IN THE STORY OF THE BUDDHA TWICE SWATTING AN INSECT FROM HIS HEAD, HOW DID HE KNOW THAT HE WAS NOT AWARE THE FIRST TIME, AND HOW CAN HE HAVE NOT BEEN AWARE? I ASK BECAUSE, ALTHOUGH I AM PERCEIVING MYSELF TO BE GRADUALLY MORE AWARE, YET I CANNOT IDENTIFY WHO IS THE PERCEIVER. THE WORST THING IS THAT THE MIND TAKES THE OPPORTUNITY OF RELATIVE SILENCE TO ENTER A HALL OF MIRRORS WITH WATCHERS WATCHING WATCHERS, WHO ARE WATCHING WATCHERS WHO ARE NOT WATCHERS.
BELOVED OSHO, COULD YOU ILLUMINATE OR ELIMINATE ME?
Rashid, both the things are the same: to illuminate you, or to eliminate you. They are two aspects of the same experience.
Without your elimination, illumination is not possible.
You are the only barrier to your own realization.
You have raised a question which has tortured humanity, particularly the intellectual part of humanity, for centuries. In logic it is called infinite regression. But existence is not logical if you remember that, then the problem disappears. If you think that existence is logical, then the problem becomes insoluble.
It is apparently true that you can watch the mind but somebody else behind you can watch you, the watcher. But you can go on and on; there is always somebody behind who is watching. In logic it is an absurd situation.
In simpler terms it is something like God creating the world. Who created God, because without creating, nothing can exist? That was the premise on which God was supposed.
How can this whole existence be there without a God creating it? But it creates the same problem: How can God be there without being created? Where are you going to end?
Your alphabet will end... A-God is created by B, and B is created by C, and soon you will come to X, Y, Z; and after Z there is nothing except jazz music. The whole long pilgrimage of logic ends in something illogical.
The very logical people have never supposed the first God because it is the beginning of a trouble which will never end, and you will get more and more into mud.
But in existence things are different. As far as God is concerned, I cannot say anything -- I have traveled my whole being, and I have not found him anywhere. And all the religions insist that he is within you. I don't know about the without -- it is a vast universe; he may be hiding somewhere -- but as far as my own consciousness is concerned, I am absolutely aware there is no God. And if it is not within my consciousness, it cannot be in any other consciousness either, because the quality of consciousness is the same. Just as the light is the same whether it is in a small candle flame, or in the big sun, or in the faraway stars -- the quality is the same.
You can watch the mind because you are not the mind.
That is the whole reason to watch it:
To become aware that you are separate.
Existentially, no problem arises because you cannot watch this watcher. You have come to the very end of the rope; in the very first step you have completed the journey.
Logically, you can manage to create the problem. Watcher one watches the mind; watcher two watches the watcher number one... and then go on ad absurdum. Don't make it a puzzle. That will be risking your own possibility of becoming aware.
It is not a logical conclusion.
Logic has no dominance over existence.
There is only one watcher; you cannot go behind it. If you can go behind it, then it was not the watcher, it was part of the mind -- mind was befooling you. A part of the mind can watch the other part. But if you have become completely unidentified with the mind and you are simply a watcher -- not a thinker, not part of the mind in any way -- you have come to the end of the rope in the very beginning. There is no beyond it; however you try, you will not be able to go beyond it, you will always remain the same watcher.
It is the experience of the meditators -- they have all tried -- that perhaps behind the watcher, they may find some other watcher. But the watcher as a word creates the problem. It is not watcher, it is really watching. It is a process; it is complete in itself.
You cannot jump out of it and watch it. You are it, so you cannot go behind yourself.
It is possible to watch the mind because you are not the mind, so you can step back and have a look at the mind. And this stepping back and having a look at the mind, is the greatest transformation that can happen to man. Freed from mind, you are freed from all that was binding, imprisoning, enslaving -- your miseries, your sufferings, your desires, your fears.
The watcher has no disease; the watcher is simply a mirror, reflecting. And the miracle of the process is that the more you become clearly distinct from the mind, the mind starts disappearing. That is the elimination.
Mind exists with your support; it has no source of nourishment other than your support.
And the support you can give to the mind is of identity; you have to become one with the mind. Then mind as a parasite goes on living. But the moment you are separate from the mind, the parasite dies. You can see it disappearing just like smoke, into thin air. Only watching remains.
You cannot watch it, you are it.
You know it, but you don't watch it; you feel it, but you don't watch it; you live it, but you don't watch it, because you cannot go behind it. It will be still the same watcher.
It is good that existence is not logical; otherwise there would have been no buddhas, no awakened people. There would have been number one, number two, number three...
There are unending numbers, and the whole process would become tedious. But the process does not exist; it is only mind that can create the problem and can stop you from going into existential experience.
So to eliminate you is the only way, Rashid. To illuminate you, to make you enlightened, the only way is to kill you, to kill you as an identity with the mind.
As the mind is left -- like a snake leaves its old skin and slips out of it -- you have done the whole pilgrimage from darkness to light, from the finite to the infinite, from death to deathlessness.
You are asking, "In the story of the Buddha twice swatting an insect from his head, how did he know that he was not aware the first time?" When you have a headache, how do you know? Can you prove you have an headache? It is impossible. That does not mean that headaches don't exist.
One of my teachers, a very beautiful man, an old Mohammedan and a very colorful man... he never married. Once I asked him, "Why did you never marry?"
He said, "I cannot afford my clothes, my beautiful house, and a wife too. Either I can afford a wife... but then there is no house. And I love to have a new suit of clothes every day. He had three hundred and sixty-five suits, so his choice of the same dress came only once in a year, and by that time people had almost forgotten that dress. He lived a very colorful life and was a very loving man.
Before beginning a class, as the school opened, he always introduced himself with the words, "There are a few things you have to remember with me: I don't believe in headaches, in stomachaches, and things like that. Unless you can prove something, don't say anything; just sit and do the work. Don't ask for a holiday because you have a headache."
He was very logical. Either prove... but how to prove a headache? I was wondering what to do with this man, because he is blocking all the avenues to escape from school! And I was rarely in the school; I always had something: a headache or a stomachache -- which are very beautiful escapes; you don't have to prove them, you have just to say and you are freed. It was going to be difficult with this man -- but I found a way. He had created a mental problem; mind could not solve it. But existence is always available to help you.
Just in front of his small bungalow there were two beautiful mango trees. The mangoes were not ripe yet. Mangoes have to be taken away from the trees before they are ripe because the moment they are ripe, the parrots know before you know. And parrots love mangoes; in hundreds they come. Only an unripe mango is safe! And they were really very big mangoes.
I climbed the tree... because every evening he used to go for a walk. With his colorfulness, beautiful dress, a beautiful staff in his hand, with a beautiful cap... every day everything was new; he even had three hundred and sixty-five beautiful staffs, to go with each suit of clothes. I saw him going out and then I climbed the tree. He used to come back when the sun had almost set, but still there was not absolute darkness; there was still light. When he came under the tree, I hit him with a big mango. An unripe mango hits almost like a rock and he said, "Awk!"
I said to him, "Stop the noise. You will have to prove that you have some pain, some ache in your head."
"You come down first," he said. "Why did you do that?"
I said, "It is in answer to your introduction today. It was the first day of your class. I am a student and I need as many holidays as I want. A headache is one of the best excuses, or a stomachache, and you have blocked those doors. You say, 'You can have a holiday if you show me your fever; I can check it. If you have a wound, I can check it. If you have broken your leg, I can check it. But headaches and stomachaches, and like things, I don't believe, so never ask for a holiday.'" I said, "Now, can you prove that your head is hurting? I know it must be hurting; you know it is hurting, but can you prove it?"
He looked at me and he said, "Listen. It is a compromise with you. You need not say that you have a headache because that will give the idea to others. You simply raise your hand. If you raise your hand I will give you the day free."
I said, "There is no problem. You could have said that before. You could have saved your head from being unnecessarily hit by a mango."
The other students were very troubled, because whenever I would raise my hand, he would tell me to go home and rest. The students thought, What is the communication? A few others tried raising their hands and he asked, "What do you mean by raising your hand?"
They said, "We don't know. But why do you allow one student when he raises his hand?
And he raises it almost every day!"
Because the students were continually asking me what was the secret, I said, "That is not possible for me to say, because that is a commitment between me and him. And he is keeping his promise so I will keep my promise."
If you start thinking about this special question of how Buddha became aware of the insect he removed unconsciously by waving his hand... How do you become aware of your headache? How do you become aware of the headache that you had yesterday?
Right now maybe, but about yesterday's? -- you may be imagining. Do you have any proof that yesterday you really had what you are talking about today? But you know and everybody else knows, because a headache is a common experience.
Awareness, watchfulness, is not a common experience. It can be common; it should be common because that is the only possibility for the liberation of human consciousness.
But don't make it a mind problem; otherwise, it will become like the famous puzzle of Bertrand Russell.
I have told you the puzzle...
Once in England, a great mathematician, Godel, was writing a great treatise on mathematics, on the foundations of mathematics. And his assumption was that there is no problem that cannot be solved by mathematics. He had worked almost thirty years for that great book; it was very comprehensive.
Bertrand Russell was also working in collaboration with another mathematician, Whitehead, on a book -- PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA, the fundamental principles of mathematics -- which would be all-inclusive; there would not be any need for any other book as far as mathematics is concerned.
Both of the mathematicians were of the same caliber, of the same genius. Godel was almost completing his treatise, because he was an older man than Bertrand Russell. It was almost a thousand pages of complicated argument to prove mathematics is the fundamental science and the only science which has no flaw.
Just at that time, when he was going to give it to the publisher, Godel received a letter from Bertrand Russell. Bertrand Russell had himself received a letter, from the librarian of the British Museum -- he had received a few letters. The British Museum was ordered by the government to compile catalogs of all the libraries of England. So they ordered all the libraries to compile catalogs of all their books. And they should compile two catalogs; one they should keep in the library and the other they should send to the British Museum.
Then the British Museum would compile a final catalog in which all the books of the country, including the British Museum, would be included. They would make two catalogs: one would remain in the British Museum and one would go to the Ministry of Education from where the order had come.
A few librarians became puzzled about something like your question. When they compiled the catalogs, one remained with them and one was going to the British Museum. Now the problem was whether to put that catalog also in the catalog -- because it was a book in the library -- or to leave it out. Both seemed to be not right. How can you put the catalog itself in it? And not to put it in means you are leaving one book in the library without being cataloged.
So they wrote questions to the librarian of the British Museum. He himself was puzzled by the same problem: whether to put the final catalog also in the catalog... which looks absurd because a catalog is for other books, not for itself. But there was this final catalog in the British Museum which remained uncataloged, so rather than sending it to the Ministry of Education, he sent the question to Bertrand Russell, knowing that he was a great mathematician. And he was a great mathematician, so great that I don't think anybody reads his book. The book is so complicated that just to prove that two plus two is four, he devoted two hundred and fifty big pages. All the complicated arguments... you cannot even think to write one page about the simple subject, two plus two is four.
But when he received the letter from the librarian, Bertrand Russell was puzzled. What to do? Just then he remembered: Old Godel thinks that everything can be solved by mathematics. It is better to send it to him.
He sent him the puzzle, saying "What do you suggest? According to you, every problem can be solved and it is a mathematical problem."
Godel thought over it, but could not find the way. And because he could not find the way, he did not publish his book. He said, "If I cannot solve a simple puzzle, on what grounds can I claim that mathematics is capable of solving every problem?"
You are saying: one can become aware, and one can become aware of one's awareness.
Or one can become aware of one's unawareness and then can become aware of one's awareness of unawareness -- but where it will lead?
In existence there are no problems.
Mathematics is only an extension of logic. If the question had come to me and not to Bertrand Russell, I would have simply said, "A catalog is not a book." And it is finished.
You are required to compile a catalog of books in your library and a catalog is not a book. That's all that is needed: a definition. A catalog is simply a catalog of other books, but the catalog itself is not a book because it deals with no subject; neither is it philosophy, nor is it logic, nor is it mathematics, nor is it physics. It has no subject matter; hence it is not a book. So there is no question of including it. Once you think of including it, the problem is arising because you have not defined what a catalog is.
Neither Bertrand Russell nor Godel thought of the possibility of defining it as a catalog, not as a book. That would have solved the whole thing. But they were more interested in the puzzle and the possibility of its mathematical solution.
Awareness to me is not a puzzle.
It is not even part of any philosophy.
It is an existential experience.
Just become aware of the mind and then try to become aware of awareness, and you will fail. If you can become aware of your awareness, that will prove that the first awareness was not awareness, it was part of the mind. Once you are aware you have come to the dead-end. Your journey is complete.
You say, "... although I am perceiving myself to be gradually more aware, yet I cannot identify who is the perceiver." You cannot. It is not in the nature of it to know the ultimate. You can be the ultimate, but you cannot be the knower of the ultimate; otherwise, there will be a division between the knower and the ultimate.
The ultimate is the situation where knowing and knower dissolve into each other and become one, where the knower is the known. In J. Krishnamurti's words, "Meditation is when the observer is the observed." All distinctions disappear.
So remember Bucy's Law: Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
One needs to be a little unreasonable too. It brings great joy and spice in your life, being a little unreasonable. A reasonable man is simply flat.
And existence is not reasonable at all; it is simply there without any reason. If it were not there you could not have complained. If it is there you cannot explain why it is there. It is simply there.
Irving Levensky was asked by his wife to buy a chicken for Saturday night dinner. He bought the chicken and was on his way home when he remembered that he didn't have his house key and his wife would not be home for hours.
He decided to pass the time by going to a movie. In order to get into the cinema, he stuffed the chicken into his trousers.
He sat down and began watching the movie. It fascinated him so that he didn't notice the chicken sticking its head through the fly of his pants.
Two women were sitting next to him, and one of them nudged the other. "Look," she said, "look at that thing there sticking out of the man's pants."
The other replied, "If you've seen one, you've seen them all."
The first one said, "Yes, but this one is eating my popcorn."
Existence is very absurd.
HOW CAN WE KEEP THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GATHERING OF REBELS AND SEEKERS WHO EVER EXISTED ON THE EARTH FROM BECOMING AN ESTABLISHED SOCIETY?
Prem Dipamo, the authentic rebellious man has no such problem; he never becomes part of any establishment.
There was a very unexpected experience in the communist revolution in Russia. When the revolution happened, that was in 1917, a great uneasiness was felt in the revolutionaries. The topmost revolutionaries, Lenin, Trotsky, and their colleagues, were all in a strange situation, and one man, Joseph Stalin, took advantage of their puzzled state.
Stalin was not a revolutionary, he was one of the great establishment makers. Just to create the establishment -- because the country was in a chaos after the revolution; there was no order, no law -- the idea of the revolutionaries was to have individuals as free as possible, teach them to be responsible so there would be no need of law and no need of the law-establishing agencies of the police, the court, the judges.
Lenin was also of the opinion that marriage should disappear, because it is one of the fundamental establishments. All other establishments use it as their foundation. But when they were not in power, it was easy to think such things; when they came into power, then the real problems were there.
Leaving individuals free, society was becoming full of crime. Responsibility was not arising, because responsibility is not just an idea -- unless one is alert enough, meditative enough, silent enough, to take all the responsibility of his life and not to disturb, not to interfere with anybody else's life, it is very difficult.
It is well known, but not well established, that Lenin, the head organizer of the revolution, was poisoned by the secretary of the party, Joseph Stalin. But the poison was given very slowly, over a long period of time of two years. Krupskaya, Lenin's wife, has written that it was absolutely certain that he was being poisoned because she was not allowed to change the doctor -- the doctor was appointed by Joseph Stalin, was in his service. He was not treating Lenin, he was simply poisoning him slowly.
Krupskaya could see -- she was an intelligent woman -- that instead of getting well, he was getting worse. The more the treatment, the more he was drowning -- something was wrong. Why this insistence that the doctor should not be changed when the doctor is not succeeding in curing him? It was a natural question that the doctor should be changed.
Trotsky was the foreign minister in the new government of the revolutionaries, but he was as authentic a revolutionary as Lenin. He wanted no ranks in the army -- somebody lower, somebody higher. Everybody should be equal: "We are creating a society of equality; at least the government should give proof to the society that the people who belong to government are equal in rank."
But the generals were not ready to be equal with ordinary soldiers. It is a childish game in the world, but even childish games are played by your oldest people. Just having a few colored stripes on your coat makes people feel very special; one color more added and they rejoice. It seems children are growing old certainly, but they are not growing up; they are not becoming intelligent.
So all the generals of the armies were against Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin was naturally in conspiracy with all the generals. They were all agreeing with him because he was going to keep them on as great generals, marshals, colonels, all the categories. He was going to give them more power.
So naturally they conspired with Joseph Stalin, and Trotsky had to run away, out of the Soviet Union -- and he was the defense minister; he was the head of all the armies. And he was also the foreign minister, because he was the most educated, most intelligent person of all the revolutionaries. Lenin was a great organizer, but was not a great intellectual or a great orator. He was number two, in that sense, to Trotsky.
Joseph Stalin's professional murderers followed Trotsky. He was killed in Mexico, and killed very brutally with a hammer on his head, and in a very strange situation. He was writing the biography of Joseph Stalin... because Stalin was destroying the whole revolution; he was not a revolutionary.
Trotsky has written a tremendously insightful, very big, biography. He was completing the last page, and as he had put the final full stop -- that was the moment; it is just a coincidence that he was looking at the last line, finishing it -- the hammer came down on his head, and his head was broken into pieces.
His blood is splashed all over the last page of his hand-written biography. It is still in a museum in Mexico, on exhibition. It is one of the great biographies, and written by an enemy. Trotsky and Stalin were enemies, enemies in the sense that Joseph Stalin was never a revolutionary. All he wanted deep down was to replace the czar and become a czar himself -- and he became it. He became the worst czar that has ever existed.
In Russian history the worst czar was Ivan the Terrible, but he was nothing compared to Stalin. He poisoned Lenin, he killed Trotsky, and he went on killing other great revolutionaries. He was satisfied only when all the great revolutionaries who were responsible for the revolution were finished. He replaced them with people who wanted law and order, and society and organization. He created the greatest establishment ever created, and with such strength that the whole country became a concentration camp.
It is very difficult for rebels and seekers to remain rebels and seekers. They will be rebellious even if the revolution has happened. Any revolution is bound to create another kind of establishment, and the authentic rebellious man will again revolt, revolt against the revolution he himself has created but had never thought would become an establishment. The authentic rebel never becomes part of any establishment.
The problem is that the rebels are very few, and the retarded masses are so many that unless every individual is a rebel, an establishment is bound to follow. The rebel is bound to fight against his own revolution, which is turning into a new establishment. Up to now no revolution has been able to succeed because the moment it succeeds it starts becoming another establishment. The people who had power change, but the people who come in their place are more powerful. And it is more difficult to change them, because they know all the strategies that they have used in changing powerful people. So they will not allow any of those strategies.
For seventy years in Russia there has not been a single rebel, because you cannot just become a rebel in a single moment. To be rebellious needs a certain understanding, a certain alertness, a certain unprejudiced mind. Russia is the only country in the world where revolution is impossible, and this is a very strange situation. It is the country where revolution succeeded on a great scale. But the moment it became a success, suddenly the water turned into ice; it became the establishment. And the rebels who are authentic cannot be tolerated anymore by the same group who changed the whole society.
Stalin was afraid of Trotsky, he was afraid of Lenin. They had to be finished because they were people who would risk everything, but would not drop their rebelliousness; they would not become a new establishment.
What you are asking for, Dipamo, is a society where everybody is so aware that no law is needed; where everybody is so peaceful that no police are needed; where everybody is so loving that rape and murder and heinous crimes become impossible; where everybody is unrepressed, uninhibited; where everyone has lived his life according to nature. There will be no need of any establishment; government will only be a functional entity like the post office, or railway trains.
Who cares who is the postmaster general? Have you ever heard? No speech, no photograph is ever published in the newspapers about who is the postmaster general. He is managing a great complex, but it is only functional.
Governments should be functional, they are servants of the people. But through the establishment, through power, they become the masters of the people. And very retarded people, when they become masters, destroy all that is delicate, all that is beautiful, all that is great.
But you can be a rebel even in a society which wants you to be part of the establishment.
Don't compromise. Even life itself is a lesser value than your individuality and your rebelliousness.
Your rebelliousness is your very spirit.
You are truly a man only when you are rebellious, when you can say no to anything that goes against freedom, that goes against man's dignity. When you are ready to go to the gallows without any grudge, because you are sacrificing yourself for something far greater and more beautiful -- for freedom, for individuality, for expression, for creativity; you are sowing seeds for future generations -- you will not be sad. You will be immensely happy that you have not been forced to become a slave; that rather than being enslaved, you preferred the gallows.
Unless in this society a person is ready to choose crucifixion rather than consolations, medals, and Nobel Prizes... only such a man can be a rebel and can be truly spiritual. We hope that one day there will be a society where everybody will be so rebellious.
But rebellion does not mean reaction or destruction; rebellion means your highest flowering of consciousness. Unless rebellion brings enlightenment to you, you cannot save it; you will have to compromise. And to compromise is to lose your self-respect, is to lose your dignity as a man.
Up to now the society has lived under a false idea that people are free. Nobody is free; there are a thousand and one ways to enslave you. Only very rarely have a few people risked everything and remained individuals even at the risk of death -- but they are the very salt of the earth. They are the people who have maintained humanity's evolution.
Evolution depends on only a very few people; they can be counted on your ten fingers.
Others live a life of middle-class comfort, and for that comfort they sell their souls in the marketplace.
Dipamo, you are asking, "How can we keep the most beautiful gathering of rebels and seekers who ever existed on the earth from becoming an established society?" If people are really rebels, not just because of their minds but because of their meditation, then there is no problem. With Gautam Buddha there were ten thousand meditators; there was no establishment. Nobody was higher, nobody was lower; nobody had to be ordered.
Even Gautam Buddha has never ordered anyone to do a single thing; he simply shared his vision. It is up to you whether to participate in that vision or not. That is going to be your decision, and that is going to be your responsibility.
Freedom brings responsibility.
Those ten thousand people around Gautam Buddha lived a rebellious life; they renounced society. People think that all the religions of the world have renounced society for the same reasons; that is wrong. Except Gautam Buddha, all other religions have renounced the world to gain something in the other world. It is not renunciation; it is pure business, almost a lottery, because here you lose very small things, and there you get a millionfold reward in paradise.
Here you lose a woman who is just a pain in the neck; there you get hundreds of beautiful young women who always remain young, who don't perspire, who don't use deodorants, who have a natural perfume arising out of their bodies; their age is fixed, they have not gone beyond sixteen. For millions of years they are just sixteen. It is perfectly good to renounce a wife here who is nothing but a trouble, in the hope of getting beautiful women there.
I have heard that when Muktananda died, one of his disciples was so devoted to him that he could not live another day -- the next day he also died. Naturally, the first thing was to look around for where his great master Muktananda was.
He was very much ashamed to see that he was lying down under a beautiful tree -- flowers were showering from the tree and Muktananda was lying down naked with a beautiful woman. As he came closer he said, "My God. He was always against pleasures, but perhaps this must be a reward for his great celibacy." Coming closer he saw that it was nobody other than the great film actress, Marilyn Monroe. He fell to the feet of his master and said, "My master, I always knew you would be greatly rewarded."
Monroe said, "You idiot! You don't understand anything. I am not his reward; he is my punishment!"
But people are hoping. Only Gautam Buddha has not given a hope for the future life to his disciples. He has given them the whole kingdom of the present, not of the future. And their renunciation of the world is not against the world. He is the only one who has renounced the world, and his followers have renounced the world, not against the world but against the establishment of the society. They have created a gathering of rebels with no order, with no system except their own consciousness, their own conscience.
He was working on those people to be deeply meditative. Then there is no need of any establishment. You always do the right thing; you cannot, even if you want to, do the wrong thing. You don't need any supervision, you don't need somebody to keep you within the law. Once you have learned the law of love, then all other laws are of no use to you.
Gautam Buddha pulled them out of society for the simple reason that in society they will have to compromise; their consciousness is not so strong that they can remain without compromise.
I don't want my people to leave the world, because twenty-five centuries have passed since Buddha, and it is time that people should be strong enough in their awareness so they can remain in the society without compromising. Although it is far more difficult, it is a great challenge to live in society and not be part of it, to live in society but not allow society to live in you.
That's my special contribution to the religious experience and to the rebellious human beings. In the past they used to escape out of the establishment, but that shows cowardliness, fear. Be in the society and live according to your own consciousness, whatsoever the consequences. It is better to suffer those consequences than to escape and show your fearfulness, because fear cannot allow you to rise to your ultimate height. The society can be used as a fire test of whether your rebellion is just a mind game or it is a spiritual growth. Those who are rebellious because of their spiritual growth don't have to fear that they will become part of established society.
Moishe Finkelstein, a tailor from a small Ukrainian village, applies for membership of the Russian Communist Party in Kiev.
"Who was Karl Marx?" asks the Commissar.
"Never heard of him," replies Moishe.
"Who was Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin?"
"Never met him," answers Moishe.
"Who was Vladimir Ilyich Lenin?"
"Can't say I recall the name," replies Moishe.
"Mr. Finkelstein, are you taking us for idiots?" asked the irritated Commissar.
"No," replies Moishe, "Do you know Irving Levensky?"
"Never heard of him," replied the Commissar.
"So, do you know Bernie Heikleman?" Moishe asked again.
"No," was the reply.
"So you know Hymie Goldberg?" Moishe asked again.
"I don't know who you are talking about," replied the irritated Commissar.
"Well," says Finkelstein, "that's how it is -- you have your friends; I have mine!"
And this is how the compromise goes on happening in everybody's life....
The out-of-work actor came home to find his house in a shambles. Lamps were knocked over in the living room, drapes were torn, and in the bedroom the bedspread was ripped and the sheets torn. On the bed lay his wife, badly beaten and bruised, sobbing her heart out.
"What happened? Who did this to you?" raged the actor.
"I... I fought as long as I could, but he was too strong," wailed the wife. "He... he..."
"Who?" rasped the actor. "Tell me and I'll find him and tear him limb from limb."
"It was your agent," said the wife. "He came while you were out."
"My agent?" the actor brightened. "Tell me, quickly, does he have a part for me?"
He has forgotten everything. Out of employment, you cannot fight with your agent.
In life, you go on compromising without knowing, not only with the society but even with your family. Even the people you love demand compromise. Nobody likes the individual; everybody wants to overpower you, to dominate you.
The husband wants to dominate the wife; the wife in her own ways tries to dominate the husband. The parents dominate the children; the children also in their own way dominate the parents. It is a constant struggle going on in multiple ways, where nobody is allowed to be just himself, where to be oneself is a crime.
But to accept the challenge and to remain yourself, in spite of all the odds, is a great joy.
To keep your individuality intact, undamaged, in a society where everybody is trying to dominate you... I don't think it is good to escape from such a society. In the Himalayas, in deep forests, you may think you are yourself -- but that is a false notion, because there is no context in which you can put it to the test.
The society is every moment a test.
And here, to be just yourself, not out of arrogance, not out of your egoistic feelings...
Those people who are arrogant will have to compromise, because there are more arrogant people. Those who are egoists will find sooner or later somebody else who can crush them.
There are different kinds of powers. People slowly, slowly learn not to stand erect, but they start crawling on the ground. In this society, to remain erect and yourself -- without arrogance, without ego, but just out of your silence, just out of your awareness -- is a tremendous experience and experiment.
I have lived life the way I wanted; it was difficult but it was immensely rewarding. It gave me the feeling that although society may be powerful, if you have guts no power can enslave you. They can kill you, they can destroy you, but they cannot enslave you.
And to be destroyed is not undignified; to be killed is not against your individuality, against your dignity, against your pride. In fact, these sacrifices will make you more and more authentically yourself.
Deep down, if you are a meditator, you know your body can be taken away but your being cannot even be touched -- your immortality is sure. Hence, I am adding to rebelliousness a new phenomenon. There have been meditators, but they escaped from the society, and there have been rebellious people who were destroyed by the society. I am bringing two very great qualities together that the world has not known before: the meeting of rebelliousness and meditativeness, the meeting of rebelliousness and religiousness. To me, rebelliousness and religiousness are two sides of the same coin.
There is no need to be afraid because there is nothing that can be destroyed in you. And that which can be destroyed will be destroyed whether you are in the Himalayas, or hiding in the monasteries. The body is going to be destroyed, so there is no need on the part of the body, on the part of the mind, to be ready to be enslaved. This happens because you are not aware of anything more than the body-mind structure. My effort is to make you aware of your immortality.
Once you have tasted the very source of your life which is eternal, then nothing can make you do things which are not in tune with your own being. You will say yes only when you feel that this yes is not the yes of a slave but a man of freedom. You will say no if you see that saying yes will be only falling into slavery. But this is possible only if you become aware of your being.
The old rebels were only intellectually rebellious. My rebel has to be spiritually rebellious, and that makes a tremendous difference. The intellectual rebellion is superficial and can be purchased, but the spiritual rebellion is not a commodity in the market; you have transcended the world.
I don't want you to escape the world, I want you to transcend the world -- living in it, going through all the fire because you know nothing can destroy you. This certainty can create a gathering of rebels without any establishment.
And if any functional kind of mechanism is needed, that is not a problem. Where there are so many people, something functional will be needed, But remember it is functional, it does not give you any status. A prime minister or a president of a country are nothing more than functional entities; they have a utility but they don't have any status.
Real status comes only from your realization of yourself, not by sitting on a golden throne. If people bow down to you, remember they are bowing down to the throne, not to you. Tomorrow somebody else will be there. Yesterday there was somebody else and people were bowing down.
I have heard it happened in Jagannathpuri...
It is one of the Hindu religious cities, and it has a great chariot, very ancient, dedicated to God. Jagannath means God, the lord of the world. Once every year, the chariot goes through the streets and millions of people gather. Once it happened that a dog was going ahead of the chariot, and thousands of people were falling on the ground, touching the earth. And the dog said, "Great, I must be someone very special!"
Millions of people, but all your presidents and all your prime ministers are in the same position as the dog. People are respectful towards them, not because of them -- once they are out of power, nobody even remembers them.
Before the Russian revolution, the prime minister of Russia was Kerensky, one of the great powerful men in the world, because Russia is one-sixth of the whole world; it is one of the greatest countries. Kerensky was so powerful, but the revolution disturbed everything. The whole family of the czar was killed. Not even a six-month-old baby was left. Kerensky escaped, and for almost fifty years nobody heard anything about him. In the beginning, for three or four years, people thought, What has happened? But then the people forgot.
In 1960, Kerensky died in New York; he had been running a grocery store for all these years. He lived long, he was a hundred years old when he died, but he had changed his identity. And running a grocery store... nobody even bothered who he was.
These so-called powerful people don't have any power. There is only one power, and that comes from within.
Any power that comes from outside is not yours.
As it has come, it will be taken away. So if you are intelligent you will not think yourself anybody special; you are just functional.
In a society of greater consciousness, more intelligence, government will become just a small functional order, it will not be an enslaving mechanism. On the contrary, it will help individuals to become more sharp in their intelligence, deeper in their meditation, and flowering in their enlightenment with great grace.
Only this kind of evolution in consciousness, which is going to happen... Perhaps we are born in the right age when the transformation is going to happen, because the situation is such that either the whole of humanity will die, or it will have to change. And I don't think anybody wants to die.
The only alternative is to be more conscious, more alert, more alive, more loving -- and create a new world with a new man, bring a new dawn to humanity.