LAO TZU SAYS:
WHO KNOWS THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS THE HIGHEST; WHO PRETENDS TO KNOW WHAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS SICKMINDED.
AND WHO RECOGNIZES SICKMINDEDNESS AS SICKMINDEDNESS, IS NOT SICKMINDED. THE SAGE IS NOT SICKMINDED. BECAUSE HE RECOGNIZES SICKMINDEDNESS AS SICKMINDEDNESS, THEREFORE HE IS NOT SICKMINDED.
Man is like an onion, exactly like an onion; layers and layers of personality; and behind all those layers is hidden the essence.
That essence is like emptiness, SUNYA, void. It is more like non-being than like being, because being has a limitation, a boundary to it. But that innermost core has no boundary to it, it has no limitation, it is just a freedom, a free flow of energy, infinite in its dimensions.
Unless one goes on peeling his layers of personality to the very end, and rediscovers the essence, one remains sickminded. Sickmindedness is being stuck somewhere, frozen somewhere.
Sickmindedness is being blocked. It is an impasse - it is exactly how the word sounds: you cannot pass through it. You are blocked. You do not have a freedom to flow and to be, and not to be. You are forced to be something. You are more like a solid rock than like a river.
Freedom is health. Being blocked, stuck, is sickmindedness. And everybody, almost everybody, is sick. Rarely it happens that one gathers courage to penetrate to the very innermost core of non-being. Then one becomes a Buddha: whole, healthy, holy.
We have to understand these layers because the very understanding is a healing force. If you understand exactly where you are blocked? the blocks start melting - this is the miracle, the miracle of understanding a thing. The very understanding helps it to melt. No other thing is needed to be done. If you really exactly know, if you can pinpoint where you are blocked, where you are frozen, where the impasse exists, then just being aware of it, knowing it in its totality, starts it melting.
Knowing is a healing force. And once it starts melting you again regain the flow. You become flowing!
The first layer of your personality is the most superficial - the layer of formalities, socialities. It is needed; nothing is wrong in it. You meet a person on the road, you know the person, if you don't say anything, and he also doesn't say anything, no social formality is fulfilled, you both feel embarrassed.
Something has to be done. Not that you mean it, but it is a social lubricant; so the first layer I call:
THE LAYER OF THE LUBRICANT. It helps smoothness. It is the layer of: Good morning; How are you? Great! Fine! Nice weather! Well, be seeing you; this layer. This is good! Nothing is wrong in it.
If you use it, it is beautiful. But if you are used by it, and you have become frozen in it, and you have lost all contact with your innermost being, you never move beyond this, then you are stuck, you are sickminded.
It is beautiful to say 'Good morning' to somebody, but a person who never says more than that is very yery ill. He has no contact with life. In fact, these formalities are not a lubricant to him, on the contrary, they have become a withdrawal, an avoidance. You see somebody, you say 'Good morning' to avoid him, so that you can go on your own way, and he can go on his; to escape from him.
This social formality has become a frozen thing with millions of people; they live on this layer, they never move beyond it: etiquette, mannerism, words, chatter - -always on the surface. They talk, not to communicate, they talk to avoid communication. They talk to avoid the embarrassing situation in which you encounter the other. They are closed people. If their life is a misery there is no wonder in it. If they live in hell, it is obvious they have to live in hell. In fact they are dead people.
The founder of Gestalt therapy, Fritz Perls, used to call this layer the CHICKEN SHIT layer; dead, dry.
Many people live in the chicken shit. Their whole life is just a useless formality. They move nowhere, they are stuck at the door, they have not entered the chamber of life. It has many chambers, they are just standing at the door, on the steps. Steps are good if you overstep them, they are dangerous if you start clinging to them.
So remember, a healthy person uses the formality layer; then it is a lubricant, it is beautiful. An unhealthy person makes it his whole life; smiles - does not mean it, laughs - does not mean it. If somebody is dead - he becomes sad, cries-, even tears flow down; all false! He does not mean it.
He never means anything. He is just continuously on show, continuously on display. His whole life is just an exhibition. He cannot enjoy it, because he cannot move withinwards.
Formality is not a relationship. It can help, it can hinder. A healthy person uses it to go deeper. An unhealthy person becomes stuck in it. You can see those people all around, smiling in Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs. Chicken shit people. Always well-dressed, groomed, looking perfectly okay - and absolutely wrong. Completely ill. Utterly unhealthy. But just SHOWING.
This becomes a fixed pattern with them. When they come back from the Rotary Club or the Lions Club they talk to their children - but just on the same level. They make love to their wives - but just on the same level. Their whole Life is a long series of mannerisms. Books on etiquette are their Bibles; Gitas and Koran, and they think if they fulfil whatsoever is required of them by the society, they have achieved.
This layer has to be broken. Remain aware that you don't get caught. Remain aware; if you are stuck at this level, become aware! The very awareness will help the block to melt, evaporate; and the energy will be available to enter into the second layer.
The second layer is of roles and games. The first layer has no contact with life, the second layer sometimes can have glimpses. In the second layer are: I am the husband, you are the wife; or, I am the wife, you are the husband; I am the father, you are the child; I am the President of the United States, the Queen of England, or Chairman Mao Tse tung, Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, all the politicians of the world - they live on the second, the layer of role playing.
Everybody goes on thinking that he is the greatest man in the world. Just the other day one sannyasin was saying to me that he dreamt that he is the greatest man in the world. I told him:
Don't be puzzled, everybody dreams the same - the greatest man in the world, the greatest poet, the greatest philosopher, greatest this and that.... The layer of the ego - the second layer.
You go on playing roles. You continuously have to change your role. You are sitting in your room and the servant enters; you have to change your role to the role of the master, the bully. You look at the servant as if he is not a human being. The boss! - You are the boss, and he is a nonentity. And then your boss enters - suddenly the role changes. Now you are nobody, you are wagging your tail, the boss has come and you are standing....
Continuously twenty-four hours a day in each relationship you have a different role to play. Nothing wrong in it, a beautiful drama - if you are not stuck in it. It needs to be played, life IS a great drama.
In East we have called it the LEELA of the divine, the play of God.
It is a play; one has to play many roles but one need not become fixed in any role. And, one should remain always free of all roles; roles should be like clothes - you can any time jump out of them. If that capability is retained, you are not stuck, then you can play a role - nothing is wrong in it. As far as it goes it is beautiful, but if it becomes your life and you don't know anything beyond, then it is dangerous. Then you go on playing a thousand and one games in life and you never come in contact with life. Fritz Perls calls it the layer of BULLSHIT.
Very big layer. Many people are caught in it; up to the neck they are full with bullshit. They carry the whole burden of the world, as if the whole world depends on them. If they ARE NOT, what will happen to the world? There will be chaos. Everything will be destroyed if they are not there - they are holding everything in place.
These people are very sick. The first type of people are absolutely sick but they are not very dangerous. The second layer of people are not so absolutely sick but they are more dangerous, because they become the politicians, the generals, the power holders, millionaires, they accumulate money and power and prestige and this and that, and they play GREAT games. And because of their games millions of people are not allowed even a glimpse of life. Millions are sacrificed because of their games.
If you are stuck in the second - become alert. Remember always there are two possibilities at every level. The first layer is a lubricant for a man who understand it; nothing wrong in it, it helps; it smooths movement into the world. Millions of people are there, much conflict is there - bound to be, and if you are a little formal with people, you know how to behave, it helps - you and others also; nothing wrong in it. But if it becomes the whole thing then everything goes wrong. Then the medicine becomes the poison.
This distinction has to be remembered continuously on every level. On the second level, if you are just enjoying the game, KNOWING WELL that this is a game, and you are not serious about it - the moment you become serious it is no more a game, it has become the reality, then you are caught - if you enjoy it as fun: perfectly good! Enjoy it! Help others to enjoy it; the whole world is a great stage, but don't be serious about it.
Seriousness means illness has entered into your being. Now you think this is the whole, becoming President of the United States is all; you sacrifice yourself and others and you use all sorts of means to achieve this end, and when it is fulfilled, you find nothing is fulfilled. Because it was just on the game layer, a dream thing. When you awake you are deeply frustrated - your whole life gone, nothing achieved.
This is the frustration of rich people. This is the frustration of affluent countries. This is the frustration of all those who become successful. When they succeed, then they suddenly fail. Then they come face to face with the fact that they have wasted their life in a game.
Remember, be alert, otherwise, if you are not stuck at the first layer you will be stuck at the second.
Then there is a third layer: the layer of chaos. Because of this third layer people are afraid to move inwards; that's why they get stuck in the second layer.
In the second layer everything is clean, clear. The rules are known, because every game has its rules. If you know the rules, you can play the game. Nothing is mysterious in the second layer. Two plus two always make four in the second layer - not so in the third. The third is not like the second, it is chaos: tremendous energy, with no rules! You become afraid. The third layer gives you fear.
That's why when you start meditating, and you fall from the second layer to the third, you feel chaos.
Suddenly, you don't know who you are! The world of who is who, is the second, the bullshit layer. If you want to know about the second go and consult the book WHO'S WHO? They are published all over the world. The names of the people there are of the second layer.
In the third layer suddenly you become aware that you don't know who you are! Identity is lost, rules disappear, tremendous chaos, a vast ocean in-a storm; beautiful if you can understand. If you cannot understand: very very terrible. This third layer, if understood well, and if you can remain mindful in it, will give you the first glimpse, the first vital glimpse of life. Otherwise you will go neurotic.
In the third layer people go mad. They are more honest than the people who belong to the first and second layer. A man who has gone mad has simply dropped formalities, has dropped the role playing, and has allowed the chaos to envelop him. He is better than your politicians, at least he is more sincere and truer to life.
I'm not saying: Go and become neurotics, go and become mad; but madness happens at the third layer. All great artists belong to the third layer, and all great artists are prone to become mad. A Van Gogh goes mad. Why? Artists, musicians, poets, painters - they belong to the third; they are sincere people, more sincere than your politicians, than your so-called monks, popes, so-called mahatmas - they all belong to the second layer, playing a role - of being a mahatma. The third layer is of more sincere, honest people, but - the danger is there; they are so sincere and honest that they fall into the chaos; they don't cling to the world of rules, and then they are in the storm.
If one can remain alert in the third layer, aware, meditative - that chaos turns into a cosmos. It is chaos because you are not centred, not aware. If you are aware it becomes a cosmos, an order; and not the order of human rules - the order of Tao, the order of what Indians have called the DHARMA, DHAMMA, RIT; the ultimate order, not manmade.
And, if you remain alert, the chaos is there but you are not in the chaos, you transcend it - awareness is a transcending phenomenon. You know all around is chaos, but deep within you there is no chaos.
Suddenly you are above it, you are not lost in it.
Poets, painters, musicians, get lost in it because they don't know how to be aware. But they are more honest people. In the madhouses of the world there are more honest people than in the capitals of the world. And if I am allowed my way I will turn capitals into madhouses. People who are in madhouses need help, they need Masters, to take them beyond the third to the fourth. Sufis have a particular word for the third layer people, they call them MASTAS: mad, but mad in the love of God.
They are mad! For all practical purposes they are mad. They need a Master who can hold their hand and take them to the fourth. At the third layer a Master is needed.
If you belong to the first layer, you don't need a Master. If you belong to the second layer, there is no question of, no search for a Master. Only people of the third layer start searching, hunting, for a Master, somebody who can give them help in their moments of chaos.
In the third layer the possibilities are two. You can become mad - that is the fear, that is why people cling to the second layer, they cling deeply, afraid, because if they lose hold they will be falling into chaos - you all know it, that if you don't cling to the roles you will fall into chaos.
You play the game of the husband or the wife; if you drop playing the game you know you will go mad. You go on playing the game that society has enforced on you, afraid that if you drop out of it - where will you drop? Drop out of the society and you drop into chaos. Then all certainty is lost.
So one possibility is confusion, neurosis, madhouse; another possibility is: if you remain alert, meditative, aware, the chaos becomes utterly beautiful. Then it is not chaos, it has an order of its own, an inner order of its own. Even the storm is beautiful if you can remain alert in it and don't get identified. Then the chaos surrounds you like a tremendous energy moving all around, and you stand just in the centre, unaffected, your awareness not touched at all. This gives you for the first time a glimpse of WHAT SANITY IS.
People who belong to the second layer only LOOK sane, they are not sane. Force them to the third and they will become insane. People who are in the third AND aware - they are sane, they cannot be forced to become mad; no situation can force them to become mad. People in the second layer are always on the very boundary. A little push - the market goes down or they become bankrupt or the wife dies, or the son becomes a hippie - and they fall into the third; they become mad.
People on the second level are always ready to become mad; any situation, just a little push. They are boiling at ninety-nine degrees; only one degree more is needed - and that can happen any moment. And they will be mad.
One who moves into the third, aware, goes beyond madness. Then, there is the fourth layer. If you pass the third, only then can you enter the fourth. If you have faced chaos, if you have faced the anarchy of the inner world, then you become capable of entering the fourth.
The fourth is the death level, the death plane. After the chaos one has to face death - the chaos prepares you.
On the fourth, if you reach, you will have a sudden feeling of dying - you are dying. In deep meditation when you touch the fourth you start feeling that you are dying. Or - because meditation is not such a universal experience - in deep sexual orgasm also you feel that you are dying.
All over the world people of different culture, language, conditioning, whenever they feel orgasm, suddenly a feeling of death overtakes them. People are even found to utter - particularly women, when they are in deep orgasm and their whole body is vibrating with an unknown rhythm, is filled with vital energy, has become a dance, women all over the world have been known to utter words like: I am dying! Kill me completely!
In indian treatises on sex it is said: Never keep a parrot or a mynah bird in the love chamber, because he can learn, when you are making love and if you utter such cries of utter joy as: I am dying! the parrot or the mynah can learn it, and then he can do the same, and it can be an embarrassing thing with guests and other people. So never keep a parrot in the love chamber.
That's why women have been suppressed all over the world, through all the centuries, to not utter a single word - in fact they have been conditioned NOT to have orgasm because it is very dangerous; you feel a deathlike freedom. The ego dies. Suddenly the whole identity is lost. You are no more there, just life vibrating, life unknown! Life unnamed! Life which cannot be categorized. Just LIFE.
You are not there, the wave has disappeared, the ocean is there.
To have a deep orgasm is to have an oceanic feeling of being totally lost. Women have been forced not to be active in lovemaking, because if they are active they are more prone - because they have a subtler and more delicate body - to feel the deathlike phenomenon of orgasm. They have been forced not to utter a single word; not to move; they should remain in SHAVASAN, just lying dead, frozen.
And man has also become aware that if he really moves deep into orgasm it gives a very very shaking experience, tremendously shaking, shocking; it is death. He will never be the same again.
So man has learnt a local orgasm, just at the genitals, his whole body is not involved. And for centuries women have completely forgotten that they can have orgasm. It is only just two decades before that we again have rediscovered that woman has a capacity of orgasm; not only of orgasm, but a capacity of MULTIPLE orgasm; that she is more powerful than man, and she can move deeper than man into orgasm - no man can compete with a woman. But it has been suppressed and hidden for centuries.
In the East women have completely forgotten what orgasm is. If I talk to an Indian woman, and I use the word orgasm, she cannot understand - What do you mean? Impossible! It has been taught to her that it is only man who enjoys sex, not woman; that it is not womanly to enjoy it.
Why this suppression? And why all over the world has sex been suppressed so deeply? Sex is similar to death, that is the reason. And all cultures suppress two things: sex and death. And they are so similar that you can almost say they are two aspects of the same coin.
And they have to be, because it is through sex that life is born; it must be through sex that the life disappears again. The original source must be the end of the circle also. Through sex the wave of life arises - it must subside into sex again. So sex IS life and sex IS death.
The same happens in meditation. You move into such a deep tuning, turning in, that suddenly you pass the third layer of chaos. You are dying! And if you become afraid, then there will be a block. In people who have become afraid of meditation, and then make all sorts of rationalizations not to do it, a block exists. But if you remain alert and allow death, you become deathless. You know death happening all around, and you are not dying. DYING and yet not dying. DYING UTTERLY - and yet utterly alive! That is the most beautiful experience a man can have.
At this fourth stage again two possibilities are there. (On every layer two possibilities are there.) One: if you really become dead without awareness, then you will exist like a zombie, a robot, dull, absentminded. You can find in many madhouses people belonging to the fourth who have lost all life, all vitality. They exist, but their existence is more like vegetating. In the East we have a particular name for this fourth.type who has missed awareness; we call him a FAKIR. Fakir is a Sufi term: it means a yogi who has missed. He reached to the very end, and suddenly there, he could not remain alert. So now he has died. One part of the thing has happened, another has not happened; he has died and he has not been reborn. He will remain absent, he will look at you with empty eyes. If you give him food he will eat, if you don't give him food he will sit without eating for days. He will live a dead life. He is at the fourth stage, but missed.
From the third stage a Master becomes an absolute necessity. At the fourth, without a Master it is almost impossible. Dying is easy on your part, but who will give you rebirth? Who will pull you out of that death experience which is so shocking and shattering that the ego simply drops?
The fourth is the experience where the Christian symbol of the cross becomes meaningful. It is at the fourth that the cross is meaningful; one dies. But that is not the whole thing; Jesus resurrects.
Cross and resurrection.
If one simply dies at the fourth, he will live a zombie life.
He will move in the world as if fast asleep. As if in a deep hypnotic sleep. Drunk. Empty. The cross will be there within him, but the resurrection has not happened. If one remains alert - and it is very difficult to be alert when death is happening; but with a Master working slowly it is possible. If you fall asleep, the Master functions as an alarm He makes you alert and awake. He gives you a shock, makes you mindful, and if you can become mindful, aware, while death is happening all around, you become deathless. Then enters the fifth layer.
The fifth is the layer of life. Energy becomes absolutely free, with no blocks. You are free to be whatsoever you want to be. To move, not to move: to act, not to act; whatsoever; you are absolutely free. Energy becomes spontaneous. But there are also two possibilities - for the last time.
One can become so much identified with life energy that one can become an epicurean. That is where Epicurus and Buddha become separate. Epicuruses, CHARWAKAS in India, and other hedonists of the world, who have really penetrated to the fifth core of life, have come to know what life is - and they have become identified with life: Eat, drink, be merry, has become their credo, because they don't know anything beyond life. Life is beyond death. You are even beyond life. You are an ultimate transcendence.
So in the fifth there is a possibility - if you don't remain alert again in the fifth, you will become a victim of hedonism. Good! You have reached just close to home; one step more - but then you think: The goal is achieved.
Epicurus is beautiful. One step more and he would have become a Buddha. Charwakas are beautiful, just one step more and they would have become Christs. Just A step more.
At the last moment they got identified with life. And remember, to be identified with death is difficult because who wants to be identified with death? It is very easy to be identified with life because everybody wants to have eternal life. Life and life and life!
The person who turns at this moment to become an Epicurus, who becomes identified with life, remains living a very orgasmic life. His whole body functions in a tremendously beautiful and graceful way. He enjoys small things: eating, dancing, walking in the breeze, sunning; small things of life give him tremendous enjoyment. Joy is the word for this man. Or you can call it delight. But not bliss, bliss is not for him. He enjoys, but he is not blissful. What is the difference between joy and bliss? When you enjoy something, your joy depends on that thing, it is objective You have a beautiful woman to love, and you feel joy. But if the beautiful woman goes away, sadness descends. The climate is good, vibrating, ALIVE - you have a dance to your feet; but then the climate is dull, cloudy - and all joy disappears. The man of joy will feel sadness also. There will be ups and there will be downs.
He will move to the peak and come back to the valley. There will be days and nights - duality will remain.
If one remains alert at the moment when life happens; aware, mindful, conscious - one transcends life also; then there is bliss. Bliss is joy without any visible cause, or invisible cause. Bliss is uncaused joy. You are happy - whatsoever the case. Now bliss is your nature, not something that happens to you. It is YOU.
These are the layers. And they happen in this way because when a child is born HE IS LIFE. Every child is Epicurus. Life vibrating. Freely moving energy, with no blocks. A child is energy, sheer delight in energy, just jumping for no reason, and so happy, that even if you reach paradise you will not jump like that - and he is jumping for nothing; or he has gathered a few coloured stones and he is simply mad with delight. Watch little children just sitting, doing nothing - and they seem so happpy: for no reason at all!
When a child is born he has only one layer, that is LIFE. If a child can become aware he can move immediately to the state of a Buddha - but that is difficult, he cannot become aware; because to become aware he will have to move into life, suffering; he will have to collect many layers, that is part of the growth. That's why Jesus says: You will enter into the kingdom of God only when you are like children, but he doesn't say that children will enter, no. People who are like children, not CHILDREN! Children won't enter. They have to grow, they have to lose all to regain it again. They have to be lost in the world, they have to forget themselves completely, only through that going away, far far away from themselves, suffering much, will they come back to their home, they will rediscover it - then they are LIKE children; not children but like children.
A child is born with the life layer functioning. Only two layers, a child has: the life layer and the transcendental layer. The transcendental is the centre, not a layer; the very core. You can call it the soul, the Self, or whatsoever you want to call it. He has only the one layer of life, and then by and by as the child grows he becomes aware of death. He sees people dying, flowers falling, he sees suddenly a bird dead, or the dog died - he becomes aware of death. When he sees things and looks around he starts feeling that life has to end some day. Then immediately he is accumulating another layer - that is the layer of death; he is becoming afraid of death. That is the second layer that a child attains to.
Then, as he grows, there are many SHOULDS and SHOULD NOTS: you should do this and you should not do that; he is not allowed total chaotic freedom, he is to be disciplined, forced - and he is a chaos, total freedom, he would like to have no rules in the world. But that cannot be allowed - he is becoming a member of the society. so his chaos, his fast multi-dimensional energy, has to be suppressed. Rules have to be forced on him, he has to be taught things - toilet training and others, and everything has to become good or bad, divided; he has to choose. A third layer of chaos, or neurosis, is created.
Children who have been taught too many rules are more neurotic; they carry more neurosis within them; that's why neurosis happens only in a very civilized society. In a primitive society people don't go neurotic; rules were never forced too much on them, in fact they have been allowed to keep their chaos in themselves, a little. Few rules - then few possibilities of neurosis; more rules - more possibilities of neurosis. The third layer.
Then the child starts learning how to play games. He has to play games because he is not allowed to be authentic and real. There are times when he feels that he hates his mother, because his mother goes on forcing things on him, but he cannot say this to the mother, that he hates her. He has to say: I love you. He has to touch her feet, and pretend that he loves her deeply. Now the games are starting - a fourth layer. He will be playing roles.
Small children become politicians. The father comes home and the child smiles, because he knows if you don't smile then you cannot get ice cream today. If you smile, the father becomes very generous, his hand goes into his pocket. If you don't smile, he is very harsh. Now the child has become a politician. You see pictures of politicians - always smiling.
Have you seen somebody canvassing for his election? He goes on smiling - just stretching the lips, no smile inside. Sometimes it happens it becomes such a habit.... I have known one politician - unfortunately one night I had to sleep with him - in the night I got up and looked - he was smiling.
It becomes such a habit that even in sleep he cannot relax. He must have been canvassing or something...
The child learns that he has to pretend. He is not accepted as he is. He has to show that he is just as you would like him. He becomes divided: now he has a private world of his own. If he wants to smoke a cigarette he has to hide somewhere - in the garage, or go outside into some street to hide himself. You may have seen a child smoking, but ask him and he simply denies it - and so innocently; he says: What are you saying? Me? Smoking? Never! And look at his innocent beautiful face; he has become perfect, a politician, a role player.
And then he learns that his games pay. If you are true, you suffer. If you become expert in lies, it is paying. Now he is learning the ways of the mad world. A fourth layer of role playing.
Then a fifth - of formalities. Somebody is coming, and he hates the person, but the family says: He is a guest and you have to welcome him; not only welcome him but you have to give a kiss to him - and he hates the very idea; disgusting! But what to do? A child is helpless, powerless. You have power, the family has power, you can crush him. So he smiles, and kisses, and says good morning, without meaning anything; now he is creating a fifth layer.
These are the five layers. You have to go backwards, to the original source. That's what Patanjali calls PRATYAHARA, coming back to the original state. That's what Mahavir has called PRATIKRAMANA, coming back, falling back to your originality. That's what Christ has called CONVERSION; becoming again a child.
Then, when all layers of your onion are peeled off - it is an arduous thing; even to reel an ordinary onion is difficult, tears will come to your eyes, and when you peel the onion of your own personality, many tears will be there; it is hard, it is arduous, but it HAS to be done, otherwise you live a false life, and you live a sick life.
Now this sutra of Lao Tzu.
WHO KNOWS THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS THE HIGHEST; The innocence of childhood attained. WHO KNOWS THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS THE HIGHEST. A child does not know, but he also does not know that he does not know - A sage does not know, but he knows that he does not know - that is the only difference between a child and the sage. The child is ignorant, but not aware that he is ignorant, a sage is also ignorant, but perfectly aware that he is ignorant. This is his wisdom, this is his knowing - knowing that he does not know.
WHO KNOWS THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS THE HIGHEST; WHO PRETENDS TO KNOW WHAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS SICKMINDED.
To pretend is to be sick. To pretend is to be false. To be false is to be stuck somewhere. To be stuck somewhere is to be blocked: energy is not flowing, it is not free to move. You are not like a river, but frozen, blocks of ice. Part dead, part alive.
WHO PRETENDS TO KNOW WHAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS SICKMINDED.
Just analyze your own self. What do you know? If you penetrate deeply you will come to understand that you don't know anything. Information you may have much of, but that is not knowing. Scriptures - you may have read many, but that is not knowing. Unless you read the scripture of your own being there is no knowing possible. There is only one Koran and one Bible and one Gita, and that is hidden within you. Unless you decode it - and that is what I have been talking to you about this morning:
how to decode it, how it has been lost in the jungle of your personalities, layers of personalities, masks, pretensions. It is lost.
But it is not lost absolutely, it is still there. Search, and it can be found. Seek a little, move towards it, and sooner or later - you are on the track. And the moment you are on the track you suddenly feel everything falling into place everything coming together, everything becoming a symphony, the divisions dissolving, unity arising.
WHO PRETENDS TO KNOW WHAT HE DOES NOT KNOW IS SICKMINDED.
And knowing is possible only when you transcend life and death, not before it. How can you know if you have not even attained to your innermost being? What else can you know if you don't know yourself? Hence the insistence of all sages on KNOWING THYSELF. Because that is the secret key of all knowledge. And that one key opens a thousand and one locks, it is a master key. Knowing one, say the Upanishads, one knows all. Not knowing that one, even if you know all it is of no use.
It may burden you. It may become heavy on you. It may kill you but it cannot free you.
AND WHO RECOGNIZES SICKMINDEDNESS AS SICKMINDEDNESS IS NOT SICKMINDED.
That's what I was saying to you. If you remain alert, and you know a particular block, that - Here is where my wound is, here is the impasse, here is the block, the sickness; if you can be alert to your sickness - suddenly it starts melting.
One who RECOGNIZES - recognition is possible only in very deep consciousness, awareness.
Recognition means you are alert and you recognize that THIS is the problem. Once you pinpoint the problem the problem.is already on the way to being solved. Nothing else is needed. For spiritual disease recognition only is enough. No other medicine is needed.
Medicine and meditation - these are the two medicines in the world. And both the words come from the same root. Medicine for the body, meditation for the Soul. And both mean medicine.
AND WHO RECOGNIZES SICKMINDEDNESS AS SICKMINDEDNESS IS NOT SICKMINDED.
THE SAGE IS NOT SICKMINDED.
Why? Because he is simply alert, watchful. He remembers himself. He is not identified at any layer of the personality. He is not the formalities, he is not the role and game playing, he is not the chaos, he is not the death, he is not the life. He is the very transcendence of all.
BECAUSE HE RECOGNIZES SICKMINDEDNESS AS SICKMINDEDNESS, THEREFORE HE IS NOT SICKMINDED.
Take it as a very very useful tool. Use it in the inner rediscovery of your being. Move from the first layer, and don't be in a hurry, because if you leave something incomplete in any layer you will have to come back to the layer.
Always remember that anything incomplete will remain a hangover. So when you are searching in one layer, search it totally. Be finished with it. Don't carry it into another layer. It can be solved only in its own space.
When you enter the second layer of game playing - watch them, don't be in a hurry. And don't just accept what I am saying, because that won't help. You can say: Yes, this is what Osho says, and I have come to recognize it. No, that won't help. My recognition can't be your recognition. You have to travel the path on your own feet. I cannot travel for you. At the most I can indicate the way. But you have to follow it, walk, you have to move on it, and move very carefully so nothing is left incomplete and unlived, otherwise that will cling to you. and you will carry it into another layer, and everything will be a chaos and confusion.
Be finished with every layer, and when I say be finished, don't misunderstand me, I am not saying stop using it, I am not saying stop saying good morning to people - I am saying don't make that your whole world. Say good morning, and if you can mean it, it is beautiful; mean good morning! If you are really alive your formality will also become alive. When you are going to say good morning why not mean it also'? When you are already going to say it, it has to be said, then mean it! I am not saying drop out of formalities, no, because many times this has been done in the past - in the West it is being done right now, people have become fed up with the false pretensions. They drop out of the society.
That is a reaction, not a revolution. Then they move to the opposite extreme. Then they don't believe in any formalities and their life becomes difficult, and they make others' lives also difficult. Because they lose smoothness, and they drop all that lubricates.
Now it has become common in the West - you can approach a women and just ask her: Would you like to sleep with me? Even to a stranger!
It may be sincere, you want it that way, but that is aggressive and violent. And even if the woman is ready to go, the way you propose it is going to become an obstacle - and it hurts; then the woman feels as if you are only going to use her No, a little lubrication is necessary.
You go to your father and you simply ask for money - not even saying a good morning; then it seems that your only relationship is through the money. Things become hard, things are already hard, why make them harder?
So I am not saying that you drop all formalities - they are beautiful as far as they go, they go beautifully. Just remember one thing, that you should not become the world of the formal. You should remain alert.
And if somebody is willing, you should be capable of moving to the second layer of game playing.
And if somebody is willing you should be able to move to the third layer - of chaos.
When you love a person, and a person loves you, you can sit together in deep chaos; it has a tremendous, an austere beauty to it. Two persons in deep chaos, like two clouds meeting each other.
But if somebody is willing, and somebody is ready to move in your chaos, only then, otherwise don't trespass on anybody. Don't interfere with anybody's life - those formalities are just good ways to avoid trespass.
Games and role playing are good, because if somebody is not ready to move deep, who are you to force him to move deep? There is no point! You move yourself! And if somebody is willing to move with you to the fourth, the death level, if somebody is really in love with you, and wants an utterly intimate relationship, only then - drop the third, move to the fourth; move to the fifth.
From fifth to sixth - the transcendental, you have to move a.one. Up to the fifth a Master can be helpful. But from the fifth to the sixth you have to move alone - but then you are ready. By the time you reach the fifth, you are ready. Only one step more, in total aloneness you dissolve into your own infinity, the inner emptiness.
This is what we have called nirvana - cessation of your being completely, as if a drop has dropped into the ocean. and has become the ocean. The wave disappears, individuality is no more, you have become the whole. And when you have become the whole - only then you are really healthy; that is why Lao Tzu says: The sage is not sickminded. In fact the sage has no mind. How can he be sickminded?
And if you ask me, I would like to say that all minds are sick, more or less. To be in the mind is to be sick. Degrees differ.
Up to the fifth, there is a possibility of the mind, because there is a possibility of getting identified.
To get identified with anything is to create a mind. If you get identified with life you create a mind immediately Mind is nothing but identification. If you remain unidentified, aloof, a watcher on the hill, a witness - then you don't have any mind. Witnessing is not a mental process. All else is mental.
So the sage is healthy because he has no mind. Attain to no-mindness. Move layer by layer. Peel your onion completely, until - only emptiness is left in your hand.