Knowledge is the corpse of knowing
I HAVE FALLEN SO MUCH IN LOVE WITH THIS GESTURE OF YOURS OF SHAKING YOUR HEAD AT PEOPLE'S FOOLISH QUESTIONS THAT I AM TRYING HARD TO WRITE ONE TO PROVOKE YOU TO DO SO AGAIN. BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THIS DOES NOT SUIT A SERIOUS GERMAN DISCIPLE LIKE ME.
ANYWAY, DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ONLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND GORGEOUS MASTER, BUT ALSO THE MOST IRRESISTIBLY CHARMING BEING MY EYES HAVE EVER SEEN?
Haridevi, it seemed difficult for you to ask a foolish question but you have managed. One need not make much effort to ask foolish questions; in fact, all questions are foolish! A mind that questions does not know how to live, does not know how to love; otherwise life itself brings all the answers, love fulfills all the questions.
The people who have been talking about God, about heaven and hell, about faraway things, are the people who cannot live herenow. Their questions show that their present is empty. They want to have contentment and fulfillment, but in the present they are almost incapable -- and the present is the only time that exists. There is no other time.
These are ways of postponing. Talking about God, nobody will think it is a foolish question; but it is, it is a way of avoiding life. It is a way to take yourself away from the present moment. All questions take you away from yourself. There is not a single question that brings you home. To be at home you will find no questions, no answers, but an eternal peace. In that peace you don't become knowledgeable, but in that peace your ignorance is transmuted into innocence. In that peace your questions go through a metamorphosis. They become your wonders. Your questions become your mysteries.
I say all questions are foolish because their basic root is... perhaps you are not aware of it, the basic root of all questions is that we want to demystify life. What are all questions for? You want to become knowledgeable, and the more knowledgeable you become, the less mysterious life becomes. You start thinking as if you know. And even your greatest knowledgeable learned people know nothing. What do you know about even yourself? -- which is the closest thing to begin with. What do you know about your own consciousness?
You are it, but absolutely unaware of it. And if you cannot know such a close phenomenon, how do you think you can know the farthest star? But the farthest star serves a particular purpose. Your eyes become focused on faraway things and you can avoid the present moment. And to avoid the present moment is to avoid life itself.
Great philosophies have arisen, great theologies based on faraway questions, without your being aware that every question is a strategy of the mind to take away from this small moment... from this silence, from this heartbeat. The next moment is not certain, and all questions are postponement. Looked at exactly, all questions are escapist. And there have been people who are giving you answers and making you feel great because you have so much rubbish, you know so much. And you start thinking that just knowing so much, being so much informed, is a revolution.
Remember, information is never a transformation. On the contrary, all information that you collect becomes a barrier for your transformation. And all our universities and colleges and educational systems are simply doing the most harmful thing to you: they are giving you a false notion of knowing.
Knowing comes through living, not through books, not through teachers, not through saviors. It comes through your own intensity, aliveness -- and you cannot be alive tomorrow, you have to be alive this moment. You don't need questions and you don't need any answer, because no answer is going to satisfy your quest. You are thirsty... you need water, living water, to quench your thirst. You don't need the answer that water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. The formula H2O* is not going to quench your thirst.
This is my existential approach.
Man has lived too long under the shadow of intellectual efforts to demystify existence.
Fortunately, he has not been able. The existence is as mysterious as ever, but unfortunately he has become burdened with great knowledge and a false feeling that he knows. This is the greatest danger -- to be addicted with a false notion of knowing.
Socrates, in his last days of life made one of the most significant statements ever made.
He said, "When I was a child I used to think I know everything. When I became a young man I became aware that the more I know, the more there is to know. My knowledge is not dispelling ignorance, but only making me aware of my ignorance, how little I know, and the immense and infinite that is waiting to be known.
"And now at a ripe age I can gather courage to say that which I could not say when I was young, that I know nothing. And this experience that I know nothing has unburdened me completely of all the knowledge that I have accumulated; it has fallen away. I am standing utterly naked, just as I was born. The same innocence has come with tremendous beauty, with great rejoicing."
There are only two men in the whole history of man -- Socrates is one -- who said, "I know nothing." The second man is Bodhidharma, who said it in a more dramatic way. He had a unique personality of his own. He was born in India, but was sent by his master to China to inform the people about Gautam Buddha. He went there, and nine years he lived there; and before leaving China he had thousands of disciples. But he chose four disciples and told them, "Before I leave, I want somebody to be my successor. Amongst you four is the one who will succeed me. I will ask you a simple thing, and whoever answers rightly will be the successor."
Naturally, it was a great moment of suspicion. Time suspended... thousands of disciples waiting... those four disciples standing... and Bodhidharma asked, "In a very simple statement, telegraphic, don't use a single word that is not necessary, state what was my purpose in coming to China from India."
The first one said, "You had come here to spread the transcendental wisdom of Gautam Buddha."
Bodhidharma looked with compassion and said, "You are right, but not enough. You have my skin."
And he moved towards the next, who said, "You have come here to give an experience of silence, of truth, of beauty, of blissfulness."
Bodhidharma again looked with deep compassion and said, "A little better -- you have my bones."
And he turned to the third disciple who said, "Your coming has been the greatest phenomenon in the history of China. Your purpose was to impart meditation."
Bodhidharma said, "You are not wrong, but not right either."
He turned towards the fourth. And the fourth started crying with tears flowing down, not out of any misery but out of tremendous joy. And he collapsed at the feet of Bodhidharma without saying a single word. Bodhidharma took him up, hugged him, and said to him, "You have said it. I don't know; you don't know either. You are going to be my successor. Spread this luminous ignorance as far and as wide as possible."
Luminous ignorance -- yes, that is the ultimate state of silence. That is the only living water which can quench your thirst. Questions won't do it. I allow you to ask questions -- it is just an indirect way of taking away all your foolishness. I don't answer your questions, I simply destroy them. If I can succeed in taking away all your questions my purpose is fulfilled and your destiny too. It is not that my answers are needed, it is that your questions have to be utterly, mercilessly destroyed. You are to be left without questions, and that is the answer.
Haridevi, you are saying, "Anyway, did you know that you are not only the most beautiful and gorgeous master...?" I don't even know that I am a master.
Just yesterday I saw your question, and for the first time in my whole life I looked seriously into the mirror. Because if Haridevi thinks that I am the most beautiful and gorgeous master, there is bound to be something wrong. I tried hard but I could not find anyone there in the mirror. I have been absent for almost thirty-five years.
Once I used to be... but for thirty-five years I have been just empty, a hollow bamboo. In the right hands that hollow bamboo can become a flute. I have allowed my hollow bamboo to bring to you any music, any song, any ecstasy that existence wants to share with you. But on your part, perhaps listening to a beautiful flute player, you start looking at the flute, thinking perhaps the music is of the flute. The music is not of the flute. I am singing songs of existence. My gestures are not my gestures.
I am no longer a person, but only a presence. But perhaps that presence is giving you the idea of beauty. In fact you yourself have said, "I have fallen so much in love with you."
Love imparts beauty to anything. It is not my fault. If you have fallen in love with me, to you I will look as gorgeous as your love is deep. But that shows the heart of a disciple.
That shows the eyes of a devotee; that shows the feeling of a lover. It has nothing to do with me; it is all your experience. It is your own inner beauty projected on me. It is your own feeling projected on the screen which is empty.
You are also saying, "Not only you are the most beautiful and gorgeous master, but also the most irresistibly charming being my eyes have ever seen." Your eyes have remained closed to the whole existence. You have not fallen in love with trees and birds and animals. You have not fallen in love with the ocean and the mountains; otherwise you would have seen the same beauty millionfold. Let this be the beginning of a long pilgrimage. Don't stop at me.
The master has to be only a beginning, just a push on the way. But remember that these are your eyes full of love which are projecting. These eyes can make this whole existence beautiful. And the moment you can start seeing into rocks and into flowers and into stars, you will be amazed, overwhelmed what a great existence you have been missing. If the master can give you just a glimpse, that's enough; then you can go on your way.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have said, "If you meet me on the way again, cut my head immediately. "No authentic master would like you to become addicted to him. He would like you to move on. If you have seen the beauty in me, you are capable of seeing beauty.
Just here, you have opened your eyes in trust, in love. To the whole existence you remain closed in distrust, in doubt, in uncertainty; otherwise, this is the most perfect existence possible. And anyway, there is no other existence.
If the master can become your window and you can see through the window to the open sky, to the vast spaces, you will remain grateful to the master, but not addicted to him.
The fear of addiction is not unfounded: there are millions of people who are addicted to Gautam Buddha, millions of others who are addicted to Jesus Christ, millions of others addicted to Mohammed. They have forgotten that a master is only a window frame, and if you start becoming addicted to the frame of the window, you will never look through it.
Then the window becomes your worship, the object of your worship. Windows are not to be worshiped; windows are to be opened so that you can see beyond.
You are on the right track, Haridevi -- just don't go astray.
Once there were three men traveling in an airplane. Unfortunately, one fell out; but fortunately there was a haystack below him. Unfortunately there was a pitchfork in the haystack; fortunately he missed the pitchfork. Unfortunately he missed the haystack too!
So there will come moments when you are fortunate, when you are unfortunate. Life is not a straight line; it is very zigzag. The path goes in a zigzag way. It is a mountainous path and to go astray is very simple, because your mind is all for going astray. You have to be very alert that your mind cannot take you away from the reality, that your mind does not succeed in taking you astray.
Your mind is your most unfortunate thing.
"My wife is always asking for money, money, money," complained Hymie Goldberg to a friend. "Last week she wanted two hundred dollars. The day before yesterday she asked me for one hundred and fifty. And this morning she wanted one hundred dollars."
"That's crazy," said his friend. "What does she do with all that money?"
"I don't know," said Hymie, "I never give her any."
Your mind will demand continuously: Do this, go this way. Don't listen to it. The moment a person stops listening to his own mind, he starts listening to the universal mind. He has come in the open. Your mind is an enclosure, very tiny, and mind cannot help you on the way. It is your greatest enemy. All your questions come from the mind, and all the answers that have been given down the ages go into the mind.
I repeat again, I am not answering your questions. I love you enough... I am not your enemy and I cannot give you answers. I simply want to take away your questions.
Slowly, slowly you forget asking questions, you start just being here, enjoying. Nothing is to be asked. Nothing has to be enquired, but one has just to be. To be or not to be is the only significant decision. Be here and you will find that you are the answer.
Mind is full of questions and full of borrowed answers. You are the authentic answer, but then there is no question -- it is a very strange phenomenon. When you have questions, you don't have the answer. And when you come across the answer you don't have the questions.
Gertrude Stein was dying. She was a great poetess, perhaps the greatest woman poet who has existed on this planet. Her friends had gathered, and just before she died, she opened her eyes and asked, "What is the answer?" The friends were stunned. Has she gone mad?
-- nobody asks what is the answer. First you have to ask the question; otherwise how can it be answered? But they were in deep love and gratefulness to the woman who has ignited the flame in many of those who were present.
One friend asked her, "This is absurd. You are asking, 'What is the answer?' but we don't know what the question is."
Gertrude Stein opened her eyes again and said, "Okay, then tell me, what is the question?" And she died.
There is no question and then suddenly you are the answer. Not that it comes from anywhere else... your answer is covered with your questions. Take away all the questions, and in that state when all questions have fallen down like dry leaves falling from the tree, and you are standing like naked branches against the evening sky, you will know. But it will be more a knowing than knowledge.
Knowledge is the corpse of knowing.
Knowing is alive; knowledge is dead.
In that moment when there is no question around you, there is an innocent opening to all the mystery of existence. Here, my effort is to make you somehow ignorant.
Socrates has divided man into two categories. The first category is of those who can be called "knowledgeable ignorant," and the second is of those who can be called "ignorant knowers." Certainly ignorance is being used by Socrates in the second category, and by me, as synonymous with innocence. Just don't be concerned with questions. Let them by and by disappear... and a moment certainly comes when you don't have any question.
At that moment is the explosion. You become luminous. Suddenly you don't know, and you know for the first time as an experience, the ultimate that quenches all your thirst.
The quest is over. You have come full circle back to your innocent childhood. It is going to happen to you, because there is no other way for man to know the ecstasies which are his birthright.
You are not born here to be miserable.
You are not born here to fulfill the requirements of the so-called contemporary existentialists -- meaninglessness, boredom, misery, anguish, anxiety, angst, agony. The whole existentialist philosophy of the contemporaries is so sick. And even those philosophers don't believe in it; otherwise they should have committed suicide. What is the point of living a meaningless life? What is the point of living an accidental life? What is the point of living in anguish which leads nowhere? What is the point... if death is going to be the end, then why go on unnecessarily torturing yourself?
I have asked this to many professors of philosophy in the universities who have become influenced with existentialism. I said, "Then you have to give a proof."
They said, "What proof?"
I said, "You have to commit suicide, because there seems to be no reason.... You should return the ticket and get down from the train."
But these existentialists go on living to the very ripe age of eighty, ninety -- and this is not new.
In Greece, Zeno lived ninety years, and his whole life he was preaching exactly in different terms what existentialism is preaching now. It is said that thousands of his disciples committed suicide. He was a very convincing man, but he himself lived for ninety years. When he was dying one follower asked, "This seems to be very unbelievable. Thousands of people have committed suicide, convinced by your philosophy. Why did you go on living?"
He said, "I had just to convince people." He was saying that he is a martyr. He has sacrificed himself for ninety years -- continuously he has lived in misery, just to teach people and to help them to commit suicide.
I am not here to help you to commit suicide. I am here to help you to know the great splendor of life, the benediction of existence. Each moment is so full of joy and blessings that if you start living moment-to-moment, your life will be a constant dance.
I am really an authentic existentialist. I don't think that Jean-Paul Sartre, Jaspers, Soren* Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, Marshall and their whole company is truly existentialist.
They have not known even a single moment with their totality; otherwise, all boredom disappears, all meaninglessness disappears.
Life is so juicy, so full of flowers with so much fragrance.
Just don't miss the moment.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NO-MIND AND MY-MIND?
Milarepa, the difference between no-mind and my-mind is the difference between your mind and my mind.
Just drop the "my" and there is no difference between no-mind and mind. "My" mind creates the boundary. Take the boundary away, and mind becomes no-mind, infinite, unbounded. You are an imprisoned splendor. Just take the prison away... And the prison is not much; it is of I, my, mine. Just be without these words surrounding you, and no- mind will give you the whole existence as an inheritance. Mind has poisoned you, but it has been able to poison you because you have become identified with it. You start calling it my-mind. Drop the my and you are separate from the mind -- that was the bridge.
Separate who you are from the mind -- just a pure presence, an utter silence, unmoving stillness... and in this space happens all that deep down you are all looking for, knowingly or unknowingly.
Three mice walked into a bar, sat down and began some serious drinking. All three became thoroughly drunk and in due course, each began to boast about how brave he was.
"I'm going to tell that dumb Ronald Reagan in the White House about some of his policies," said the first mouse.
"That's nothing," sneered the second mouse. "I'm going over to the Kremlin and tell them just what I think about them."
They both turned to the third mouse who was sitting there dreaming.
"Well, what are you going to do?" they demanded.
"Me, I'm going to screw the cat."
This is your mind. Just drop the identity with the mind and you will be surprised beyond your wildest expectations what a tremendous treasure you have, inexhaustible. And when I am saying this, I am not saying it within quotation marks. When I am saying this, I am saying this on my own authority.
I am not authoritative, remember -- one can get confused. The authoritative person is a person who wants to dominate. I am not an authoritative person, I have no desire to dominate; but what I am saying is with absolute authority. I am not quoting any scriptures; I am saying only what I have encountered within myself. The day I dropped the identity with the mind I became the no-mind. No-mind is the highest state of your consciousness.
Paddy and Sean were sitting in the bar when Paddy said, "You know, Sean, I have read so much lately about how smoking can ruin your health that I have finally decided to do something about it."
"So, you are going to give up smoking?" asked Sean.
"Heavens no," cried Paddy, "I am going to give up reading."
So just be very alert. I am saying to drop the idea of my, mine -- the identity. But you can misunderstand me, because misunderstanding does not need much intelligence. You can go on being identified with the mind. Your mind is capable of giving you the sense that you have arrived, that this is no-mind. It is so easy to deceive yourself that you have to be alerted again and again not to deceive yourself.
Just the other day I have received again a letter from a German sannyasin. Now he is asking for my blessings because he has become enlightened. Germans are very strong people, and once they get an idea, it is very difficult to change them. And this is not the first case!
It has happened before with another German sannyasin, Gunakar. He became at least six times enlightened and finally he dropped it. Whenever he would go to Germany he would become enlightened and from there -- and he was rich, he had a beautiful castle in the mountains -- he would write letters to all the presidents, to all the prime ministers of the world, to all the members of the U.N., "I have become enlightened. If you need any advice I am available."
His letter would come to me also, "Osho, I thank you, you were right that enlightenment is our nature. I have become enlightened. I just need a recognition from you because nobody else believes in me."
So I had to call him again and again. And when he would come and sit in front of me, and I would say, "Gunakar, are you really enlightened?" he would say, "No." He would say, "It is strange. When I come to you I become unenlightened, and when I go back to Germany I become enlightened again!"
This happened six times. Gautam Buddha became enlightened only once. In fact, people have never become enlightened even twice -- once is more than enough. But mind is very cunning, it can give you all kinds of ideas.
Beware of your own mind.
If you can remain alert and not allow the mind to disturb your silence, your peace, slowly, slowly the mind stops bothering you. And the day the mind feels completely frustrated that you are no more listening to it, it evaporates. Its whole life is the life of a parasite. If you get identified with it, you are giving life to it, you are giving nourishment to it.
Just get unidentified. Let the mind be there, but remember, you are not it. Just this simple remembrance: I am not the mind. Not that you have to repeat it -- because repetition will be done by the mind, that is the problem. Just a wordless awareness, I am not the mind...
and no-mind will start opening its doors to you. And that is the beginning of the transformation.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WORD IN OUR LANGUAGE?
TENNIS, MEDITATION, CHI-CHI, MANGOES, SUNTAN, WOMEN, PHILOSOPHY, EXOTIC BEACHES, CRICKET, INSTANT COFFEE, JAZZ MUSIC AND SKINHEADS.
Milarepa, I know you are crazy, but if I answer your question truthfully it will also drive the police commissioner of Pune crazy, because none of these words you are mentioning have any importance.
In the past, before that German guy Friedrich Nietzsche declared that God is dead, God used to be the most important word in our language. But when a German says something, you have to listen to it; otherwise there is trouble. Germans are like your wives: you have to listen to them, otherwise there is trouble. Nobody has ever heard such a thing, that God is dead, but by and by people started believing it. If it comes from a German guy it cannot be wrong -- at least you cannot dare to say it is wrong, otherwise you are bound for great trouble.
In his statement there was something more. When Nietzsche said, "God is dead," he also said, "Now man is absolutely free." God has certainly disappeared. It has become a phony word without any content, but the other thing has not appeared, the other part of the statement that man has become free. Freedom has not arrived.
On the contrary, a kind of licentiousness which looks like freedom has possessed the whole humanity. Perhaps Friedrich Nietzsche was not alive to what he was doing, not aware. Perhaps he was talking in his dreams and finally he had to enter into a madhouse.
He himself could not live without God. God was the hope, ancient hope. God was the opium, the consolation of all those who are in despair.
When Friedrich Nietzsche declared, "God is dead," he himself became utterly helpless -- no consolation, no hope, no meaning. He had to go through a long process of insanity.
Nietzsche seems to me to be the most important figure that has dominated the world in this century. Without any argument his statement has infiltrated into every mind. But he was not aware of the implications. I have no problem if God is dead. There is no need to mourn his death. The problem is that if God is dead, then you lose the most important word in your language and you will need a substitute. God was one end, one extreme, and when one extreme disappears from your mental vision, the necessary and inevitable is that you will fall to the other extreme.
And that's what has happened, Milarepa. Instead of God, 'fuck' has become the most important word in our language. Even if Friedrich Nietzsche comes back, he will be surprised and he will try to resurrect somehow the dead God, because this is stupid. But you will need a whole report on it, a whole research.
One of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word 'fuck'. It is a magical word. Just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. In language it falls into many grammatical categories. It can be used as a verb, both transitive, "John fucked Mary," and intransitive, "Mary was fucked by John", and as a noun, "Mary is a fine fuck." It can be used as an adjective, "Mary is fucking beautiful."
As you can see, there are not many words with the versatility of fuck. Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can't understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here.
Hostility: I'm going to knock your fucking head off.
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me!
Anxiety: Today is really fucked.
And it is very healthy if every morning you do it as a transcendental meditation -- just when you get up, first thing, repeat the mantra "fuck you" five times; it clears your throat too!
The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here