Become an outsider
MORE AND MORE IT HAPPENS THAT I'M ALONE, AND I AM BEGINNING TO LOVE AND ENJOY THIS SILENT SPACE. BUT A FEAR IS COMING UP: I AM AFRAID THAT IN THIS WAY I WILL LOSE CONTACT WITH OTHERS AND I WILL BECOME A STRANGER.
I FEEL A LONGING THAT BRINGS ME TOWARDS YOU, BUT A PASSION AND DESIRE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE SEEMS TO BE NO MORE THERE.
MY BELOVED MASTER, CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IS HAPPENING? AM I RIGHT OR AM I GOING ASTRAY?
Shantam Arjun, the question you have asked raises many significant questions which will be useful for everybody. You are asking, "More and more it happens that I am alone, and I am beginning to love and enjoy this silent space. But a fear is coming up: I am afraid that in this way I will lose contact with others and I will become a stranger."
To be a sannyasin is to be a stranger.
To be a sannyasin is to be an outsider.
You do not belong anymore to the crowd; you have chosen the path of a lion, to be alone, rather than the path of a sheep, to be always in the crowd. Now that it is happening to you, that you are beginning to love your aloneness, a fear is also arising that you may become a stranger; you may lose contact with others.
Have you ever thought what you have gained from the contact with others? What is the end result of being in the crowd, except misery, anxiety, agony? What has been the contribution of the crowd to you? Yes, it has given you greed, it has given you violence, it has given you ambitions, which are all ugly. It has given you self-hatred, it has given you a constant desiring for the future - but that is a strategy to take you away from the present.
And remember, your longing for the future is never going to be fulfilled. All fulfillment is in the present.
And the only people who have attained anything worthwhile are the people who have the courage to be strangers.
There is certainly a fear in the beginning, because the more you become a stranger, the more you are condemned; the more you become a stranger, the more you feel yourself without any support.
You were always supported and you have forgotten that you can stand on your own; there is no need of any support. In fact all supports have made you crippled. If a child is supported, carried from the very beginning, he will never learn to walk on his own.
To be an outsider means you have dropped all that has been given by the past as heritage. That heritage has nothing beautiful in it; it is full of bloodshed, wars, hatred. There is not a single thing that comes to you as heritage which can be rejoiced in. If you are alert - and your aloneness is bound to make you very alert - you will be able to see that you have been carrying all kinds of garbage given to you by the older generation. There is not anything of any value, because anything of any value has to be discovered by yourself; it cannot be given to you by anyone else.
In the crowd, the idea is very strong that you can gain knowledge from others; that you can become wise from others' advice; that you can become religious by believing in others; that you can become spiritual if you are obedient to the commandments of God. But it is always others you have to look up to. You yourself are absolutely worthless; anything of value is going to happen to you only through others. This idea has been propagated and everybody has been poisoned by this idea. That is the fear when you start moving on a small footpath, leaving the superhighway.
They say - or they used to say in the past, but it is no longer relevant - that all roads lead to Rome.
But not all footpaths - every footpath moves on its own, to its own destiny. Now even the roads have revolted; they have forgotten Rome completely. It is very rarely that any old rotten road may be going to the Vatican.
The fear is natural, but it has to be dropped. To be carried away by the fear will be very unintelligent.
Secondly, experience shows that in the beginning, by being alone in your own silent spaces of the heart, you feel you are losing contact with others. But don't you see me? Can you find a man who is more an outsider and a stranger in the whole world? Yes, I have lost contact with all kinds of idiots; now I only have contact with those who are thirsty and those who are understanding and those who want to evolve into spiritual beings. Now this commune of friends and fellow travelers has a totally different meaning than being in the crowd.
The crowd crushes your individuality, destroys your freedom, humiliates you to such a point that you start hating yourself instead of loving yourself. The society has been dominated by a very wrong psychology. It looks logical but it is not psychological. And logic is something man-made; psychology is not something man-made.
The logic behind humiliating each individual to such a point that he cannot love himself is that if you love yourself, how are you going to love others? And the society and the family and the nation and the religion - everyone is interested in your loving others. Love your wife, love your children, love your parents, love your teachers, love everybody except yourself. It is a simple logic - that if you love yourself, you will not care much about the wife or the husband or the children or the parents or the priests.
This fear has dominated humanity for thousands of years. But this fear was absolutely wrong because it has not created what they were thinking. It is a simple psychological fact that a man who cannot love himself cannot love anybody else. But that is not logical, that is a psychological truth. If you cannot love yourself, you don't know even the taste of love or what love means.
So you can pretend: you love your children, you love your wife, you love your husband, you love your parents - but it is all pretension. If so many people in the world were loving, where does war come from? From where is all kinds of violence continuously coming? From where is hatred arising if everybody is so loving?
You have to love your children, your wife, your husband, your parents, your priests, elders, neighbors - there are even teachers like Jesus who say you have to love your enemies too. Just don't love yourself! This strange logic has destroyed your very roots of loving.
I say unto you: first and foremost, love yourself. And if you can love yourself, others will start getting your love very naturally, without any pretensions, very spontaneously. A man full of love soon starts overflowing. You cannot contain your love into the small space you have within you; your love is far greater than you are. Your love can fill the whole earth. A single man's love can fill the whole universe. It is so vast that you can go on sharing with everybody.
But if your very source remains closed, then all that is left is to pretend. Everybody is pretending; that's why there is so much talk about love, so much poetry, so much literature. And if you look around, you don't find love anywhere, you never encounter it.
I want the whole universe to be a loving, rejoicing universe. But I see where humanity has failed, where its teachers, messengers of God and saviors have taken a wrong route. They listened to logic and they forgot that logic is absolutely man-made; it has nothing to do with your nature. Nature has no obligation to fulfill logical conclusions. If your nature can be heard, it will become a simple thing to understand.
Love yourself, so that all your loving sources become open, all blocks are removed. And if you can love yourself - with all your frailties, with all your weaknesses, with all your errors - you can love anybody in the world. You will have tremendous compassion and understanding, because you commit the same mistakes; the same are your errors, the same are your frailties.
The people who have never loved themselves have never come in contact with themselves. Yes, they are in contact with others, but it is a very strange situation: if you are not in contact with yourself, how can you be in contact with others?
Who is going to be in contact with others?
Who are you?
At that point you simply don't know. You know that you have a contact with your friend, you have a contact with your children, you have a contact with your mother - but who are you? And the same is the situation of your mother, your friend, your children - they don't know who they are. Nobody knows who he is, and everybody is in contact with everybody else. Can you think of any greater insanity than this situation?
Once you become an outsider, settled, confirmed, you will be surprised that now authentic contacts start happening, because now you are in contact with your own being. You have such a magnetic pull that those who are seeking, those who are searching, those who are longing for something to happen in their life - those who don't want to live an empty and meaningless life will start coming in contact with you.
This contact will have some great significance. You will be fulfilling each other without destroying each other. You will be loving but not possessive. You will help but you will not enslave. You will support - but not to exploit; just out of your love, friendliness, out of your understanding, whatever happens will be right.
Of course you will not be part of the big world of retarded people whose mental age is not more than fourteen. This is enough for being a postman or a stationmaster or a president - any trivia. I don't see any difference between a stationmaster and a president of a country: both are small flies pretending to be something great. You will not be in contact with these psychologically retarded people, but you will come in contact with real, authentic, intelligent, loving human beings who have understanding, who have compassion. And because they can love themselves, they can also love you.
My experience, Arjun, is very different. The moment my blindness disappeared, the moment I found my own being, I could not believe how people started coming to me. I had not advertised myself in any newspaper, and suddenly, walking on the streets, somebody would stop me, feeling a little embarrassed that he is stopping an absolute stranger. He would say, "Something in you makes me feel to be friendly with you."
I would say, "How many friends can I manage?"
One of the friends arranged a bungalow for me. It was big enough, but soon it was continuously full of guests coming from faraway places. I told the friend, "Something has to be done because we don't have space." I have suffered from lack of space my whole life, and I am still suffering.
A few sannyasins are continuously searching for more space, because more people are coming, threatening that they are coming!
I have never found myself a stranger. On the contrary, I have found people who are on the same wavelength. I have found people who are filled with the same music. Slowly, slowly people started coming from outside India, and now perhaps this is the only gathering in the world which has its brothers, its sisters, in every country.
Yet there is no church, no dogma, no belief system. What is holding all these people together? I am not promising you any heaven or paradise, and neither am I threatening you with any hell "if you don't believe in me, beware of eternal darkness and hellfire." Neither am I making you afraid, nor am I making you greedy for pleasures in heaven. I am not promising you anything; in fact I am taking away all the promises which others have given to you.
Why has this small commune of friends become an international commune? I don't feel you will remain for long a stranger or an outsider if you authentically enjoy your aloneness and the beauty that showers when you are a pure silence and nothing else, and the flowers that blossom in that spring of aloneness. You will find for the first time those people to whom you belong.
It will not take much effort on your part to search for them. It is very difficult to search, but if you simply remain in your silence, your silence will be heard more loudly than any noise. Your love will start radiating, spreading its net, pulling people without their being even fully aware of where they are going and for what. They will realize only when they have arrived and become a part of this big caravan. What is happening to you is one of the greatest things that can happen to a person.
You say, "I feel a longing that brings me towards you." The same longing will be felt by many, which will bring them to you just as a longing has brought you to me. Learn from this.
I have nothing to give you.
I cannot give you a direct contact with God, because as far as I am concerned there is no God, and there is no heaven and no hell. That's how I am dismantling all beliefs that the past has given to you. I want you to be without beliefs, without promises, without future, without past - just enjoying the moment in its fullness.
This is your moment, just as it is my moment.
And if in our rejoicing we meet, it does not create a bondage. If in our total living of the present we find ourselves in deep love, in deep friendliness, it does not create any chains, it does not make any contracts; it has nothing to do with the next moment. This moment lived totally and intensely becomes almost equal to eternity. It is enough unto itself.
You are saying, "But a passion and desire to fall in love with someone seems to be no more there."
Once you have tasted something of higher quality, it is simply natural that things of lower quality will not attract you. If a longing has arisen in you to come close to me... now you cannot think of continuing your old passions and desires and love affairs which you used to think were great. Now you are having the greatest love affair possible.
Such affairs will be happening more and more. You will live on a totally different plane of consciousness, and lower planes will be left far behind. But you are not a loser, you are a winner.
You are growing.
You are worried whether you are right or you are going astray. As far as the crowd is concerned, you are not right, never can be right, and you are certainly going astray. That will be the judgment of the crowd. Because you have left the crowd, their scriptures, their religions, their ideologies, you don't belong to them, naturally, according to them you are not right, can never be right, and you have certainly gone astray.
But according to me you have rightly gone astray. Nothing could have been more right than going astray from the crowd.
A doctor who worked in a psychiatric hospital got a flat tire in the parking lot, and when he took the wheel off he dropped the wheel-nuts down the drain. He was at a loss what to do when one of the inmates walked up and told him to take one nut from each of the other wheels and that would last until he got to a garage.
The doctor was very impressed and said, "That's good thinking on your part, young man. Why are you in here?"
The man replied, "I'm crazy, not stupid."
It is perfectly good here to be crazy, but not to be stupid. This place is for all kinds of crazy people, because they are the very cream of humanity. But this place is not for nuts, not for stupid idiots. You have certainly gone astray from the crowd, but you have found your people here.
I never for a single moment think that there is a world beyond you.
You are my world.
I have completely forgotten what is happening in the world - whether it exists anymore or not, whether the third world war has happened or has yet to happen. I am not concerned with it at all; my concern is only with the people with whom I feel a synchronicity, the same heartbeat.
And once you start feeling the same heartbeat with these beautiful people who are here and around the world, you will not feel lonely. You will certainly remain alone, but you will never feel lonely.
You will remain a stranger to the world, but I have gathered all kinds of strangers; you will not be a stranger here.
Here everybody is a stranger, everybody is an outsider. Amongst my people, nobody will condemn you, nobody will say that you are worthless. You will be loved and respected as you are, not as you should be. Shoulds we have dropped; we live in the existential and the real. We don't insist that "first you should be according to my ideal and then I will love you."
Once when I was a child my father told me, "Unless you follow the religion of our family, which our ancestors have followed for thousands of years, you will not get my love."
I said, "If there is a condition, then you love your ancestors, you love your religion, you love your ideals, moralities - you don't love me. Unless your love is unconditional it is not love, and if it is not unconditional I am not going to accept it. Don't think that it is just you who are in the situation of loving me; I am also a part of it. I can reject it. If I see even a small condition hiding behind it, I am the last person to accept it. I can live without your love, but I cannot accept a love which has a condition attached to it. It is not love at all."
The whole day he must have thought about it. In the night when I was going to sleep he came and he said, "I am sorry. I understand what you said. Perhaps I was just imposing my ideals on you in the name of love."
How can love impose ideals on anyone? Love simply accepts you as you are; there is no need to be somebody else. I call a place holy only where love is unconditional, shared without asking anything in return, not even in a subtle way.
So, Arjun, don't be worried. You may be a little crazy; that is absolutely acceptable, lovable, because a man who is not a little crazy is too much of a square. He does not have any juice.
Now my Veeresh is here, hiding himself; this is the crazy type of man I am talking about. He has been following me everywhere on my world tour, but always hiding, just like that. He has not even a desire to be recognized - "I have been following you all around the earth" - but a pure love. He goes on working for me in Europe, in every possible way, doing whatever he can do. He puts his total energy into it and when he comes here - and he must be wanting to come here every day - he hides.
That's the way of unconditional love. It is enough that I have looked into his eyes. It is enough... If I can catch hold of him once in a while he is fulfilled, he is contented; that I have recognized him, I remember him - that's enough.
You cannot expect anything unexpected from a man who is not at all crazy, has no color, no juice.
He is just an ordinary businessman type - not a poet, not a painter, not a singer, not a musician, not a dancer, not a meditator. These things are closed for your so-called sane, sober, respectable people of the society. These respectable people have not contributed anything to the world to make it more beautiful; only the people who have been called crazy by their contemporaries have been the creative people, the contributors. The whole evolution depends on them.
Just think about the first monkey who jumped out of the tree and became a man.... What do you think other monkeys would have thought about him? "Look at that crazy guy - is this the way to be a monkey? standing on two legs, on the earth? An outsider, a stranger..." They must all have laughed and enjoyed very much that this fellow has gone crazy, and it must have been talked about for centuries, from generation to generation amongst monkeys. Perhaps they still talk about it - that just one crazy monkey has created five billion crazy monkeys on the earth.
People like Gautam Buddha or Socrates or Pythagoras or Jesus are all outsiders and strangers to their contemporaries. They are all thought to be a little off the track, a little outlandish. And because the crowd, the majority is there... and they write the history books. They don't talk about the authentic contributors, they talk about the destructive people. The whole of history is full of Adolf Hitlers, Benito Mussolinis, Joseph Stalins. Very rarely, in the footnotes, you will find something about Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Plotinus, Kabir - perhaps not even in the footnotes. And these are the real people who have lived, who have loved and who have created as much humanity, as much consciousness as is possible to a single individual.
Rejoice in being a stranger; rejoice in being an outsider. That is your way to satyam, shivam, sundram. That is the way which will bring you the truth, and the divine, and the tremendous splendor and beauty that follows on its own accord.
NOT COUNTING THE DISCOURSES, IS TWENTY MINUTES OF MEDITATION A DAY ENOUGH TO SEE ME ALONG THE PATH AND LEAD ME TO EXPERIENCE THE SATYAM, SHIVAM, SUNDRAM YOU ARE POINTING US TOWARDS?
Vimal, first you cannot be allowed not to count the discourses, because your meditations cannot happen without these discourses. These discourses are the foundations of your meditation. I am crazy but not that crazy that I should go on speaking four hours a day if it does not help you in meditation! Do you think I am trying to distract you from meditation?
And then you are such a miser, Vimal. I never thought you were so miserly that just twenty minutes in twenty-four hours... not even twenty-four minutes!
You have missed my basic standpoint completely. I don't want you to think of meditation within limits; I want meditation to become your very life. In the past this has been one of the fallacies: you meditate twenty minutes, or you meditate three times a day, you meditate five times a day - different religions, but the basic idea is that a few minutes every day should be given to meditation.
And what will you do in the remaining time? Whatever you will gain in twenty minutes... what are you going to do in the remaining twenty-three hours and forty minutes? Something anti-meditative, and naturally your twenty minutes will be defeated. The enemies are too big, and you are giving too much juice and energy to the enemies and just twenty minutes for meditation. No, meditation in the past has not been able to bring a rebellion in the world because of these fallacies.
These fallacies are the reasons I want you to look at meditation from a totally different standpoint.
You can learn meditation for twenty minutes or forty minutes - learning is one thing - but then you have to carry whatever you have learned day in, day out. Meditation has to become just like your heartbeat.
You cannot say, "Is it enough, Osho, to breathe for twenty minutes every day?" - the next day will never come. Even while you are asleep you continue breathing. Nature has not left the essential functions of your body and life in your hands. Nature has not trusted you, because if breathing were in your hands you would start thinking how much to breathe and whether it is right to breathe while you are sleeping. It looks a little odd doing two things together - sleeping and breathing. Breathing seems to be a kind of disturbance in sleeping. But then the sleep will be eternal!
Your heartbeat, your blood circulation are not under your control. Nature has kept everything that is essential in its own hands. You are not reliable; you can forget, and then there is no time even to say, "I am sorry, I forgot to breathe. Just give me one chance more!" Even that much opportunity is not there.
But meditation is not part of your biology, your physiology, your chemistry; it is not part of ordinary natural flow. If you want to remain just a human being for eternity, you can remain there. Nature has come to a point of evolution where more than this is not needed: you are perfectly capable of reproducing children and that's enough. You will die, your children will continue. Your children will carry on the same stupidities that you were doing. Some people will be coming into the congregation, into the churches; some other idiot will be giving sermons, and the whole thing will continue - don't be worried.
Nature has come to a point where now, unless you take individual responsibility, you cannot grow.
More than this nature cannot do. It has done enough. It has given you life, it has given you opportunity; now how to use it, it has left up to you.
Meditation is your freedom, not a biological necessity. You can learn in a certain period of time every day to strengthen meditation, to make it stronger - but carry the flavor of it the whole day.
First, while you are awake - the moment you wake up, immediately catch hold of the thread of remaining alert and conscious, because that is the most precious moment to catch the thread of consciousness. Many times in the day you will forget - but the moment you remember, immediately start being alert. Never repent, because that is a sheer wastage of time. Never repent, "My God, I forgot again!"
In my teachings there is no place for any repentance. Whatever has happened is gone, now there is no need to waste time on it. Catch hold again of the thread of awareness. Slowly, slowly you will be able to be alert the whole day - an undercurrent of awareness in every act, in every movement, in everything that you are doing, or not doing. Something underneath will be continuously flowing.
Even when you go to sleep, leave the thread only at the last moment when you cannot do anything because you are falling asleep. Whatever is the last thing before you fall asleep will be the first thing when you wake up. Try it. Any small experiment will be enough to prove it.
Just repeat your own name while you are falling asleep: half awake, half asleep, go on repeating, "Vimal, Vimal, Vimal." Slowly, slowly you will forget repeating, because the sleep will grow more and more and the thread will be lost. It is lost only because you are asleep, but underneath your sleep it continues. That's why in the morning when you wake up and just look around, the first thing you will remember will be "Vimal, Vimal." You will be surprised: Why? What happened? You slept eight hours, but there has been an undercurrent.
And as things become deeper and clearer, even in sleep you can remember that you are asleep.
Sleep becomes almost a physiological thing and your spirit, your being, becomes a flame of awareness, separate from it. It does not disturb your sleep; it simply makes your sleep very light. It is no more the sleep of the old days, when your house was on fire and you went on sleeping - that was almost like a coma, you were so unconscious.
Your sleep will become thin, a very light layer, and your inside will remain alert. Just as it has been alert in the day, it will be even more alert in the night, finally, because you are so silent, so relaxed.
The whole nuisance world becomes completely silent.
Patanjali, the first man in the world to write about meditation, says that meditation is almost like dreamless sleep, but with only one difference. In dreamless sleep you are not aware; in samadhi, in the ultimate state of meditation, there is just a little difference - you are aware.
Vimal, you can continue to learn, to refresh for twenty minutes every day, to give more energy and more roots - but don't be satisfied that that's enough. That's how the whole of humanity failed.
Although the whole of humanity has tried in some way or other, so few people have been successful that many people by and by stopped even trying, because success seems to be so far away. But the reason is that just twenty minutes or ten minutes won't do.
I can understand that you have many things to do. So find time - but that time is not meditation; that time is only to refresh yourself, and then again you will have to work, earn, do your job, and a thousand and one things. Just remain alert whether it is still there inside or it has disappeared.
This continuity then becomes a garland of twenty-four hours. Only then, Vimal, will you be able to experience satyam, shivam, sundram - not before it.
A lion was walking through the forest taking a poll to determine who was the greatest among all the wildlife animals. When he saw the hippopotamus, he inquired, "Who is king of the forest?"
"You are," said the hippopotamus.
Next he met a giraffe. "Who is king of the forest?" he inquired.
"You are," said the giraffe.
Next he met the elephant. He gave him a good rap on the knee and said, "And who is the king of the forest?"
The elephant picked him up in his trunk and swung him against the tree. As the lion slid down, brushing himself off, he said, "You don't have to get so mad just because you don't know the right answer."
Vimal, unfortunately I know the right answer. I will not get mad at you, but certainly I will tell you where you are wrong and where you are right.
First, sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creating more and more meditativeness in you. I don't speak to teach something; I speak to create something. These are not lectures; these are simply a device for you to become silent, because if you are told to become silent without making any effort you will find great difficulty.
That's what Zen teachers have been telling their disciples: "Be silent, but don't make any effort."
Now, you are putting the person into such a difficult fix: Don't make any effort and be silent.... If he makes any effort he is wrong - and there is no way to be silent without making any effort. If it were possible to be silent without any effort there would have been no need of any master, there would have been no need of teaching meditation. People would have become silent without any effort.
I have gone as deep into Zen efforts as possible. They have been working for almost fourteen centuries, since Bodhidharma. They are one of the greatest groups in the world, totally devoted to a single thing, and that is meditation. There is no other experiment anywhere which has been done for so long a time continuously. But still there are not many Zen masters.
Yes, there are more masters in the stream of Zen than in any other stream in the world, but still they are very few compared to the people who have been working. I have been searching out what was the basic mistake - and this is the basic mistake, Vimal: those Zen masters told them the right thing, but not in the right way. I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is for the first time being used as a strategy to create silence in you.
This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed; that's why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times, because it is not a speech, so it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously different experiment was going on.
Just in a moment, when I became silent, you become silent.... What remains is just a pure awaiting.
You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort. I enjoy to talk. It is not an effort.
I love to see you silent.
I love to see you laugh.
I love to see you dance.
But in all these activities, the fundamental remains meditation.
This is for you all, absolutely unrelated with anything.
Hymie and Becky Goldberg are with their teen-age son, Herschel, on holiday in California. Herschel is jogging down the beach when he happens to see someone drowning, not far from the shore.
Rushing into the surf, he pulls the man out. Much to his surprise it is Ronald Reagan.
The president sits up in the sand, and when he finally manages to catch his breath, he says, "Young man, that was a heroic deed you just did. In such uncertain times as today, with the stock market crash and the Middle East crisis, the world can't do without me. Tell me son, if there is anything I can do for you, just let me know."
Herschel thinks for a minute, "You know there is one thing."
"Name it," Ronald Reagan urges.
"I would like to be buried with my surfboard in Surfers' Paradise Beach, here in California."
The request takes Ronald Reagan by surprise. "I don't understand," he says. "From the looks of you, you're in perfect health."
"Oh, I am," answers Herschel. "But when my father Hymie Goldberg finds out whose life I just saved, he's gonna kill me!"