[NOTE: This is a typed tape transcript and has not been edited or published, as of August 1992. It is for reference use only. The interviewers remarks have been deleted where not relevant to Osho's words]
INTERVIEW WITH SUSHIL MUKERJI, BERKSHIRE EAGLE NEWSPAPER, PITTSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS
(Long irrelevant preamble from interviewer)
A: You just start from anywhere!
Q: YESTERDAY YOU SAID THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE COMMUNE, THE PEOPLE OF THE COMMUNE; BUT LATER YOU SAID THAT, "I WANT THIS COMMUNE TO BE A PLACE OF LOVE, AND THE BEST AND THE FINEST IN HUMAN LIVING CONDITION." THEN IF YOU ARE NOT REALLY IN IT, WHY DO YOU WANT IT TO BE?
A: When I say I do not know you, that simply means I do not know your personality. And your personality is only a mask. It is not your reality. Hence I can say I know you too in your reality, in your very essence, in your individuality. And I am not interested in your personality, I am interested in your individuality. The essence that you have brought with you in the world, the gift of existence, I am totally interested in it.
But on top of that essence the society, the culture, the religion, the education, goes on putting conditions upon conditions, covering it. Soon you forget who you are. You remember your name, which you are not. You remember what others say about you, which you are not. You don't know your innermost core which is hidden under many, many layers.
My whole work is to uncover you, to rediscover you and to help you to be yourself, not somebody else, because unless you are yourself there is no way of knowing yourself.
Socrates says, "Know thyself," but before that first you have to be yourself.
Otherwise whom you are going to know?
So there is no contradiction. As far as the personalities of people are concerned, I have no interest. As far as their essence, their being is concerned, I have absolute interest. And the bliss, the love, the silence, the godliness -- anything that is of value -- is going to come out of their being, not out of their personality.
The word personality is significant. It comes from a Greek root persona, and persona means a mask. In Greek drama they used to have a mask, every actor.
You could not see the real face of the actor, you could only hear the voice. You could see only the mask.
Personality simply means, "We see your mask." You yourself look in the mirror and see your mask. Finding yourself, looking in the mirror is not going to help.
You will have to close your eyes and look within, and you will have to drop all layers which make your personality.
And the moment you discover your individuality you have discovered the very truth that liberates. Not only you, but it creates the atmosphere in which many others will be liberated.
And that's the function of the commune here, that even if few people are liberated they will create enough energy, atmosphere, intensity, for others to gather courage and to take the jump from personality to individuality.
It is the greatest risk in life, so only gamblers can do it. It is not for businessmen, because everything you have vested in the personality -- your education, your job, your family, your tradition -- everything is vested in the personality. Taking a jump from the personality into the individuality is almost taking a jump into nothingness.
And it is in a way nothingness. Hence Buddha used to call it nirvana. The word simply means nothingness. Your personality ceases but a totally new being is born. But the joy of the birth of this new being is immense, inexhaustible. And to know it is to know that you are immortal. To know it is to know that you are not an island, that you are part of an infinite continent, the whole existence. Then the farthest star is also connected with you. Then this whole existence becomes your very family. You are no more separate and there is no possibility of separation.
So whenever you find any contradiction in my words, it will be only apparent.
Basically there cannot be any contradiction.
Q: THERE IS A TOO MUCH OF DEPENDENCE AMONG THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNE ON YOU. THEY HAVE COME HERE BECAUSE OF YOU.
A: That's true. But that does not prove that they are dependent.
Q: YOU SEEM TO BE REMOTE FROM THESE PEOPLE, AND VERY COLD. TO ME IT APPEARED TO BE COLD, THAT YOU ALMOST DON'T CARE. BUT WHEN YOU CAME IN, I FELT LIKE YOU WERE A BAUL...
A:* a madcap Baul Q: ... I'D LIKE TO GO AND SIT WITH YOU AND CHAT WITH YOU AND SPEND TIME WITH YOU, BUT I CANNOT DO THAT BECAUSE THE RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE TELL ME WHY.
A: I will tell you. First, these people have come certainly because of me.
Otherwise they would not have been here. But they have come for their own growth out of their own free choice. They have been not forced to come here.
They can leave any moment, there is no restriction. They can come back. There is always welcome.
So although they have come here because of me, but their coming is their own choice. And that choice is their independence, one thing.
Here in the commune I don't want them to become dependent in any way on me.
Neither I want to become dependent on them. That creates the illusion of coldness.
I am absolutely free of everybody, and I live my life in my own way. And I don't want any interference, friendly or unfriendly. Those restrictions are put by me, and it is my freedom whether to meet people or not to meet people. They cannot impose themselves on me.
They are free -- I never impose myself on anybody. I have never knocked on anybody's door, neither I want anybody else to knock on my doors.
I am available at certain times, that is part of my living. Two hours in the morning I am available to the sannyasins. They can ask any questions concerning their growth, concerning any subject in the world. Evening I am available for media, because I don't go anywhere and I don't think there is any need now. The word can reach to the farthest corner of the world without moving from my chair. So evening two hours for world media.
Two hours for sannyasins in the morning, and the rest I am just living with myself. It is not coldness. In fact, coming out for four hours is more than I can do.
I would like to remain twenty-four hours in silence. Talking is heavy on me.
Once you know the silence of your being and the joy of your being, you don't want to waste any moment outside.
These four hours I am giving -- two hours to the whole world, two hours to my sannyasins -- they should be grateful for it. I can withdraw any moment. For three and a half years I was completely silent.
But my silence is not cold. It is full of life, it is full of love, it is full of warmth.
That's why even when I was silent for three and a half years these people remained here. I was not available, they could not ask anything to me. But just I was here was enough for them. My presence was enough warmth and enough love for them.
If it appears cold to you, that simply means you have a certain definition of warmth and I don't fit in that definition. You think that I should mix with people, hug people, sit with them, chit-chat, gossip with people, then it will be warmth.
To me it will be simply stupidity.
I can do much more for them if I am silent, because whatsoever I gather in my silence I can pour in two hours meeting with them. If I remain twenty-four hours available to them, I will not be able to give them what I am able right now to give them.
Yes, people who come from outside want me to behave the way they are accustomed. But I don't belong to your society and I don't belong to your conventions. And I don't have to belong. It is my independence. I can afford to be alone. You cannot afford to be alone. This is my luxury. Anybody who can afford to be alone would not waste his time sitting in a restaurant being warm to idiots.
There is no need.
I don't fulfill any category. I am a category in myself. And it depends how you define things. I am certainly cool -- but not cold. And coolness is part of my teaching. For example, in the West because countries are cold there are phrases like "warm welcome." I cannot manage to do it. Whether the country is cold or hot, I can only give you a cool welcome.
And whatever I have I can give you. Whatever I don't have, how I can give it to you?
So don't expect anything. Otherwise you will be unnecessarily frustrated. It is better to ask something that may be of any help to you or to others who will be reading the interview. You can ask any question that may be relevant to your ideas.
Q: DURING THE DISCOURSE YESTERDAY, YOU STARTED A TIRADE AGAINST RELIGIONS. WAS IT NECESSARY FOR YOU TO DO THAT? THERE WAS A SENSE OF INSECURITY. YOU CAN JUST SAY THAT, "WELL, I DON'T BELIEVE IN CONVENTIONAL RELIGIONS." BUT WHY TRY TO START A TIRADE?
A: It is not enough to say that I don't believe. That will not destroy four billion people on the earth's belief in some kind of organized religion. And I am not fighting against one religion. There are three hundred religions in the world and I have to destroy each religion's basic foundation.
It is not a question of insecurity, it is simply doing the work as perfect as possible. I will not leave a single loophole.
So I have to find out all the basic principles of all the religions and destroy them logically, rationally, existentially, because they have harmed the whole humanity. They have kept the whole humanity retarded. And it is time enough that someone should fight from the very roots. You are telling me that, "Just take one leaf of the tree and that's enough." That is not enough. I have to take all the roots. I am not going to leave a single root alive. Otherwise the tree will be again there. The leaf is not going to destroy the tree. New leaves will be coming. You take one leaf, three leaves will be coming in its place.
So it is not a question of insecurity. What insecurity I can have? I am not creating a religion, I am not going to create anything to take the place of the religions I am fighting against.
I am not an atheist, so it is not enough for me just to say that there is no God and there is no need to believe.
Those two sentences will not help. They will not change the whole humanity and its conditions of thousands of years. When you are fighting with conditions which have been going on and on for thousands of years, you are waging a war - - single-handedly. Naturally, you have to fight from all the fronts.
It was easy for other religions. For example, Hinduism will fight Buddhism. That was simply. Jainism will fight Hinduism. It was simple. Christianity will fight Judaism. It was simple.
I am fighting three hundred religions, and the complexity is more.
Just few days before, I received the letter of the president of the American Association of Atheists. Listening my statement on television that there is no God, she was really very happy and she wrote to me. And she is one of the oldest atheists alive. She has created almost many atheists around the world.
In India too she had founded the atheist movement, and a man named Gora* was her disciple who has been fighting against Gandhi his whole life, for atheism.
She was very happy. She wrote a letter that, "You are certainly a man of tremendous courage, and I would like to come and see You, talk with You." I have told my secretary to write to her that, "You can come, you are welcome, but you have to come knowing perfectly well that I am not an atheist. I am as much against atheism as I am against theism. And it will be a little difficult for you in your old age, you may not have ever heard of anybody who is against both."
To me atheism is simply a reaction of theism. If theism disappears, if there is nobody who believes in God, then atheism will die an automatic death, because then what is the point of denying?
So it is a dependent phenomenon. It has nothing of its own to give. It has no contribution to make. And to me it is idiotic. If there is no God, then why waste your whole life talking, writing, fighting that there is no God? But your whole life is wasted for something which does not exist.
I am not a theist. I am not an atheist. I don't believe in organized religion, but I believe absolutely in the flavor of religiousness. So I have to make my position clear. It is delicate and subtle.
It is very easy to divide people in categories. Somebody is a theist who believes in God, somebody is an atheist who does not believe in God. I do not have any God, yet I am not irreligious. I do not believe in any organized religion, yet I have absolute trust that in the inner world of man there is something which is eternal, conscious. There is no creator of existence, because I don't want to divide existence into any duality: the creator and the created. Existence itself is conscious, and in man it is coming to its flowering.
And once in a while in a man like Gautam Buddha it comes to its absolute flowering.
So my position is such that I have to fight with many organized theologies, anti- theologies, and I have to make very subtle distinctions between religion and religiousness, between God and godliness.
You would appreciate the quotation from H. G. Wells. When he was writing the history of the world, he had to write about Gautam Buddha and he was in a difficulty. He was a Christian and he could not think that Gautam Buddha did not believe in God. The very idea was a torture for him for few days. He continuously thought over it. (Tape side B) What to make of it? And finally he wrote a sentence which is really of tremendous significance. He wrote, "Gautam Buddha perhaps is the most godless and yet the most godly person who has ever walked on the earth."
Now, to make this sentence -- "most godless and yet the most godly". And that is my whole problem. I want the world to be free from God but not free from godliness. I want the world to be free from religions but not from religiousness.
And religiousness is a totally different phenomenon than being Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan.
Religiousness is something that is absolutely scientific. I propose scientific methods to my people. I don't give them any belief system, I just give them methods of meditation which need no beliefs, no God, no heaven, no hell, no reincarnation -- simply a method how to make your mind more and more silent.
An atheist can do it, a communist can do it, a theist can do it. It doesn't matter what you believe or disbelieve.
The method is absolutely scientific. It has nothing to do with your beliefs. You just do the method and you discover your own godliness. You will not find any God sitting there, but you will find a fragrance that is only expressible in the word godliness. No other word can express it.
So my situation is complicated. That's why I have to speak so much, and yet I will continue to speak because I go on putting more and more sharpness on my sword to cut every root of every ideology that is obstructive in finding man his godliness.
So I am attacked by all the religions, which is a rare phenomenon. I am attacked by America -- they think I am communist. I am attacked by Russia -- they think I am capitalist. My sannyasins in Russia are being persecuted, harassed. My books have been banned. Perhaps never anybody was there who had only enemies all around. And the reason is that I am basically hitting the very roots of all vested interests. And I am not willing to become part of this whole panorama of religions.
If I become a religion there is no problem. Nobody will be against me. But because I want to keep the flavor of religion yet without any theology, I want to keep the verb but without any noun, naturally I have to argue for each single word that I utter. And I have to give support in every possible way, for and against, and it is not a question of insecurity because nothing is at stake. I have nothing to lose.
The question of security or insecurity arises only when you have anything to lose. The pope may be insecure. I have challenged him. I want to have a public discussion, open. He is insecure. He is not able. He is afraid, because if he is defeated in an open forum then he loses something. The greatest empire he has, six hundred million Catholics.
What I have to lose? I don't have a single follower. I have friends.
There is no question of insecurity. Here I am fighting with the American government, and they are in difficulty because I have nothing to lose. Whatever happens, they will have to lose, because I am fulfilling all the requirements of their constitution and they are going against their own constitution.
I have challenged them that, "I am going to the Supreme Court, you give the decision whether you give me permanent residentship or not. For four years those idiots have not been able even to decide a simple thing. And they are postponing it for the simple reason because any decision is going to create trouble for them. Yes they cannot say because the political pressure is on them.
No they cannot say because the moment they say no I take it to the court. And I go up to the Supreme Court.
And I am going to say to the Supreme Court that, "Except the red Indians, everybody in America is a foreigner. So we are all sailing in the same boat. Who has given you the authority to issue green cards? On what grounds? And if you foreigners can issue green cards, why I cannot issue? I can issue green cards in Rajneeshpuram. You cannot stop me. If you stop me, you have to stop every foreigner. And you are all foreigners.
"You talk about democracy, freedom, and you have invaded a country of poor red Indians. Drop this hypocrisy. Change your constitution or follow it!
Following it means tell Ronald Reagan to resign. All Americans should resign from the government. The government should go to the red Indians. The country belongs to them, not to you.
"And you all should apply for green cards from the red Indians. If they want you to be here, you can be here. Otherwise get lost! But you cannot decide on me just because you had come hundred years before and I have come only four years before. That does not mean that you have become the owners of this land."
What I have got to lose? I have nothing to lose because I don't have anything, not a single cent. But Supreme Court will have to face me, and if they have any shame and any conscience then they all should resign from Supreme Court too.
Being in a foreign country, with violence and force invading a poor land, and talking about freedom. Act it or change the constitution.
The same is the situation with all the religions. I have been challenging the shankaracharyas and they are not willing to talk publicly because they are worried they have something to lose. One man in Punjab -- he was the most famous saint in Punjab, known as the Lion of Punjab, Baba Hrigri* -- he was not aware of me. And it was just a coincidence that in a conference... In Amritsar they have every year a Vedant* conference, world conference, and at least one hundred thousand people gather in the conference.
It was just a coincidence that he spoke and I was to speak after him. And I criticized him point by point. The organizers were simply frozen to death, because that man was respected in Punjab. Thousands will be ready to die for him. I was not known in Punjab at all, that was my first time to be in Amritsar.
And I criticized him so totally, even on small points, that they were afraid that there is going to be a riot immediately. And I don't have not even a single person who knows me.
An ancient Vedanta story he has said. The story is that ten blind men pass a river, and after passing the river they think it is better to count. Perhaps somebody the river has taken away. The current is strong and it is rainy season.
So they start counting. But the count always comes to nine, because everybody leaves himself. He starts from the other, ends with the last, does not count himself. Naturally, it is nine.
One man sitting on the bank was watching the whole scene. It was hilarious what they were doing. They started crying and weeping that, "One friend is lost."
That man came and he said, "Don't be worried. I will find your friend. You stand in a line. I will hit the first man on the head with my stick and you say one. I will strike the second man twice, you say two. Third three times, you say three. You count how many times I strike and you speak the number."
And they were immensely happy because the last man is found. The tenth man got ten hits.
This is an ancient Vedanta story told for centuries. Nobody has ever raised any question about it. I asked the people that, "This story is absolutely idiotic, because how these people knew that they were ten? Had they counted before entering the stream? If they knew how to count before they entered the stream, how they forgot it? How they knew that they were ten?"
And Harigri* has to answer it, otherwise telling such idiotic stories and making them into great philosophy... He became so furious, knowing perfectly well that now there is no answer. If these people count themselves before entering the stream, then naturally they will be able to count afterwards. If they had not counted, then how they came to know that they are ten?
He simply walked down the podium, and I told him that, "This escape will not help. I have discussed every single point that you have raised. If you have any guts -- and you are known as the Lion of Punjab, the whole pride of Punjab is at risk -- then don't escape. Come back."
And he will not come back. He simply escaped. And I asked the people that, "This man you still want to call the Lion of Punjab? And I will be here ten days and for ten days I will wait. If he wants, this challenge is open for ten days. I am ready to fight on every ground."
And the problem is that I am not against the essential message of the Upanishads. But what these people are doing has nothing to do with the essential. They are making the nonessential more important, because the nonessential helps them to exploit people. The essential will not help to exploit anybody.
The man simply escaped. Ten days I was there in the conference, and even the organizers were surprised that not a single Punjabi stood in favor of him. I asked that anybody, if he wants to accept the challenge in place of his guru, his Master, I am ready. Those one thousand people... one hundred thousand people just remained silent. In ten days time I was able to manage that what I am saying is the real essence of Vedanta, and what you have been told up to now is not the real essence.
The real essence is the same whether it is Vedanta or Zen or Sufism or the songs of Baul or Kabir. It doesn't matter. If anybody who has really attained, experienced, then he will agree with me.
But the scholars, the pundits, have not experienced anything. They have learned.
They are knowledgeable. And I have to fight against all their knowledge. I have to dismantle the whole palace of knowledge so that people can be freed from words and made ready to take a jump into existence itself rather than carrying holy Bibles, Korans and Gitas. Enough they have carried these books. They have not helped humanity.
It is time that man gets rid of all kinds of ideologies. So my function here is deprogramming and leaving the person unprogrammed. I don't have any of my program. Hence there is no question of insecurity.
Nobody can criticize me for the simple reason because I don't propose any philosophy. I simply criticize all the philosophies. I don't have any philosophy of my own.
So the idea in your mind that I must be feeling insecure is just your idea. It has nothing to do with me. I am the most secure person in the whole world because I have nothing to lose. I have not proposed anything that can be criticized. I am simply cricitizing. My function is to clean the mind of people of whatever garbage they are filled with: Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Mohammedan -- does not matter. And once their minds are clean I leave them to themselves. Now they can start growing from their very primal innocence.
And I don't have any idea into what they have to grow. I don't give them any ideal that they have to become a Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Christ, no. They have just to become themselves.
So the question of insecurity is absolutely irrelevant. Nothing can be taken away from me because I don't have anything, and nothing can be criticized because I have never proposed anything.
And that has been the fear. The Shankaracharya of Puri refused to confront me on the same stage because he said, "It is difficult. Whatever I say he can criticize, and he says never anything so I cannot criticize anything. So I am always in a loss with this man."
One of the most respected Hindu scholars, Karpatri, he has written a book against me. But when I challenged him that, "Rather than writing a book, it will be good that we have a confrontation openly. And I will come to Kasi* amongst your disciples." But he is not ready because on a very simple point he writes a book against me, quoting all the scriptures but not quoting a single statement of me and criticizing it.
I asked him that, "What kind of criticism is this? You can quote scriptures in support of your argument, but first state my argument, then criticize it, then support. But you don't have anything. I have never argued for anything. I am absolutely silent. Silence is my philosophy."
So there is no possibility of insecurity. Nobody can criticize silence. Only words can be criticized. Okay?
Q: YOU WERE VEHEMENT IN CRITICIZING PEOPLE WHO HAVE A TETE-A- TETE IN A RESTAURANT OR HAVE FRIENDSHIP; CALLING THEM IDIOTS.
BUT MANY OF THE WORLD'S GREAT THOUGHTS ARE FROM PEOPLE GETTING TOGETHER EVEN IN THE RESTAURANTS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE FRENCH ARTISTS, IMPRESSIONISM, POST-IMPRESSIONISM. I DON'T THINK THEY ARE IDIOTS.
A: They are insane. They are not idiots.
Q: THAT WAY I WOULD SAY THAT... HERETIC LIKE YOU, IF I MAY USE THE TERM...
A: Heretic is perfectly good.
Q: BUT HERETIC ALSO IS AN INSANE PERSON.
A: No. Heretic is never insane.
Q: SO BUDDHA WAS NOT INSANE? HE WAS A HERETIC.
A: Yes. He was not insane. He was heretic, but these impressionists are simply insane. They are not idiots.
Q: I WOULDN'T ACCEPT THAT. EXCUSE ME.
A: No, I am saying myself they are not idiots, because idiots cannot be insane. No idiot has ever been insane. For being insane you need certain intelligence and those impressionists have intelligence, but it has gone absolutely wrong. All their paintings are nothing but vomitings. They don't have the beauty of a Taj Mahal.
They don't have the beauty of a Kujaraho. They don't have the beauty of Leonardo da Vinci. They are just pouring their own insanity on the canvas, and if you look at their canvas long enough you will start feeling getting crazy, freaking out.
Even a man like Picasso is not sane -- very intelligent but not sane. The paintings show his mind. They are nightmarish. They don't have the beauty of the classical art.
It is just like jazz music, which is insane and cannot be compared to classical music. Classical music has tremendous sanity. It can make even an insane person sane. Just listening to classical music, he may calm down. But jazz -- even a sane person may start feeling a jerk.
All that has happened in the modern art, whether it is painting or music or poetry, it is great but yet it is not sane.
The statues of Gautam Buddha -- there are thousands in Thailand, in Japan, in China, In India. In China there is a temple which is called the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas -- ten thousand statues of Buddha. Perhaps it took three, four centuries to make it. The whole mountain has been carved. The whole mountain has become the temple.
Just sitting there and you will feel a deep silence descending on you. Just looking at the statue of Buddha, you will feel inside you something settling. Those statues were created by meditators. They were not just artists. They were also meditators.
The ancient music was not just music, it has come from the person's inner experience. He has brought in music what he has felt in his silence. He has done a tremendous job to bring something from silence into sound, to translate silence into sound. But he managed. That was art, and sane art.
My definition of sane art is that listening to it, looking at it, it gives you health, wholeness, silence, peace.
Nietzsche in one of his diaries says that the most beautiful thing that he has seen in his life was a battalion marching. The sun was rising and the naked swords of the battalion shining in the sun, and their boots falling in tune. And Nietzsche says, "That music of their boots was the greatest music that I have heard. And the shining swords in the sun was the greatest scene that I have seen."
Now, this man is insane. The sound of the soldiers' boots is music! It shows something about Friedrich Nietzsche, and it is natural that he became the guide of Adolf Hitler.
Adolf Hitler worshiped him as his master. It is natural. This man is a genius, about that no doubt, perhaps the best genius of his century. But he is not sane.
And Adolf Hitler following him, do you think is creating more music in the world? Creating more battalions and more boots and more sounds and more swords? Creating more beauty around?
Modern mind has lost some quality. It has gained something, but it has lost something also. It has gained rationality but it has lost meditativeness.
Rationality alone can end only in insanity. The highest peak of reason is insanity.
You cannot go more than that.
And the highest peak of meditation is silence. In silence also there is intelligence, but of a totally different kind: of creativity, of love, of compassion. And whatever comes out of that silence will help other people also.
Just to listen to Mozart and one feels moving into some inner world. Looking at the paintings of the Middle Ages, one feels one has seen something which is still alive. Looking at the statues in Kujaraho, one feels as if the woman in the statue is just going to come out. She is so alive, and she is so beautiful. She is naked but it does not create sexuality in you. That's strange. Utterly naked and utterly beautiful, but it does not create sexuality in you.
You can see Kajuraho with your daughter without any problem. And all the statues are naked, all the statues are of lovemaking, but the people who have made those statues were not making them as pornography. They were making them for a totally different reason. They were changing pornography into art.
And the modern artist is changing art into pornography. Hence I say they are insane. They are intelligent, very intelligent, but just intelligence does not mean anything.
(Tape side C) And as far as being a heretic is concerned, I consider it a compliment because Socrates was considered a heretic, Gautam Buddha was considered a heretic, Lao Tzu was considered a heretic. I would immensely enjoy to be in their company.
Even if it means to be insane, I would still like to be heretic.
Q: I ALSO HAPPEN TO BE MODERN PAINTER. I NEVER HEARD YOU QUALIFYING YOUR STATEMENT WHEN YOU CRITICIZED THE IMPRESSIONISTS. I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THEM.
WHY DO YOU SAY THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE JUST INTELLIGENT BUT THEY ARE MAD AND THEY HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING THAT IS SIGNIFICANT AND THE PERSON WHO PAINTED A NICE BEAUTIFUL SCENE HAS DONE SOMETHING THAT IS MEDITATIVE?
A: One thing is certain, you don't know anything of meditation. And without knowing anything of meditation, everybody is mad. The difference is only of degrees. You may be normally mad, you may be abnormally mad, but only meditation makes a person absolutely certain that he is not mad.
These impressionists and other schools of painters, musicians, novelists, existentialists, all are basically non-meditative. None of them has created out of meditation. Whatever they have done is their intellectual approach to life.
Whatever they have seen, they have tried to express it. But in their own life they are not sane people.
And the people who appreciate their art are mostly people who appreciate anything that comes into fashion. For example, when Van Gogh was alive he could not sell a single painting, and now only two hundred paintings are available and each painting can fetch millions of dollars. Van Gogh himself got mad. The last year of his life he was in madhouse. And when he was released from the madhouse, just after few months he committed suicide.
Most of the modern painters, novelists, musicians, dancers -- different dimensions of art -- most of these people, particularly those who were the greatest, have been at least one time in their life in a mental hospital.
These are the people, taken as a profession, have committed more suicide than any other profession. And these are the people, if you look into their lives you will find all kinds of perversions: homosexuals, sodomists. And their actual life will make it clear that these people have intelligence, but their intelligence is not moving in a peaceful, harmonious way. It is moving in a very destructive way.
Otherwise, committing suicide or going insane for an artist should be impossible.
A creative artist, should be inconceivable that he will turn out to be a case of suicide. On the one hand he creates and on the other hand he is self-destructive.
Many of them are drug addicts, many of them are drunkards, many of them are continuously doing things which can show much more than their paintings.
For example, a millionaire was asking Picasso for two paintings, one for his sitting room, one for his bedroom. Picasso went in. His girlfriend... and he never got married, and he has hundreds of girlfriends, changing almost every week.
This type of man cannot be a man of love. It is just pure animal sexuality.
The girlfriend went in with him and said, "But you don't have two paintings ready." He said, "Don't be worried." He cut one painting in two. The girlfriend said, "But the man will be able to see that." Picasso said, "I cannot myself figure out that these are two paintings or one. I cannot figure out when I put my paintings in art galleries which way to hang them, which way is right side up."
Now these people may be creative, but their creativity cannot be called sane.
And he sold those two paintings. And those two paintings exist as two paintings.
Neither the owner understands what they mean. He asked Picasso what they mean. Picasso said, "I don't know myself. When I was painting I knew something, but now it is long past and I have forgotten. But they must mean something."
The modern poetry, the modern drama, they all are in the same space. I want humanity to go forward. That does not mean that everything that has been in the past has to be dropped, because many things in the past has already gone far ahead of us. They are already in twenty-first century.
So I am not saying save them from the past. I am saying they are already ahead of you. You go forward but make your creativity more meditative so that it becomes more saner and more healthy and helps people to understand beauty, meaning of life. It gives them something, some juice.
I have not seen your paintings. Next time when you come, bring them so I can see whether they are sane or insane. But I would love to see them.
Q: I WOULD LOVE TO SHOW THEM TO YOU.