The Paradox that Life is.

Fri, 21 April 1979 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
Chapter #:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
Short Title:
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110 mins

The first question

Question 1:


Gregg Johnson,

LIFE CONSISTS OF EXTREMES. Life is a tension between the opposites. To be exactly in the middle for ever means to be dead. The middle is only a theoretical possibility; only once in a while are you in the middle, as a passing phase. It is like walking on a tightrope: you can never be exactly in the middle for any length of time. If you try, you will fall.

To be in the middle is not a static state, it is a dynamic phenomenon. Balance is not a noun, it is a verb; it is BALANCING. The tightrope-walker continuously moves from the left to the right, from the right to the left. When he feels now he has moved too much to the left and there is fear of falling, he immediately balances himself by moving to the opposite, to the right. Passing from the left to the right, yes, there is a moment when he is in the middle. And again when he has moved too much to the right, there is fear of falling, he is losing balance, he starts moving towards the left. Passing from the right to the left, again he moves through the middle for a moment.

This is what I mean when I say balance is not a noun but a verb -- it is balancing, it is a dynamic process. You cannot be in the middle. You can go on moving from left to right and right to left; this is the only way to remain in the middle.

Don't avoid extremes, and don't choose any one extreme. Remain available to both the polarities -- that is the art, the secret of balancing. Yes, sometimes be utterly happy, and sometimes be utterly sad -- both have their own beauties.

Our mind is a chooser; that's why the problem arises. Remain choiceless. And whatsoever happens and wherever you are, right or left, in the middle or not in the middle, enjoy the moment in its totality. While happy, dance, sing, play music -- be happy! And when sadness comes, which is bound to come, which is coming, which has to come, which is inevitable, you cannot avoid it... if you try to avoid it you will have to destroy the very possibility of happiness. The day cannot be without the night, and the summer cannot be without the winter, and life cannot be without death.

Let this polarity sink deep in your being -- there is no way to avoid it. The only way is to become more and more dead. Only the dead person can be in a static middle. The alive person will be constantly moving -- from anger to compassion, from compassion to anger. And he accepts both! And he is not identified with either. He remains aloof and yet involved. He remains distant yet committed. He enjoys and yet he remains like a lotus flower in water -- in water, and yet the water cannot touch it.

Gregg Johnson, your very effort to be in the middle, and to be in the middle for ever and always, is creating an unnecessary anxiety for you. In fact, to desire to be in the middle for ever is another extreme, the worst kind of extreme, because it is the impossible kind.

It cannot be fulfilled.

Just think of an old clock: if you hold the pendulum exactly in the middle, the clock will stop. The clock continues only because the pendulum goes on moving from the left to the right, from the right to the left. Yes, each time it passes through the middle, and there is a moment of that middleness, but only a moment. And it is beautiful! When you pass from happiness to sadness, and from sadness to happiness, there is a moment of utter silence exactly in the middle -- enjoy that too.

Life has to be lived in all its dimensions, only then is life rich. The leftist is poor, the rightist is poor, and the middlist is dead! The alive person is neither rightist nor leftist nor middlist -- he is a constant movement, he is a flow.

Why do we want to be in the middle in the first place? We are afraid of the dark side of life; we don't want to be sad, we don't want to be in a state of agony. But that is possible only if you are also ready to drop the possibility of being in ecstasy. There are a few who have chosen it -- that is the way of the monk. For centuries that has been the way of the monk. He is ready to sacrifice all possibilities of ecstasy just to avoid agony. He is ready to destroy all roseflowers just to avoid the thorns. But then his life is just flat... a long long boredom, stale, stagnant. He does not really live. He is afraid to live!

Life contains both: it brings great pain, it also brings great pleasure. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin. If you leave one, you have to leave the other too. This has been one of the most fundamental misunderstandings down the ages, that you can leave pain and save pleasure, that you can avoid hell and have heaven, that you can avoid the negative and can have only the positive. This is a great fallacy. It is not possible in the very nature of things. The positive and negative ARE together, inevitably together, indivisibly together. They are two aspects of the same energy.

My sannyasins, or those who understand me, have to accept both. I am giving you a totally new insight: Be all! And when you are on the left, don't miss anything -- enjoy!

Being on the left has its own beauty; you will not find it when you are on the right. It will be a different scene. And, yes, to be in the middle has its own silence, peace, and you will not find it on any extreme. So enjoy all! Go on enriching your life.

Can't you see any beauty in sadness? Meditate over it. Next time when you are sad don't fight with it, don't waste time in fighting. Accept it, welcome it -- let it be a welcome guest. And see deep into it, with love, care. Be a real host! And you will be surprised -- you will be surprised beyond your comprehension -- that sadness has a few beauties which happiness can never have. Sadness has depth, and happiness is always shallow.

Sadness has tears, and tears go deeper than any laughter can ever go. And sadness has a silence of its own, a melody, which happiness can never have. It will have its own song, more noisy, but not so silent.

I am not saying choose sadness: I am just saying enjoy it too. And when you are happy, enjoy happiness. Swim on the surface too, and sometimes dive deep into the river. It is the same river! On the surface the play of ripples and waves, and the sunrays and the wind -- it has its own beauty. And diving deep into the water has its own quality, its own adventure, its own danger.

And don't become attached to anything. There are people who have become attached to sadness too -- psychology knows about them. They are called masochists: they go on creating situations in which they can remain miserable for ever. Misery is the only thing that they enjoy, they are afraid of happiness. In misery they are at home.

Many masochists become religious, because religion provides a great protection for the masochist mind. Religion gives a beautiful rationalization for being a masochist. Just being a masochist without being religious, you will feel condemned and you will feel ill - - ill-at-ease -- and you will know that you are abnormal, and you will feel guilty about what you are doing to your life. You will hide the fact.

But if a masochist becomes religious he can exhibit his masochism with great pride, because now it is no more masochism -- it is asceticism, it is austerity -- tapascharya -- it is self-discipline, not torture. Just the labels have been changed! Now nobody can call him abnormal -- he is a saint. Nobody can call him pathological -- he is pious, holy.

Masochists have always moved towards religion. Religion has a great attraction for masochists. In fact, so many masochists down the ages have moved towards religion -- it was very natural, that movement -- that religion became dominated by the masochists.

That's why religion goes on insisting on being life-negative, life-destructive. It is not for life, it is not for love, it is not for joy. It goes on insisting that life is misery. By calling life misery, it rationalizes its own clinging to misery.

I have heard a beautiful story -- I don't know how far it is correct, I cannot vouch for it:

In paradise, one afternoon, in the most famous cafe, Lao Tzu, Confucius and Buddha are sitting, and talking sweet nothings.

The bearer comes and in a tray brings three glasses of the juice called life and offers them. Buddha immediately closes his eyes and he says, "Life is misery."

Confucius closes his eyes half-way -- the middlist, he used to preach the golden mean -- and asks the bearer to give him the glass because he would like to have a sip, just a sip, because without tasting how can one say whether life is misery or not? He had a scientific mind. Confucius was not very mystic; he was a very pragmatic, earthbound mind. He was the first behaviourist the world has known, very logical.

And it looks perfectly right: he says, "First I will have a sip and then I will say."

He takes a sip and he says, "Buddha is right -- life is misery." Lao Tzu takes all the three glasses and he says, "Unless one drinks totally how can one say anything?"

He drinks all the three glasses and starts dancing! Buddha and Confucius ask him, "Are you not going to say anything?" He says, "This is what I am saying -- my dance, my song."

Unless you taste totally, you cannot say. And when you taste totally, you cannot say because what you know is so much that no word is adequate.

Buddha is on one extreme, Confucius is in the middle, Lao Tzu has drunk all the three glasses. The one that was brought for Buddha he has drunk, and the one that was brought for Confucius he has drunk, and the one that was brought for him he has drunk -- he has lived life in its three-dimensionality.

My own approach is that of Lao Tzu.

Gregg Johnson, live life in all possible ways; don't choose one thing against the other, and don't try to be in the middle. And don't try to balance yourself -- balance is not something that can be cultivated by you. Balance is something that comes out of the experience of all the dimensions of life. Balance is something that HAPPENS; it is not something that can be BROUGHT. If you bring it it will be false, forced; and if you bring it you will remain tense, you will not be relaxed, because how can a man who is trying to remain balanced, in the middle, be relaxed? He will always be afraid: if he relaxes he may start moving towards the left or towards the right -- he is bound to remain uptight.

And to be uptight is to miss the whole opportunity, the whole God-given gift.

Don't be uptight. Don't live life according to principles. Live life in its totality, drink life in its totality! Yes, sometimes it tastes bitter -- so what? That taste of bitterness will make you capable of tasting its sweetness. You will be able to appreciate the sweetness only if you have tasted its bitterness. The man who knows not how to cry will not know how to laugh either. And the man who cannot have a deep laughter, a belly-laughter, his tears will be crocodile tears -- they cannot be true, they cannot be authentic.

I don't teach you the middle way: I teach you the total way. And then a balance comes of its own accord. And then that balance has tremendous beauty and grace -- you have not forced it, it has Come. By moVing gracefully to the left, to the right, in the middle, slowly slowly, a balance COMES to you, because you remain so unidentified. When sadness comes you know it will pass, and when happiness comes you know it will pass too. Nothing remains. Everything passes by.

The only thing that always abides is your witnessing. That witnessing brings balance.

That witnessing is balance.

The second question

Question 2:



THERE IS NO NEED TO DEVELOP a conscience at all. What is needed is consciousness, not conscience. Conscience is a pseudo thing. Conscience is created in you by the society. It is a subtle method of slavery. The society teaches you what is right and what is wrong. And it starts teaching the child before the child is aware, before the child can decide on his own what is right and what is wrong, before the child is even conscious of what is happening to him, before the child is even awake. In a kind of sleep, in a kind of dream, the child lives in the beginning.

In the mother's womb the child sleeps for twenty-four hours. Then after the birth he sleeps for twenty-three hours, twenty-two hours, twenty-one hours, twenty hours... slowly slowly. But he remains in a kind of limbo, neither awake nor asleep. The child cannot make any distinction between what is real and what is unreal. And we start teaching the child what is right, what is wrong -- we are conditioning him. We are conditioning him according to our ideas. All these ideas -- from parents, from priests, teachers, politicians, saints -- -all these ideas jumble together inside him. They become his conscience.

And because of this conscience he will never be able to grow consciousness -- because conscience is a pseudo consciousness. And if you are satisfied with the pseudo you will never even think of the real. It is very deceptive; the way we have been bringing up children is very deceptive. It is ugly, it is violent, it is against humanity.

That's why millions of people live without any consciousness. Before they could have grown into consciousness, we gave them pseudo toys to play with. And their whole lives they think this is all that is needed to live a good life. And their whole lives they will be rewarded if they follow the conscience, and they will be punished if they don't follow the conscience.

From the outside they will be punished and rewarded, and from the inside also. Whenever you do something that your conscience says is wrong, you feel guilty, you suffer, you feel inner pain. You are afraid, you are trembling... it creates anxiety. And the fear about heaven, that you may lose heaven, and the fear of hell, that you may fall into hell... and with great inventiveness your saints have painted the joys of heaven and the miseries of hell.

This is conscience. Conscience is artificial, arbitrary. Conscience is needed because the society does not want you to be intelligent. Hence, rather than making you intelligent it gives you fixed rules of behaviour: Do this, don't do that.

The day humanity drops this whole nonsense of conscience and starts helping children to grow their consciousness will be the greatest day, will be the real birth of humanity, a new human being and a new earth. Then we will help the child to become more intelligent, so whenever a problem arises the child has enough intelligence to encounter it, to face it, to respond to it. Why should one need any conscience? Intelligence is enough, consciousness is enough.

Consciousness will make you capable of responding to the present immediately, and your response will be true. Conscience is old, and the situation is always new -- and your conscience is ALWAYS old. There is no meeting-ground. You go on responding according to the conscience cultivated in you by the society, forced into you by the society, conditioned in you by the society -- and the situation is totally different!

One of my friends went to Tibet. He is a very religious brahmin, very orthodox. He went there to study Buddhist scriptures, but he could not stay in Tibet -- he had to come back as quickly as possible. The journey was simply a sheer wastage, an unnecessary trouble, because to go into Tibet is not easy.

And the problem was that from his very childhood he had been taught to take a cold bath before the sun rises. Now. to take a cold bath in Tibet before the sun rises... he was telling me that it was impossible. And if he did not take the cold bath before sunrise, the whole day he would feel guilty. He had been told that without taking a cold bath in the morning you cannot pray, your prayer is useless. And without prayer you cannot eat anything. So he was taking a cold bath in the morning, and that was dangerous to life. In Tibetan scriptures it is said that once a year it is a must that one should take a bath!

Once a few Tibetan lamas came to stay with me, and those were the days when Maneesha was not there and Radha was not there to smell these people -- and I suffered so much...

For those few, seven, eight days that they stayed in my house, I was almost out of the house. Any excuse and I would escape from the house -- the whole house was stinking, because they would not take a bath. And a hot summer in India... and they would not take any bath! They were following their conscience.

It has been such a difficult thing for me to talk to Jaina monks. They used to come to see me; it was so difficult to talk with them -- because they don't cleanse their mouths, rinse their mouths, they don't clean their teeth. That is not allowed. That is thought to be a part of beautifying the body -- -and how can a Jaina monk beautify the body? He is so dead set against it.

Just to talk to them is so difficult -- they have such bad breath. It is bound to be so. And the Jaina monks are not allowed to take a bath either, because why should you be so careful about your body? -- the anti-body attitude. Their bodies stink, their mouths stink.

One Jaina nun became so much impressed by me and be-came so much interested in me that I told her, "You can at least take a sponge bath -- nobody will know. Just a wet towel, you can... and nobody will ever know that you have taken the bath."

The idea appealed to her. She took one sponge bath, felt very good and very bad too. She told me, "It feels very good and I feel fresh, but it hurts inside that I have committed a sin.

Do you ever think when you take a bath that you have committed a sin? And she had not even taken a full bath -- just a sponge bath, just a wet towel rubbed all over the body. But she felt so guilty that she had to fast for three days as repentance.

This is conscience. Conscience goes on making you a fool. Situations change, but the conscience cannot change, it cannot grow -- conscience remains static. You go on living with ideas that were given to you in your childhood, by your ignorant parents, ignorant teachers. And you will live according to them, and you will suffer much. And your response will never be true because it will never fit with the situation. You will always be lagging behind.

Responsibility simply means the capacity to respond to the reality as it is -- and it changes, the reality changes, and the conscience remains fixed. That's the difference between conscience and consciousness.

Consciousness is a mirror. Conscience is a photoplate. Once a photoplate is exposed, it is finished; it catches the picture and then that picture remains for ever, fixed. It cannot grow, remember.

One woman was showing her child the family album, and they came across a picture of a beautiful man with black hair, very fresh, young. And the child asked, "Who is this, Mom?" And the mother said, "Don't you recognize him? He is your father!" And the child said, "He is my father? Then who is that bald-headed man who lives with us?"

In reality, things change. Beautiful black hair disappears -- one becomes bald-headed.

But in pictures things are fixed.

Conscience is a photoplate and consciousness is a mirror. It also reflects, but it never clings to any reflection. It remains empty, and hence it remains capable of reflecting new situations. If it is morning, it reflects the morning. If it is evening, it reflects the evening.

The photoplate is fixed; if you exposed it in the morning then it will always remain morning in the photo, it will never become evening, night.

There is no need, Steven, to develop a conscience. The need is to drop the conscience and develop consciousness. Drop all that you have been taught by others, and start living on your own and searching and seeking.... Yes, in the beginning it will be difficult because you won't have any map. The map is contained by the conscience. You will have to move without the map, you will have to move into the uncharted, with no guidelines. Cowards cannot move without guidelines; cowards cannot move without maps. And when you move with maps and guidelines, you are not really entering into new territory, into new realms -- you are going in circles. You go on moving into the known; you never take a jump into the unknown. It is only courage that can drop conscience.

Conscience means all the knowledge that you have. And consciousness means being empty, being utterly empty, and moving into life with that emptiness, seeing through that emptiness and acting out of that emptiness -- then action has tremendous grace. And then whatsoever you do is right. It is not a question of what is right and what is wrong, because something that is right today may be wrong tomorrow. And borrowed knowledge never helps.

Homer and Jethro were digging a ditch in the blazing Mississippi sun. Seeing the boss sitting coolly in the shade above them, Homer put down his shovel and said, "How come he is up there and we are down here?"

"I dunno," said Jethro.

Homer went up to the boss and asked him, "How come you boss up here and we work down there?"

The boss answered, "Because I am smart."

"What is smart?" asked Homer.

"Here," said the boss putting his hand on a tree, "I will show you. Try to hit my hand."

Homer wound up a mighty swing and let fly. Just as he swung, the boss moved his hand away, and Homer crashed into the tree.

"Owwww!!!" he screamed.

The boss said coolly, "Now you are smart too."

Homer went back to the ditch. Jethro asked what happened and Homer said, "Now I am smart."

Jethro said, "What is smart?"

Homer said, "I will show you."

He looked around for a tree, and not seeing one, he put his hand over his own face.

"Here," he said, "try to hit my hand...."

That's what goes on with your so-called knowledge, conscience -- situations change, trees are no more found... but you have a fixed routine and you cannot do anything else, you go on repeating your routine. And life has no obligation to fit with your routine. You have to fit with life.

A VERY STRANGE, mysterious thing happened just twenty years ago in the world of modern physics. It destroyed the whole Aristotelian logic; it destroyed all ancient certainties. Physicists came to know that electrons move in a very strange way: they behave simultaneously as if they are particles and also as if they are waves. This is impossible! Either something can be a particle or it can be a wave. In the language of geometry, either something can be a point, a dot, or a line. but one thing cannot be both together: a point, a dot, and a line together. That is impossible. But that's what was happening.

They observed and observed, and the behaviour was such that the electrons were behaving in a very illogical way. They tried hard to figure it out, to somehow manage the old Aristotelian logic, that A is A and A is never not A. That was the two-thousand-year- old thought, deep-rooted, that A can never not be A. And that's what was happening: the particle was behaving like a wave -- A was behaving not like A. Now what to do?

It was difficult to discard Aristotle, very difficult -- a two thousand years' long love affair.

But electrons have no obligation, they don't bother at all about Aristotle. They were saying "Get lost!" And finally the physicists had to agree with the electrons. And when they were asked again and again "How is it possible?" they said, "What can we do? It is not a question of possible or not possible -- it is happening! It is so! We understand that it is illogical, that it should not be so, but what can we do? We are helpless! The electrons don't believe in Aristotle."

Aristotle has been discarded -- the two-thousand-year-old tradition of logic has become simply irrelevant.

Another phenomenon happened after a few years: they came to know that when the electron moves from point A to B, in the middle it disappears. Moving from point A to B, you find it on the point A, then suddenly you find it on point B, but in the middle you don't find it at all.

Now this is even more impossible. Somebody coming from Bombay to Poona; you find him in Bombay, and then you find him in Poona, and on the way nowhere is he found!

This is strange, unbelievable, but what to do? That's how it is. So another great ancient idea simply had to be dropped. The old idea was that nothing can come out of nothing.

Now that is happening: in the middle it is nothing, in the beginning it is something, in the end it is again something. So out of something nothing comes, and out of nothing something comes again.

But this has been the experience of the mystics always. This is new for modern physics, but this is not new for metaphysics -- this is very ancient. Mystics have never believed in Aristotle; they have always been anti-Aristotle -- they have always been illogical, because they don't know what the way of the electron is but they know their own inner consciousness. And there too they have observed these miracles: that the ego is something, comes out of nothing, and then disappears into nothing again. The ego arises out of nothing, becomes very solid, and then one day in meditation you simply find it has evaporated again.

This has been one of the most ancient experiences about the ego: that one moment it is there, another moment it is not there, and again it is there. And this has been the experience about time too, that when you are in deep meditation time simply disappears and when you come out of meditation time is again there.

The mystics have known it, that life follows no logic, that life is basically supra-logical, that life follows no reason, that fundamentally it is irrational. Conscience is very arbitrary, artificial. It gives you a fixed pattern, a fixed gestalt, and life goes on changing, and life is very uncertain, it id very zig-zag. Unless you are conscious you will not be able to live your life truly; your life will be only a pretension, a pseudo-phenomenon.

You will always be missing the train.

And always missing the train is what creates anguish in man. Just think of yourself always missing the train: rushing to the station, and whenever you reach the train is leaving the platform. That's what happens to the person who lives according to the conscience: he never catches the train. He cannot! He has a fixed gestalt, and life is a fluid phenomenon. He has a rocklike thing inside him and life is more like water.

Be conscious. Don't ask how to grow, how to develop a conscience. Here we are trying to do just the opposite: destroying conscience -- the Christian conscience, the Hindu conscience, the Mohammedan conscience, the Jaina conscience -- we are destroying all kinds of conscience. And consciences come in all shapes and all sizes.

Consciousness is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan -- it is simply consciousness. Conscience divides people, consciousness unites.

Steven, forget all about conscience. You ask:


What is the need of carrying a guide with you? Consciousness is enough! Whenever a certain need arises, your consciousness will respond. You have a mirror, you will reflect it. And the answer will be spontaneous.

When I was a student at university, my professors were very much worried about me.

They were worried -- they loved me -- they were worried because I never prepared for the examinations. They were even worried that I might answer in such a way that the examiner may not even be able to see the point.

My old professor, Dr. S. K. Saxena, he used to come just early in the morning to wake me up so that I could study a little bit. And he would sit in my room saying, "You do a little preparation." And he would leave me in the examination hall, then he would go home, because he was even worried that I may not go.

And when it came to the final oral examination, he was very very worried, because I might say something that could offend the examiner. He was also present; he was the head of the department so he was present and the examiner was present. And he had told me, warned me again and again, "Simply stick to the question! Whatsoever he asks, you simply answer that. Don't go into any depth about it -- just a plain answer, the answer that is given in the books will do. And I will be there and if I see that you are going astray, I will just give you a push with my foot underneath the table -- so then come back again and just stick to the question."

The first question and the problem arose. The professor who had come to examine asked, "What is the difference between Indian philosophy and Western philosophy?" And my professor became afraid, because he knew that the words 'Indian' and 'Western' were enough for me... and that was so. I said, "What do you mean by Indian? Can philosophy be Indian and Western also? Then philosophy can be Bengali and Maharashtran. If science is not Indian and Western, then why should philosophy be?"

And my professor started hitting me, and I told my professor, "Don't hit me! You just keep yourself away. This is between me and him. You are not supposed to give me any hints.

Now the old examiner was at a loss: what to do? Whatsoever he asked, I answered him by another question. He was at a loss because he was just carrying ready-made answers. I told him, "You look at a loss because you can't respond. Now, it is such a simple thing that philosophy is philosophy -- what has it to do with East and West? Say yes or no...!"

But the fixed gestalt: Indian philosophy -- everything has to be Indian, everything has to be Western, everything has to be this and that... adjectives and adjectives. We can't think of this earth as one. We can't think of humanity as one. Now, what is Indian about Buddha? and what is Jewish about Jesus? Nothing at all. I have tasted both and the taste is the same. But borrowed knowledge always remains in you as a fixed thing, and whenever you respond out of your fixed ideas. your response falls short. It is not a true answer to the reality.

So, Steven, there is no need to develop a conscience to guide you -- there is no need to have any guide! All that is needed is intelligence, awareness, consciousness, so that you can respond whatsoever the case is. Life brings challenges, you bring consciousness to those challenges. And meditation is a way of dropping conscience and moving into consciousness.

The miracle is: if you can drop conscience, consciousness arises on its own -- because consciousness is a natural phenomenon. You are born with it; just the conscience has become a hard crust around it and is not allowing its flow. Conscience has become the rock and the small spring of consciousness is blocked by the rock. Remove the rock and the spring starts flowing. And with that spring your life starts moving in a totally different way that you have not even imagined before, you could not have even dreamt. And everything starts to fall in harmony with existence. And to be in harmony with existence is to be right -- not to be in harmony with existence is wrong.

So conscience as such is the root cause of ALL wrong, because it doesn't allow you to fall in harmony with existence. And consciousness is always right just as conscience is always wrong.


Neither thoughts will help to bring you closer to your being nor feelings -- but feelings are better than thoughts, closer, but not yet the real thing. First one has to drop thoughts, then one has to drop feelings, so that the inner world becomes totally empty. In that emptiness your consciousness turns upon yourself and the reality is known.

Truth is neither a thought nor a feeling nor an emotion. Truth is the experience of consciousness of itself. Soren Kierkegaard is right when he says: "Truth is subjectivity."

Meditate and go on dropping... there are layers and layers and layers. Man is like an onion -- go on peeling. Meditation is the art of peeling the onion. And of course, when you peel the onion, tears come to the eyes -- that has to be accepted. It is painful. Go on peeling the onion till nothing is left in your hand -- that nothing is reality.

You can call it God, you can call it nirvana, enlightenment, or whatsoever you want to call it. Names don't matter. But the real thing happens only when NOTHING has happened.

The third question

Question 3:


Ram Das,

ARE YOU A FOLLOWER of Morarji Desai? Something is basically wrong with you.

Your dreams simply show that you are living a repressed life. Your dreams reflect how you are living your life. Your dreams are not just dreams -- they are reflections.

In the waking time you must be repressing sex; then, naturally, it is bound to assert itself in your dreams. Dreams only indicate that you are doing something wrong with your life.

When your life is really harmonious, lived consciously, dreams disappear -- all kinds of dreams disappear. Your whole sleep becomes dreamless. That is the indication that the transformation is happening -- that happens to every meditator. As meditation goes deeper, dreams start disappearing.

But dreams show something about you. And you have to rethink, you have to rearrange your life. If you are dreaming only of sex, that simply shows you are sex-obsessed. And who is sex-obsessed? Whoever represses is bound to be obsessed by it. Your dreams cannot just be rejected as dreams -- as people do. They think they are just dreams, nothing to be worried about. Your dreams are symbolic. Your unconscious is trying to convey a certain message to you, that you are doing something wrong.

Ram Das, sex is part of life. You cannot deny it -- you can transcend it, but you cannot deny it. If you deny it, you will create unnecessary complexities -- it will become an obsession. And it will create perversions in your life.

Morarji Desai drinks his own urine -- not for no reason. It is a perversion. It is rooted in sexual repression. Sexual repression can take many kinds of perverted forms.

Trying to fall asleep, a Greek shepherd is counting sheep: "One, two, three, four, five, hello darling...."

Antonio: "Last night I had a night-a mare Angelo: "What-a happened?"

Antonio: "I dreamt-a I was eating a-spaghetti Angelo: "Why is that so bad?"

Antonio: "I woke up and a-the string on a-my pyjamas was a-gone."

Now Italians go on and on with spaghetti, spaghetti, spaghetti. Dreams will reflect, dreams are reflections. If sex is reflected in your dreams, reconsider your life. Drop all the old nonsense. You must be a typical Indian, Ram Das. That's what goes on in the Indian mind continuously. Even your saints are full of obsessive sex, because all ways to transcend sex have been denied them.

You will be surprised to know that all kinds of sexual perversions were invented by monks and nuns. And these are the people who condemn. But psychologists say that homosexuality was invented by the monks and the nuns -- homosexuality is a religious phenomenon. And so are other things...

If you repress something, nature is going to take revenge on you And remember, you cannot fight with nature. You can Will nature, not by fighting with it but by being with it.

You can persuade nature to be with you and help you. And nature is very compassionate.

But once you start fighting, you are bound to lose. Nature is vast and you are very tiny. It is like a wave fighting with the ocean, a small leaf fighting with the whole tree -- it is stupid! The wave can win, but not against the ocean -- with the ocean.

And that's my basic teaching.

Sex can be transcended and should be transcended, but transcendence has to be not against nature but with nature, Through nature. Accept your sexuality -- it is part of you!

and a tremendously important part. You are born out of sex. Each cell of your body is a sex cell. Sex energy is your life energy! -- respect it, it is a gift from God. Understand it.

Be more and more meditative about it. But drop all prejudices, drop all condemnations.

because when you carry a condemnation you cannot understand a thing. Drop all judgements. Sex is sex -- it is a pure natural energy. With great acceptance, love, respect, meditate over it. Go deeper and deeper into it to see what exactly it is. And in that very seeing you will be going beyond it.

The day one has known what sex energy really is, one has transcended. Sex disappears, but it disappears not by denying. But by understanding. And the disappearance is not really the destruction of the energy but a transformation. In existence nothing is ever destroyed, things are only transformed.

It is sex when it is transformed that becomes love. And it is love when it is transformed that becomes prayer. And it is prayer in its ultimate transformation that becomes God.

The fourth question

Question 4:




WHO HAS CRITICIZED SIGMUND FREUD? I was simply stating a few facts! To state a fact is not a criticism. If I call a blind man a blind man, I may be rude but I am not criticizing. I may be blunt, I may not be polite, but I am not criticizing.

Freud was neurotic, and there are a thousand and one facts supporting this. Just look into Freud's biographies and you will come across those facts yourself. He was a homosexual.

He wrote such stupid homosexual letters to a man that later on he asked the man again and again to destroy those letters, because when he became famous he was afraid that some day or other those letters would come to public notice.

The major part of those letters was destroyed, but a few somehow survived. His whole life he was condemning homosexuality, and he had deep homosexual tendencies.

It happens almost always that whatsoever you condemn in others is really your inner problem. The other is just a scapegoat.


That is true. That's what I teach here: accept it! Freud never accepted his neurotic part. He not only never accepted it: he tried to deny it, he tried to cover it up.

Once Freud and Jung were travelling in a train, and they started talking about psychoanalysis. Suddenly Jung had a great idea -- he said, "You have psychoanalysed so many people, but you yourself are not psychoanalysed. It will be good if you also go through psychoanalysis. Somebody whom you have psychoanalysed and whose psychoanalysis is complete can psychoanalyse you!"

And Freud became so afraid -- even just the idea -- that he started trembling and he fainted. When he came back he said, "I cannot allow that -- I cannot allow myself to be psychoanalysed. That will expose me."

And Jung said, "Then you are already exposed."

Freud never accepted that he had any psychological problems. He tried to deny them, because the fear was that if you have psychological problems, how can you be the founder of psychoanalysis? He tried to prove that he was superhuman -- and he was not a Buddha, he was not an enlightened person. He suffered from the same jealousies, paranoia, as everybody -- in fact more than the ordinary, average person.

All his old colleagues left him by and by, and the reason was: he was so jealous -- anybody who was reaching closer to him, becoming famous, known, he would feel so jealous, so afraid, that a competitor was born, that he would start attacking him. He did that to Adler, to Jung, and to many others. ANYBODY, his OWN disciples -- he was afraid of his own disciples, that they would become competitors or they may prove themselves more important than he was. He could not conceive anybody being more important in the world of psychoanalysis.

This is a very poor kind of mind, a very ordinary, mediocre mind. And he was so political that the whole movement of psychoanalysis was continuously in a turmoil. Conspiracies were going on for and against -- for this, against that. He was making his followers fight with each other, because that is the only way: divide and rule. He was putting one follower against another. He was running psychoanalysis as a political thing.

I am not criticizing him. I have a great respect for the man -- in spite of all his faults he made a great breakthrough. In spite of all his human limitations he started a new dimension in human consciousness. He IS the founder of psychoanalysis, and Jung, Adler and others, nobody comes close to him; he was unnecessarily afraid. He was simply suffering from paranoia: nobody comes close to him! He was a giant among pygmies.

But the giant was afraid of the pygmies. He was not aware of his own strength -- he was not aware at all; that is the problem.

Wolfgang, I am not against Freud. And you ask me:


Yes, that's what I teach. When your consciousness says no, say no. When your consciousness says yes, say yes. I don't create a conscience in you. I am not creating followers here -- no, not at all -- but friends. Your no is as much respected as your yes.

That's the only way to show respect towards you You may not respect yourself, you may have a self-condemnatory attitude, but for me you are all potential Buddhas. How can I disrespect a Buddha? -- even though the Buddha is potential, even though you are in the seed. But I can see the flower!

In Kirlian photography they have discovered one thing which is very significant: with very sensitive photoplates pictures can be taken of a bud, but the picture will show not the bud but the flower that is going to happen -- because before the bud opens, the energy field around the bud opens. Just a few hours before the bud really opens, its energy field opens. and Kirlian photography takes the photograph of the energy field. The bud has not opened yet, the bud is still a bud, but Kirlian photography can give you a picture of the future. It is not future for the sensitive plate -- for the sensitive plate it is already present.

Through Kirlian photography, illnesses can be caught before they happen to you. To be precise: a few illnesses have been caught six months before they happened -- there was no possibility to even suspect that the man was going to fall ill after six months from a certain illness -- there is no way to know about it. Nothing has happened yet in the body, but something has happened in the energy field that surrounds the body. And Kirlian photography can take the photograph of the energy field and can infer through the photograph that this man is going to have cancer after six months. Now Kirlian photography is going to become a tremendously powerful instrument in the hands of the future medicine. If we can know six months before, then much can be done -- then nobody need fall ill. The illness can be prevented even before it has happened.

And that's how I see you. Before my eyes you are not buds but flowers, before my eyes you are not seeds but fully grown trees -- great foliage, flowers, fruits. Before me you are Buddhas! Hence I call you 'friends'. Kabir calls his disciples: Friends, wake up!

You are accepted, Wolfgang, with all your nos, with all your yeses -- you are accepted as you are. I don't make any condition. If you are ready to become a sannyasin, who am I to prevent you? The chance has to be given to you to grow, to be.

The last question

Question 5:



BECAUSE THE NEW GENERATION IS MORE INTELLIGENT. Intelligence brings problems. And it is natural that the new generation should be more intelligent. That's how evolution happens. Each new generation is going to be more intelligent than the preceding one. Your children will be more intelligent than you, and your children's children will be more intelligent than your children.

It is a momentum, a gathering momentum. You are standing on the shoulders of the Buddhas -- the whole part is yours. For example, in my being Buddha is a part,Jesus is a part, Abraham is a part, Krishna is a part, Mohammed is a part... in that way Buddha was poorer than me, Jesus was poorer than me. And some future enlightened person will be richer than me, because I will be part of his being but he cannot be part of my being.

Evolution goes on gathering momentum.

Each child should be more intelligent than the parents -- but that brings trouble, because that is what offends the parents. Parents would like to pretend that they are all-knowing.

In the past it was easy to pretend because there was no other way to impart knowledge to the children than by the oral communication from the parents.

For example, a carpenter's son would learn all that he would ever learn through the father.

The father would not only be the father but the teacher also. And the son would always be in awe and respect of him, because the father knew so much -- he knew everything about all kinds of trees and wood and this and that, and the son knew nothing. He would have tremendous respect.

Age used to be respected: the older a man was in the ancient days, the more wise, of course, because of his experiences. But now we have invented better means of communication. The father is no more the teacher; now the teaching profession is a totally different profession. The child goes to the school. The father had gone to the school thirty or forty years before. In these thirty, forty years there has happened a knowledge explosion. The child will learn something which the father is not aware of, and when the child comes home, how can he feel any awe? -- because he knows more than the father, he is more up to date than the father. The father seems to be out-moded.

This is the problem, and this is going to be so more and more, because our expectations are old and we still want the child to respect the parents as he used to respect them in the past -- but the whole situation has changed. You will have to learn something new now:

start respecting the child. Now, the new has to be respected more than the old. Start learning from the child because he knows better than you. When your son comes from the university, he certainly knows better than you.

That has been my experience at university. One of my philosophy professors used to talk such nonsense, and the reason was that he had been to university thirty years before. In those days, when he was a student, Hegel and Bradley, they were the most important figures in the world of philosophy. Now nobody cares about Hegel and Bradley. Now Wittgenstein and G. E. Moore have taken their place.

This professor had no idea of Wittgenstein, no idea of G.E. Moore. He was so outmoded that I had to tell him. "You are so old, so useless, that either you start reading what is happening now in philosophy or you stop teaching!"

Naturally, he was angry -- I was expelled from the university. He wrote a letter to the vice chancellor and said, "Either I am going to teach or this student is to remain in the university. but we cannot both remain together -- he is trouble."

He was not ready to read Wittgenstein. In fact, I can understand his problem: even if he had read he would not have understood. Wittgenstein is a totally different world from Hegel. And he used to talk about Hume and Berkeley... which are rotten names, no more of any significance -- part of history, part of footnotes.

This is the problem. You ask me, Narayana:


They are not really a problem: your expectation that they should respect you, that they should respect you as children have always respected their parents -- it is impossible. You start respecting them. You start respecting the new. Age in itself cannot now be any reason for respect. Intelligence, consciousness, they should be respected. And if you respect your children, they will respect you. But only if you respect your children will they respect you. The old way was that you go on humiliating the children, you go on insulting them in every possible way, and they have to respect you -- now this cannot be so any more.

The preacher's wife, while shopping, noticed a sign in the butcher's shop: "Dam Ham on Sale." Slightly taken aback by such a name, she confronted the butcher about the use of profanity, but was reassured when he explained that this was a new breed of hogs being raised up by Hoover Dam, hence the name 'Dam Ham'. She decided to take some home and fix it for her family that evening.

When her husband arrived home, she was cooking and he asked, "What's for dinner? '

"Dam ham," she replied.

The minister, who had never heard such language in his house, began to reproach her, but after she explained he felt a little embarrassed for doubting his wife.

That evening as they sat down to dinner with their six-year-old son, the minister said grace and then asked, "Pass the dam ham, please."

The little kid looked up, his eyes got big, and he said, "Now you are talking, Dad. Pass the fucking potatoes too!"

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