Direction a non-ending process
The first question:
YESTERDAY YOU SAID THAT AN INWARD TRAVELLER HAS ONLY DIRECTION AND NOT DESTINATION. WILL YOU PLEASE FURTHER CLARIFY THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE TWO?
THE DISTINCTIOIN IS VERY SUBTLE, but it is the same distinction as there is between the mind and the heart, as there is between logic and love, or even more appropriate, as there is between prose and and poetry.
A destination is a very clear-cut thing; direction is very intuitive. A destination is something outside you, more like a thing. A direction is an inner feeling; not an object, but your very subjectivity. You can feel direction, you cannot know it. You can know the destination, you cannot feel it. Destination is in the future. Once decided, you start manipulating your life towards it, steering your life towards it.
How can you decide the future? Who are you to decide the unknown? How is it possible to fix the future? Future is that which is not known yet. Future is open possibility. By fixing a destination your future is no more a future, because it is no more open. Now you have chosen one alternative out of many, because when all the alternatives were open it was future. Now all alternatives have been dropped; only one alternative has been chosen. It is no longer future, it is your past.
The past decides when you decide a destination. Your experience of the past, your knowledge of the past decides. You kill future. Then you go on repeating your own past - - maybe a little modified, a little changed here and there according to your comfort, convenience; repainted, renovated -- but still it comes out of the past. This is the way one loses track of future: by deciding a destination one loses track of future. One becomes dead. One starts functioning like a mechanism.
Direction is something alive, in the moment. It knows nothing of the future, it knows nothing of the past, but it throbs, pulsates here and now. And out of this pulsating moment, the next moment is created. Not by any decision on your part -- but just because you live this moment and you live it so totally, and you love this moment so wholly, out of this wholeness the next moment is born. It is going to have a direction. That direction is not given by you, it is not imposed by you; it is spontaneous. That's what the Bauls call SAHAJA MANUSH, the spontaneous man.
The spontaneous man is the way to the real man, to the essential man, to the God within.
You cannot decide direction, you can only live this moment that is available to you. By living it, direction arises. If you dance, the next moment is going to be of a deeper dance.
Not that you decide but you simply dance this moment. You have created a direction: you are not manipulating it. The next moment will be more full of dancing, and still more will be following.
Destination is fixed by the mind; direction is earned by living. Destination is logical: one wants to be a doctor, one wants to be an engineer, one wants to be a scientist or one wants to be a politician, one wants to be a rich man, famous man -- these are destinations.
Direction? -- one simply lives the moment in deep trust that life will decide. One lives this moment so totally that out of this totality a freshness is born. Out of this totality the past dissolves and the future starts taking shape. But this shape is not given by you, this shape is earned by you.
One Zen master, Rinzai, was dying; he was on the death-bed. Somebody asked, "Master, people will ask after you are gone, what was your essential teaching? You have said many things, you have talked about many things -- it will be difficult for us to condense it. Before you leave, please, you yourself condense it into a single sentence, so we will treasure it. And whenever people who have not known you desire, we can give them your essential teaching."
Dying, Rinzai opened his eyes, gave a great Zen shout, a lion's roar! They were all shocked! They couldn't believe that this dying man could have so much energy, and they were not expecting it. The man was unpredictable; he had always been so. But even with this unpredictable man they were not in any way expecting that dying, at the last moment, he would give such a lion's roar. And when they were shocked -- and of course their minds stopped, they were surprised, taken aback -- Rinzai said, "This is it!" closed his eyes, and died.
This is it....
This moment, this silent moment, this moment uncorrupted by thought, this silence that was surrounding, this surprise, this last lion's roar over death; this is it.
Yes, direction comes out of living this moment. It is not something that you manage and plan. It happens, it is very subtle, and you will never be certain about it. You can only feel it. That's why I say it is more like poetry, not like prose; more like love, not like logic; more like art than like science. Wake, and that's its beauty; hesitant, as hesitant as a dewdrop on a grass leaf, slipping, not knowing where, not knowing why; in the morning sun, just slipping on a leaf of grass.
Direction is very subtle, delicate, fragile. That's why everybody has chosen destination.
Society tries to fix a destination for you. Parents, teachers, culture, religion, government:
they all try to give you a fixed pattern of life. They don't want you to be free, left alone, moving into the unknown. But that's how they have created boredom. If you know your future beforehand, it is already boring. If you know that you are going to be this, it is already boring.
In the Koran, Mohammed talks about paradise, but he makes it so predictable, so much like a destination that it already looks worthless. The word 'paradise', or the Muslim equivalent of it, FIRDAUS -- they both come from a single root which means a walled garden -- and in that walled garden of God everything is fixed, almost every detail.
Nothing is left to imagination. Streams are there, streams of wine; and people are sitting in the shade. Of course, Mohammed must have suffered too much from the heat and the desert. People are sitting in the shade, enjoying their wives -- not wife, but wives -- because Mohammed had nine wives. What else do they do? There is nothing else to do but drink wine from the springs, sit on couches under the shade of big trees, enjoy their wives.
But then he was disturbed, because when you die your wife will be old. So what to do? -- he made an arrangement for that also: that for good people, those who had lived according to religion, God would make their wives young again. So remember, if you are not good you will have to remain with your old wife. Then you will be stuck with her forever and ever. Be good! Everything...and servants are there to fulfill any desire. But just think of it!
But it is so ready-made, manufactured, predictable: it loses all meaning. Hindus, Jainas, Buddhists, are more subtle. Buddhists are the most subtle. They don't talk about NIRVANA. They say: one has to know it to know it; one has to be in it to know it -- there is no other way. They don't describe. They don't give any description because all descriptions will be dangerous. All words become definitive and the mystery is lost.
Future should be a direction, not a destination. It should be more like NIRVANA. The word Buddha uses means: all that you know will not be there. That's his definition clf nirvana: all that you know will not be there, all that you have experienced will not be there, all that you are will not be there -- SOMETHING TOTALLY NEW, something that you cannot understand because you don't have the language to understand it, you don't have the experience to understand it. Something absolutely new; it cannot be talked about. NIRVANA is a direction. FIRDAUS, paradise, Christian and Mohammedan, are destinations, very clear-cut.
The mediocre mind demands clear-cut goals because he is so insecure -- he cannot trust his own awareness, and he cannot trust life. The mediocre mind is very afraid of discovery, and discovery is the greatest secret in life. To be ready to be surprised, to be always ready to be surprised means that one is innocent, trying to discover. And life is such that you can go on discovering. The more you discover it, the more you come to know that much more is still left. It is a non-ending process. Direction is a non-ending process. Remember, it is a process, movement; destination is a dead thing.
Destination belongs to the ego; direction belongs to life, to being. To move in the world of direction one needs tremendous trust, because one is moving in insecurity, one is moving in darkness. But the darkness has a thrill in it: without any map, without any guide you are moving into the unknown. Each step is a discovery, and it is not only a discovery of the outside world. Simultaneously, something is discovered in you also. A discoverer not only discovers things. As he goes on discovering more and more unknown worlds, he goes on discovering himself also, simultaneously. Each discovery is an inner discovery also. The more you know, the more you know about the knower. The more you love, the more you know about the lover.
I am not going to give you a destination. I can only give you a direction -- awake, throbbing with life; and unknown, always surprising, unpredictable. I'm not going to give you a map. I can give you only a great passion to discover. Yes, a map is not needed; great passion, great desire to discover is needed. Then I leave you alone. Then you go on your own. Move into the vast, into the infinite, and by and by, learn to trust it. Leave yourself in the hands of life, because life is God. When Jesus says, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done," he's saying this...a great trust. Even if God brings death, there is nothing to be afraid of. It is He who is bringing death, so there must be a reason in it, there must be a hidden secret in it, there must be a teaching in it. He's opening a door.
The man who trusts, the man who is religious is thrilled even at the gate of death -- he can give a lion's roar. Even dying -- because he knows nothing dies -- at the very moment of death he can say, "This is it!" Because each moment, this is it. It may be life, it may be death; it may be success, it may be failure; it may be happiness, it may be unhappiness.
... this is it.
This is what I call the real prayer. And then you will have direction. You need not worry about it, you need not fix it; you can move with trust.
The second question:
HOW IS IT THAT THE INSCRIPTION ON THE GREEK TEMPLE TO DELPHI SAYS: KNOW THYSELF, AND NOT: LOVE THYSELF?
The Greek mind has an obsession with knowledge. The Greek mind thinks in terms of knowledge, how to know. That's why Greeks produced the greatest tradition of philosophers, great thinkers, logicians, great rational minds. But the passion is to know.
In the world, as I see it, there are only two types of minds: the Greek and the Hindu. The Greek mind has a passion to know, and the Hindu mind has a passion to be. The Hindu passion is not too concerned about knowing, but about being. SAT, being, is the very search -- who am I? -- not to know it in a logical way, but to drown in one's own existence so one can taste it, so one can be it -- because there is no other way to know, really. If you ask Hindus, they will say there is no other way to know than to be. How can you know love? The only way is to become a lover. Be a lover and you will know. And if you are trying to stand outside the experience and just be an observer, then you may know ABOUT love, but you will never know love.
The Greek mind has produced the whole scientific growth. Modern science is a by- product of the Greek mind. Modern science insists on being dispassionate, standing outside, watching, unprejudiced. Be objective, be impersonal. These are the basic requirements if you want to become a scientist: be impersonal, don't allow your emotions to color anything; be dispassionate, almost not interested in any hypothesis in whatsoever way. Just watch the fact. Don't get involved in it, remain outside. Don't be a participant.
This is the Greek passion: a dispassionate search for knowledge.
It has helped, but it has helped only in one direction: that is the direction of matter. That is the way to know matter. You can never come to know mind that way, only matter. You can never come to know consciousness that way. You can know the outside, you can never know the inside -- because in the inside you are already involved. There is no way to stand out of it. You are already there. The inside is you -- how can you get out of it? I can watch a stone, a rock, a river, dispassionately because I am separate. How can I watch myself dispassionately? I am involved in it. I cannot be outside it. I cannot reduce myself to being an object. I will remain the subject, and I will remain the subject.
Whatsoever I do, I am the knower, I'm not the known.
So the Greek mind shifted, by and by, towards matter. The motto, the inscription at Delphi's temple: Know Thyself, became the source of the whole scientific progress. But by and by, the very idea of dispassionate knowledge led the Western mind away from its own being.
The Hindu mind, the other type of mind in the world, has another direction: the direction is of being. In the Upanishads, the great master Udallack says to his son and his disciple Swetketu, "That art thou" -- TATWAMASI Swetketu. That art thou -- there is no distinction between that and thou. That is your reality; thou is the reality -- there is no distinction. There is no possibility to know it as you know a rock. There is no possibility to know it as you know other things; you can only BE it.
On the temple of Delphi, of course, it was written: Know Thyself. It is expressive of the Greek mind. Because the temple is in Greece the inscription is Greek. If the temple had been in India then the inscription would have been: Be Thyself -- because that art thou.
The Hindu mind moved closer and closer to one's own being -- that's why it became non- scientific. It became religious but non-scientific. It became introvert, but then it lost all moorings in the outside world. The Hindu mind became very rich inside, but the outside became very poor.
A great synthesis is needed, a great synthesis between the Hindu and the Greek mind. It can be the greatest blessing for the earth. Up to now it has not been possible, but now the basic requirements are there and a synthesis is possible. The East and West are meeting in a very subtle way. The Eastern people are going to the West to learn science, to become scientists, and the Western seekers are going, moving towards the East to learn what religion is. A great mingling and merging is happening.
In the future, the East is not going to be East and the West is not going to be West. The earth is going to become a global village -- a small place where all distinctions will disappear. And then for the first time the great synthesis will arise, the greatest ever -- which will not think in extremes, which will not think that if you go outside, if you are a searcher after knowledge then you lose your roots in being; or if you search in your being you lose your roots in the world, in the scientific realm. Both can be together, and whenever this happens a man has both wings and he can fly to the highest sky possible.
Otherwise you have only one wing.
As I see it, Hindus are lopsided as much as the Greek mind is lopsided. Both are half of the reality.
Religion is half; science is half. Something has to happen which can bring religion and science together in a greater whole, where science does not deny religion and where religion does not condemn science.
"How is it that the inscription on the Greek temple to Delphi says: Know Thyself, and not: Love Thyself?"
Love thyself is possible only if you become thyself, if you be thyself. Otherwise it is not possible. Otherwise the only possibility is to go on trying to know who you are, and that too from the outside; watching from the outside who you are, and that too in an objective way, not in an intuitive way.
The Greek mind developed a tremendous logical capacity. Aristotle became the father of all logic and all philosophy. The Eastern mind looks illogical -- it is. The very insistence on meditation is illogical because meditation says: you can know only when the mind is dropped, when thinking is dropped and you merge yourself into your being so totally that not even a single thought is there to distract you. Only then can you know. And the Greek mind says: you can know only when thinking is clear, logical, rational, systematic. The Hindu mind says: when thinking disappears completely, only then is there any possibility to know. They are totally different, moving in diametrically opposite directions; but there is a possibility to synthesize both.
A person can use his mind when working on matter; then logic is a great instrument. And the same person can put aside the mind when he moves into his meditation chamber and moves into the no-mind. Because mind is not you -- it is just an instrument just like my hand, just like my legs. If I want to walk I use my legs, if I don't want to walk I don't use my legs. Exactly in the same way you can use the mind logically if you are trying to know about matter. It is perfectly right, it fits there. And when you are moving inwards, put it aside. Now legs are not needed; thinking is not needed. Now you need a deep silent state of no-thought.
And this can happen in one person. And when I say it, I say it from my own experience. I have been doing both. When it is needed, I can become as logical as any Greek. When it is not needed, I can become as absurd, illogical as any Hindu. So when I say it I mean it, and it is not a hypothesis. I have experienced It that way. The mind can be used and can be put aside. It is an instrument, a very beautiful instrument; no need to be so obsessed with it. No need to be so fixed, fixated with it. Then it becomes a disease. Just think of a man who wants to sit but cannot sit because he says, "I have legs -- how can I sit?" Or, think of a man who wants to keep quiet and silent and cannot keep quiet and silent because he says, "I have a mind." It is the same.
One should become so capable that even the closest instrument of mind can be put aside and can be put off. It can be done, it has been done, but it has not been done on a great scale. But more and more it will be done. This is what I am trying to do here with you.
I talk to you, I discuss problems with you; that's logical, that is using the mind. And then I say to you, "Drop the mind and move into deep meditation. If you dance, dance so totally that there is not a single thought inside, your whole energy becomes dance. Or sing, then just sing. Or sit, then just sit -- be in ZAZEN, don't do anything else. Don't allow a single thought to pass through. Just be quiet, absolutely quiet." These are contradictory things.
Every morning you meditate and every morning you come and listen to me. Every morning you listen to me and then you go and meditate. This is contradictory. If I were just Greek, I would talk to you, I would make a logical communication with you, but then I would not say to meditate. That is foolish. If I were just Hindu, there would be no need to talk to you. I can say, "Just go and meditate, because what is the point of talking? One has to become silent." I am both. And this is my hope: that you will also become both -- because then life is very enriched, tremendously enriched. Then you don't lose anything.
Then everything is absorbed; then you become a great orchestra. Then all polarities meet in you.
For the Greeks, the very idea of 'love thyself' would have been absurd, because they would say, and they would say logically, that love is possible only between two persons.
You can love somebody else, you can even love your enemy, but how can you love yourself? Only you are there, alone. Love can exist between a duality, a polarity; how can you love yourself? For the Greek mind, the very idea of loving oneself is absurd: for love, the other is needed.
For the Hindu mind, in the Upanishads they say: you love your wife not for your wife's sake; you love your wife just for your own sake. You love yourself through her. Because she gives you pleasure, that's why you love her -- but deep down you love your own pleasure. You love your son, you love your friend, not because of them but because of you. Deep down your son makes you happy, your friend gives you solace. That's what you are hankering for. So the Upanishads say: you love yourself really. Even if you say that you love others, that is just a via media to love yourself, a long roundabout way to love yourself.
Hindus say that there is no other possibility: you can love only yourself. And Greeks say there is no possibility to love oneself because at least two are needed.
If you ask me, I'm both Hindu and Greek. If you ask me I will say love is a paradox. It is a very paradoxical phenomenon. Don't try to reduce it to one pole; both polarities are needed. The other is needed, but in deep love the other disappears. If you watch two lovers, they are two and one together. That's the paradox of love, and that's the beauty of it: they are two, yes, they are two; and yet they are not two, they are one. If this oneness has not happened then love is not possible. They may be doing something else in the name of love. If they are still two and not one also, then love has not happened. And if you are just alone and there is nobody else, then too love is not possible. Love is a paradoxical phenomenon. It needs two in the first place, and in the last place it needs two to exist as one. It is the greatest enigma; it is the greatest puzzle.
If you have loved somebody, you will understand what I mean. You know that the other is other, and yet deep down you feel something has been bridged. It is as if travelling in a sea you come across an island. It is separate from-the continent, yes. But deep down, underneath the sea, the land is one. It is joined with the continent; it is not really separate.
It is separate yet not separate; that's what love is.
So if you ask me, I will say it is possible to love yourself, but then you will have to divide yourself in two. Then you will have to become the lover and the beloved both. And it is also possible to love somebody else, but then you will have to become one. Love is something that happens between two persons, but when it happens they are no more two, they become one.
The third question:
THE SAME DAWN, THE SAME DUSK, THE SAME CHASING, THE SAME THOUGHT OF AWARENESS, THE SAME TALK OF AWARENESS, THE SAME AND THE SAME....
In a way it is the same. How can it be otherwise? The same sun, the same sun rising every morning, and the same sunset, yes -- but if you watch closely, have you ever seen two sunrises exactly the same? Have you watched the colors in the sky? Have you seen the cloud formations around the sun?
No two sunrises are the same; no two sunsets are the same. The world is a discontinuous continuity -- discontinuous because every moment something new is happening, and yet continuous because it is not absolutely new. It is connected. So both proverbs are right.
There is a proverb which says: there is nothing new under the sun; and the other proverb which seems contradictory to it which says: there is nothing old under the sun. Both are true.
Nothing is new and nothing is old. Everything goes on changing and yet somehow remains the same, somehow remains the same and yet goes on changing. That's the beauty, the mystery, the secret. You cannot reduce it to any category: you cannot say it is the same, you cannot say it is not the same. You cannot reduce life into your categories; your pigeon-holes are just worthless. When it comes to life, you have to drop all your pigeon-holes, your categories. It is bigger than your categories, transcendental to all categories. It is so vast that you cannot find its beginning or its end.
The questioner says, "The same dawn, the same dusk, the same chasing, the same thought of awareness, the same talk of awareness, the same and the same."
Yes, in a way it is the same; and in another way, nothing is the same. Yesterday also I was here, but I am not the same. How can I be? -- so much water has flowed down the Ganges. I am twenty-four hours older, twenty-four hours of experience are added to me, twenty-four hours of intense awareness. I am richer; I'm not the same -- death has come a little closer. You are also not the same, and yet I look the same and you look the same.
You have to see the point. This is what I mean when I say life is a mystery: you cannot classify it, you cannot say definitely that this is so. The moment you say, immediately you will become aware that life has falsified you.
Are these trees the same as they were yesterday? Many leaves have fallen, many new leaves have come up, many flowers are gone. They have risen higher. How can they be the same? See, today the cuckoo is not singing. It is so silent. Yesterday the cuckoo was singing. It was a different silence: it was full of song. Today's silence is different; it is not full of song. Even the wind is not blowing -- everything has stopped. Yesterday there was great wind. Trees are meditating today; yesterday they were dancing. It cannot be the same, and yet, it is the same.
It depends on you -- how you look at life. If you look as if it is the same, you will be bored. Then don't throw your responsibility on somebody else. It is your outlook. If you say it is the same, then you will be bored. If you see the constant change, flux-like, the great whirlwind-like movement all around you, the dynamism of life, each moment the old disappearing and the new coming in; if you can see the continuous birth, if you can see God's hand continuously creating, then you will be enchanted, thrilled. Your life will not be bored. You will be continuously wondering, "What next?..." You will not be dull.
Your intelligence will remain sharp, alive and young.
Now it depends on what you want. If you want to become like a dead man, stupid, dull, gloomy, sad and bored, then you believe that life is the same. If you want to become very young and alive, fresh, radiant, then believe that life is new each moment.
Says old Heraclitus, "You cannot step twice into the same river.''
You cannot meet the same person twice and you cannot see the same sunrise twice It is up to you. And if you understand me, I will say, don't choose. If you choose the idea that everything is old, you become old. If you choose that everything is young and new, you become young. If you understand me, I say don't choose; see that both are true. Then you transcend all categories. You are neither old nor young. Then you become eternal, then you become God-like, then you become life-like.
I have heard an anecdote:
A Judge Dunne was seated in court in New York, or rather in Brooklyn, while a very, very stupid witness was being interrogated. The attorney said, "Were you at the corner of Fourth and Elm the day of the accident?"
The witness said, "Who? Me?"
"Yes, you," said the attorney. "Did you notice whether or not the ambulance came to care for the wounded woman?"
"Yes, you! Did you notice whether or not the woman was seriously injured?"
By this time, the Prosecuting Attorney was exasperated. He said, "Certainly you! Why do you think you are here?"
The witness said, "I came here to see justice done."
Judge Dunne said, "Who? Me?"
If you believe that everything is the same, then this will be a constant thing -- Who? Me?
-- and you are going to be bored. The repetition will kill you. To be sharp and alive one needs something which is not repetitive. Something new, constantly happening, makes you alive, keeps you alive, keeps you alert.
Have you watched a dog sitting silently? A rock is Iying down just in front of him; he will not be worried. But let the rock start moving. Just have a small thread connected to the rock and pull it, and the dog will jump. He will start barking. Movement makes you sharp; then all dullness is gone. Then he is no longer sleepy. Then he is no longer dreaming about flies and other things. Then he will simply jump out of his slumber.
Something has changed.
Change gives you movement, but constant change also can be very uprooting. As constant no-change can be very deadening, constant change can also be very uprooting.
That is happening in the West; people are changing. The statisticians say that in America the average limit of a person doing a job is three years. People are changing their jobs, changing their towns, changing their spouses, trying to change everything -- changing their car every year, their house -- the whole value has changed. In England they make Rolls Royce. Their idea is so that it lasts forever, life-long at least. In America they make beautiful cars, but stability is not the quality to be bothered about -- because who is going to keep a car for his whole life? If it lasts for one year, enough. When the American goes to purchase a car, he does not bother about stability; he asks about exchangeability. The English still ask about durability, stability, whether the car will be durable because he purchases once, and finished. He's very old-fashioned. He does not know any divorce, even with a car. Once married, married. He's very monogamous even with a car. He's very sincere. The American lives in a world of change -- everything is changing -- but then the American has lost the roots.
In my old village where sometimes I used to go, I was surprised. Everything remains the same. The same coolie would greet me at the station -- because there is only one coolie -- and the same TONGA, and the same road, and I would see the same people moving around. Everything remains almost the same. Rarely somebody dies; rarely somebody is born -- otherwise everything remains almost the same. And even when people die, they are replaced by their sons, and they look almost the same. Nothing has changed. The houses are the same, the gossip is the same. It seems time does not exist.
I was always surprised going back to my town. That was the first thing that I would see:
that in this town time does not exist. Everything seems to be eternally the same. But then people have roots. They are dull but they are very rooted. They are very comfortable, happy. They are not alienated. They don't feel strangers. How can they feel strangers? -- everything is so similar. When they were born it was the same; when they die it will be the same. Everything is so stable. How can you feel a stranger? The whole town is like a small family.
In America everything is uprooted. Nobody knows where one belongs. The very sense of belonging is lost. If you ask somebody; "Where do you belong?" he will shrug his shoulders -- because he has been to so many towns, to so many colleges, to so many universities. He cannot even be certain of who he is because the identity is very loose, fluid. In a way it is good because the man remains sharp and alive, but roots are gone.
For me, both things have been tried: stability, rootedness, nothing new under the sun -- we have tried it in the past, for many centuries. It rusted the human mind. People were comfortable but not very alive.
Then in America, something new has happened and it is spreading all over the world, because America is the future of the world. Whatsoever is happening there is going to happen everywhere, sooner or later. America sets the trend. Now people are very alive but unrooted, don't know where they belong. A great desire to belong has arisen. A great desire to be rooted somewhere, to possess someone and to be possessed by someone:
something durable, something stable, something like a center -- because people are moving like wheels and there seems to be no rest. And it is great stress: continuously changing, continuously changing. And change is accelerating every day, becoming faster and faster. Now they say that big books cannot be written because by the time you write a big book it is out of date. Knowledge is changing so fast, so only small booklets are possible. So they reach -- before knowledge changes, they reach to people. Otherwise, before they reach the market, already the books will be out of date and useless, rubbish.
Everything is in such a great change and turmoil and chaos, and man feels deeply stressed, great strain and tension. Both have their benefits and both have their curses.
To me, a synthesis has to be made between these two orientations. One should be aware that life is both the old and new together, simultaneously -- old because the whole past is present in the present moment; new because the whole future is potentially present in the present moment. The present moment is a culmination of the whole past and the beginning of the whole future. In this moment, all that has happened is hidden, and all that is going to happen is also hidden. Each moment is past and future both, a convergence of past and future. So something is old and something is new, and if you can become aware of both together, you will have sharpness and roots both together. You will be at ease, without any stress. You will not become dull, and you will be very conscious and alert.
I have heard....
Mistress MacMahon went beserk one afternoon. She broke every dish and cup and reduced her usually spotless kitchen to shambles. The police arrived and took her to the city's mental institution. The head psychiatrist sent for her husband.
"Do you know any reason," asked the shrink, "why your wife should suddenly lose her mind?"
"I'm just as surprised as you are," answered Mr. MacMahon. "I can't imagine what got into her. She has always been such a quiet, hardworking woman. Why, she has not been out of the kitchen in twenty years!"
Now then, one is going to go mad. It is as simple as two plus two make four. If for twenty years one has not been out of the kitchen, it is maddening. But the opposite is always maddening. If you have never been to your home for twenty years, and have just become a vagabond, always arriving and never arriving anywhere, always reaching and never reaching anywhere; if you have become a gypsy and you don't have any home, then too you will start going mad.
Both are dangerous taken separately. Taken together they make life very rich. All polarities make life rich: yin and yang, man and woman, dark and light, life and death, god and devil, saint and sinner. All polarities taken together make life rich. Otherwise life becomes monotonous. Don't choose a monotonous life. Become richer.
The fourth question:
AFTER EACH CAMP, I AM LEFT DEEPLY FRUSTRATED AND ANXIOUS, AS IF I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN THAT NEVER HAPPENS, AND I SAY TO MYSELF: HEERA, YOU ARE BACK IN THE SAME BOAT AGAIN. PLEASE COMMENT.
Let me first tell you one anecdote.
The newly-arrived convict was complaining to the warden, "I don't like the food here, I don't like the quarters, and I don't like your face."
"Well," said the warden, "is there anything else you don't like?"
"That's all for the time being," said the convict. "I don't want you to think that I am unreasonable."
Heera, you are very unreasonable.
First, for hundreds and hundreds of lives you have never meditated. Not to meditate has gone deep into your bones, into your very heart -- it has become a hard pattern. Now, suddenly you meditate and you start expecting too much. It is unreasonable.
In fact, all expectations are unreasonable, but when one expects something out of meditation it is ABSOLUTELY unreasonable. Because the very base of meditation, the very foundation of meditation is to understand that expectation has to be dropped; otherwise meditation never starts. It is expectation that keeps your mind continuously spinning thoughts. It is expectation that keeps you tense. It is expectation, when not fulfilled, that makes you feel frustrated, miserable. Drop expectation and meditation will flower, but it can flower only when you are not expecting. You can go on expecting for many lives; you will not allow meditation to flower. That is not the way.
I have heard....
Lanahan's hair kept falling and he complained to his barber. "That stuff you gave me," he cried "is terrible. You said two bottles of it would make me hair grow, but nothing has happened."
"I don't understand," said the barber, "that is the best hair restorer made."
"Well," said Lanahan, "I don't mind drinking another bottle, but it better work!"
Now, with expectation, doing meditation is like drinking a bottle of hair restorer. It is not going to work. It can even be destructive, it can be dangerous.
It is better not to meditate than to meditate with expectation, because at least you will not suffer the frustration. Don't meditate. But if you have decided to meditate, then be clear.
Meditation does not guarantee anything to you. Not that nothing happens out of it; it happens, but there is no guarantee. Tremendous possibilities open but you cannot expect them. If you expect, doors remain dosed. It is your expectation that blocks the way.
Two friends met on the street.
"I'm so unhappy I could cry," said the first.
"Two weeks ago, my uncle died and left me one million dollars."
"That's no reason to cry," said the second.
"That would make you happy, that's true," said the first, "but last week another uncle died and left me two million dollars."
"But why are you so unhappy then?"
The man said, "I only had two uncles!"
Expectation is very, very dangerous. With expectation, even if something happens you will not feel fulfilled, because expectation is almost insanity. You go on expecting more and more -- now the man is miserable because he had only two uncles. Whatsoever happens is not going to make you happy if you start with expectations. Drop expectation - - that is not the right thing to bring into meditation -- and immediately things will start happening.
Next camp, or from tomorrow, just meditate. Enjoy it intrinsically. There is no need to look for any result. Let it happen. Let the future come of its own accord. Don't make a destination out of meditation -- just simple direction will do. Enjoy it. Celebrate it. Be festive about it.
The very act of meditation is a great joy. Just to be able to dance, just to be able to sing, just to be able to sit silently and breathe and be, is more than enough. Don't ask for anything else. Because of your asking you are corrupting your being. You have tried that way, now listen to me and try my way. You simply meditate.
"After each camp, I am left deeply frustrated and anxious..."
The problem does not arise after the camp, it arises before the camp. First you sow the seeds of expectation, then who is going to suffer? You will suffer. You will have to reap the crop.
"... as if I have been waiting for something to happen that never happens..."
That is never going to happen. Whatsoever you are waiting for, you are waiting in vain. It is not going to happen, and what is going to happen has nothing to do with your expectations and your desires. You just let it come in; don't block the way. Remove yourself out of your own way. This time, with no expectations, no desires, no hopes, just meditate.
"... and I say to myself: Heera, you are back in the same boat again."
If you listen to me you will never again be in the same boat. It is the boat of expectation.
Frustration is a by-product. You want to get rid of the frustration but you don't want to get rid of the expectation. Then it is impossible.
Buddha is reported to have said, "If you want to get rid of death, get rid of birth." There is no other way. If you want to get rid of misery, get rid of the lust for happiness. And when there is no misery, there IS happiness. But it is not because you desire it; it is because you don't have any desire. In a deep desireless state, you are full of bliss.
The last question:
It is from Parijat.
YOUR CONTRADICTIONS USED TO THROW ME INTO SUCH UNHAPPY EMOTIONAL STATES. NOW I LISTEN TO YOU BUT WITHOUT THINKING, REMAINING TRANQUIL. HAVE I ESCAPED BEFORE THE POT CAME TO THE BOIL?
First, one anecdote.
A mother was examining a new mechanical toy at the corner shop and wondered if it were not too complicated for a small boy.
"Oh, no," the salesman beamed, "it is an educational toy. It is especially designed to teach the child something about our current civilization: no matter how he puts it together, he's wrong."
Don't try to put me together, otherwise you will be wrong. It is designed that way. To contradict myself is my way. To never allow you to settle anywhere is my way. To go on goading you on and on, is my way.
But now, Parijat has learned the trick: listen in deep tranquility. Don't be bothered about whether I am contradicting something that I have said before. Listen to me this moment; don't bring the past in. If you don't bring the past in there is no contradiction. If you bring the past in then there is contradiction. Just don't bring the past in: that is what tranquility is. You just listen to me this moment; then where is the contradiction? And that's my whole effort -- to go on contradicting. One day or other you will decide that if you have to listen to this man, you have to forget all about what he has said before. That's a way to make you alert that the past has not to be brought in. If I go on saying very consistent things you will stop listening to me -- because there is no need: "He is saying the same thing." Even if you sleep you will not miss anything. But I will not allow you to sleep because you can miss, you can never rely.
There was one advertisement in a newspaper: a nightguard was needed by a rich man. He had three conditions: one, he should be very tall, strong, violent-looking; second, he should not be addicted to any sort of alcoholic beverages, he should be alert; and third, he should be reliable.
Mulla Nasrudin applied. He was called, but the rich man was surprised because he is a very small man, not tall at all, and not violent-looking, a very meek fellow.
The rich man said,''I am surprised why you troubled yourself to come here, and why you answered my advertisement. Can't you see? These are the three conditions: first, that the man should be tall, at least six feet. You don't seem to be more than five. The man should be violent looking; I have not seen such a simple, almost simpleton, type man. You look so meek. Why have you come? Do you drink or not?"
Nasrudin said, "I drink too much.''
"Then why are you wasting my time? Why have you come?"
Nasrudin said, "I have come only to say that I am not reliable either."
I also am not reliable. I completely go on forgetting what I have said to you yesterday. I am a drunkard. That's why I can contradict so easily, otherwise it would be very difficult.
It never comes to my mind that I am contradictory. Whatsoever I am saying, this is it! I don't bother about what I have said before. I'm not concerned with it. That was the truth of that moment, this is the truth of this moment, and I'm not reliable. I am not saying anything that I am going to say again tomorrow. Who knows? I don't know myself. If you really listen to me, by and by you will listen to the moment. That's the whole effort.
I am not trying to give you a philosophy, a doctrine, a dogma. A dogma has to be consistent, a creed has to be consistent. I am not trying to convert you to a certain belief; a belief has to be consistent. I am trying to give you a vision, not a belief. I am trying to help you to come to my window to see the sky, to see the truth. That truth cannot be described. And that truth cannot be made a dogma, and that truth contains all contradictions -- because it is so vast. So I go on giving you glimpses, aspects of it: one aspect is contradictory to another aspect. But in the whole truth, all aspects meet and mingle and are one.
The right way to listen to me is this: where Paritosh has arrived. Everybody has to arrive if you want to listen to me. If you want to be with me, you have to arrive to that tranquility where you don't pay any attention to the past. You forget what. I have said as deeply as I go on forgetting. You are simply to listen to this moment. Then there is no contradiction because there is no comparison. And then you don't cling to what I say. It becomes just a direction and not a destination. It just helps you to become more alert and aware. It does not give you a philosophy. Rather, it gives you a very subtle milieu, a totally different vision of life. It imparts my eyes to you.
A salesman walked into a busy executive's office and asked, "How about buying some of the latest styles in ties?"
"I don't need any," said the executive. "Scram!"
"They are pure silk," continued the salesman.
"Look, I said beat it, and I mean it." Then, his patience exhausted, the executive picked up the salesman and tossed him out; sample cases were scattered all over the place. The salesman, undaunted, picked up his wares, brushed off his clothes, and walked back into the office.
"Now that you have got that off your chest," he said, "I am ready to take down your order."
The same I say to Parijat: now that you have got that off your chest, those contradictions, and getting troubled by them and emotionally disturbed about them -- because you were seeking a philosophy, you were seeking a mental belief, you were trying to find something to cling to and I will not allow -- now that it is off your chest, I am ready to take down your order.
Now, the really last question:
I WANT TO TELL YOU, TO THANK YOU FOR ALL THE MIRACLES AND BLESSINGS, BUT I CAN'T FIND A WAY BIG ENOUGH. IT IS ALL SO OVERWHELMING.
A little anecdote....
A hippie-type hobo wandered into a church and on the way out told the vicar, "Man, you were swinging daddy, like way out, man."
"I beg your pardon?" said the vicar.
"I mean, man," said the hippie hobo, "I really dig your jive, man. I read you loud and clear. I put a little cash in your old plate there, daddyo."
"Aha!" beamed the vicar, grasping the down-and-out's hand. "Cool man, cool!"
That's what I say to you -- cool man, cool. There is no need to express your gratitude; it will be difficult. If you can express it, it is not of worth. If it is of worth, you cannot express it. If you are just giving me a formal thank you, then you can express it. But I know, I know the person who has said this. Something is really happening. It is overwhelming, but there is no need to express it. I know it.
In fact, I know it before you come to know it. Whenever it is happening to somebody, I am the first to know here. You will be the second, even if it is happening to you -- because it will take a little time to reach your mind. It has to travel a little longer. It travels to me more fast. I know it is overwhelming, but there is no need; just cool down.
Become more cool. And I will know it, and everybody else will know it, and the whole world -- even the trees and the rocks and the rivers will know it.
When it really happens, there is no need to say it. The whole existence immediately feels it: something has happened. Somebody has opened, some flower flowered, a lotus bloomed.