All Going Is Going Astray

Fri, 20 April 1977 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Buddha: The First Principle
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
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The question is from Gunakar. Yes, Gunakar, it is a way to hide the greed. And not only that, it is a way to avoid the real. It is not a thirst for the real; it is a way to escape from the real. All greed, all desire, is an escape from the real. The desire is for that which is not. That which is already there; you need not be greedy about it, you need not desire it. Whether you desire or not does not make any difference. It is there. By desiring, you will miss, because you will create a cloud around yourself.

This is how the mind goes on playing games. It can play the game in the name of reality too, in the name of God, in the name of enlightenment, nirvana.

One thing has to be remembered always, that you are not to become real, you are real. That which you are is the reality. Gunakar has said: Only one longing lingers, to become my real nature. But then who are you? You are your real nature. What else can you be? How else can you be? There is no way to go away from your reality. There is no way to go against it. There is no way to be anything else other than it.

But you can forget about it. You can start looking in some other direction. All that is possible is to be forgetful. You cannot lose contact with reality; you can only forget it. You can start looking in some other direction. You can put it at the back. You can avoid your eyes.

You can pretend that you are not the real.

The first thing: you are the real. Whatsoever you are is your reality. It has not to be attained; it is already there. It has happened. Nirvana is not somewhere in the future. Either it is now or never. To seek it is to miss it. If you want to find it, don't seek it. Just be herenow.

And when I say just be herenow, don't make a desire out of it. Don't start asking how to be here and now. Don't start planning that "I have to work hard to be here and now." You have moved away; that "how" takes you away.

You are your real nature. This is the great declaration of Zen. Other religions say you have to find God. Zen says you are. Other religions say long is the journey. Zen says there is no question of any journey whatsoever. You are already there! Maybe fast asleep, snoring, but you are there. The goal is where you are. You are the goal, you are the target.

You want "to experience truth and to live it in the world". That's what you are already doing. Drinking tea you are living the truth. Talking to a friend you are living the truth. Going for a morning walk you are living the truth. Even being angry you are living the truth. How can it be otherwise?

The ordinary is the extraordinary, and the trivial is the profound. The samsara is nirvana.

It is just a question of remembering.

"... to become my real nature, to experience truth and to live it in the world". That's what you are doing, Gunakar. Just the mind goes on playing a game. The mind says things can be better. The mind says life can be improved upon. The mind says there must be something more, you must be missing something -- seek, search, do something. This is greed, and the greed is so subtle that it can hide in millions of ways. It can even start trying not to be greedy.

Now, listening to me, your mind will say, "Right. Now I am not to be greedy at all because it is greed that is destroying my life. So I have to get rid of greed." Again the greed has come, from the back door.

"It was deep in the woods back yonder," began old Herman, the guide. "I was plodding along minding my own business when suddenly a huge bear sneaked up behind me. He pinned my arms to my sides and started to squeeze the breath out of me. My gun fell out of my hands.

First thing you know, the bear had stooped down, picked up the gun, and was pressing it against my back."

"What did you do?" gasped the tenderfoot.

Old Herman sighed. "What could I do? I married his daughter."

But the bear or the daughter, it makes no difference. It is the same.

Just be aware of the ways of the greed. Don't try to get rid of it. Don't try to do anything.

Just be aware of how greed takes a thousand and one forms. Watch it. There is no hurry.

And you are not losing anything. You are living the truth. You cannot lose, in the very nature of things. We are all winners. Here nobody can be a loser. God has managed the world in such a way. That's why mystics say this i3 the most perfect world. God has managed it in such a way that everybody is a winner, nobody is a loser. Everybody is a victor, nobody is ever defeated. Even in your defeat there is victory, and even when you think you are lost you are not lost. It is all dream. The day you become awake you will find you have never been outside your home, you have always been there.

The only thing is to become more and more alert. Just watch. You see greed arising in one way, watch it. Don't try to stop it; otherwise it will arise in another way. It may choose just the opposite so it can deceive you. Don't do anything to it; otherwise it will find another way. No need to fight with it. Just watch it, let it be there. Watch it. See it naked, through and through.

Awareness functions like an X-ray. It sees things through and through, and in that very seeing there is freedom. If you have seen the greed totally, in that very seeing greed disappears. Not that you make it disappear. It disappears. In that vision it is not found. In that light that darkness is no more there. Suddenly you are free of greed.

And when you are free of greed you know you have never left the home, you have always been there. You have never left God. Adam has never been expelled from the garden of Eden.

He still lives there; he just dreams that he has been expelled. This is the Zen interpretation of the biblical story.

I must have given you a thousand interpretations about the story. The story is so beautiful.

Zen says Adam is still living in the garden of Eden. The snake has not tricked him into sin.

The snake has only tricked him into a dream. And God has not expelled him. How can God expel you? And to where can he expel you? It is all his garden. Where will you be? Wherever you will be it will be his garden, so to where can he expel you? And how can God expel?

Expelling Adam, God will be expelling himself, a part of himself. He will fall into parts. No, it is not possible.

Then what has happened? Adam has fallen asleep. Eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, Adam has fallen asleep and is dreaming that God is very angry. It is his own dream. It is his own idea. It is his own guilt. It is his own mind, that "I have broken the rule," that "I had promised, and I have broken my promise." Now he is trembling and feeling guilty, and in the sleep the guilt is creating a dream that God is very angry. He is projecting his guilt on God. His guilt is becoming God's anger, in his mind. Naturally God must be very angry, and he is expelling him, and he has expelled him. The gates are closed, and Adam is thrown into the world.

But it is just a dream. The moment Adam becomes awake, he will laugh. He will have an uproarious laugh. He will roll down on the ground. His belly will start bursting with the laughter because he will see the whole absurdity of it: he had never been out.

Have you not dreamed dreams like this? In a dream you are being killed, and in that moment when you are being murdered, can you doubt it? It is so real. You shriek, you scream, and because of the shriek and the scream you become alert, you become aware. The dream is broken. Even after the dream your heart is beating louder, your breath is not in rhythm, your hands are shaking. You know now it was a dream, a nightmare, you are sitting in your bed and there is nobody, just your poor wife sleeping by your side -- no murderer -- the doors are closed, everything is silent, there has been nobody in the room, nobody was murdering you; but still you are trembling. The fear has been so deeply there, the idea of murder has penetrated so deeply in you, that even when you are awake, a little smoke of it continues to be there. But now you know you have never been out of the room and nobody is trying to murder you, there is nobody.

This is what I say to you. You are still in the garden of Eden. God has not expelled you.

You have fallen asleep.

And the work of the Master is to bring you back. Back, not from anywhere, but only from sleep. Back to awareness.



There is a beautiful Zen saying. Let that be the answer.

"I sing my songs to him who understands them. I drink my wine with the friend who knows me well."



You have missed. You have not understood what has been said to you. You have not heard. Again the greed has become a barrier. Listening to me you are listening through the greed.

When you listen to me, if I am talking about enlightenment and the joy of it, you become greedy. You start thinking, "When am I going to become enlightened?" So you say it is great -- it all sounds great, "as perfect as can be articulated". Now, this greed creates a problem.

You put whatsoever I am saying as a goal. Of course, the goal is far away. There is a distance between you and the goal, and the distance has to be traveled, so the second question arises:

"What the hell do you do in the meantime?"

But there is no meantime. I am not talking about the goal; I am talking about the way. And I am not saying anything about the future or afterlife; I am saying something about THIS moment, this very moment! This is it! You think in terms of tomorrow. I am talking about today.

Jesus says to his disciples, "Look in the field. Look at the beautiful lilies. They don't think of the morrow, they toil not, they labor not. Look at these beautiful flowers. They are just herenow. Even Solomon attired in all his costly clothes was not so beautiful. Look at these lilies in the field."

I am talking about THIS moment. What do you mean by "meantime"? There is no meantime. This is it! These birds, this cuckoo, these trees, you and me: this moment. This is the moment of nirvana.

But you start thinking in terms of desire. You say, "It sounds great." In fact, a thing that could have released your celebration becomes a desire, and through desire you start feeling sad because the goal is far away.

The cuckoo is singing right now. And the trees have flowered right now. It is all beautiful this moment. It will never be more beautiful. It has never been less beautiful. Each moment is perfect. But you start thinking about the tomorrow. Then the whole glory is there, somewhere away from you, and here you are a miserable creature, crying and weeping for the goal.

You create the meantime. I am not talking about the meantime. I am not talking about time at all, so what to say about meantime? I am talking about the eternal moment, about eternity.

You bring time in. The mind always brings time in. Time is a mind faculty.

The mind cannot be herenow. The mind says, "Right. Hoard this, whatsoever Osho is saying. Hoard it. Someday we are going to practice it, and one day we are going to attain to this Buddhahood. It sounds great." Then the misery, then the sadness. Then you will remain miserable your whole life. This Buddhahood will never happen, because you missed it in the first place.

You have become so miserable that you cannot trust me that the celebration is possible right now. You say, "First one has to prepare. First one has to become this and that. First one has to meditate. First one has to become a great saint. First one has to become virtuous." This is something which from the very childhood has been deeply conditioned on your mind.

The parents, the teachers, the schools, the universities, the priest, the politician, they all have been teaching you, "Get ready. Get ready; something is going to happen." And then you go on getting ready -- and one day you simply die, just getting ready. It never happens. When you were a child they were saying, "Wait, grow up, first be educated. Go to the university, come back home." Thrilled, you go to the university and you suffer all sorts of tortures there, in the hope that it is not going to last forever, in the hope that now you are getting ready. You don't know what for, what you are getting ready for.

To listen to this cuckoo singing? To watch a bird on the wing? To see a full moon in the night? To hold a friend's hand? To love? For what? Because all this is available right now.

You go to the university, you go through a thousand and one imprisonments; by the time you come back home you are destroyed. It is very rare; very fortunate people come back from the university without being destroyed by the education system.

Then they come home. Then the father says, "Now find a job -- and get ready. Get married, and get ready. Then everything is going to be beautiful." And you read the novels and you go to the movie and you see the film, and once the marriage happens, the story says, "Ever afterwards they lived in happiness." Have you ever seen anybody living after marriage and happy? But these stories circulate, they condition the mind: Get ready.

So one day you find a job. Another humiliation. One day you get married. Another distraction from the moment. And so on, so forth. Then you go on missing, it is not happening, so somebody says, "How can you have it unless you have a child?" Right. So get ready, have a child. And so on, so forth.

Finally you recognize the fact that the whole life has been a wastage.

I am not saying don't go to the university, and I am not saying don't get married, I am not saying don't get a job. Please, don't misunderstand me. What I am saying is: For happiness don't get ready, it is already here. Go to the university. Enjoy. Have a job, but enjoy it. It is not going to lead to happiness. Each moment is an end unto itself; it is not to be converted into a means towards something else. Love, and enjoy love. Don't think that you will be happy while you are married. Get married, and BE happy. Don't think that when you will have a child and you will become a mother or a father then you will be happy. Have you not seen your mother and your father? So what are you hoping for? And don't wait and don't go on postponing.

The greatest calamity that has happened to humanity is postponement -- always postponing. There are people who are always looking at the timetable and thinking about where to go on the holidays, what trains to catch and what planes to go by, this place or that, to the Himalayas or to the Alps, to Kashmir or to Switzerland. And they are always preparing and preparing, and they never go. What will you say about these people? You will think they are mad. They have all the guidebooks and all the maps of the world and all the literature that government information services go on publishing. They have a whole library, and they go on looking into it and they go on preparing, but they always prepare and they never go. What will you think about them? Will you not call them neurotic?

This is what the situation is with everybody. You always talk about God, you always talk about MOKSHA, nirvana, heaven, paradise, you always talk about it, but it is always tomorrow. So you have to prepare. "Meantime" you prepare.

I am saying there is no meantime. God is available right now, just for the asking.

Start enjoying. Don't ask how to dance! Start dancing. Can't you move your body? It may not be very graceful. So who bothers? It may not be a trained, disciplined thing. So who bothers? Start dancing. Don't go on consulting manuals about love. Start loving. Don't go on and on in the mind. Start moving into existence, be existential. That is the message of Zen.



How can I be crazy? I have no mind out of which to go.



The question is from Yoga Anando.

No. Sin means missing the mark. Zen means there is no mark to miss. There is nothing, no target. There is no destiny. It is all beautiful purposelessness. It is all beautiful meaninglessness. It is a song. It has no meaning. It has a rhythm, but no meaning. It has tremendous beauty in it, but no logic. And it is not a syllogism; there is no conclusion. It is an unconcluded existence, and it remains always unconcluded.

We are always in the middle. There has been no source, and there is no goal.

Sin exactly means missing the mark. That's why Zen people don't talk about sin. Christians talk about sin, because they think God has to be achieved, heaven has to be achieved, there is some goal. If you miss that goal, that is what is called sin; sin means missing the goal. Zen people don't talk about sin. The word "sin" exists not for them, because there is no goal to miss. You are already at it! The arrow has reached, the arrow has always been there, not for a single moment has it been otherwise. Zen is so profound. It gives you utter freedom to be. It does not yoke you to some ideology and doesn't yoke you into some guilt.

The moment you talk about sin, guilt arises. The moment you start thinking you are missing the mark, tension arises, anxiety arises, anguish arises: "So how not to miss?" Then there is great trembling, and then the fear you may go on missing. Who knows? -- for so long you have been missing. So who knows, you may go on missing. You may go astray.

Christianity talks in terms of duality. You are separate from God, so you can miss him, you can move in a wrong direction, you can go astray. Zen is nondual. It says you are in God, you cannot go astray. See the beauty of it. See the great declaration. See the declaration of freedom -- utter freedom.

Freedom from the goal is utter freedom because the goal keeps you tied together in a direction. Zen has no direction. When you have a direction to move in, you will have to choose where to go. And the fear will always remain, whether you are going in the right direction or not. Who knows? -- even your leader may be wrong. The one who is leading you may himself be misguided or may be a cheat. Who knows? And if you come close to your priest and your leader, you will become more suspicious.

Gurdjieff used to say that if you want to get rid of religion, live near the priests. Then you will get rid of religion because you will see they are trembling as much as you are trembling.

Their public faces are different, their private faces are different. Live close to a priest, and you will be surprised. He is as much in the dark as anybody else. He just pretends. He is as blind as anybody else, but he goes to the masses and pretends to the blind people that "I have eyes."

And all religions depend on priests. Why don't the priests say the truth? They cannot, because their whole trade depends on one secret, that they have to go on pretending that they have eyes. That pretension is very basic to the trade of the priest.

And one priest may fight against another priest -- the Hindu priest may say something against Christianity and the Christian priest may say something about Hinduism -- but they never say anything against priesthood. Never.

I have heard a beautiful anecdote. Meditate over it.

The little island in the South Pacific was in an uproar when the American missionary visited the chief of the tribe. "What is the commotion?" demanded the missionary.

"There is a white baby born in the village," replied the savage, "and you know we don't like no man messing around with our women. Since you is the only white man on the island they is fixing to fry you alive."

The missionary was in a state of nervous collapse when he spied a flock of sheep on the hillside behind the village. Turning to the chief he cried, "Look there on the hillside, chief, you see that flock of white sheep?"

"I sure do," replied the chief.

"Well," said the missionary. "Do you see the black sheep in the middle of the flock?"

"I see it," responded the chief.

"There is no other black sheep and there never has been, has there?"



The chief beckoned the missionary aside and whispered in his ear, "You not tell, me not tell."

This is how it goes on. They have to protect each other. They may fight about dogmas, they may fight about principles, philosophies, that is all okay. But they never say anything against the priesthood. The Shankaracharya of Puri will be as much in favour of the priesthood as the Vatican Pope. There will be no problem about that, no conflict about that. If priesthood is at stake, they will all fight for it.

When Buddha declared these ultimate truths in India, there were many religions in India.

They all went against him. Not only Hindus, Jainas were against him. Not only Jainas, Ajeevekas were against him. And so many others. Why? Whenever a real man is there, all priests will be against him because the real man will bring the message to you that you are being led by blind people: they don't know; you don't know. The blind are leading the blind.

Zen says there is no need to be led by anybody, because there is nowhere to go. This is Cutting the very root of priesthood. Look at it. This is destroying priesthood totally. Zen does not say that one priest is right and another is wrong. If it is said that way, then priesthood is still protected. Zen says there is nowhere to go.

A man came to Nansen and asked, "What do you say? Is Zen the right way to achieve God?" Nansen said, "Zen is not a way at all, it is not a path, because a path leads somewhere.

We don't lead. A path reaches somewhere. We don't lead you anywhere. We simply throw you to where you are. We simply throw you back to yourself."

If it is a path, then leaders will be there. If something has to be done, then you will find people mediating between you and God, between you and reality. Nothing has to be done, so nobody has to show and guide you. You alone are enough.

Zen is not "hitting the mark". Zen is knowing that there is no mark and nowhere to hit, that you are the target, and the arrow has always been in the target.

You must have heard the great Tibetan mantra "AUM MANE PADME HUM". It has many meanings. One meaning is "Look! The arrow is already in the target." AUM is just a shout, so that you can look; it is almost "See!" "Look!" -- "Aum! mane padme hum." Literally it means "jewel in the lotus" "mane padme hum". Jewel in the lotus. Literally it means "Look!

The jewel is already in the lotus." Metaphorically it means "Look! The arrow has already reached the target."

You are at home already, so it is not "hitting the mark", because "hitting the mark" will again be the same thing. Then you will ask, "How to hit it?" Then one has to learn archery, then one has to go through discipline, and then the whole priesthood comes in from the back door.

I have heard:

One summer's day when a man in a rowing boat caught a cramp and fell into the water -- it was an ornamental lake -- arms and legs wildly flailing, he screamed, "Help, Help! I can't swim!" Finally a bystander shouted back, "Stand up, you bloody fool!" The drowning man did so -- and found that the water just came up to his waist.

But he was thinking he was drowning. The water just came up to his waist.

You are not drowning. Just stand up!

I have heard another story. A traveler lost his track one night in the hills. It was a dark night, and he was very much afraid. The hills were very tricky and dangerous and the track was very narrow, and he was afraid he could miss a step and could disappear forever in the valley. He could fall into any abyss; they were all around. So he was just creeping on his hands. Still he fell, he slipped. He caught hold in time of the roots of a tree. Now, he was very much afraid. He tried hard somehow to get out of that hole he was hanging in, but he could not. And it was getting colder and colder and his hands started becoming frozen, and now he was certain that it was a question of minutes. Once the hands are too cold, he would not be able to hold onto the roots, and he would die. That became certain. Now there was no way to escape.

He started crying and weeping, and he started praying, and he had never been a theist, but in such moments nobody bothers about principles. He started saying to God, "Save me," this and that, and "I will not do this sin or that sin, and I will be straight now; I will not drink and I will not smoke," and all sorts of things he was promising. But no help came, and by and by his hands started slipping, and a moment came when he thought, "Now it is finished." And he fell.

And to his surprise, he was standing on his feet. There was no abyss there; it was just plain ground. For hours he was hanging between life and death.

Once you stop planning, you will suddenly be on plain ground. Once you stop thinking about the target and how to hit it, you will be at home. Zen says drop all ways, because all ways lead astray, because to God there is no need of any way. He is there in your heart. It is he who is listening to me, it is he who is talking to you. It is he who is breathing in you, it is he who is beating in your heart. God is not far away. God is not even outside. God is the innermost core of you.

So drop this sin-oriented idea of hitting or missing. Both are in the same category; both will create anxiety.

My whole effort here is to make you free of anxiety, free of guilt. Free of guilt, free of anxiety, you are a saint, because you are innocent then, you are a child again. You are born again.



There is no need to begin. I am not sending you on a journey. Not even the first step is needed. Take the step, and you have moved in the wrong direction. It is not that any direction is wrong; all directions are wrong. Movement is wrong. It is not that a few people go astray and a few don't, no. All going is going astray.

Let this sink in your heart as deeply as possible.

When I say the world is samsara, I mean don't divide into the profane and the profound.

Live the profound in a profound way, live the profane in a profound way. Don't divide into the material and the spiritual. Live the material in a spiritual way; bring the quality of the spirit to matter.

What do I mean when I say live in the ordinary world? I mean live the profane life in a new way, with a new being, with a new style, with a new flavor, the flavor of meditation.

I am not telling you to go away anywhere.

I am for God, but I am not against anything. And God, my God, is so vast, he includes all.

Yes, you can sip your tea in such a meditative way that it becomes prayer. Try it. You can love your woman in such a meditative way that love becomes ecstasy, that when you are lost with your woman or with your man, suddenly you are lost in God. Those moments become of tremendous value. Those moments become the first glimpses of divinity.

Start living your ordinary life in an extraordinary way. What is the extraordinary way? To bring awareness. Whatsoever you do, let it be soaked in awareness, let it be showered with awareness.



You will have to understand first what immaturity is. That will give you the idea of what maturity is. Immaturity has a few ingredients in it. One, immaturity is a sort of dependence. A child depends on the parents; he is immature. If you are still depending, you are immature.

You may depend on God or you may depend on me, but it is immaturity. You are still seeking your parents. Maybe your parents are gone and lost; now you are projecting your parents.

There are many people who come to me and I can see immediately in their eyes they are searching for their father. It is not accidental that the pope is called the pope. "Pope" means "papa". People are looking for a divine daddy, continuously. This is immaturity.

When are you going to stand on your own feet? How long are you going to remain a dependent on the mother, on the father, on this and that?

These dependent people are very dangerous people because they can be exploited easily.

Anybody who pretends to be their father, they will become victims to him. They will follow Adolf Hitler; the fuhrer will become their father. The Germans used to call their country the "fatherland", others call their countries the "motherland", but it is all the same nonsense. We go on projecting. The country becomes the mother, the country becomes the father, or God the Father, or Kali the Mother. You go on projecting.

You want to remain a child; you don't want to grow. Growth is responsibility, and you don't want to take any responsibility.

People come to me and they say, "Osho, we surrender to you. Now you are responsible."

How can I be responsible for you? Surrender can only mean that you have come to me to learn responsibility. Now you want to avoid responsibility. Surrendering to me can only be a way, a means, to learn to be responsible. But if you want surrender as a substitute for responsibility, your surrender is wrong, ill. It is not healthy, it is dangerous. And then you will start getting angry at me. If nothing is happening you will get angry. Because nothing is happening, you will think I am not doing anything.

Only you can do something. I can indicate, but the real thing is going to happen within you. Nobody else can do it. If I can do it, then I can undo it also. That will not be much of a gain. If Buddha can deliver you from your ignorance, then one day if he gets angry with you he will release all your ignorance again, back to you. That will not be of much use. Freedom is possible only when you learn responsibility, when you start standing on your own feet.

Of course, one feels very helpless. So what? It is how life is. That helplessness is not bad.

It teaches you that ego is wrong, that you have to be humble, helpless. And yet there is no other way to stand: you can stand only on your own feet. Nobody can take you on his shoulders to God. You will have to enter into divinity on your own.

So maturity has to be understood through understanding immaturity. First thing: we are taught to be dependent on the parents, on the leaders, on the priests. Nobody wants you to be free, because people are afraid, the society is afraid, of free people. Free people will be rebellious. Free people will start doing THEIR thing, and the society is very much afraid of such people. The society wants you to do things that the society wants. The society wants you to follow a certain pattern. The society has its own goals; they have to be fulfilled. The society does not want you to become a Buddha or a Christ, because they have always been dangerous people. The society wants just zombies. And an immature person can easily become a zombie because he is an imitator.

Have you watched small children imitating, and by imitation they think they are becoming grown-ups? Small children start smoking. Not that they feel very good about smoking, not that it is great or anything. When a child starts smoking he cannot even believe why people smoke, because his eyes start getting red, his throat feels irritated, and he starts coughing, tears come down his cheeks. It is really painful, but he will tolerate the pain because the cigarette gives a certain feeling that he is a grown-up. Only grown-ups are allowed to smoke, so the smoking becomes a symbol of grown-upness.

I have heard:

A man walking down the street noticed a small boy about ten years old sitting on the front doorstep of a house, smoking a cigarette. "Aren't you a little young to be smoking?" he asked.

"Of course I ain't," replied the lad. "I got a girlfriend and all."

"A girlfriend!" said the man.

"Yeah, Picked her up last night, I did. Smashing it was."

"Good Lord! How old was she?"

"I dunno. I was too drunk to ask her."

There are symbols of grown-upness. You need to have a girlfriend, you have to smoke, you have to drink, and even small children start learning these tricks. And then they never grow up, They only imitate, They imitate other, false grownups. And their children will imitate them, and so on it goes.

This world is a world of imitators, monkeys all. And it does not make much difference -- you can be a chairman of the board of monkeys, that doesn't make much difference; or you can be a president of a monkey country, that doesn't make any difference -- all the same you remain the monkey. Maybe you are more monkeyish than others.

A grown-up person is one who does not imitate, who starts feeling his own way, who starts being in his own way, who starts looking into his nature: "Who am I? And what REALLY do I feel?"

One woman came home, driving, she got out of her car, and fell down flat on the ground.

The husband rushed, asked, "What is the matter? What happened? Why did you faint?"

She said, "It was too hot."

The husband looked at the car and he said, "But why didn't you open the windows?"

She said, "What! Open the windows, and let the neighbours know that our car is not air conditioned?"

One can die but cannot allow the neighbours to know that the car is not air conditioned.

She had to keep the windows closed. She was fainting, but that is okay, but to keep the windows open hurts much more.

Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that's what maturity is all about.

If you imitate you will again and again fall into a ditch because whatsoever you imitate never fits reality. Reality is continuously changing, it is a flux, nothing is ever the same. It is a river; it goes on flowing.

If you imitate your father ... Just see, your father lived many years before. Your father was a child maybe thirty years before or forty years before. He learned things in a different world.

For example, your father, when he was a child, was not sitting five hours glued to the chair before the TV. Now, you don't know how much the TV has done to the small children. The father does not know. His childhood was not at all influenced by the TV. Five hours sitting before a TV is no ordinary phenomenon.

In fact, before TV happened, down the centuries, people had never looked into a source of light for five hours continuously. Now the scientists say that the whole nervous system changes because of those five hours of looking directly into the source of light. The TV goes on throwing strong rays on your eyes. It has never happened before. Five hours is too much.

Scientists may if you sit near a color TV, four feet away, you will get cancer, you will suffer from many diseases which your parents had not known, ever. The eyes are eighty percent of your life. Five hours of just strong light rays reaching into your head -- your sleep will be disturbed. If America suffers from insomnia, it is natural. The TV is one of the basic causes.

Ordinarily man has lived with light, natural light. In a primitive society, the sun rises, people rise, and the sun sets and people set, people go to sleep. A natural rhythm with light.

Now we are living too much with the light; the eyes are not made for that much light. The inner nervous system is disturbed; it becomes too loaded.

And a thousand and one things will happen. In America a new phenomenon is happening.

Many places it has happened, and people have become really worried about it, what to do? In one place a woman was murdered, and twenty persons were standing there, almost paralyzed, not doing anything. A psychological investigation was done. What is the matter? Twenty young, healthy people standing there, and a woman was killed just in front of them and they didn't do anything -- they didn't even shout, they didn't call the police. What happened? And you will be surprised. The finding is that it is because these twenty people have lived on TV for too long.

On the TV screen murder happens so many times. What do you do? You don't do anything; you remain glued to your chair. They have become accustomed to it. It was another TV scene. They have lost track of reality. The TV has become more real. For five hours you are not with anything else -- and a continuous bombardment of light, and strong light, and things are moving in your head. You become a watcher. They were standing there just glued to their spots, paralyzed -- just watching. They could not do anything, because they are no more doers.

Now, your father, who had a different kind of childhood, will not be able to understand it.

You are living in a different world, in a world which is more of TV watchers than of participants. Whatsoever he says will not be fit for your world; hence the generation gap. The father speaks a different language, you speak a different language. You live in a different world, he lived in a different world. Now, those two worlds never coincide.

If you are an imitator you will always be taking false moves. You have to learn to live in YOUR world; you have to respond to the reality that surrounds you. Things have changed dramatically. They have always been changing, but the change has been too fast in this century. And it will be faster and faster.

You have to become aware of the situation and respond accordingly.

An experienced plumber was giving instructions to his apprentice.

"Working in other people's homes," he said, "can sometimes lead to embarrassing situations, but you can always get out of them by using tact. For example, the other day, I walked into a bathroom and found a lady taking a bath. I backed out saying, 'Excuse me, sir.'

In that way, the lady thought I had not gotten a good look at her and it was all right."

The following afternoon, the apprentice staggered into the office in a beat-up condition.

"What happened to you?" asked the boss.

"You and your tact," cried the apprentice. "I went to the bridal suite of the Etter Plaza Hotel to fix a faucet. I was halfway through the bedroom before I realized there was a couple making love in the bed. The husband cussed at me, but I remember what you had said, so I tipped my hat and said, 'Excuse me, gentlemen!'" If you simply follow and you don't understand, you are immature. Never follow. Try to understand. Let understanding be your basic law of life. Let things come out of your understanding, not out of your memory.

The immature person functions through memory. Whenever there is a situation he looks into his memory, into his past, and finds a clue. The mature person looks into the situation, puts his past aside, because the past is irrelevant. He brings his total attention to the present situation and functions out of that totality. His action is in the present. The immature person is always living through his past; the immature person is always turning his future into his past.

He is repetitive, he is parrotlike, he is a shadow, a reflection. He is not real.

When a party of tourists climbed to the top of a famous echoing mountain, they saw an old man, sitting on a rock, an enormous telescope in his hands. Every few moments he let out a series of shouts.

The puzzled tourists watched him for some time. Then one of them went up to the old man and asked, "Why do you keep looking through that thing and then calling out as if you were in pain?"

The old man-answered impatiently, "Don't talk to me. You will distract my attention and I will lose my job. I am the echo for this hill."

Many people have become just echoes. Watch yourself when something happens and you react. Are you reacting the same way as your father used to react in such a situation? Are you saying the same thing as your mother would have said if she were in this situation? Are your gestures the same as your teacher's in the school you loved so much? Just watch -- your gestures, your words, your actions -- and you will be surprised. Ninety-nine percent they are just echoes, they are not true.

How can you be fulfilled with such echoes?

Your father is living through you, not you. Your parents are living through you, not you.

Your parents' parents are living through you, not you. The whole of humanity and its past is living through you, but not you. This is immaturity.

Maturity means you discontinue with your past. With one stroke of the sword you become discontinuous with your past and your heritage and the tradition, and you start living independently. The gesture is yours; then it is meaningful, then it is full of significance, then it is not an empty gesture. The words are yours, not borrowed, not somebody else's; then your life becomes more and more authentic and real.

To live in immaturity is to live in a kind of dream. It is a shadow world. Your eyes are so full of fog, you don't have clarity.

A frustrated young man went to see his doctor.

"Doc," he explained, "every night I have the strangest dreams. Beautiful blondes, brunettes, and redheads appear, and one by one they try to kiss me and put their arms around me."

"So?" answered the doctor.

"So nothing, Doc. I keep pushing them away -- every one of them."

"What would you like me to do?"

"Doc, please," pleaded the patient, "break my arms."

People are living in their dreams. They are ready to break their real arms for their unreal dreams.

Watch! You will find many times the same happening in your life. You are ready to kill your reality for some unreal ideal, some utopia, some ideology, some scripture. Somebody insults the Bible. Are you ready to fight? Then you are a fool. Somebody says something against Ram, and you are Hindu and you are ready to be killed or kill. Then you are a fool.

Then you are living in shadows and you have become too attached to shadows.

In fact, a really alert man will not feel offended even if somebody insults him personally.

Even if somebody says something against his name, he will not feel offended, because he will know, "I am not my name. The name is just an appendage, a label -- useful, but not real, just a make-believe. Any other name would be the same." He will not feel offended.

A really alert man, even if you hit his body, will not feel offended, because he will know he is not the body. He will know he is not his mind. He will know that he is something transcendental, and he will remain in that transcendentalness. In that transcendence is his being.

Then life will have a totally new quality and it will become a new experience. That experience is divine. Maturity is the door to divinity. Immature, you remain asleep. Mature, you become awake.

The question is from Prem Anam. He has many things which are immature in him. His question is relevant, relevant to his being, and it is good that he has asked.

Now, Anam, watch, become more careful. Drop your childishness more and more.

I say again and again, I quote again and again, Jesus' saying that "Unless you are like a child, you will not enter into my kingdom of God." But remember, he does not mean childishness. Childishness is just the opposite of being LIKE a child. A childish person is never like a child. He pretends to be a grown-up; he is a pretender. A childlike person is one who has become so mature, so alive, so aware, that he drops all pretensions. He is nude and naked, he is true, he is innocent.

Drop childishness, and become a child; and you will be mature. And you will be ready, ready to take the jump into yourself.



The question is from Ajit Saraswati.

For Ajit Saraswati it is perfectly right. He can continue. But remember, I am saying so only to him, not to anybody else. It is a very personal question.

He has nothing of the ego. He can go on. In fact, this too is part of his humbleness, that he has asked.

It is good to help others, because there is nobody really who is other. Helping others, you are helping yourself because we are parts of each other, members of one another. We are joined together. If I help you to be happy, I become happy. If I help you to be miserable, I become miserable. Our life is together here; it is a togetherness; we are not separate. On the periphery we may be separate; at the center we are one.

Nothing to be worried about. If you have the feeling that you enjoy sharing whatsoever you have understood, howsoever little it is, if you have the feeling that you enjoy, you feel blissful, you feel joyful -- and no ego arises out of it ... Let that be the criterion: if ego arises out of it, then you are not helping others, and you are destroying yourself meanwhile. If no ego arises -- you simply feel peaceful and silent and happy that you shared something with somebody, a grace descends on you -- then you are perfectly right. Then go on the housetops and shout.

When you have, share it.

And there is no need to wait, that when you have the whole of it, then you will share it.

Then you will not have the whole, ever. Share it, and you will get more. Give it, and you will get more.

But remember only one thing: the ego should not enter in. The moment you see ego arising, the moment you see you are feeling great, superior to others, holier than others, then something is going wrong. Then it is better to wait. You are not to wait for the whole of God to happen to you, but you are to wait for the whole of the ego to go.

With Ajit Saraswati, it is already the case. The ego is not there. Slowly, slowly that rock has disappeared. I have been falling on him like a waterfall. Yes, the ego was there one day.

And the water is very soft, so the rock never feels worried, but the water goes on falling, goes on falling, goes on falling, and by and by, unaware what is happening, the rock slowly, slowly disappears, becomes sand, and is taken far away.

The rock was there, but it is not there. So enjoy it, delight in it, rejoice, share.



Here are two ancient rules, very ancient:

First, that you must be like a man who has been bitten by a snake and knows he has not a moment to lose.

And second, that you must be like a man who has awakened to find that his horse has been stolen and it is too late to lock the door and there is no hurry.



If I were to tell you, it would become the second principle.

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"The only statement I care to make about the Protocols [of Learned
Elders of Zion] is that they fit in with what is going on.
They are sixteen years old, and they have fitted the world situation
up to this time. They fit it now."

-- Henry Ford
   February 17, 1921, in New York World

In 1927, he renounced his belief in them after his car was
sideswiped, forcing it over a steep embankment. He interpreted
this as an attempt on his life by elitist Jews.