the only problem in Rancho Rajneesh was that since they had to leave their mourning wall in Jerusalem, the rabbis decided to build a huge new one at the east side of Rajneesh Mandir.
When the wall was finally built, all the Jews went there to mourn and to pray to God. When one of the rabbis returned to the synagogue, the rabbi who had stayed behind asked him how it was at the new mourning wall.
"Not very good," the other replied. "I could not stop them from dancing and singing."
Naturally, in my place mourning is not possible. I may not be present there, but I have left enough of my vibration there. My people have left enough dance and enough music there in the air. The rabbi was very much shocked that instead of mourning, they were dancing and singing.
To me, dancing and singing can be an intrinsic part of a religious life, but not mourning. Mourning you should leave to the dead; it does not suit the living.
SINCE YOU HAVE COME OUT AGAIN, I'M MELTING AWAY IN DISCOURSES. IT FEELS AS IF FIGHTING HAS STOPPED OR BECOME LESS.
IS IT AWARENESS THAT WILL HELP ME STAY IN THAT MELTING SPACE OF "YES," TRUST AND ACCEPTANCE; OR IS IT NATURAL TO MOVE THROUGH ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF CYCLES?
IF I FALL BACK INTO FIGHTING, "NO" AND TENSION, IS IT DUE TO UNAWARENESS?
Prem Karima, the more awareness you have, the more you will find your heart filled with yes. The less awareness and you will find your heart filled with no. Yes brings joy, love, blissfulness. No makes you a desert where nothing grows, but only despair, anguish, angst.
You are asking me, should you remain alert and aware to keep your peace, your silence, your trust?
or go in circles, sometimes yes, sometimes no?
The question arises from your old habit. This yes is so new to you... although it is blissful, the old friends, misery and fighting and no and anguish, suffering, will try in every way to pull you back into their company.
And to come out of this vicious circle is one of the absolute necessities of being a sannyasin. Unless your yes is so pure that there is no shadow of no in it, you will not be able to progress on the path of enlightenment. The old friends will pull you backwards.
Be courageous and be strong and don't be impressed and influenced by the old gang which has always been around you. But if you like tension, if you like suffering, if you like miserableness, then it is a different matter. I don't want to interfere in your freedom of choice.
There are people who love their misery; in fact they magnify it, exaggerate it. They only talk about misery, nothing else, and if you don't listen to their misery they become antagonistic to you. The psychology behind these miserable people, who are in the majority in the world, is that when they are miserable people give sympathy to them.
It is obviously a very subtle human ego. When you see somebody in misery, you sympathize, because you are feeling happy deep down that you are not in this stupid fellow's position. And secondly, to sympathize makes you higher; you are not in a position that somebody else should sympathize with you.
The miserable person misunderstands your sympathy as love. Sympathy is not love; it is just a poor plastic substitute. Love is a real authentic living phenomenon. Misery is just asking for love - but nobody loves a miserable person; at the most you can manage to sympathize and run away.
What are you going to gain by being tense and unaware? You are going only to lose. For the first time you are out of the clouds and the sun is clear - and you are asking me, "Should I go again behind the black clouds?" I cannot suggest that, but I cannot impose on you any order that you should not.
If you want to move in circles and if it is your joy, you can do it. But remember, those who move in circles never progress. Progress has to be on a straight line, not in circles.
There is one caterpillar in Africa - a certain species of caterpillars very religious people in the old sense of the word - which always follows the leader; wherever he goes, they go behind. One scientist was working on these caterpillars and their strange behavior. Thousands of caterpillars will be going... they don't know who is ahead of them, who is the leader, but somebody must be.
He managed a small experiment that will be helpful to you. He brought a big round plate and put the caterpillars on that round plate. They started moving, but because the plate was round, soon they made a circle. Everybody found somebody else was ahead, so that must be the leader. Even the leader thought somebody was ahead, so somebody must be a bigger leader than me.
You will not believe the result of the experiment. For three days continuously they moved on; they were not going anywhere, but they could not stop either. Somebody was ahead, somebody was behind, and they stopped only when they started dying. By and by, other caterpillars threw those who died in the middle of the plate and continued their journey, their great pilgrimage. Finally they all died, but even the last one remained true to the tradition: without eating anything, without drinking anything, the poor fellows just followed the old ritual.
But you are not a species of caterpillar, you are human beings with intelligence. There is no need to go in circles of yes and no; it will never lead you anywhere. Whatever you will gain with yes, no will cancel. Whatever misery, tension, suffering you will gain with no, yes will destroy. But nothing will be in your hands, ever.
Unless you learn to move in a straight line like an arrow towards the goal, you will never reach anywhere. Don't be stupid, that's all I can say to you.
You are a beautiful person... because I hear Milarepa has fallen in love with you, and Milarepa is a very choosy fellow! Why not be beautiful inside also? - because the inside beauty is a thousandfold deeper than the outer beauty. The outer beauty fades one day - and whether it fades or not, Milarepa is going to fade away. He is not a monogamist; he does not believe in monotony. He believes in new pastures, adventures, it does not matter with whom.
But only your inner beauty can bring you close to me. Just beware of your mind dragging you into unawareness.
Yussel Rabinowitz and his wife Bessie were hiding from the Nazis in a secluded Berlin basement.
One day Yussel decided to get a breath of fresh air, but while out walking he came face to face with Adolf Hitler himself. The German leader pulled out a gun and pointed to a pile of horse-shit in the street. "All right, Jew!" he shouted, "Eat that or I'll kill you."
Trembling, Yussel did as he was ordered. Hitler began laughing so hard that he dropped his gun.
Yussel grabbed it and said, "Now you eat, or I'll shoot!"
The fuhrer got down on his hands and knees and began eating. While he was occupied, Yussel sneaked away and ran back to his basement. He slammed the door shut, bolted and locked it securely.
"Bessie, Bessie!" he shouted. "Guess who I had lunch with today!"