OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS I HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH AN AMAZING PROCESS OF LETTING GO OF MY ATTACHMENTS, OF CLEARING THE WAY FOR MY HEART TO EXPAND TO YOU, THE DIVINE.
THANK YOU, OSHO, FOR SHOWERING ME WITH SO MUCH LOVE. AM I WORTHY OF SO MUCH?
Prem Neera, everybody is worthy of much more, much more than he is receiving. But the responsibility of not receiving more is yours.
People live a closed life. They keep all their doors and windows of the heart completely shut. It happens because of a natural phenomenon that the child is so small and so helpless, and so dependent and is always in fear; everybody is bigger and more powerful.
His experience of fear in the very beginning starts the process of closing the heart.
Fear is a closing process.
Love is just the opposite, the opening process. Unfortunately, the way humanity has lived, it has lived in fear. Even if it loves, it is out of fear. And a love out of fear is absolutely false. It is better to be loveless -- because at least it will go on hurting you to the point that you will have to change -- than to have a substitute false love which consoles you, deceives you and keeps you where you are, a closed being.
The child is told by the parents to love them; it is almost an order. Love cannot be ordered. If through an order something resembling love happens it is false, and deep inside there is hate because nobody wants to be ordered, manipulated. But every parent is manipulating his own children: I am your mother -- love me!
What is so great in being your mother? What is so great in being your father? If there is something great, the child will start loving you and then there will be a totally different world. The child will learn to love on his own, not because you have ordered but because of the way you are.
Love arises out of deep respect and gratitude, seeing your beauty and grandeur, seeing your unconditional love which asks nothing in response, not even love. If the parents can shower the child with love without asking for any response from him, the response will come. And this response will have an authenticity; it will come from the opening of the heart. The child will know that there is no reason to fear. These are not the people to be afraid of; you can open, and this is the beginning of a totally different life. Once you have learned that, the open heart is not only capable of receiving love from your parents, it is also capable of receiving love from the whole existence.
The whole secret is a simple thing -- the opening of the heart. But what actually has been happening is that neither of the parents loves each other. The husband loves because he is a husband; he is supposed to love. The wife loves under submission, because she has been enslaved through marriage; she has to love.
When there is some compulsoriness, the beauty of love disappears and the reality of love changes completely to its opposite. Husband and wife love each other and hate each other too, simultaneously. They hate because they have to love under compulsion, under the rules of society, convention, law. The husband can demand love; the wife can demand love, but it is a demanding love; in subtle ways they demand, not directly.
As the husband comes home... the wife was perfectly okay listening to the radio, looking at the television, singing to herself, and as the husband comes, she immediately lies down and suddenly, the headache!
The story is that Adam was constantly bothering God: first, he was alone and he had no idea that there was something missing in his life. But then he saw a bull doing something to a cow. And he ran to God and said, "What is happening? What is that bull doing to the cow?"
And God said,"You don't bother me again and again. I have told you, the bull is loving the cow." And all the animals and the birds... and Adam was again and again asking.
Finally, God became tired and told him, "I will give you a wife also."
And the next day, in the morning, Adam ran after God and said, "Just a minute, please, what is a headache?"
The first night, the very first night of humanity's beginning, and the headache is the first problem that arises -- the wife had a headache.
These are ways of manipulating. When your wife has a headache, naturally you have to be loving. This is not a time to quarrel or fight or to argue or tell her things that she has done wrong. Some other time -- this is not the time; she is already suffering. The headache is a way to ask for your sympathy, but it is not love. The man will show sympathy; and sympathy is ugly in comparison to love. Always remember: all these qualities are relative.
Sympathy is good in comparison to antipathy, but sympathy is very poor and ugly in comparison to love.
You have heard about Albert Einstein's law of relativity. Somebody has reduced it to a simple maxim: the theory of relativity says that it all depends on which side of the toilet door you are. If you are inside time is going fast, and if you are outside time is going slow. It is the same time, just the door is creating the whole trouble.
Love is something that can blossom in its beauty only when unasked, when it is not demanded. When it comes on its own, even unconsciously, it has tremendous beauty. The moment you demand, it may come because the wife is dependent on you... and in certain ways, the husband is dependent on the wife. Love happens between two independent people not between two slaves of each other. And the poor children are brought up by these two persons who themselves don't know the secret of the opening of the heart.
Naturally, they start from the very beginning. The mother goes on saying, "He is your daddy, smile!" as if these things can be ordered. Smile... and the poor child has to smile.
Now what is there in this dodo you call daddy that the poor child has to smile? And the poor child does not understand what this fellow has done that he has to smile. But he has to smile; that smile becomes, naturally, a Jimmy Carter smile, absolutely false. The child starts becoming a politician; he smiles because he knows that way he is appreciated, thought to be a beautiful child. If he does not smile, he is thought to be unworthy, and nobody wants to be condemned as unworthy. That's how, slowly, the child starts learning false things: false smiles, false love, false respect.
In a more conscious and authentic world, the husband and the wife should first learn how to remain independent and yet allow love to pass through. They should not come too close. Kahlil Gibran is right when he says to the lovers, "You should stand like the pillars of a temple -- far apart, yet supporting the same roof." Your love should be supported by you, but you should leave enough gap for each to have his own individual territory, his own individual space, his own individuality.
You should not trespass on each other. But what to say of trespassing? Husbands and wives become detectives, FBI agents -- against each other. They are continuously looking out of the corners of their eyes: What is happening? This is not love. This is domination; this is pure animal sexuality. A child is born out of this situation, and unfortunately has to be brought up by these people. They themselves don't know what love is; they missed the train. Now they will train the child to miss the train. And this goes on from generation to generation.
Just the other day, there was a question from Veena -- how to open the heart? It is just like somebody asking how to open the eyes. If you were forced from the very beginning and ordered to open the eyes, perhaps you would have retaliated by closing them. That would have been your assertiveness, your individuality, and you may have forgotten completely how to open the eyes. Now, do you think there can be some training to open the heart, some discipline, some technique? That will be another mistake. You can pretend that your heart is open. That's all that will happen by your discipline and training and technique.
What is needed is a deep understanding of why the heart is closed. There is no need to be worried about opening it. Just knowing why it is closed, you will come upon all those fears that have closed it. Now those fears are not there, but once you have closed the doors and the windows, they have remained closed.
Now nobody is forcing you; now you are grown up enough. You can assert yourself; you can be an individual. You can say to your father, "If you are lovable, I will love, but not because you are my father." You can say to your mother, "Create the quality of lovableness and I will love you -- not only I, but others also will love you -- but not because you are my mother."
Love is not a rational thing. It is not a syllogism: she is your mother; hence you have to love her. Wherever any kind of compulsoriness comes in, love is very delicate and disappears.
Everybody is much more worthy than he can even dream of, to receive love, to share love, to rejoice in making love your very life.
Birth is not in your hands, neither is death in your hands. Between birth and death only one thing is in your hands, and that is love. And unfortunately, that which was your only freedom is not available to everybody.
Prem Neera, you are saying, "Am I worthy of so much?" You are worthy of much more.
Just learn to be receptive, just learn to be humble, just learn to be simple, just learn to be trusting. Even if the whole world deceives you, still trust, because that is their problem if they are deceptive; it is not your problem.
What happens? A single man deceives you and you start distrusting the whole of humanity. Do you see the absurdity of it? Even if the whole of humanity deceives you, I say to you, still trust -- because trust is much more valuable; it has an intrinsic value. It does not depend on whether people are trustworthy or not. And if you can trust in spite of their untrustworthiness, you may create a revolution in their hearts also, because they are also as human as you are.
They are also victims of the same society and the same pattern as you are. You are fortunate if you have opened one window. You are fortunate if by accident a door has been flung open. You are fortunate not to be part of the closed humanity.
Now, this little opening has to be made bigger. In fact, a moment has to come in the life of love when all the windows and doors disappear; not only that, but all the walls disappear also.
You are just under the open sky, under the stars and you will be showered from all directions, all dimensions, with so much immense love and blissfulness that you cannot believe why it is happening to you.
It is the only miracle in the world. Walking on water is not a miracle; it is just a stupidity.
Turning water into wine is not a miracle; it is a crime. The only miracle I am aware of is a completely, totally open heart. No situation, no condition can close it.
Meditation will help you. Meditation is almost a golden key, a master key which opens many doors. It can open the door of love too. As you become silent, as you become peaceful, as you become aware of your life force, as you become aware there is no death, fear disappears. And with the disappearance of the fear -- from the very roots -- now there is no point in keeping your heart closed. You can open your heart to friend and foe, to those who are familiar and to those who are strangers. And you will receive gifts which you had not ever imagined.
You are saying, Neera, "Over the last few months, I have been going through an amazing process of letting go of my attachments." It is an amazing process, but it is the process I have been telling everybody my whole life; that your attachment is a barrier, it is not a bridge.
Your attachment keeps you unaware of your own great potential. The more you become attached to things, to people, the more you become a slave. Attachment is another beautiful name of spiritual slavery. A man who is attached to money is a slave.
I used to know a man...
I have never come across another of the same quality of attachment. He was so money mad that even if you had a one hundred rupee note, he would say, "Just let me touch it."
And he would touch it as if he was touching his beloved, with such romance. It was impossible to give him money and to get it back. I inquired about him from all the people who knew him. They said, "He has never returned anybody's money. And people feel full of pity. Nobody is angry about it. They just think he is insane, obsessed with money."
Walking on the street on a fullmoon night, he suddenly picked up something and then threw it away and said, "If I meet this man I will kill him. The son of a bitch spits mucous as if it is a rupee; it shines in the light."
Such was his madness. He had a small cloth shop, and for a few months I used to live just by the side of his shop in a small house. I was puzzled to watch the whole show that went on in his shop. There were people whom he knew would ask for things on credit. He would immediately give me a sign and then hide in the back of the shop in the bathroom.
He always avoided one old woman in particular. And I had to tell her, "He is not here."
But one day I said to her, "What is the matter? Whenever you come you never find him here."
She said, "There is nothing the matter. He is afraid of me because he owes me money.
And naturally, I will purchase things and I will tell him, 'Deduct it from the money you owe.'" I said, "If that is what is the matter, then he is hiding in the bathroom."
She said, "Really."
I said, "You go in."
She said, "Well it does not look right."
I said, "You go in and open the door."
So she went and opened the door. He came running out. He was very angry with me. I said, "If I had known that this was the reason, I would have never deceived that woman that you are not in the shop. You owe money to her?"
He said, "I owe money to everybody. In this whole area, nobody can say that I don't owe money to them. But you know me; I cannot return money once I get it. It is almost like a heart attack to give the money back."
It is verging on insanity. All attachments although different in degree, are a kind of putting yourself down and making something so important that people are ready to die for money; people are ready to die for power. People are ready to do anything to fulfill their ambition. All these attachments destroy your worthiness. They take away all that is beautiful and valuable in you. You become smaller than the things you are attached to and infatuated with.
A man who has no attachment has tremendous freedom; he has nothing to lose. And if everything is lost, he will not look back even a single time.
I have told you the story of Diogenes...
He used to live naked. He is the only man in the Western world who can be compared to Mahavira in India. Both were contemporaries; both lived naked. Both had immensely beautiful bodies and were very strong people.
Diogenes was going to the river. He used to carry only a begging bowl. Mahavira did not use any begging bowl because everything that you become used to creates a subtle, psychological slavery.
Mahavira used to make a cup with his hands to drink or to take food. But Diogenes, like all old renunciates, used to carry a begging bowl. He was running towards the river; he was so thirsty and it was hot. And just then he saw a dog running by his side. The dog jumped ahead of him in the river and started drinking.
Diogenes felt very much offended, but he also felt deeply grateful to the dog.... he has shown him that a begging bowl is not needed! You can drink water without it, why carry it unnecessarily? "If a dog can manage to live without a begging bowl, I am a man; I can manage." First, he threw away the begging bowl, and he said, "That was my only possession -- and I was thinking that I had overcome all attachment, but throwing that bowl, I knew that now I had become really free. Otherwise, I used to keep an eye out in case somebody might steal the begging bowl."
It was a beautiful bowl presented to him by a king and beautifully carved. In the night also he used to touch the begging bowl once or twice to see that it was still there. He said, "Since the moment the dog taught me the lesson, I have felt such freedom, and such a burden has been relieved from my heart."
If this is the situation with a begging bowl, what will be the situation of people who are possessed of so many things, so possessive that things become their only life? And remember, the moment you become attached to a person, the person is no more a person.
You have changed the person into a commodity, into a thing. Only things can be possessed.
If a husband possesses the wife, he has reduced her into a thing, and the wife can never forgive him. If the wife possesses the husband, she has committed the greatest sin by reducing a human being into a commodity. Only things can be possessed, not conscious human beings.
But you possess even your children. You say, "This is my child." You should be more aware. You should say, "This child has come through me. I have been the passage, but he does not belong to me. He belongs to existence." If this insight settles in you, then you will not try to make the child a carbon copy of you.
What can you teach the child? All that you know is of the past; it is dead, it is gone, it will never come back. And the child has to live in a future about which you don't have any understanding. There is no possibility for you to know the future. Prepare the child for the unknown; prepare the child to be adventurous. Prepare the child to learn to live dangerously, because the more safety and security you ask, the more you are enclosed in a prison of your own making. A prisoner cannot be a lover.
Only freedom knows the fragrance of love.
Only freedom knows your immense worthiness. And that does not give you any ego, any arrogance. It makes you really more humble than ever -- you don't deserve it; still existence out of its abundance has given you so much. You learn for the first time the sense of gratitude, gratefulness.
To me, gratitude is the only prayer. Nothing has to be said, just a feeling of gratefulness.
But people are full of complaints not gratitude.
Veena has just asked how to open the heart because she had written a letter which was ugly, and now she has written another letter. She thinks she has improved upon the first one, but the basic points are still there. She used to live in this house and, to make a bigger library, seventeen people from the house have been moved into other houses in the campus; the whole campus is one. She was never grateful that she was in the house, but she is complaining very seriously that she has been moved from the house. She is not worried that sixteen other people have also gone.
Those sixteen have written letters of thankfulness, that they are grateful that they lived in the house with me, and they are grateful that they have been chosen to make a place for the library. They are immensely happy and thankful. Only she is complaining, asking why she has been moved to another house. She is living with her boyfriend in the room; she knows that we don't have enough space for people...
We are trying to find more and more places, and within two or three months, you all will have places in the ashram. But just my name, and the price of any house goes up three times. So it is a little difficult, but I know you are living in difficulties outside. The same flat that was rented for seventeen hundred rupees per month before our coming back to Poona is now being given to sannyasins for eight thousand rupees per month. Prices have gone seven, eight times higher.
But Veena will not feel grateful that she is in the ashram. She will not think that thousands of sannyasins are living outside, paying too much, eight or ten times more than the market price.
Two thousand sannyasins are living outside, and she is demanding that she wants a separate room to herself. That means a separate room for her lover and a separate room for herself, perfectly aware that we don't have a space.
Demanding, and when your demand is not possible at this moment to fulfill, you become closed; you become angry. She has been angry, so angry that I was puzzled. Whenever I would come, she was sitting with folded hands, but she would never open her eyes. She is perfectly aware that if I see her eyes, I will immediately see what is going on in her. To avoid that... she was keeping her eyes closed, and I knew that she was boiling within.
Rather than feeling grateful that you are part of a commune where everybody loves you, everybody respects each other, where there is no hierarchy, where there is nobody higher and nobody lower, that you are living in a totally new world, a miniature experiment...
she is concerned about stupid things. That's how the mind functions, and then it becomes closed. And when it is closed then she is angry that I am not loving towards her.
My love is available, just as the light of the sun is available. You just have to open your eyes. My love cannot be addressed to particular people, because love to me, cannot be a relationship.
I am love.
I can share with you.
I am sharing every moment.
Those who are capable of receiving it will receive it, as much as they are capable -- and their capacity depends on the opening of their hearts. But an angry heart or a fearful heart cannot be open.
It is simply a question of understanding. You don't have to force your heart open; that won't help. You have simply to understand. It is just like you were putting two plus two is equal to five. Now no training is needed, just a simple understanding that you have been counting wrong -- finished. Start counting two plus two is four. Don't ask what to do with five, how to get rid of five.
Life is mostly a question of understanding. So just understand and pay attention to whatever life has given to you. Are you worthy of it? We are not worthy of anything....
intelligence, love, life itself; we are not worthy. If you had not been given life, you could not have registered any complaint in the complaint office: why have I not been given life when everybody else -- Tom, Dick, Harry, everybody else -- is given life?" No, there would have been no possibility.
Life is given to you. Capacity to grow is given to you. Every opportunity to come to your ultimate peak of consciousness is given to you. A heart that can blossom in love is given to you. Just feel grateful to life, and as you will feel grateful, you will become more and more worthy, and more and more humble -- no grudge, no complaint.
This is exactly the state of a religious man. It does not need you to belong to any organized religion for you to become religious.
Religiousness is your gratefulness towards existence.
Such beautiful trees, such infinite sky, so many stars and you have not paid for anything.
This immense universe is given to you with all its beauty, sunrises, sunsets, and all the flowers and beautiful people. Just watch and you will be aware that so much is already given, but you are taking it for granted. You have never looked at it as a gift from existence without your asking, without your demanding.
Once you start seeing all that has already been given, your heart will be full of gratitude.
And that gratitude will open all the doors, all the windows. Existence is bridged by only one thing and that is gratefulness. Then miracles start happening to you. Then mysteries go on opening their doors to you. The more humble, the more simple, the more grateful, the more worthy you become -- and your worthiness has no limits.
Isaac Asimov has made a beautiful statement: "God loves all men, but is enchanted by none."
Existence loves everybody -- and a man who has disappeared as an ego, as a personality, is nothing but a vehicle to existence. He does not love; he is love. I would like to remind you about Oscar Wilde. He says, "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."
If you will see what miracles are happening around you, within you, you will respect yourself too, you will love yourself too. If the whole existence loves you, you will love yourself. And that is the only romance that knows no divorce. But it is not arrogant, it is not egoistic. That has to be remembered, because ego is a closing factor.
Arrogance divides you from existence.
To be nobody is the greatest achievement in the world. But we are living in a very insane world -- and when I say insane world, I only mean the insane humanity -- it goes on demanding and it has no gratitude for anything. Everybody thinks that he is very worthy; life is just not giving the right opportunities. One should understand in a different way.
Whatever is given, you don't even deserve that. There is no right to demand; everything is given out of abundance, not because of your right.
A woman went to her psychiatrist and said, "Doctor, I want to talk to you about my husband. He thinks he is a refrigerator."
"That's not so bad,"said the doctor, "it is a rather harmless complex."
"Well, maybe," replied the lady, "but he sleeps with his mouth open and the light keeps me awake."
We are living in such a world where you never see that you are mad. Everybody is throwing all their garbage on other people. The woman thinks that the husband is insane, and in actuality, she is insane. She believes that he is a refrigerator, and the problem is not that he is a refrigerator -- he can go to hell -- the problem is he sleeps with an open mouth and the light keeps her awake the whole night!
Always remember -- whenever you start condemning anything, remember always -- whenever you are going to complain against existence: have you made a list of what has been given to you by existence?
No! Nobody has any idea even that anything has been given. But if any small thing is missing you make so much fuss about it; that shows your insanity.
The same person is utterly blissful just because so much is available, and without asking.
He has never asked for this wonderful world and he has been given it. And he has not even thanked the universe.
ALL THESE YEARS WITH YOU IN THE COMMUNE I DID WHAT I WAS TOLD.
NOW, IT SEEMS, IT IS ALL UP TO ME... BUT... WHO AM I TO KNOW WHAT TO DO? BY THE WAY, I'M GERMAN.
Siegfried Deven, even without your saying I would have known you are a German!
All the dictators in the world are created by us because we want somebody else to tell us what to do. There is a very subtle reason for it: when you are told by somebody else what to do, you don't have any responsibility for whether it is right or wrong. You are free of responsibility; you don't have to think about it; you don't have to be worried about it. The whole responsibility goes to the person who is giving you the orders to do something.
People like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Ronald Reagan are not just there in their powerful positions because of any quality of theirs. They are there because millions of people want to be told what to do -- without anybody dictating to them they are at a loss.
We create the dictators.
Adolf Hitler was almost crazy, but a nation, one of the most intelligent nations in the world which has created a great tradition of philosophers, thinkers, theologians of the first rate... Even in this century Germany has produced people like Martin Heidegger, who is perhaps this century's greatest philosopher -- but he was also a follower of Adolf Hitler.
It seems almost incomprehensible that a man of the qualities of Martin Heidegger... I have looked into all the philosophers of the world; Martin Heidegger seems to have such a genius, such a great originality in approaching things from absolutely new directions -- but he was a follower of Adolf Hitler; he supported him. I was wondering what could be the reason -- and the whole nation supported that madman. The reason is that nobody wants to have any responsibility. But the moment you lose your responsibility -- you think it is a burden, somebody else takes it -- you also lose your individuality, you also lose your freedom.
Your responsibility is not separate from your freedom, your individuality. Once you drop your responsibility on somebody else's shoulders, you have reduced yourself into a nonentity. Of course, now nobody will blame you if something goes wrong, but you have lost your soul.
People condemn the dictators, but nobody thinks what the psychology is, how dictators are created, who creates them? We are the people who create them, and we create them in the hope that they will take the responsibility. But we are not aware that with the responsibility goes our freedom, goes our individuality, goes democracy, goes freedom of thinking or expression -- everything.
We have lost our soul the moment we put our responsibility into somebody else's hands.
And there are people who enjoy to dominate, to dictate; these are insane people.
So it is a strange situation. People want to be unburdened of responsibility, and of course there are a few people who are ready to take all the responsibilities, because they are also taking all your freedom. They are taking all your rights, your very individuality; they are people whose only will is for power. They have a different kind of insanity, but it seems to be very fitting. There seems to be a certain synchronicity between the people who want to get rid of responsibility without knowing that they are getting rid of their very soul, and the other insane people, who love only one thing, power.
In the commune, you were happy... because I was not at all involved in the commune; I was in silence and isolation. And naturally, a clique took all the responsibility, and you were very happy to work twelve hours, fourteen hours a day. Even God became tired in six days. You were working seven days. You had no other time, even to think about yourself. Why did you love it? There is some psychological background to be understood...
You loved it because it helped you to forget yourself. You loved it because it helped you to be so occupied from the morning till night and then falling asleep... never finding a small gap of time just to see that your life is slipping by and you have not done anything even to be introduced to it. Death is going to knock any day on your doors, but you are not prepared -- all these worries had no time, because you were so tired. But you were happy.
Here, nobody is dictating to you.
It was all contrary to me, because I was in isolation and silence; I was not interfering in anything. The moment I started speaking, the clique that had become the dictators all escaped from the commune. They knew it perfectly that I would disturb the whole dictatorship. That dictatorship could not be continued; it was destroying people, killing them, killing their very spirituality. The whole clique disappeared immediately as I started speaking, the moment they saw that I had come into the commune, and I would not tolerate the kinds of structures that they had maintained.
I want you to be meditative; I want you to have some time to relax; I want you to have some time to think about the vital problems of life, and to do something about them.
And we have all the arrangements for meditations, for group therapies, for counseling, for all kinds of possibilities that can help you to become a spiritual giant.
The work is needed because you need food, you need clothes. So, it is good working five hours -- and that should also not be too tight. Here we are not going to create an army to conquer the world. We are creating a commune of individuals with their own spirituality, unhindered, uninterfered with. We want them to cleanse their minds, sharpen their intelligence and enter into the deepest center of their being. Those four, five hours' work is just to keep you alive so that you can meditate, so that you can realize one day a consciousness full of light, full of joy.
Here nobody is going to tell you, Deven, what to do. I want you to find what you can do the best, what you would like to do; that which you can enjoy, which will not be a burden, which will not be imposed on you, which will be your own creativity.
I want your work also to be part of your spiritual growth; not against it, but for it. But that can come only from your own spontaneity. You have to take the responsibility on yourself.
I want individuals to be absolutely free, responsible, alert, aware, neither allowing anybody to dictate to them; nor allowing themselves to dictate to anybody. It has to be a beautiful communion. It is not based on any dictatorial ideology. It is based, basically, on ultimate freedom.
And if freedom is the ultimate goal then it should be your first step too, because only the first step will lead you to the last step. It is not possible that your whole life you are just a beast of burden, doing things that people tell you to do and then suddenly one day you will become enlightened. That is not possible.
You will have to take all the responsibility for what you are doing. And you will have to grow in your consciousness and awareness so that only the right flows through your actions, so that whatever you do beautifies the commune, helps people.
This is a gathering, not a crowd; it is a brotherhood, not a factory. Here, every individual has an equal opportunity to grow into whatsoever he wants to grow. And my whole effort is that you should not be interfered with. Naturally, you will find it difficult, but don't be stuck to your Germanhood; that is a kind of disease.
The world has suffered two world wars because of Germans. Don't be too much concerned that you may go wrong. It is always good to go wrong sometimes. Just don't go wrong again on the same point -- do something else, some new wrong. Always be in search of some novelty. Mistakes are absolutely needed for learning, but one should not commit the same mistake again.
And everybody has to be aware of it: nobody is responsible for you. And you don't have to ask anybody's permission. Even if you commit something wrong there is a famous law, Steward's Law: It is easier to be forgiven than to get permission.
And remember another law; it is dangerous, so never follow it: It is called Jacob's Law:
To err is human. To blame it on someone else is even more human.
Don't do it, ever. To err is human and to accept your responsibility is the dignity of a human being. Don't go on thinking what to do -- do something! Parkinson's Law is:
Delay is the deadliest form of denial.
Don't delay. Do something that seems appropriate in the situation and congenial to your spirit. And it is not that you have to go on doing continuously; doing is not the goal of life. Being is the goal of life. Doing is only to support your survival so that you can find your being. So don't wait for somebody else to tell you.
But all these centuries that man has passed through, this has been the case -- always looking to the politicians, looking to the priest; looking to neurotic-type people who proclaim themselves prophets, the son of God, messengers of God... People who don't want to take any responsibility immediately fall into their trap.
All your prophets, and all your messengers of God are so ordinary. Your holy scriptures are not even worthy to be called great literature; it is third class journalism, nothing much more. And they are bringing laws and rules and regulations for you and people have accepted all kinds of nonsense just in order not to seek and search themselves.
To avoid search, to avoid seeking, people have even avoided thinking -- somebody should do the job for them! The people who have been giving you your moral codes, your ethics, your life styles are the people who remind me of another law, Maud's Law: A conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. All the conclusions that your prophets have given to you are nothing but where they got tired of thinking.
Just the other night, I was looking at a beautiful story. I became interested because it was saying why Moses and all his Jews, his followers, went on wandering in the desert for forty years. So I became interested because it seemed the man was going to give some idea why. The idea suggested was that they had lost a quarter so they looked all over the desert; it took forty years. Nobody knows whether they found the quarter or not; I don't think so.
The people you have been following are great people, great in their neuroses. This rule will explain it to you. Woop's Rule for Drinking -- they have given you ideas for everything: I always drink standing up because it is much easier to sit down when I get drunk standing up, than it is to get standing up when I get drunk sitting down.
Avoid these thinkers. They have dictated to humanity for long enough. Now, stand up on your own two legs. Remember that you are alone, there is no God, there are no messengers, and there is no dictator. You have to be decisive about your own life. It is your life and you have to live it according to your own style. Only then you can make your life a celebration; otherwise it is burdened with so many rules and regulations that you cannot dance with that much burden.
Deven, I think a few jokes may do for you. My only fear is that you are a German and whether you will get them or not, because they say that when you tell a joke to an Englishman, he laughs twice; once, just to be polite, and then in the middle of the night when he gets it. A German laughs only once, because everybody else is laughing. And if you tell a joke to a Jew, he will not laugh at all. On the contrary, he will say to you that it is an old joke and, moreover, you are telling it all wrong.
But I think being here with me for so long, you may have started getting, if not the whole joke, something of it...!
A priest and a drunken bus driver arrived at the pearly gates where they met St. Peter. "I am the village priest and would like to be admitted to heaven," said the priest.
"And I am the village bus driver and I want to come in too," said the drunk.
"Okay," said St. Peter. "You, Mr. Priest, will have to wait over there for a few years, but you Mr. Bus Driver, you can go right in."
"But wait a minute," said the priest, "I preached every Sunday in church and taught people how to pray and be good. He is nothing but a drunkard."
"Listen," said St. Peter, "when you preached everybody slept. But when he drove, everybody prayed like crazy."